Murshid Hidayat Inayat-Khan
Biography of Murshid Hidayat Inayat-Khan
Hidayat Inayat-Khan (August 6th 1917-September 12, 2016), son of the Indian mystic and musician Hazrat Inayat Khan and Pirani Ameena Begum Ora Ray Baker Inayat-Khan of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was born into a family of most remarkable personalities. Hidayat's great-great grandfather was Tipu Sultan, the "Tiger of Mysore", last Supreme Potentate of All India, whose palace on the fortified island of Sering Pathan was guarded by living tigers. The great Sultan's principle, in resisting the English conquerors to the death, was, "Better to live one day as a tiger than one year as a sheep". The Sultan's citadel was destroyed in a historic battle, and one of his sons was killed in the mutiny of 1857, leaving a daughter, the Princess of Mysore, who was miraculously saved and raised in secret within the precincts of what used to be the citadel. Later she became the bride of India's most famous singer and musician, Mula Bux, who was universally known as "The Morning Star of the East" and was raised to the rank of princehood by the ruling Raja.
The main symbol in the emblem suggests a mystical attunement to the heart as a divine temple within.
Mula Bux founded the first Academy of Music in India, and also invented the music notation system bearing his name. He restored the fundamentals of Indian classical traditions in all fields of music, and in so doing received rewards and recognition from monarchs all over India. The first royal child to be born from his union with the Princess of Mysore was a daughter called Khatidja, who later became the mother of Inayat Khan.
Professor Inayat Khan was also the greatest singer, vina player and composer in his time, and was crowned as "Tansen" at the courts of the Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Maheboob Ali Khan, known as the "Saintly King". It was this great Nizam who granted Hidayat’s father all the necessary help in breathing new life into India’s most sacred music and propagating it across India. Professor Inayat Khan was also the author of several books on Indian music, in particular Minca-I-Musicar, in which several songs of the author’s own composition are published in the Mula Bux notation. Another ancestor of Hidayat's was Saint Jumma Shah from Punjab, whose holy tomb near Lahore is still visited by numerous pilgrims in homage and gratitude for the inspiration which radiates from his shrine. It is from this sacred spot that Hazrat Inayat Khan started out in 1901 on his musical travels, in the course of which he was royally welcomed by Maharajas and Nawabs all over India.
Hidayat's father was also the first Indian musician to introduce Indian classical music to the Western world. He landed in America in 1910, after which he gave concerts of Indian music all over the world. His music was deeply appreciated by the Tsar of Russia, in whose palace he met Count Tolstoy and the famous Russian composer Scriabin. Later concerts were organized in Paris by Lucien Guitry, father of Sacha Guitry, and it was also in Paris that he became acquainted with Claude Debusy, to whom many of his own melodies were given, some of which were used in his scores. Hazrat Inayat Khan settled in London during the First World War, and it was here, in 1917 that Hidayat was born, the third of, ultimately, four children. In 1919, Hazrat Inayat Khan moved with his family to the continent, eventually settling in the Parisian suburb of Suresnes, in a large house which he named Fazal Manzil, "blessed home". In his early years, Hidayat's life had an extraordinary, almost fairy-tale quality, for he was surrounded by the atmosphere of his remarkable father and most loving mother, and there was a constant stream of visitors coming to their home, drawn by the twin magnets of music and the Sufi Message. Sadly, those magical days ended abruptly when Hazrat Inayat Khan passed away during a visit to India, in 1927, at the age of 45. Hidayat was 9 years old.
Because of his family, Hidayat was cradled in the atmosphere of Eastern music. However, his musical schooling in the West helped orient him toward the symphonic form. His Western musical education started at L'Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, in the violin class of Mr. Sinsheimer and the composition courses of Nadia Boulanger, as well as training in orchestra conducting given by the great Diran Alexanian. He later joined the string quartet courses given by the world-famous Lener Quartet, which was followed by instruction in orchestra conducting under Toon Verheij in Holland.
During his early years, Hidayat was a professor in the Music School of Dieulefit, Drome, France, and later conducted an orchestra in Haarlem, Holland. Hidayat has written numerous compositions, among them La Monotonia Op. 13 for strings – Ghandi Symphony Op. 25 - Zikar Symphony with organ Op. 26 - Message Symphony with organ Op. 30 - Virginia Symphonic Poem Op. 44 – Concerto for strings Op 38 - Quartet for Strings Op. 45 - and a number of choral pieces including Chanson Exotique , Awake for Morning, and a collection of Sufi hymns. He is a founding member of the European Composers' Union, and his music has frequently been broadcast internationally, as well as being released commercially by Panta Rhei of Holland.
Since 1988 Murshid Hidayat Inayat-Khan has been the Pir-o-Murshid and Joint General Representative of the International Sufi Movement. In 2009 the Pir-o-Murshid Council was established and from that moment onwards Murshid Hidayat Inayat-Khan and Murshid Karimbakhsh Witteveen are Co-General Representatives. Murshid Hidayat resigned as Co-General Representative on July 5, 2016.
Click to view a selection of books written by Murshid Hidayat Inayat-Khan