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Biography, Autobiography, Journal and Anecdotes

Biographical Sketches of Principal Workers

Sheikh Ahsan ul Haq
He was present at the International Headquarters of the Sufi Movement, Geneva, at the International Council-meeting and at the Esoteric Council-meeting, held in September 1925.
In his speech on Viladat Day 1925 at Suresnes, Pir-o-Murshid mentioned him and said: "We hear that Sheikh Ahsan ul Haq has commenced Sufi activities in Delhi by editing a Sufi Magazine, which gives us hope of the Message spreading throughout India." From the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Miss Angela Alt
She encountered Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan in London and was initiated by him. After Murshid's first visit to Italy in 1923, Miss Alt conducted the group of new mureeds there. Then she was given the charge of the Movement in Italy.
In his speech on Viladat Day 1925 at Suresnes, Pir-o-Murshid spoke about her in the following appreciative words: "The first person who began the work in Italy was Miss Angela Alt, to whom the credit of introducing the Message there will always be due. The delicacy and tact with which the Italian people must be met, were ready in her nature. She has never made them think her an outsider ..." At the Summerschools at Suresnes, after the interviews, Angela Alt gave a short explanation of the exercises to mureeds to whom practices or additional exercises had been given at those interviews. She did this on Murshid's request.
Some of the older mureeds, present at the Summerschool at Suresnes in those days, remember her at the piano composing music for the sayings about incense from the Gayan.
The biographical sketch about Murshida Sophia Green, also to be found in this Biography, has been written by Angela Alt.
From the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Mr. R. A. L. Armstrong (Khalif Mumtaz)
I was born in England in 1892 and educated at St. Paul's School and Oxford University.
The first time I came in contact with Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan was in Switzerland in 1921, after a long study of the Persian Sufism. I joined the Sufi Order and was initiated by Pir-o-Murshid in 1921. That same year I was appointed Murshid's private Financial Secretary. Then I became a member of the first Executive Committee of the Sufi Movement and was therefore signatory of the Constitution of the Movement when it was legalized in October 1923 at Geneva. In that same month I was ordained a Cherag.
Then I went to South America, lectured on Sufism in Argentine and held the first Service of Universal Worship in South America in November 1924.
In March I was appointed by Murshid to be the Editor of the newly founded magazine "The Sufi Quarterly" and I was made Secretary to the Press Bureau.
In 1925 and 1926 Murshid initiated me as a Sheikh and a Khalif and in 1925 I was made the National Representative for South America.
On 20th September 1926 Murshid consecrated my marriage to Lakme van Hogendorp at Geneva.
From data sent by him to Sakina Furnee at Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan's request.

Mr. George Baum (Sheikh)
The only data about him which could be found in the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation are that in 1923 Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan made him a Sheikh and ordained him a Cherag.

Bryn Beorse (Björset) (Shamcher)
In October 1923 when I was 27 years old and had traveled all over India looking for a teacher of Yoga, which I had studied from when eight years old, Sirkar van Stolk telephoned to me in Oslo: Would I translate a lecture to be given at the Oslo University by the World's greatest mystic? "We know that you have traveled in India ..." A Theosophist friend insisted on going to the Grand Hotel together, where Inayat Khan was staying. I was irritated: this friend, too talkative, would ball up my serious interview about how to proceed with the translation – sentence by sentence or a script? Wondering how I would be able to get in my practical questions amid the heavy spiritual artillery fire I expected from my friend, I entered the room, a worried man. – Inayat Khan looked up at us with laughing eyes. "Shall we have silence?" The gentle, sincere, almost apologetic tone of his voice contrasted the startling sense of his words. With a graceful bow he asked us to sit down. We seated ourselves in opposite corners of a sofa and he sat down between us and closed his eyes. So did we... . I woke up, refreshed, when a bell rang. The interview was over, not a word was exchanged.
Next evening Inayat Khan gave his lecture and I translated it, after it had been given in full, without taking notes. People said I did not miss a word. I don't know how.
I told him I liked his Message but I was already a member of the Theosophical Society and the Order of the Star in the East, so of course I could not join him. "No, of course not." Four days later he came back from a trip. I said: "I think my membership in those other organizations was a preparation for something to come. I believe this may have come now. May I join you?" "With great pleasure." Then he gave me practices and initiated me in a railway compartment. The people around us seemed unaware of what was going on.
I had played with God as a lusty playmate from early childhood, so could never be quite as serious and awed as some other mureeds and once, in the middle of the first Summer School in Paris, I suggested to Inayat Khan that perhaps I was not really fit for this life. He reassured me smilingly that I was, and protected me against assaults by other mureeds, in very subtle ways. Murshida Green had asked us "What does Murshid mean to you?" "Well," said I, "a friend, an example." "Oh you don't understand at all. Murshid is so much more than all that." That same evening Murshid gave a talk but before he started he looked thoughtful, then said: "Before I start my talk I want to mention that sometimes a teacher's best friends become his worst enemies – by lifting him up onto a pedestal and making of him an inhuman monster instead of what he is and wants to be: Just a friend, an example ..." Nevertheless, I want to ask forgiveness for my lack of respect. I even once asked Inayat whether we could give up the "Sufi" name on the Message since people misunderstood it for some Muslim sect. He said: "It could happen. But for the time being the name seems right to me, and if we did not put a name on ourselves, others would put a name on us and it might be worse." More important is that Inayat pushed into my mind worlds of impulses that will take me eons to unravel and use.
When mureeds asked if Sufis should not be pacifists, Inayat replied: "If people of goodwill lay down their arms today, they will still fight: they will be forced to fight, and not in defense of their ideals any longer, but against them." In September 1926 I saw Inayat for the last time. I said: "I look forward to seeing you next summer." "From now on," he replied, "you will meet me in your intuition." Then, during the first days of February 1927 I had a strange urge to travel to Suresnes, a three-four day trip by boat and rail from Norway. When I arrived others had had the same urge. Early on fifth February came the answer to why we had come. Now the Message was with us.
Inayat Khan often said "Mureeds who have never met me, never seen me, will often be closer to me than you, who know me as a person". I am meeting such mureeds, closer to him, every day.
Berkeley, CA. U.S.A. From Shamcher's autobiographical data. 27th July 1977.

Cecil Eric Britten Best (Sheikh Shahbaz)
Cecil Eric Britten Best was born in Leytonstone, England, in 1882, one of a family of 13, educated at Ardingley College and trained as a banker, By the end of World War I he had had a chequered career both in England and overseas as banker, merchant, miner, soldier, editor and semi-professional singer.
A free thinker from early adolescence, it was while serving as Syllabus Secretary in the Theosophical Society in 1916 that he met both his future wife and the Sufi Master Inayat Khan. The encounter with the latter had a profound influence on his life. Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan gave him the name "Shahbaz", literally meaning "royal falcon" but in his case meaning "carrier of the Message", and for the next 30 years Shahbaz strove to advance the Sufi Cause in Brazil, to which country he returned as a Bank official.
His first book: "Genesis Revised", was written after eleven years' study of Fabre D'Olivet's "The Hebraic Tongue Restored". "The Drama of the Soul" followed. It was the crowning piece of a life of deep thought and reflection.
Shahbaz Best returned to live in England in 1952 and died in Southampton in his 92nd year.
These data have been sent to the Nekbakht Foundation on its request by Sheikh Shahbaz's eldest daughter Joyce Best.

Martha Burkhardt
She was born on 30th April 1874 at Aarau, Switzerland. She studied painting in Paris and München and from the age of 20 was interested in religion. In 1911 and 1912 she traveled in the Far East, visiting many prominent sacred places in India, China and Japan. Then she returned to her mother at Rapperswil, wrote books and articles about the different religions and founded several charity Societies. She had her spiritual rebirth on 29th April 1922 and entered the Order of the Sufis in 1923.
From data sent by her at Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan's request to Sakina Furnee.

Edward Patrick Augustine Connaughton (Khalif)
I was born in 1887 at Manorhamilton in Ireland as the youngest son of John Connaughton, District Inspector of the Royal Irish Constabulary, and Hannah McFadden. I was educated at public schools and in 1904 entered the Ulster Bank Ltd. in Belfast. Four years later I resigned and associated with Messrs. Elders & Fyffes, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands. I was brought up a Catholic but at the age of 21 became interested in psychic research and spent some years attending seances, lectures and reading about the subject; this lead to the study of comparative religion. In 1912 I left Messrs. Elders & Fyffes and in that same year married Ethel Marion Pritchard Davies and we had one son. During the World War I I assisted in military hospitals and worked in the British Consular Service. More and more the need was felt for self-development and direction and early in 1915 I read about Sufism and called at the Sufi rooms in London, but Murshid was away in the country. In September 1915 we left for California and in 1918 I was initiated into Sufism by Murshida Martin at San Francisco. During a visit to England in the summer of 1919 I was initiated as Khalif by Pir-o-Murshid. My wife died in 1921 and two years later I married Angela Theresa Sieys in San Francisco. When Murshid came to New York in 1923, I went there to meet him. Between 1919 and 1925 I studied landscape painting and opened a rare bookshop in Santa Barbara, California. A few years later I opened an art studio and entered real estate business.
From Khalif Connaughton's autobiographical data.

