Glimpses: Inayat with his Murshid

The following is taken from the memoir, Pages in the Life of a Sufi by Musharaff Moulamia Khan, the youngest brother of Hazrat Inayat.

When Inayat Khan met his Murshid, he felt at once that he had met the guide of his life and that he had arrived at the desire of his life. The recognition of that first moment became a continually stronger link.  In the East we consider the relation between Murshid and pupil to be one that can never be broken; it is a bond that can never be removed and which reaches into eternity.  Fana-fi-sheikh is the mystical communion by which two souls become so united as to live and feel almost as one.  From the very first days after meeting the Murshid my brother would often feel that his Murshid wished to speak to him, and at such moments wherever he happened to be, he would make an effort to go to him, and always found that what he had felt was indeed actually true.  Inayat Khan was living then in Secunderabad, which is close to Hyderabad where his Murshid resided.

Gradually the telepathic link became so strong between them, that all my brother did and felt was known to his Murshid, and this made him wonder very much in those days.  “How is it possible my Murshid knows that?” he would say, though he himself would feel at once if his Murshid were ill or calling him.

[…] But here is a point to be noted: they never spoke on what are called spiritual matters. They spoke about everyday matters of life, just as any two men, one older and experienced, the other younger and devoted, might converse.  They would walk in the garden, and speak of the gardener of the plants and flowers. Or else perhaps Inayat Khan would sing or play to his Murshid. […]

They never spoke on metaphysics. Nor did my brother ever bring forward problems to discuss. On one occasion, my brother said, his murshid was speaking on some philosophical point, and he took out his notebook to make a note on what he had said, and his Murshid quickly changed the subject, and my brother at once regretted his acton. He felt he had been guilty of a mistake in attempting to hold one idea, whereas the Murshid offered him the whole of his knowledge in the atmosphere and perfume of his personality. […]

One day a poor messenger came with a message for him from his Murshid, and Inayat Khan scarcely knew how to honour the man sufficiently. In the great Indian love-story, the story of Majnun and Laila, it is told how affected Majnun was one day on seeing the dog of Laila on the street. And so Inayat Khan was affected at the sight of the messenger of his Murshid. He stooped and kissed the man’s hand; he did not know how to thank him enough, nor did he feel he could do enough for him.

As the messenger had come to ask him to visit his Murshid, Inayat Khan immediately saddled his horse to go to his Murshid’s home; but he himself went on foot and urged the elderly man to ride on the horse, both out of respect and because he was the bringer of a happy message from his Murshid.

Through the link of sympathy for one person, it is possible to learn something of what sympathy is, and may do. Through a link of this kind one may learn to know of what nature was the link that bound the disciples of Jesus to their Master, and one may begin to learn the meaning of the words, “Be you perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  It is this utter loss of self in devotion to the worthy and chosen human guide, that is the beginning of the learning of the utter loss of self in the ideal of Divine Perfection.  This is the Sufi teaching. […]

Change in the spiritual path is not advisable; there what is needed is constancy. By his constancy and patience the disciple will arrive at his goal. To be humble, to be modest, to be meek, to be obedient, all these are needed in the path of discipleship; thus the disciple builds up his character. As he advances, his personality becomes like a fragrant flower and he fulfils his Ideal in the path of mysticism.  All the hidden things are unfolded to him, and in the end he feels at-one-ment with the inner as well as the outer life, because he had disciplined himself in that way.

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