Dargah  Hazrat  Inayat  Khan  Delhi  India        

Visalat Day, February  1969.


Some facts of the history of this Urs on the 5th of February 1969,

the Remembrance of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Visalat Day on 5-2-1927.

Noted down from documents and recollections 40 years later,

in June 2009 by Alim Vosteen.


When Pir-o-Murshid Musharaff Khan, the youngest brother of Hazrat Inayat Khan, died on

30 november 1967, he was succeeded by Murshid Fazal Inayat Khan as head of the Sufi Movement.


At the opening of the Summer School 1968 Murshid Fazal announced the Vuslat to the Dargah of Hazrat Inayat Khan in 1969:

“One of the first things we need to do is to make a pilgrimage to the tomb of our Master.

Maybe we can find together in a Pilgrimage of Peace the strength to unite and to merge as one body each and every one individual a molecule and to function as one Herald for the Message together. So, I would like to announce and it is going to be a great surprise for many people that the Sufi Movement will sponsor a pilgrimage to New Delhi, India to visit together as Sufis the tomb of our Master.

 And I would like to ask a few of you to work as a committee to organize.

I would like to ask Moinia Teller and Alim Vosteen and Hayat Bouwman in India to form an organizing committee for the real first pilgrimage of the Movement.

May we there together in reviving some of the customs of the Sufis throughout the ages find peace and love and understanding.” (* Opening speech Summer School 27-07-1968)


In that same year 1968 many other things happened as well.

Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan declared again himself now to be legally head of the Sufi Order.

He acquired two Chisty Documents 27-1-1968 and 2-2-1968 as Chishty evidence and gave more historic evidence of his claim of succession for Pir-o-Murshid.

(* Memorandum to Mureeds 14-4-1968)


In a copy of a letter to Baron F. Van Pallandt, Pir Vilayat is expressing his disapproval not to be consulted before in the consideration of burying his Father and three Uncles in the Universal in Katwijk. (That was not at all meant to happen!) Then he writes also:

After the war (which year?) I found the tomb of Durgha of our Master in despicable condition.

Having swept it and washed it for three days running, I had a lock made to it, bought plants for it, and paid a Khadim to take care of it.

Large sums of money have been paid by the Mureeds since 1927 (and I have written proof thereof) intended for the upkeep and the improvement of the Durgha.

These sums have been continually loaned to the Anonym Sufi without being paid back, nor being used for the purpose for which they were paid.

It is now time that an investigation should be made into the accounts of your Committee.

And that this money, which has come into the hands of your Committee, should be spent on the improvement of Murshid’s Durgha. (* copy of a public letter, Paris May 27th 1968)


When in 1955 Baron van Pallandt came to live in New Delhi as the ambassador of the Netherlands, he found the grave neglected, and immediately started to do something to it.

Since that time Inayat’s Dargah is ever cared for and more visited.

Another western Sufi, a lady from Rotterdam, Hayat Bouman, had worked for years in Calcutta with the Ramakrishna Mission; therefore she was allowed as foreigner to stay living in India and from ca.1960 till her death in 1987 she have lived in New Delhi, taking care for Inayat’s grave, helping neighbours and receiving western visitors.

(* Golven-Waves..trsl. Life history of Hazrat Inayat Khan by Elisabeth Keesing 1973)


Also in this Year 1968 the civil process was executed for the claims of Mahmood Khan to be the rightful successor of Murshid Ali Khan cq Murshid Musharaff Khan.

This was cleared up on Monday 18-11-1968 by the High Court the Hague not to be rightful !


So, after much preparations in 1968 a small group of devotees was able to go to India in January 1969.

The Names of the participants are:

Fazal Inayat Khan, Walia Inayat Khan, Musavira Charlotte Bsse van Palland, Jacqin Bsse van Asbeck Pannenborg, Henk van Seters, Kadir Pool, Alma Badings, Nasiban Xrouet, Mobarak Xhrouet, Alim Vosteen, Aziman Schilperoord-Grutter, Nasiban Barth, Narbadar Carels, Abadi Isler, Merjam Jonet, Rubab Monna, (* namelist 6-1-1969 last Communiqué);


The pilgrim journey first went to Bombay18/1, Jaipur 21/1 and Ajmer 22/1.

