Hazrat Pir-O-Murshid Inayat Khan (1882-1927), founder of the Sufi Order and Movement, came to the West as a representative of the musical and spiritual traditions of his native India, bringing with him a message of Love, Harmony, and Beauty that was both the quintessence of Sufi thought and a groundbreaking contribution to the harmonizing of East and West in the realm of applied spirituality.
As a vocalist, musicologist, and player of the vina, Inayat Khan dedicated his early life to mastering the intricacies of classical Indian music, and won the title of Tansen from the Nizam of Hyderabad. While in Hyderabad he was initiated and trained by Qutb al-Aqtab Sayyid Abu Hashim Madani. Madani was a teacher in the Chishti lineage who additionally maintained and transmitted the traditions of the Suhrwardi, Qadiri, and Naqshbandi orders. At the end of Inayat Khan’s apprenticeship, Madani enjoined him to travel to the West on a mission of spiritual harmony.
On September 13, 1910, Hazrat Inayat Khan began an odyssey which would encompass three continents and transform the lives of thousands. He eventually settled in Suresnes, a suburb of Paris. During his sixteen years in the West he created a school of spiritual training based on traditional Sufism and infused with a vital vision of the unity of religious ideals-and the awakening of humanity to the divinity within.