Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Inayat Khan, aka Hazrat Inayat Khan, fully Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

Indian Teacher of Sufism, Musician, Teacher, Founder of The Sufi Order in the West (now called the Sufi Order International)

"For everything there is a time, so there comes a time for the unfolding of the soul - but the period of that development depends upon the speed of the progress man makes through life."

"Progress is life, standing still is death."

"What is called sympathy, kindness, mercy, goodness, pity, compassion, gentleness, humanity, appreciation, gratefulness, and service - in reality, it is love."

"According to his evolution, man knows the truth; and the more he knows, the more he finds there is to know."

"All that produces longing in the heart deprives the heart of freedom. "

"All the disharmony of the world caused by religious differences is the result of man's failure to understand that religion is One, truth is One, God is One; How can there be two religions?"

"An unsuccessful man often keeps success away by the impression of his former failures."

"Among a million believers in God there is scarcely one who makes God a reality."

"As a child learning to walk falls a thousand times before he can stand, and after that falls again and again until at last he can walk, so are we as little children before God."

"God speaks to the ears of every heart, but it is not every heart that hears Him."

"As one can see when the eyes are open, so one can understand when the heart is open."

"In order to learn forgiveness, man must first learn tolerance."

"Insight into life is the real religion, which alone can help men to understand life."

"As the rose blooms amidst thorns, so great souls shine out through all opposition."

"Don't be concerned about being disloyal to your pain by being joyous. "

"Intellect is the knowledge obtained by experience of names and forms; wisdom is the knowledge which manifests only from the inner being; to acquire intellect one must delve into studies, but to obtain wisdom, nothing but the flow of divine mercy is needed; it is as natural as the instinct of swimming to the fish, or of flying to the bird. Intellect is the sight which enables one to see through the external world, but the light of wisdom enables one to see through the external into the internal world. "

"Is a Sufi a follower of Islam? The word Islam means 'peace'; this is the Arabic word. The Hebrew word is Salem (Jeru-salem). Peace and its attainment in all directions is the goal of the world."

"Many people of various beliefs and faiths have written about the practice of the presence of God, and all speak of the happiness they receive from being in His presence. So it is no wonder that the Sufi also, should he wish to speak of it, should testify to similar happiness. He does not claim to a greater happiness than his fellow men because he is a human being and subject to all the shortcomings of mankind. But at the same time others can decide about his happiness better even than his words can tell it. The happiness which is experienced in God has no equal in anything in the world, however precious it may be, and everyone who experiences it will realize the same."

"In the world today many people think that one can do without religion, and that they themselves have outgrown religion by reason of their evolution. Many have no religious belief, and therefore the world has never been in a more chaotic condition. No doubt one finds in tradition and in history that in the name of religion the selfishness and ignorance of mankind have been given free reign. This is the reason why man, revolting against this state of things, has forsaken religion and forgotten that spirit which, in the name of religion, has also played its part in the world."

"Religion is a need of the human soul. In all periods and at every stage of the evolution of humanity there has been a religion which people followed, for at every period the need for religion has been felt. The reason is that the soul of man has several deep desires, and these desires are answered by religion."

"The religion of the Sufi is not separate from the religions of the world. People have fought in vain about the names and lives of their saviors, and have named their religions after the name of their savior, instead of uniting with each other in the truth that is taught. This truth can be traced in all religions, whether one community calls another pagan or infidel or heathen. Such persons claim that theirs is the only scripture, and their place of worship the only abode of God. Sufism is a name applied to a certain philosophy by those who do not accept the philosophy; hence it cannot really be described as a religion; it contains a religion but is not itself a religion. Sufism is a religion if one wishes to learn religion from it. But it is beyond religion, for it is the light, the sustenance of every soul, raising the mortal being to immortality."

"We start our lives as teachers, and it is very hard for us to learn to become pupils. There are many whose only difficulty in life is that they are teachers already. What we have to learn is pupilship. There is but one Teacher, God Himself."

"You can have all good things - wealth, friends, kindness, love to give and love to receive - once you have learned not to be blinded by them, learned to escape from disappointment, and from repugnance at the idea that things are not as you want them to be."

