The purpose of the Sufi Movement is to work towards world unity, and unity of religion, through the work of spreading the Sufi Message of Love, Harmony and Beauty.
“Rising above a religion does not mean giving up the religion,
it means being fully benefited by it. Those who say that they have given up their religion are not above it; they alone are above it who have reached a full understanding of the Spirit of Religion.”
– Hazrat Inayat Khan: Vol. 2 – In an Eastern Rose Garden
Some folk who are part of the Sufi Movement are people belonging to different religions, who have not left their religion, but who have learned to understand it better. Their love is the love for God and humanity, and not for a particular section of it. They have the same ideals of service to God and to humanity, and have the ideal of devoting a part – or whole – of their lives to the service of humanity in the path of Truth, in whatever way they feel they can contribute best and most suited to their individual capabilities.
The Sufi Message is a call to unite in understanding and knowledge, and is the echo of the same Divine Message which has always come and always will come to enlighten humanity. It is the continuation of the same ancient religion which has always existed – and always will exist – a religion which belongs to all teachers and all Scriptures. It is the continuation of all the great religions which have come at various times, and is a unification of them all, which has always been the desire of all great Messengers.
In the words of Hazrat Inayat Khan:
The effort of the Sufi Message is to give the opportunity to those serious seekers after truth that they may come in touch with the deeper side of life. No doubt truth is never taught, truth is discovered. It is not the wonder working, it is not the life of phenomena that is the sign of the seeker. It is in the search for truth that God is found; it is in the finding of God that truth is realized. But where is God to be found? God is to be found in the heart of man.
– Social Gatheka No 37
The aim is for a world movement which opens the heart to wisdom no matter from which direction it comes and at the same time learning greater tolerance towards the faith of another.
We do not interfere with anyone’s ideal, or with his devotion to his Master. It would be absurd to expect a child to love another child’s mother more than his own. And who has the right to compare or place the great Teachers or Scriptures? No-one! We cannot make a ‘soup’ of all religions. Nor would it be practical to stretch all fingers to the same length, but we must realize that all fingers are part of the complete hand, and the hand needs all the fingers to do its work perfectly. No-one can interfere with our heart’s devotion to our ideal – it is our own concern.
There is a saying: “To understand all is to forgive all,” and it is in accordance with this saying that the Sufi looks upon life. As Solomon has said: “There is nothing new under the sun.” Divine Truth has always been and will be the same. Man divides, but God unites humanity.
The solution to the problem of the day is the awakening of the consciousness of humanity to the divinity of man. The undertone of all religions is the realization of the One Life which culminates in the thought of unity. And it is towards raising humanity to this consciousness that the efforts of the Sufi Movement are directed.
“May the Message of God reach far and wide,
illuminating and making the whole of humanity
as one single Brotherhood in the Fatherhood of God”
– From Salat a prayer given to us by Hazrat Inayat Khan.