March 12, 1976

March 12, 1976

Included along with Siddiq’s letter with its accompanying rough draft of the program and projects was a 10 page letter from Noor-i-din [formerly Steve Durkee, co-founder of Lama Foundation, along with his wife Asha, and Jonathan Altman], on letterhead, Intensive Studies Center [which was the complex a short walk from the Lama kitchen, where Noor-i-din led a contingent of practicing Muslims].

This is an interesting document that raises the question of why Murshid Sam’s group is not practicing prayers five times a day and the rest of the prescriptions of Islam, especially since our name is Sufi Islamia Ruhaniat Society.

At the time, we did not know what I reveal in my book talk about Murshid; namely, that Hazrat Inayat Khan stopped saying Islamic prayers in 1922 when he registered the Sufi Movement in Switzerland. At that time, he said, “Let that impulse go on, but we need to bring a new impulse.”

Noor-i-din’s question on page 4 was, “Why is SALAT not being given to Murids [students, also spelled ‘mureeds’] as a practice per Inayat Khan’s recommendation that such practice should be given to Murids for at least three months coupled with an injunction that if the Murid does not succeed in this there is no hope?”

I received a copy courtesy of Moineddin at the direction of Noor-i-din who wrote on page 9, “I would appreciate it if one of you [his long letter was initially typed to Wali Ali with Moineddin’s name added in ink] could Xerox this to Mansur. As he will be here as well this summer & I feel that we will have to go over it all so he should be aware of this correspondence now. In the future I will make a copy for him.”

Unnoticed by me at the time was the omission of page 7!

For those who want to follow the argument I’ll copy Noor-i-din’s letter below. The division into numbered sections with titles is mine.

For easier reading, I corrected some misspellings, but left others, and added punctuation where helpful. I used brackets within the text to add information about new persons or details to help the reader. I kept the writer’s use of capitalization.

Rabbia ul-Awwal 11, 1396 [Friday, March 12, 1976 with a small probability of a one day error. From the Gregorian-Hijri dates converter]

Zawiyya al-Khadr [?]

cc: Moinudin

As-salaamu aleiku Moinudin

As-salaamu aleiku Wali Ali,

I have just finished reading all the correspondence of Murshid which you were kind enough to have sent here. I was able to find only a few things which will be immediately useful for the Jerusalem book. I remember, somewhere in the back of my mind, a typed or zeroxed copy of an actual Peace Plan proposal of Murshid’s  which I failed to find in the material which you sent. Do you have any memory of what I am referring to? In this proposal there was some mention of making a highway to or rather between Jerusalem & Mekka with notes relating to the establishment of stations for pilgrims rest along the way all of which was related to water drilling ideas using oil technology. Could you see if there is anything like this in your files or the files of Hallalujah:The Three Rings [The group formed to implement Murshid’s plan for peace in the Middle East]. Otherwise all I have to work from is Benefsha’s [Benefsha Gest’s] interview and what I have been able to glean from the materials sent as everybody has been too busy with the pageant to send anything so far except brochures for the Jerusalem camp [This would be the camp I attended with Benefsha and described in Chapter 4 “Fail to sell OTECs to Israel and (without trying) make peace with Egypt” of my book Shamcher, a memoir of Bryn Beorse & his struggle to introduce ocean energy to the United States] which I will pass on to anybody who seems to be going in that direction.

Work is proceeding well on the Jerusalem book and we have received an advance order from Harmony Books in NYC for 10,000 paperbacks & 1,000 hardbacks. Coupled with the timing of the camp in Jerusalem the book is due to be in the stores in autumn. I feel this would be an ideal time to put Murshid’s plans into wider circulation but I am dependent on this for receiving material which can be used in this way. If not one must continue & try to put forward the materials as one remembers it. I do not feel this is as good as letting Murshid speak for himself. God knows best.

This is all in relation to Jerusalem. There is however a further dimension to our on-going communication which the papers of correspondence were helpful in further illuminating. Briefly stated this area is the relationship which exists between the Sufic Path and Islam.