Mr. David Craig (Sheikh)
He was an Englishman living in Rome where he was working for "British Airways". In November 1923 he met Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan in Italy and was initiated by him. In August 1924 he came to the Summerschool at Suresnes and was ordained a Cherag. One year later, during the Summerschool, Murshid made him a Sheikh.
In his speech on Viladat Day 1925 at Suresnes, Pir-o-Murshid said: "... Later on Mr. and Mrs. Craig joined forces and arranged my visit to Rome most successfully (February 1925). They are now carrying out admirably the work of the Message there in Rome." From the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Mrs. Marya Cushing (Sheikha Khushi)
This American mureed came to the first Summerschool held at Suresnes in 1922 where she was initiated by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. During Murshid's second visit to the United States from the end of February to the beginning of June 1923 she helped to organize his lecture-tour, specially in New York. Khushi then took down many of Murshid's lectures in shorthand.
She was made a Sheikha and Murshid asked her to form a group in New York. In a letter to Pir-o-Murshid of 25th June 1923, she wrote: "I confess I have not much inspiration just now as to how the work can be made to grow in New York, but feel certain that as it is God's work. He will send out the call to the hearts ready and waiting for it, and show me how to reach them. The most important thing is that we all here, particularly myself, shall become illuminated by the Divine Wisdom so as to be proper channels for the Message. For this I pray every day." From the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Miss Jessie Eliza Dowland (Khalifa Nargis)
Khalifa Nargis Dowland was the head of the Polygon House Hotel in Southampton, England, and seems to have been an efficient and capable manager. In 1919 Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan initiated her and then she put this same efficiency also into the work for the Sufi Order and Movement in England. Her help and assistance to Pir-o-Murshid at the time when this was most needed, during the troublesome period following World War I, were invaluable. All sorts of difficulties were accumulating and threatened the newly started work for the Sufi Message in England. Nargis became National Representative of England in 1921, which function she held until 1933.
Besides her capacity of organization and of handling practical affairs, she developed an extraordinary sensitiveness and had outstanding heart qualities. This enabled her to become an excellent sound-board for the Sufi Message. She understood the inner meaning of Murshid's words, even received Murshid's thoughts often and wrote them down in her own language as "Murshid's inner Teachings as received in the Silence and rendered by Nargis". (These are words directly inspired by Pir-o-Murshid.) Her sympathy for other mureeds was deep and touching and her desire to be helpful to Pir-o-Murshid was boundless. In a letter to Murshid of 1st November 1920 she wrote: "I am very well and in spite of all the difficulties feel quite happy and peaceful, except that I do not know how you are situated and whether you are needing anything. Will you give me your confidence and tell me which way I can help most... . My earnest desire is to do whatever will help to spread the Message in the way you wish most, even if this means that you have to be away from us. Of course I miss you dreadfully and it is a great disappointment to miss your classes this winter. While life lasts I shall never be able to show my gratitude for all you have done for me and can only hope to show it in some small measure by service. I am afraid you are having a terrible time still, all the forces of evil seem trying to stop the work and upon you alone the burden falls." She wrote three books: "Between the Desert and the Sown", "At the Gate of Discipleship" and "The lifted Veil". In her own words these books are meant to be "some practical teachings for aspirants to discipleship, inscribed by Nargis". Moreover she founded the "Sufi Book Depot" at Southampton. Throughout the Second World War she continued to live in Southampton and once wrote to Miss Angela Alt: "The Wisemans' shop has been demolished entirely, in fact the whole town has almost. They are trying to get a place in Portswood near here. There was no fire fortunately, so they have salvaged a good deal, although everything is covered with dust and dirt. The odd thing is that the very first things which were found are my books and later some of Murshid's and all these are only dusty; I have them all here now... ." In another letter to Angela Alt she wrote: "I am sure the seeds he broadcasted are taking root. Everywhere I can see it ... . Much more will be seen after the war has ended and the beginning of the New Age starts. You have done a great deal, don't feel worried if you have to stop any definite Sufi work. The real Message Murshid brought will be given in quite a different form from the Sufi Order as we know it, of that I feel sure." She continued to gather around her the mureeds until her passing away at Southampton on the 29th of December 1953.
From Miss Dowland's letters to Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan and from the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Emilien Dussaq (Khalif Talewar)
He was born in Havana (Cuba) in 1882 as the son of Maurice C. Dussaq and Maria Luisa Fischer. In 1921 he married in Paris and had four children. In 1921 he divorced in Vevey (Switzerland). He became a member of the Sufi Order in 1921 and was initiated by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. In October 1922 he was given the charge of General Secretary of the Sufi Movement at Geneva. From 1922 to 1924 he was Acting National Representative for Switzerland of the Sufi Movement. In October 1923 Pir-o-Murshid ordained him a Cherag. He also participated in other activities of the Sufi Movement.
He married a second time in January 1924 in Geneva (Marie Isabelle Lussy), and the religious ceremony was performed by Murshid at the Hague two days later at the residence of Mr. H. P. Baron van Tuyll van Serooskerken, the National Representative of the Sufi Movement in Holland. On this same day Taiewar became a Khalif at the hands of Pir-o-Murshid and three months later Murshid ordained him a Siraj in Bern, Switzerland. In his speech on Viladat Day 1925 at Suresnes Pir-o-Murshid said: "It is a great consolation to feel that the General Secretary of our Movement, Khalif Dussaq, has worked through all difficulties and has won our confidence and trust every day more and more in conjunction with his worthy sister Countess Pieri." From data sent at Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan's request to Sakina Furnee and from the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Murshida Fazal Mai Egeling
I was born on 27th March 1861 in the Netherlands. (Murshida Fazal Mai first describes her childhood and youth which were happy – in spite of the early loss of her loving parents – and her equally happy married life. She got a Christian orthodox education and later on became a member of the Theosophical Lodge.) After my husband had passed away I went to Switzerland to live near Lausanne with friends. One day I received a letter from a friend, telling me that he had been elected as the secretary of Murshid Inayat Khan and that he accompanied Murshid, who was traveling in Switzerland to give a series of lectures, and who intended to give a lecture at Lausanne. My friend asked me to assist and so it happened that I was among the audience when Murshid came on the platform. Instantly the revelation came to me: "That is the Master I have been waiting for and whom I have hoped fervently to have the privilege to see one day." It was this revelation that decided my further life, for there was for me but one step to take to become a mureed and to devote my life to the Master and his work.
When Murshid, on his next visit to Switzerland, proposed to me to come and live with him and his family, I did not hesitate for a single moment and answered: "Yes Murshid, I will come and live with you." – Then I arranged everything for moving to Suresnes, where I arrived half April 1922 and was received by Begum and the children, Murshid and the brothers being in Holland. We liked one another from the beginning and when Murshid and the brothers arrived, we were instantly aware that we were of one spirit and that we had one Ideal: to devote our life to the great Cause of humanity. The day of my arrival at Suresnes, Begum had given me a letter from Murshid in which he told me that my Sufi-name would be "Fazal Mai" meaning "Blessed Mother" and that our house would be called "Fazal Manzil", meaning "Blessed House".
A blessed time for me and the few mureeds who were in Suresnes were the Summer-classes in the garden of Fazal Manzil that first year, when we were sitting in a circle under the trees listening to the lectures Murshid gave us. Then during the next two years the summer-classes were given in the same way only with more mureeds.
On the morning of Viladat-day (5th July) 1922 I received my ordination as a Cheraga and on Christmas-day of the same year Murshid made me a Siraja.
At the beginning of December 1922 I started the first Sunday-service in Fazal Manzil, which I have officiated from that time on every Sunday at 4.30 in the afternoon.
On Viladat-day 1923 I became a Shefayat and later on Kefayat and started once a week a private healing-group.
These two services in their simplicity and at the same time in their deep meaning, have become most precious to my heart. To me as a whole they are a meditation, an upliftment, a revelation to a greater consciousness, to a higher state of being. The Supreme Lord, the Illuminated Souls, whose words I pass on to the audience, are a reality to me and I know that I am cooperating with them and that they surround me when I am officiating.
On the morning of Christmas-day 1923 Murshid made me a Murshida and from that date on, every morning, a Blessing goes out from Fazal Manzil to the workers and the mureeds of every country. Beginning with the Messenger I bless with "Fazal" first those of India and America then Belgium, Holland, England, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, to end with Fazal Manzil, embracing them all together in one love-chord. I look at them all as to my children, sending them my loving thoughts, being happy when they are happy, praying for them in their illnesses and troubles. More and more I realize the privilege to be trusted by my Murshid with this precious trust, working in the inner planes to help to uplift mankind, to bring heaven nearer to earth and to bless my fellow men, whenever I feel inclined to do so.
Last summer I had a glorious vision of Murshid as the Buddha. I saw him as he used to sit before us in the silence. At both sides of him there were the mureeds in the shape of long rays of light. Around and above Murshid was a splendid colored light crowded with beautiful beings, who were radiating just as Murshid, and at his feet the whole humanity looking up at him. A big light came from above and shone upon the whole in different colors: golden, silvery and purple, at the bottom in a darker shade.
There is not much to say about the many difficulties I have had in my life; for when troubles have passed we look at them in a different way; then they are only important in so far as we know that we have gained wisdom by these very difficulties. Every sorrow as well as every pleasure has its value as a teacher. It is all given to find in the end our own self, to find the Christ within our own heart.
"Soli Deo Gloria" "Fazal" to every living being.
27 March 1926 From Murshida Fazal Mai's autobiographical sketch.
Murshida Fazal Mai passed away on 27th December 1939, at Arnhem, the Netherlands, at the age of 79.
From the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Madame M. C. la Baronne d' Eichthal (Sheikha)
As far as we can ascertain, Madame d'Eichthal became a mureed of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan in or even before 1921. In 1923 she was made a Sheikha and in 1925 a Siraja. From 1924 to 1929 she was the National Representative for France of the Sufi Movement and from 1926 to 1929 she was the Editor of the Magazine "Soufisme". She passed away in April 1929. In her apartment in Paris she gathered mureeds and friends and Murshid has often given lectures there.
In his speech on Viladat Day 1925 at Suresnes Pir-o-Murshid said the following appreciative words about her: "We are thankful for our venerated friend and esteemed collaborator Baroness d'Eichthal who has been the backbone of the Movement in France. Had it not been for her unceasing efforts to hold fast and further the Cause in France, where should we have been? She has not only been a great help in bringing out Sufi literature in French, but she has also generously shaped our new establishment of the Summerschool." From the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Fatha Earl Engle
Fatha Earl Engle was born in central Indiana, U.S.A. in 1888, orphaned at the age of five years, and reared by an Indiana farmer, a hard and thorough task-master. He received vigorous and intensive training from the age of six years through twenty-nine in every kind of work entailed in agricultural life. After graduating from high school, and being of a studious nature, he continued his education in studies of scientific farming, psychology, philosophy and English. Due to hard work and exposure, his health became impaired and he went to Colorado where he regained his health, and for the first time experienced the freedom from a life of enslavement and domination. From the age of twenty-nine to thirty-five Fatha traveled and gained valuable experience of human life and nature as well as some understanding of business and industry and human relationships.
At the age of thirty-one, following a profound religious experience, he became deeply interested in religion and philosophy, their inner significance and their real meaning in human life. Fatha then studied for one and a half years with Murshida Rabia Martin and became a disciple of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan under whose personal guidance he again spent one and a half years.
Early in 1923 Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan arrived in America for a lecture tour of the large cities. He was due to arrive in San Francisco and Murshida Martin and her pupils were filled with a great joy and expectancy. On his first day in San Francisco Murshida had arranged for each of her pupils to have a private interview with Pir-o-Murshid. Fatha's appointment at the hotel was for 10 a.m. As he was riding – joyfully riding on the cable-car on the way downtown, a wonderful experience of illumination took place. It seemed to him that the streets, the houses, the cable-car, everything was of shining gold; he seemed to be riding on a golden car through golden streets of a golden city; and the illumination continued right up to the hotel entrance. When he was ushered into the presence of Murshid, Fatha was still experiencing a most exalted state of consciousness. Afterwards, he remembered that by a few simple questions about himself, Murshid had gently brought him down to earth and enabled him to get on with the interview which was a never-to-be-forgotten event. Together with some other pupils of Murshida's, Fatha was initiated into the Sufi Order by Pir-o-Murshid during that month of March 1923. He attended all of Murshid's lectures, hung on every word he spoke and had several private interviews.
Then, one day, he asked Fatha if he would like to return with him to his home in Suresnes, France, for a year and be his pupil there. Without a moment's hesitation the answer was "yes". The instruction and guidance of Murshida Martin had served to orient Fatha's mind to philosophical, religious and mystical terminology and had made him acquainted with the fact that many persons, in the past and in the present, had had similar experiences. He had learned something of the significance of his own inner experiences; and now, under the guidance of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan he was to learn the science and art of attaining the Realization of God, how to purify and discipline the body, mind and heart in order to reflect the inner Love, Light and Life.
On the 10th of May 1923 Fatha was to join Pir-o-Murshid in New York City and on June 9th they sailed for Europe on the SS "Olympic", one of the largest liners then afloat. Some mureeds and friends thought it inexcusable that Inayat should be traveling in a second-class cabin; but Inayat remarked to Fatha: "they do not understand that we are dervishes and it makes no difference to us!" Immediately on arrival at Suresnes they launched into preparations of the Summer School which was to begin there in a few days. Fatha was assigned many duties to be performed in connection with the activities of the Summer School and with Murshid's household. Within a few weeks he found his activities to consist of the following: helping to find accommodations for mureeds and friends visiting the Summer School and getting them settled in their respective places on arrival. Taking care of and driving the new automobile which Murshid had purchased for the use of himself and his family; taking care of the walled-in garden surrounding Murshid's home; importing the Sufi books from England and handling the sale of them during the Summer School; going with Inayat Khan's youngest brother, Musharaff, to the public market on Tuesdays and Fridays to buy provisions for the large household; going to Paris with messages for Murshid and to do shopping errands; taking Murshid and/or other members of the family to places when and where they wanted to go.
In connection with the inner workings of the Summer School itself, Fatha had complete charge of all interviews that anyone was to have with Murshid – except his secretaries and the members of his family. It was a strict rule that, in order to see Pir-o-Murshid, everyone must make an appointment with Fatha; that rule was in force through the two Summer School sessions he was there. He had also to be on hand during the hours of the interviews, to usher the visitors in and out. It was a most interesting and most valuable experience. It meant the forming of close acquaintance with everyone who attended the Summer School. It afforded Fatha the opportunity of observing how Murshid received each visitor and how he terminated each interview. It became a most sacred and illuminating privilege. The hours for interviews each day were divided into five, ten, fifteen and twenty minute periods; seldom ever did an interview last over twenty minutes. There were seventy to eighty people attending at any one time, their stay ranging from a day or two up to the whole three months. The length of interviews was regulated according to suggestions made by Murshid. It was quite a task for one person to handle all the details of so many interviews of varied lengths each week and keep everyone pacified, consoled or satisfied.
At that time the classes and lectures were held outside in the garden on nice days and inside Murshid's house on rainy days; there was a gravel walk leading from the entrance at the lower end of the garden up to the house and it was a rule strictly enforced that no one was to make any noise or to walk up the gravel walk to join the circle after Murshid had begun to speak; he spoke entirely from a high source of inspiration and did not wish the flow of inspiration to be interrupted. Fatha never wished to miss a word of Murshid's teaching; but one day he was late in returning from doing some errands in Paris and the mureeds were assembled and were already listening. He came quietly inside the garden and laid down on a cot in a room beside the garage, feeling a bit unhappy that he would miss hearing the words of his Murshid that day. But as he laid there meditating, he became aware that he was hearing every word of the talk, then being given, distinctly in his heart; it was as if Murshid's voice was sounding clearly, as from a radio receiver, right there in his own heart. It was a most remarkable case of a mureed's heart being perfectly attuned to the heart of his Murshid.
After his preparation for the Work, Fatha was assigned to New York City where for fifteen years he conducted the center there. In 1942 he moved to Cleveland, Ohio, with his family and established a center there. Over these years he initiated hundreds of mureeds, delivering numerous lectures and consoling, counselling, uplifting and inspiring ... Fatha answered the Call of Return on 28th February 1955.
From biographical data, received from Fatha's wife Bhakti Engle and his daughter Jalelah Fraley.

