Born : 5th July, 1882 - Gujarat, India

Died : 5th February,1927 - Delhi, India

Married : Amina Begum

They had 4 children

Glow mag. - May 2003
Glow mag. - May 2003

Lord Meher Page 1567 - Footnote 1


Inayat Khan was a fifth plane Sufi Master who was sent from India to initiate Sufism in England and America in 1910. Besides being a genuine Sufi teacher, he was also a fabulous musician and singer. He died in 1927. The school of thought that Inayat Khan eventually founded in America was recreated under Meher Baba's guidance and renamed Sufism Reoriented located in California and Washington, D.C.


An elderly couple, Will and Mary Backett, had first heard of Meher Baba from Meredith Starr in 1931, but had not met Baba on his first visit to England. Both had been initiated into Sufism by Inayat Khan during the 1920s and followed him until his death in 1927.


Lord Meher Volume 5, Page 1567


TWO ILLUMINED SOULS were responsible for first introducing the transcendent mysticism of the East to the Western world. Swami Vivekananda, one of the chief disciples of Sadguru Ramakrishna of Calcutta, traveled to America in 1893 and 1897, and introduced the mysticism of Vedanta. In 1911, the mysticism of the Persian Sufis was introduced to America by Murshid Inayat Khan. These two great souls, Swami Vivekananda and Inayat Khan, were the forerunners of the blending of the mysticism of the East with the Western world, which was one aspect of the Universal work Meher Baba did during his Avataric Advent. The mysticism of Vedanta descended upon the Western world from the lineage of Sadguru Ramakrishna of Calcutta. The mysticism of the Persian Sufis descended from the lineage of Qutub Mu'inuddin Chishti of Ajmer.

Initiated by Inayat Khan in 1911, and head or Murshida of Sufism in America since 1927, Rabia Martin was destined to come into contact with Meher Baba. In 1942, Rabia Martin met Norina Matchabelli and Elizabeth Patterson, who had come to California to investigate sites for Baba's proposed American center. After listening to their descriptions of their Master, Rabia became convinced that Meher Baba was an extraordinary spiritual figure. She was profoundly affected by her internal experience of the Master and offered her Sufi retreat center in Fairfax near San Francisco for Baba's use.  Elizabeth wrote Baba in India: "Rabia's offer seemed to come from the heart and we all agree that she is the most advanced and understanding soul we met in California."


Lord Meher Volume 9, Page 3066



Murshidas lineage of Sufism in America since 1927

Radia Ada Martin
Radia Ada Martin

Rabia Ada Martin   ( 1871 - 1947 )

Hazrat Inayat Khan's designated spiritual successor.

In the 1940s Rabia Martin recognized Avatar Meher Baba as the reigning spiritual authority of the age and surrendered herself and her order to him.

Murshida Martin died before meeting Meher Baba physically.

Ivy O.Duce
Ivy O.Duce

Ivy Oneita Duce   (1895 - 1981)

She succeeded Radia Martin in 1947.

In 1952 Meher Baba appointed her the first Murshida of Sufism Reoriented.

In 1948 Murshida Duce was called to India by Meher Baba who confirmed her role as Murshida and announced that he intended to reorient Sufism under his guidance and her leadership in the near future. This was realized in 1952 with the creation of Sufism Reoriented.

James MacKie
James MacKie


Dr. James S. B. MacKie   (1932 - 2001)

A psychologist who had taught psychiatry at the University of Maryland Medical School and had been a consultant for the Peace Corps.

Carol Connor
Carol Connor

Dr. Carol Weyland Conner

( 1942 - 2023 )

the current Murshida, succeeded MacKie in 2001.

She grew up in central California's San Joaquin Valley. She studied English literature at UC Berkeley, French literature at the Sorbonne in Paris and medieval studies at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore before receiving her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., in 1976. After teaching for several years in the George Washington University School of Medicine, she went into private practice as a therapist, practicing for 25 years in Walnut Creek, California.

Carol Weyland Connor died at 2:13P.M. Pacific time April 22, 2023.


