Stages in the Development of the Ideal of Kinship

Stages in the Development of the Ideal of Kinship
by Mikail Davenport

Between 1922 and 1923, Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan gave a number of lectures on the topic of the Manner of Friendliness [‘ilm-i-Adab] which he considered the main part in the study of Sufism, the development of Akhlaq Allah, the Manner of God.

Through his teachings, we identify five stages in this development that encompass the ideal of Kinship.

  1. The mystic becomes respectful to all beings—saint, sinner, wise, foolish

“There is no one in the world who does not deserve some respect, in the person who gives respect to another, by doing so, he respects himself. For respect creates respect, disrespect re-echoes in disrespect…

Those who reach to a spiritual realization will only give respect generously, without thinking for one moment of getting it in return. When one gives respect sincerely to anyone, not for show, but from the feeling of his heart, a happiness rises together with that, which is only the product of respectful attitude, and nothing else in life can give it.” – The Complete Works of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan – Lectures on Sufism; 1922-I, January—August

  1. Our sympathy goes out to everyone we meet, no matter who it is.

“Sympathy is an awakening of the love element, which comes on seeing another in the same situation as one has been some time in one’s life…

Sympathy is something more than love and affection, for it is the knowledge of a certain suffering which moves the living heart to sympathy. That person is living whose heart is living, and that heart is living which has wakened to sympathy. The heart void of sympathy is worse than a rock, for the rock becomes useful, but the heart void of sympathy produces antipathy. Man is most active physically and mentally, and when his heart is not tuned to sympathy, his mental and physical activity takes quite a contrary direction, which leads to inharmony and destruction.” – The Complete Works of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, 1922-I, January—August

  1. We understand the condition of every person because of our sympathy and respect.

“One should acknowledge in one’s friend, in one’s companion, in those one wishes to help, the good part in their character. By acknowledging it, by noticing it one will fortify it; it will become greater.” – The Sufi Message, Volume VI, The Alchemy of Happiness, Acknowledgment

“Have regard for the feelings of every soul.” – Gayan, Alankaras, Silver Rules

  1. We tolerate and forgive—we cannot help doing so for we understand; tolerance and forgiveness come from understanding.

“Overlooking [tolerance] is the first lesson of forgiveness. This tendency comes out of love and sympathy; for whom one hates, one takes notice of his every little fault, but whom one loves one naturally overlooks his faults and very often tries to turn the faults of the one a person loves into merits…

It is the tendency to sympathize which brings in a person the desire to overlook, and it is the analytical tendency which weighs and measures and takes good notice of everything. ‘Judge ye not,’ said Christ, ‘lest ye be judged.’ The more one thinks of this lesson, the deeper it goes in his heart. And all he learns from it is to try and overlook all that does not fit in with his own ideas as things ought to be in life, till he comes to a stage of realization where the whole life becomes to him one sublime vision of the immanence of God.” – The Complete Works of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan – Lectures on Sufism; 1923-II, July—December

  1. We see ourself united with all, not only in God, but even in ourselves and others.

“Duality in nature keeps all such beautiful qualities of the soul away from man. The thought of unity is productive of all good qualities in man. It is not only in giving or sharing pleasures one shows hospitality to another, it is even in word, manner or action by which one can show this feeling. A desire to welcome someone, a desire to greet someone, to respect someone, to offer a seat to someone, to treat someone with courtesy, to see someone off with respect, and this shows the sign of [consideration of others].” – The Complete Works of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan – Lectures on Sufism; 1922-I, January – August

“The aim of Sufism is to awaken that feeling; it respects all religions and all scriptures and brings about a unity between the human soul and the spirit divine.” – The Complete Works of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan 1922-I, January—July

Our work together in Kinship awakens the conscience and builds the spiritual maturity needed to address the needs of the day. At the core of the Kinship is the aspiration to bring humanity to its original relationship, raising us above the differences and distinctions that rupture the unity of our human family.

There is an Adab Curriculum which may be taken up after completing the work of the herald through the Knighthood of Purity. For further information on this concentration within the Inayatiyya, please contact Suhrawardi Gebel.

Note: The use of the masculine pronoun is in no way a slight upon the feminine. The language of the day when the readings were given were not as gender-inclusive as we would like today, but Murshid Inayat Khan asked that we not change his words. All errors are the author’s.

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