24 September 2020
Dear Companions on the Path,
Shanah Tovah! May the Jewish New Year bring new light and life to hearts, and a renewed aspiration toward peace, healing, and the lived reality of kinship in the Holy Land and all of the holy lands of our green Earth.
As the pandemic and lockdown continue to weigh on individuals and communities, I hope you are finding a way forward that is spacious and hopeful. At times such as this, the solidarity and companionship of our caravan is especially important. And most important of all is the moment by moment intuition of the presence of the Friend.
The prayers of all of us, I know, are with our brothers and sisters in the Western states of the U.S., where devastating fires continue to rage. May rain, and relief, come soon.
Please send a prayer toward our beloved brother in the path Ghani O’Dell, whose spirit entered the Invisible last week. We are grateful for his many long years of dedicated service to our movement. May the Divine Light enfold him in his further journey.
The spirit of Pirzadi Shahida Noor has been very present to us these last weeks. On August 28th, English Heritage installed a Blue Plaque in Noor’s honor at 4 Taviton Street in Bloomsbury, where she lived while preparing for her fateful undercover mission in France. On Noor’s Urs, September 13th, we gathered online, and a group convened in Dachau. You will find Latifa Mancinelli’s account of the latter gathering here. On that mournful and sacred day, the new Noor Society was announced. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to visit the website (noorsociety.org) and become a member. The following day we all watched spellbound as Noor’s Aède of the Ocean and Land was performed online by an outstanding cast livestreaming simultaneously from Athens, New York, San Francisco, Den Hague, and Rome. And, from the “world of dreams” Noor has bequeathed to us, there is still something more to look forward to: Dream Flowers: The Collected Works of Noor Inayat Khan is currently at the printers, and is expected to ship soon.
Finally, I would like to tell you of the conclusion reached by the Worldwide Message Council and myself with respect to a question that has arisen regarding the Invocation. The question is: a number of ashiqs and murids feel a certain hesitation around the word “Master”; what can they, what can we all, do about it? The word “master” is often associated with structures of social domination, such as the abhorrent institution of slavery. Even though, when we say the Invocation, it is widely understood that we don’t mean to reference slavery or anything of the kind, unintended semantic associations may nonetheless loom uninvited. In Murshida Sharifa Goodenough’s writings she tells of how she asked Murshid what was meant by “Master” in the Invocation. He answered that it meant Rasul, or Messenger. We thus have a clear substitute directly from Murshid—two actually, one in English and the other in Arabic. The recommendation of myself and the Message Council, therefore, is that anyone, or any group, that wishes for an alternative to “Master” in the Invocation is encouraged to use “Messenger” or “Rasul.” In non-English-speaking regions, it will be left up to each language group to determine the appropriate translation of “Messenger,” or alternatively to use “Rasul,” as well as determining the appropriate definite article to use, if any, with the aim of maintaining gender neutrality.
Bi-weekly Sunday Sama Featuring
Renowned Indian Singer Rekha Bhardwaj
Sunday, September 27, 1:30-2:30 pm Eastern
Sunday Sufi Teachings w/ Pir Zia Inayat Khan
Sunday, September 27, 3:00-4:30 pm Eastern
We invite you to join us every Sunday for Sufi Teachings with Pir Zia Inayat Khan. Today we continue with Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Gatha Papers, with a focus on the theme “ Training by Abstinence.” Our reading may be found here to review and reflect upon before our class.
Please remember that all digital programs may be found on our Inayatiyya Digital Programs Calendar.
The Zephyr is a monthly newsletter of The Inayatiyya, an interfaith mystical fellowship with branches worldwide. For more information on our activities, please visit inayatiyya.org.