Adi Granth Holy book of the Sikh religion
Advaita (Adwaita) (S) Literally: ‘not being two’, everything is one, monism. School of Vedantic philosophy, doctrine of non-dualism that teaches the unity of God, the soul and the universe. This philosophy has been elaborated on by Shankaracharya.
Ahuramazda (P) Creator god of the Zoroastrian religion
Akasha (S) Place, accommodation, an abstract space that existed before the actual creation of something perceivable, also: the world of the archetypes. In the Persian en Urdu: Asman
Akbar (A) Great or (still) greater, one of the attributes of Allah in the Koran. Furthermore in the Muslim world and India a name or attribute (laqab) of certain persons (for instance in the case of emperors)
Ali (A) Forename. Literally: eminent, noble
Amal Sufi practice where the bodily awareness is being erased step by step. This is one of the more advanced practices where the sufi tries to remove the awareness of the ego in order to sink into a condition of higher or universal awareness
Antroposophy (G) (antropos = human being, sofia = wisdom, knowledge) Philosophy founded by Rudolf Steiner in 1913 after he left the Theosophical Society.
Arjuna (S) Friend and disciple of Shri Krishna who revealed to him the Baghavad Gita. One of the heroes from the Hindu epic Mahabharata
Asana (S) Specific posture from (hatha) yoga
Ashram (S) Hindu monastery or place of retreat
Asma (Allahi) al Husna (A) The holy names (of Allah). Traditionally there are 99 (beautiful) names of Allah in the Koran. These Asma al Husna are being used within Sufism for recitation as a wazifa (mantram).
Atman (S) Soul, the true divine essence of man, the true self
Avesta (Awesta) Holy books of the Parsis
Bahai Religious movement originating from Persia. It was formed in 1868 based on the older Babism; the movement has the following features: strengthening of moral values, universal, optimistic and progressive
Bay’at (A) Initiation (to mureed), in the traditional sufi orders the only initiation, see Khilafat
Begum (bi, by) Dame, lady. In particular Amina Begum (Ora Ray Baker) the wife of Hazrat Inayat Khan is referred to as ‘Begum’ amongst sufis
Bhagavad Gita (S) Literally: the song of the Lord. Holy book of the Hindus
Bhajana Form of a religious musical recital, where a choir is singing under the guidance of a conductor and is accompanied by an orchestra
Bhakti (S) Devotion, reverence
Brahma (S) The creating god, represented in the folkloristic religion of India as a person
Brahman (S) Neutral version of Brahma, the primeval priciple of everything, the everlasting. In the philosophical religion superpersonal, immanent
Brahmans (S) The highest caste in Indian society containing: priests, scientists, musicians, but also civil servants, cooks and temple servants. Brahmans in the Indian culture are often considered as saints and ascetics.
Chakras (S) Litt: wheels, subtle bodys centres, energy centres, the connections between the physical body and the more subtle bodies of a human being.
Chela (S) Disciple
Cherag(a) (P) Literally: light, lamp. Officiant in the Universal Worship of the Sufi Movement.
Chistiyya order One of the four great sufi orders in India (see: Qadiriyya, Nakhshibandiyya, Suhrawardiyya). The order was founded in the 10th century by Khwaja Abu Ishaq Shami Chisti. He was named after the city Chist in present-day Afghanistan. The founder of the Chistiyya order in India was Khwaja Muinuddin Chisti who lived in the 12th century in Ajmeer. (see Appendix E.)
Dargah (A) Building which houses the grave of an Indian saint or sage. The Dargah of Hazrat Inayat Khan is located in New Delhi.
Dervish (P) Travelling mendicant friar, sometimes a monk of a monastery.
Dharma (S) Universal law, social duty of man, good usages, and personal birth determined caste duty.
Dhrupad (Dhurpad) Northern Indian vocal classical music, influenced by the Muslim conquerors. Most demanding and difficult part of the Hindustani musical style. The variations are ornamentations, the singing demands a great vocal range.
Diwan (A) Poetry
Djihad (A) Spiritual or physical effort. The term has an outward meaning (self defence, battle and defence against non believers) as well as an inner meaning (the battle against the own limited ego)
Djinn (Jinn) Spirit. The Djinn world is seen as the sphere between the physical and the angelic sphere. See: ‘The Soul Whence and Whither’.
