I found my work in the West the most difficult task that I could have ever imagined. To work in the West for a spiritual Cause to me was like traveling in a hilly land, not like sailing in the sea, which is smooth and level. In the first place I was not a missionary of a certain faith, delegated to the West by its adherents, nor was I sent to the West as a representative of Eastern cult by some Maharaja. I came to the West with His Message, Whose call I had received, and there was nothing earthly to back me in my mission, except my faith in God and trust in Truth.
Ora, afterwards Amina Begum, who was born at New Mexico on May 8th 1892, came of a family from Kentucky called Baker, whose great uncle Judge Baker is known in Chicago. She became the mother of my four children…
In spite of the vast difference of race and nationality and custom she proved to be a friend through joy and sorrow, proving the idea, which I always believed, that outer differences do not matter when the spirit is in atonement.
My music could be best described as a crosspoint between Eastern monophony and Western polyphony, in which the Western harmonic structures are respected and the secret perfume of Indian ragas have their space. This music illustrates my father‘s great ideals of Love, Harmony and Beauty.
Hidayat and Aziza at the Vancouver Premier of his symphony, The Royal Legend 2007.
The truest description of Noorunnissa was her continual example of self - sacrifice. In so many ways, Noorunnissa always thought of others before thinking of herself. She gracefully offered what ever she could to all those whom she encountered. One day, when she was quite small, she begged her Mother to give her chocolates, but her Mother soon found out that the chocolates were being secretly packed up, to give to the poor children in the village, who had none for Christmas.
by Hidayat Inayat-Khan
Noor playing the vina at the family home in Surness.
Inayat Khan's maternal grandmother, Qasim Bi, was a granddaughter of Tipu Sultan, the famous eighteenth century ruler of Mysore. Tip Sultan died during the conquest of Seringapatnam by the British East India Company. Hidayat Inayat-Khan told the story of how retainers saved two of Tipu's daughters from the fighting and put them in the care of Inayat Khan's grandfather, Maula Bakhsh.
Tip Sultan's sons were sent to Vellore where they were later accused of being the ringleaders of the 1806 Vellore Mutiny and were exiled to Calcutta.
Shamcher Beorse has been well-described by Nirtan Carol Ann Sokoloff as "the ideal of what a contemporary western mystic can be -- an activist, an artist, a spiritual guide -- working in all realms, the scientific, the literary, the political and the spiritual."