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So far Satya Khan has created 33 blog entries.

The Zephyr October 2017

October 1, 2017

Dear Companions on the Path,

I am so glad to see the commencement of this new vehicle for communication. This monthly newsletter will help us all keep closer in touch. I plan to use it as an opportunity to share reflections on the wisdom of the GayanVadan and Nirtan, under the title Music of the Spheres. You will find my first offering along these lines below.

The last few months have been eventful ones. In June we celebrated the graduation of the Jabalqa Suluk class at the Abode. Soon afterward the Abode hosted the North American Inayati Order annual gathering, Season of the Rose. At the end, my family and I said goodbye to our home of the last fifteen years, and set out for Richmond and a new chapter of Sufi service.

There was no time to get settled in Richmond, however. Within a few days we were off to Istanbul, where the Inayati Order is growing, and then to Switzerland, where the Zenith Camp remains an annual gathering place for longstanding murids and new seekers alike. Following the Camp we stayed at Fazal Manzil so that I could be with the Jabarsa Suluk class in Eperon, France, for its study of Contemplation.

We are now in Richmond and the Astana is beginning to take shape. We held our first gathering the evening of Hejirat Day. I hope you will come and visit us here soon. If you are unable to come in the near future, God willing we will meet closer to your home: while building up the new center here, I plan to keep traveling throughout the country and the world, and to keep webcasting. Meanwhile do be sure to keep in touch with your own local Sufi community and the teachers, guides, cherags, healing coordinators, kinship coordinators, farmers, and knights who are constantly convening circles of prayer, remembrance, and service in so many parts of the country and the world. Together we make one whole—a part of the larger whole of life, the unity of which we exist to serve.

Yours ever,

Pir Zia

Read the full newsletter

Charlottesville Statement from Pir Zia

Dear Companions on the Path,

I am writing to you from France, where with great sadness and concern I have been following the news coming out of the United States. I am grieving, as so many are grieving, the tragic death of Heather Heyer.

Charlottesville is just an hour’s drive from Richmond, where our new North American headquarters is located. Richmond has its own statue of Robert E. Lee.

It is said that Gen. Lee himself opposed the construction of Confederate memorials, recognizing the need for the nation to “obliterate the marks of civil strife.”

Our nation is now struggling to find an adequate response, not only to the presence of Lee’s image, but to the shadows of American history, encompassing the dispossession of native people, the brutal practice of slavery, and the subordination of women.

And yet for all our troubled history, America is a land of vision and promise, where much has been, and may yet be, achieved.

Lost souls grasp desperately for belonging and forge factional identities premised on assumed superiority in the hope of shoring up self-esteem. Sooner or later, however, the illusion of separateness must crumble. Murshid says, “The one who will not take in the idea of unity will be taken in by unity one day.”

How much better it would be for the whole of the world to take in the idea of unity now. It is for this reason that the Inayati Order exists: to realize and spread the knowledge of unity so that hearts overflow with love and hatred based on distinctions and differences is rooted out.

We intend to always be a community of equality between people of all races, religions, and kinds, and to spread the message of unity. This requires of us continuous vigilance, uprooting the traces of divisiveness whenever they appear in our own minds and hearts.

I am grateful for the conscientious work on behalf of our Order done in Charlottesville by Rabia and Zakir Amin, who recently shared their experiences. I honor, likewise, the contributions of all of you, my companions on the path, in your prayers and meditations, kinship activities, healing circles, Universal Worship services, and Ziraat lodges, and in all that you do in the service of the Message of Love, Harmony, and Beauty.

May love’s victory come soon.

Yours always,

Sarafil Bawa

New Staff + Summer Plans

July 19, 2017

Dear Friends,

We’ve finally landed at the Astana in Richmond! After many months of packing and preparation, and a very special Season of the Rose, we officially arrived in RVA on the 4th of July.

Since the move, we have begun getting our office set-up and have focused on practicalities, such as helping Pir Zia and his family settle into their new home before heading off for their summer teaching tour of Turkey, the Swiss Alps, and Suresnes, France. Now that they are off, we have begun to focus more fully on getting ready for a public launch of the Astana this fall.

New Staff

Kenneth Sparks

Perhaps the most important aspect of our preparations has been the hiring of new staff. We are pleased to announce that we have just signed agreement letters with two great people. Kenneth Sparks, our new Executive Assistant, will support Pir Zia and Alia, and manage all operations related to the Astana. In addition, Muhasaba Molly Wender, a long-time student of this path, will be our new Programs Manager. We are extremely excited and grateful to have an incredibly capable staff come together to manage activities at the Astana and across North America.