Miss J. E. D. Furnee (Khalifa Sakina)
Kinna (as she was called in the family circle) Furnee was born at The Hague in 1896, where she got her education at a girls' school. Her parents had engaged an English nurse for the children, so she learned English in an easy way. Later on she was sent to a College at Vevey, Switzerland, to learn French fluently. In Holland again, she went to a horticultural College and obtained her final examinations there. She had a liking for welfare work and was engaged for some time by a glass factory at Leerdam to work among the laborers. Her character was rather uncommunicative and even as a child she kept to herself. She was a good pianist, a pupil of the well known Netherlands musician and composer Willem Andriessen, and she practiced regularly and for hours together. For some time she was a member of a Movement, called "Practical Idealism". She tried to live a vegetarian life but had to give up, as she got undernourished.
Her first contact with Sufism has been through Mrs. Fontijn Tuinhout at Vierhouten, when asked by this lady to lay out her garden.
In 1921 she became Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan's secretary and began to take down his lectures. Sakina's father strongly objected to the way of life she had chosen but in later years reconciled himself to it.
Sakina then learned shorthand and a great deal of Murshid's lectures have been taken down and transcribed by her. Due to her devotion to Murshid and the Sufi Message, and also to her accuracy, many of Murshid's words have been preserved exactly as they were pronounced. In 1922 Murshid made her Peshkar, head of the Brotherhood activity of the Sufi Movement. She accompanied Murshid on a journey to Vienna and to Belgium where she was made acting National Representative in December 1923. Towards the end of 1924 she bought the house at the Rue de la Tuilerie nr. 34, opposite "Fazal Manzil" at Suresnes. Murshid insisted on accompanying Sakina when she went to sign the sale's contract and he added his signature to it.
Between summer 1922 and autumn 1925 Murshid dictated many parts of his Biography to her. Murshid created the Biographical Department and made Sakina the keeper of it. She was set to task to gather all Murshid's words and everything connected with Sufism and the Sufi Message and to keep all these documents and objects most carefully. In her own handwriting she describes this in the following way: "... Murshid handed me several objects and papers. Each time there was again something which Murshid liked to add to one of these collections, Murshid handed it to me, simply saying: 'Keep it, for the Biographical Department'. And I kept it ...". She continued to do this work for nearly fifty years, in a very unassuming way, living a solitary and retired life in her little house at Suresnes, setting an inspiring example of faithfulness to Murshid and to the Sufi Message, not only for those who had the privilege to contact her now and then but also for the future generations of Sufis who will be benefitted by her patient and most valuable work.
Her Sufi name "Sakina" later on has been changed by Murshid into "Nekbakht". In 1950 she established the foundation "Nekbakht Stichting", intended to ensure the continuation of the work which Murshid had entrusted to her.
From the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation and data received from her sister Mrs. E. D. Fuchs-Furnee and from Kismet Stam.

