History


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History of:

Norsk Sufi Samfunn - Norwegian Sufi Community

Our archive consists of more then 2300 digital scans of original documents, and a few not digitalised sources. Included are sermons, international communications, organisational communications, personal and organisational notebooks, pictures, newspaper articles, items, personal writings, lists, books, lectures, speeches, notes of counsil meetings, initiation cards, diaries from 1924 to present.


In november 1924 Hazrat Inayat Khan visited Norway on a tour throughout much of Western and Northern Europe. In Norway he visited Oslo and Bergen. At the university of Oslo he gave a lecture (translated by Shamsher in Norwegian) and came in contact with Susanna Lovise Kjøsterud. Later on he went on to Bergen. His visits where followed up in the years after by Lucy Goodenough and Sirdar van Tuyll and led to the forming of the counsil 17.08.1929. The first years Susanna did most of the work herself. In his autobiography Inayat Khan says about Susanna: 


"Destiny brought me together with a soul who belonged to us; I only had to go to Christiania

in order to find her. It was Fröken Susanna Kjösterud, a soul whose heart was open to the

Message. The Message only had to reach there in order to find response in her."


Inayat Khan initiated Susanna and appointed her National Representative during his visit. From that moment on she lead the Sufi work in Norway. Murshida Goodenough travelled to Norway in 1925 and gave a lecture in the Nobelhall in Oslo as follow up on the visit of Inayat in 1924. Also Baron van Tuijl (Sirdar) travelled from The Netherlands to Norway to help founding the organisation here, and was very helpfull the years after. Susanne and many other Norwegian sufi's went in the years coming to the yearly organised Summerschools in Suresnes (France). After the passing of Inayat Khan it was both Murshida Goodenough and Baron van Tuijl, who provided our community with the nessesary teaching papers from Murshid. Susanna recalled in one of her writings something Hazrat Inayat Khan said to her: "You will never be without papers and teachings, if nessesary i will dictate them to you in person."

 17 August 1929 (source: Notebooks)


The Counsel of Norsk Sufi Samfunn was established:


Susanne Kjøsterud (Siraja) as National representant,

Karl Salomonsen (Sajwar) represented the Universal Church,

Marie Johansen (Iman) represented the Brotherhood,

Halvor Egeberg (Akbar) was Cashier,

Gyda Haabjørn (Kathidja) Secretary.

After the founding of the Counsel, a Cabin for the Community was bought at Skeikampen. The Cabin was given the name Baroda, after the birthplace of Inayat Khan.  In the cabin, until the end of 1932, a weekly Universal Worship was organised, among other activities,and it is also a place where many of the early sufi's where initiated. When Suzanna passed away 2.10.1932 the cabin was no longer available to the Sufi's.

 Baroda Cabin (source pictures: Sajwar)

The Baroda cabin still exists. The name Baroda is now the name of several big cabin area's around the former Sufi Cabin. 

After the passing of Suzanna, Sajwar was apointed National Representant. The members of the counsil searched for a new place for the Sufi community, now the Baroda Cabin was no longer available. In the mean time there were still events and a yearly Summerschool in Skeikampen, as far as we know in a big room from the nearby Gausdal Sanatorium. That room was called the Sufi Hall. The weekly Universal Worship was moved to a place in Oslo.

--ooOOoo--

In the spring of 1936 Sajwar moved to Switserland, and Halvor Egeberg (Akbar) was appointed National Representative on the 14th of April 1936. John Egeberg (Munir) was added to the counsel as the fifth member to take the place of Sajwar at the same Counsel Meeting. 

In 1936 there was found a property for the Sufi's in the Harlitzgate in Oslo. The house was called "Sufi Home". 05.11.1936 the new Sufi Home was inaugurated.

The notebooks in the archive show there where 35 persons present for the inauguration, including 11 cheraga's. In the Sufi Home was set up the altar, with flowers around it.

The seremony started with the Cheraga's around the altar. Inga Sparre Dahl lighted the candles, Kathidja reads from the scriptures, and Halvor Egeberg gave a speech. In the speech he remembered the 5th of november as the day Murshid came to Norway and initiated the first 7 mureeds. 

Astrid Egeberg played the piano. Several people gave speeches, Hilda Østerberg (Naida) as the representant of the Healing, Marie Johansen (Iman) as representant for the first seven mureeds. Brynjar Bjørseth (Shamsher) as Representant for all sufi's not organised. 

After the Universal worship, then called Ceremonial Worship, Halvor Egeberg (Akbar) went to room after room in the building, followed by the eleven Cheraga's and blessed each room. The inauguration is described as beautiful and harmonious in our notebooks.

