Seven Pillars House of Wisdom > Blog > ‘Urs in Delhi

‘Urs in Delhi

Posted by Pir Zia Inayat-Khan on February 24, 2011

Khusraw! Deep into the night of union, I stayed awake with my love … My body, her heart: both of one color.

The venerable shrine singer Mi‘raj Ahmad Nizami wails melodiously through betel-stained teeth. The words are Amir Khusraw’s, the saint's dearest disciple, his “Turk of God.” Booming drumbeats and the blare of harmoniums drive the message home.Dargah Hzt. Inayat Khan

You are a lamp … Listen: Tonight is the tryst … Stay awake all night. 

Here is Khusraw’s tomb, there is Princess Jahanara’s. Overshadowing both is the dome where the saint rests in a bed of white marble, breathing incense, festooned with rose petals. Khwaja Nizam al-Din, God’s Beloved, Sultan among God’s Friends.

Today is color … The color green … My Khwaja’s house, green … My beloved’s house, green … In this courtyard, our rendezvous … In my courtyard, our rendezvous.

Nights are still chilly in early February, but spring is fast approaching, promising vernal shoots as green as the sainted Khwaja’s turban. Soon comes Basant, the Hindu and Sufi festival of spring, when marigolds are gaily tossed and kites spangle the sky.

I have found my Pir … Nizam al-Din Awliya’, Farid al-Din Awliya’, Qutb al-Din Awliya’, Mu‘in al-Din Awliya’!

From Khorasan the Chishtis descended to the Gangetic plain in the 12th century, bearing a message of patient kindness, heartache, and ecstasy. Delhi became sacred Sufi ground, “Hazrat Dihli.” Pilgrims from across the globe, we are gathered here to pay homage to the chain of living hearts that binds us to the throne of Love.

Wherever I look, there is your green color … I searched from land to land and finally found your color … Mu‘in al-Din, I found your color! … Such color as I never saw.

Sayyid Ahmad Shah has come from Chisht Sharif (hail o root of the Chishti tree!), Sayyid Rashid al-Hasan from Hyderabad. Both pirs weep quietly as the qawwals sing. They have dard, the exquisite pain and rapture of the heart’s innermost emotion, a draught of God’s own sea-dark wine. Baba Farid bequeathed it to Nizam al-Din when he uttered, “God grant you the pain of love.” 

Take my color into yours, Khwaja-ji! … Make my color the color of spring!

A golden sheet, emblazoned with heart-and-wings, is now unfurled and carried in procession down the Avenue of the Flower Sellers to another tomb, our long-sought destination, the resting place and bridal bed of Hazrat Inayat Khan. Murshid! In the shade of your repose our broken hearts are mended. Spare a glance for one whose only thought is of you!

Note: The Chishti tradition of service is put into methodical practice on an ongoing basis and sizable scale in the work of the Hope Project, India. To learn about the project and how you can help, please visit

Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, founder of Seven Pillars House of Wisdom, is the spiritual leader of the Sufi Order International, a mystical and ecumenical fellowship rooted in the visionary legacy of his grandfather, Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. Pir Zia is also President of the Suluk Academy for esoteric studies. Pir Zia holds a doctoral degree in religion from Duke University, is a recipient of the U Thant Peace Award, and is a Lindisfarne Fellow.

Read more about Pir Zia Inayat-Khan

Comments (5)
  • My gratitude to Pir Zia for this experiential rendering of the place and the Urs.  I feel that I am there.  My pilgrimage to the tombs of Hazrat Nizamuddin, Emir Kushraw, and down the road that of Pir-o-murshid Inayat Khan was in the year of India’s independence celebratin 1997. As a practitioner in another Persian Sufi order, I knew I would find the adjoined tombs of Kushraw and his beloved companion on the Path Hazrat Nizamuddin. Ignorant that the 20th century teacher whose writings I admired so much lay nearby, I asked where the Shrine of Nizamuddin was.  A local, curiously, pointed me to Inayat Khan’s tomb instead of the more world-famous one.  I was stunned to find it there. During the prayers in the mosque I did namaz and meditated in Pir-o-Murshid’s tomb, feeling an extraordinary sense of serenity—before making the trek up to hear the Qawwali singers at the Shrine of Nizamuddin. I had met Pir-o-Murshid by suprise, and have never really parted company with him. And in Pir Zia’s blog piece I have learned that the great author and Shaikha Jihnara found her final repose there. No one there had told me she was there. I have written a theatre piece about her and Dara Shikoh in recent years and only now find I was with her too. This place called Hazrat Nizamuddin is a profound holy ground for Sufis, one does not know how much so when one is there. Sometimes we cannot know what we stand in the presence of.

    — Yousef Daoud Martin on February 25, 2011

  • The courtyard has expanded to bring in this one, humbly grateful to be included.

    — Hayat Allaire on February 25, 2011

  • how blessed are we by this poetic narrative tracing wherein our collective heart reposes. many, many thanks to Pir Zia!

    — dilawar orlando yaccarino on February 27, 2011

  • This is wonderful.

    I also found a beautiful video on Ustad Miraj Ahmed Nizami on Youtube giving a wonderful message

    heres the link

    — Trilok Kumar on March 4, 2011

  • I picked up a rose bud from the tomb…took it home with me to the U.S.  The beautiful fragrence stated for weeks.  I shared this with my Dominican Sisters and while the rose has dried up..the fragrence still lingers.  This reflects the life and gift to the universe that Hazarat Inayat Khan’s life has been and continutes to grateful for such a gift!

    — Sr. Marilyn Dunn, OP. on June 13, 2011

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24 February 2011

Tagged Under
love, Sufism, Hazrat Inayat Khan, beauty, Hinduism, honor, flower, India, heart,
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