Miss Lucy M. Goodenough (Murshida Sharifa)
We know very little about the first period of Lucy Marian Goodenough's life. She was born on August 25th 1876, in London, second daughter of Colonel W. H. Goodenough (afterwards Lt. General Sir William Goodenough K.C.B.) and of Mrs. (afterwards Lady) Goodenough, nee Countess Kinsky.
She traveled quite a lot, "was a fearless rider", "a very delicate child, but inclined to take the lead over her sisters". Later on, during her Vienna period, she will be a leader in fashion for a season or two... . At the same time she was master of German and French and well versed in Italian. She even knew by heart Dante's "Divine Comedy".
Her social and rather mundane life suddenly came to an end when she came in contact with Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan in London during the First World War (probably in 1916). From this time onward her entire life became devoted to Pir-o-Murshid and settled upon Sufism.
Through her deep interest in Sufism, her staunch devotion to Murshid and her swift progress along the spiritual path, Murshid made her Khalifa, then Murshida, and finally she became the Silsila Sufiya of the Sufi Order, which means the link, necessary for the transmission of initiation in the Sufi Orders. Pir-o-Murshid had a seal made, after his own drawing, and gave this to her as a token of this greater responsibility. Except for her work for the Sufi Cause, she was then inclined to be remote, exclusive and lonely.
The death of the Master was a very severe shock to her. No doubt it has been so for many faithful mureeds. But on her this event seemed to work as a devastating earthquake and it affected her whole being. She fell seriously ill and had to live in seclusion for months together. She emerged from this period as a different person. Formerly she used to be shy; now by her mere presence, one could perceive a sort of mastery over herself and over others. She used to be exclusive; now she was ready to welcome each and all with a patience, a meekness and kindness, at times more than human. One would breathe in her presence that peace, that tranquility of mind which made one feel one's truer self.
After the passing away of Baroness d'Eichthal she became the National Representative for France and gathered around her a group of mureeds with a lively interest in the Sufi teachings. Some among them had known Pir-o-Murshid and had been in contact with him, such as Mesdames Yvonne Detraux, Yvonne Guillaume (both artists) and Marie-Madeleine Frere; and others were newcomers: Madame Antoinette Schamhart and Miss Adriana van der Scheer (Feizi). The former became a very close friend to Murshida, the latter a devoted attendant at the time of Murshida's ill health and overworking. A few other mureeds of Pir-o-Murshid, also attracted by that mind of rare insight and the utter purity of that soul, were Sheikh Sirkar van Stolk, the poetess Zebunnisa (Marchesa Farinola de Tanfani), Shahnawaz van Spengler, the philosopher Louis Hoyack and Wazir van Essen. All recognized in Murshida Sharifa a quality that was unique and found in her the reflection of the Master for whom they had such a great admiration and for whom they were longing so much.
All the above mentioned persons have been valuable workers in the Cause, each according to his talents and field of activity.
From 1930 to 1936 Murshida Sharifa gave lectures in Paris and in Vienna and held Sufi classes at Suresnes and in Paris. Her lectures were attended by a distinguished public and more members joined the Movement. About two hundred of her lectures were taken down in shorthand by Mademoiselle Jelila Guerineau and in 1962 a first volume, "Soufisme d'Occident", was issued, including ten lectures, giving a sample of Sufi-thoughts. More of her lectures are to be found in the French Sufi magazine "La Pensee Soufie". Murshida Sherifa also promoted the regular publication of "Le Message" from 1932 to 1937, mostly at the expense of her own meagre income.
But alas! her life and health were on the waning. And she deeply felt the inner strains and outer splits in the Sufi Movement, as if they were inflicted on her own body and heart. And it must be said here that the constant trust and confidence that the Master had shown to her during his lifetime now seemed to arouse prejudice, jealousy and distrust from several sides, now that he was no more there in person to keep things in balance and to help keeping each and all in harmony. Therefore she, the Silsila Sufiya, had to experience harshness and friends turning their backs upon her.
And so she passed away on the 8th of March 1937. In the house of a stranger, but on the land of Suresnes, dying in poverty, but rich in a hope and a faith which could not be overborne. With her pupils and friends and with all those who so immensely admired her she left the lasting influence of a living spirit and the true fragrance of holiness, as the memorial of a perfected mureed.
Suresnes, August 1977
By one of her pupils, Michel Guillaume