--ooOO00--

In the Sufi Home where held Entertainment evenings,

Universal Worships and a range of classes and lectures

in the years uptil the second world war. To mention some

of them: Gatha I and II, Gatheka, Githa classes, Brotherhood

Meetings, General studiegroup, Studygroup for leaders, Healingroup, Universal Worship. Most classes where

ones a week or ones every other week. 


As teachers in study classes are mentioned in our notebooks:

Thorolf Becker, Hilda Østerberg, Gyda Haabjørn, Marie Johansen, John Egeberg, Petra Beer, Halvor Egeberg.


The universal worship was visited by 15-30 people in general. Later on the Worship grew and was moved to a separate location that could held up to 100 people.

 

Most classes where attended by 10-15 people, apart from the closed leaders studygroups where 2-4 people where attending. Those groups where teached by Akbar and Munir.  


We do not know much about the healing classes. What we

do know is that Hilda Østerberg was very active, not only with classes in the Sufi Home, but there is also mentioned her doing more then 160 healing meetings in a year in her home

at the Bygdo Allee in Oslo.


About ones a month there was an open lecture in the Sufi

Home, about topics like Intuition, Caracter and Development,

Past Present Future. In general between 10 and 20 people

attended those lectures, often including new people.


From 1930 until around 1935 there was held a

Summerschool in Gausdal. It seems that after the Sufi Home

was established, this activity was absorbed into the activities

in the new home in Oslo.

The 5th of November:


The fifth of november will always be a special day for the Sufi community in Norway.

 

05.11.1924 Visit of Murshid to Norway 

05.11.1924 Susanna appointed Nat. Representative

05.11.1932 Burial of Susanna Kjøsterud

05.11.1936 Inauguration of the Sufi Home in Oslo


23.05.1939 (source:notebooks)


Members of The Counsel of the Norwegian Sufi Community:

Halvor Egeberg (Akbar) is National representant,

Hilda Østerberg (Naida) leading the Healing

Gyda Haabjørn (Kathidja)

Thorolf Becker

John Egeberg (Munir)


 Quote from Marie Johansen (Iman, 05.11.1936) about Inayat Khan:

"I felt I could safely give myself over to his leading. His mild, shining personality had the quality to lead us. Yes, all people"

 Quote from Halvor Egeberg (Akbar,05.11.1936) about Susanne:

"We remember her strong personality, her leading qualities and her sacrificial work for each Mureed, standing with each of them during good and bad times"

Oslo:


Aftenposten 04.11.1924


source: Archive

Gyda Haabjørn (Kathidja, 1865 - 1957)


Secretair, Teacher, Translator, Sufi counsil member.


source: Gyda Haabjørn

Livets Hensikt: Book from Inayat Khan, translated into Norwegian by Susanna Kjøsterud (Siraja). 1929


source: Archive


Hilda Østerberg (Naida, ? - 1941)


Leader of the Healing branche of  Norwegian Sufi Community in the 1930's. Born in Sweden.


source: Archive

Brynjolf Bjørseth (Shamsher, 1896 - 1980)


Norwegian translater during the visit of Inayat Khan to Oslo in 1924. Later on called "The Representative of Sufi's who are not organised". Became a respected teacher.

 

* click on picture to go to his webpage*

Thorolf Becker (1873-1967)


Long time member of the Norwegian Sufi Community. Conserved a big part of the current archives after the passing of John Egeberg in 1957.

I en Østerlandsk Rosenhave: Book from Inayat Khan translated by John Egeberg (Munir) into Norwegian. 1937


 *Click on the picture to go to the National Library to see the book*


source: Archive, original and reprint.

Baron van Tuijl (Sirdar, 1883-1958)


The National Representative of The Netherlands. Came to Norway in 1926 to advice Susanne Kjøsterud with the founding of the Norwegian Sufi Community.

Archive:


Sajwar with Susanne Kjøsterud in the background. Picture probably taken in Suresnes.


source: Sajwar

Archive:


Wooden box with cards of the initiates from 1924 until 1938. On the cards is also mentioned which classes a person attended, among other information.


source: Archive

Murshida Meyer:


Born In Sweden. Nat. Representative for Switzerland. Our organisational name Sufi Samfunn originates from her, by letter of july 1930.


source: Archive

Sommerschool Suresnes 1928. 

Susanna Kjøsterud; front row, in the middle, in white. *click on picture to enlarge*


source: Nekbahkt Foundation

Picture of Halvor Egeberg (Akbar), Kefayat Floyd (UK) and Shanavaz van Spengen (NL). Most likely taken in Suresnes around 1935.

*click on picture to enlarge*


source: Sajwar