Master of the Jinn Ebook on Amazon’s New Kindle Book Reader

November 29, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Alhamdulillah! Master of the Jinn is one of the 400,000+ Ebooks available on Amazon.com’s new Kindle book reader for only $3.99. If you have already purchased one, or are planning to, and buy Master of the Jinn to read on it, please let me know how it works. Also, if you ordered the Ebook through Mobipocket for $4.99, let me know how it looks.

I love the idea of book readers, and am told that Amazon’s Kindle is really good at what it does. You can order a book and get it in less than one minute anywhere in the world. And you can preview the first chapter to see if you want to buy it beforehand. Wow! This will also be really great for schoolchildren, if they include textbooks on it, so they don’t have to lug heavy backpacks filled with books.

Now a lot of us old timers may be ambivalent to the idea, but modern kids grow up using a computer so it will be second nature to them. And when the price goes down, as it inevitably will, book readers like the Kindle, and others that are on the market, will soon have a larger and larger share of the book buying public. (And you can also read newspapers and magazines on it).

Of course, holding a book you love in your hands is a pleasure, but how many books do you reread? I can only name a dozen or so.

And I love the idea of not having to cut down trees to make books and newspapers, so welcome Kindle :) To see what all the shouting is about, click HERE:

Ya Haqq!


The Women in Our Lives

November 25, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

In our Sister Suroor’s recent and lovely post about men, I commented that everything I know of love, I learned from women; my mother, my daughter, and my wife. This is absolutely true. And more, all that I comprehend of God’s love and mercy, I have learned from love; and even that small fraction of His infinite bounty has its root within my heart in the endless kindness and patience and endurance and generosity of women.

My mother was the kindest, gentlest soul I have even known. I cannot think of even one instance where she considered her own needs before that of her children. I wish I could say the same for myself. My daughter is remarkable. Smart and funny, tall and lovely, in whose company I take great delight. Every man should have such an honest critic :) And my beloved wife embodies all of those attributes, and many, many more.

So here’s to the women in our lives. May we be worthy of them.

Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are — chaff and grain together — certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.

-George Eliot


Ya Haqq!


Thanksgiving Prayer

November 21, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

O Lord, we humbly thank Thee for the bounty of our table, when so many in the world go hungry. And we thank Thee for our family and friends, when so many in the world walk alone.

O God, grant that we who are filled with good things from Your open hand, may never close our hearts to the hungry, the homeless, and the poor.

Ameen! Amen!

Ya Haqq!


Tagged… Again!

November 21, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

I have been tagged by Brother Abdul of the Islam at Heart blog. It is the same Weird Meme that I was tagged with almost a year ago, and since I have not gotten any weirder in the eleven months since then, you can read the original meme tag HERE. LOL.

Ya Haqq!


The Yellow Dog

November 15, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

A yellow dog came to visit today. He was friendly and young and full of energy, perhaps a year old, a Labrador retriever, his nose to the ground sniffing for a familiar scent. He circled the house and my wife saw him through a window out of the corner of her eye; a lean, hungry yellow dog by the look of him, his ribs plainly visible.

Fortunately, the previous tenant had left a couple of cans of dog food, and as my wife enticed him with a piece of bread, I opened both for him, along with a big bowl of water. He ran up onto the porch without any prompting, being obviously used to people, and ate it all happily and drank most of the water. He seemed so happy to see us, and to be treated like a welcome guest. He sniffed us both and circled the house again, and then was off, following whatever scent he had picked up. I thought he was lost, or got separated from his owners, and was making his way back to them. He looked as if he had been on the road many days. I have read that lost dogs sometimes travel hundreds of miles to their old home.

We were happy to help him on his journey. My wife grew up on a farm and has an affinity with all creatures great and small. And ever since his appearance, my heart has had such a feeling of love and gratitude that I can hardly describe it.

I think it came from the yellow dog.

Even though we didn’t do anything extraordinary, this chance encounter, if chance it was, was a blessing for us. We had in a small way helped one of God’s creatures on his journey home, inshallah. There is an old Persian saying: “A guest is God’s friend.”

It may have come from this old Sufi tale:

There was a darvish who one day sought a guest from God. “O Lord of the World,” he said in his heart, “may a guest come from You tomorrow, so that I may treat him as befits one of Your friends.” The following day he made preparations for his guest. The darvish cleaned his small home and prepared a meal fit for a Friend of God.

As he was keeping a lookout in all directions while waiting outside for the guest to arrive, a thin and hungry mongrel dog wandered by and, smelling the food, begged for a morsel. The darvish chased him away, not out of meanness, but in his anxiety that nothing should spoil this occasion. And so he waited and waited, but despite all his expectations, no one came. He finally fell asleep in a heartbroken and agitated state.

“O self-absorbed one,” said God in a dream, “I sent along a dog as one of My own, so that you might make him your guest, but you heedlessly sent him away.”

