Remembering Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan and International Sufi Movement

Champions of orthodoxy might scorn the theological purity (or lack there of) of Sufi Movement but the original purpose of ‘Sufi Kirk (Church)’ also known as ‘Dutch Sufis’ was to bring different (and often opposing) theological and cultural traditions together through realisation that the basis of all the religions is the ‘common good’ preached by the prophets and the saints of the world.

Why would Qudrat-ullah Shahab who was a celebrated civil servant, a confidant and aide to many military dictators of Pakistan and a self-proclaimed Pan-Islamist, dedicate a couple of chapters of his autobiography Shahab –Nama (a masterpiece of modern Urdu language) to Hazrat Inayat Khan and his Dutch Sufi Kirk?

Mr. Shahab considered the unorthodox religious views of the Sufis as an ‘anomaly’ in Islam but despite his visible disdain at their ‘free mixing’ of all the religions (especially White Dutch Mureeds, Jewish and Hindus) at the communal worship, was respectful towards the memory of Hazrat Inayat Khan and recalled his time at Pakistan embassy in Netherlands with fondness.

In 1965, at the outbreak of the Indo-Pak War Pir Valiyat Khan(Son of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan) came to console Mr. Shahab at the hour of national crisis. Mr. Shahab also recalled how the ‘White European’ Mureeds (with influential positions in various European governments) were instrumental in ‘secretly’ helping Pakistan in the hour of crisis. Pakistan’s then foreign minister and future Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto converted these ‘one –time helpers’ into long term friendships and support for Pakistan in European corridors of Power.
Qudratullah Shahab , in spite of his orthodox views was still partisan in favour of Pakistan with all its cultural and religious diversity. Ironically Qudratullah Shahab himself became a Sufi in the last years before his death in 1986.He dedicated the last chapter of Shahab Nama to a mystic ‘Ninety’ (a supernatural being) who used to write letters to Mr. Shahab foretelling future events. Was that a fragment of Mr. Shahab’s imagination, we will never know?

Quotes are taken from Wikipedia and ISM website in order to maintain objectivity.Sufi Inayat Khan was born in 1882 into a noble Muslim Indian family (his mother was a descendant of the uncle of Tipu Sultan, the famous eighteenth century ruler of Mysore). He was initiated into the Suhrawardiyya, Qadiriyya and Naqshbandi orders of Sufism but his primary initiation was from Shaykh Muhammed Abu Hashim Madani into the Nizamiyya sub-branch of the Chishti Order. He was also indebted to the philosophical Vedanta/Shankara spirituality of Hinduism.

With the Shaykh’s encouragement he left India in 1910 to come to the West, traveling first as a touring musician and then as a teacher of Sufism, visiting three continents. Eventually he married Ora Ray Baker (Pirani Ameena Begum) from New Mexico and they had had four children: Noor-un-Nisa (1913), Vilayat (1916), Hidayat (1917) and Khair-un-Nisa (1919). The family settled in Suresnes, near Paris.
Khan returned to India at the end of 1926 and there chose the site of his tomb, the Nizamuddin Dargah complex in Delhi, where the eponymous founder of the Nizami Chishtiyya, Shaykh Nizamuddin Auliya (died 1325), is buried. Khan died shortly after, on February 5, 1927.

Today active branches of Inayat Khan’s lineage can be found in the Netherlands, France, England, Germany, the United States, Canada, and Russia. He left behind a rich legacy of English literature infused with his vision of the unity of religious ideals, which calls humanity to awaken to the “Truth of Divine Guidance and Love.”

“The man, who tries to prove his belief superior to the faith of another, does not know the meaning of religion.”

He also stated:
“if the following of Islam is understood to mean the obligatory adherence to a certain rite; if being a Muslim means conforming to certain restrictions, how can the Sufi be placed in that category, seeing that the Sufi is beyond all limitations of this kind.

Teachings

The work of a mystical teacher is not to teach, but to tune, to tune the pupil so that he may become the instrument of God. For the mystical teacher is not the player of the instrument; he is the tuner. When he has tuned it, he gives it into the hands of the Player whose instrument it is to play. The duty of the mystical teacher is his service as a tuner.