"What is a Sufi? Strictly speaking, every seeker after the ultimate truth is really a Sufi, whether he calls himself that or not. But as he seeks truth according to his own particular point of view, he often finds it difficult to believe that others, from their different points of view, are yet seeking the same truth, and always with success, though to a varying degree. That is in fact the point of view of the Sufi and it differs from others only in its constant endeavor to comprehend all others as within itself. It seeks to realize that every person, following his own particular line in life, nevertheless fits into the scheme of the whole and finally attains not only his own goal, but the one final goal of all."

"Warmth melts, while cold freezes. A drop of ice in a warm place spreads and covers a larger space, whereas a drop of water in a cold place freezes and becomes limited. Repentance has the effect of spreading a drop in a warm sphere, causing the heart to expand and become universal, while the hardening of the heart brings limitation."

"Very often in everyday life one sees that by losing one's temper with someone who has already lost his, one does not gain anything but only sets out upon the path of stupidity. He who has enough self-control to stand firm at the moment when the other person is in a temper, wins in the end. It is not he who has spoken a hundred words aloud who has won; it is he who has perhaps spoken only one word. "

"The first desire is the search for the ideal. There comes a time when man seeks for a more complete justice than he finds among men, and when he seeks for someone on whom he can rely more surely than he can on his friends in the world. There comes a time when man feels a desire to open his heart to a Being who is above human beings and who can understand his heart."

"The soul of all is one soul, and the truth is one truth, under whatever religion it is hidden… The souls of all are from one and the same source but a soul which is unveiled shines out. Love and light come continually from such souls. We need no proof of it for it is living all else is dead in comparison. "

"With the maturity of his soul, a man desires to probe the depths of life, he desires to discover the power latent within him, he longs to know the sources and goal of his life, he yearns to understand the aim and meaning of his life, he wishes to understand the inner significance of things, and he wants to uncover all that is covered by name and form. He seeks insight into cause and effect, he wants to touch the mystery of time and space, and he wishes to find the missing link between God and man — where man ends, where God begins."

"The first step towards forgiveness is to forget."

"There are two aspects of individual harmony: the harmony between body and soul, and the harmony between individuals. All the tragedy in the world, in the individual and in the multitude, comes from lack of harmony. And harmony is the best given by producing harmony in one's own life. "

"As water in a fountain flows as one stream, but falls in many drops divided by time and space, so are the revelations of the one stream of truth."

"To a Sufi, revelation is the inherent property of every soul. There is an unceasing flow of the divine stream, which has neither beginning nor end."

"At the cost of one failure, the wise learn the lesson for the whole of life."

"Be contented with what you possess in life; be thankful for what does not belong to you, for it is so much care the less; but try to obtain what you need in life, and make the best of every moment of your life. "

"By our trust in the divine beauty in every person we develop that beauty in ourselves. "

"Discussion is for those who say, what I say is right, and what you say is wrong. A sage never says such a thing hence, there is no discussion"

"Belief and disbelief have divided mankind into so many sects, blinding its eyes to the vision of the oneness of all life."

"Concentration and contemplation are great things; but no contemplation is greater than the life we have about us every day."

"Divine sound is the cause of all manifestation. The knower of the mystery of sound knows the mystery of the whole universe. "

"Do not bemoan the past, do not worry about the future, but try to make the best of today."

"Earthly knowledge is as clouds dimming the sight, and it is the breaking of these clouds - in other words, purity of heart - that gives the capacity for the knowledge of God to rise."

"Do not fear God, but consciously regard His Pleasure and Displeasure."

"Every man's desire is according to his evolution; that which he is ready for, is the desirable "

"Every man's path is for himself; let him accomplish his own desires that he may thus be able to rise above them to the eternal goal."

"Every being has a definite vocation and his vocation is the light that illuminates his life. The man who disregards his vocation is as a lamp unlit."

"Every man's pursuit is according to his evolution."

"Every moment has its special message."

"Every purpose has a birth and death; therefore, God is beyond purpose."

"Everyone's pursuit is according to one's evolution."