Madame E. Graeffe - van Gorckum
She helped to form a group of the Sufi Order in Brussels, Belgium, when Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan first visited this country in 1921. She seems to have been the National Representative for Belgium in those years.
From the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Sophia Saintsbury-Green ( Murshida)
Sophia Saintsbury-Green came of an old family and was reared in an atmosphere of tradition and good taste. One of her grandfathers had been High Sheriff of Berkshire; one was a boon companion of the Prince Regent and ran through three fortunes, which necessitated his son, Sophia's father, entering a profession (the first in the family to do so).
A born poet and writer of exquisite English prose, Sophia passed through a vivid girlhood of study and mental attainment. She was never taught her letters but at the age of three read aloud from a page of the Times. She was always drawn towards ancient philosophies and cultures, and at the age of five (while playing with toys upon the floor) broke into the conversation of two startled elders with her own original comment upon a two-thousand-year-old heresy which they were discussing!
In May 1921 Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan founded in London the Universal Worship as an exoteric activity of the Sufi Movement. He ordained Sophia Green the first Cheraga, an office she held alone for fifteen months, conducting the services regularly. On becoming a Siraja, further Cherags and Sirajs were ordained and Universal Worship spread to other countries. In 1921 she had been given the initiation of Khalifa (a position on the esoteric side of the Sufi Movement) and in 1923 she was created a Murshida.
She continued until her death to interpret the Message, and although never in good health valiantly declined to consider her personal comforts, up to the last year, rising above physical limitations to work undeterred for the welfare of others. The deep and esoteric side of the Message was part of her very being, but she joyed in the exoteric activity of Universal Worship; and symbolism also, as a world language appealed to her strongly, covering as it does in one sense yet suggesting and revealing to those who can see, the hidden mysteries of life. In the later years of her mission, in order to meet the requirements of listeners who were not at home in the English language (or else unfamiliar with esoteric lore) she altered her former methods and adopted a more simple and direct manner when speaking or lecturing. Perhaps in later years it was only the few who were privileged to listen when she was untrammelled by circumstances, and could freely rise and carry them to heights where momentarily under her inspiration they could view something of that heaven of wisdom which she longed to share with others.
Of her personality and temperament it is difficult to speak. She was not understood by many. But to some of those who knew her intimately the memory of certain characteristics shone out vividly: exquisite sensitiveness and refinement together with stoic courage; a habit of bearing misrepresentation and detraction silently; lightening quickness of perception and insight into human nature, and utter forgetfulness of self. Blessed be her memory.
Two of her books published by the Sufi Movement, reveal something of what the Messenger and the Message meant to Murshida Sophia. Their titles are: Memories of Hazrat Inayat Khan (London) and Wings of the World (London and Deventer).
Angela Alt.
Murshida Green passed away on the 2nd of March 1939.
From the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Mrs. D. A. Gregory (Sheikha)
An American mureed from Detroit, Michigan (U.S.A.). She was made a Sheikha in 1925 and in June 1926, just before leaving the United States from New York, Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan ordained her a Cheraga.
From the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Dr. O. C. Gruner (Khalif)
I was born in Altrincham in Cheshire, England, in 1877. At the age of eleven I first thought of following the science of Medicine. The choice of this career was determined by my guardian on the ground of my having displayed an undue interest in microscopic natural history and a certain facility in learning physiology which happened to be for one term a part of the instruction given in the private school to which I had been sent. In 18961 left the Manchester Grammar School with a Scholarship for the "Owens College" (University), Manchester, and began my medical studies. The study of drugs necessary for the Intermediate Examination of Medicine led to my distinction of First Class Honors in Materia Medica and Pharmacology in 1898. The latter part of the medical curriculum was spent at the University College Hospital in London. After qualification in 1901 an appointment was at once obtained as house-physician at the Leeds General Infirmary. A year later I graduated at the London University and returned to Leeds, with residential appointments at the General Infirmary and Dispensary. In 19041 became Pathologist at the Infirmary and Demonstrator of Pathology at the University. In 1908 I obtained the degree of M.D. at the University of London, being awarded the Gold Medal in Pathology. Then followed in 1919 the appointment of Ass. Professor in Pathology at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. In 1913 my first work entitled "The Biology of the Blood Cells" was published and well-received by the late Professor Pappenheim of Berlin, who invited me to be included in his staff of collaborators for "Referate" to "Folia Haematologica" which I accepted. During the First World War I found myself back in England, in military service till 1919- Then I resumed clinical work for a time – again at Leeds – and was in charge of the Tropical Diseases and Nephritis sections of the East Leeds War Hospital till the closure of the hospital. From 1920-1924 private practice in pathology was undertaken, in Leeds.
During this period the privilege of meeting with Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan led to a re-casting of my outlook. He introduced me to the Canon of Medicine (Qanun) of Avicenna, the study of which has occupied my attention from then till now, in the light of the interpretations which he suggested to me. The first impression of that study was published in the "Annals of Medical History" (New York) in a paper entitled "The Interpretation of Avicenna". In 1924, partly to come into closer touch with clinical medicine of a form which would help the study of Avicenna, I started general practice in a country place in Kent, not far from London.
Since 1926 I entered into a semi-retirement, for the purpose of obtaining sufficient leisure to develop an adequate interpreted translation of the work in question, and acquire some knowledge of those Eastern languages which are necessary before the original texts can be appreciated. Residence in London itself thus became necessary.
At that time I was received into the Catholic Church and followed with my wife and children the practices of that religion. I completed the translation of Avicenna's Canon of Medicine, Vol. I and Messrs. Luzac & Co. published it. My eldest son having married in Montreal, Canada and the other having died after an accident in Australia, we took the advice of the elder one and went to Canada, settling near Montreal in 1931. The following year I was appointed to take up Cancer Research at McGill University, Montreal and in 1933 I attended the 1st International Cancer Congress in Madrid and gave a brief communication. As my degrees from London were not recognized in Canada, it became necessary to enter for medical examinations for the second time. After having obtained the Licence for Canada, the Cancer Research Fund was renewed and I was persuaded to resume the work on a larger scale. The results were published in a Medical Exhibition in 193 8 and were awarded a Gold Medal. I continued this work together with the Chief Surgeon of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, Dr. E. W. Archibald, and a staff of eleven, till my retirement in 1945- By that time I had reached a conclusion about the nature and cause of cancer, but it was not accepted by the various "authorities". I continued working as research worker in cancer at the St. Mary Hospital in Montreal. After this my work attracted the attention of a doctor who founded the "Hett Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation" under Government auspices. While working with him I prepared a "Guidebook for the Diagnosis of Cancer by Microscopical Study", an expansion of the monograph published in 1942 by the Archibald Cancer Research Fund, and based on several thousand cases. In 1950 I attended the International Congress on Cancer in Paris and spoke of my "test" with remarkable effects with the Hett-serum. Since 1955, however, I have almost completely retired from professional work, because utilization of any of my suggestions for cancer-treatment apart from X-rays and radium, was refused and the use of the blood-test for cancer was not considered of any real value. So I submitted resignation.
One day I met the head of the Jinnah Hospital in Pakistan, Dr. Shah. He had been trying to "modernize" Avicenna and had prepared a translation from the Urdu. He wanted me to go through his manuscript as his English was not too good. Months later a doctor who had spent years in Bahrein, asked me to write an article on Avicenna. Dr. Shah's request "woke up" all my Sufi thought which had filled me all the time I was doing my "Treatise". But subconscious development gave me the urge to develop the teaching even further. So I accepted the new offer and the article was published at the beginning of 1957. I then took out from the Osler Library at McGill University my very full notes on Avicenna's book Vol. II, about the medicines, deposited there with all my manuscripts in 1940, and re-wrote the opening section, as far as where the medicines are described in detail, and put the revised version back in the Library.
These experiences certainly revived the time of the days when Murshid inspired me to start all that work, and to bring his teaching again to the forefront in my daily round. For some months I have returned to the art of weaving, which I left in 1932 because of the scientific work to be done. It provides a means of meditation more intensively with a Sufi background.
July 1927, July 1957 and October 1965, Montreal.
From Dr. O. C. Gruner's autobiographical data.

In England after the First World War Dr. Gruner was in close contact with Murshid, by correspondence and by meeting Murshid regularly at Leeds or sometimes in London. He started the Leeds Lodge of the Sufi Order, took down in shorthand numerous lectures of Murshid, then transcribed them and published them in bookform under the name "In an Eastern Rosegarden" (London 1921). From Dr. Gruner's letters to Murshid appears how great was the influence of the Sufi teachings which he underwent and of his deep pondering upon them. This worked on in his whole scientific career, as seen from the following quotation from his letter dated New Year's Day 1919: "The reflection upon the emotional cause of a particular piece of music gave me the proof that certain vibration-characters underlie both music and biology." From Dr. Gruner's letters to Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan.

In addition to his professional interests Dr. Gruner was an accomplished musician, artist and linguist. He passed away in Montreal at the age of 95.
From the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Colonel Guillon
He was born in 1871 and reared by his widowed mother with her two unmarried sisters. He sought and found the religious discipline in the Catholic Church, under the guidance of the Jesuits, at the age of sixteen and was interested in literature, poetry, history, geography and politics.
When over forty years of age, he thought his life to be finished especially after the death of his mother. A good friend, however, brought back his interest in life by drawing Colonel Guillon's attention to the book "Le Traitement Mental" by Caillet, which was a revelation to him. In one of his letters to Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan he wrote: "I gave up my narrow conception of God, and understood that God is not a personality as I believed till then, but the everywhere pervading spirit. I became an adept of Indian philosophy, believing in God the All-mighty and All-pervading Spirit, without attachments to any Church and independent of my narrow observances." Then he discovered the books containing Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan's lectures and writes: "The Sufism is a super religion, above all sects. I found in it what I had missed hitherto – the feeling of perfect Love." He became a mureed and later on was appointed by Pir-o-Murshid to be the president of the Sufi Order in France.
From Colonel Guillon's letters to Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan.

Mrs. Laura Hoeber (Sheikha)
She visited Suresnes in 1923 and was ordained a Cheraga at the end of the Summerschool. In October 1924 Pir-o-Murshid put her in charge of the Sufi center at Munich, Germany, where she was the Esoteric Leader, Leader of Healing and of the Church of All and also Brotherhood Representative for a period of three months. In 1925 Murshid made her a Sheikha.
In his speech on Viladat Day 1925 at Suresnes, Pir-o-Murshid said the following about her: "Mrs. Hoeber was the first volunteer in rendering some help in establishing a branch of the Movement in Munich, and the way in which she stood through all difficulties there, winning in the end the admiration of some thoughtful mureeds, is most splendid." From the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Mir Pyarumiyan Maheboob Khan (Khalif)
During his early years Maheboob Khan (Baroda 1887 - The Hague 1948) was sent to Bombay for a musical test and examination by a visiting European expert. The German professor not only found him to have absolute hearing for both tone and rhythm, he moreover noted with astonishment that this boy from Baroda possessed the most extraordinary musical sense and talent he had ever been able to observe.
However, giving expression to whatever was intensely alive within himself, be it music or mysticism, to Maheboob Khan always was something of a sacrifice. Rich talent and conscientiousness in him were matched by a shyness that in growing up matured into utter unpretentious modesty and self-abnegation on the one hand and a deep sense of dignity, honor and style on the other. These in turn concealed an immense sensitivity and subtlety of perception and insight.
For years Maheboob Khan had delighted his elder brother with his compositions, adapting Indian songs to Western harmony. Yet his humility prevented him from presenting – in 1925 – to his deeply revered brother his first own composition to one of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan's English texts written that same year: "Thy Wish". The one such song composed during Pir-o-Murshid's lifetime (being followed by the majestic "Before you judge" in 1927) thus remained unheard by him.
Yet again, alongside these qualities of extreme consideration and self-effacement Maheboob very fully shared his brother's "dancing soul", his intense warmth of feeling, combined with that particular brightness and radiance of spirit and alertness, and with the resultant ability to evoke, attune and inspire. For those lucky enough to belong to the circle of his intimates, he was the brilliant representative and commentator of the person and teachings of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, his "ocean of wisdom" that wholly absorbed him.
After having received the initiation of Khalif, Maheboob Khan was additionally made a Sheikh during the Suresnes years and after the passing away of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan he succeeded as Sheikh-ul-Mashaikh to the leadership of the Sufi Movement.
Pre-war mureeds continued to remember with emotion his Summer-school readings of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan's lectures, which seemed inimitably to revive them, personal affinity and profound meditation on them reproducing something of the freshness of their first impact. Such preparatory secluded absorption in the Master's words was in addition to Sheikh-ul-Mashaikh's regular and lifelong three periods of spiritual exercise and meditation, commencing daily at ten a.m. and four-thirty and nine p.m. But apart from and despite all spiritual expansion and transmission, this was the hardest of successions, calling for the greatest endurance, tact and vision not only at the outset and during the first phase of consolidation but throughout. Pir-o-Murshid's spiritual heritage was accompanied by an inheritance of principles of communal, organizational and administrative leadership, laid down and strongly reconfirmed by him in 1925. Their implementation called for entire dedication and this whole Sufi commitment involved further personal sacrifice.
In 1910 the alternatives open to Maheboob Khan had been eventually to become the senior Maula Bakhsh heir of his generation as successor to Dr. Pathan, with all the independence, honor and security that would entail; or to abandon secular primacy and henceforth continue in a secondary capacity to Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. The choice was made unhesitatingly, even though further involving a separation, become permanent by her death from grief, of his newly-wed wife Sabirabiy, who well deserved her name of "the patient one" (in God), as the projected few years' tour lengthened into permanency. In 1924, Pir-o-Murshid gave his benediction to Maheboob Khan's second marriage in Holland to Miss Shadbiy Van Goens, who became the mother of his daughter and son.
In the course of time Sheikh-ul-Mashaikh was obliged to a large extent to sacrifice what both he himself and the Sufis generally felt, would be his most essential and abiding personal contribution to the future of the Sufi Message: his composition of music to Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan's Gayan, Vadan, Nirtan poetry, in addition to Indian songs preserving the Maulabakhshi and Gayanshala repertoires. Nevertheless, some twenty-five songs remain in the former category alone, expressions of a creative process both musical and meditative. By well-qualified rendering in appropriate "sama"-conditions, these compositions may add a further dimension to Sufi experience, as Murshid All Khan's wonderful singing of them so often proved. For they evoke within the compass of one song the ultimate perspective of all mysticism.
September 1977.
From biographical data, rendered by his son Mahmood.

