was a Teacher of the Naqshbandiyya- Mujadiddiya Sufi Order.
Born in Russia and studied in Vienna and Paris, Irina Tweedie married a British naval officer after the Second World War, who then died in 1954. His death launched her on a spiritual quest that led her to India in 1959. There she met her spiritual master, Radha Mohan Lal, a Hindu Sufi Sheikh from the Naqshbandiyya-Mujadiddiya Sufi Order, whom she called Bhai Sahib (Elder Brother). She became the first Western woman to be trained in this Naqshbandi system.
Her teacher's first request of her was to keep a complete diary of her spiritual training—everything, all the difficult parts, even all the doubts. He predicted that one day it would become a book and would benefit people around the world. Indeed it became the book, Daughter of Fire: A Diary of a Spiritual Training with a Sufi Master
This diary spans five years. It is an account of a spiritual training with a Sufi Master and is the most detailed account of the relationship between disciple and teacher that exists in Western Literature. The book is written in diary form. From a psychological viewpoint, the diary maps the process of ego dissolution, gradually unveiling the openness and love that reside beneath the surface of the personality.
The book was first published in its abridged form as The Chasm of Fire
which has sold over 100,000 copies and has been translated into five languages. Later the unabridged book, Daughter of Fire: A Diary of a Spiritual Training with a Sufi Master
, was published. This title has sold over 40,000 copies worldwide and is now being published through The Golden Sufi Center.
After his death in 1966, she returned to England where she started a Sufi meditation group in North London. Gradually the group spread throughout Europe and North America. Irina Tweedie retired in 1992 after having named Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee is a Sufi mystic and lineage successor in the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya Sufi Order. He is an extensive lecturer and author of several books about Sufism, mysticism, dreamwork and spirituality.- History:...
as her successor.
"I hoped to get instruction in Yoga, expected wonderful teachings, but what the teacher did was mainly to force me to face the darkness within myself and it almost killed me.... I was beaten down in every sense until I had to come to terms with that in me which I kept rejecting all my life." — from the Foreword by Irina Tweedie
- The Naqshbandi Path, Irina Tweedie. Recorded in 1991, released by The Golden Sufi Center in 2009.
- Branded by God: Interviews with Irina Tweedie. Recorded in the late 1980s, released by The Golden Sufi Center in 2005.