Inayat Khan set forth ten thoughts that form the foundational principles of Universal Sufism.
1. There is One God, the Eternal, the Only Being; None exists save He.
2. There is One Master, the Guiding Spirit of all souls, Who constantly leads all followers toward the Light.
3. There is One Holy Book, the Sacred Manuscript of Nature, the only Scripture that can enlighten the reader.
4. There is One Religion, the unswerving progress in the right direction toward the Ideal, which fulfills the life’s purpose of every soul.
5. There is One Law, the Law of Reciprocity, which can be observed by a selfless conscience, together with a sense of awakened justice.
6. There is One Brotherhood, the human brotherhood which unites the children of earth indiscriminately in the fatherhood of God. … (later adapted by followers) There is one Family, the Human Family, which unites the Children of Earth indiscriminately in the Parenthood of God.
7. There is One Moral, the Love which springs forth from self-denial and blooms in deeds of beneficence. … (alternative, source unknown) There is one Moral Principle, the Love which springs forth from a willing heart, surrendered in service to God and Humanity, and which blooms in deeds of beneficence.
8. There is One Object of Praise, the Beauty which uplifts the heart of its worshipper through all aspects from the seen to the unseen.
9. There is One Truth, the true knowledge of our being, within and without, which is the essence of Wisdom.
10. There is One Path, the annihilation of the false ego in the real, which raises the mortal to immortality, in which resides all perfection. … (alternative, source unknown) There is One Path, the effacement of the limited self in the Unlimited, which raises the mortal to immortality, in which resides all Perfection.

Sayings

Some of Inayat Khan’s most famous sayings are:
• “Shatter your ideals on the rock of Truth.”

• “There is nothing valuable except what we value in life.”

• “Sleep is comfortable, but awakening is interesting.”

• “In a small affair or in a big affair, first consult yourself and find out if there is any conflict in your own being about anything you want to do. And when you find no conflict there, then feel sure that a path is already made for you. You have but to open your eyes and take a step forward, and the other step will be led by God.”

• “The difference between the divine and the human will is like the difference between the trunk of a tree and its branches. As from the boughs other twigs and branches spring, so the will of one powerful individual has branches going through the will of other individuals. So there are the powerful beings, the masters of humanity. Their will is God’s will, their word is God’s word, and yet they are branches, because the trunk is the will of the Almighty. Whether the branch be large or small, every branch has the same origin and the same root as the stem.”

• “The more one studies the harmony of music, and then studies human nature, how people agree and how they disagree, how there is attraction and repulsion, the more one will see that it is all music.”

• “Reason is the illusion of reality.”

Sufi Church

In 1922, during a summer school, Inayat Khan had a ‘spiritual experience’ in the South Dunes in Katwijk. He immediately told his students to meditate and proclaimed the place where he was on that moment holy. In 1969, the Universal Sufi Templea temple was built there. Every year a Sufi summer school takes place in this temple and many Sufis from around the world visit.
According to International Sufi Movement’s website

Brotherhood & Sisterhood Activity

The religious bonds show a still higher ideal in man; but it has caused diverse sects which have opposed and despised each other for thousand of years, and have caused so many splits and divisions among men. Even in such a wide scope of brotherhood the germ of separation exists. And however widespread the brotherhood may be, as long as it is separated man from man, it cannot be a perfect brotherhood.

The Sufi realizing this, frees himself from national, racial, and religious boundaries, uniting in the human brotherhood, which is devoid of the differences and distinctions of class, caste, creed, race, nation or religion and unites mankind in the universal Brotherhood.

Sufi Worship

When the congregation enters the place of worship, a light is already burning, suspended above the altar, representing the Divine Presence, the source of all light.

On the altar, as well as flowers and incense, there are candles and scriptures representing six of the world’s religions (Hindu, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian and Islamic) as well as a candle representing all those, whether known or unknown, who have held aloft the light of Truth through the darkness of human ignorance. Therefore, none are excluded; all faiths are respected in this service.

The service is conducted by three Cheraghs (‘light bearers’) wearing simple robes of muted brown as a sign of self-effacement in service.

The candles are lit, with the sincere feeling that the light which has given rise to each faith has once again been kindled.

The scriptures are read with devotion, whereupon gratitude, homage and respect are offered to the Divine source of each.

In the course of the service, an invocation and three prayers are recited. These sacred formulations, given by Hazrat Inayat Khan, clearly express the unity of all religious ideals.

