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The first aspect of prayer is giving thanks to God Hazrat Inayat Khan

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What’s in the Autumn issue? Page 3-4

Letter from Nuria, SMIA’s national representative


A message from your treasurer


‘November Reflections’ – a poem by Chaman-Afroz


‘The Heart of the Matter’ – a personal story by Azad Daly


Winter Retreat in Melbourne


Sacred Reading: Prayer – by Hazrat Inayat Khan


Love Poems


International Summer School


‘The Fairy of the Dawn’ Part 4 – by Nuria Daly


‘Visit to the tomb of Inayat Khan’ – by Musharaff M. Khan


Sydney Retreat Dargah Retreat



A message from the editor Dear friends, I hope you have all enjoyed a safe and restful Easter holiday. Brisbane blessed us with gorgeous weather throughout the long weekend, and I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful blue water and sky just near my home. This autumn issue has plenty of love poems, which were circulated by our members in February for Valentine’s day. Thank you to Azad and Rashida for their beautiful photos of roses that complement the text. Actually, you will enjoy many of Azad’s photos throughout the issue (including the lovely leaf and pod on the front cover). Remember, images to accompany text are always welcome, so if you have any you think might be useful, please send them and I will try to use them. Thank you to the contributors of this issue, and may you have a lovely mild autumn. Happy reading. Love, Sakina

Spirit Matters - Autumn 2012

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Letter from Nuria, SMiA’s national representative Beloved Sisters and Brothers,

You may ask how this state of affairs has come about. It is by not being aware and noticing what is happening. It was only when I happened to look over our fence – which required climbing up on some stones and peering over, that I saw that our Jasminoid had totally taken over both gardens. When I later looked at it from our veranda I could see that it was also flowering in those gardens but not in ours and it had climbed into our trees and other trees as well. It has taken some heavy work to cut it back. Sometimes the good and beautiful parts of ourselves can also get out of control like this and, unnoticed, can create havoc in our own and other people’s lives. To cut this back in life is also very hard work and can destroy lives and relationships in the process. A huge clean-up has to take place with much healing and often a new start. Following this I have realised that the contrary to this is also true – that we have to forgive our friends and neighbours for any encroachments into and over our boundaries. A very close and dear friend was telling me about a workshop she had been at which was about forgiveness. The following quote was one of several I sent around to our sisters and brothers who are on email: I Believe that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while  and you must forgive them for that. I realised that I needed to forgive this friend for something she had said and done to me many years ago when I first became a Sufi. I had never let go the hurt and resentment at what she had done - I just couldn’t understand it. It has damaged our

Photo: Azad Daly

Summer is over and with the end of the drought in Australia we have seen terrible floods in many States. Down here in Melbourne we have had lots of sun and rain and so our gardens have been flourishing. Now it is time for the Autumn pruning and I realised just the other day that some plants have completely taken over, not only our garden but two adjacent gardens as well. A beautiful climber has become a weed! How like life this is! The longer we leave these things the worse it gets and the harder it is to prune back!

friendship ever since and I am sure that she does not realise why this is so and believes that it is somehow the fault of my being a Sufi, rather than her reaction to it. Life is complicated. A couple of weeks ago I was asked to be part of an Interfaith group which was being held at Amberley (Edmund Rice Centre), which is where we hold our Sufi Summer Retreats in Melbourne. It was their first Interfaith meeting, and was about Aboriginal Spirituality, Sufism and Baha’i, with the morning being about our experience of our ‘faith’ and how we found it, and the afternoon sessions set up to give participants an experience of each of the ‘faiths’. This meeting was a really wonderful experience and I was very interested in the use of the elements, the dreamtime, and of course nature in Aboriginal Spirituality. We presented the element breath as a practice, which followed this very naturally and then I told the Sufi story of Moses inviting the Lord God to dinner. In that story God did not show up at the appointed time, but a beggar arrived at the door starving, who hadn’t eaten for days. Moses told him that he was expecting God but afterward that he could take all the leftovers. God did not arrive and Moses went to Mount Sinai grieving bitterly that God had somehow broken his promise. God said to Moses, ‘We came O Moses, but alas, thou didst not recognise Us. Who was the beggar at thy door? Was he other than We? It is We who in all guises live and move in the world, and yet are remote in Our eternal heavens’ Peter, who is the Director at Amberley, was very taken with this story and told me that the centre has a project of feeding the poor and homeless in Melbourne. Some of the students help with this Continued on page 4.

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Continued from page 3.

project in serving the poor and homeless, so he thought he would use the story to illustrate that everything that we do for one another, we do for God. What was an especially lovely outcome of our day was that we all felt that we had been on retreat – we had definitely felt the Unity – the Love, Harmony and Beauty of God. Azad has had his heart ablation procedure and it has been successful we think. He has had a few other issues but things are settling down now. He has noticed that his breathing is easier and that his heart

feels somehow easier. He is busy writing an article about this, so you can discover for yourselves how this has been for him. We have had a lot of illness in our group down here in Melbourne, and I hope that all of this will turn out well for all. Sending you all love and blessings for a lovely calm and harmonious Autumn,


A message from your treasurer SUBSCRIPTION FEES ARE WELL OVERDUE AND SMIA’S COFFERS ARE DRY! SO, PLEASE PAY UP AS SOON AS YOU CAN! Please renew my subscription for the year 2012. Name: ___________________________________________ Sufi Name: ______________________________________ Address: ________________________________________ __________________________________________________ State: _________________ Postcode: _______________ Email: ___________________________________________ Type of membership: Single ($75)/Family ($100) Please make cheques payable to SMIA or transfer funds to: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Brandon Park Account Number 06 3587 10251994 If paying by cheque, post the information above with your cheque. If paying straight into the bank account, you can advise Azad Daly know via email, but please ensure you provide him with these details. Azad’s email address is