Walker Lambert
Walker Lambert



Walker Lambert   ( - )


Walker succeeded Connor as Murshid on 21st May 2023.

Murshida of Sufism in Australia

Sydney The Sun newspaper , 10 June 1934
Sydney The Sun newspaper , 10 June 1934

Mahboob Khan

Lord Meher Page 3215 - Footnote 1

Mahboob Khan (1887-1948), the younger brother of Inayat Khan, also an excellent musician, accompanied Inayat Khan on his travels and music tours in America and Europe. After Inayat Khan's death in 1927, some Sufis in Europe adopted a family lineage for their group and considered Mahboob to be their Murshid. Later, the son of Inayat Khan, Vilayat, headed a Sufi order, claiming it as his father's legacy. Vilayat Khan met Meher Baba during the 1950s.

Samuel Lewis (1896-1971), later known as "Sufi Sam," was a student of Inayat Khan and Rabia Martin who had some clairvoyant abilities. He corresponded with Meher Baba briefly and later also formed his own Sufi organization.


Ivy Duce recalls ;

I told him ( Meher Baba ) that Murshida Rabia had made me her successor as Murshida of the Sufi Order for the Western world; that I felt I had been promoted too soon and had not yet the stature for the job and that I did not want to be a spiritual poseur. I told Baba I was confused by the claims made by Inayat Khan's brother Mahboob Khan, Samuel Lewis' statements and the attitude of Inayat Khan's sons.


Lord Meher Volume 9, Page 3215


Samuel Lewis

(Dr.) Abdul Ghani Munsiff wrote to Ivy Duce on behalf of Meher Baba in reply to her letter.


It can thus be seen that no certification from Hasan Nizami or any Chishti school from Ajmer or elsewhere would go to help and uphold the prestige of Mahboob Khan or others like him. Even the certification of Khilafatship obtained by Murshida Rabia Martin from Hasan Nizami, copies of which you gave me while in India, is of no spiritual worth whatsoever. The spiritual worth of Rabia Martin consists in being appointed as Murshida by Hazrat Inayat Khan personally and directly. Hence the effort on the part of Rabia Martin to obtain a written investiture from Hasan Nizami was altogether superfluous and unnecessary... .




Lord Meher Volume 9, Page 3231-2



Shaikh-ul-Mashaik Pyaromir Maheboob Khan (1887–1948) was born in Baroda, India. An Indian classical musician and younger brother of Hazrat Inayat Khan, he became the representative of the International Sufi Movement on the latter's death in 1927.

Their grandfather Maula Bakhsh recognized his ability in improvisation and trained him in music with Inayat. As he grew up Maheboob was exposed more to European music than Inayat had been, he conducted and took some interest in Western musical theory.

When Inayat began to travel from Baroda, he entrusted his musical students to Maheboob, but when Inayat sailed to the West in 1910 Maheboob Khan accompanied him.[1] He settled in The Hague, marrying a Dutch disciple, Shadbiy van Goens, who bore him two children, Raheemunnisa and Mahmood. In Europe, Maheboob learned musical composition and singing with composer and musicologist Edmond Bailly.[2][3]

Maheboob had a particularly strong voice, but Maheboob, musical, intelligent, thoughtful and retiring, would rarely sing for others. There is a story that Inayat and his brother Ali Khan would sometimes pretend to go out, slamming the front door, then wait quietly in the front hall to hear Maheboob practise his singing. He composed more than 60 sacred songs. Barbara Blatherwick, the coloratura soprano, performed his songs in her recital in 1937 at the New York Town Hall.[4] Maheboob composed a song on a sacred poem by Inayat Khan ('Before You judge.') but could not bring himself to show it to his brother who died without having heard it.

Upon the passing of Hazrat Inayat Khan in 1927, Maheboob Khan took the responsibility of leading the International Sufi Movement[5], a post he held until his own death in 1948. He kept the Sufi message through the difficulties of WW2 time and is remembered with love, respect and gratitude.A time over than 12 years hadbeen sent on the making of 'Mughal-e- Azam'.



