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



Belief and Faith

Stages Between Belief and Faith

Attitude Toward Clergy, Teacher & Prophet

The Message Papers

Belief and Faith

Stages Between Belief and Faith

There are four stages of iman, which means four stages between belief and faith.

  1. The first stage is called by Sufis iman mujmal, which means faith of the crowd. Where there are ten persons standing, the eleventh person goes and stands with them also, and if there are fifty persons waiting for an airplane, waiting to come from the South, there may be nothing in that airplane, but because there are fifty persons standing, there will be a hundred in fifty minutes' time. They only have to make up their mind: there is something coming and we should wait for it, and then you will see a thousand persons standing by their side, not knowing whether it is coming or not coming. But because there are fifty persons standing looking at the sky, that is quite enough. That is the psychology of the crowd, and so the crowd is attracted and so the crowd is led.

    And when it comes to spiritual things, it is therefore that success before the crowd is not always the sign of spiritual progress. Besides, what is approved by the crowd as something beautiful is not necessarily beautiful. What is approved by the crowd to be something valuable, may not be so valuable. If it is considered by the crowd that it is something good, it may not be good. Or what is considered great by the crowd, it may not be great and yet it has the appearance of being great, because the crowd calls it great; but what the crowd holds does not remain longer.

    Remember that day when Kaiser was esteemed high. Can you imagine the belief of the people that day? Numberless souls were ready to give their lives for him. Before the Tsar was dethroned, every shop in Russia had Tsar and Tsarina's picture. And the day when he went away, they made a crown and hammered it in the street and people looked at it and laughed. What was President Wilson one day in America? It did not take long for everyone to turn their backs to him.

    What was once praised was blamed at the other time. That is the crowd. It does not take them long to raise a person, it does not take them time to throw a person. Because it is not faith. They call it faith in the church, but the faith of the crowd is not faith.

  2. And then there is a second step. The second step in belief is belief in authority. They do not say, "Because this person says this, and that person says that, therefore I believe it;" or, "Some scripture in which I have trust, in that scripture it is written and therefore I believe it." Among these people there has come a division. There is one kind of people who will believe anything that history, geography, mathematics, or any book in the library of the university tells them. But they will not believe anything that tradition tells them, that religion tells them, that a priest tells them, that a prophet has told. They do not see the reason in one thing and they do see the reason in the other. This shows that today the authority has changed. The material authority is considered to be something, but a spiritual authority is not recognized by the intelligent.

  3. And now coming to the third stage of belief. That belief is that it is not because someone says so, nor is it because the crowd says so, but, "I think so, that is why I believe it." That is a wonderful belief. But if a person who is simple and unevolved thinks that what he believes or what he reasons is the right thing, and does not believe in the authority or in the crowd, instead of going upwards he will be going downwards. And very often it happens that a simple one is more fixed in his ideas than a person who is reasoning.

    Very often a simple person has no reason, and he is fixed on his idea; and you may bring before him any reason, and yet he will not listen to it. He says, "That is what I believe; what the crowd believes, I do not care. If it is written in the scriptures, in history, if professors, doctors, scientists, priests, or clergy say it, I do not believe it." That becomes a kind of illusion, a kind of madness, because a person who believes in his reason independently of the crowd and of the authorities must be ready to understand the reason of another and must be simple enough to give up his reasoning when another person's reasoning appeals to him. <.p>

    Very often reasoning becomes rigid in the case of the simpleton, because he covers the reasoning with his personality. He calls his reason his own reason and the reason of another is another person's reason, and there is no relation between another person and himself. He thinks another person's reason is his property, his own reason is his property, and therefore he is not ready to understand.

    And then we come to reason. Reason is as a cover, a cover behind which there is another cover. And if we go on penetrating one cover after another, there are numberless covers we can penetrate, and yet there will be another reason behind it.

  4. And now coming to the fourth belief, which is called inul iman, the perfect belief. This belief is as good as if one has seen something with one's eyes and one cannot deny it. When someone sees that this is a table, he cannot say, "This is not a table." And when he begins to see the truth from the inner eye, he cannot deny it; he sees it. But even that iman, that belief, culminates into a belief where you do not have to hold a belief; you yourself become truth. Truth becomes your being. Your belief is no longer your idea, your belief is your own self. That is the perfection of belief. It is that which is called faith and it is those who have reached that stage who are called faithful in the spiritual sense of the word.