Spirit Matters - Autumn 2012

MEMBERSHIPS & SUBSCRIPTIONS Membership to the Sufi Movement in Australia is open to all. If you find yourself drawn to the ideals of universal spiritual brother-and-sisterhood, you may be interested in becoming a member. The Sufi Movement in Australia offers an annual Sufi summer retreat, classes in centres around Australia, and a quarterly newsletter. In addition, members are affiliated with the International Sufi Movement, its teachers and activities. Annual Membership Fees Single-$75 Family-$100 Please contact the treasurer for more details (see the back page for contact details)

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November Reflections A poem by Chaman-Afroz I take a walk along the woodland path like a serpent it winds on, the air is crisp and clear. In the summer this is a shady place but now most trees stand naked against the sky’s azure. The ash has long shed its summer clothes, bare stands crab apple, alder, birch. Beech still in dry leaves, Horse chestnut still spreads its fingered hand. Leaves have turned their hue of green, in spring and summer oh so pleasant into autumn cloaks of golden yellow and of crimson, each different in size and form; on branches, on the path in front of me and on the woodland floor. They are like pages in Allah’s holy book of nature now ready to be turned. A cold wind whips around the trees, seizes their leaves it shakes them, makes them chatter, they break and one by one they float from their lofty heights down to the ground; closing a chapter and a memory of a moment. Gone. It seems like death, but can life ever die? It’s the leaf that’s dying not the tree. Busy worms gather them up and pull them into the ground. Here again they change: bright hued cloaks turn into humble gowns and over time will even loose their shape to become earth. This way space is made for new pages in the book of life of what is yet to come, while the roots of the trees get their nourishment out of this ground. The leaves, the pages, the memories enrich it and give it flavour. My dear friends, what do we feed our heart’s ground? What will we taste?

Photo: Azad Daly

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The Heart of the Matter A personal story by Azad Daly Last week I had a ‘heart procedure’ to cure what was/ is, in layman’s terms, ‘a racing heart’. Basically my heart was going from 53 beats per minute up to 225 beats, which made me feel that my heart was going to explode and, at times, I almost passed out.

Atrial Fibrillation is caused by chaotic and unorganised electrical signals that arise in the upper chambers of the heart known as the Atria. This causes the heart to lose its pumping function. We all know how Sufism places great emphasis on the heart and this was to the forefront of my mind when I was first diagnosed. I was subjected to all sorts of tests and amongst these was an echocardiogram where I had to control my breathing so as to enable the cardiologist to get a view of my heart once my lungs had constricted. It just so happened that I had an episode of AF during this test that confirmed the diagnosis. And thus began the journey! Having tried to control my heartbeat with various drugs for a few months – with limited success – I decided that I would go for a medical procedure known as AF Ablation. A new drug was added to my regime, which was Warfarin – a well-known rat poison! The idea was to thin my blood so as to avoid any possibility of clots forming. How strange it felt to be ingesting a poison so as to avoid a possible fatal stroke or heart attack. I thought of Murshid’s words that we should look for the good in the bad and the bad in the good. My blood was frequently tested and my dosage adjusted by the Pathology Lab. so that a balanced result was achieved, again I thought of how this reflected Murshid’s words on balance. Six weeks was the allocated time for this balance to be achieved and then we took another step towards our goal.

Photo: Azad Daly

But to go back to the beginning. Having been diagnosed with a condition known as Atrial Fibrillation, which seemingly is a common complaint, I embarked on a medical and I would like to think a spiritual journey culminating in last week’s procedure.

A CT angiogram was the next step. This, basically, was that a dye would be injected into my heart which would light up the heart chambers. The CT machine would record this as it made a three dimensional model of my heart. For the past few years I have been saying as part of my morning practice Sura 24 Nur, and I recited the closing lines of this as the CT whirred and spun: “Allah guideth into this light whom He will, and Allah setteth forth parables to men, for Allah is the knower of all things”. And then on to the final step – the procedure itself. The technology and methodology used in the Ablation process is really amazing and stands as a testament to what we as human beings can achieve with the help of the Divine Presence. A general anesthetic was administered and then an incision was made in my inner thigh so that a catheter could be inserted in my femoral artery and then the aorta until it is positioned at the heart. The catheter has a GPS and the 3D model of the heart lets the surgeon know precisely where he is at any given time. Here truly is an example of following guidance. A radio frequency signal is then sent through the catheter (50 degrees C) and burns the area of the heart muscle from which false electric pulses are coming and destroys them; a spray of water is used also at this time, presumably to cool this area. I, of course, felt nothing, having been anaesthetised. The procedure lasted just over four hours and 35 sites were cauterised. Although it will take 60 to 90 days before we know for sure, early indications are that things are going well. Continued on page 7.

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Continued from page 6.

Three of the Elements spring to mind as part of this process – that of Air, Fire and Water and with a little imagination the other two could be brought in.

Photo: Azad Daly

The end result of all this is that I thank God for the medical staff who looked after me throughout this whole experience. The morning after I was discharged from hospital I was out in the garden as dawn broke, just after 6.00am, and my appreciation of the beauty of the sunrise was incalculable. I took some photos of this, which I share with you now.

The Sufi Movement in Melbourne Presents our Winter Retreat 2012

Thursday 21st June at 4pm – Sunday 24th June 2012 at 4pm

Balance ‘One will ask: What is balance; and how can we achieve it? First there is the balance of activity and repose, of sleeping and waking.’ ‘By control of the self a person experiences the higher plane in which all beings are one.’ ‘The Sufis therefore, have found a key to it, and that key is to isolate oneself within and thereby, to gain a complete balance within oneself. I have already said that perfect balance means destruction of action, but when we think that from morning till evening our life is nothing but action, we naturally cannot keep that balance. By keeping a few minutes for a process of meditation, of silence, we can touch that complete balance for a moment, and then, naturally, in our active life a balance is maintained. Registration will take place on Thursday 21st June at 4pm. Contact Nuria 9561 4861 to book

Cost is $350 includes 3 nights accommodation - all meals fully catered. Please provide your own linen and bedding. Venue: Edmund Rice Centre – Amberley 7 Amberley Way, Lower Plenty, Melway map ref. Page 21 B1

