- letters from Moineddin
January 22, 1976
Moineddin’s next letter is dated January 22, 1976. Mansur replied to Moineddin’s letter of January 12 on January 17th. Mansur spoke about three photos credited by Lama in the book In the Garden as “Photo: Mansur” without the copyright symbol, needed, he felt to protect his ownership of the photos. Mansur questioned how Lama got these photos and how SIRS got their complete set of photos and, yet no royalties were paid as specified in the lost INSTRUCTIONS FOR AN AGENT OF SUFI FILM PRODUCTIONS.
As mentioned above, Mansur had turned over the marketing of his Murshid photos to a forgotten individual who apparently marketed the photos without any accountability to Mansur. Moineddin speaks to this and indicates a willingness to make amends.
Moineddin also speaks in this letter about a camp at Lama Foundation in New Mexico, May 25 to June 6, 1976, planned to be dedicated to building a pilgrim’s hut at the site of Murshid’s grave, called the Maqbara. “I feel that as Khadim of the Maqbara, you should rightly present a Zikar session at the gravesite.” Although the teaching in Sufism is that initiations are for all eternity, I am sorry to say that after Moineddin’s passing, Pir Vilayat’s bestowal of “Khadim of the Maqbara” on Mansur was not respected by Moineddin’s successors.
Along with Moineddin’s letter dated January 22 to Mansur was another letter of the same date “To the Members of the Maqbara Committee,” which will follow the first below.
January 22, 1976
The day before yesterday Siddiq, Wali Ali and I spent time going over In the Garden to make necessary corrections and revisions for the upcoming 2ndedition. The matter of your photos was taken up too, and Siddiq assured us that your shots of Murshid would receive a copyright symbol.
On the matter of royalties never paid to you, how much do people owe you? I mentioned that I lost the SUFI FILMS INSTRUCTIONS. Anyhow, I’ll see what I can do.
The other photo you mention (Murshid in Tassawuri Mohammed) is apparently a subject of some disputation. Amina apparently feels that since the Dance Manual is entirely a non-profit venture as far as individual personalities go, then simple mention of you as the photographer is sufficient. Your view is otherwise.
Perhaps some token payment can be made, as you sought in your letter to Amina, but I feel a dollar is too much—especially since Amina had them printed up. I agree that you should be given protection for the picture. Again, I’ll see what can be done.
Just for the record, of all the photographers whose pictures have been used in SIRS publication, you have put up the only squawk, and perhaps rightly. I’d love to get off the subject.
On a real positive note, I would like to ask if you can come to Lama around May 25 – June 6, the Camp which is explained the the enclosed carbon to Maqbara Committee members. I feel that as Khadim of the Maqbara, you should rightly present a Zikar session at the grave-site. Siddiq and I outlined a regular period following the afternoon work to gather for Zikar (or other appropriate practices) at the Maqbara. If you would agree to conduct a regular session, I think there is a possibility of getting your transportation paid to Lama. I’m not sure, I I think it is possible. (Incidentally, the Zikar period would immediately precede supper.)
The Leader’s Seminar was quite good; I am writing an article on it for The Message. Things are going well. Fatima and the kids and I leave tomorrow for the snow. We plan to stay a couple of days up near Tahoe or Donner. We’ll just drive until we see what we like. The kids have never really had much snow experience. The Bay Area is lovely for weather, but terrible for seasons.
All our love to Ayesha, the children and your Self.
January 22, 1976
To the Members of the Maqbara Committee,
Beloved Ones of God, as-salaam aleikhum!
Siddiq and I have just concluded the initial planning phase of the of the May 25 – June 6 Camp at Lama which will be dedicated to building a pilgrim’s hut at the Maqbara site. In the past five years since Murshid’s passing, there has not been much actual interest in Maqbara-related projects from people outside the immediate Lama community. This is in contrast to the definite interest shown by so many during the summer of 1971 when many of us traveled to Lama to excavate the build the Dance-ground.
Now it seems that a new cycle has begun. Although there is still some rocking and terracing to be done, the time has arrived to begin work on suitable pilgrim's quarters. As plans stand, Jelaludin Cave, Nasrudin (Ashoka) Yerxa and Shamseddin Peterson will comprise the Construction staff from outside of Lama; no doubt there will be carpenters and foundation men from the Lama Foundation as well. In fact, the actual blueprints and materials list will be drawn up (starting soon) by Lama personnel, with xeroxes to be sent to the three men mentioned above.
Fatima and I shall be going to Lama at the same time to present, among other themes, Spiritual Dancing, Astrological Walks and Spins, lessons from "Spiritual Architecture" (especially the chapter on 'The Building of Shrines'), Nature Meditations and Art. There teachings will balance the strictly work orientation happening regularly throughout the Camp. (Siddiq and I roughed out a tentative daily schedule of work periods and classes, tea break, Zikar session at the Maqbara, etc., but that doesn't have to be covered here.)
Perhaps some of you have more or less suspended any concentration on Maqbara projects in recent years. It is only natural since much has happened in the spheres of our various lives in the past five years. My purpose in this letter is simply to bring you all up to date on a concentration that has persisted despite other interests taking precedence except, as I mentioned above, for a few dedicated beings living at Lama Foundation, whose care of the flowers and ground cover at the Maqbara and Dance-ground has been ongoing.
No doubt the seminar given by Wali Ali two years ago at Lama, and the week-long Camp given by Pir Vilayat last summer, have also helped to prepare the way for this year's Maqbara Hut Construction Camp to take place.
Basically, what I see taking place is this: the major concentration on the Maqbara is properly being maintained by Lama personnel, including actual plans for structural and other developments. The contributions that we, as non-residents, can make will largely be in the area of assistance with the work. This should not prevent anyone from having inspirations at all, and if anyone does have inspirations Siddiq would be glad to receive them. While there is no guarantee of their implementation, each idea will be aired at Lama's planning meetings--which is as much as anyone could ask.
Your presence at the Camp would be very helpful, inshallah.
With love and blessings,
cc Mansur, Abdarrahman, Saul, Basira, Shahida