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Hazrat Inayat Khan

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The Meaning of the Sufi-Emblem

The symbol of the Sufi-Movement is a heart with wings. It explains that the heart is between soul and body, a medium between mind and matter. When the soul is covered by its love for matter it is naturally attracted to matter. This is the law of gravitation in abstract form, as it is said in the Bible, "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also". When man treasures the things of the earth, his heart is drawn to the earth.

The heart is subject not only to gravitation, but also to attraction from on high. And as in the Egyptian symbology, wings are the symbol of spiritual progress, so the heart with wings expresses that the heart reaches upward towards heaven.

The crescent in the heart suggests the responsiveness of the heart, just as the crescent moon receives the light of the sun, which develops it until is becomes the full moon.

The principal teaching of Sufism is that of becoming a pupil, for it is the pupil who has a chance of becoming a teacher, and once a person considers, that he is a teacher, his responsiveness is gone.  ...  The greatest teachers of the world have been the greatest pupils.  It is this principle which is represented by the crescent. The crescent in the heart signifies that the heart which is responsive to the light of God, is illuminated.

The explanation for the five-pointed star is that it represents the divine light.  For when light comes, it has five points. When it returns, it has four, the former suggesting creation, the latter annihilation.  The five-pointed star also represents the natural figure of man, though that with four points represnts all forms of the world. But the form with five points is a  development of the four-pointed form. For instance, if a man is standing with legs joined and arms extended, he makes a four-pointed form. But when a man shows activity - such as dancing, jumping, or moving one leg - he forms a five-pointed star, which represents a beginning of the activity, in other words a beginning of life.

It is the divine light which is represented by the five-pointed star, and the star is reflected in the heart which is responsive to the divine light. The heart which by its response has received the divine light, is liberated as the wings show. In brief, the meaning of the symbol is, that the heart responsive to the light of God, is liberated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hazrat Inayat Khan