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Sacred Reading - Prayer by Hazrat Inayat Khan From Volume IX - The Unity of Religious Ideals Part I The first aspect of prayer is giving thanks to God for all the numberless blessings that are bestowed upon us at every moment of the day and night, and of which we are mostly unconscious. The second aspect of prayer is laying our shortcomings before the unlimited perfection of the divine Being, and asking His forgiveness. This makes man conscious of his smallness, of his limitation, and therefore makes him humble before his God. And, by humbling himself before God man does not lose any virtue. God alone has the right to demand complete humility. There is another side to this question: although humility is painful to the pride of man, the joy of humility is never known by the proud. The effect produced upon a man’s own feeling is as if, by his very humility, he had opened the doors of the shrine of God which is in the heart of man. He who asks forgiveness of his friend, feels a joy that the friend does not know. And it must not be forgotten that it is not pride that gives joy, but humility, which gives a special joy. It is told that a Maharana of Udhaipur was mourning for the death of his mother, and for a long time his grief was so great that he could not overcome it. His ministers and friends tried to console him, telling him how fortunate he was, how great was his influence and power. He answered, ‘Yes it is true. But one thing grieves me. I have everyone to bow before me, to give way to me, to salute me, to obey; but there was one, when I came into the palace before whom I could be humble. My mother was the one before whom I could humble myself, and I cannot tell you the joy that was to me!’ Humility has several forms, and these are observed according to the customs of different peoples. There exist all kinds of forms of respect, towards parents, teachers or masters; but after examining and studying life keenly, one finds that it is to God alone that all forms of respect are addressed. It is this lesson that the various religions have taught to different peoples according to their needs.

The third aspect of prayer is to tell God one’s difficulties and troubles, and to ask Him for what one needs and wants. And who else deserves this trust but God? It is true that we have relations and friends who love us and wish to help us; but they are only human beings, travelling in the same boat on the same sea, subject to all the same difficulties and limitations. Man can only be helped by man to a certain extent. The more one studies human nature, the more one feels inclined to bring one’s troubles, difficulties, and sorrows, before God alone, and this is a part of what is taught in the form of prayer. The fourth aspect of prayer is like the call of the lover to the beloved. No doubt this is a higher form; and to be able to pray in this manner man must rise above the ordinary level of life. Just as it is difficult for a human being to love man, whom he sees, so it is more difficult to love God, whom one has never seen. Loving one’s fellow man, yes; but not everyone is capable of loving the formless, the God-ideal, and of evolving by the lesson of love. For in this love there is no disappointment, and only the love of God can fulfill the desire of the human soul, and all other forms of love are only steps that lead to the love of God. But who can explain the love of God to one who Continued on page 9.

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has never felt it? God is the perfect ideal. His love is the perfect love. There is love of the mate, of parents of friends, of children, but in the love of God all is found combined. Therefore its joy is perfect. The love of God is living and everlasting and is the love of the true Beloved. The fifth aspect of prayer is to know God, and in this way to draw nearer to God. This is the real meaning of the expression at-one-ment, which means complete union. It cannot be learned; it is a natural tendency; it is the attraction of the soul to God. It is like the negative pole of the electric wire, which is attracted, to the positive. It means that the happiness of man depends on his nearness to God, and this too has been taught in the form of prayer. It is these five aspects of prayer which constitute the form of religious worship. Every religion, at whatever time and in whatever country, has given prayer as its method. But man has always shown his childish nature. He has always fought with his neighbour because he does not pray in the same way. Man has taken the outer form of prayer. He has used the outer form to satisfy his vanity and the consequence has been that, revolted by this state of things, he has given up prayer. For instance Protestantism is among other things a sort of protest against the Catholic form of prayer. Many people, between the two, have given up prayer; and giving it up is not satisfactory, for nothing can take its place. The chaotic conditions at the present time are caused by the lack of religion. Man’s soul needs religion but the mind fights against it. We find that most wars in history have been caused by disputes about religion. In the East, no one dares to say that he does not believe in God, whereas in the West, there are people who are proud of not believing in God. They say that a force, or forces are the origin of life. It is the greatest tragedy if man deprives himself of God, because there cannot be any other means of rising to a higher consciousness. But an inquiring mind will ask, ‘If God is within man, then all our troubles and difficulties, our feelings and

Spirit Matters - Autumn 2012

our attitudes towards Him and also our faults, are known to Him. So what need is there to express them in prayer?’ It is like saying, ‘Because I love a certain person, why should I show it?’ Expression is the nature of life. When every part of man’s mind and body expresses his feeling, his thought, his aspiration, then it produces its full effect. And there is no doubt that the fact of meeting together for prayer makes the effect still greater. The blessing that one can receive through prayer is multiplied a thousand fold when received by a few united in the same thought and praying together. And as to the psychological effect, the world can be described as a dome in which every word that is uttered resounds. Through the resonance in this dome, an echo is produced, and what comes, comes as the answer of God. The question whether God has time to give attention to our prayer is answered by the mystic, who says that it is through the medium of man himself that God hears his prayer. In the East, the head of man is called the dome of God, which means that it contains the greatest secret, and is also the highest place; for outwardly it is the head which represents the eternal abode. As it is said in the scriptures, God has created man in His own image. Besides thankfulness there is the request for forgiveness and mercy. The effects of this are also to be seen in our daily life. A servant or child or young man who is rude, will push into us and never say he is sorry. But another person says, ‘I am sorry,’ and at once we have forgotten the harm that he has inadvertently done to us. That is the effect, which his request for forgiveness has produced. A person who does wrong and prides himself on having done so is stubborn, foolish and ignorant. There is no way for him to develop, to progress, if he is not sorry for what he has done. His finer senses become blunted, by doing wrong, and so he loses something of his own conscience by the continual impression of wrongdoing. Because there is something bad in him, although he may be walking on the earth and living in the sun, that life which gives a fuller experience and joy is gone.

