The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

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Social Gathekas

Religious Gathekas

The Message Papers

The Healing Papers

Vol. 1, The Way of Illumination

Vol. 1, The Inner Life

Vol. 1, The Soul, Whence And Whither?

Vol. 1, The Purpose of Life

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound and Music

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound

Vol. 2, Cosmic Language

Vol. 2, The Power of the Word

Vol. 3, Education

Vol. 3, Life's Creative Forces: Rasa Shastra

Vol. 3, Character and Personality

Vol. 4, Healing And The Mind World

Vol. 4, Mental Purification

Vol. 4, The Mind-World

Vol. 5, A Sufi Message Of Spiritual Liberty

Vol. 5, Aqibat, Life After Death

Vol. 5, The Phenomenon of the Soul

Vol. 5, Love, Human and Divine

Vol. 5, Pearls from the Ocean Unseen

Vol. 5, Metaphysics, The Experience of the Soul Through the Different Planes of Existence

Vol. 6, The Alchemy of Happiness

Vol. 7, In an Eastern Rose Garden

Vol. 8, Health and Order of Body and Mind

Vol. 8, The Privilege of Being Human

Vol. 8a, Sufi Teachings

Vol. 9, The Unity of Religious Ideals

Vol. 10, Sufi Mysticism

Vol. 10, The Path of Initiation and Discipleship

Vol. 10, Sufi Poetry

Vol. 10, Art: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Vol. 10, The Problem of the Day

Vol. 11, Philosophy

Vol. 11, Psychology

Vol. 11, Mysticism in Life

Vol. 12, The Vision of God and Man

Vol. 12, Confessions: Autobiographical Essays of Hazat Inayat Khan

Vol. 12, Four Plays

Vol. 13, Gathas

Vol. 14, The Smiling Forehead

By Date



Unity and Uniformity


The Sufi's Religion

The Aspects of Religion

How to Attain to Truth by Religion

Five Desires Answered by Religion


Aspects of the Law of Religion


The Effect of Prayer

The God Ideal

The Spiritual Hierarchy

The Master, the Saint, the Prophet

Prophets and Religions

The Symbology of Religious Ideas

The Message and the Messenger


The Spirit of Sufism

The Sufi's Aim in Life

The Ideal of the Sufi

The Sufi Movement

The Universal Worship




Forms of Hindu Worship

The Basis of the Caste System among Hindus



Forms of Buddhistic Worship








The Duties of the Faithful in Islam

The Four Grades of Knowledge in Islam

The Idea of Halal and Haram in Islam



An Advanced Form of Idolatry

The Higher Form of Idolatry

The Sufi's Conception of God

Vol. 9, The Unity of Religious Ideals

Prophets and Religions


Muhammed is the one among the Prophets the account of whose life is to be found in history. Born of the family of Ishmael, Muhammed had in him the prophetic heritage, and, before him, that purpose to be fulfilled, the prophecy of which had been made by Abraham in the Old Testament. The Prophet became an orphan in his childhood, and had known what it is in the world to be without the tender care of the mother and without the protection of the father, when a child. And this experience was the first preparation for the child who was born to sympathize in the pain of others.

He showed traces of the sense of responsibility in his boyhood, when looking after his cows. A cowherd came and said: "I will look after your herd, and you may go to the town and enjoy yourself. And then you must take charge of my cows, and I will go there for some time." Young Muhammed said: "No, I will take charge of your herd. You may go, but I will not leave my charge." The same principle he showed through his life.

Some say once, others say twice, others say three times, a miracle happened -- that the breast of the Prophet was cut open by the angels, and some say they took something away, and instantly his breast was healed. What was it? It was the poison which is to be found in the sting of the scorpion and the teeth of the serpent; it is the same poison which exists in the heart of man. All manner of prejudice, hatred, bitterness, in the form of envy and jealousy, are the small expressions of this poison, which is hidden in the heart of man. And when this poison is taken away in some form or other, then there is the serpent with its beauty and wisdom, without its poisonous teeth; and so it is with man. Man meets with hardships in life, sometimes too hard to stand for the moment, but often such experiences become as higher initiations in the life of the traveler on the path. The heart of man which is the shrine of God, once purified of that poison, becomes the holy abode where God Himself resides.

As a youth Muhammed traveled with his uncle, who went to Syria on a business trip; and he knew the shortcomings of human nature, which have a large scope to play their role in the world of business; he knew what profit means, what loss means, what both mean in the end. This gave him a wider outlook on life, where he saw how one is eager to profit by the loss of another: that human beings live in this world no better than the large and small fishes in the water, who live upon one another.

When the time came to defend the country against a powerful enemy, young Muhammed stood shoulder to shoulder with the young men of his land to defend his people in their most terrible strife. His sincerity in friendship and honesty in his dealings endeared him to all those far and near, who called him by the name Amin, which means trusty, or trustworthy. His marriage with Khadijah showed him a man of devotion, a man of affection, an honorable man as a husband, as a father, and as a citizen of the town he lived in.

