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Hazrat Inayat Khan

A biography of
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Hazrat Inayat Khan was born in 1882 in Baroda / India into a well-respected musical family. Already his grandfather Maula Bakhsh was active at the Court of the former Maharadja as a musician and known all over India. Also the father of Inayat Khan was a musician. And so it is not surprising that from childhood Inayat Khan felt a deep affection for  music, which has determined his entire youth and his later life.

Furthermore there was a cruical search for spiritual values, for mysticism. Finally Inayat Khan found a spiritual teacher, Abu Hassim Madani, of whom he later said: "The time under his leadership was the happiest of my life. In my teacher was the strong force of ecstasy and the continuous flow of inspiration combined with a soul of spiritual independence. I had never before experienced in a person such balance of all that is good and desirable."

After serveral years of intense spritual training Inayat  Khan followed the directive of his teacher, to go into the world, "to harmonize East and West with the music of the heart and to spread the wisdom of Sufism." On September 13th, 1910 he commenced his journey to America, a country that was culturally foreign to him. Nevertheless, he found people who respectfully listened to his words. Trips to Europe and Russia followed. He then settled for some years in England, founded Sufi centres and finally took up an offer by a truly noble soul, to live in her house in Suresnes, a suburb of Paris, which gave a certain security to his family after a long period of travelling around.

Years of continuous travel followed. He lectured, wrote books, mentored many disciples and organized summer schools. In 1923 the International Sufi Movement was established in Geneva and soon afterwards the official establishment of the German Sufi-Movement in Berlin took place.

The great desire of Inayat Khan, to build a Universal Sufi Temple in Suresnes, has not yet been implemented. For in 1926 he travelled back to India, where he, due to an extremely active and exhausting life, left his body on February 5th 1927. His tomb in New Delhi has now become a place of pilgrimage, where Sufis from around the world celebrate his memory.

Here, where his tomb lies, Inayat Khan's words have a special significance:

"At the moment when I shall be leaving this earth, it is not the number of  followers which will make me proud; it is the thought that I have delivered His Message to some souls, that will console me, and the feeling that it helped them through life, that will bring me satisfaction."