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Love poems On Valentine’s day, several members shared love poems - some written by them, and some by others. Here they are for you to enjoy again, along with a few glorious roses ... Do you Love Me? Rumi A lover asked his beloved, Do you love yourself more than you love me? The beloved replied, I have died to myself And I live for you. I’ve disappeared from myself and my attributes. I am present only for you

Photo: Rashida Murray

I have forgotten all my learnings, But from knowing you I have become a scholar. I have lost all my strength, but from your power I am able. If I love myself I love you If I love you I love myself. Offered by Azad Daly

Oh Ye who taste that love is sweet, Christina Georgina Rossetti Oh Ye who taste that love is sweet, set waymarks for all doubtful feet that stumble on in search of it. Sing songs of love: that some who hear far off, inert, may lend an ear rise up and wonder and draw near. Lead lives of love; that others who behold your life may kindle too with love, and cast their lot with you.

Photo: Azad Daly

Offered by Zohra Bria Floren, who says: “When I was at school there was only one hymn that made sense to me. I copied it onto a sheet of paper that has travelled with me through all the years since.” Continued on page 11.

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Page 11 Continued from page 10.

O Beloved Be Like that to Me Rumi (Translation by Jonathan Star) O Beloved Be Like that to Me The flames that dance with love— O Beloved, be like that to me. The burning heat within the fire— O Beloved, be like that to me.

Photo: Rashida Murray

My candle burns with longing. It cries with tears of wax. Like the wick of a melting candle — O Beloved, be like that to me. Now that we’ve joined the path of love we cannot sleep at night. At the drunken tavern, the drummer beats the drumO Beloved, be like that to me. The night is dark, the lovers are awake. Don’t bother them with thoughts of sleep. They want only to be here with us — O Beloved, be like that to me.

Love After Love Derek Walcott

Union is a raging river running toward the sea. Tonight the moon kisses the stars, Majnun becomes Layla — O Beloved, be like that to me.

The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

God has become everything. He has graced this poet with kindness. Everything I touch and see becomes the fire of love — O Beloved, be like that to me.

and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

The day your love touches me I’ll become so mad that lunatics will run away.

all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

The words of a master-poet could never capture the spell that your eyelashes cast upon my heart. Offered by Arjuna Ben Zion-Weiss

the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life. Offered by Nuria Daly Love Continued on page 12.

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John McBain I love all I love we I love you all

Love Dogs Rumi

As, I love me As I love her

One night a man was crying Allah! Allah! His lips grew sweet with praising, until a cynic said, “So I have heard you calling out, but have you ever gotten any response?”

As infinity and ... As eternity

The Man had no answer to that. He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep. He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls, in a thick, green foliage. “Why did you stop praising?” “ Because I’ve never heard anything back.” “This longing you express is the return message.”

Photo: Rashida Murray

The grief you cry out from draws you toward union. Your pure sadness that wants help is the secret cup.

It Felt Love Hafiz How Did the rose Ever open its heart And give to this world All its Beauty?

Listen to the moan of a dog for its master. That whining is the connection. There are love dogs no one knows the names of. Give your life to be one of them. Offered by Chaman-Afroz

It felt the encouragement of light Against its Being, Otherwise, We all remain Photo: Azad Daly

Too Frightened. Offered by Rashida Murray Continued on page 13.

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Page 13 Continued from page 12.

To Die in Love Kafia Doris Airey

Photo: Rashida Murray

Show me the way To the Mountain of Flight Is it here; is it there? Is the mountain in sight? Where the One can be seen And Angels’ delight, As seers take the leap In such beautiful flight Then weep as they gently glide Through that veil of pure Light To their Beloved’s embrace Where clasping so tight Joyous songs echo loud From each Lover’s Heart As they gaze and they drown In a Oneness so pure In a wine; a delectable wine Yes, they drink of that nectar And gaze even more Then dance in that drowning But still want to live – in order to die Beyond their ecstatic deaths — to die in a drowning of heavenly wine — to die in the Purist of Light — to die as Love in — Love?

Out of a great need Hafiz Out Of a great need We are all holding hands Not loving is letting go Listen, The terrain around here Is Far too Dangerous For That Offered by Hamida Janice

International Sufi Movement

International Summer School Universel Murad Hassil

July 8 – 18, 2012

THE HOLY BOOK OF NATURE There is no greater scripture than nature, for nature is life itself. The international Summer School prgram is now available. You can access it from the organisation’s website – – and you can also register to attend via this website. For overseas attendees (and that’s us Australians), prices range from 270 euros for the full 11 days, or 130 euros for 8 – 11 July, and 162.50 euros for 14 -18 July. There are prices for children to attend, and also for the artistic evening on 12 July. Please check the website for full details, and instructions on how to register.

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The Fairy of the Dawn A Roumanian Fairy-tale with a Sufi and Jungian interpretation by Nuria Daly PART 4 (continued from Part 3 in Volume 15, issue 4) Now Petru sees a wide heath stretching out before him, but the horse stops as it fears that evil will befall them. Horse says that they are about to enter the kingdom of Mittwoch and that it will get very, very cold there. He is afraid that Petru will stop and warm himself by the fires along the way. Note that Mittwoch is a feminine form of Mercury; also the planet closest to the sun, and is the day Wednesday. This seems to suggest a process in time and space. The position of Mercury / Mittwoch is centre.