LP recordings:

  • Maheboob Khan. "Qawwali Asti Bulbul" (3:14) (melody by Hazrat Inayat Khan) (1925) mp3
  • Maheboob Khan. "Qawwali Saki. Derwish Song" (3:25) (Rag Kalyan) (1925) mp3


  • Maheboob Khan - Hindustani songs. Words by Pir'o Murshid Inayad. French words by François de Bretevil. II. Hindou song to the soul of the saint - Genève : Henn, PN A. 521 H., cop. 1924. - 3 S. Kl. Randschaden. gering gebräunt. Texte in Hindi/Französisch/Englisch.
  • Maheboob Khan - Kalyan. (Thy music causeth my soul to dance). Words from the 'Gayan' by Hazrat Inayat Khan - Rotterdam : Faiz, PN 1374, cop. 1932.
  • Songs by Shaikh-ul-Mashaik Pyaromir Maheboob Khan. 13 original songs for Voice and Piano. Hague, East-West Publications Fonds, 1988 ISBN 9070104768

CD recordings:

  • "Sufi songs". Songs composed by Maheboob Khan based on words of Inayat Khan. Ute Döring, mezzo-soprano, and J. van Lohuizen, piano. Recorded and мanufactured in Germany by: CES in 1998
  • "The Sun of Love". Symphonic compositions by Hazrat Inayat Khan, Maheboob Khan and Hidayat-Inayat Khan. Novosibirsk String Quintet. Recorded and мanufactured in Russia by in 2004.

I highlighted the Sufic affairs but he hardly listened – I showed him Inayat Khan's photograph and Rabia Martin's. He said he knew, motioning to Inayat Khan's and then pointing at Rabia's said: "She was the right successor."


Lord Meher Volume 9, Page 3219


I close this poor report by stating that there is every evidence that Meher Baba is the Avatar and the Qutub of all the Sufis, and I regard him as such. The great Sufis of India so regard him, and elsewhere. He is at present finishing his work with the masts. He said he must contact them all before his manifestation, and he had contacted ninety percent before I came and started in on the 12th with the rest. He will finish certain most important work by February 25th which is his birthday... . Murshid Inayat Khan works for Baba.

My poor phrases do no justice to Baba – since we in this world have never beheld perfection before. I find myself helpless to describe it in the person of Meher Baba. But he is in you all and you can feel him and that is all you need.

Faithfully, Murshida Ivy

February 1948


Lord Meher Volume 9, Page 3230



The spiritual worth of Rabia Martin consists in being appointed as Murshida by Hazrat Inayat Khan personally and directly. Hence the effort on the part of Rabia Martin to obtain a written investiture from Hasan Nizami was altogether superfluous and unnecessary... .


Lord Meher Volume 9, Page 3232


Yet gradually Ella felt that her heart was Baba's alone. She had respect for Inayat Khan, but she wanted only Meher Baba as her Master. And so without telling anyone, she wrote a note to Baba in India, not expecting a reply. But soon a letter came in which Baba stated: "I am touched by your love. The time has not yet come for you to serve me directly, but soon it will." Ella was ecstatic: Baba had accepted her! She knew she must now leave the Sufi order, and she told this to Ivy, who released her from her vows.


Lord Meher Volume 11, Page 3802


The next day, July 19th, Carolyn Frey met Baba. Donald Eugene Stevens, age thirty-three, one of Ivy's mureeds and her chief helper, arrived in the afternoon. When Rabia Martin had told her group in San Francisco about Baba, Don had initially rebelled. He was devoted to Inayat Khan and was skeptical of another Master. He had been unable to come to Myrtle Beach for the May 17th darshan, and though he had sent a telegram asking if he could meet Baba in Prague, Oklahoma, Baba had not permitted it.


Lord Meher Volume 11, Page 3870


Phillipe Dupuis of Paris, France, had written to Baba for permission to come and see him. Baba granted permission, and Dupuis arrived in Bombay on February 6th. On February 9th, he was brought by Adi directly to Meherabad, arriving at 9:00 A.M. Without obtaining Baba's permission, Dupuis had brought Vilayat Khan, the eldest son of the Sufi teacher Inayat Khan.

