At the heart of this form of Sufism lie the ideals of Love, Harmony and Beauty. The message of Western Sufism was brought to the Wes by the Indian mystic Hazrat Inayat Khan at the beginning of the last century.
Sufism is not a new religion. One of the central ideals of Sufism is the honouring of the Unity of the various religious paths. In Hazrat Inayat Khan's own words: "Sufism is only a light thrown upon one's own religion like a light brought into a room where everything one wants to be is to be found, and where the only thing that was needed was light."
At the beginning of the 90's I met Western Sufism through a book. I read through it in a wink, and could not believe my eyes. I read and could hardly believe that finally everything I had been looking for and of which I had given up hope of finding was laid down before me in this book. The book was called "The world of Thought" by Hazrat Inayat Khan. At the end of the book there were the 10 Sufi Thoughts and 3 Sufi Purposes
There is one God, the Eternal and none exists save God.
There is one Master, the Guiding Spirit of all souls, who constantly leads humanity toward the light.
There is one Holy Book, the Sacred Manuscript of nature, the only scripture which can enlighten the reader.
There is one Religion, the unswerving progress in the right direction toward the ideal, which fulfils the lifes purpose of every soul.
There is one Law, the Law of Reciprocity, which can be observed by a selfless conscience together with a sense of awakened justice.
There is one Brother-Sisterhood, the human brother-sisterhood, which unites the children of the earth indiscriminately in the parenthood of God.
There is one Moral Principle, the love which springs forth from self-denial, and blooms in the deeds of beneficence.
There is one Object of Praise, the beauty with uplifts the heart of its worshipper through all aspecs from the seen to the Unseen.
There is One Truth, the true knowledge of our being, within and without, which is the essence of all wisdom.
There is One Path, the annihilation of the false ego in the Real, which raises the mortal to immortality and which resides in all perfection.
The 3 Sufi Aims
1. To realize and spread the knowledge of unity, the religion of love and wisdom, so that the bias of faiths and beliefs may of itself fall away, the human heart may overflow with love, and all hatred caused by distinctions and differences may be rooted out.
2. To discover the light and power latent in humankind, the secret of all religion, the power of mysticism and the essence of philosophy, without interfering with customs or beliefs.
3. To help bring the world's two opposite poles, East and West, closer together by the interchange of thought and ideals, that the universal brother-sisterhood may form of itself, and people may meet with people beyond the narrow national and racial boundaries.
The Sufi's hold a service called Univerals Worship. It is a service where all the various religious paths are represented and honoured on ONE ALTAR. Candles are lit for the various different religious paths. According to the theme of the service and who is leading it may be that there are passages read from the various Holy Scriptures, or that Mantras from the various paths are sung and or danced. There may also be a reading linking all the paths and scriptures to modern day life and how we can embody this wonderful message. Unity in Diversity.
I also hold Sufi zikr evenings at home. This is a meditative and mystic practise whereby we experience the Unity of all by singing mantras/wazaif (the 99 names of God). For more information see under activities.