“Sufism recognizes all Prophets as the bringers of one Message; it accepts the essential truth of all religious ideals.”
In 1922, during the Summer School, the founder of the International Sufi Movement, Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927), had a deep spiritual experience in the dunes at Katwijk. He called the place ‘Murad Hassil’ (pronunciation: moorá:d há:sil), which means “the place of acquiring one’s desires.” Since that time, Sufis have returned to this place again and again, for meditation and prayer. In the 1950s the Sufi Movement was able to obtain a long lease of about 4.57 acres including the place in the dunes where Hazrat Inayat Khan meditated.
This was not the first time that this land had been seen as sacred. According to some historians of religion, this is where a sanctuary for the Roman god Apollo was located, over 2000 years ago. And it is also said to be the place where Saint Willibrordus,and eleven missionaries, landed in 690 to spread Christianity in the Dutch Low Lands.
The building, the Universel Murad Hassil (the “Sufi Temple”), was completed in 1970. It is located besides the dune where Hazrat Inayat Khan had a profound spiritual experience. It is one of the latest and best designs of the renowned architect and town-planner Professor Engineer S.J. van Embden (1904-2000), who designed the temple according to the ideas of Hazrat Inayat Khan. It has a square hall with a cupola and light-windows.
The square symbolizes stability and power; and the cupola, through which daylight comes in, symbolizes the human heart that is attuned to heaven and opens itself to the divine light. The hall is 13 x 13 meters, and can hold up to 120 persons.
The landscape of the dunes surrounding the Temple is also part of the design. On the west side a high wall has been made as a protection against the wind; and on the slope an amphitheater has been built. The valley where Hazrat Inayat Khan had his spiritual experience is a place of silence now. One can come and meditate here, where he sat. Just over the hill, one can find another building, the wakil house. It contains a dining room, and also the quarters of the wakil, the caretaker and guardian of Murad Hassil.
“After a meditative meeting I left the Temple in the evening, all of a sudden open to the beauty of the land, the sunset, the cloudy skies, the colorful hues of the landscape, the fragrance of the air…”
The Universal Worship
The Universal Worship is the worship service which follows the teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan. It is organized by the Sufi Movement, but it expresses something which has been hoped for and desired by all great prophets. …that the light in all different names and forms – like Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam – may be known by all and everyone… The purpose of the Universal Worship is to further the unity of religious ideals. On the altar there are seven candles which represent the Divine Light that has come to humanity through the religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Divine Light shines not only within these religious forms, but also within “all those who, whether known or unknown to the world, have held aloft the light of truth through the darkness of human ignorance.” Another candle burns above the seven candles and symbolizes the Divine Light.
In front of each candle is a holy Scripture from each of these religions. During the Universal Worship service, a short passage is read from each Scripture, on the subject chosen for that day. This service enables people of different religions to discover the unifying themes in all religions, and to feel that there is one source from which all the Scriptures have come forth.
“For a Sufi, the diversity in names and forms of religious traditions are as a veil over the phenomenon of the Spirit of Guidance that is constantly manifesting at all levels of evolution.”
If you are inspired by the Unity of Religious Ideals, you might like to help by giving some financial support to the Murad Hassil Foundation. We would deeply appreciate it. All donations are used for the maintenance of the Temple and the surrounding dunes. Gifts for special projects can also be made. Gifts can be made at one time, or regularly throughout the year. Please go to our donations form to make a donation
“Let the depth of the heart lead, and let the head follow.”