Sufism, East and West

Pir Vilayat's DarghaExcerpted from pamphlets of the Sufi Order published in London in the late 1910s.

THE CENTRAL IDEA of Sufism is believed to have existed from the beginning of creation. Traces of Sufism are to be found in all periods of history, but mostly during the age of Hebrew prophets and ecstatics, who themselves were Sufis.

Sufism was intellectually born in Arabia, devotionally reared in Persia, and spiritually completed in India.

Every incident has its own time, and it has been ordained by the Supreme Will that East and West shall now unite in the call of God, the Lord of both East and West.

Inayat Khan, the pioneer exponent of Sufism and oriental music, arrived in America in 1910, trusting in the injunction of his Pir-o-Murshid, Qutb al-Aqtab Sayyid Muhammad Abu Hashim Madani, who struck the chord of his soul at the right time. He said, when blessing him:

“Go thou abroad into the world, harmonize the East and the West with the music of thy soul, spread the knowledge of Sufism, for thou art gifted by Allah, the most Merciful and Compassionate.”

Inayat Khan, after some years of steady perseverance, established the Sufi Order in the Western world, in America, England, Russia, and France, initiating many disciples. His object in this was to serve humanity by giving the message of universal brotherhood and by helping seeking souls to unfold toward their Lord, the God of the Universe.