Susanna Kjösterud (Sheikha)
I am born in Drammen, Norway, in 1864, as the eldest of seven children. My father was a physically strong, clever businessman but did not have a strong character. My mother, who died when I was only nine-and-a-half years old, was a very fine, religious person. So, already as a young child I had the responsibility for my six younger sisters and brothers. We were brought up by different housekeepers and in often unstable and hard circumstances.
When I was seventeen years old my father married my mother's housekeeper and I left home becoming a governess and after that taking up several other jobs. At twenty-five I left for America where I stayed two-and-a-half years. Then I went back to Norway where my father made me start a business in spring 1893 which, although I found it rather hard as I had always been longing for spiritual work, I continued for thirty-three years.
During my long life I have traveled a great deal, seen many countries, come in contact with all kinds of people and have a lot of friends all over the world.
In 1919 my youngest sister died; I then adopted her two children, a girl and a boy, as my own; they are at present both in America. Being now the oldest of the whole family, I know that my relations are looking to me as kind of a mother for them all. It is very nice but at the same time it takes a great deal of my precious time. My health has never been good neither as a child nor later, until I was sixty years old. I have gone through many sicknesses and suffered a great deal in every way.
I think I may say that I always had a religious longing. I have been seeking and have tried different things without finding satisfaction, until at sixty I met my destiny. In November 1924 Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan came to Norway. Only by seeing his picture I had the feeling that through him I would find what I had been seeking for years. I was then made a mureed and also National Representative for the Sufi Movement in Norway. Since then my whole life seems to have changed. I am another being, always healthy, happy and busy all day long, trying to do my beloved Master's work as far as I am able.
In the Summer of 1925 I went to the Summerschool at Suresnes, where I stayed from the first to the last day. Murshid made me a Siraja in June and Sheikha a few weeks later, blessings beyond my comprehension! I sincerely hope and pray that I never may feel differently toward this blessed work, which I so unworthy have been chosen to lead for my country, that I may be growing in strength and faith from day to day knowing God will accomplish the rest, because the work is His.
Oslo, April 26th 1926.
In his speech on Viladat Day 1925 at Suresnes Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan said: "I found in my tour through Scandinavia a precious soul like Aladdin found his lantern: Miss Susanna Kjösterud, a soul who belonged to us. I only had to go to find her. Her devotion to the Cause gives us a hope that one day our Movement will be established in Norway." From her autobiographical sketch and from the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Kefayat LLoyd (Sheikha)
Mrs. Gladys I. LLoyd was born in England from a Christian aristocratic family. After her husband's death in 1921 she dedicated her life to the work of the Sufi Message and offered her service to Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, "whether it be for healing or anything else". She offered her house – 35 Tregunter Road – London S.W.10 – to Murshid for his interviews and lectures. Murshida Green also lived in her house for some time. In this same house was held the very first Service of the "Church of all", in the upper room, in May 1921.
From 1921 on she was conducting a healing group in her house after having been initiated by Murshid as Shefayat. In her Murshid found the person with whom he could discuss the possibility of creating Spiritual Healing as one of the activities of the Sufi Movement and later on Murshid made her the head of the Spiritual Healing. Murshid told her that healing of sickness of the soul would be more her work: comforting and helping those who are sad and perplexed and lost. She felt also much drawn to that branch of the work but at the same time welcomed whoever came to her.
She always kept a room in the house (the "Prophet's Chamber") ready for Murshid to stay there whenever he would come to London.
She reported Murshid's lecture "The Message" (1921 in London) and Murshid told Miss Green that he was pleased with the way she took it down. Kefayat felt that there could be no greater honor than to be the reporter of inspired words. It was at the Summerschool at Suresnes in 1923 that among others also Kefayat LLoyd was allowed to write the lectures down while Murshid was speaking in the garden of "Fazal Manzil". In the evening Mrs. LLoyd, Miss Green and Mr. van Tuyll compared their notes and it always showed that Mrs. LLoyd was the only one who had hardly missed a word. At the Summerschool of 1924, besides Murshid's secretaries, only Mrs. LLoyd was authorized to take down the lectures. From these lectures she selected sentences which were so beautiful that the idea came to her to make a collection of sayings. She showed those selections every week to Murshid and Murshid was very pleased. This encouraged her and she used to say that the mureeds in England sometimes called her "the stringer of beads" as she often restringed their rosaries when broken, and she added: "now I am the stringer of beads for Murshid, as I am stringing together his precious savings like beads on a thread." Later on those selections from Murshid's lectures, made by Kefayat, were published by Mr. Armstrong in "The Sufi Quarterly" (December 1927 to June 1920) and were called "Aphorisms".
Made up from data found in the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation and from recollections of Kefayat LLoyd by Gawery Voūte.

