Established April 20, 2009
Welcome Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
It is fascinating to recall that The Sufi Movement was founded in 1923, that is to say over 80 years ago, and since that date the world has become a different world. There has been such a tremendous expansion at all levels of international communication facilities, and in particular, in connection with the Internet.
The Five Activities in the Sufi Movement
The organization activities in the Movement have become so much more complex, and consequently, it is practically impossible for one single Leader to lead in person the five activities, each being of a completely different nature, requiring therefore trained specialists to motivate individually each activity at the highest level of efficiency.
The Ideal of Spiritual Liberty
The methods of working vary in the different parts of the world, in accordance with historical cultures, which should be seen as sources of inspiration for us all. Let us therefore adapt our understanding to all types of expressions and to all circumstances, while at the same time, holding high the banner of Spiritual Liberty, which is the keynote of The Message that we are serving.
The Succession Since 1927
Coming to another subject, there have always been tragic events regarding the succession of the Leadership in the Sufi Movement, which we absolutely want to avoid in the future. The Movement has suffered too much, following those successions ever since 1927. Each time that a new Leader became the holder of the Pir-o-Murshid title, many mureeds left The Movement, and several separate organizations were created.
The Seat of the Historical Pir-o-Murshid Title
The project of a “Pir-o-Murshid Council” is to be understood as being a remedy to such regrettable events regarding the subject of the succession. The idea is for there to be a continuation of the Leadership, rather than an interruption following the succession.
This Council could be seen as the “Seat” of the title of the founder of the Sufi Movement. It is composed of appointed members who come together with the responsibility to be collectively attuned to the stream of The Message in our time. The members do not vote, but they hope to come to a consensus on matters regarding the work done in the various Activities, following which the final decisions are then entrusted to the Executive Committee, where they are handled on a voting basis.
Select "Pir-o-Murshid Council Members" on the left for a list of appointed/founding members.
Select "Executive Committee Members" on the left for a list of appointed members.
The Function of the Representative General
There is however an amendment in the Articles of Incorporation, which makes it quite clear that if some day it would be preferable to have one single holder of the Pir-o-Murshid title, that possibility could eventually be discussed by the Executive Committee.
The Inner School, or Esoteric Activity
According to the bylaws of the Inner School, the Pir-o-Murshid is the Head of the Esoteric Activity, originally called Sufi Order prior to the creation of the International Sufi Movement in Geneva in 1923, following which, that Order was merged within the Movement as one of the five Activities, now called the Esoteric Activity, or the Inner School.
The Function of the Madar-ul-Maham
In the “Pir-o-Murshid Council”, the Respnsibility of the Esoteric Activity has now been entrusted to the Madar-ul-Maham, so that the original title (Pir-o-Murshid), formerly indicating that function, is henceforth collectively safeguarded within this special council for years to come, rather than that title being held by one single holder.
A Personal Note
I have always had mixed feelings about being the single holder of that title, but I have done it because I felt that it was my responsibility. Ever since it was granted to me, I have continually tried to focus my mind and my heart in thought of my Father. I have always felt that the only way that I could be true to my Father would be for that sacred title to be preserved in such a way that it would never be discussable anymore in the future.
It is something which I treasure more than anything in the world, and it has been a great privilege trying as much as I could to maintain the Ideal of dignity.
The Idea of Hierarchy in the Sufi Movement
One could define the idea of Spiritual Hierarchy in one word, ‘dignity’. Hierarchy is not to be mistaken for authoritarianism!
Let us forever remember the precious teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan emphasizing the keynote of dignity in the democracy of the ego and the aristocracy of the soul.
If one could picture Hazrat Inayat Khan in a few words, one could say that our Master was the symbol of dignity.
Hierarchy in our Movement is revealed in the ways that dignity prevails, and in the way that The Message is presented to the world. Dignity means respecting oneself so that one is able to respect others; therefore it is expected from the “Pir-o-Murshid Council” that the members shall feel the importance of being respectful in every way possible: in ways of behaving, and in ways of communicating with others as living examples of the great Ideals of Love, Harmony and Beauty..
From the bottom of my heart may I kindly express my deepest gratitude for the precious attention granted to this project, inspired by a great Ideal; and may I also say that I would never have been able to take the decision in creating the ”Pir-o-Murshid Council”, had I not felt a deep connection with my own Father.
More, I cannot say ………
Extracts from a talk given at the Executive Committee 20 April 2009