Following the reading of the scriptures, a Cheragh gives a sermon on the theme of this day’s service.

After a closing prayer, a Cheragh blesses all those present, and the Cheraghs depart.

This service has also been formulated for such special occasions as weddings, the blessing of infants, the ordination of Cheraghs, and the passing away of a soul from earth.
Champions of orthodoxy might scorn the theological purity (or lack thereof) of Sufi Movement but the original purpose of ‘Sufi Kirk (Church)’ also known as ‘Dutch Sufis’ was to bring different (and often opposing) theological and cultural traditions together through realisation that the basis of all the religions is the ‘common good’ preached by the prophets and the saints of the world.

Some readers might be tempted to think tha we at PTH have ‘lost our marbles’ in promoting such an ‘out-dated’ philosophy? Really? Well PTH strongly believes in freedom of expression and allowing new ideas for promoting cultural and religious pluralism for an intellectual discourse.

The question remains, what can we learn from Sufi Inayat Khan’s philosophy and is that tradition of Sufism still relevant in today’s world of terrorism? PTH would welcome comments, rebuttals and debate.

50 Comments

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50 responses to “Remembering Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan and International Sufi Movement

  1. YLH

    His daughter Noor Inayat Khan was awesome.

    Frankly I don’t care much for spiritual mumbo jumbo of any variety personally.

  2. amar

    Sufis were and will be persecuted by muslims only – by no one else.

    White europeans helped Pakistan against India?! – now their white progeny is suffering the consequences of this idiocy.

    Sufis are persecuted by muslims and yet they are so foolish that they make propaganda for islam, M and K. Such idiocy concomitant with emotionalism knows no bounds.

  3. Ally

    We need more Sufism in the world!!!

  4. ooh la la!
    yeh saray deen bezar sufism ki taraf kiyoon dor lagatay hen?

  5. @fundamentalist
    U ask
    Why do people accept sufism? To show that the Saudi Arabian Wahabiism IS NOT THE ONLY WAY OF LIFE on this planet-may be on the Mars it is!
    samjay kya mian chunoo?

  6. YLH

    yaar … fundamentalist bechara is a loser … let him be. Us ko Angraizi nahin ati.

  7. YLH
    yaar bechara mian chunoo ki izat karni chayee,kya howa go englashi nahin aati par likhta too achaa hai zaid hamid or munawar hasan chutiya mansora walay ka rishtay daar lagta hai.

  8. no-communal

    This guy looked somewhat like Tagore in his later days.

  9. PMA

    From this article the “International Sufi Movement” appears to be a new religion or a cult, somewhat like the “Hare Krishna Movement” of the sixties. Wonder why the group has chosen the name “Sufi” as the movement does not appear to have any resemblance to the ‘Sufi Way of Life’ which itself is deeply embedded into the Islamic faith.

  10. Chote Miyan

    PMA,
    “o have any resemblance to the ‘Sufi Way of Life’ which itself is deeply embedded into the Islamic faith.”

    That is not strictly accurate. If you read the history of Sufis in the Northern plains, even 150 years ago, there was very little to distinguish between Sufis and Sadhus who used to roam the countryside. They even had shared Khanqahs. I know someone who is a Hindu but whose ancestors belonged to the Naqshbandi branch of Sufis. I personally doubt his claim, but he says he is and knows quite a bit about that order.

  11. T.S. Bokhari

    Btw, who was Khizr, who was not bound by any Shariah Wariah? Was he not a Soofi?

  12. T.S. Bokhari

    Continued with the previous.

    And yet he (Khizr) was followed by the greatest of the Islamic Prophet, Musa (PBUH).

  13. @PMA
    D’oh!

    “He was initiated into the Suhrawardiyya, Qadiriyya and Naqshbandi orders of Sufism but his primary initiation was from Shaykh Muhammed Abu Hashim Madani into the Nizamiyya sub-branch of the Chishti Order. He was also indebted to the philosophical Vedanta/Shankara spirituality of Hinduism.

    With the Shaykh’s encouragement he left India in 1910 to come to the West, traveling first as a touring musician and then as a teacher of Sufism,Khan returned to India at the end of 1926 and there chose the site of his tomb, the Nizamuddin Dargah complex in Delhi, where the eponymous founder of the Nizami Chishtiyya, Shaykh Nizamuddin Auliya (died 1325), is buried. Khan died shortly after, on February 5, 1927.”