Mrs. A. Martin (Murshida Rabia)
Jan. 2 - 14,
Blessed Murshid: This represents a short biography of my life.
My parents were born in Russia - and came to California in 1850 - and were pioneers. They married in San Francisco - and I was born here in 1871. I was reared and educated here - and graduated from the public schools.
I was always (as a child) deeply fond of older people - and wanted ever to converse with them. My folks had a difficult time of it I guess - because when I played with children - I wanted to lead them  and they had to follow - or there was no play for me. My sense of Justice  in my world of play  was so marked - they did not understand me - and consequently my family felt I was too positive and all sorts of advice was unheeded. Of course you know - I could not accept less than the ideals of my childish heart - and somehow as I grew older I felt quite alone within the family circle.
I married at nineteen - my dear daughter was born a year later; this was real happiness, to train her in the principles of morality, justice and patience, and then the blessed music.
In my 28th year a deep grief came to me - and for four yrs. I suffered much - and the problem compelled me to search deeper for the questions I asked of God - for the reasons demanded an explanation and in this storm and tumult of a problem too sad for words - I was led into spiritual teachings and freed myself from pain and heart sorrow - and tested these principles and universal laws - and stayed here in this form. After certain realizations came in the secret place of my own heart - I gave all to Allah and studied, served, prayed ever - to realize His laws - love - mercy and justice. This period of my life I call the reconciliation and spiritual regeneration, all praises to Allah.
I was not satisfied with the Western teachings, so made an independent study of comparative religions - and prayed Allah to lead me to the source - as thus far it was only drinking from a brook instead of the Ocean of Reality. Lecturers, teachers and advanced students here, I met always - but none touched my heart's longing - they all represented more or less the circumference. I longed for the center. Then Allah sent my blessed Murshid, spiritually - and later in form. These mystical and blessed experiences I cannot give to the world - to me they are too sacred - this may be selfishness - I cannot share them. My blessed Murshid's Murshid too - may Allah glorify you both - came to me - and it can never be told in words - realizations which belong only to the Rabia not of this world - and so all I care for in this life is to worship Allah - love and serve Him - and Murshid and all Murshids in chain. May Allah keep my heart pure and my spirit humble (Amen).
Humbly - (w.s.:) Rabia.
(Ada Martin) Please Note: We have an artist - and also a Rabbi Priest - in our family. Also I have almost a passion for the study of philosophy and in New York I found there were others (men) of my family branch who likewise gave a lifetime to this study.
Murshida Martin passed away in San Francisco in 1947.
From the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Mrs. Hilda Meyer-van Reutercrona (Sheikha Sarferaz)
I am born in Sweden in 1863 at a place very high in the North and called literally translated "The Valley of Light". One of nine children I learned early to take care of myself and of the younger ones. We all got a good education and were sent to excellent schools. Studies interested me very much, and my facility to learn by heart has been a precious gift which became most useful in a later period of my life. So I remember a great many quotations from the Holy Bible, learned in my early youth, especially by the help and religious teaching of our clergyman. When I was 18 years old I gave lessons to children and young girls to help my father with his big family. At 28 I left for South America and there married a widower. He had been married to a cousin of mine and had four children to whom I tried to be a good mother. I got one daughter of my own and this child gave me much satisfaction and filled my life. After 13 years we left Buenos Aires and went to live in Brussels. It was Spring 1904. My health was delicate and I had to undergo a dangerous operation. Catholic sisters nursed me and became my friends. All religious and philosophical subjects interested me and I always felt that somewhere there was the Truth to be found but did not succeed in finding it. So I clung to the dogmas and rites of the Lutherian Religion in which I had been brought up. At the time of the First World War, however, all my religious constructions tumbled down. My husband could not understand my inner life – he never cared for unseen things – my daughter married and went to Manila, so I became very lonely. During the war (1914-1918) we stayed in our country-house in Switzerland and we are still living there now. In these years my seeking after God had become more intensive, I sought in many and different religious Movements but was not satisfied. I always came to a wall and then could not advance any further. Then the cry of my heart became desperate: Where art Thou, O God?
The answer came: I met Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. It was in the winter of 1922/1923 in Brussels. My health was not good, life had little interest for me. In the house of friends I saw a picture of Pir-o-Murshid and his glance brought about a change in me. I then went to listen to a lecture he gave in the little hall of "Le Cinquantenaire" in Brussels. The first impression was not determinant for my life; it was the second time that I heard Pir-o-Murshid, two days later in a private house. I can still see and hear him there, standing near a grand piano and holding a silence with us before lecturing. And out of this silence came his voice, singing the Prayer of Invocation ... . My soul was caught by this music, which seemed to me coming from another sphere. I don't remember the lecture. I only heard the song.
Coming back to Switzerland I heard that Pir-o-Murshid was lecturing there and I went to see him. He came to my home where I always feel his presence after that. He helped me to recover physically and spiritually. I was his pupil for ever.
In Bern 1923 Pir-o-Murshid entrusted me with the representation of the Sufi Movement for the whole of Switzerland. He initiated me as a Sheikha in the Sufi Order in 1924 and in that same year he made me a Siraja.
He has been my helper, my Savior. He is for me the Messenger who brought me the Divine Message for which my soul was longing. My only wish now is to be a humble worker in the Sufi Movement, to help in spreading the Message and to show the Path to God to other seekers.
November 1925.

Rebecca C. Hepburn-Miller (Khalifa Mushtari)
Our beloved Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan has often told his mureeds that they are pioneers in the great work of spreading his Message of Love, Harmony and Beauty.
That Khalifa Mushtari Rebecca C. Hepburn-Miller should be a pioneer in some field is but natural as her great-grandfather, William Hepburn, came from Scotland to America in 1760 when this land was largely unexplored wilderness. He settled in Pennsylvania, becoming a farmer and magistrate and founding the City of Williamsburg. Also her grandfather and father in their turn braved the dangers and hardships of the unexplored and the unknown, meeting their share of both good and ill fortune.
Rebecca was born in California in 1865, educated in the public schools and she grew to womanhood in a home atmosphere of liberal thought and high moral and spiritual ideals. Then followed marriage, motherhood and widowhood and in 1912 through Murshida Rabia A. Martin, she came to know the teachings of Sufism. In that same year Murshida Martin gave Mrs. Miller the blessing of Bayat (initiation) and in April 1923 blessed Murshid Inayat Khan himself bestowed upon her the yellow robe of Khalifa after having been ordained Cheraga by Murshid and in March 1926 she received from him her Sufi name of Mushtari. In February 192-7 she was initiated as Leader of the Healing Service by Kefayat G. I. LLoyd, who then was traveling through the United States of America.
Being the first mureed of Murshida Martin, Khalifa Miller has been through the tests and trials of helping to introduce a new point of view on life and to spread the Message of Sufism as expounded by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan.
From her autobiographical sketch.

Comtesse M. L. Pieri nee Dussaq (Shadman)
She was born in Havana (Cuba) in 1979, daughter of Maurice C. Dussaq and Maria Luisa Fischer. On the 3rd of July 1901 she was married in New York to Count Pompeo Luciano Pieri.
In 1921 she became a member of the Sufi Order and received Bayat at the hands of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. She was ordained a Cheraga by Pir-o-Murshid in 1923 and participated in various other functions of the Sufi Movement. After having assisted the General Secretary of the Sufi Movement in Geneva in October 1922 she was given the charge of General Treasurer one year later.
From data sent at Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan's request to Sakina Furnee.

Dr. Arthur Bodley Scott (Sheikh)
Born in 1885. He joined the Sufi Movement in 1921. He was made a Khalif in the esoteric side of the Order by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan in August 1923 during the Summerschool at Suresnes.
In 1926 he was made a Cherag of the Universal Worship. Author of "The Soul of the Universe", published in London by Rider & Co. In writing this book Dr. Scott feels, as he says in the Preface, that it fulfills a profound trust placed in him by Inayat Khan, a trust (to use, largely, his own words) to interpret and explain his Message after the manner of thought and in the more scientific language of the Western world; that thus, in a meeting of the mentalities of the East and West, his Message might have that certain setting and reach that would cause, in time, much that lay hidden in its depths to stand revealed ... .
This book contains many quotations from the Gayan and other sayings of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan.
In his speech on Viladat Day 1925 at Suresnes Pir-o-Murshid remembered him and said: "Khalif Dr. Scott has splendidly worked for the Cause in Bournemouth (England)." From data sent at Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan's request to Sakina Furnee by Dr. Scott himself and from the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Mr. E. Shaughnessy (Sheikh)
An American mureed, mentioned twice by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan in his Biography.
He met Murshid in the United States in 1923 and in 1925/1926. He was made a Sheikh and worked in New York as a Siraj.
From the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Kismet Stam
Father being an officer in the Dutch Marine, I was born in Indonesia, in Batavia which is now called Djakarta, in October 1893. Mother was a Furnee, born in The Hague. And my parents decided to settle there, so that the greatest part of my youth was spent in that town. I first went to the Girls' College and later became a student at the University of Leiden, where I received my degree as a teacher in Dutch Colleges, in the French language. This has been very precious later on, as I have been able to translate Murshid's lectures into French, standing beside Him on the platforms before Murshid's always crowded audiences.
I met Murshid in The Hague in the spring of 1923. Murshid then asked me to come to the Summer School in Suresnes. I was initiated there, that summer. My first year Murshid asked me to live in Geneva. I learned shorthand and typewriting at the School of Aime Paris, and I took violin-lessons with Joseph Szigeti. Every evening there was a silence-class at International Headquarters on the Quai des Eaux Vives (now Quai Gustave Ador) under the leadership of Talewar Dussaq, the General Secretary. My second year Murshid asked me to stay with Baronne d'Eichthal at her summerhouse in Sevres-Ville d'Avray, and to help her with the Sufi work at the Avenue Emmanuel III in Paris. Also Murshid asked me to print Gathekas. So I bought a Gestedner-machine, and I printed Gathekas, sending them to all the Sufi centers existing.
During a lecture-tour Murshid made in Holland, I acted as a reporter for different Dutch newspapers. And my task has been, later on, to send articles to newspapers of all the principal cities of Europe and America. In the spring of 1925 Murshid made me prepare lecture-tours, first in Nice (France), and then in München (Germany).
While in Suresnes I prepared with Murshid's help the first edition of "Vadan"; and later on "Nirtan".
After the Summer School of 1925 I accompanied Murshid, as his secretary, on the steamship "Volendam", from Cherbourg to New York. Sirkar van Stolk joined Murshid there, but did not accompany Him on His lecture-tour throughout America. In New York and surroundings the car of Mrs. Shaokat Frey was at Murshid's disposal. In California the car of Salaodin Reps took Murshid from San Francisco via Los Angeles and Santa Barbara to La Jolla and San Diego. Murshid and I were invited to fly in an open aeroplane over the Bay of Mexico. One could smell the perfumes of the flowers from the earth, while flying. On the trip back to New York via Colorado Springs, Kansas City and Denver, we visited the Grand Canyon, where photos were taken on "ablack" horses, the American-Indian horses, white, black and brown.
Throughout Murshid's travels it has been my task to help Murshid with the correspondence, and to explain the exercises Murshid gave to all those who have become mureeds in the different countries where Murshid lectured.
On 28th September 1926 I accompanied Murshid on His last journey to India. Murshid took an Italian boat which started in Venice, and arrived in India at Karachi. It made a stop of some days in Massawa (Erithrea), where Murshid said what I mentioned in the book "Rays": "Even the rocks have been burnt black here." After Murshid's passing away, I lived for ten years in the house of my cousin Nekbakht Furnee in Suresnes. I worked out all the shorthand-notes of Murshid's American lecture-tour 1926. And I wrote three Sufi-books: "Fragrance from a Sufi's Garden", "Sufi Lore and Lyrics", and "Musings from a Sufi", which received their English copyright through Luzac & Co. in London.
Everything that has occurred in the long life that has been vouchsafed to me after Murshid's passing away, has been based on what Murshid has taught me and has endowed me with. I shall remember this for ever, with unutterable gratitude.
(w.s.:) Kismet Dorothea Stam Palma de Mallorca, May 1977.

