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


Abraham, whose name seems to come from the Sanskrit root Brahm, which means "the Creator", was the father of three great religions of the world. For it is from his descendants, who were called Beni Israel, that came Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Abraham was the first to bring the knowledge of mysticism from Egypt, where he was initiated in the most ancient Order of esotericism. And the place which, on his return, he chose to establish as a center, with the idea that some place must be the world center, was Mecca, whither not only in the age of Islam did people make pilgrimage, but at all times the sacred center of Mecca was held in esteem by the pious who lived before Muhammed.

The family of Jesus Christ is traced in the ancient tradition from the family of Isaac, and Muhammed came from the family of Ishmael. The prophecies of Abraham have always been living words, though various people make their different interpretations according to their own ideas. But to the mind of the seer the prophecies of Abraham have a very deep meaning.

With his great knowledge of esotericism, he has been a great patriarch among his people. He was interested in everybody's trouble and difficulty. He was thrown in the midst of worldly responsibilities, to learn all that he might learn from it, and then to teach his knowledge and experience to those who looked to him for the bread of knowledge. No doubt the stories of the ancient times very often strike our modern ears as most childish. But it is the way they were told, and the kind of people that told them; all that makes a great difference. In the first place, there was such a scarcity of lettered people in those days; therefore, the stories were told by the unlettered, and certainly they must have improvised upon every legend they told, and pictured it according to the artistic development of their particular age. Nevertheless, Truth is there, if we only knew how to lift the veil.

Abraham's life does not only make him a Prophet, but a Murshid at the same time. He was a mystic; he gave counsel to those who came to him in need. He examined them, treated their minds, healed their souls according to their needs. The most remarkable thing one notices in Abraham is that, besides being a Prophet and a mystic, he lived the life of an ordinary human being, one with his fellow men in their times of pleasure and sorrow.

One story of the life of Abraham has been the source of great argument in the East, which is the sacrifice of Isaac. It is not only an argument in the East, but alarming to a Western mind. They can put a thousand questions to give a proper reason and justification to such an act. But at the same time, if we looked from the ideal point of view, no sacrifice for a beloved ideal can be too great. There are numberless souls whose dear ones, their beloved husbands or sons, have been sacrificed in this recent war. They could do nothing else; they had to surrender their will to the ideal of the nation, and offer the sacrifice for the cause of the nation, without thinking for one moment that it was unusual.

When we think deeply on the problem of life, there is no path in the world, whether spiritual or material, which we can tread successfully without a sacrifice. Sometimes the sacrifice is great, and sometimes small; sometimes the sacrifice is made first, before achieving the success, and sometimes afterwards. As sacrifice is necessary in life, it is made by everyone in some form or other, but, when it is made willingly, it turns into a virtue. The greater the ideal, the greater the sacrifice it demands, and if one saw wisely the process of advancement through life in any direction, it is nothing but a continual sacrifice. And happiness comes from the understanding of this nature of life, and not being hurt or troubled by it, but knowing that it is by sacrifice, made to the end, that man attains to the desired goal.

The idea of sacrifice has existed in every religion of all ages in some way or another, and has been taught sometimes as having to part with one's possessions for the love of a higher ideal, which means that when man claims to show love for his higher ideal, and yet is not willing to give up something he possesses for it, then there is doubt about his devotion. Although sacrifice of a possession is the first step, the next is self-sacrifice, which was the inner tone of the religion of Jesus Christ. Charity, generosity, even tolerance and forbearance, are a kind of sacrifice, and it seems that every sacrifice in life, in whatever form, means a step forward, which leads to the goal of every soul.