Photo: Azad Daly

However this time Petru is able to ignore invitations from the men at the fires on each side of the road, even though the breath froze in his mouth. Petru makes his way through this frozen place where frozen rocks explode around him, his teeth chatter and even his eyelids are frozen. When they reach the dwelling of Mittwoch herself, he enters and greets her – the interchange is very ‘ordinary’ really, although he does recognise her as ‘little mother’. He says ‘Goodday little mother!’ and she says “Very well, thank you my frozen friend.’ but waits for her to speak She tells him that he has done well and been brave and gives him a gift as a reward – a little box which has been lying around for ages waiting for the man who could win his way through the Ice Kingdom. He is told to treasure it and use it when he needs to. ‘If you open it, it will tell you anything you want and give you news of your Fatherland.’ He has journeyed through the Ice

Kingdom to find an aspect of the Goddess so that he can connect / communicate with his fatherland. As Mercury is the Divine messenger of the Gods and so of communication, the box which can gives Petru news of his Fatherland is certainly an aspect of this. After thanking her and riding away Petru opens the box and asks for news of his father. ‘He is sitting in council with his nobles’ was the answer. ‘Is he well?’ asks Petru. ‘Not particularly, for he is furiously angry.’ ‘What has angered him?’ ‘Your brothers Costan and Florea,’ replies the casket. ‘It seems to me they are trying to rule him and the kingdom as well, and the old man says they are not fit to do it.’ So the feminine Mercury gives Petru this gift so that he can find out what is happening at home and with his father. This ability is developed in us when we reach a certain stage of evolution – in this case having survived the Ice Kingdom. This time Petru has not been tempted by the warmth of the fires tended by men. Here the opposites begin to come into play. The realm is feminine but the beings tending the tempting fires are male. The gift she gives him relates to the ‘masculine’ Fatherland. Petru rides away as fast as he can but his horse wants to give him some more advice. He has known great cold, now he must endure extreme heat and not allow himself to be tempted to try and cool himself, or evil will befall him. It is indeed so hot that his horse’s shoes begin to melt, but he continues and does not let himself be tempted by lovely maidens who stand by shady trees and bubbling streams. After a long time the heat suddenly seems to become less and in the distance he sees a little hut on a hill. This is the dwelling place of the Goddess of Thunder. (In German Donnerstag (Thursday) is the day of the Thunder God Jupiter). So we have moved from Wednesday to Thursday, from Mercury to Jupiter, where we are again in the realm of a Goddess this time of thunder. Notice we are now faced with the extreme opposites – Heat (solar and Masculine) vs. cold (lunar and feminine) – these opposites must be integrated and this is part of the task. Continued on page 15.

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Page 15 Continued from page 14.

When Petru draws reign at Donnerstag’s door she comes out herself to welcome him and invite him in. He tells her everything that has happened to him and then takes his leave, as he does not know how far it is to the Fairy of the Dawn. She asks him to stay as she wants to give him a word of advice. She says – go and tell her as a message from me that she should not try and delay you. On his way back he is to visit the Goddess of Thunder again and she will give him something that may be of use to him. This time he has to wait for the gift until he has completed his quest and returned to her. The only advice is a message to the Fairy of the Dawn not to delay him, so it seems that this will be her tactic – to delay him there in her realm.

while they are waiting for the ogre of the moon.’ I wondered what this meant and found that the whirlwind was regarded as a manifestation of energy in nature, rising from a centre of power associated with gods, supernatural forces and entities that travel on whirlwinds, or speak from them. The whirlwind thus becomes a vehicle for the divinity: ‘The Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind.’ So these entities (female) are waiting for the ogre of the moon – a female divinity – here with negative connotations! She is an ogre! But then female energy was regarded with fear in those times long ago, after the fall of the Goddesses. As Petru is about to enter the house the horse tells him to stop as there are several things he wants to tell him first. The house of the Goddess Venus is guarded by the whirlwind, so this energy in nature protects the Goddess Venus. He is to take the copper wreath and go with it to a hill nearby and then say to himself. ‘Were there ever such lovely maidens! Such angels! Such fairy souls!’ Then hold the wreath high in the air and cry ‘Oh! If I knew whether anyone would accept this wreath from me-----if I knew! If I knew!’ And then throw the wreath away!

Photo: Azad Daly

Scarcely has he flung away the copper wreath than the whirlwind flings itself upon it, and tears it to pieces. This is a gift which the whirlwind accepts in its own way and Petru can now leave.

As Petru mounts his horse again, he hardly rides three steps when he finds himself in a new country: a place which is just right – like the three bears – not too cold not too hot, but where the air is warm and soft like Spring. However the way runs through a heath covered with sand and thistles. This time the ambiance is just right but the way is through a very barren place, so we wonder what has happened here. At the far end of the heath he sees the house of the Goddess Venus. It takes but a day to ride to the house and as they find themselves nearing it, Petru’s heart leaps at the sight, for all day along he has been followed by a crowd of shadowy figures who danced about him from right to left and from back to front. Now Petru feels a thrill of fear! The horse says: ’They won’t hurt you they are just the daughters of the whirlwind amusing themselves

Venus is related to the West, and her day is Friday. She signifies the launching of the new moon on the sea of the night and defends the moon against all monsters of darkness. The horse then tells him there are other things he wants to tell him. Now Petru is to take the silver wreath and knock at the windows of the Goddess Venus. He is told when she says ‘Who is there?’ to answer that he has come on foot and lost his way on the heath. She will tell him to go his way back again; and to take care not to stir from the spot. Instead he had to say to her, ‘No indeed I shall do nothing of the sort, as from my childhood I have heard stories of the beauty of the Goddess Venus, and it was not for nothing that I had shoes made of leather with soles of steel, and have travelled for nine years and nine months and have won in battle the silver wreath, which I hope you may allow me to give you, and have done and suffered everything to be where I now am.’ So he is to flatter Venus and tell her that everything Continued on page 16.

