The words, written by Pir Zia, reflect the spiritual lineage that Rahima entered as a Sufi practitioner. It was Pir Vilayat who instructed Rahima in Sufism—which I think of as the mystical way of the open heart—and gave her the name Rahima, meaning compassion. From this teacher she learned to meditate, to think expansively about "the love-light energy of the universe" as she called it, and to engage life with great generosity of spirit.
I remain fascinated by the influence of this great teacher on Rahima and by the progression of thought from Hazrat Inayat Khan, who brought Sufism to America in 1910, to his son Pir Vilayat and his grandson Pir Zia, leader of the Sufi Order International today.
Pir Vilayat was a spiritual pioneer who blazed new trails in the pursuit of the Infinite. True to the essence of tradition, he nonetheless broke free from outworn forms and illuminated a very contemporary path, putting music, psychology, and physics to the service of an ever-advancing repertory of meditative disciplines methodically developed to expand the frame of human identity and raise the tenor of earthly life. The Hope Project in India is testament to his commitment to a world nourished by love, respect, and solidarity. On this day, the day of his voyage beyond eight years ago, we celebrate his triumphant achievements, his generous spirit, and the legacy of mystical insight and compassionate service he has left to us.