The world lost a great mystical luminary today. Beloved Huzur Sayyid Ahmad Shah Chishti Maududi, a direct descendant of Khwaja Qutb ad-Din Maudud Chishti, was the international leader of the Chishti Order. Sayyid Ahmad Shah was an inspired poet, a profound scholar, and a revered spiritual teacher. Over many years, he graced the ‘Urs of Hazrat Inayat Khan in Delhi with his presence, traveling annually from Herat, Afghanistan. When I completed my book Mingled Waters, he did me the honor of writing the introduction. My last meeting with Huzur Sayyid Ahmad Shah was in Konya in July. Despite poor health, he was, as always, the essence of graciousness. I have no words to describe what Huzur Sayyid Ahmad Shah has meant to me. He was ‘ishq personified, an ocean of cosmic love. My consolation lies in the conviction that love is stronger than death. May Allah bless his soul to the utmost in heaven.
Dear Companions on the Path,
My warm greetings to you, this time from Fazal Manzil. I hope you are having a wonderful summer.
Our summer has been one of continuous travel. After India we visited Konya in Turkey, the home of Mawlana Rumi. The sama’ ceremonies at the saint’s tomb were exquisite, and Rumi’s 22nd-generation granddaughter Esin Chelebi extended a welcome that touched our hearts. Ashiqs and murids from Turkey, the Middle East, and beyond, gathered for a conference and retreat organized with great love and care by the Yukunc Foundation, the Inayati center in Turkey led by Mehmet and Zehra Kasim. The music was extraordinary, and we all basked in the glow of a powerful sense of companionship that united us irrespective of differences of nationality and language. Our gathering was graced by visits from Shaykh Hayat Nur Artiran, Pir Sayyid Ahmad Shah Chishti Maududi, and Shaykh Jalal ad-Din Loras. The lecture I gave during the conference can be found here: Konya Lecture 2018
From Konya my family and I flew to Switzerland for a two-week stay at Zenith Camp. Before the camp began I had the good fortune of paying my respects at the hermitage of Saint Nicholas of Flue, the patron saint of Switzerland. The first week of the camp was dedicated to the life and legacy of Pirzadi-Shahida Noor. I spoke about the inner meaning of Noor’s play Aède of the Ocean and Land, while Shrabani Basu, author of Spy Princess, held us entranced with the story of Noor’s life. At the end of the week, under the direction of Qahira Wirgman and Darakshan Farber, and with music from Tarana Jobin, members of the camp enacted Aède with great élan. During the week that followed we delved into silent meditation.
Aède of the Ocean and Land is about the reconciliation of opposites. As human beings, we are ephemeral creatures, and our loves are specific to our fleeting mortal lives. At the same time, within us is an essence that is boundless and unending. Aède speaks to the possibility of uniting the personal and transcendental dimensions of our lives, so that our human affections are not negated, but rather lifted up into the “happy wilderness” where joy and peace meet in freedom. Aède is truly a marvelous story, with many levels of meaning. I encourage you to read it if you haven’t yet.
The last weeks have been extremely hot. As you may have heard, wildfires have been burning in the Arctic Circle, while record temperatures have been recorded in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. These are further signs that Earth’s climate is changing and becoming harsher. At the same time, in many quarters consciousness is rising and new ways of life and new sources of energy are emerging. As human beings, we bear a weighty responsibility. God willing, we will fulfill our trust as stewards of the Earth while there is time.
International Sufi Reunion & Retreat in Konya, Turkey
13-19 July 2018
Zenith Institute Camp
23 July – 18 August 2018
After the Konya Retreat, Pir Zia traveled to the Swiss Alps
for two weeks of Sufi Summer School. See additional photos
within Pir Zia’s Summer 2018 Photo Album.
“I have not come to change humanity. I have come to help it on.”
The purpose of the Sufi path is not to impose on the human mind a particular belief system. The purpose is to reveal what is already present within the depths of the mind—the heart; and to reveal what is in the depths of the heart—the soul; and to reveal what is in the depths of the soul—God’s own being.
To try to change a person is not necessarily a kind act, even if well intended. Each person is who he or she is. At the same time, a person’s experience is never final. We are all continuously changing as we pass through life. Helping one another along in the midst of change, outer and inner, is the way of kindness.
Just as it is preferable to help a friend along rather than to try to change one’s friend, when it comes to what is emerging in the experience of humanity as a whole, discerning assistance aimed in the direction of the unfolding horizon of beauty is helpful in a way that impatient repudiation can never be.
Making One’s Own Nature with Pir Zia Inayat-Khan
Related Links & Events
- Sufi News on Chivalry 2018
- Hope Project Newsletter, July 2018
- Hazrat Inayat Khan Ballet, “Shakuntala,” Documentary of Performance in Novosibirsk, Siberia, 2018
- “The Secret of Nirvana in the Teachings of the Sufis,” Suresnes, France, 22-23 September 2018
- Wisdom of the Prophets Parts I-VI Video Now Available
Inayati Order Upcoming Events
The Alchemy of Happiness w/ Pir Zia
The Abode of the Message, New Lebanon, New York
31 August – 2 September 2018
Making One’s Own Nature w/ Pir Zia
29-30 September 2018
Making One’s Own Nature w/ Pir Zia
1-2 December 2018
Growing Wings w/ Pir Zia
Katwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands
24-26 August 2018
Angelic Lights w/ Pir Zia
17-18 November 2018
Please see our Inayati Order Programs Calendar for more event listings.