Then came the time of contemplation, that time of the fulfillment of that promise which his soul had brought in the world. There came moments when life began to seem sad, with all the beauty and comfort it could offer. He then sought refuge from that depression in the solitude. Sometimes for hours, sometimes for days, for weeks, sitting in the mountains of Gare Hira, he tried to see if there was anything else to be seen. He tried to hear if there was anything to be heard. He tried to know if there was anything to be known. Patient as Muhammed was, he continued in the path of the search after Truth. In the end he began to hear a word of inner guidance: "Cry on the Sacred Name of Thy Lord"; and as he began to follow that advice, he found the re-echo of the word his heart repeated in all things of Nature; as if the wind repeated the same name as he did; the sky, the earth, the moon, and the planets, all said the same name that he was saying. When once in tune with the Infinite, realizing his soul one within and without, the call came:

"Thou art the man; go forward into the world and carry out Our command; glorify the name of God; unite them who are separated; waken those who are asleep, and harmonize one with the other, as in this is the happiness of man."

Often Khadijah found Muhammed had covered himself with a mantle, that he might not see himself, trembling at the sight of the responsibility that was thrown on him. But she kept telling him: "You are the man, a man so kind and true, so sincere and devoted, forgiving and serving. It is your part of work to perform; fear not; you are destined to it by the Almighty; trust in His great power; in the end success will be yours."

The day when Muhammed gave his Message, to his surprise, not only the enemies, but the friends who were near and dear to the Prophet, turned against, would not listen to a new gospel taught. Through the insults and the harm and injury they caused him and those who listened to him, he still continued, in spite of being exiled from home three times; and proved in the end, as every real Prophet must prove, that Truth alone is the conqueror, and to Truth belongs all victory.

The God of Islam

Islam has in every period held the idea of a formless God; but especially in the period when the Prophet Muhammed came -- whose Message, since his coming, was named by the same name, Islam -- great stress was put upon the idea of a formless God. It is difficult for man to make God intelligible if he does not give Him any form; and yet a step higher in the realization of God is to make Him intelligible beyond the limit of form. God, therefore, in Islam, was made intelligible by His attributes. As Creator, as Father, as Mother, as Sustainer, as Judge, as Forgiver, as the Source and the Goal of this whole manifestation, One Who is always with His creature, within him, without him, Who notices all his feelings, thoughts, and actions, Who draws the line of man's fate, before Whom man must appear to give his account, is the God of Islam.

Islam believed in One Only God with many attributes, and yet beyond any attributes; invisible, and beyond the comprehension of man; Almighty; Incomparable; no one save He having any power beside Him; the Knower of all things, and pure from all impurities; free from all things, and yet not far from all things; in Him all abiding, and He living in all. The whole essential teaching of Islam (which is called Kakamat) tends to explain clearly the oneness of God; and yet the attributes are suggested, not in order to explain God, but with a view to make God intelligible to the human mind.

These attributes form the external part of God, which is intelligible to man, which is named Sifat; but that which is hidden under attributes, and that which cannot be intelligible to the human mind, that part of the Divine Being is the real Being, and that Being is called Zat. The whole tendency of Islam has been to disentangle man's heart from such thoughts of God as limit and divide Him, and to clear man's heart from duality, which is the nature of this illusory world, and to bring him to that atonement with God which has been the real aim and intention of every religion.

The form of Islamic worship shows the improvement on the form of worship in the human evolution, for Islam prefers Nature to art: to see in it the Immanence of God when at worship.

The call of the muezzin for prayer before sunrise, and his call when the sun is at its zenith; his call at sunset; the prayers in the afternoon, in the early evening, and at midnight, all suggest to the seer that, while worshiping God, a revelation from Him through the tongue of Nature was sought.

It is said in the Qur'an: "Cry in the name of thy Lord, the most beneficent, Who hath by His Nature's skillful pen taught man what he knew not," which means: "Who has written this world as a manuscript by His pen of Nature."

If you desire to read the Holy Book, read it in Nature. There are several suras which support this thought.

As is said in the Qur'an: "By the night when it covers, by the day when it brightens, by what created the male and female, verily your aims are diverse."

Read in the manuscript of Nature that diversity is natural; the very covering and brightening of the light in Nature, and the difference between male and female, show that your aims should be diverse.

The laws of cleanliness are strictly observed in Islam: that no one is to offer prayer without an ablution, which is taught as a preparatory part of his worship.

The worship of Islam embraces in it a universal code of humility -- that the customs existing in all parts of the world of bowing and bending and prostrating are all devoted to the One Being only, Who alone deserves it, and no one else. The beauty in this is that, when man -- the most egoistic being in creation, who keeps himself veiled from God, the Perfect Self within, by the veil of his imperfect self, which has formed his presumed ego -- by the extreme humility when he stands before God and bows and bends and prostrates himself before His Almighty Being, makes the highest point of his presumed being, the head, touch the earth where his feet are, he in time washes off the black stains of his false ego, and the light of perfection gradually manifests. He stands then first face-to-face with his God, the idealized Deity, and when the ego is absolutely crushed, then God remains within and without, in both planes, and none exists save He.