Pirani Ameena Begum

Ameena Begum

Pirani Ameena Begum or Amina Begum (Ora Ray Baker) was born on the 8th May 1892 in Albuquerque (New Mexico) USA, died in Paris on the 1st of May in 1949.

One of her uncles from her father's side was the historically well-known politician called "Judge Baker", whose statue is placed in a main center in Albuquerque. Her aunt, from her father's side was Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the "Christian Science Church" in the USA.

Pirani Ameena Begum was the wife of Sufi Master Hazrat Inayat Khan, the mother of his four children: Noor-un-Nisa (1913), Vilayat (1916), Hidayat (1917) and Khair-un-Nisa (1919). The family settled in Suresnes, near Paris. Amina Begum was one of the first female Sufi Pir (Shaikh) - Pirani on the West. Pir (Persian: (پیر) literally "old [person]") is a title for a Sufi master. They are also referred to as a Shaikh, which is Arabic for Old Man. The title is often translated into English as "saint". In Sufism Pir's role is to guide and instruct his disciples on the Sufi path. Hidayat Inayat Khan wrote: "In 1926, Hazrat Inayat Khan gave my Mother an exceptional initiation as "Pirani", which was only to be given to her. That special initiation was not to be given to any one else in the Sufi Movement, either in the present or in the future".

Hazrat Inayat Khan said in his Autobiography that without Ameena Begum's help he would never have been able to bring the Sufi Message to the Western world .

Pirani Ameena Begum Inayat Khan, and left a collection of 101 Poems called "A Rosary of one hundred and one beads". Some of those poems were lost in the war of 1940, but a 54 have been preserved and published in 1998.

Articles and poetry

  • Women's Seclusion in the East, by Amina Begum Inayat Khan. "The Sufi" magazine No. 3 Vol. I, Sept. 1915
  • Poems from Thy Rosary of a Hundred Beads, a collection of poems written by 'Sharda, Pirani Ameena Begum Ora-Ray Inayat Khan'. "Caravanseari" magazine (Canada) November 1988 pp.. 31-34
  • Poems from Thy Rosary of a Hundred Beads by 'Sharda, Pirani Ameena Begum Ora-Ray Inayat Khan'. Published in book of Hidayat Inayat Khan "Once upon a time..." Groningen (Netherlands) 1998 pp. 53-87

Sources and notes

  • HJ Witteveen. Universal Sufism. Publisher: Element Books Ltd (September 1997) 178 pages; ISBN 1862040931 - pp.. 36-37
  • Russo-Indian Relations in 1900-1917. A Selection of Documents. (in Russian). Moscow: The Oriental Literature (Russian Academy of Science). 1999. 527 pp.. ISBN 5020181552 - about Begum, documents numbers №302-304, 423-430 pp..
  • Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan. Shrabani Basu. Publisher: Omega Publications, Inc.; 1st edition (August 1, 2007) ISBN 0930872789 - about Begum pp. 4–10 passim, 19–27 passim, 31, 39–47 passim, 119, 189–103 passim, and 205

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