What Does a Winged Heart Symbolize?

Glow Images, Inc/Glow/Getty Images

The winged heart is a symbol of the Universal Sufism movement and it generally symbolizes ascension. The symbol within the heart, such as the five-pointed star, represents divine light and the crescent moon under the star represents responsiveness to the light. The winged symbol was reportedly chosen by the founder of Universal Sufism in the West, Hazrat Inayat Khan.

The Tughra Inayati, literally meaning winged heart, was designed by in honor of the founder Inayat Khan by Hafizullah. Khan chose the symbol to represent the Sufi Order of the West when it was founded in 1910. The wings and heart of of the symbol are sometimes rendered in Arabic script.

The Arabic calligraphy that represents the wings reads “Ya Hazrati Inayat,” which can be interpreted in several ways. For example, adding “O” will make it an invitation to hazrati, which can be interpreted as presence or a respectful title to a royalty. Inayat can also be interpreted as “taking care; of a gift.” The wings are actually mirror images of each other.

The Arabic script for the heart reads “qaddas Allahu sirrahu,” which is a phrase used to venerate a dead Sufi saint. The Universal Sufism movement have teachings that are based on the unification of all people and religions, and that spiritual guidance can be found in everything.