Baba saw both in his interview cabin. Adi, Eruch and Francis were present during the interview. Vilayat Khan kissed Baba's hand. Replying to Baba's inquiry, he said that he had come to India a month before Phillipe Dupuis. He planned to sit in meditation for a certain length of time near the shrine of Qutub Mu'inuddin Chishti in Ajmer. Vilayat said, "I have come to Baba prompted by my Murshid to meditate on you in your physical presence."


Lord Meher Volume 16, Page 5530



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882–1927)

Hazrat Inayat Khan (Urdu: عنایت خان ) (July 5, 1882 – February 5, 1927) was an exemplar of Universal Sufism and founder of the "Sufi Order in the West" in 1914 (London). Later, in 1923, the Sufi Order of the London period was dissolved into a new organization formed under Swiss law and called the "International Sufi Movement". He initially came to the West as a representative of classical Indian music, having received the title Tansen from the Nizam of Hyderabad but soon turned to the introduction and transmission of Sufi thought and practice. His universal message of divine unity (Tawhid) focused on the themes of love, harmony and beauty. He taught that blind adherence to any book rendered any religion void of spirit.




Inayat Khan was born in Vadodara, Gujarat to a noble Muslim Indian family (his mother was a descendant of the uncle of Tipu Sultan, the famous eighteenth century ruler of Mysore). He was initiated into the Suhrawardiyya, Qadiriyya and Naqshbandi orders of Sufism but his primary initiation was from Shaykh Muhammed Abu Hashim Madani into the Nizamiyya sub-branch of the Chishti Order. He was also indebted to the philosophical Vedanta/Shankara spirituality of Hinduism.

With the Shaykh's encouragement he left India in 1910 to come to the West, traveling first as a touring musician and then as a teacher of Sufism, visiting three continents. Eventually he married Ora Ray Baker (Pirani Ameena Begum) from New Mexico and they had had four children: Noor-un-Nisa (1914), Vilayat (1916), Hidayat (1917) and Khair-un-Nisa (1919). The family settled in Suresnes, near Paris.

Khan returned to India at the end of 1926 and there chose the site of his tomb, the Nizamuddin Dargah complex in Delhi, where the eponymous founder of the Nizami Chishtiyya, Shaykh Nizamuddin Auliya (died 1325), is buried. Khan died shortly after, on February 5, 1927.

Today active branches of Inayat Khan's lineage can be found in the Netherlands, France, England, Germany, the United States, Canada, and Russia. He left behind a rich legacy of English literature infused with his vision of the unity of religious ideals, which calls humanity to awaken to the "Truth of Divine Guidance and Love."

"The man who tries to prove his belief superior to the faith of another, does not know the meaning of religion."[1]

He also stated:

"if the following of Islam is understood to mean the obligatory adherence to a certain rite; if being a Muslim means conforming to certain restrictions, how can the Sufi be placed in that category, seeing that the Sufi is beyond all limitations of this kind?"[2]

Inayat Khan's emphasis on spiritual liberty led many contemporary Westerners to understand that his brand of Sufism and Islam are not inherently intertwined, although his followers continue to perform (Dhikr). There is a historic precedent of certain Chishti masters (and masters of other orders) not requiring their non-Muslim followers to convert to Islam. The numbers of non-Muslim Sufis before the twentieth century, however, were relatively few.[3]


 Sufi temple


Universal Sufi Temple

In 1922, during a summer school, Inayat Khan had a 'spiritual experience' in the South Dunes in Katwijk, The Netherlands. He immediately told his students to meditate and proclaimed the place where he was on that moment holy. In 1969, the Universal Sufi Templea temple was built there. Every year a Sufi summer school takes place in this temple and many Sufis from around the world visit.