Dilruba Stringed instrument with four strings and seven sympathising strings, played with a bow.
Draviden Collective name for the original inhabitants of India.
Esoterism (G) Indication of a doctrine or knowledge, open only to initiates. The practice of rituals and usages belonging to esoteric knowledge is also called ‘occultism’. Furthermore there is connection with words as ‘spirituality’ and ‘mysticism’ and with the spiritual training proces of ‘yoga’.
Fakir (faqir) (A) Poor of spirit, humble monk, mystic (e.g. Dervish). Poor of spirit indicates the renouncing of the mental richness of the ego.
Fikar (A) Spiritual Sufi practice in which a holy word is being repeated in silence on the breath.
Fana (A) To go beyond. Fana is the proces of transcending the limited self (ego) so that it can merge into the greater Self, the divine presence. Within Sufism three stages: Fana fi Shaikh (the merging into the master or teacher), Fana fi Rasul (the merging into the messenger, prophet) and Fana fi Allah (the merging into God). The first two stages are preparations for the last stage. See page 33
Fazal (Fazl) (A) Blessing, prosperity
Gathas Series of spiritual teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan based on a number of his lectures. Gathas were meant as part of a school that prepared followers for a (next) circle of learning. The selection of the lectures and the compiling of the different volumes of teachings were done by Murshida Sharifa Goodenough, a pupil of Hazrat Inayat Khan, in her capacity as Madar-ul-Maham, the secretary-general of the Sufi Order, the primary esoteric activity of the Sufi Movement. This system of consecutive teachings is grouped respectively: Gathekas (for interested individuals), Gathas, Githas, Sangathas and Sangithas.
Gathekas See: Gathas
Gayan (Literally: vocal music) Name of one of the three note books of Hazrat Inayat Khan (see: Vadan, Nirtan)
Gayanshala Musical academy in Baroda, founded by the grandfather of Hazrat Inayat Khan, Moula Bakhsh.
Gayatri Originally a prayer from the vedas meaning: ‘The Redeemer of the Singer’. In the Hindu tradition a sung prayer, a song, a hymn. Within the Sufi Movement it is a title of a section of the Gayan and Vadan of Hazrat Inayat Khan. Also: Namaz. See: Wird
Ghazal (P) Short poem from Persian mysticism of a maximum of fifteen double verses.
Ghiza-i-ruh (A) Food for the soul.
Githas See: gathas
Guru (guru) (S) spiritual teacher (equivalent of Murshid)
Gurdwara Sanctuary of the Sikh religion
Hahut See: Samadhi
Hanuman Commander of the army of monkeys, the auxiliary troops in the Hindu heroic epic the Ramayana
Hazrat (A) (literally: presence) form of address and the title for a holy man, comparable to ‘your highness’. Also: Huzur
Huzur See: Hazrat
Ijazat Certificate that after a thorough training authorized a pupil in India to practice healing. Hazrat Inayat Khan as well as Murshid Ali Khan where in the posession of such a certificate.
Ilahi (A) Turkish religious sufi music (instrumental and vocal) often used prior to a Zikar gathering
Imam (A) (literally: someone who is being followed or imitated) Guide or spiritual leader in the tradition of the Islam. Also lecturer in a mosque.
Insán See: Zát
Jagirdar (P/U) feudal landowner, title of the local gentry of India. Mohammed Ali Khan bore the title Jagirdar. See ‘Zamindar’.
Jamiat Khas Meeting of Murshids (Jamiat Am = general meeting of Murshids, Shaikhs and Khalifs)
Jelal (A) The male, powerful, active, expressive aspect of life
Jemal (A) The female, soft, passive, receptive aspect of life
Kaäba (A) Muslim sanctuary in Mecca, according to tradition built by Abraham
Kala Bhawan Temple of the arts. A centre for dance, drama, music and the arts in Baroda
Karma (S) the law of the collective actions in someone’s (previous) life and its consequences in the current or future life
Karnatic music Music from southern India. See also: Dhrupad
Kasab, Kasb Breath practice used in Indian sufi orders derived from the pranayama practices of the yoga tradition
Kashf Insight, or more specifically gnostic knowledge, a ‘knowing’ that surpasses reason. In Hazrat Inayat Khan’s work one of the names of sections in the Gathas (spiritual teachings)
Kasif Heavy, powerful. A feature of the breath (compare: latif)
Kavi Poet and sage
Kemal (A) balance between jelal and jemal, motionlessness, stilling. Positive: meditative condition, but also negative: annihilation
Khalif(a) (Kalif) (A) Representative or deputy of a Shaikh. Esoteric title (appointment) that was given by Hazrat Inayat Khan to some of his mureeds, to serve and act as his ‘Juneor initiatic deputy’.