On 23/1 the pilgrim group arrived in New Delhi, staying till 27-1 leaving for Benares, Allahabad, Sarnat, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri and Delhi again from 3 till 8-2 (*Itinerary communiqué 4 English)


The following passages are selected and literal translated parts on the Urs only from the Dutch diary letter notes I have sent during the pilgrimage every two days to my wife in Amsterdam:  (* 10 personal diary letters of the Pilgrimage to my wife, rather private matter);


Yesterday we were flying from Agra to New Delhi. Landed around 1 o’clock at the airport,

Hayat and Pir Zahur and Qawwal Mahmood Nizami were waiting for us. We received flower garlands and made acquaintance and went with the bus to the Hotel Lodi.


Lodi looks more like a hospital or jail or a labour camp. Rooms were not ready, food was not available, we were sitting together on folding chairs as it was a day out.

But it became better and better in time!

Hayat has arranged for next day a Universal Worship at 6 o’clock in a small hall without charges.


Also Faz’l had no good presentiments of the visit to the Dargah.

So we decided at 15.45 hour to go to the Dargah with only some people, Faz’l, Kadir and me, and with Hayat, Pir Zahur and Qawwal Mahmood.

(We first visit Amir Khusrau’s tombe and Mosque and then Nizamuddin Aulia tombe…)…..


When we are at last outside we went to the ancient small gate where behind in the alley on the right you have behind a double door and two steep steps the entrée to the Dargah.

We went in, shoes out, the door was open.

Vilayat was standing with outstretched arms at the foot before the tomb.

We were standing around the tomb then in silence, and I said the prayer Khatoum,

the place is very moving.

Vilayat then said Soum and Salat, and all went well!


Hayat said shyly at the end that Pir Vilayat is staying with her (as usual), she had forgotten to tell us.

Faz’l looks around and says, Hayat you wrote me there is something missing on the roof?

Hayat says: No not here, but there on the entrance.


“I will see after it” Pir Vilayat answered all at once.


You, says Faz’l, you mean for certain the Faz’l May Egeling Foundation with a yearly income of 68.000,- guilders.

And this dispute went on repeatedly.

Hayat cries tragically “oh please not here, oh please not here”.


We went out then.

We told to Hayat that may be we were not intended to go the Dargah with the whole group today because it was already 17.30 o’clock.

It was a beautiful evening and full of quietness!

We made then arrangements for the service with Hayat and gave her money for that.

After much searching we got all people together again, we should have met at 17 o’clock.

After explanations and discussions we went nevertheless to the Dargah of Murshid all together at 18.30. (Because all feelings and longings were like that and we like a visit on our own.)


But Faz’l thought already he had seen Vilayat still on the terrace of the Lodi Hotel, from which you can overlook the Dargah of Murshid and the terrain in front.

With Pir Vilayat was deliberate earlier not to interfere with our own devotions and meetings.


But at the arrival at the Dargah the door was already open and Pir Vilayat was again standing in the middle behind the tomb. We all went in.


Murshid Faz’l then pushes Pir Vilayat a bit aside and stands himself in the front position and intended to start but Pir Vilayat direct starts the Invocation.

I walk thereafter towards Vilayat asking him not to interfere with our devotions at this moment.

He is emphatically refusing this and we, that is Fazl, Kadir and me, we are pressing Vilayat unwillingly to the exit. (Vilayat was asked not to interfere, to stay silent or to leave)

Faz’l is very angry then as with the holy spirit and is as casting out Vilayat.

Pir Vilayat is holding himself to the corner pillar of the tomb, but at the end is going out and down under the steps. These steps are very high ca. 1.20 m and difficult to walk backwards,

So he was fallen out (or thrown out so to speak, stumbling over his long robe).

Pir Vilayat climbes murmuring again in, Faz’l says: You will not interfere with us.