Inayat Khan set forth ten thoughts that form the foundational principles of Universal Sufism:[4]

  1. There is One God, the Eternal, the Only Being; None exists save He.
  2. There is One Master, the Guiding Spirit of all souls, Who constantly leads all followers toward the Light.
  3. There is One Holy Book, the Sacred Manuscript of Nature, the only Scripture that can enlighten the reader.
  4. There is One Religion, the unswerving progress in the right direction toward the Ideal, which fulfills the life's purpose of every soul.
  5. There is One Law, the Law of Reciprocity, which can be observed by a selfless conscience, together with a sense of awakened justice.
  6. There is One Brotherhood, the human brotherhood which unites the children of earth indiscriminately in the fatherhood of God. ... (later adapted by followers) There is one Family, the Human Family, which unites the Children of Earth indiscriminately in the Parenthood of God.
  7. There is One Moral, the Love which springs forth from self-denial and blooms in deeds of beneficence. ... (alternative, source unknown) There is one Moral Principle, the Love which springs forth from a willing heart, surrendered in service to God and Humanity, and which blooms in deeds of beneficence.
  8. There is One Object of Praise, the Beauty which uplifts the heart of its worshipper through all aspects from the seen to the unseen.
  9. There is One Truth, the true knowledge of our being, within and without, which is the essence of Wisdom.
  10. There is One Path, the annihilation of the false ego in the real, which raises the mortal to immortality, in which resides all perfection. ... (alternative, source unknown) There is One Path, the effacement of the limited self in the Unlimited, which raises the mortal to immortality, in which resides all Perfection.



Some of Inayat Khan's most famous sayings are:

  • "Shatter your ideals on the rock of Truth."
  • "There is nothing valuable except what we value in life."
  • "Sleep is comfortable, but awakening is interesting."
  • "In a small affair or in a big affair, first consult yourself and find out if there is any conflict in your own being about anything you want to do. And when you find no conflict there, then feel sure that a path is already made for you. You have but to open your eyes and take a step forward, and the other step will be led by God."
  • "The difference between the divine and the human will is like the difference between the trunk of a tree and its branches. As from the boughs other twigs and branches spring, so the will of one powerful individual has branches going through the will of other individuals. So there are the powerful beings, the masters of humanity. Their will is God's will, their word is God's word, and yet they are branches, because the trunk is the will of the Almighty. Whether the branch be large or small, every branch has the same origin and the same root as the stem."
  • "The more one studies the harmony of music, and then studies human nature, how people agree and how they disagree, how there is attraction and repulsion, the more one will see that it is all music."
  • "Reason is the illusion of reality."


Inayat's tomb, known as the Dargah, is in the Nizamuddin West area of Delhi, India


Inayat Khan's son -

Pir Vilayat Inayat-Khan



PARIS, June 21,2004 - Pir Vilayat Inayat-Khan, who headed an international order of Sufis, members of a mystical offshoot of Islam, and wrote books about it, died on Thursday at his home in Suresnes, a suburb of Paris. He was 87.

His death was announced by Donald Graham, an official of the Sufi Order International.

A teacher and lecturer, Pir Vilayat was the son of Hazrat Inayat Khan, who helped bring Sufism to the West and created the Sufi order. He allowed followers to keep practicing their own religions as they explored Sufi mysticism, though traditional Sufism is a form of Islam.

Pir Vilayat's books included "Toward the One" and "The Call of the Dervish." His works were translated into several languages.

Born in 1916 in London to an Indian father and an American mother, Pir Vilayat studied cello and received a degree from the Sorbonne in Paris, Mr. Graham said.

In World War II, he served in the British Royal Navy on a minesweeper. The boat was torpedoed during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, and Pir Vilayat was one of the few rescued, Mr. Graham said. Pir Vilayat's sister, Noor, worked with the French Resistance before she was captured and executed at the Dachau concentration camp.

Pir Zia Inayat Khan, Pir Vilayat's eldest son, has been preparing to take over his father's position.

He is also survived by his wife, Mary Walls; a daughter, Maria; another son, Mirza; and two grandchildren.

Pir Vilayat Inayat-Khan' son -

Zia Inayat Khan

In addition to the interfaith mystical training he has received from his father, Pir Zia has studied Buddhism under the auspices of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Sufism in the classical Indian tradition of the Chishtiyya. He combines these diverse influences in his being and in his teaching. In the true spirit of the message of Inayat Khan, Pir Zia brings together not only leaders of different Sufi traditions, but also representatives of the world's faiths.

