Episode 40

The Art of Personality: A Sufi Perspective

With Shaikh-al-Mashaik Mahmood Khan Youskine
Episode 40

The Art of Personality: A Sufi Perspective

With Shaikh-al-Mashaik Mahmood Khan Youskine

Senior Sufi Representative. Knight-Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau. Arch Sheikh of Inayatian Indian Sufism.

Shaikh-al-Mashaik Mahmood Khan Youskine is a descendant of an ancient family of Sufi saints, poets and musicians. Through his father, Shaikh-ul-Mashaik M.P. Maheboob Khan and Uncle, Pir-o-Murshid Jagirdar Muhammed Ali Khan, brother and cousin-brother respectively of the famous Hazrat Inayat Khan, Mahmood learned Indian Sufism from within, both in theory and practice. Since then, Mahmood has fully devoted himself to the preservation and enhancement of the Indian, mystical and musical tradition of his Father and Uncles, thus becoming profoundly involved in Sufi mysticism and culture—and the general question of the spiritual dimension in modern life, its observance and particular requirements. In 2018, on behalf of the King of the Netherlands, Mahmood was granted the rank of a knight-officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau for his services to Sufism.

Mahmood deeply values and seeks to promote the memory of his first cousin Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan, the World War II heroine and famous British spy, whom he knew well and of whom he preserves fond recollections. For a century short of seven years of involvement in Inayatian Indian Sufism, “Arch Shaikh” Mahmood Khan may be regarded as having an exceptional position within the Sufi world. He is the only as yet living family member who has personally and very intensely worked with the Hazrat Inayat Khan’s brothers and his Inayatide cousins, and is an enthusiastic supporter of the current Sufi leader and his American nephew, Pir Zia Inayat Khan Maulabakhsh.

  • Grateful for the pearls of wisdom, and for the expert host facilitating them coming through. Thank you both! Sharif Karmally
  • Thanks for giving me some concepts to share with my teenage son. George Khaldun
  • Thank you so much. Inspired as always by you and your guests! Jamie Lee

In this episode of Intersections, Prof. Hitendra Wadhwa has a conversation with Shaikh-al-Mashaik Mahmood Khan Youskine on the topic “The Art of Personality: A Sufi Perspective”.

What human qualities do we really seek in our colleagues, friends, family, and even more so, in our own selves? Could personality-building be the purest art form, and if so, what human qualities represent its essence? How can we engage in personality-building and learn to fully express all dimensions of our personality in our everyday thoughts, speech and actions?

“It is the continual inclination to produce beauty which helps one to develop art in the personality… [How] readily man is inclined to learn outer refinement, and how slow many souls are to develop that art inwardly… [Outer] manner is meaningless if it is not prompted by the inner impulse towards beauty.”
Hazrat Inayat Khan

The episode “The Art of Personality: A Sufi Perspective” offers key insights on:

  • The 11 building blocks of personality-building, as taught in Indian Sufism
  • How to refine and thoughtfully express our personality in our everyday thoughts, speech and actions
  • The luminous life of Hazrat Inayat Khan and the heroic personal journey of Noor Inayat Khan

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