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Page 16 Continued from page 15.

he has done and been through is only to see her and be with her. He approaches the house in the dark, the only light coming from the windows to guide him. At the sound of his footsteps two dogs begin to bark loudly. Venus asks which of the dogs is barking – which I find a strange question. The dog is a guardian of the passage; guardian of the underworld and keeper of the boundaries between this world and the next. Does it matter which dog it is? In any case Petru answers, ‘It is I, O Goddess; I have lost my way on the heath, and do not know where I am to sleep this night.’ ‘Where did you leave your horse?’ asks the Goddess. Petru doesn’t know how to answer so Venus tells him to go away, as there is no place for him there. She withdraws from the window. Petru then repeats what the horse had told him, and no sooner has he done this the Goddess opens the window, and in gentle tones asks him in. She asks to see the wreath and he gives it to her. She then invites him into the house and tells him not to fear the dogs as they know her will. As he passes, they wag their tails at him. So Petru passes the tests and eventually answers exactly as the horse told him, so he has safely crossed that boundary to the next world and is able to converse with the Goddess. Venus needs to be loved and worshiped for her beauty and she also needs to know what the hero has undergone and suffered to be with her. Venus as you know is the Goddess of love and also represents the beautiful woman to be won by the hero lover in mythology. He wishes her Good Evening and then sits and listens to her speak – mostly about the wickedness of men, with whom she is angry. Petru agrees with her in everything as this is polite! He is tactful and respectful and of course this is the proper way to be with a Goddess. He has learned the art of personality. The Goddess Venus is not what you would expect – she is so old and has many, many wrinkles on her face but Petru devours her with his eyes and Venus is joyful when she sees his eyes fixed on her. Venus is happy to be adored as she should be. It is the wickedness of men who have turned her into an old

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hag. I think there is something about the Christian patriarchy which has denigrated one of the greatest most beautiful Goddesses to an old hag. ‘Nothing was that is, and the world was not a world when I was born,’ she says. ‘When I grew up and the world came into being, everyone thought I was the most beautiful girl that ever was seen, though many hated me for it.’ Clearly Venus is an archetype – a concept of the feminine, of the beautiful inner beloved of every man and I think an ideal for every woman. When a man loves a woman he believes she is the most beautiful woman in the world. In the story she tells Petru that every hundred years she gets another wrinkle and now she is old. She goes on to tell Petru that she is the daughter of an emperor and their nearest neighbour is the Fairy of the Dawn, with whom she had a violent quarrel, and with that she breaks into loud abuse of her. It seems that there is or was a split in the feminine principle here between the Goddess Venus and the Fairy of the Dawn. It also indicates that this split must be healed both within Petru but also in the world, as much damage has been done by it. This split still exists I think – we idealise ‘the Virgin Mary’ but denigrate the Venus of love, beauty and sensuality. Petru sympathises with Venus, agreeing that she must have been badly treated. He does this for politeness sake, the story says! Again he is tactful. Venus now gives him a task to perform. Close to the Fairy’s house is a well, she tells him, and whoever drinks from it will blossom again like a rose. She asks for a flagon of it, and tells him that the kingdom is guarded on every side by wild beasts and dragons. She gives Petru a tiny flute, one which an old man gave to her when she was young. Whoever listens to it goes to sleep, and nothing can wake them. Petru is to play it as long as he is in that kingdom so that he will be safe. Petru then tells Venus that he has another task to fulfil at the well of the Fairy of the Dawn, and Venus is still better pleased when she hears his tale. I think Petru’s quest pleases her because she realises that he will bring the feminine principle back to the world and back to his kingdom. THIS STORY WILL BE COMPLETED IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF SPIRIT MATTERS (WINTER 2012).

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Visit to the tomb of Inayat Khan by Musharaff Moulamia Khan IN MEMORIAM Near to the anniversary of Murshid’s death (Urs) on Friday 3rd February, we held a group meeting at our home and Nuria read some extracts from ‘Pages in the Life of a Sufi’, which was written by Musharaff Moulamia Khan, Hazrat Inayat Khan’s youngest brother. The group was quite small and this, I think, led to a very intimate and emotional atmosphere. I would like to share the reading with you. There have been some minor editing and omissions that do not affect the veracity of the story. The tomb of Nizamuddin Aulia is situated in New Delhi, about an hour’s drive from Delhi. On our arrival we went first to pay our respect at the shrine of this famous teacher and saint, whose teachings have reached as far as China and have been carried on through the centuries by an uninterrupted chain of successors and disciples. It is told of him that he lost his father and many relatives in childhood; his mother, being left alone to take care of him, was often so poor that she had nothing in the house to eat, and then she would remind her son, “Today, God is our host.” This training in reliance upon God and an enduring faith gave him his line in life; so his mother was his first Guru and Murshid. He grew to look forward to hearing her say these words, believing that he was thus strength­ened in steadfastness and mystical development, with trust and love towards Providence. His unswerving purpose, learned in childhood, is still the magnet that draws countless numbers to him; and we see that being true to an ideal in life makes man a king of life indeed…….. (page 146) The Dargah of Hazrat Inayat Khan is quite close to that of Nizamuddin Aulia and of the famous poetmusician Amir Khusrou; but it is in comparison much smaller, and to European eyes it might seem almost too unpretentious. A stone building, pinkish in colour, square and domed, it is from outside shaded by two great peepal trees. “Perhaps you would like to visit the tomb of Hazrat Inayat Khan?” the guardian had said. And he left us

to wait before the closed green door, while he went for the key to open it. Already I felt, as I stood there, as if I was about to meet my beloved comforter. Most of the visitors to the burial-ground had by now gone away, but the ground is surrounded by houses; quickly the news had spread and from the roofs and windows we saw people gathering to watch us, but in no idle curiosity. They guessed who we were, and sharing in our emotion, they were moved with kindness and sympathy towards us. Within the tomb, we saw the raised coffin. We read the inscription, written in English and Urdu: “Hazrat Inayat Khan, Founder of the Sufi Movement in the West……..” (page 147) One evening at dusk, as we were looking down from our balcony, we noticed a wandering dervish with his sitar in the street below. His features were wonderfully handsome, and there was something about him that attracted us so that we felt we should like to speak to him. So I went down to invite him and he at once followed me; the doorkeeper of the house showed him the way up by candlelight. A fine, peaceful face, a powerful and vigorous frame, he was a picture of health and well-being. He had the calm of strength, both physical and spiritual; well poised and well balanced. He sat on the floor before us and told us something of his life. He had come from Hydrabad on foot, crossing jungles and wild places. Once he had been taken by a fierce mountain tribe, but after deliberation they had let him go, leaving him with one of the two blankets he had carried with him. He sang for us and spoke to us of his philosophy. Such a man has applied the same concentration, which here in the West has produced wonders of mechanical invention, upon the understanding of the self. While the outer self only reaches the things on the surface, the mystic dives still deeper, thus leading towards the culmination of the inner self. What one actually is and the powers that one naturally possesses—these were his study. His solution was seen in his being: his composure, self-control, and discipline. He had solved the riddle of life, which is the seeking of the abstract philoso­phies, by discovering

Continued on page 18.