He is the editor of A Pearl in Wine: Essays on the Life, Music, and Sufism of Hazrat Inayat Khan (Omega Publications, 2001). He has also authoured two booklets published by the Sufi Order Secretariat: Risala, and the Chishti Silsila of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. He currently resides and teaches at The Abode of The Message in New Lebanon, New York.

Pir Zia exemplifies a new generation of spiritual teachers. He is keenly aware of the needs of the present day, of a world in crisis, and an emerging spirituality of the future, built upon the centuries-old tradition of the Sufi Masters.

Inayat Khan's daughter -

Noor-un-Nisa Inayat-Khan

/ Nora Baker ( British Army name )

Noor's Memorial in London
Noor's Memorial in London
Noor's statue unveiled by The Princess Royal ( Anne ) on the 8th November 2012
Noor's statue unveiled by The Princess Royal ( Anne ) on the 8th November 2012
2014 ; In March , the U.K.'s Royal Mail released a stamp honoring Noor Inayat Khan
2014 ; In March , the U.K.'s Royal Mail released a stamp honoring Noor Inayat Khan
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Noor Inayat Khan/Nora Baker
1 January 1914(1914-01-01) – 13 September 1944(1944-09-13) (aged 30)
Noor ancestor1.jpg
Nickname Agent Phono, Madeleine (Callsign: Nurse)
Place of birth Moscow, Russia
Place of death Dachau concentration camp, Germany
Allegiance United Kingdom, France
Service/branch Women's Auxiliary Air Force,
Special Operations Executive
First Aid Nursing Yeomanry
Years of service 1940-1944 (WAAF)/1943-1944 (SOE)
Rank Assistant Section Officer (WAAF)/Ensign (FANY)
Unit Physician
Awards George Cross, MBE, Croix de Guerre, Mentioned in Dispatches


Assistant Section Officer Noor Inayat Khan / Nora Baker, (Urdu: نور عنایت خان ) GC, MBE (1 January 1914, Moscow - 13 September 1944, Dachau concentration camp), usually known as Noor Inayat Khan was of Indian Muslim origin. She was a British Special Operations Executive agent during the Second World War, and the first female radio operator to be sent into occupied France to aid the French Resistance.



 Early years


Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan was the eldest of four children. Her father Hazrat Inayat Khan came from a princely Indian Muslim family. (He was a great-grandson of Tipu Sultan, the famous 18th century ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore.) He lived in Europe as a musician and a teacher of Sufism. Her mother, Ora Meena Ray Baker, was an American from Albuquerque, New Mexico who met Inayat Khan during his travels in the United States. Ora Baker was the half-sister of American yogi and scholar, Pierre Bernard, her guardian at the time she met Hazrat Inayat Khan.[1] Noor's brother, Vilayat Inayat Khan, later became head of the Sufi Order International.

In 1914, shortly before the outbreak of the First World War, the family left Russia for London and lived in Bloomsbury. Noor attended nursery at Notting Hill. In 1920, they moved to France, settling in Suresnes near Paris, in a house that was a gift from a benefactor of the Sufi movement. After the death of her father in 1927, Noor took on the responsibility for her grief-stricken mother and her younger siblings. The young girl, described as quiet, shy, sensitive, and dreamy, studied child psychology at the Sorbonne and music at the Paris Conservatory under the famous Nadia Boulanger, composing for harp and piano. She started a career of writing poetry and children's stories and became a regular contributor to children's magazines and French radio. In 1939 her book, Twenty Jataka Tales (ISBN 978-0892813230), inspired by the Jātaka tales of Buddhist tradition, was published in London.[2]

After the outbreak of the Second World War, when France was overrun by German troops, the family fled from Paris to Bordeaux and from there by sea to England, landing in Falmouth, Cornwall on 22 June 1940.