Pir Vilayat refuses this loudly and is again pressed out, untill after the third time Pir Vilayat says nothing any more and is admitted.

He stands then as an evil spirit behind Faz’l who is saying prayers.

We sit down then and I start the song to the Rasool and went on with the zikr, what a great experience! After that a silence for one hour, a lighted candle on the standing stone.

While we are going out peacefully Pir Vilayat ordered Faz’l: go out of my …. grave and some more not understandable for me. Faz’l says; don’t interfere with us now!

And I have the tragic honour to help out Pir Vilayat first. There was no fight!

So we were all out at last.

We have explained this also to Pir Zahur.


That same evening during the silence after the dinner, which was much better now,

Hayat and Pir Zahur came to learn the truth of the story Pir Vilayat has told them.

Faz’l asked me to answer which was emotional not working very well for me.

But Faz’l takes it over very detailed and to the point.

Owing to his self-control he leaves sometimes things to take their own way to win time.

He has to deal with so many things!

All became very clear to all, also the difficult position of Hayat and her work for the Dargah.


The next day when Hayat came to fetch us (after the Universal Worship and Qawwal) I have asked her whether she knew that we could not enter the Dargah anymore and that she had got the new key also. She has given then again her old key, knowing that this key was also not working.

But It is unbelievable how everyone is accepting the situations and you can see what unity in spirit can achieve, all is going the strange way of God.





Now Thursday night. We have just again progressed. We have broken open the door of the Dargah, another lock was placed in between. Hayat gave us the wrong key and on the terrain there was also not the right key. Maybe it is true that Vilayat is in hospital with a bruised rib or something like that as is mumbled by Pir Zahur. The plate on the door which was placed just before our arrival, we have fetched down and took it as a souvenir.  

On it the claims of Pir Vilayat as Sashda Nasheen etc. (* one photo at night)

We have asked at the counter of the hotel for the tools, at 12 o’clock midnight!

And everything went on successfully. We have held meditation; it is not possible to tell what is experienced. The return walk was very hasty because the many dogs starting to bark at night,

and we did not want to be caught and arrested at night! (* 2 photos at night more)


From this moment on the door is and will stay open and with that our purpose is as achieved.

Tomorrow at ca. 18 o’clock we will hold a meeting at the Dargah and we will see how everything is going on then. This day is actual lost and yet there are many things gained as well. The guidance of God is miraculous!


(When we had end our devotions after ~2,5 hour on that Friday morning we went out and were all brought up by the police to the police station nearby. We stayed there for some hot and uncomfortable hours.

Pir Vilayat had made an official accusation of unauthorised breaking in the Dargah and molest as we heard from the police officer. The police officer first declared clearly that Pir Vilayat has every right to refuse us the entrance of the Dargah being the eldest son. These were mainly by the arguments of the Man in Black, an Authority of the Dargah Nizamuddin.

But the discussions worked out otherwise. These discussions with all arguments of Vilayat, Fazl and the Police are recorded in fragments and partly written out. The police also did not know what to do others than taking down our names from our passports.

A noticeable fact is that Musavira van Pallandt with us is the sister of Huzurnawaz van Pallandt who was the ambassador of the Netherlands for years in India New Delhi.

After a long while the attaché of the embassy of the Netherlands came to rescue us and so this incident ended, I think without any further harm) (* recording discussions at the police station)


It was on next Sunday that it lasted three hours before the gate of the Dargah was opened for us. I went along coming from the bureau to say that it became to late now, then I see everybody sitting complete and just waiting us as nothing was wrong.

The only satisfaction now is in a bit teasing.

Honestly spoken, we have received from the Dargah already all we need, and we will not organise to go back many times before the 5th of February.

Pir Vilayat is organising the Urs also. When he pays all we do not do anything except the distribution of the food for the poor.   


On Monday morning 27-1 Faz’l went to the Ministry of Muslim Vakfi Board.