Khandan Family line or dynasty
Khankah (Khaniqah) (P) A residence, dwellingplace, convent or monastery for sufis, comparable with a Turkish Tekke
Khayal Classical music style of Northern-India, developed in the 17th and 18th century. It consists of a short melody (as with Dhrupad) that is lengthend by repetitions and variations.
Khilafat Appointment in traditional sufi orders, where one is becoming an authorized representative of that order, a Khalif.
Kirtana A melodic form from southern India
Krishna, Shri A divine incarnation of Vishnu, whose teachings are transmitted in the Bhagavad Gita
Laqab Honorific name, title or nickname. As Sufi name offered to an initiate of the Sufi order from whom not mere discipleship, but sustainable participation is expected. In the early days of the Movement used as an honorific title, nowadays mainly given when requested by the pupil, but not encouraged because of the possible romantic-exotic connotations. The conferring of a Laqab was early on reserved for Murshid Inayat Khan and his three brothers.
Latif Fine, subtle, light. A feature of the breath (compare: kasif)
Maqam (pl. maqamaat) Level of spiritual growth, level on the mystical path as a result of one’s efforts and practices. Many levels are accompanied by a certain state of mind: ‘haal’ (plural: hawaal or ahwaal). Maqamaat and ahwaal are translated respectively as: stages and states. The first is the result of human effort; the second is a gift of God.
Masnawi Elaborate work of poetry by Jelal uddin Rumi
Maya (S) World of illusions, referring to creation as we observe it through out limited senses. More or less comparable to ‘the world of names and forms’ from the terminology of Hazrat Inayat Khan
Mazar Islamic tomb
Moksha (S) Liberation of samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth and all suffering and limitation.
Murad Hassil (A) (literally: wish fulfilled ) The name given by Hazrat Inayat Khan in 1922 to an area in the dunes of Katwijk aan Zee, Holland, where in 1970 the Universel (temple) of the Sufi Movement was built.
Muraqaba (A) Contemplation
Mureed (A) pupil, disciple
Murshid (P) (A) spiritual teacher (compare: guru)
Mutasawwif (A) Mystic, aspirant-Sufi, he who strives to be a Sufi (i.e. pure).
Nabi (A) Prophet
Nafs (A) The ego or self. The limited awareness of one’s own identity. The aim of the sufi is to forget the nafs so one can merge into a divine awareness
Nakhshbandiyya One of the four major Sufi orders of India (see: Qadiriyya, Chistiyya, Suhrawardiyya) (see also Appendix E.)
Naqib (A) Leader, adjutant, herald a title that Hazrat Inayat Khan gave to mureeds equal in initiation and competence as the Khalif, the duties of guiding mureeds. They could not attend Jamiat Am meetings without specific invitation.
Nimaz (Namaz) Prayer
Nirtan (literally: dance) Name of one of the three notebooks of Hazrat Inayat Khan (see: Vadan, Gayan)
Pagri (H) (U) Indian turban. On a number of photographs Hazrat Inayat Khan is portrayed wearing a Pagri
Parsis Followers of Zoroaster (Zarathustra) living in India (especially in Gujerat).
Pir (P) (U) Elder, senior, counsellor, spiritual guide
Prakriti (S) All of creation, the material, that which is subject to change (see also: Purusha)
Prana (S) Life’s energy, life’s power
Pranayama (S) System of breathing practices within the yoga practice. Breath is considered in yoga and by Sufis as far more than the supply of oxygen to the body. The breath is at the same time a vehicle for life’s energy, called prana. See also: Kasab.
