The Universel is a temple of the Sufi Order International, located at The Abode of the Message (in the Berkshire Mountains near New Lebanon) a Universal Sufi community located in a former Shaker village. As well as the temple, there is also a conference centre, campground, forest huts and cabins, offices, retreat grounds, residential spiritual community of the order, Mountain Conference Center and the Abode Organic Farm.

The Order grew from the work of an Indian Sufi mystic, Hazrat Inayat Khan, as he was known to his followers. He was charged by his Mursheed (spiritual teacher) to make the principles of Sufism known to the West, in pursuance of which he came West on the eve of the First World War. The war found him in the Kremlin with his American wife, and where one of his daughters was born.

He was known in spiritual and occult circles in the West in the 1920s, in particular in England, France and Holland. Time, and the explosion of 'new age' and eastern spirituality in the 1960s, have tended to obscure his original eminence in these esoteric circles.

The Orders still exist in Suresnes, Paris and at Murad Hassil, Katwick, Netherlands. In spite of his Islamic origins very few, if any, in his successor Orders are practicing Muslims.

His fundamental idea was "The unity of religious ideals", or, more mundanely, the commonality of religious and spiritual experience.

See also

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