    Read the history of ISM

  14. PMA

    Chote Miyan (November 3, 2010 at 2:46 am):
    A Abbas (November 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm):

    I received my early education from the Sufis. They were pious men of great moral character. The definition of ‘Sufi’ and his faith as I read in this article does not resemble anything I know from my personal experience. Sufi is a man of God who loves all of God’s creations yet he lives a simple life. He believes in the oneness of God. He believes that Mohammad is a Messenger of God and Qura’n is the Word of God delivered through His Messenger. Although a theologian like Mulla he is different from Mulla; not in his faith but in his attitude. A Sufi believes in his own religion Islam but unlike Mulla he is tolerant of all other religions. Both proselytize to bring non-Muslims to the fold of Islam except Sufi does that with a message of love, peace and harmony among all people. Sufi allows new converts to retain some of the cultural elements of their previous life; Mulla on the other hand demands complete break from their past. That is the reason why early Sufis succeeded in their mission throughout Anatolia, Persia, Central Asia, South Asia and even in the Far East where as Mulla failed where ever he tried. Now that ‘Sufi Way of Life’ has degraded into ‘Shrine Culture’ it is not surprising that the word Sufi has lost its meaning. Today Mulla is trying to move people away from the ignorance of the ‘Shrine Culture, but the fool does not realize that the hearts and minds are won with love and not by force. Where are the Sufis when you need them.

  15. @PMA
    Please read this first! & then give your sermon on TRUE ISLAM Mulla Ji.
    Sufi Inayat was right in saying

    “The man, who tries to prove his belief superior to the faith of another, does not know the meaning of religion.”

  16. I stopped believing in Islam when I came to London and studied philosophy and religion,but we all know that India & Pakistan have a history of religious pluralism and Sufi brotherhood since the year 800 A.D.Islam,Hinduism and Sufism are part of our DNA for last 1200 years.Islam came to India through Sufis & not from Saudi Arabian Aramco oil tankers.

    Samjay mian PMA which Pakistan Military Academy did you graduate from. Was it a fake degree like the MNAs ?

  17. Probyn

    @ A.Abbas

    Sorry to butt in here but you wrote as follows:

    ‘Islam came to India through Sufis & not from Saudi Arabian Aramco oil tankers.’

    The same was claimed by PMA (or implied as much)…

    why the brouhaha!?

  18. sorry probyn

    PMA wrote
    The definition of ‘Sufi’ and his faith as I read in this article does not resemble anything I know from my personal experience. Sufi is a man of God who loves all of God’s creations yet he lives a simple life. He believes in the oneness of God. He believes that Mohammad is a Messenger of God and Qura’n is the Word of God delivered through His Messenger.

    D’oh! Am I stupid or what, the sermon sounds like a funking suadi arabian fatwa to me?

  19. PMA

    Brother Abbas. You are too quick to shoot. On your own foot that is.

  20. At least we agree that Sufism is good and I am your brother despite my apostacy. Good to hear that!

    Inayat Khan also stated:

    “if the following of Islam is understood to mean the obligatory adherence to a certain rite; if being a Muslim means conforming to certain restrictions, how can the Sufi be placed in that category, seeing that the Sufi is beyond all limitations of this kind.

  21. Tilsim

    Each to their own guys. Just go out and do some good. Naiki kar kuway may phaik.

  22. PMA

    A Abbas (November 3, 2010 at 8:09 pm):

    Early Sufis, whom we are indebted to, modeled their lives after Imam Ali and did adhere to the prescribed Islamic rites and then some more. They were God fearing pious men who lived simple lives within Islamic restrictions. A Sufi is a man of great discipline and not some kind of freelancing freak beyond all limitations. It is important that we understand what a Sufi is.

  23. amar

    sufis face persecution only from muslims – from no one else.
    that says everything.

  24. In other words ,
    PMA what you are saying Sufi Inayat who was Ba’it in Nizami Chistiya order and who went to West on the instruction of his Murshid and when he came back to India and died he was buried in Dargah of Nizamuddin Auliya an honour which Sufis would do anything to achieve , was a ,let me quote you PMA-Pakistan Military Academy

    ” some kind of freelancing freak beyond all limitations.”
    Human ego can be very bigoted!