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Page 18 Continued from page 17.

his own capacities. Is life to work only? To eat and to drink? I asked myself. Some understanding of life we must have. This desire for understanding can be satisfied in learning different sciences and studies; but it can also be devoted to the purifying of the self. Many who start on this line may be drawn from it, by the intermingling of other motives. But absolute sincerity and purity give a clear vision, and a man may become a mirror in which he sees all things reflected clearly. (page 149) Often on our daily visits to the Dargah, we met the Pir in charge of the burial-ground. His special function is to edit and publish all that is written about the teachings of Nizamuddin Aulia by his disciples and followers, and to keep all these histories and records together and exact. His days are occupied in such work and in lecturing and teaching, his nights in prayer. Many young men come to sit at his feet and to learn from him, and when he asked us to his house we found him surrounded by people who were listening to him. He spoke of the work of Hazrat Inayat Khan, and said that in those European disciples, whom he had met, he had found an unusual understanding of things mystical, and this seemed to him an unique and miracu­lous thing. He spoke of the magic current of love that came from Hazrat Inayat Khan to his European mureeds; and the men and women around him listened attentively to his words, as he sat on a carpet in their midst. We felt ourselves much moved and impressed by him and his words. Walking with him in the burial-ground one day, he told us also how Hazrat Inayat Khan had pointed to the spot where his body now lies, saying: “I should like to live close by.” After we had been in Delhi some weeks, the Pir asked us to be present at a quwali, held in honour of Amir Khusrou, close to his shrine, and to give an address on the work of Hazrat Inayat Khan. A festival of this kind lasts throughout the day and night, for several days. The singers and musicians who gather there, each sing and play in turn. Numbers of people come to these sacred meetings; several thousands were present at the one to which we were bidden. On these occasions the railway station, called Hazrat

Nizamuddin Aulia, receives great numbers of devotees. (page 151) Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia had learned to endure poverty in his childhood; and when later he became rich, receiving many gifts from royal visitors who delighted to honour him, he still lived a life of simplicity, spending the wealth he received on the poor and*in giving hospitality to travellers. In the same way the Pir provides accommodation for those who come at such times. His house is quite close and there he lives a mystical life, in the old traditional way, where his ancestors lived before him. But at the quwali to which we were asked, a special enclosure had been erected for him and for certain guests. This Diwan Khana held about two hundred people, and through an opening in its walls one could see the shrines and the assembled crowds outside. It was about ten o’clock in the morning when a young student called for us, to take us to the quwali, and driving along beside him I felt unable to speak of my brother. “What an irreparable loss for the world, that such an illumina­ted soul should leave it,” he said to me. I could only bow my head in answer. Arrived at our destination, the eldest son of the Pir met us and brought us to our seats. There were a number of notabilities present that day: the representative of Mahatma Gandhi, the ex-Sultan of Morocco, many ulemas and shaikul-mashaiks, and dervishes, some wearing green turbans, some in brown and some in yellow robes. We both spoke in our turn on the work of Hazrat Inayat Khan, and the interest and responsive attitude shown by the assembled company for what we had to say, were inexpres­sibly touching. There followed a programme of songs and music. There is such power in music to bless; when intellect and will are still, then indeed they may be lifted upwards, carried by the soaring beauty to a realm where all is music, the music of the Eternal… (page 152) …the young man, who had come to take us to the meeting, brought us home again. He too had been caught up into the universal, the cosmic consciousness. “A thousand mureeds of Inayat Continued on page 19.

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Page 19 Continued from page 18.

Khan in the West equal ten hundred thousand in the East,” he said. “Surely these western mureeds,” he continued, “can and will do their part. Surely they will carry on the Message he left them.” And again he spoke of the irreparable loss to the world that such an illuminated being should have left it. He asked me for my blessing, “And I will never ask you or disturb you to give me anything more.” Some weeks later I paid my last visit to the Dargah of my revered brother, this time alone. We felt this parting would be too much for my companion to watch and endure. Strong and deep was my inner prayer. “This is you know my last homage to you, my Murshid, here; my only thought is that the message you left may spread far and wide, and that you will always send us illumination and inspire us. If I could bring even one person to an understanding of that Message, I would be quite content.” I felt almost as if I were speaking to him. I remembered too that after his own initiation, he went to the tomb of Moin-ud din Chisti. And as he was on his way there he passed a dervish, who whispered in his ear: “O, young man, do not be so restless and eager. Go on, but things will happen themselves and develop.” (page 153) The whispering of the dervish in his ear seemed to comfort him before the thought: “How great is my task, and how shall I begin it?” Among dervishes there is no idea of haste and despair, of time and place. (page 154) I felt as if I were speaking to my brother and saying to him: “You know our difficulties very well; how some take it and misunderstand.” And I had a feeling as if an answer came, steadying me in my resolution and conviction, with a promise of help. And I was lifted into a country of hope. There is a light hidden behind the clouds, a light that remains even when the eyes are looking at the dark colour of stormy clouds. Behind the confusion of life, a memory of this light once seen remains constant; of this light which suffuses that world above, that world of hope. It remains more visible than all in this seen world. “Patience,” I heard. And patience, I felt, will help me to dive into the innermost, deepest depths. Those depths touched,

