Out of print

The Nirtan Songs

Ten songs for voice and piano from the Nirtan

Ten songs composed by Shaikh-ul-Mashaik Pyaromir Maheboob khan to texts from the Nirtan by Hazrat Inayat Khan, with explanatory notes from the composer’s son Shaikh al-Mashaik Mahmood khan Youskine. Several are published here for the first time. Bound in a single volume that can lay flat on a music stand for ease of enjoyment at the piano. A joint project of the Music Activity of the Inayatiyya and the Shaikh-ul-Mashaik Maheboob khan Foundation and the Fonds de Dotation Mir Payrumian van Goens.

Although this is now out of print, please sign up for our newsletter for news about the Complete Works of Maheboob khan that will come out in late 2024! This larger volume will contain all the songs from this book in the 80 songs in the volume, both English and languages such as Hindustani, Urdu, Gujarati, Marathi, Telugu, Persian, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Arabic, and Balochi. Songs are set to the words of Hazrat Inayat Khan, Rumi, Hafiz, and other poets.


The Nirtan Songs
Composed for voice and piano by Shaikh-ul-Mashaik Maheboob Khan
to the Poems of Hazrat Inayat Khan

1. Waves of Favour (alankara)
2. Heart (alankara)
3. Truth (alankara)
4. The Holy Sacrament (gamaka)
5. You are my Life (gamaka)
6. Why O my Feeling Heart (gamaka)
7. What is Needed is to Be (gamaka)
8. Before You Judge (gamaka)
9. The Sun Will Shine (tala)
10. The Lover’s Heart (tala)

Maheboob Khan’s greatest abiding contribution to his elder brother Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Indian Sufism in the West are his compositions for voice and piano accompaniment. Most valued have been his personally created compositions to a number of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s English poems. These songs, with their English texts and occasional raga tonality, were created out of a thoroughly Indian musical intuition and schooling.

The compositions are on texts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s three booklets of aphorisms and poems, named “Gayan,” “Vadan,” and “Nirtan,” referring to vocal, instrumental and dramatic music respectively, glossed as “notes from the unstruck music,” “the divine symphony,” and “the dance of the Soul.” The latter, published posthumously, contains some of the most poignant and intensely elevating of all Hazrat Inayat Khan’s poetic evocations. All verses in the Nirtan lending themselves to musical composition, have thus been given an added dimension of beauty and contemplative attunement. Hence all of the Nirtan songs here are being presented jointly for the first time.

Additional information

Weight .9 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 9 × .3 in
Number of Pages



9 x 12


Sheet Music (Saddle-stitched)

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