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 Smiling Forehead

The Heart Quality

The Heart - Aphorisms

The Four Paths


The Story of Hatim

The Difference between Will, Wish and Desire

Destiny and Free Will

Free Will and Destiny


Free Will - Aphorisms

The Seer


The Different Stages of Spiritual Development

The Prophetic Tendency - The Prophetic Mission

Points of View held by Spiritual Persons

Higher Spiritualism

The Process of Spiritual Unfoldment

The Awakening of the Soul

Sufi Teachings

The Dance of the Soul

The Deeper Side of Life

Man, the Seed of God

Sufi Philosophy

The Gift of Eloquence

Evolution of the World

Every Man has his own little World


Spirituality, the Tuning of the Heart

Optimism and Pessimism

Conscience - Questions and Answers

Justice and Forgiveness - Questions and answers

Pairs Of opposites used in Religious Terms


The Law of Attraction

The Liberal and the Conservative Point of View

The Law of Life

The Law of Action

The Soul, Its Origin and Unfoldment

The Unfoldment of the Soul

Divine Impulse

The Symbol of the Cross

The Mystical Meaning of the Resurrection

Spiritual Circulation through the Veins of the Universe

The Divine Blood Circulating Through the Veins Of the Universe



Vol. 14, The Smiling Forehead

The Story of Hatim

The life of Hatim is written by the Persians and many stories are told about him. One of these stories is best known by the people in the East. It tells that a princess who was much renowned for her beauty and greatness had made as a condition for those who loved her and desired her hand that only the one who brought her a certain pearl which she longed to possess would marry her. There was one lover of the princess who really loved her, but did not find the way to obtain that pearl from anywhere.

The work of Hatim was to roam about from country to country and to do what he could for those who needed his services. He met this lover who, roaming about, was most unhappy because he could not find the pearl. Hatim consoled him and said, "Continue in your path of love, even if it be difficult, and remember that I shall not rest until I have brought relief to your heart by bringing you the pearl you are longing for." Hatim then went in pursuit of the pearl and the story tells what difficulties he had in obtaining it. When at last he got it he brought it to the palace, and the princess was won by that pearl. When she consented to accept Hatim as her lover, he then said that this promise should be granted to his friend, who was really her lover, while Hatim was the lover of those who were in need.

In this story the princess is God, and the pearl that she wanted is the knowledge of God. There was a lover of God, but he would not go and take the trouble one has to take to obtain this knowledge. Someone else was ready; his work was to take this trouble to go to the depth -- even if it was not for himself but for another -- to get the knowledge and to give it to the one who had the love to have it.

This story also explains us that there are two stages of workers. The first stage is that of the one who works for himself -- the higher stage of working is to work for others. The one who rises above the stage of working for himself comes to the stage of working for others, bringing in their lives the blessing which is the need of their lives.

To what does the love of God lead? It leads to that peace and stillness which can be seen in the life of the tree which flowers and bears fruit for others and expects no return.

Peace will not come to the lover's heart so long as he will not become love itself.

Question: Why is it that with the growing of love difficulties arise from all sides? Is it not said by the ancients that God is a jealous God?
Answer: This is but a saying; God can never be jealous of His own manifestation. Only before love began one was unconsciously linked with the source alone, but once love has awakened on the physical plane, one is attached to someone on earth. It is like Adam and Eve being exiled from the garden of Eden. This naturally causes every influence to work against that love. Even the throne of God is shaken by love's outburst, because by a sincere link on earth which is power itself every other influence is automatically pulled and pushed, causing thereby a commotion in the world of hearts.

The soul of man is happiness; yet man is never happy since he is occupied with this world of woes. It is only love that can bring about that happiness of which is spoken in legends, which is beyond all pleasures of this mortal world. Those who consciously or unconsciously see or feel that happiness experienced by the lover and the beloved, naturally either knowingly or unknowingly react against it.

Spiritual love is nectar, but as soon as it is mixed with matter, it becomes a sweet wine mixed with a bitter poison. If we give ourselves up to the absorbing love of any being, any thing, God becomes jealous and He takes that being from us. Therefore Abraham was called upon to sacrifice his son. This lesson was given: God does not allow another affection to be dearer than His love. If we love our children because they are ours and other children are neglected, God says to us, "These are the beings whom We have given you to love, to take care of them for Us, not to cherish them for yourselves." He takes from us whatever we love most forgetting Him, in order to show us that He is the Lord of the Jalal, Jamal and Kemal The love of all beings lasts for a season, but it is His love that is always with us, in all forms and beings.

