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Fall Appeal 2020

November 11, 2020

I am coming from a perfect source and I am bound to a perfect goal. The light of the perfect being is kindled in my soul. I live, move, and have my being in God. And nothing in the world of the past or present has the power to touch me, for I rise above all. — Hazrat Inayat Khan, Healing & the Mind World

Dearest Friends,

We come from a perfect source, and we are bound for a perfect goal. Over the past eight months, during what could be considered the most imperfect of years, we returned repeatedly to this message. It is an invocation that underlies our shared spiritual path and mystical pursuit.

We united through unbelievable circumstances, during what in actuality may be remembered as one of the most miraculous of times. Within a flash last March, our global community was drawn together. Our individual lives changed considerably and we adapted. After several fortuitous years of building digital infrastructure, the Inayatiyya was able to quickly adapt, too.

Almost immediately, we moved all of our offerings online. We began to gather weekly for Sufi Teachings with Pir Zia on Sundays. The Inayatiyya Healing Activity began to hold Sufi Healing Services for the World on Wednesdays. The Inayatiyya Musicians’ Guildoffered Sama every Saturday at first, then on Sundays. Kinshipand Ziraat offered Friday gatherings, each once a month. Our Inayatiyya Young Adultsgroup hosted monthly teachings and suhbat. Our Knighthood of Purity and Anjumani Islamgroups began to gather in new ways. And Universal Worshipled us in a service for its 99th Anniversary on May 7th, followed by Pir Vilayat’s Urs on June 17th, globally live-streamed from Fazal ManzilA digital calendar was born.

Our Inayatiyya Global Leadership met late March, too, for our first-ever Digital Summit. As part of this gathering, we changed our name to the Inayatiyya and added a Seventh ActivityMusic. We explored what it could mean to unify all of the parts of our organization, and announced the launch of a new Inayatiyya International Boardbased out of the United Kingdom.

We are grateful that our leadership responded to the issues of our day, hosting special discussions and programs on Race, Justice, Equity & Love, and Climate Change. Also, most impressively, Inayatiyya Centers & Teachers worldwide offered hundreds of offerings, all via Zoom.

We moved our summer programs online as well, from Season of the Rose in June to Zenith Camp in July and August to Inayatiyya Reentrythe first Sunday in September. One week into the fall season, we hosted Noor’s Urs events, too, a Noor Celebration on September 13th and the premiere of Aède of Ocean and the Land on September 14th.

And, little did we know that the pandemic would catapult the launch of a Suluk Global Online Program with 160 students from fifteen countries, as well as take our planned Suluk Graduate Program, The Divine Art: The Alchemy of Human Transformation global as well, with its initial session this past weekend, welcoming 138 Suluk Graduates and Teachers.

During all of this, we responsibly reduced our budget and temporarily down-sized to the equivalent of three staff, Jenni Thomas, our Digital Manager, Josh Octaviani, our Front Desk Manager & Registrar (part-time), Amir Bisio as Executive Intern (part-time), and myself. (Also, fortunately, Tarana Jobin, our Music Director, was able to volunteer with us over the summer.) We could not foresee how much our work would grow.

New friends began to reach out to us from around the world, wanting to learn more about Hazrat Inayat Khan’s teachings, inquiring about initiation, and seeking spiritual guidance. We could not have anticipated the amount of time involved in running digital programs. In particular, the two Suluk programs would have benefitted from dedicated staff early on.

It became critical to invest in upgraded technologiesincluding new computers, sound and lighting equipment, an advanced Zoom account, and DocuSign, a digital signature tool. These are only a few examples of the enhancements necessary to pivot our school of Inayatiyya Sufism to an online model.

We are now very aware that we need to further grow our infrastructure as we prepare for next year, and we need your support. In lieu of a mailed Inayatiyya Fall Appeal, we are reaching out to you today, via email, our elists, and social media, and asking you to make a financial contribution toward this growth.

If you have felt the love and joy of our community this year, and the reassuring depth of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s teachings, please consider making a donation today.

We know that many of you already give in so many ways.Thank you to all of you who have made donations as tithers and/or via our website this year. Your support has given us confidence to bring staff back this fall, including Kenneth Sparks, our Operations Manager and Executive Assistant, and Tarana, as well as hire Julianna Takacs and Isa Haberer to co-manage our Suluk programs. Also, your gifts have helped us feel as though we can go forward and prepare to strengthen and grow our offerings in 2021.

If you are able to give additional support during our appeal, please know that we have raised $105,000 so far this year, and hope to raise another $95,000 by December 31, 2020. Our total needed is $200,000.

As you consider your giving, please always feel free to contact us at

May we live, move and have our being in God, always.

Most appreciatively,

Jennifer Alia Wittman
Executive Director

PS – Over the coming weeks, we will begin to share plans for 2021 with you. As we develop new programs and offerings, we would love your input. If you have a moment, please consider completing our Inayatiyya Community Survey 2020.  It should only take about 5 minutes and asks about your experiences with the Inayatiyya over the past year as well as about what you’d like to see us do in the future. Thank you!


Inayatiyya Donations may be made via our website or via check made payable to THE INAYATI ORDER, 112 E CARY STREET, RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23219. Please note that we have not yet legally changed our name to INAYATIYYA and plan to do so in the new year.

If you donate through our website, please choose the “Gift Choices” drop-down option “Fall Appeal.” If you would like to commit to tithing, and do not already tithe, please choose the option “Monthly Tithe,” as well as the option for “Recurring Donation.” THANK YOU!


This year, we have three tiers of gifts to show our appreciation for your giving:

Tier One  All donors will receive a special card with the I come from a perfect source…quote of Murshid’s above for daily inspiration.

Tier Two  Anyone who has tithed this year, or commits to monthly tithing going forward, will receive a small portrait of Murshid. We will share more about this portrait next week. Please note that you must commit to tithing by December 31, 2020 to receive this special gift.

Tier Three — Anyone who has given $2,400 or more in 2020, through tithing and/or one-time gifts, will receive a limited-edition print of the soon-to-be-revealed portrait of Murshid, signed by the artist. Again, more to come on this new portrait! While the other gifts will be sent to you in January, we will begin to send out these special portraits within the next few weeks.


This year, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act offers significant U.S. tax incentives to stimulate charitable giving. Individuals can deduct up to 100% of their 2020 adjusted gross income for cash donations to qualified charities. The new law also creates a $300 above-the-line charitable deduction for filers who claim the standard deduction ($600 for married couples filing jointly).