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the knowledge must remain an unutterable mystery, except in the manner that one may translate it into one’s life, for others to see and to know. To go to a tomb or a shrine is to be comforted according to the force of our desire and our responsiveness. That the body is resting there has its own significance, and is more than a feeling. But to live for his message is to live with him. In his message, he is living. To live for that keeps one near him. The shrine brings one to the consciousness of the inner being, and devotion to a shrine kindles the inner light. There is such a happy optimism in this experience; hope awakens, strength is aroused and sends one out renewed. As the poet says: “As my wondering eyes looked at the holy shrine, I heard from within me in that stillness, softly arising, a gentle whisper­ing, a voice saying: ‘Do you not know me? I am the eye of the shrine.’” One’s own voice is the voice, one’s own eyes are the eyes of the shrine. To retain balance and the dignity of the human being, to develop every human possibility, but towards a perfection that is natural, this is the Sufi way. To attract by strange ways, to hold and fascinate the people by some peculiar idea, may mean a development that is an exaggeration and is going against nature. Whatever is natural to develop, that is beautiful. The real success is in durability and is lasting. The mystic therefore can be wide awake in the world. Though not a slave to things material, the outer life may be one of balance and human dignity and beauty, and the human reason made greater by that eternal Light which is the knowledge of the Will of God. (page 155) This is the conclusion of the book and it is a beautiful way to end it. I have had the privilege of being in the Dargah twice and I hope to visit it at least one more time. I would urge any of you with the means and ability to visit the Dargah, at least once, as it can be a very rewarding, although challenging, thing to do. You will come home with a greater sense of purpose and a much greater appreciation of your spiritual and secular life. Taken from: ‘Pages in the Life of a Sufi’ by Musharaff Moulamia Khan. Published by East-West Publications (UK) Ltd., London/The Hague

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THE SUFI MESSAGE OF BALANCE & HEALING A celebration of 102 years of the Sufi Message of Love, Harmony and Beauty in the west. “My body, heart and soul radiate the healing spirit of God.” “Balance my life, that I may know and act right.”

4pm Fri 14th to 12 noon Tuesday 18th September, 2012 At The Chevalier Resource Centre 1 Roma Ave, Kensington, Sydney NSW 2033 (Parking onsite). The retreat will be guided by experienced leaders of the Sufi Movement in Australia and include a focus on healing and balancing our lives.

Cost: $480 includes retreat, meals, accommodation, linen and parking. For further information please contact: Hamida - 02 9387 5263 m 0420 302 739, Or Shakti -

REGISTRATION To register, please email participant name and phone to Shakti, and you will receive program, map, dietary needs & next of kin contact forms. Please pay deposit $50 by 10th August, full payment by Friday7th September 2012 to Commonwealth Bank, Brandon Park Branch, Sufi Movement in Australia Inc, BSB 063 587 Account number 10251994,

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collect all that is good and beautiful

November 5-12, 2012 An eight-day retreat at the Dargah of Hazrat Inayat Khan, New Delhi, India Under the guidance of Murshid Nawab Pasnak When a person is absorbed in self, he has no time to build his character; but when he forgets himself, he collects all that is good and beautiful. This is the key to the whole of life, both to worldly success and to spiritual attainment.

The angels were made to sing the praises of the Lord; the jinns to imagine, to dream, to meditate; but man is created to show humanity in his character. —Hazrat Inayat Khan—

This retreat on the theme of building character is for mureeds of Hazrat Inayat Khan; some experience with the teaching style of the retreat guide is recommended. Each day involves both group practice and suggested individual exercises. The retreat is limited to fifteen places. Cost, Deposit and Accommodation: The retreat fee is INR38,000/-, or the equivalent, with 50% due upon registration, and the balance payable upon arrival at the Dargah. The fee includes food and accommodation for ten days (the retreat plus two days extra) staff gratuities, a contribution to the Staff Welfare Fund, and a donation to the Dargah. Additional contributions and donations are of course welcome. Extra days of accommodation can be arranged at a modest cost. Accommodation will be either in the Dargah retreat house or a nearby guest-house. Food and lodging are simple, Indian style, but most rooms have western style toilets. Please note that during the retreat, accommodation can only be provided for retreat participants; those planning on further travel in India with friends or family should arrange to meet them before or after the retreat. Arrival: When planning your travel, please be aware that because of staff holidays we will not be able to accept guests at the Dargah before November 1st. Health and Visas: When planning your trip, remember that all foreigners require a visa to enter India; a simple tourist visa is usually the easiest to obtain. Also, you may wish to discuss your trip with a doctor or travel clinic. Registration and Information: Currency regulations in some countries may make it difficult to transfer a deposit, in which case please let us know. To register, or to request further information, please contact Nirtan Ekaterina Pasnak at

NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE Nuria Daly Phone: 03 9561 4861 Email: VICE-PRESIDENT Celia Genn Phone: 07 5494 0724 Email: SECRETARY Sabura Allen Phone: 08 9533 4658 Email: TREASURER Azad Daly Phone: 03 9561 4861 Email: INTERNATIONAL SUFI MOVEMENT CONTACTS GENERAL REPRESENTATIVES 24 Banstraat, 2517 GJ The Hague, Netherlands Phone: +31 70 3657 664 Email: GENERAL SECRETARIAT 78 Anna Pulownastraat, 2518 BJ The Hague, Netherlands Phone: +31 70 346 1594 Email: SUFI MOVEMENT WEB SITES International: Australia:

REGIONAL CONTACTS AND REPRESENTATIVES ACT Talibah Josephine Lolicato Phone: 02 6297 5107 Email: NSW – GRAY’S POINT Kafia Airey Phone: 02 9525 0137 Email: NSW – NEW ENGLAND Karim and Bahkti Parkhurst Phone: 0429 996950 Email: NSW – SYDNEY Hamida Janice Phone: 02 9387 5263 Email: NSW – ROCK VALLEY Zubin Shore Phone: 0478 679 533 Email: QLD – GLASSHOUSE MOUNTAINS Celia Genn Phone: 07 5494 0724 Email: TASMANIA Habiba Aubert Phone: 03 6223 6085 VICTORIA – MELBOURNE Nuria Daly (details above) EDITOR, Spirit Matters Sakina Kara Jacob Phone: 0448 839641 Email:

Spirit Matters Autumn 2012  

The newsletter of the Sufi Movement in Australia.

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