No creature that has ever been born has belonged in reality to any other. Every soul is the beloved of God. Does not God love as we human beings cannot?

The Maharajah of Jaipur, Ram Singh, was a great lover of music. At his court were marvelous singers and dancers, they were like the Apsaras and Gandarvas. From all India beautiful singers and dancers were called there; all the great musicians of India were there, also my grandfather Manula Bakhsh. The Maharajah did not know the secret of holding his wish. If he had known it he might have kept his happiness much longer. But he did not know it, and when everything was perfect he died.

That is why in the East there is a superstition that, if any thing or being belonging to us is much praised or admired, that thing or that person will soon be lost to us. Therefore if someone says, "Your child is very pretty the parents will say, No, he is not pretty, he is a plain child." And if the child is fair they make a black mark upon its face, so that it would not be perfectly fair.

Life provides you with a substitute for all you have lost. Love is the fire that burns all infirmities.

Question: How do we see the love of God in the book of nature? We see all around us fruits and plants and animal life brought to fruition and then to destruction, and among men cruelty, misery, tragedies and enmities everywhere. In the Hindu Pantheon these are singers and dancers at the Court of Indra.

Answer: It is a difference of focus. If we focus our mind upon all that is good and beautiful we shall see-in spite of all the ugliness that exists in nature and especially more pronounced in human nature-that the ugliness will cover itself. We will spread a cover over it and see all that is beautiful, and to whatever lacks beauty we will be able to add, taking it from all that is beautiful in our heart where beauty has sufficiently been collected. But if we focus our mind upon all the ugliness that exists in nature-and in human nature-there will be much of it. It will take up all our attention and there will come a time when we shall not be able to see any good anywhere. We shall see all cruelty, ugliness, wickedness and unkindness everywhere.

Question: In focusing our mind on beauty alone, is there not a danger of shutting our eyes to the ugliness and suffering we might alleviate?
Answer: In order to help the poor we ought to be rich, and in order to take away the badness of a person we ought to be so much more good. That goodness must be earned, as money is earned. That earning of goodness is collecting goodness wherever we find it, and if we do not focus on goodness we will not be able to collect it sufficiently. What happens is that man becomes agitated by all the absence of goodness he sees. Being himself poor he cannot add to it, and unconsciously he develops in his own nature what he sees.

He thinks, "Oh poor person! I should so much like you to be good but that does not help that person. His looking at the badness, his agitation, only adds one more wicked person to the lot. When one has focused one's eyes on goodness one will add to beauty, but when a man's eyes are focused on what is bad he will collect enough wickedness for him to be added himself to the number of the wicked in the end, for he receives the same impression.

Besides, by criticizing, by judging, by looking at wickedness with contempt, one does not help the wicked or the stupid person. The one who helps is he who is ready to overlook, who is ready to forgive, to tolerate, to take disadvantages he may have to meet with patiently. It is he who can help.

A person who is able to help others should not hide himself but do his best to come out into the world. "Raise up your light high" it is said. All that is in you should be brought out, and if the conditions hinder you, break through the conditions! That is the strength of life.

You are love; you come from love; you are made by love; you cannot cease to love.

Question: Is it a great lack in character when a person cannot give the love which friends require? When one receives love and is not able to return it, when one forgets one's friends being absorbed in one's work and occupation?
Answer: The question is: what work or occupation? There are works and occupations of a higher character, which take one's whole attention, one's life. Such works may require renunciation and sacrifice. Then one does not become loveless; there is a duty of which one cannot be regardless. However if one can manage to give and take love at the same time, it is preferable.

Question: Will a person suffer one day through inability to love, merely giving a cold affection?
Answer: Love, whether hot or cold, is love.

Question: Is there cold love?
Answer: Since God is love the whole manifestation is love, the cold water and the hot fire.

Question: By which power does man attract his food and all he needs?
Answer: If there is any mighty power, it is the power of love. All that one desires comes from love. Even if one desires food, it is the love of food, and it is according to the power of his love that man will attract it. The question is only: what does he love most? Does he love something more than the ordinary things of life, then that must be his aim.

Hunger is an aspect of love. Love of the heart is what we call affection. Love of territory has caused many deaths. What man loves he must get. All words as seeking, wanting, requiring, searching, are words for loving. Love is the root of the whole phenomenon of life. Even if a poor man does not find his food, you will see that there is something else he loves more.

God is love and in Him I have my being, and I have no fear. Let my intelligence shine out as love; let my limited self expand to Thy divine perfection.