Official international site

more about the International Sufi Movement

Welcome to the treasures of the Sufi Movement and the universal Sufism taught by Hazrat Inayat Khan


Brief history

Hazrat Inayat Khan sailed from Bombay on September 13, 1910, and came to the West where he began to spread the Sufi Message. In 1914, the First World War obliged him to settle for a time in London, and it was here that he formed his first organization, which he called the Sufi Order. Later, in 1923, this Order was dissolved into a new organization, called the International Sufi Movement. At the same time, Hazrat Inayat Khan and his family settled in Suresnes, a suburb of Paris. Here International Summer Schools were held for a couple of decades, attended by students from around the world.

Sufi Movement,Harmony and Beauty, Flowers Detail. Organization.

Membership and Organization

The International Sufi Movement has centers and study circles in a number of countries around the world. If one supports the ideals of the Movement, it is possible to become a member, and if one feels seriously committed to the path of the Inner School, one may seek a guide in the Movement and ask for initiation.
The ISM is composed of the International Headquarters, founded under Swiss law and presently with offices in the Netherlands, and a number of affiliated national organizations.

The International Headquarters is under the guidance of the General Representative, Pir Nawab Pasnak. He works with an Executive Committee and the Secretaries of the five Activities : the Inner School, the Universal Worship, Spiritual Healing, Brother-Sisterhood, and Symbology.
The affiliated national organizations are each led by a National Representative, who supervises the work in their country and sits on the advisory body called the International Council.

Sufi Movement,Harmony and Beauty, Flowers Detail. Organization.

Aims and activities

The Sufi Movement has a duty to individuals searching after the truth, and a duty to bring about a better understanding among people. The two duties depend on each other for their fulfilment: without the progress of individuals the progress of humanity is difficult, without the progress of humanity in general the progress of the individual is also difficult. The Sufi Movement is not political, because for a Sufi something exists beyond the political, the mystical idea of Unity.

Sufi Movement,Harmony and Beauty, Flowers Detail. Organization.

The Movement has three aims:

• To spread the knowledge of Unity and thereby overcome all distinctions and differences which divide people.

• To discover the light and power of mysticism, latent in every human being.

• To contribute to a universal brother- and sisterhood beyond national and racial boundaries.

To accomplish the three aims the Sufi Movement develops activities around five topics:
Brotherhood/Sisterhood, Universal Worship, Inner School, Spiritual Healing, Symbology.

Federation of the Sufi Message

The International Sufi Movement is a member of the Federation of the Sufi Message, an association formed in 1997. The Federation of the Sufi Message is a non-hierarchical umbrella organization of Sufi Orders united in their devotion to Hazrat Inayat Khan and the Sufi Message. Presently the members of the Federation are the International Sufi Movement, Inayati Order International, the Sufi Ruhaniat International, Sufi Contact, the Fraternity of Light and the Sufi Way.


The symbol of the Sufi Movement is a heart with wings. In brief, the meaning of the symbol is that the heart responsive to the light of God is liberated. The heart is a medium between body and soul, spirit and matter. The crescent suggests the responsiveness of the heart, just as the crescent moon is responsive to the light of the sun. The five-pointed star represents the divine light. On wings of equanimity and independence the heart that is responsive to the light of God is liberated.