  25. My forefathers were Shia Kurds from Turkey who migrated to India in the 17th century.

    If you want to see the real ‘heretic’ sufis read below.

    Note that Ottoman Sultan who were Sunni Muslims patronized them.Trinity of Allah Muhammed and Ali that is a master stroke!

    Bektashism (Albanian: Bektashizmi or Bektashizëm; Turkish: Bektaşilik) is an Islamic Sufi order (tariqat), the teachings of the Sufi order were approved and patronized by the Ottoman Sultans. It was founded in the 13th century by the Islamic saint Hajji Bektash Wali. The Bektashi order was greatly influenced during its formative period by both the Hurufi missionary Ali al-‘Ala (15th century) as well as the Qalandariyah Sufi movement, which took on many forms in 13th century Anatolia. The order was reorganized by Balim Sultan in the 16th century.

    The Sufi order of the Bektashi, was founded by Hajji Bektash Wali, he settled in the Ottoman capitol of Edrine and entered the service of Sultan Murad II. He was given the task of converting the Christian youth recruited into the Janissary and the Devşirme to Islam.

    Hajji Bektash Wali combined the inclusive teachings of Islam and Christianity; furthermore he adhered to the traditions of Sunni, Shi’a and the Twelvers.

    Among the first tenets of the Sufi Order was the recognition of the Islamic Trinity, that combined Allah, Muhammad and Ali. The Sufi Order was adhered overwhelmingly by the Janissary and the Devşirme. It spread widely throughout the Balkans where Sufi houses of worship are known as Tekke.

  26. PMA

    No Abbas. Read carefully what I say. There is ‘no other words’. And also be careful. Somebody is liable to tell you that all Pakistanis are converts claiming to be Turkish Kurds (smiles). And one more thing. You forgot to add ‘Kakul’. It is Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul (double smiles).

  27. Smiles all around. Over and out Major Sahib, Love to all in PMA Kakul & GHQ😉

    Sufis are a weird bunch but do not worry about them too much,brothers of Islam are taking good care of them-blowing them up to heaven and becoming Shahideen in the process ,all in one big bang. :~(

  28. Gorki

    Not a believer inside the mosque, am I
    Nor a pagan disciple of false rites
    Not the pure amongst the impure
    Neither Moses, nor the Pharaoh

    Bulleh! to me, I am not known

    Not in the holy Vedas, am I
    Nor in opium, neither in wine
    Not in the drunkard`s intoxicated craze
    Niether awake, nor in a sleeping daze

    Bulleh! to me, I am not known

    In happiness nor in sorrow, am I
    Neither clean, nor a filthy mire
    Not from water, nor from earth
    Neither fire, nor from air, is my birth

    Bulleh! to me, I am not known

    Not an Arab, nor Lahori
    Neither Hindi, nor Nagauri
    Hindu, Turk, nor Peshawari
    Nor do I live in Nadaun

    Bulleh! to me, I am not known

    Secrets of religion, I have not known
    From Adam and Eve, I am not born
    I am not the name I assume
    Not in stillness, nor on the move

    Bulleh! to me, I am not known

    I am the first, I am the last
    None other, have I ever known
    I am the wisest of them all
    Bulleh! do I stand alone?

    Bulleh! to me, I am not known

    -Bulleh Shah, Punjabi Sufi poet (1680-1758

  29. Tilsim

    Dear Gorki

    Ki jaana mai kaun? Beautiful. Bulleh in this poem reminds us of the inadequacy of man’s own interpretation of reality and it’s various categorisations into names, cultures and belief systems. These things cannot answer Bulleh’s fundamental question: ‘who knows what I am?’.

    Rabbi Shergill and Abda Parveen sung it beautifully.

  30. bciv

    @PMA

    how do you see the difference between orthodox and rejoicing sufis. razi vs tabrizi?

  31. bciv

    @A Abbas

    ” some kind of freelancing freak beyond all limitations.”
    Human ego can be very bigoted!

    do you not know of ‘sufi dens’ where all kinds of exploitation – mainly sexual – and other criminality takes place? similar exploitation and abuse also takes place in some madressahs/masjids, churches etc. as we know.

    in not one of your posts have you been able to show that your discourteousness towards PMA was based on anything much, other than your own assumptions about what was being said. that makes you one notch better, for sure, than amar – the broken record.