Alhamdulillah! That the friend of the Friend was made welcome here, and our hearts were gladdened by his visit.

Ya Haqq!

NOTE: The Sufi tale is originally from Fariduddin Attar’s Mosibat-Nama (Book of Adversity), and can be found in Dogs from a Sufi Point of View by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh. It is also told in a slightly different version, about Moses and the beggar, in the first chapter of Master of the Jinn, which you can read as an excerpt on the book’s website by clicking HERE.


The Moon is Always Full

November 13, 2007

The moon is always full
Our human eyes
See only its phases

Love is always here
Our human heart
Sees only its shadow

Joy is always present
Our human mind
Reasons it away

God is always near
Our human spirit
Knows this without words

O Moon, display your full beauty
to my inner eye
O Love, come into the light that casts
no shadow
O Joy, overflow my cup of reason
with your wine
O God, fill me, fill me, fill me
with Your knowing

That my heart may rejoice in You
My eyes may be filled with You
My reason overcome by You
My spirit abound in You

Ameen!

- Irving Karchmar, © November 2007


Out of Body Experience – Part II

November 9, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Once more, dear readers, thank you for your comments on the previous post about my out of body experience. They have enriched the post immeasurably.

And there is no doubt that some of you have experienced something similar. Here is one true story I was told.

I began dating a very gifted and spiritual woman about a year and a half after my hospital stay, who also happened to be a psychologist. No, I wasn’t seeing her professionally lol. But after some months, I did tell her about my illness, the hospital, and my out of body episode. I thought at the time that it was my own fear of death that caused me to have a dream of confession and redemption.

I said, “What do you make of that?”

She said, “What makes you think it didn’t really happen?”

She then told me that she had also had an out of body experience. At the instant of giving birth to her first child, as the baby was actually leaving her body, she described having a feeling like a tremendous orgasm, and that immediately her consciousness flew out of her body and was enveloped in what she described as a “pure golden light of endless love.” It was so transcendent and beautiful that she never wanted to leave. She thought she might have died, but didn’t care. That light of pure love was all-embracing. Then she heard the far off cries of her newborn daughter, and that forcibly pulled her consciousness back into her body. She had tears in her eyes at leaving that “place.”

I have often wondered if that “place” was the source of a mother’s love, the bond between mother and child. Or perhaps the source of all Love, the sea of light from which our lone drops are formed in this life.

She later did a small, all-woman study about such experiences, and received some surprising results from the study group. Apparently 5% of the women who responded have had similar experiences, sometimes during childbirth and sometimes even during orgasm. But women don’t speak of it, attributing it to the stress of labor, to pain medication, or the rush of hormones during sex. (No wonder the French call orgasm the “little death.”)

We are spiritual beings having a human experience, and only for a short time. We come from that Light, and return to it after our time is over. And since I have come to think that our time in this life is allotted, as the luminous being implied when he said, “It is not your time yet,” I have for many years thanked God each morning for the wondrous gift of my life, for the love He has given me and the mercy He has shown me all the days of my life.

Each day, each moment is a blessing.

As it says in the Koran: “Verily, in the heavens and the earth are signs to those who believe.” (45:2)

Ya Haqq!


Master of the Jinn Foreign Rights – A Request

November 3, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Alhamdulillah! I received an email today from a translator in Tokyo who would like to translate Master of the Jinn into Japanese. It is a blessing for this unworthy darvish, and brought to mind that perhaps some of the kind readers of this blog may also know of, or have contact with, editors, publishers or foreign rights agents in other countries.

And so, a request:

If you, gentle reader, or someone you know, has any contacts or influence with a Book Editor or Publisher, or Foreign Rights Agent in your country, please email me and, inshallah, Master of the Jinn, this Sufi novel of Allah’s infinite love and mercy, will be read in many countries in many languages. If you have not read the book yet, I will be happy to email you a copy in ebook format.

My email: Irvingk57 (@) aol (.) com (Remove the brackets and close up the email address so that there are no spaces).

May God bless you all and guide you on the straight path of love and wisdom.

Ya Haqq!


Bayazid on the Hajj

November 1, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

It is related that one year the Sufi Master Bayazid set out on the pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj. A few days later he came back. When asked about his sudden return, he gave the following account.

“I was three days walking in the desert when an old man encountered me on the road,” Bayazid recalled.
“‘Where are you going?’ he demanded.
“‘On the pilgrimage,’ I replied.
“‘How much money did you bring for your journey?’
“‘Two hundred dirhams.’
“‘Come, give them to me,’ the man said. ‘I am
a poor man with a family. Circle round me seven times. That
is your pilgrimage.’
“And so I did, and returned home.”

Ya Haqq!

Note: From Attar’s Memorial of the Saints.  Also read the post Bayazid and the Dog for another example of the great blessing of giving in charity.


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