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



The Message

Free Will and Destiny in the Message

What is the Message?

Lecture for Mureeds and Friends

Wakening to the Message

Aspects of the Sufi Message

The Message

Relationship Between Murshid and Mureed

Personalities of the Servants of God

Our Efforts in Constructing

Teaching Given by Murshid to his Mureeds

Ways of Receiving the Message

The Path of Attainment

Interest and Indifference

The Call from Above

The Message


Spiritual and Religious Movements

Peculiarity of the Great Masters

Abraham, Moses and Muhammad

Four Questions

The Spreading of the Message

Jelal-ud-din Rumi

Peculiarities of the Six Great Religions

Belief and Faith

"Superhuman" and Hierarchy

Faith and Doubt

Divine Guidance

The Prophetic Life

There are two Kinds Among the Souls

The Messenger

The Message Which has Come in all Ages

The Sufi Message

The Message

Questions Concerning the Message

The Inner School

The Duty of Happiness

Five Things Necessary for a Student



Personal or Abstract God

Asceticism or Worldliness

Democratic or Aristocratic

Exotericism or Esotericism

The Message Papers

Four Questions

Personal or Abstract God

When coming to the question of God, I will repeat what I have always said, that to explain God is to dethrone God. God is an ideal, and any ideal, when you analyze that ideal you destroy it. In the East Majnun and Leila are known as Romeo and Juliet in the West. And in the greatest grief of Majnun, who was separated from Leila, someone came to console him and said, "What is Leila? Is she beautiful? What is she? The world is full of beautiful girls. Leila is not worth thinking about!" And Majnun lifted his head and said to him, "In order to see Leila you must have Majnun's eyes."

Can ideal be explained? Can ideal be discussed? Can ideal be analyzed? God is the highest ideal, as high as one can reach. And one will find the perfect ideal in God. And when one begins to realize if God is personal or whether He is abstract, in defining God one will break the ideal. And at the same time, if you can conceive of anything it must be personal, it must be individual, it must be a separate entity. Our mind is not capable of conceiving of something which is abstract. Our mind is not abstract, our mind is an object. And in any object, all that will reflect and be intelligible to our mind must be limited, must be objective. When people instead of learning "a," "b," "c," will begin to learn "z" first, that is wrong. "A" is the first alphabet to learn, "z" will come the last. When a person wishes to take his first step on the second floor without using a ladder, he must fall. A person who wished to reach God, an abstract God, without first building in his mind the objective God, he will never reach to the throne of God.

The Hindus have learned this idea most wonderfully and practiced it most splendidly. They have begun by molding the God of clay, and have put Him in a shrine and have said, "This is the God of clay we have made with our own hands and worshipped it." That is the symbolism. That is the symbol of the worship of God. If we do not make God of clay, we still must make him, for in order to know God we must make him first. Then God will come in the shrine which He has made. The Hindus make a rehearsal by going in the temple of a stone god. In this age they say, "A personal God! Never we can think about it. It is the simple ones who are holding that faith in a personal God thousands of years."

Men of medicine say that it is a religious mania; any great devotion or a deep concentration is called a religious mania. They do not know what money mania means. Most of all those who call it religious mania, they have money mania. From morning till evening .... If anyone thinks of something higher, greater, deeper, then they say that is a mania. That time has come when there are ninety-nine persons to say that one person is mad, and that one person has to see the ninety-nine as mad.

Life is flowing toward perfection. The greatest perfection is the knowledge of God. And how can one reach to the knowledge of God? By first stepping on and reaching the stepping-stone. And what is the stepping-stone to God's shrine? The personal God. Once a person has put his foot on the stepping-stone, when the objective God has become clear, his next step will be the abstract God. But if he wants that as the first step then he will be the loser. Because if a person does not know what an abstract God will give him, that knowledge will not be of any profit to him, not in the least.

The prophets of Beni-Israel and prophets who came in all ages, their efforts were to make the picture of God intelligible to the man of the day. That does not mean that what picture they had made, that was God. No, it was just a help; to help man to conceive the idea. They said, "God is the Creator, He is the Judge, the Forgiver, He is the Supreme Being, the King of the Day of Judgment." Every attribute that can be given to God and that can be conceivable to those who hear about it they have put there. And what they made of Him, that was their art. They made an ideal of God before them, that they could say the prayers and make that ideal real before them. And the more real that ideal became, the more there was in that ideal. And then in the end God came and took that shrine which was made for Him and made it living.

And now in conclusion of this subject I would like to say, neither is the Sufi's God abstract nor is He personal. It is all a process, through which the Sufi goes from the false to the real self. And before he arrives at the real self, his false self must be made a sacrifice. Before what? Before the ideal God he has made in his own self. When his false self is sacrificed then he goes further. Then it is not a personal God, then it is the abstract God. But where does one begin, and where does one end? One begins from the false self and ends in the real self.