Who are we?
Not a building. Nor a formal organization. It all started with Hazrat Inayat Khan and Universal Sufism.
Universal Sufism, a gift of Hazrat Inayat Khan
In 1910, Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, traveled from India as the first Sufi Master to come to the West, spreading the Sufi Message of Love Harmony and Beauty. A Sufi Master from India born into Persian nobility, Hazrat Inayat Khan introduced Universal Sufism to the United States.
Hazrat Inayat Khan was born in Gujarat, India and was initiated into the Chishti Order of Sufism. He also studied with masters of the Suhrawardiyya, Qadiriyya and Naqshbandi traditions. He left traditional Sufism behind when he established Universal Sufism in 1910, which grew throughout the 20th century.
Universal Sufism has many followers around the world. Many practice Zikr for remembering the Divine Source as well as performing other esoteric practices derived from ancient Zoroastrian, Hindu, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and other traditions while adhering to the universalist philosophy of Hazrat Inayat Khan.
Each of the different Sufi Orders have an emblematic calligraphy called a "tughra" formed out of the name of their founding patron saint, often in the shape of something with which they identify. The words in a tughra follow the formula: Ya Hazrat-i, the saint's name, and the eulogistic phrase Qadusa Allah Sirrahu.
The winged heart is an old Sufi symbol from India and was chosen by
Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan as the seal of the Sufi Order of the West
at its founding in 1910. This winged-heart tughra features
"Ya Hazrat-i Inayat" in the wings in mirror image (right-side-out
is on the left) and "Qadusa Allah Sirrahu" making up the heart.
Hazrat ("The Presence") is an honorific referring to the still-living
Presence of great saints who have passed from the earth. Qadusa Allah
Sirra hu means "God sanctify his Secret."
We could say that the whole phrase might poetically be translated:
"Behold: the Presence of Inayat. May his message be spread."
(Calligraphy and Commentary © Hafiz'u'llah Chishti)