Coming to the religions which have been given to the world, for instace, when we read in the bible the words of Jesus Christ, what do we read? ‘Love your fellow man, love your neighbour,’ from the beginning to the end. If there is any moral that the master taught and repeated constantly, it was this moral, the moral of kinship. The different religions which exist in the world, the followrs of which are perhaps millions and millions, if one studies what is the central theme of it all? It is one and the same: love one another, serve one another, be sincere one to the other.Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan
The Kinship activity of the Inayatiyya is in some ways the hardest to describe, while at the same time it is the most all-pervading. The ways in which we interact with one another, with our communities and with the world at large, is the living proof of our spiritual development.
Kinship cultivates the natural connection from one heart to another, fostering harmony, goodwill, and caring action. Kinship nurtures the flowering of the individual and carries it outwards. Through friendship, collaboration and service. Kinship inspires people to work together to help those in need, to protect and restore the web of life on Earth, and to create a more beautiful world. Kinship awakens the conscience, and builds the spiritual maturity needed to address the planetary crises we face. Kinship aims to serve as a nucleus of understanding, sympathy and dedication to help unite humankind in the spirit of universal loving kinship.
- Love expressed in acts of service, kindness and compassion.
- Honouring our interdependence and our mutual need for support and connection.
- Upholding the intrinsic worth and dignity of all.
- Cultivating friendship as the foundation of all relationships.
- Nurturing gratitude, and sharing our bounty with others.
- Responding to suffering with caring and generosity.
- Comforting those in need and acting from an awakened sense of justice.
- Welcoming people of all colours, creeds, classes, sexes and cultures.
- Practicing kindness and consideration in our relations with others.
- Working together in a collaborative, sharing, embracing manner.
- Cherishing and protecting the web of life on Earth.
- Celebrating beauty in each other and in our world.
- Promoting the spirit of peace and soothing the spirit of agitation.
The Kinship concentration today has much work to do in the world. Together we can serve as an energy, a light. A light that has the capacity to choose to do the work of re-imagining, re-visioning, through contemplation, practice and through communion. Shining that light, that vision, into the world through compassion and tangible support. To do the work of expanding the light in our hearts to encompass all beings with which we share this beautiful planet. To cast a light upon the great many places in the world where the need for connection and support is an unanswered cry in the darkness.
The Kinship concentration challenges us to play our part in the holy mystery of birthing a new and sacred vision. Towards a new way of sharing, of caring, for this planet. To see, with clear and open eyes, the great struggles and challenges we face within the fabric of our eco system, of which we form a thread. Developing the quality of deep empathy, which we extend to all those who live, move and have their being upon this earth. Not simply to other human beings, but to life in its entirety. Extending love’s embrace in service to others, as a bridge across the divisions which divide us as human beings and as species. Divisions which ultimately only serve to estrange us all from the beauty of the miracle that is life upon this earth. We are challenged to do more than to simply understand our world as one in which human beings do not exist in isolation. We can endeavour to embody this understanding as fully and as wholly as we are able. With humility and reverence. In the recognition of our communion and community with all. The paradigm shifts which are beginning to occur in the world form part of an opus. One which we all share a responsibility for and one in which we can all joyfully play our part. No part is too small a part to play. Each positive, affirmative action is a light. A light among many that form part of the One.
How Can I Become Involved?
There are many ways in which individuals and groups are currently bringing the work of Kinship into a tangible presence within our world.
On the first Thursday of every month, , we hold a gathering together in the spirit of Kinship. An explorative community group where we cvoyage together in the sharing of our ideas, our struggles, our suggestions, our practices, for manifesting the spirit of kinship in the world today. Anyone inspired by the kinship ideal will be most welcome to join us on our journey.
Within the Sufi Order UK, the Kinship concentration has a network of individuals who are available to support those in need of consolation in difficult times, or those who perhaps need more practical support, such as befriending and offering to be of service.
We also meet annually to meditate upon the meaning of Kinship and how each of us as individuals can carry the principles of love and harmony and beauty into our relationships, near and far. To contemplate our connections with all living beings, including the living being of the earth.
Those who have a particular leaning towards the kinship concentration also work in their localities, wherever there is opportunity. Working with all age groups, and all faith groups, engaging with and building closer relationships with the ‘other’ and fostering greater understanding and tolerance. Gaining a greater understanding of what gives life meaning and purpose for each of us.
Initiates from a number of European countries, including the UK, commit to recite a short healing prayer each month on behalf of those who are suffering violations of their human rights. This is called the ‘Nayaz Project’ and is based upon the healing prayer ‘Nayaz’ given to us by Hazrat Inayat Khan.
Bi-annually the European Kinship Council organise a Pilgrimage to Suresnes in Paris, the home of the founder of the Inayatiyya Order, Hazrat Inayat Khan. Here we meet with those from other Sufi linages and other invited guests to contemplate and to celebrate our kinship with all beings.
One of the international projects of the Inayatiyya Sufi Order is the support of the Hope Project in Delhi which was founded in 1975 by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan. The Hope Project http://www.hopeprojectindia.org is driven by the spirit of service to humanity and respect for all religions. It strives to provide people, especially those who are socially disadvantaged and vulnerable, with opportunities and resources so that they can realise their hidden potential and are able to help themselves. Individuals can fundraise and donate or volunteer to work with those in need at the Hope Project for brief, or for longer periods of time, embodying the guiding spirit of kinship with love in action.
If you would like to know more about the activities of the Kinship concentration or would like to get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
You can make a donation to the Hope Project by going to their web site.
You can also find out more about our local activities here.