The Zephyr August 2020

The Zephyr

12 August 2020

Dear Companions on the Path,

Late summer greetings to you – and winter greetings to our friends south of the equator.

The prayers of all of us, I know, are with the people of Beirut, who have suffered such terrible destruction in the recent explosion. May the Beirutese find the strength to rise anew, and may there be support for them on all levels. Sarida Brown, European Vice President of Sufi Healing, has suggested practices for us all to do, and Tariq al-Olaimy of the Inayatiyya International Board has provided reliable links for sending needed contributions. You will find this information here. Ya Hafiz, Ya Rahman, Ya Wahhab, Ya Mu‘id, Ya Muhyi, Ya Ba’ith.

As you know, Universal Worship affirms the unity of the Spirit of Guidance and the multiplicity of its traces and signs throughout history and across the planet. In Europe, the work of Universal Worship has been inspiringly stewarded continent-wide for many long years by our esteemed friend Zumurrud Butta. Having completed a tremendously productive tenure, Zumurrud is now stepping down as European Vice President of Universal Worship. Zumurrud will continue to serve on the faculty of Suluk, as leader of the retreat concentration in German-speaking lands, as a revered guide, retreat guide, and teacher in the Inner School, and as a Siraj in the Universal Worship. I hope you will all join me in conveying sincere gratitude to Zumurrud for all that she has done, and continues to do, for our movement.

The new Vice President of Universal Worship in Europe is Qutbuddin Urs Schellenberg. You will find his biography below. Please join me in heartily welcoming Qutbuddin in his new role.

I wish you, dear friends, ease and peace in these last weeks of the season. These are quieter days for many of us, but renewed outward activity will begin again before long. On September 6th we will gather for a one-day Reentry retreat. The following weekend our Sunday sessions will resume with a special celebration of Pirzadi-Shahida Noor’s Urs and Hejirat Day featuring our good friend, and Noor’s biographer, Shrabani Basu. On the same day, those who are able will gather at Dachau to commemorate Noor at the place of her martyrdom. The following day, Monday the 14th, Noor’s play Aède of the Ocean and Land will be virtually staged by an outstanding international cast, directed by our Greek Sufi sister Anwari Elli Papakonstantinou and with music by the celebrated composer Shirish Korde.

“O happy wilderness, far will we roam!”

Yours ever,

Pir Zia

Qutbuddin Urs SchellenberBiography of Qutbuddin Urs Schellenberg

The new Vice President of the Universal Worship in Europe, Qutbuddin Urs Schellenberg is a Senior Lecturer for Religion and Ethics at the University for Teacher Education in Zürich. He simultaneously serves as Vice President of the Inayatiyya Switzerland, Vice President of Zenith Institute, and as a Representative of the Esoteric School in Zürich. Qutbuddin has a special interest in the inner paths within religious traditions as well as in the transforming role of religion in today’s societies and in people’s lives. He lives in Zürich with his wife and two daughters.

Inayatiyya Young Adults w/ Gayan Macher
Inayatiyya Young Adults w/ Gayan Macher
Saturday, August 15, 1:00-2:30 pm Eastern

Inayatiyya Young Adults, ages 18-39, are invited to join Gayan Macher to explore what it means to live our lives in alignment with the voice of guidance. This session is part of our monthly Young Adults series featuring various Inayatiyya teachers.


What is Mine, and Ours, to Do about the Ecological Crisis? A Three-Part Series Hosted by the Kinship Activity
What is Mine, and Ours, to Do about the Ecological Crisis?
Saturdays, August 15, 22 & 29, 3:00-4:30 pm Eastern

Over the course of three weeks, the Inayatiyya Kinship Council is hosting this unique series on our individual and collective relationship to Climate Change. In these 90 minute sessions, we will explore the ecological crisis with diverse co-presenters, breakout groups, full-group discussion,
and tie-in with environmental justice. Advance registration is required.


Inayatiyya Reentry: From Summer to Fall w/ Pir Zia Inayat Khan
Inayatiyya Reentry: From Summer to Fall w/ Pir Zia
Sunday, September 6, 10:30 am-5 pm Eastern

Join Pir Zia for a day of attunement and practices orienting us to the transition from summer to fall, and from what has come before to the unknown life ahead of us. All are welcome!


Inayatiyya Reentry: From Summer to Fall w/ Pir Zia Inayat Khan
Noor Inayat Khan’s Urs & Hejirat Day
w/ Pir Zia & Special Guest Shrabani Basu

Sunday, September 13, 3:00-4:30 pm Eastern

On Sunday, September 13, we return for our weekly Sunday gathering to celebrate Noor’s Urs and also Hejirat Day, the anniversary of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s bringing of Inayatiyya Sufism from the East to the West. All are welcome to join us and our special guest, Shrabani Basu, Author of Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan.


Aède of the Ocean and Land: A Play in Seven Acts
Aède of the Ocean and Land Live Performance
Monday, September 14, 1:00-2:30 pm Eastern

Join us for this live music-cinema zoom performance directed by Elli Papakonstantinou with music composed by Shirish Korde. Noor’s play, Aède, will be performed live simultaneously from Athens, New York, San Francisco, Den Haag, and Rome via Zoom. The 22 artists involved span ten time zones and represent five countries. Reserve your tickets today!


An Update on Race & Justice Initiatives

The cry for racial justice and equity from a place of love has brought several new (and renewed) initiatives within the Inayatiyya. Please see this update with a view toward our next-steps.


One of Pir-o-Murshid’s closest murids, Nekbakht Sakina Furnéebegan the Nekbakht Foundation to care for Murshid’s archives and to encourage the creation of publications from his teachings. Every quarter the Nekbakht Foundation publishes a newsletter and we are sharing the summer edition with you here. You may find additional information on the Nekbakht Foundation at

Gayan Vadan Nirtan Cover

Gayan Commentary

Music of the Spheres: Gamaka Commentaries, Gayan

“I feel myself when I am by myself.”

The self has four layers: the body-self, the mind-self, the soul-self, and the Divine Self.

The body-self is made of food. It is born, grows, ails, and dies. When we look in the mirror, what we see is who we think we are. But this is only partially true.  Read More

See the full commentary on the Inayatiyya website.

Also please note that our Inayatiyya Digital Programs Calendar is in the process of being updated, with most dates now listed through December. There are many programs planned, with Pir Zia resuming his weekly Sufi Teachings Class, Sundays at 3 pm Eastern beginning on September 13, 2020. We hope to see you this fall! 

The Zephyr is a monthly newsletter of The Inayatiyya, an interfaith mystical fellowship with branches worldwide. For more information on our activities, please visit