Sufi Order International
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The Sufi Order International is an organization dedicated to "Universal Sufism" as elaborated by Hazrat Inayat Khan. The order is currently led by Pir Zia Inayat Khan, the grandson of Hazrat Inayat Khan and son of Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan.
The activities of the Sufi Order International, in keeping with the vision of Hazrat Inayat Khan, are contained within five concentrations — the Esoteric School, the Healing Order, the Universal Worship, Kinship Activity, and Ziraat. Each concentration is headed by a senior member of the Sufi Order appointed by the Pir.
The Sufi Order International has centres throughout the world, where people may take classes, learn about practices and find fellowship with other seekers. Some choose to work with a guide who has been trained in the lineage of Murshid Inayat Khan, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, and Pir Zia Inayat Khan (and ultimately through the Chisti order in India).
Traditional Sufism is a branch of Islam that provides a more personal and mystical connection to its enlightenment or “divine love”. It originated in the Middle East and North East Africa as a sect of Islam that internalized Islamic beliefs. The Sufi Order International would not be thriving today if it were not for the leadership that brought it from this traditional Sufism to the West. Pir Hazrat Inayat Khan was the original leader of this movement and the founder of the Sufi Order of the West, which is now known as the Sufi Order International and is led by his grandson, Pir Zia. It was he who decided to move westward because he was given a mission by his dying mentor. Inayat was born and raised in India in 1887, and as he aged he became more spiritually aware. Inayat studied many sacred texts and soon went to the shrine of Khwaja Moineddin Chishti. There he decided to follow the Sufi path and found a guide, or Mushid, to teach him the Sufi beliefs. For four years his mentor, Mohammed Abu Hashim Madani, guided Inayat down the Sufi Path. Before passing away Inayat’s mentor gave him a message to unite the East and West with the “music” of Sufism. Shortly after, Inayat traveled to America and began spreading the Sufi Word. The spread of Sufism in the West began with Pir Hazrat’s immigration to America where he first founded The Sufi Order. As he began to spread the Sufi Word he did so with some changes to the structure of the belief system such as reforming the ability of women to hold titles such as shiekh or missionary.
- Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. "Sufism", Harper's Encyclopedia of Mystical and Paranormal Experience. 2nd. 1. P. 580-583. New York City: Harper Collins, 1994. 18 Feb. 2010.
- Dr. Godlas. “Sufism, the West, and Modernity”, Islam and Islamic StudiesResources. The University of Georgia. 2008. 4 Feb. 2010 http://www.uga.edu/islam/sufismwest.html.
- Shelquist, Wahiduddin. “Brief Biography of Hazrat Inayat Khan”, The Spiritual Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan. Wahiduddin’s Web. 18 Feb. 2010. http://wahiduddin.n/hik/hik_origins.htm