Gifts From Hazrat Inayat Khan
CD and dance instruction booklet
Michelle Mu'mina Sparks-Smith
Here you will find information about Michelle's beautiful set of seven dances inspired by the prayers of Hazrat Inayat Khan. A beautifully orchestrated CD of her music is available for purchase, as well as a complete dance instruction booklet.
In Michelle's Introduction, you'll read the story of how these dances came into being. Following that is a brief essay on Hazrat Inayat Khan and the complete texts of the prayers from which these dances were drawn.
May 2012 I learned that my mother had terminal cancer and was only
expected to live a couple of months. Although she lived in New Zealand
& I in Oregon, we share a deep connection and amazing friendship.
Other than my wonderful husband, Michael, she was the one I turned to
first to share any important news or trivial day to day happenings. She
had lived with me for extended periods of time when my children were
young, and spent wonderful months of vacation with us in Oregon, which
she dearly loved. She had lost most of her eyesight over the past
several preceding years due to macular degeneration, and on my long
daily walks I would call her to chat, & would also describe the
sights and sounds of the particular moment, day and season. I shared the
Dances Of Universal Peace songs with her and she was always interested
and to hear about our dance evenings.
With the news of her imminent passing, I found myself needing comfort at the prospect of no longer being able to share my walks and life with her in the manner to which I was accustomed. Within days of this news, I was walking and meditating on Hazrat Inayat Khan’s prayer, Pir, which has always been so comforting to me. Suddenly, some of the words became a song, which I sang over and over, feeling great comfort. The movements to a dance followed quickly, and the first dance gifted to me by Hazrat Inayat Khan during this period, “Consoler Of My Heart”, was born. Although the words came through in a different arrangement than in his prayer, I truly felt they came to me as they are meant to be for this dance.
Soon after this another comforting Dance came through from the same prayer, “New Hope”, and I felt such peace singing the prayers and being able to share them with my mom.
In the following months before her passing in January 2013, three more dances were gifted to me, two from the prayer Khatum, “Open Our Hearts” and “Send Thy Peace”.
“Nayaz” had come through when I was involved in my three-year dance leader training in 2002. The last one, “A Torch In The Darkness”, came through a few months following my mom’s peaceful passing. It is a beautiful reminder of the steadfastness of God’s love.
Through the spirit of Hazrat Inayat Khan I am so grateful to not only be able to feel the ongoing connection with my mother, but also to be able to share this comfort and peace with many people, who have expressed great appreciation.
Hazrat Inayat Khan
Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927), affectionately called the grandfather of the Dances Of Universal Peace, is best known for bringing Sufism to the West. He was also a world-famous musician, philosopher and mystic.
He was born in north-west India, in the town of Vadodora, traveled Europe and America as a touring musician, and eventually gave up music to devote himself entirely to teaching Sufism.
Khan taught what he called the Unity Of Religious Ideals. The Sufi," says Inayat Khan, sees the truth in every religion." If invited to offer prayers in a Christian church, the Sufi is ready to do so. The Sufi will go the synagogue and pray as the Jews do; will offer Salat with Muslims; and in the Hindu temple worships the same God. Yet the Sufi's true temple, the true mosque, is the human heart, in which the divine Beloved lives.
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CD Track List, Lyrics and Attunements
1. A Torch In The Darkness
A torch in the darkness,
A staff in my weakness,
A rock in the weariness of life.
La illaha illa'llah, La illaha illa'llah.
we are needing guidance and support during challenging times, these
words from the prayer, Nabi, may help keep us on a steady path. Combined
with the zikr phrase of remembrance that there is only one reality,
nothing but God exists, we may
be able to feel the comfort that we need, and return to joy and wisdom.
2. Consoler Of My Heart
Inspirer of my mind,
Consoler of my heart,
Consoler of my heart,
Healer of my spirit:
The clouds of doubt and fear disappear
In Thy illuminating presence.
This dance is drawn from the prayer, Pir. When we're feeling sad and in need of comfort, and our hearts are troubled, these words can remind us to return to the place of pure peace within. The kind and compassionate qualities of God remind us that in fact we have nothing to fear and do not need doubt what may occur in our lives. When we focus on the blessings of being inspired, consoled and healed by God, then our doubt and fear will simply dissolve in God's illuminating presence, like clouds in the sunshine. We return to our true faith in God.
3. Nayaz Healing Prayer Dance
Beloved Lord, Almighty God,
Through the rays of the sun,
Through the waves of the air,
Through the all-pervading
Life in space,
Purify us, revivify us,
And we pray
Heal our bodies,
Hearts and souls.
These words are drawn from the prayer, Nayaz. The prayer is often preceded by the Sufi practice of the Purification breaths. May we all continue to heal, and may our own healing help heal those whom we encounter.
4. New Hope
New hope is born in my heart,
Breathing Thy peaceful atmosphere.
Abundance of blessing I feel
In Thee inspiring Guide.
words are drawn from the prayer, Pir. When our hearts are troubled,
they can remind us to return to the place of pure peace within. We focus
on our breathing, and feel the presence of God as we realize our
connection to the One Being and to each other through this breath. This
reminds us that we are truly blessed by the Inspiring One who guides us,
and we realize a new hope for our troubling situation. The arm
movements used in this dance represent our slow and steady breath, and
also give us the feeling of being supported by angels' wings, just
as we may be able to feel the support of true and loving friends, and of the One Being: the Friend who is closer to us than our own breath.
5. Open Our Hearts
Open our hearts,
That we may hear
Thy divine voice
Which comes from within.
Disclose to us Thy divine light,
Hidden in our souls
Hidden in our souls.
These words are drawn from the prayer, Khatum. When we are feeling separated from God by circumstances that may be challenging to us, and we are seeking comfort and guidance, these words are a prayer to reunite us with God's presence. Instead of closing our hearts in sadness or resentment over circumstances, we remind ourselves to be open-hearted to God speaking from the closeness of our own hearts by an intuition of what is right, or through the kindnesses of those around us. We are then able to feel the Divine light hidden deep within us that gives us a deeper understanding, and then leads us to peace.
6. Peace Of Spirit
O, send us the peace
Of Thy Spirit,
Most compassionate God.
Unite us all in Thy Perfect Being,
Most compassionate God.
These words are also from the prayer, Khatum. God, always merciful and compassionate, grants us peace in even the direst of circumstances should we seek it earnestly and persistently through our prayers. When we are united as One, we truly feel the divine peace of Spirit.
7. Prayer For Peace
Send Thy peace, O Lord,
Our Father and Mother,
That we Thy children on earth May unite in one family.
La illaha el Allahu,
La illaha el Allahu.
words are the last line of the prayer, "Prayer For Peace." In
considering the troubles in the world, all the various frictions between
Nations and Faith Traditions, it seems that this is a well needed
prayer, and one that may be a wonderful choice to adopt as a daily