“The first lesson that the pupil learns on the path of discipleship is what is called yaqin in Sufi terms, which means confidence.” — Hazrat Inayat Khan
Initiates of the Inayati Sufi Order are asked to find a guide within the Order to work with them as they explore the Sufi path. A guide in the Inayati Order is a person with deep experience and grounding in the Universalist Sufism taught by Hazrat Inayat Khan.
The goal of training in Sufism is to become fully human, not to transcend one’s humanity. Thus, a guide in the Inayati Order is not conceived of as an enlightened or perfected being, but simply as a more experienced spiritual friend and companion on the path, providing inspiration and guidance. The guide does not give directives or attempt to substitute their own will and conscience for those of the seeker, but instead helps the seeker to gain confidence and develop their own will and conscience. In this, Inayati Order teachers are bound by clear ethical standards and guidelines.
Inayati Order Spiritual Guides and Teachers may be found throughout North America and beyond.* Some are teachers who regularly travel to various locations, while others head local Inayati Order centers or lead personal retreats. Almost all meet regularly with the people they guide, whether in person or though the use of a common technological medium (Skype, Facetime, etc.). Finding a guide to suit your needs is a personal matter around which one should both seek advice and consult one’s own heart.
It should be noted that not all Inayati Order teachers function as guides for mureeds, nor do all guides consider themselves teachers.