Biographies for staff can be found here.

Muhasaba Molly WenderWe also plan to hire two additional positions this fall: ourAdministrative Assistant and Communications Manager positions will be advertised in September with start dates in October.

* Even as we hire these new positions in Richmond, we want to recognize former staff members Yaqin Aubert and Molly “Moon” Mooney, two of our most devoted friends. Both are shifting into new roles with Yaqin becoming the Vice President of the Inayati Order, a board role, and Moon building her career as a healer, farmer and naturalist. We will miss them both.

Summer Plans

As we prepare to open the Astana, we have decided to cloister ourselves away a bit to focus on a few important projects. Over the next ten weeks, we will work on the following:

  • Preparing the Astana to open in time for Wisdom of the Prophets: Sufism & Christianity, November 2-5, 2017. This will be the Astana’s first program, and will include a special public blessing ceremony. (Preparations include construction to create a public meeting space and audio-video room, and full furnishing of the building and grounds.)
  • Creating new promotional materials and booklets describing our work and sharing Hazrat Inayat Khan’s teachings.
  • Working on communications including a new e-newsletter, updated website, and fall appeal, all noting the Astana as the center of our activity.
  • Finalizing details for upcoming programs, including enhanced leadership training opportunities, and a new Suluk class to launch September 2018.
  • Collaborating with our Esoteric Leadership on how to best support and promote Inayati Order teachers, guides, centers, and programs across North America.

While we work on all of the above, please know that you will hear from us again, and more regularly, beginning Monday, October 2, 2017. Until then, we appreciate your patience as we do everything needed to for a proper launch in November.

New Email Address

As a part of our new transition, we are phasing out the use of the word “Secretariat” in favor of “Astana” and “Headquarters.” Our offices will now be known as The Astana or The Inayati Order North American Headquarters.

As a part of this change, we are discontinuing use of and ask that everyone begin to use the email address,

Our primary phone number, 518-794-7834, will stay the same, at least for now.

If you can, please try to be with us, either in person or online, for the Inayati Order Astana’s launch in November. Registration is open for Wisdom of the Prophets: Sufism & Christianity, with additional details to come.

Thank you for your kindness, friendship, and support as we have made our way to Virginia. May the Astana become a home of love, harmony, and beauty for all our friends worldwide!

With love,

Jennifer Alia Wittman
Executive Director

Roshan Peay
Chair of the Board

13th Urs Celebration of Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan


“Dive deeply into the miracle of life and let the tips of your wings be burnt by the flame, let your feet be lacerated by the thorns, let your heart be stirred by human emotion, and let your soul be lifted beyond the earth.”
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

You are cordially Invited to the

13th Urs celebration of

Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan


Sajjada-Nashin of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan and Founder of the Hope Project

Saturday, 17th June 2017

At Dargah Sharif Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan and

Dargah Sharif Hazrat Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan


Saturday, 17th June 2017

From 6.00 am onwards Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan’s Dargah is open for Morning Meditation.

9.30 am Fatiha and blessing of the Chaddar at Dargah Sharif Hazrat Inayat Khan; procession to Dargah Sharif Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan; prayers and offerings.

Followed by a reception with the community of the Hope Project at the Noor Inayat Khan Library, with refreshments.

11.00 am

Distribution of Langar at Dargah Sharif Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan.


Organized by The Inayati Order under the auspices of its President, Pir Zia Inayat-Khan ‘urf Sarafil Bawa (Sajjada-Nashin of Dargah Sharif Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan and Dargah Sharif Hazrat Pir Vilayat Inayat-Khan), in conjunction with the Hope Project Charitable Trust founded by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan. Pir Zia will be represented by Haji Aslam Hussain. 

Dargah Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan

and Dargah Hazrat Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

129 Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin,

New Delhi 110013 INDIA

For further information please contact Ms. Carmen Hussain:

A Message From Pir Zia

Dear Companions on the Path,

astana_leadI am writing to share with you a piece of wonderful news: the Inayatiyya, North America, has a new Headquarters!

Two years ago it became clear that it was important for the Inayatiyya to free itself from its time-consuming responsibilities toward The Abode of the Message and allow the Abode to become self-directed. At the same time, I felt the “pull of the future” drawing me to establish my work in a new and more populous and diverse setting.

While considering a long list of cities, my family and I took a road trip last year, driving from New York to Georgia and back. Richmond, Virginia, was not on our list, but on the return journey we felt compelled to stop there. We stayed at a Holiday Inn, and when we stepped outside of the hotel and looked around, something felt very right in our bones.