  32. bciv

    ‘there are those amongst the non-believers who have sufficient credit with God to ask Him to forgive “a hundred thousand Muslims on the Judgment Day”’ (Shams-ud-Din Tabrizi, d. 1247?)

  33. PMA

    bciv (November 4, 2010 at 3:19 pm):

    I don’t see it as ‘Orthodox vs. Sufi’. Both Sufi and Mulla are religious being and in that sense both are Orthodox. (I see religion in itself as an orthodox institution). The two differ not in their belief on the basic tenets of the religion Islam but in their attitude towards fellow Muslims as well as non-Muslims. As you have also pointed out; Sufi is Razi (happy, agreeable, inclusive) and Mulla is Tabrizi (stingy, divider, exclusive).

  34. bciv

    @PMA

    minor miscommunication… perhaps i didn’t put it right.

    i meant the orthodox sufi vs the rejoicing sufi. i wonder if your early teachers were orthodox sufis, or rejoicing sufis.

  35. PMA

    bciv (November 4, 2010 at 9:41 pm):

    I really do not know what is a “rejoicing sufi”. When I look back I think my early teachers were pious men of strong character in the mold of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. They opened schools where there were non. They lived simple life on meager salary. They taught by example and raised young men of strong characters. No I am not speaking of some madrassa in the shadow of some mosque. I am speaking of regular anglo-vernacular schools. Many of them identified themselves as Sufi and expressed an open dislike of Mulla who was running a parallel madrassa some place else. They were Sufi because they lived a ‘Sufi Way of Life’. To this day I have great respect for them.

  36. Tilsim

    @ bciv

    I loved your quote from Shamsuddin Tabrizi. Tabrizi was Jallaluddin Rumi’s spiritual guide.

    “Rumi was like a purely clean lamp, where the oil was poured in the holder and a wick placed therein, ready to be lit; and Shams was the spark to set it afire”

    Golpinarali, introduction to Aflaki 1959-60, p. 648.

    Here is another quote from Shamsuddin Tabrizi:

    “Joy is like pure clear water; wherever it flows, wondrous blossoms grow…Sorrow is like a black flood; wherever it flows it wilts the blossoms”

    A rejoicing sufi.

  37. Tilsim

    From Maqalat e Shams by Tabrizi

    The mother-hen and the duckling!

    “In the time of childhood, something strange had happened to me. Nobody knew my situation. My father also did not know. He used to say:” You are not mad! Yet I do not know what is the matter with you! It is neither hardship of meditation nor anything else.” I said to him: “please listen to me: your and my matter is like this: ‘ Place some duck eggs under our hen. The hen sits on the eggs and ducklings are hatched. The ducklings grow up and follow their mother hen to a pond and jump into the water. The mother, being a hen goes clucking around the water, but cannot get into the water. So my father, I see an ocean be­fore me that is home and ship for me. If you be­long to me, or I belong to you, enter this ocean, if not, then go to the hens .”

  38. Tilsim

    But also the orthodox sufi:

    From Maqalat e Shams by Tabrizi

    ” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:” There is no prayer, unless the heart is present!” Some people thought that if they had attained a state in which the heart was present, they did not need to perform the Formal Prayers (any more). Their argument is the Formal Prayer was a means to an end, therefore seeking the means after attaining the end is an act in vain.” We grant that according to their belief, it may be true that they have attained the perfect state–the sainthood (velayat) and the presence of heart. However, their giving up Formal Prayer detracts from all that. (I say) this perfection of state which you have attained – did the Prophet attain it or not? If he says: ” No, he did not attain it”, they would cut off his head and he’ll be dead. If he says: ” Yes, it was attained by the Prophet”, then I will say:” Why don’t you then follow the Prophet (s) who was so generous in his promises, favors and admonitions and who is unparalleled ( in piety) and a beacon of light (for everybody).
    If there is one of those Saints (Wali) whose piety is so true that there is no doubt about it, and there is another person who is not a saint; I say that if this Saint stopped performing his formal religious duties and the other person performs these duties scrupulously, I will rather follow this other person, and not even greet that Saint (Vali).
    Maqalate Shams-i Tabriz

  39. Probyn

    @ A Abbas….

    well I was merely pointing out what I saw as a clear similarity between what you and PMA had wrote…

    I truly did not understand your combativeness on this particular issue and did not mean to be clever or anything of that sort by pointing it out..

