The Minqar-i Musiqar
The Minqar-i Musiqar
Hazrat Inayat Khan’s classic 1912 work on Indian musical theory and practice.
The Minqār-i Mūsīqār is prized as much for the quality of its content as for its distinguished author. This book communicates the musical learning and enthusiasms of the twenty-five-year-old Inayat Khan, whose personal drive, ambition to engage with the wider world, and longing for the divine are palpable throughout.
In the Minqār-i Mūsīqār, we find a compilation of theory and practice current during Inayat Khan’s time and taught in his family line. Its sections on theory are based on the teachings of the author’s grandfather, Maula Bakhsh, and other late nineteenth-century sources. The songs at the center of the book are the author’s compositions, and the poetry collection includes more than sixty choice Urdu and Persian ghazals. But, as valuable as it is for its musical content, the Minqār is equally fascinating in what it tells us about the writer and the times in which it was written.
Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882 1927) came to Europe and America from his native India with a message of love, harmony, and beauty that was a new approach to harmonizing Western and Eastern spirituality. He established a school of spiritual training based upon traditional Sufi teachings infused with the vision of the unity of religious ideals and the awakening of humanity to the divinity within. Inayat Khan died in India in 1927, leaving a significant body of recorded discourse and instruction on all things pertaining to spiritual ideals in the midst of life in the world.
Allyn Miner specializes in the history of North Indian music based on Sanskrit, Hindi, and Urdu sources. She has a PhD in Indian Musicology from Banaras Hindu University and a PhD in Sanskrit from the University of Pennsylvania. She spent eleven years in Varanasi, India, where she studied sitar performance with Thakur Raj Bhan Singh and musicology with Professor Prem Lata Sharma. She returned to the United States, became a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and continued performance study, eventually becoming a disciple of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Allyn taught courses on sitar and Performing Arts in South Asia at the University of Pennsylvania until 2017. Her book Sitar and Sarod in the 18th and 19th Centuries is a definitive study of the early history of the sitar. Her Sangītopanişatsāroddhāra is a translation of a fourteenth-century Sanskrit musicological text. The Minqār-i Musiqār is a translation of the 1912 Urdu work by Hazrat Inayat Khan. She continues to do research and publish on North Indian music, and performs and teaches the sitar. She has an avid interest in Irish traditional music and plays fiddle, concertina, and banjo.
Pir Zia Inayat Khan, PhD, is a scholar of religion and teacher of Sufism in the universalist Sufi lineage of his grandfather, Hazrat Inayat Khan. Pir Zia is president of the Inayatiyya and founder of Sulūk Academy, a school of Sufi contemplative study and practice with offerings in North America and Europe, as well as online. He is editor of A Pearl in Wine: Essays in the Life, Music and Sufism of Hazrat Inayat Khan and Caravan of Souls: An Introduction to the Sufi Path of Hazrat Inayat Khan, and author of Saracen Chivalry: Counsels on Valor, Generosity and the Mystical Quest; Mingled Waters: Sufism and the Mystical Unity of Religions; and Dream Flowers: The Collected Works of Noor Inayat Khan with a Critical Commentary by Pir Zia Inayat Khan. Pir Zia divides his time between Richmond, Virginia and Suresnes, France.