History of the Sufi Movement in Australia
The Sufi Movement in Australia (SMIA) is part of the International Sufi Movement established by Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882 – 1927) during his work in Europe and the United States of America between 1910 and 1926. It was the first Sufi order founded in the West and has centres worldwide, including Australia.
Hazrat Inayat Khan's Sufi Movement has had a following in Australia since the first half of the 20th century although until recently, this history was relatively unknown in Australia or overseas, even in Sufi circles.1 It began in 1927 with the arrival of Baron von Frankenberg (1889 – 1950), a mureed (student) of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, as an immigrant from Germany. In the 1930s and 1940s, the Baron (known as Shaikh Momin to his students) established lively Sufi groups in Melbourne and Sydney.
From 1951, Sharif Jansen (1908 – 1990), a Dutchman and post-war immigrant developed the Sufi Movement. In 1959 Jansen (known as Murshid Sharif to his students) was appointed as the National Representative of the Sufi Movement in Australia. He established groups in Australia and New Zealand and, particularly after the 1970s, attracted a growing following, mostly among people of 'Western' background. Many of the groups following the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan in contemporary Australia have emerged from Jansen's work.
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