Pir-o-Murshid (P) Leader of the Murshids, head of a sufi order
Purusha (S) The spiritual, unchanging life
Qadiriyya order One of the four major sufi orders in India (see: Chistiyya, Nakhshibandiyya, Suhrawardiyya), named after the founder: Abdu’l Qadir Jilani.
Qawwalis Populair spiritual devotional songs within the Muslim culture of Pakistan and Northern India. The songs are accompanied by a small harmonium and drums.
Raga A pattern of notes in Indian music that when combined have a certain emotional value. There are different ragas for every moment of the day, morning, noon and evening.
Raja (S) (local or regional) Hindu emperor; also honourific title of important yogis
Rasul (A) Messenger
Riazat (Ryazat) (A) Training, practice, discipline
Rind (P) Pupil. The free aspect of sufism where the adept tries to live in the here-and-now, without concerning him/herself with regrets over the past and worries about the future. The emphasis on this path is detachment (compare: salik)
Ruhaniyya (Ruhaniat) (A) Spirituality
Sadhu (S) Indian, Hindu ascetic
Sajjada Nashin (P) Spiritual successor in a sufi-order; heir that takes his place on the prayer rug of his predecessor.
Salik (A) Pupil, follower. Aspect of sufism where the adept places emphasis on righteousness and morality
Sam’a Silence by listening. Musical spiritual gathering, religious concert amongst sufis. The experience of the beauty of music is considered to have a deepening spiritual effect.
Samadhi (S) Deep and abstract meditation, highest condition of being that brings peace and balance. Comparable to the Buddhist term Nirwana and the sufi term Hahut
Samsara (S) Cycle of birth, death and rebirth (reincarnation). Notion from the Hindu- and Buddhist tradition. A believer tries to escape from this cycle by reaching Moksha
Sangathas See: gathas
Sangithas See: gathas
Sannyasin Renouncer of the world, ascetic in the Indian yoga-tradition
Saut-i-sarmad (also Saut-e-Surmadi) (A) (P) Sufi term for the sound of the cosmos, the divine primal vibration, abstract sound that can be considered as the keynote of all existing sound. Saut-i-sarmad is reflected mostly by the sound ‘Hu’ (Arabic for ‘He’ or ‘Him’) Comparable to Aum or Om from the Buddhist tradition.
Shagal, Shagl Work, occupation. Sufi practice that consists of the successive closure of the four outwardly directed senses (sight, smell, taste and hearing) in order to direct these senses to the inner world and to unite them to one single underlying sense.
Shahada (A) Formula that expresses the creed of the Muslim and is used in the Zikar practice amongst sufis. It confirms nothing but God and denies all other than God. In Arabic: La Ilaha illa ‘llahu, meaning: Nothing exists, save God.
Shaikh (A) (Sheikh(P) Senior, old man (or wife: Shaikha). Clan leader, head of the order, academic or spiritual title.
Sifat See: Zát
Silsilah List of succession of Murshids or Shaikhs. Most sufi orders trace their silsilah back to Mohammed.
Sufi. In the traditional sense a ‘Sufi’ is a person who has attained the state of purity (safa), comparable to the westen notion of ‘saint’. Nowadays the term is also used to denote a member of a sufi organisation or a mureed. In that sense it would be more correct to use the word ‘mutasawwif’ (aspirant sufi) he who is seeking to reach the state of purity.
Suhrawardiyya One of the four major sufi orders of India (see: Qadiriyya, Nakhshibandiyya, Chistiyya) (see Appendix E.)
Tahwid (A) God’s unity and its affirmation
Talib (A) Pupil. Term generally used by Hazrat Inayat Khan to refer to an adept or disciple of Sufism. Comparable to mureed.
Talim (A) Teaching, instruction
Tansen Name of a famous singer from Indian history during the reign of the Moghul Emperor Akbar (16e century). Hazrat Inayat Khan visited his tomb in Gwalior in 1896. Later he received the name Tansen from an Emperor as an honorific title because of his major musical merits and achievements.
