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A Sufi-master's visit to Bergen in 1924

Portrett av Inayat Khan, 1920-tallet.
Archives of the International Sufi Movement, The Hague.
Foto/ill.:
Ukjent, Spesialsamlingene UiB.

For a couple of nights in early November of 1924, Bergen was visited by a Sufi from India. Inayat Khan was known in his home country as a supremely gifted vocalist and vina player, patronized by royalty. He was also a highly inspired mystic initiated in the Chishtia lineage; he visited Bergen not as a musician but as a Sufi Pir.  Sober, Lutheran Norway in the 1920’s seems an unlikely place to find such a figure.  How did he come here?  What was his purpose? And did his visit leave any lasting traces?

William Pasnak is a Canadian-born writer and long-time follower of the Sufi path. He studied for nearly forty years under the guidance of Murshid Hidayat Inayat Khan, the younger son of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat, and now travels extensively, giving lectures and leading retreats for the Inner School of the Sufi Movement.