 Wartime activities


Although Noor Inayat Khan was deeply influenced by the pacifist teachings of her father, she and her brother Vilayat decided to help defeat Nazi tyranny: "I wish some Indians would win high military distinction in this war. If one or two could do something in the Allied service which was very brave and which everybody admired it would help to make a bridge between the English people and the Indians."[3]


Noor-Khan photographed in WAAF uniform between 1940 and 1942.

On 19 November 1940, she joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF), and as an Aircraftwoman 2nd Class, she was sent to be trained as a wireless operator. Upon assignment to a bomber training school in June 1941, she applied for a commission in an effort to relieve herself of the boring work there. Later she was recruited to join F (France) Section of the Special Operations Executive and in early February 1943 she was posted to the Air Ministry, Directorate of Air Intelligence, seconded to First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY), and sent to Wanborough Manor, near Guildford in Surrey, and from there to various other SOE schools for training, including STS 5 Winterfold, STS 36 Boarmans and STS 52 Thame Park. During her training she adopted the name Nora Baker.


Her superiors held mixed opinions on her suitability for secret warfare, and her training was incomplete. Nevertheless, her fluent French and her competency in wireless operation—coupled with a shortage of experienced agents—made her a desirable candidate for service in Nazi-occupied France. On 16/17 June 1943, cryptonymed 'Madeleine'/W/T operator 'Nurse' and under the cover identity of Jeanne-Marie Regnier, Assistant Section Officer/Ensign Inayat Khan was flown to landing ground B/20A 'Indigestion' in Northern France on a night landing double Lysander operation, code named Teacher/Nurse/Chaplain/Monk. She was met by Henri Dericourt.[4]

She traveled to Paris, and together with two other women (Diana Rowden, code named Paulette/Chaplain, and Cecily Lefort, code named Alice/Teacher) Noor joined the Physician network led by Francis Suttill, code named Prosper. Over the next month and a half, all the other Physician network radio operators were arrested by the Sicherheitsdienst (SD). In spite of the danger, Noor rejected an offer to return to Britain. She continued to transmit as the last essential link between London and Paris. Moving from place to place, she managed to escape capture while maintaining wireless communication with London. "She refused to abandon what had become the most important and dangerous post in France and did excellent work."[5]


 Imprisonment and death


Khan was betrayed to the Germans, either by Henri Dericourt or by Renée Garry. Dericourt (code name Gilbert) was an SOE officer and former French Air Force pilot who has been suspected of working as a double agent for the German Abwehr. Renée Garry was the sister of Emile Garry, Inayat Khan's organizer in the Physician network.[citation needed]

On or around 13 October 1943 Inayat Khan was arrested and interrogated at the SD Headquarters at 84 Avenue Foch in Paris. Though SOE trainers had expressed doubts about Inayat Khan's gentle and unworldly character, on her arrest she fought so fiercely that SD officers were afraid of her. She was thenceforth treated as an extremely dangerous prisoner. There is no evidence of her being tortured, but her interrogation lasted over a month. During that time, she attempted escape twice. Hans Kieffer, the former head of Gestapo in Paris, testified after the war that she didn't give the Gestapo a single piece of information, but lied consistently.[6]


Noor's inscription at the Air Forces Memorial England memorialising those without a known grave.

Although Inayat Khan did not talk about her activities under interrogation, the SD found her notebooks. Contrary to security regulations, she had copied out all the messages she had sent as an SOE operative. Although she refused to reveal any secret codes, the Germans gained enough information from them to continue sending false messages imitating her. London failed to properly investigate anomalies which should have indicated the transmissions were sent under enemy control. And so three more agents sent to France were captured by the Germans at their parachute landing, among them Madeleine Damerment, who was later executed.[7]

On 25 November 1943, Inayat Khan escaped from the SD Headquarters, along with fellow SOE Agents John Renshaw Starr and Leon Faye, but was captured in the immediate vicinity. Most unfortunately, there was an air raid alert as they escaped across the roof. Regulations required a count of prisoners at such times, and their escape was discovered before they could get away. After refusing to sign a declaration renouncing future escape attempts, Inayat Khan was taken to Germany on 27 November 1943 "for safe custody" and imprisoned at Pforzheim in solitary confinement as a "Nacht und Nebel" (condemned to "Disappearance without Trace") prisoner, in complete secrecy. For ten months, she was kept there handcuffed.[8]


