‘Unity of religions’ topic for interfaith event

Pir Zia Inayat-Khan

An interfaith talk and book signing with Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, Ph.D., on his new book “Mingled Waters: Sufism and the Mystical Unity of Religions,”  will be held Thursday, Nov. 16, 7-8 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El.

“Mingled Waters examines the inner teachings of Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam … In the rivers of all the world’s revealed traditions the same water flows, the water of divine revelation,” says the publisher, Suluk Press/Omega Publications.

Pir Zia is the leader of the Inayati Sufi Order and the grandson of Hazrat Inayat Khan, a renowned Sufi teacher and mystic who brought a universalist form of Sufism to the West from India in the early 20th century.

“Sufism is not a religion in the sense of being a system of beliefs, separable from other religions, but a school of experience focused on the cultivation of the heart and the deepening of the awareness through the practice of prayer, meditation, and spiritual inquiry,” according to Inayatiorder.org

A Jewish-Sufi connection exists. The late Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, who founded the Jewish Renewal movement, was influenced by the late Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan and the late Murshid Samuel Lewis. In 2004, Schachter-Shalomi formed the Inayati-Maimuni Order, which combines Sufi and Hasidic principles, with Pir Netanel Miles-Yepez.

Historically, the Inayati-Maimuni order traces its lineage back to Abraham Maimonides and 13th-century Cairo, at a time when Jewish and Islamic thought and culture greatly influenced one another, says Marc Paley, a longtime member of the Tucson Jewish community who helped organize the talk with the Southwest Region of the Inayati Order. 

A $10 donation is suggested. In addition, donations for ShelterBox USA, which provides disaster relief supplies for communities in need, will be accepted at the event.