Tanzih The distance of Allah to his creation and man, the transcendence of Allah (e.g. tashbih)
Tariqa(t) (tarika) (A) The spiritual path, the mystical way back to God. Distinction is made between the sjari’a islam (exoteric, religious law) and the tariqa islam (esoteric, the mystical aspect of islam)
Tasawwuf (A) Islamic mysticism, Sufism
Tasawwur (A) Concentration, visualisation, keeping in mind. For example; tasawwur-i-murshid, tasawwur-i-shaikh as part of the ‘fana’ process
Tasbih Prayer beads for the recitation of wazaif (e.g. mala or japa mala (Hinduism) akshamala (Buddhism)). All are forerunners of the catholic rosary which came into use in the 15th century
Tashbih (A) The nearness (immanence) of Allah to man, in contrast to ‘tanzih’, the distance of Allah to man (transcendence). Another definition is: Tashbih: the divine as the deepest identity of man, Tanzih: the divine as the seperate unattainable entity that is seperate from man. The nearness of Allah is experienced by the recitation of the holy names that designate the mercy and nearness of Allah.
Tawajjoh (A) Sufi concentration practice in which the mureed opens up for the inspiration of the chain (silsilah) of Murshids or one of them.
Tawakkul (A) complete trust (in Allah, God)
Tekke (T) Sufi-house. Place where sufis or dervish gather, also: Khankah, Khaniqah (P) of Ribat (A).
Universel Name introduced for a sufi temple by Hazrat Inayat Khan. The name denotes that Sufism holds the idea of the unity of religious ideals and strives for universal brother- and sisterhood of mankind.
‘Urs (Literally: wedding) Commemoration of the death of a saint or sage through a pilgrimage to his of her grave
Ustad Master, title used by pupils to address for example a musical teacher. Maheboob Khan was sometimes referred to as Ustad.
Vadan Divine symphony. Name of one of the three note books of Hazrat Inayat Khan (see: Gayan, Nirtan)
Viladat day 5th July, birthday of Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882), founder of the Sufi Movement. This day is celebrated in sufi circles.
Visalat day 5th February, death day of Hazrat Inayat Khan (1927), founder of the Sufi Movement. This day is commemorated in sufi circles.
Wahdat al-wudjud Literally: the unity of being. Term of Ibn el Arabi that refers to the condition of ecstasy when man feels himself united with the divine being after dropping his own identity. A less radical form is Wahdat al-shuhud: witnessing the unity of God.
Wazifa (pl. Wazaif) Sufi word for mantra(m), a holy word that is recited several times as a contemplation. One of the 99 holy names of Allah (asma al husna) are mainly used for wazifa. See 2.3.
Waqf (A) Muslim legal Foundation
Wird (A) Prayer of a specific sufi order (plural: awrad). Mostly a series of prayers, installed by the founder of the order. Hazrat Inayat Khan called the awrad: Gayatri.
Yoga (S) literally “Yoke”, meaning: “to unite”, “to control”. Yoga is the state in which man finds himself under the same yoke with the Divine, i.e. connected with the Divine.
In a broader context: a Hindu philosophy that teaches control of the mind, feeling and body, and in doing so, one reaches unity with the Divine. With a small variation the word yoga expresses the condition in which the ‘percievable human being’ is connected to the ‘inner human being’, i.e. in which man has reached his true nature and is living in agreement with it.
The yoga technique is a discipline, by means of which man tries to attain the state of yoga.
In a more common, western concept yoga often is used, meaning hatha yoga, a form of yoga that consists of a system of practices to gain control over the mind and (predominantly) the body.
Yogi (S) Hindu-mystic, practitioner of yoga
Zát (Dhat) (A) The unmanifested, essence, Self. The condition where God is still one and unknown. The opposite notion to Zát refers to that which is manifest: ‘Sifat’, the known, the created world, ‘Insán’ the created human being, humanity, and finally the ‘Nafs’: (the awareness of) the Personal limited ego.
Zakir (P) Practitioner of the Zikar, a sufi practice
Zamindar (U) Landowner, Hazrat Inayat Khan comes from a clan of Indian gentry. His grandfather Maulabakhsh had the title Zamindar. See ‘Jagirdar’.
Zikar (Zikr, Dhikr, Dzikr) (A) Sufi practice. Zikar is Arabic for ‘reference’, ‘remembrance’. During the practice the soul tries to remember its true origin and identity; the true Self. During the practice the phrase: La ilaha illa ‘llahu, is recited, literally meaning: no deity, except God. As instatic (as opposed to extatic) meditation this practice is performed sitting down, combined with certain rotating movements of the torso.