Winged Heart of the Sufi Order

The winged heart is a symbol of the Sufi movement, a mystic branch of Islam. The symbol is a heart with wings, symbolizing ascension; the five pointed star represents divine light, the moon responsiveness to this light. the symbol was chosen by the founder of the Sufi Order, Hazrat Inayat Khan. Here is his description of the symbol, from the Gatha:

The Symbol of the Sufi Order

The symbol of the Order is a heart with wings. It explains that the heart is between soul and body, a medium between spirit and matter. When the soul is covered by its love for matter it is naturally attracted to matter. This is the law of gravitation in abstract form, as it is said in the Bible, ‘Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ When man treasures the things of the earth his heart is drawn to the earth. But the heart is subject not only to gravitation, but also to attraction from on high, and as in the Egyptian symbology, wings are considered as the symbol of spiritual progress, the heart with wings expresses that the heart reaches upward towards heaven.

Then the crescent in the heart suggests the responsiveness of the heart. The crescent represents the responsiveness of the crescent to the light of the sun, for naturally it receives the light, which develops it until it becomes the full moon. The principal teaching of Sufism is that of learning to become a pupil. For it is the pupil who has a chance of becoming a teacher. Once a person considers that he is a teacher his responsiveness is gone. The greatest teachers of the world have been the greatest pupils. And it is this principle which is represented by the crescent. The crescent in the heart represents that the heart, responsive to the light of God, is illuminated.

The explanation of the five-pointed star is that it represents the divine light. For when the light comes, it has five points. When it returns, it has four: one form suggesting the creation, the other annihilation. The five-pointed star also represents the natural figure of man, whereas that with four points represents all forms of the world. But the form with five points is development of the four-pointed form. For instance if a man is standing with his legs joined and arms extended he makes a four-pointed form, but when man shows activity – dancing, jumping – or he moves one leg, he forms a five-pointed star, which represents the beginning of activity, in other words, a beginning of life.

It is the divine light, which is represented by the five-pointed star, and the star is reflected in the heart, which is responsive to the divine light. And the heart, which has by its response received the light of God is liberated, as the wings show. Therefore, this sentence will explain, in short, the meaning of the symbol: the heart, responsive to the light of God is liberated.

Related resources:

Sufism Explore the mystical heart of islam.


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Archibold January 25, 2015 at 7:37 pm

Mr. James, just because you don’t believe in such a faith does not mean this isn’t important to them. And to be frank I have met many muslims, and a lot of them actually do not have camels.

James June 24, 2014 at 8:49 am

Just trying to understand… You have a symbol that is important to you. No one is allowed to use this symbol unless they are believers in islam?
As an unbeliever, I could have my head cut off for being an unbeliever in islam.
Your symbol is important to you. My head is important to me. Get rid of the threat to my unbelieving head and I will support your keeping your stupid symbol along with your filthy bodies in some desert with your stinking camel.
Leave the planet a better place, never show your sufi face.

Muna Hakim July 12, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Mr. James:
“…. keeping your stupid symbol along with your filthy bodies in some desert with your stinking camel…”
Does such a statement come from an educated, refined man?

Anonymous June 22, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Lol. Your an ignorant asshole to the max sir. You don’t have to believe but why direspect it’s theory with so much sting in your mind in heart as you wrote#whitedevil

graziella January 23, 2015 at 7:17 am

sorry James, this is wrong. the Sufi are the mystical, contemplative wing of Islam. A bit like a benedictine or a franciscan in the christian family of faiths. they themselves are not looked upon kindly by the harder form of islam we might encounter. you might know of Rumi who wrote “there are a thousand ways to kneel ad kiss the ground”. they are kindly and tolerant.
P,ease my brother, do not tar all with the same brush.

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