    Not wanting to speak for PMA but I must say that comparing what he said a Saudi Arabian lecture or what have you is an over reaction. A personal experience and an opinion as a function of that experience (a simple and clear one) was mentioned.
    If you didn’t agree that is alright. but my issue is that my throwing people in the dreaded Saudi Arabian camp when they are no such thing is something which keeps us needlessly combative when we needn’t be.

    My own grandfather was a Sufi adherent and his father before him. A Good, moral man of few words and strong character who spent his life as a soldier. I cannot relate anything in this article to what I have personally experienced when I think of either him or others who described themselves as followers of the same path.
    Am I to be labeled a Saudi imbecile as well when I am clearly no such thing? I sure hope not!

    This is exactly the kind of reaction we condemn the Mullah for don’t we? A needless rejection of what is essentially positive (at most neutral) just because it does not fit in with what he understands or wants to understand.

    We need to cut this out. Our scorn and rebukes need to be directed at the real Mullah’s. Not those that we need to have on our side of the fence.

  40. bciv

    @PMA

    Tilsim’s post above points to one basic difference between the orthodox sufi and the rejoicing sufi. indeed, it would seem tabrizi was a bit of both, as Tilsim has pointed out.

    there are of course no strict boundaries as far as these two theoretical poles are concerned. to be a sufi, i guess, just like anything else in life, it takes all sorts.

    @Tilsim

    thanks for that. the point about humility that your quote above from tabrizi argues for is perhaps what PMA has been referring to when he speaks of his own teachers.

  41. Probyn

    @ Tilsim…

    good show with the last two posts..(the 2nd one fits more in line with my own understanding)…

  42. Tilsim

    “My own grandfather was a Sufi adherent and his father before him.”

    Vishnu takes on many avatars.

    “ Whenever righteousness wanes and unrighteousness increases I send myself forth.

    For the protection of the good and for the destruction of evil,
    and for the establishment of righteousness,
    I come into being age after age.”
    (Gita:4.7–8)
    🙂

  43. Probyn

    @ Tilsim…

    wah sir wah! Khush kar diya🙂

  44. Tilsim

    @ Probyn

    Nawazish uss ki hai

  45. A true Sufi rejoices in diversity!
    @PMA @Porbyn @Talism @YHL @bciv see we all agree that tariqat does not necessarily mean adherence to shariat & even a Murtad like me can also adhere to the light of Sufism.😦 😉😉

  46. PMA

    Gentlemen: I for one, appreciate the contribution all of you have made to forward this discussion. Unfortunately the word ‘sufi’ has lost much of its original meaning. The mausoleums of early Sufi Saints and the crowd that owns and houses them has given birth to ‘Shrine Culture’; the culture of ignorance, superstition and human exploitation. We have even coined a new word ‘sufism’ whereas no such ‘ism’ exists. Sufi is a ‘Way of Life’ and not an ‘ism’. Western powers and even our Indian neighbors frightened by the Islamic Fundamentalism have chosen to bet their money on ‘sufism’. All of sudden this ‘sufism’ is being sold to us as a religion, an alternative to Fundamentalism. This ‘sufism’ has no resemblance to the ‘Way of Life’ of the early Sufis who are credited for bringing us to the religion Islam. The reactionary foolish Mulla on the other hand has taken upon himself to physically blow up these mausoleums. The need of the time is to educate our people that Mulla is wrong. At the same time it must be explained to them that these mausoleums are places of reverence and not for prostration; these are not temples for ‘puja’.

  47. So a Pani Patti (bloody civilian Indian) born Shia turned Murtad Pakistani cannot claim to be inspired or part of beautiful tradition of Sufi-ism because according to Arab custodians of Pakistan, Sufi Tariqat (Chisty ,Qadari ,Suharwardi,Bektashi )is Haram & only subservient Naqashbandi Sufi Shariat is Halal (because they did Jihad along with Aurangzeb Alamgir against infidel Hindus & Sikhs) as long as it does not challenge the Taliban & Deobandi masters.

  48. amar

    To PMA

    Sufis acted as agents of islam? No wonder that they are now being persecuted by muslims only. This is the payment for the bad karma that the sufis accummulated. Self-deceit is very bad karma.