Dr. Steindamm (Sheikh)
I was born in Berlin, in 1880. First I studied Protestant Theology, then Political Science, Technology and Public Finance and Administration. I am working in Berlin as a syndic for Economic Affairs. My literary interest has mostly been for economics and politics, and my main activity has been in the field of Department Stores and Publicity. In several Universities I gave lectures and Courses about Publicity.
From a letter to Sakina Furnee, dated: Berlin, 28th April 1926.

In the autumn of 1924 Dr. Steindamm met Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan in Berlin and became his mureed. In 1925 Murshid made him a Sheikh and he accompanied Murshid on his tour through Germany that year and helped to organize the lectures to be held in different cities. Murshid appointed him National Representative for Germany.
In his speech on Viladat Day 1925 at Suresnes, Murshid said: "The great zeal for the Cause shown by Dr. Steindamm we value and appreciate very much." From the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.

Sirkar van Stolk (Sheikh)
Apjar van Stolk (Sirkar) was born the 27th March 1894 as the eldest son of a well-to-do grain merchant in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. His father was a big businessman with a keen interest in art and education. The family possessed a country house at Wassenaar where Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan and his family stayed several times. Already in his youth Sirkar was introduced to the great Indian sacred Scriptures by his teacher in English, Mrs. Esser, who also gave him his first meditation practices. In his early twenties Sirkar passed some time in the United States working in the family business, but then developed tuberculosis and returned to Europe, where he had to stay three and a half years in a Swiss sanatorium. During this period in the Swiss mountains Sirkar read many Theosophical and mystical books. His health, however, did not improve.
In 1922 a Dutch friend wrote to him about an Indian mystic, philosopher and musician, named Inayat Khan, who at that time was lecturing in different countries of Europe. Sirkar read a number of these lectures, published in the book "In an Eastern Rosegarden", and was deeply impressed by them. When in December 1922 Sirkar met Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan for the first time, the latter offered to accept him as his mureed. Sirkar told Murshid that he had to go to London for medical treatment first and then would contact Murshid again. In spring 1923 Sirkar met Murshid in London and received initiation. From that moment Murshid became the inspiration in his life. Murshid healed him from his illness by giving him daily treatments and since that time Sirkar helped Murshid with the work for the Sufi Movement. In 1923 and 1924 Sirkar attended the Summer School at Suresnes and was made a Sheikh by Murshid. In spring 192^ Murshid asked him to take upon him the organization of the Summer School, which he did for many years in a most effective way. It was also with Sirkar's help that the mureeds house (behind "Fazal Manzil" at Suresnes) and the Sufi land were purchased. From September 1924 till September 1926 Sirkar was Murshid's constant assistant and accompanied Murshid on many journeys through Europe and the United States.
After Murshid's passing away Sirkar became the leader of a Sufi center at The Hague in 1930. and performed other functions in the Sufi Movement until 1951. In South Africa, to which country Sirkar emigrated in 1951, he founded several Sufi centers, together with Wazir van Essen, his able and devoted co-worker in Holland and Suresnes during the years 1925 to 1950. In 1960 he started writing his "Memories of a Sufi Sage", which was completed by his secretary Mrs. Daphne Dunlop and was published in 1967. This book has been translated in various languages.
Sirkar van Stolk passed away in Cape Town in 1963. He has initiated many mureeds, given numerous public lectures and by his charming personality has attracted many people to the Sufi Message.
By one of his pupils, Ameen Carp.

Hubertus Paulus Baron van Tuyll van Serooskerken (Sheikh Sirdar)
Sirdar van Tuyll was born on 26th September 1883. When Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan visited the Netherlands for the first time in January 1921, accommodation in Arnhem had been found for him with Sirdar van Tuyll, who was waiting for him to arrive one evening at dusk at the railway station. Among the many people Sirdar's eyes were searching for an Eastern and all of a sudden a voice came to him, saying: "How are you?" Murshid had found Sirdar by himself! The impression which this first contact made upon Sirdar was such that he said to have completely refound in one moment's time the faith in God which he had as a child. A few months later, on 13th April 1921, Sirdar was initiated in England. He was present at the first Universal Worship held in London on 7th May 1921.
In that same year the first Summerschool was held in France, in a small village south of Paris, called Wissous. Just before the Summer-school Sirdar accompanied Murshid as his secretary on a trip through Switzerland. After a second visit to Holland in September/October 1921, Murshid went to Germany for the first time and Sirdar went with him as his secretary.
On 2nd February 1922 Sirdar married Hendrika Willebeek Le Mair (Saida). In May 1922 Sirdar and Saida settled down at Katwijk in a spacious villa at the sea-side, in which was held the Summerschool in September 1922. Murshid had appointed Sirdar as the National Representative for the Netherlands.
On 26th September 1922 Sirdar became a Cherag, the first Cherag in Holland. The ultimately accepted rituals for the various Services and ceremonials were dictated by Murshid to Sirdar in 1922 at Katwijk aan Zee and in 1924 at The Hague.
About 1923 Sirdar and Saida went to live at The Hague, where they had the old tramway station building transformed into a house (besides the Peace-Palace). This house, Anna Paulownastraat 78, became a Sufi center and there, in 1928/1920 Sirdar had the Sufi Church built from his own funds, annex to his house. On 18th January 1929 took place the consecration of the Church. Till his last illness Sirdar gave a sermon in the Universal Worship in this Church every Sunday. These talks have been recorded, first on wire and later on tape, and gradually from these texts books were made and published: "Groter Christendom I" is about the Old Testament, "Groter Christendom II" about the New Testament; after that came out "Het Heilige Boek der Natuur" (The Holy Book of Nature) and "De Karavaan naar de Eeuwigheid" (The Caravan towards Eternity). Another book "Gebed, Meditatie en Stilte" (Prayer, Meditation and Silence) has now been published. At The Hague as well as in many other cities Sirdar gave numerous lectures on the unity of religions, brotherhood and mysticism. Also in Berlin (Germany), Sweden, Denmark, Norway and in India he has spread the ideals of the Sufi Message by giving sermons and lectures and by making contacts.
Besides his Sufi activities Sirdar was one of the pillars of horse-racing and thoroughbred-breeding in the Netherlands. For many years he possessed a large racing-stable and a stud of his own. His love and knowledge of the thoroughbred are worth mentioning.
On 16th August 1958 Sirdar passed away at The Hague. Every year during his life-time his birthday was celebrated by his mureeds and is still commemorated today as it was Murshid's wish that it should be for the first Cherag, the pioneer of the Message in his country.
From data received by the Nekbakht Foundation from Sirdar van Tuyll's former secretary and devoted pupil Miss An C. Spirlet.

Enrique de Cruzat Zanetti (Sheikh Birbal)
He was born at Matanzas, Cuba, in 1875 as the son of Domingo S. Zanetti and Irene de Cruzat. When ten years old he was taken to Portland, Maine, where he frequented the public Grammar School. At the age of fourteen he went to Boston (Mass.) residing with the family of the Rev. Eduard Everett Hale, a distinguished divine and man of letters. There he frequented the Roxbury Latin School from which he graduated in 1893. In that same year he entered Harvard College in Cambridge (Mass.) where he studied principally Literature and History and graduated with the degree of Baccalaurei in Artibus in 1897. During 1897-1898 he studied International Law and Sociology at the University of Geneva, Switzerland and then entered the Harvard Law School where he graduated in 1901. In that year he joined the Law Offices of Page & Conant in New York City, having been admitted to practice at the Bar of the State of New York, specializing in Corporation and International Law. He was married in 1904 to Esperanza Conill of Havana, Cuba, where was born his only son Enrique Carlos Zanetti. He was divorced in 1912 and from then on has traveled extensively in the pursuit of study, mainly of the art of painting. During 1917 - 1918 he was unofficially in the service of the American Embassy at Madrid. In 1923 he joined the Sufi Movement which he has served principally as Executive Supervisor and for this purpose in 1925 he took residence in Geneva.
In his speech on Viladat Day 1925 at Suresnes Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan mentioned him with the following words: "The coming of Mr. Zanetti into the Sufi Movement has released me from many responsibilities connected with the working of the administrative part of the Movement, for which I am most thankful." From his autobiographical sketch and data from the archives of the Nekbakht Foundation.