From the Biography of Hazrat Inayat Khan:
I was transported by destiny from the world of lyric and poetry to the world of industry and commerce on the 13th of September 1910. I bade farewell to my motherland, the soil of India, the land of the sun, for America the land of my future, wondering: “perhaps I shall
return some day,” and yet I did not know how long it would be before I should return. The ocean that I had to cross seemed to me a gulf between the life that was passed and the life which was to begin. I spent my moments on the ship looking at the rising and falling of the
waves and realizing in this rise and fall the picture of life reflected, the life of individuals, of nations, of races, and of the world. I tried to think where I was going, why I was going, what I was going to do, what was in store for me.
“How shall I set to work? Will the people be favorable or unfavorable to the Message
which I am taking from one end of the world to the other?” It seemed my mind moved curiously on these questions, but my heart refused to ponder upon them even for a moment, answering apart one constant voice I always heard coming from within, urging me
constantly onward to my task, saying : “Thou art sent on Our service, and it is We Who will make thy way clear.” This alone was my consolation.
This period while I was on the way was to me a state which one experiences between a dream and an awakening; my whole past in India became one single dream, not a purposeless dream but a dream preparing me to accomplish something toward which I was proceeding. There were moments of sadness, of feeling myself removed further and
further from the land of my birth, and moments of great joy, with the hope of nearing the Western regions for which my soul was destined. And at moments I felt too small and little for my ideals and inspirations, comparing my limited self with this vast world. But at
moments, realizing Whose work it was, Whose service it was, Whose call it was, the answer which my heart gave moved me to ecstasy, as if I had risen in the realization of Truth above the limitations which weigh mankind down.
This is a very auspicious time for the students of Sufism I hang out with: a time of beginnings and endings and leavings and arrivings: it is the time when our teacher came to the West from his home in India, feeling that he had a mission to fulfill. Oddly, on the same date, he finally left the West to return to India, temporarily in theory, but he knew he would not return, and he did not. More strangely still, it is the date when his daughter, Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan, aka “Madeleine dans le Resistance,” died at the hands of her Nazi captors, culminating her incredibly brave mission in the French Resistance during World War II.
And Hejirat Day is quite close, obviously, to “911.” What does that mean?
What can we say about times like these? For me, I can say I feel the power of my calling, both on an individual and collective level. I find that it is a time when my teachers are even more available to me than at other times, and I ask myself why this is….
It is my tendency to go kicking and screaming toward my fate, but go I must, and I am strengthened by my knowledge that it wasn’t much easier for them than it is for me. Murshid said that when we feel we are given a task that we are beneath, don’t worry about it: just do it. It is a responsibility that has been given, and the results don’t matter, only that it get done.
My thoughts I have sown on the soil of your mind. My love has penetrated your heart; My word I have put into your mouth; My light has illuminated your whole being; My work I have given into your hand. — Hazrat Inayat Khan