I myself went with Miryam, although she is of Belgium, to the Dutch Attaché, drs de Jong for an explanation and for some understanding and assistance. It has been very successful.

Faz’l was successful as well. He had spoken to the Minister himself. The Sufi Movement will receive all legal rights on the Dargah, but not that soon (not before our leaving).


Wednesday 5 febr.: All is well here. Vilayat has organized the Urs and will pay for it. After 42 years the first good action here! We will keep it like that! The Movement will pay the distribution of the food for the poor, probably for 300 persons.


Yesterday morning (Tu. 4-2) we went to Ananda Maji Ma. We have got an interview of more than half an hour! ….

In the midday I went myself to the Dargah, wonderful, being alone with you there!



In the afternoon at 5 o’clock we went all, there was Hayat with Qawwali hubbub, performance of Pir Vilayat but we kept patience.

After this we have had meeting ourselves, it is unbelievable what a change of the Dargah and what another impression it gives!


Today (We.5-2) there will be also a big program of Vilayat, it is clearly his day.

We will have our urs meeting in the afternoon from 3 till 6 hours, and at twelve o’clock we will distribute the food, the langar.

With small letters it is added in the printed Urs program of Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, Sajjada Nasheen of the Dargah :

(The Sufi Movement will also distribute Langar)  (* printed Urs program 5-2-1969)

(Pir Vilayat is happily serving the Urs without any sign of injury or discomfort, together with Murshid Fazal. When you have broken or bruised your ribs you cannot very well held the Chador with both hands on your head the whole way!)

The Urs ceremonies were executed very successful and satisfying! (* see photo’s of the Urs)


This is the end of the translated parts on the Urs.


Miss L.Hayat Bouman has sent me the next year a stencilled letter and writes that the Urs 1970 is a happy and harmonious Vuslat with Pir Vilayat and Murshid Fazal as well visiting and participating. There is not any word or suggestion of problems, hard feelings or problems.

(* New Delhi, Feb.1970)


When Pir Vilayat was in the Hague lecturing in the Sufi Hall Anna Paulownastreet the Haque,

on 29 November 2000 I met Pir Vilayat again and I made some pictures and recordings.

On this occasion I tried to excuse myself for what was happened in the Urs of 1969.

But Pir Vilayat did not remember me at all and had obvious no idea what I was talking about.

So he seem totally to have forgotten the incident, so I thought I could do the same.

But the old hurt needs apparently more to heal so I will give my part of the story for we know how it has happened then.

It is not a nice story to be proud of but I hope we can understand and can forgive whatever has happened in the past. So we can make our future healthier and friendlier!


This year 2009, forty years later, I organised again a Pilgrimage to Chishty India and the Urs.

We went with more than fifty Sufi friends to find the Dargah in an improved and worthy state.

I thought this would be my last Urs and all is well as it is.

But I had still to make again the urs of 1969 with all of you as my witness!

But nevertheless enjoy!


And even from now on there will be no more worries about new Pir-o-Murshids and new Pirs any more in the Sufi Movements! (* letter 20th April 2009 I.H. of the Sufi Movement)


So we keep Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan in love for ever and ever,

and will honour Him and all his Friends who will understand Him.


Let us become happy and free!

Love to all and all for Love!  


Alim Vosteen








Documents of the Urs 1969:


- The Urs of 1969 is the first Urs organised by the Sufi Movement and is extensive documented by me with the papers and communiqués of preparation and execution

which are collected;


- 14 dia films with ~500 photo’s of the pilgrimage of which ~60 photo’s of the Visalat,

   a dia show of 6x36 dia’s with commentary text and music as was shown in the Sufi

   Summer School of 1969 in the Hague;


- A super eight colour film of ca 2 x 30 minutes without sound that was shown also;


- Sound recordings on the way through India and of the Urs on music cassettes, 4x120 min.;

   Also recording parts of the arrest of the Pilgrims and of the discussions between Vilayat,

   Fazal and the Police on the accusations of Vilayat;


- A kind of daily rapport was made of the pilgrimage in ten long letters sent directly to my wife,

   rather private matter.