During the 2019 relocation of the Sufi Museum from the site at the Banstraat to the Anna Paulownastraat, both in The Hague, The Netherlands, some interesting artefacts surfaced. Among these were a number of shellac recordings. The then archivist, Hamida Verlinden, entrusted these to Anne Louise (Qahira) Wirgman of our Foundation to try and get digital recordings. This has been done professionally by the British Library in London. The results can be found below.
Asif written by the Nizam of Hyderabad, sung by Hazrat Inayat Khan
This song, a rendering of a poem by the Nizam of Hyderabad, with whom Hazrat Inayat Khan maintained a close relationship, has been partially (first two verses of four in all ) translated by Hazrat Inayat Khan himself and Jesse Westbrook Duncan, p.18 of Hindustani Lyrics 1919 edition. Click the button to listen.
The eyes of the narcissus win new light!
From gleams that in Thy rapturous eyes they trace,
The flame is but a moth with fluttering flight
Drawn by the lovelier lustre of Thy face.
This shifting House of Mirrors where we dwell
Under Thy charm a fairy palace seems:
Who has not fallen tangled in Thy spell
Beguiled by visions, wandering in dreams!
In March 1925, Hazrat Inayat Khan was on a lecture tour of Germany. On 12th March the Staatsbibliotek, Berlin asked if they could record him, the records found in Banstraat have two versions, one with Murshid singing Allah Hu Akbar at the end. Also, another song from that occasion can be listened to by clicking on the button below.
For convenience, the actual words spoken are reproduced below.
Beloved Ones of God, Sufi Message is a Message today, being given to humanity. It is not a Message of the East, but it is the Message of the Soul, the Spirit.
The Sufi word means wisdom, which comes from the root Sofia. It is the work of that wisdom to give the Message today to humanity, in order that people may come together in a better understanding arising beyond the different sections of casts and creeds which divide mankind.
The Sufi Message is an answer to the cry of humanity today; at this moment, when materialism is all-pervading and commercialism is continually on the increase.
The Sufi Message respects all Religions, recognises all Scriptures, regards all the Prophets held in esteem by large sections of humanity, and is the Source and Goals of all Wisdom is One.
Recordings of Ali Khan
Among the finds in the Banstraat were also two recordings of the magnificent tenor voice of Murshid Ali Khan, from a performance in Sweden during the 1950s.