I communicated my enthusiasm to the Board, and Alia and some of the members of the Board visited Richmond and experienced a similar sense of the rightness of it. The search for a Headquarters building now began. Alia and the Board (especially Fazl and Roshan Peay) put in a lot of work, and at last a splendid building was found. When all signs were positive, my family and I went to Richmond to see the building. Lo and behold, we discovered it was diagonally across from the Holiday Inn where we first arrived in Richmond and felt intuitively we had come to the right place!

The building is a historical brick edifice that has been beautifully renovated inside. It has room for a reception, a meeting space for approximately forty people, an archive, offices, and breakout areas. It is situated on a quiet street not far from the city center.

It was by virtue of a generous low-interest loan from friends within the Order that the Inayatiyya was able to purchase the building. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all who have supported this grace-filled move. Alhamdulillah.

Our new Headquarters in Richmond will be called the Astana, which means, “the Threshold.” Our intention is that it be the beating heart of our order; a magnetic and energetic center; its outer physicality reflecting our inner quest for harmony. Our hope is to fill it with an atmosphere of hospitality, with music, visiting scholars, a shared commitment to matters of the heart, and abiding adab.

I look forward to seeing you all there as soon as you are able to come and visit.

Yours ever,

Sarafil Bawa

The Astana in Images





The Astana Key Details

The Astana may be found at 112 E Cary Street, Richmond, Virginia, between the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University and downtown. A few key features:

  • The Astana will serve as the Inayati Order’s North American Headquarters
  • It is a historic brick, three story building, built in 1856 (3828 sq ft)
  • The property has been fully renovated and is a mix of 19th Century charm and clean, modern aesthetic
  • The grounds include a private gate, courtyard and two-story carriage house
  • There are also four parking spaces in the back
  • The Astana will include a reception & sales area, archive, library, meeting space for 35-40 people, an audio & video room, two private offices, one large open office, two kitchenettes, one full kitchen, and three bathrooms, one on each floor
  • Pir Zia and his family will live about 20 minutes away in Henrico County

The Astana Programs

  • We will move to Richmond the first week of July, right after Season of the Rose at the Abode.
  • Our first event at the Astana will be Wisdom of the Prophets: Sufism & Christianity, November 2-5, 2017.
  • Beginning in 2018, Pir Zia will teach two classes (Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings) a week except while he is traveling.
  • Suluk Academy’s next two-year course will be held at the Astana, with Pir Zia as the sole faculty member. Launch date is September 2018 with applications available later this fall and due next spring.
  • Various other programs will be held at the Astana throughout the year.

Additional details about new staff positions, coming events, and overall move logistics will be shared in future emails. If you would like to support the creation of our new headquarters in Richmond, donations are most appreciated and can be made here. We hope to see you in Richmond!

Mingled Waters: New from Pir Zia Inayat-Khan

mingled-smMingled Waters: Sufism and the Mystical Unity of Religions
By Pir Zia Inayat-Khan

New from Suluk Press

Mingled Waters: Sufism and the Mystical Unity of Religions gives an account of the deep ecumenism of Sufism as evidenced in a variety of historical, literary, intellectual, and spiritual convergences. Drawing on the Qur’an, prophetic traditions, classical Sufi sayings, traditional stories, and verses from Arabic, Persian, and Urdu divans, Mingled Waters examines the inner teachings of Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam from the perspective of Sufi gnosis. In the rivers of all the world’s revealed traditions the same water flows, the water of divine revelation. Mingled Waters peers into a handful of its sparkling drops.

Purchase from Suluk Press


Reviews for Mingled Waters

“This exquisite work extends our horizons and illuminates our souls.”
— Shaykha Hayat Nur Artiran, author of Nun Kapısı and Ask Bir Davaya Benzer

“A timely, boldly inspirational, and panoramic depiction of the variety of the religious and mystical experience of mankind. Behind this variety lies Oneness that encompasses all religious manifestations and that connects all human hearts.”
—Sara Sviri, author of The Taste of Hidden Things and The Sufi Anthology

“It is in the darkest hour of winter that spring starts stirring at the roots of trees. In this dark hour of hatred, fear, and division, Mingled Waters renews my hope in the power of love, courage, and cooperation.”
—Brother David Steindl-Rast, author of The Way of Silence and Deeper Than Words

The Soul Whence and Whither: Online Course with Pir Zia Inayat-Khan

May 4, 11, 18 and 25, 2017 The Soul Whence and Whither, also known as The Soul’s Journey, is a cornerstone of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s work. In these four classes, Pir Zia will offer an overview and appreciation of the worldview communicated in this visionary book. Read More


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