She was classified as "highly dangerous" and shackled in chains most of the time. As the prison director testified after the war, Inayat Khan remained uncooperative and continued to refuse to give any information on her work or her fellow operatives.[5]


On 11 September 1944 Noor Inayat Khan and three other SOE agents from Karlsruhe prison, Yolande Beekman, Eliane Plewman and Madeleine Damerment, were moved to the Dachau Concentration Camp. In the early hours of the morning, 13 September 1944, the four women were executed by a shot to the head. Their bodies were immediately burned in the crematorium. An anonymous Dutch prisoner emerging in 1958 contended that Noor Inayat Khan was cruelly beaten by a high-ranking SS officer named Wilhelm Ruppert before being shot down from behind.[9] Her last word was "Liberté". She was 30 years old.[10][11]

Noor Inayat Khan was posthumously awarded a British Mention in Dispatches and a French Croix de Guerre with Gold Star. Khan was the third of three Second World War FANY members to be awarded the George Cross, Britain's highest award for gallantry not on the battle field.[10] At the beginning of 2011, a campaign was launched to raise £100,000 for a bronze bust of her in central London close to her former home.[12] It has been reported that this will be the first memorial in Britain to either a Muslim or an Asian woman,[13] although she is already commemorated on the FANY memorial in St Paul's Church, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 8SH,[14] which lists the 54 members of the Corps who gave their lives on active service.


 George Cross citation

The announcement of the award of the George Cross was made in the London Gazette of 5 April 1949. The full citation reads:[5]

The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award of the GEORGE CROSS to:—

Assistant Section Officer Nora INAYAT-KHAN (9901), Women's Auxiliary Air Force.

Assistant Section Officer Nora INAYAT-KHAN was the first woman operator to be infiltrated into enemy occupied France, and was landed by Lysander aircraft on 16th June, 1943. During the weeks immediately following her arrival, the Gestapo made mass arrests in the Paris Resistance groups to which she had been detailed. She refused however to abandon what had become the principal and most dangerous post in France, although given the opportunity to return to England, because she did not wish to leave her French comrades without communications and she hoped also to rebuild her group. She remained at her post therefore and did the excellent work which earned her a posthumous Mention in Despatches.

The Gestapo had a full description of her, but knew only her code name "Madeleine". They deployed considerable forces in their effort to catch her and so break the last remaining link with London. After 3 months she was betrayed to the Gestapo and taken to their H.Q. in the Avenue Foch. The Gestapo had found her codes and messages and were now in a position to work back to London. They asked her to co-operate, but she refused and gave them no information of any kind. She was imprisoned in one of the cells on the 5th floor of the Gestapo H.Q. and remained there for several weeks during which time she made two unsuccessful attempts at escape. She was asked to sign a declaration that she would make no further attempts but she refused and the Chief of the Gestapo obtained permission from Berlin to send her to Germany for "safe custody". She was the first agent to be sent to Germany.

Assistant Section Officer INAYAT-KHAN was sent to Karlsruhe in November; 1943, and then to Template:Pforzheim where her cell was apart from the main prison. She was considered to be a particularly dangerous and unco-operative prisoner. The Director of the prison has also been interrogated and has confirmed that Assistant Section Officer INAYAT-KHAN, when interrogated by the Karlsruhe Gestapo, refused to give any information whatsoever, either as to her work or her colleagues.

She was taken with three others to Dachau Camp on the 12th September, 1944. On arrival, she was taken to the crematorium and shot.

Assistant Section Officer INAYAT-KHAN displayed the most conspicuous courage, both moral and physical over a period of more than 12 months.


PBS Television Program


In 1943, Noor Inayat Khan was recruited as a covert operative into Winston Churchill's Special Operations Executive. With an American mother and Indian Muslim father, she was an extremely unusual British agent. After her network collapsed, Khan became the only surviving radio operator linking the British to the French Resistance in Paris, coordinating the airdrop of weapons and agents, and the rescue of downed Allied fliers.