The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

Volume

Sayings

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

THE SUPPLEMENTARY PAPERS

Heading

Unity and Uniformity

Religion

The Sufi's Religion

The Aspects of Religion

How to Attain to Truth by Religion

Five Desires Answered by Religion

Law

Aspects of the Law of Religion

Prayer

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

Sufism

The Spirit of Sufism

The Sufi's Aim in Life

The Ideal of the Sufi

The Sufi Movement

The Universal Worship

Sub-Heading

-ALL-

Rama

Forms of Hindu Worship

The Basis of the Caste System among Hindus

Krishna

Buddha

Forms of Buddhistic Worship

Jainism

Abraham

Moses

Zarathustra

Zoroastrianism

Jesus

Muhammed

The Duties of the Faithful in Islam

The Four Grades of Knowledge in Islam

The Idea of Halal and Haram in Islam

Namaz

Idolatry

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

The Sufi's Conception of God

The idea of God is a means for the Sufi to rise from imperfection to Perfection, which is suggested in the Bible: "Be ye perfect, as your Father in Heaven is Perfect." There is a vast gulf between the state of imperfection and the state of Perfection, and God is the boat in which one sails from the port of imperfection to Perfection.

To a Sufi, God and man are not two; the Sufi does not consider God separate from himself. The Sufi's God is not in Heaven alone; He is everywhere. He sees God in the unseen and in the seen; he recognizes God both within and without. Therefore there is no name which is not the Name of God, and there is no form which is not the form of God, to the eyes of the Sufi. As Jelal-ud-Din Rumi says: "The Beloved is all in all; the lover only veils Him; the Beloved is all that lives; the lover a dead thing." In other words, he means that this dual aspect of love which is expressed as lover and beloved, is in fact one, and that one will die and one alone will live. The one that will die is the imperfect self which covers Perfection; the One that will live is the Perfect Self.

The Sufi recognizes both these aspects in himself, the imperfect and mortal aspect of his being and the Perfect, the Immortal, Aspect of his Being. The former his outer self represents; the latter is his innermost self. Since the imperfect self covers his soul and confines it in a limited being, he recognizes at the same time the greatness of the Perfect Being, and calls himself "I," a servant of God, and God the Lord of the whole existence. In the Sufi schools in the East this idea is expressed in a Qur'anic allegory which moves those who enjoy its poetic delicacy. In the Qur'an it is related that, when the first man was made, he was asked: "Say, who is thy Master?" and he answered, "Thou art my Lord."

Philosophically, this idea is the picture of human life. Man begins his life on earth by accepting somebody's command, fearing lest he cause him any displeasure, looking upon someone as his support, protector, or guide, be it in the form of father or mother, a relation, friend, master, or king, which shows that man begins his life in the world with his imperfection, at the same time recognizing, surrendering, and bowing to perfection in whatever form. When man understands this better, then he knows that all sources that demanded his surrender, or recognition, were limited and powerless in comparison to that perfect ideal which we call God. Therefore, it is the same attribute that the ordinary man has toward another who is greater than he in strength, power, or position, that the Sufi learns to show toward his God, the ideal of Perfection, because in God he includes all forms in which he recognizes beauty, power, greatness, and perfection. Therefore the worship of the Sufi is not alone worship of the Deity; by worship he means to draw closer to perfection; by worship he tries to forget his imperfect self in the contemplation of the Perfect One.

It is not necessary that the Sufi should offer his prayers to God for help in worldly things, or by thanking Him for what he receives, although this attitude develops in man a virtue that is necessary in life. By the thought of God, the whole idea of the Sufi is to cover his imperfect self even from his own eyes, and that moment when God is before him, and not his own self, is the moment of perfect bliss to him. My Murshid, Abu Hashim Madani, once said that there is only one virtue and one sin for a soul on this path: virtue when he is conscious of God and sin when he is not. No explanation can be sufficient to describe the truth of this except the experience of the contemplative, to whom, when he is conscious of God, it is as if a window is open which is facing Heaven, and, when conscious of the self, the experience is the opposite. For all the tragedy of life is caused by consciousness of self. Every pain and depression is caused by this, and anything that can take away the thought of the self helps to a certain extent to relieve man from pain; but God-consciousness gives a perfect relief.