Blessed are the Peacemakers

June 29, 2006

The earth is the Lord’s
And all that is therein
Evolved in perfect symmetry
Bestowed on Adam’s kin

Cut no living wood
Plant again what you have taken
Blessed are the peacemakers
Blessed are the caretakers
The rest shall be forsaken

 Irving Karchmar,  © 1996

The Golden Rules

June 28, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The following excerpt is from the Golden Rules for Peace poster presented to the United Nations in 2002. It contains the golden rule as expressed by 13 different religions from around the world.

Gathered for the Golden Rule poster by Paul McKenna

Aboriginal Spirituality
We are as much alive as we keep the Earth alive.
– Chief Dan George

Baha’i Faith
Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be
laid upon you, and desire not for anyone the things you would
not desire for yourself.
– Baha’u’llah, Gleanings

Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find
– The Buddha, Udana-Varga 5.18

In everything, do to others as you would have them do to
you; for this is the law and the prophets.
– Jesus, Matthew 7:12

One word which sums up the basis of all good conduct. . .
loving kindness. Do not do to others what you do not want
done to yourself.
– Confucius, Analects 15.23

This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would
cause pain if done to you.
– Mahabharata 5:1517

Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what
you wish for yourself.
– The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Hadith

One should treat all creatures in the world
as one would like to be treated.
– Mahavira, Sutrakritanga

What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. This is
the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary.
– Hillel, Talmud, Shabbath 31a

I am a stranger to no one; and no one is a stranger to me.
Indeed, I am a friend to all.
– Guru Granth Sahib, pg. 1299

Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain and your
neighbor’s loss as your own loss.
– T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien, 213-218

We affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web
of all existence, of which we are a part.
– Unitarian principle

Do not do unto others whatever is injurious to yourself.
– Shayast-na-Shayast 13.29

* * * * *

The Statement


Presented to Mrs. Gillian Sorensen,
Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations,
on January 4, 2002

These Golden Rules, also known as the “law of reciprocity,” are evidence of a Global Ethic that transcends nations, civilizations, and religions. Yet no other statements so clearly summarize the simple practices of kindness and sustainable human conduct. In recent years, gatherings of religious and spiritual leaders have confirmed that “this ancient precept is found and has persisted in many religious and ethical traditions of humankind for thousands of years. . . [and] should be the irrevocable, unconditional norm for all areas of life, for families and communities, for races, nations, and religions”
(Toward a Global Ethic).

Wisdom and Adab of the Quran

June 26, 2006

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Below is a partial list of wisdom and adab (good manners and courtesy) from the Quran that apply to everyday living. They may not be word for word translations, but the meaning is accurate. The verses were compiled by Brother Tanweer and posted originally on the Bangla-vision yahoo group. Their message is timeless and are part of the holy books of every religion.

1. Respect and honor all human beings irrespective of their religion, color, race, sex, language, status, property, birth, profession/job and so on. [17/70]

2. Talk straight, to the point, without any ambiguity or deception. [33/70]

3. Choose the best words to speak, and say them in the best possible way. [17/53, 2/83]

4. Do not shout. Speak politely, keeping your voice low. [31/19]

5. Always speak the truth. Shun words that are deceitful and ostentatious. [22/30]

6. Do not confound truth with falsehood. [2/42]

7. Say with your mouth what is in your heart. [3/167]

8. Speak in a civilized manner, in a language that is recognized by the society and is commonly used. [4/5]

9. When you voice an opinion, be just, even if it is against a relative. [6/152]

10. Do not be a bragger or boaster. [31/18]

11. Do not talk or do anything vain [23/3, 28/55]

12. Do not participate in anything paltry or contemptible. If you pass near such a futile play, then pass by with dignity [25/72]

13. Do not verge upon any immodesty or lewdness whether surreptitious or overt. [6/151].

14. If unintentionally any misconduct occurs by you, then correct yourself expeditiously. [3/134].

15. Do not be contemptuous or arrogant with people. [31/18]

16. Do not walk haughtily or with conceit. [17/37, 31/18]

17. Be moderate in thy pace. [31/19]

18. Walk with humility and sedateness. [25/63]

19. Keep your gazes lowered devoid of any lecherous leers and salacious stares. [24/30-31, 40/19].

20. If you do not have complete knowledge about anything, better keep your mouth closed. You might think that speaking about something without full knowledge is a trivial matter. But it might have grave consequences. [24/15-16]

21. When you hear something malicious about someone, keep a favorable view about him/her until you attain full knowledge about the matter. Consider others innocent until they are proven guilty with solid and truthful evidence. [24/12-13]

22. Ascertain the truth of any news, lest you harm someone in ignorance and afterwards repent of what you did. [49/6]

23. Do not follow blindly any information of which you have no direct knowledge. (Using your faculties of perception and reasoning) you must verify it for yourself. In the Court of your Lord, you will be held accountable for your hearing, sight, and the faculty of reasoning. [17/36].

24. Never think that you have reached the final stage of knowledge and nobody knows more than yourself. Remember! Above everyone endowed with knowledge is another endowed with more knowledge [12/76]. Even the Prophet [p.b.u.h] was asked to keep praying, “O My sustainer! Advance me in knowledge.” [20:114]

25. The believers are but a single Brotherhood. Live like members of one family, brothers and sisters unto one another. [49/10].

26. Do not make a mockery of others or ridicule others. [49/11]

27. Do not defame others. [49/11]

28. Do not insult others by nicknames. [49/11]

29. Avoid suspicion and guesswork. Suspicion and guesswork might deplete your communal energy. [49/12]

30. Spy not upon one another. [49/12]

31. Do not backbite one another. [49/12]

32. When you meet each other, offer good wishes and blessings for safety. One who conveys to you a message of safety and security, or offers a courteous greeting to you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy. [4/86]

33. When you enter your own home or the home of somebody else, compliment the inhabitants. [24/61]

34. Do not enter houses other than your own until you have sought permission; and then greet the inhabitants and wish them a life of blessing, purity and joy. [24/27]

35. Treat kindly:
-Your parents
-The orphans
-And those who have been left alone in society [4/36]

36. Take care of:
-The needy
-The disabled
-Those whose hard earned income is insufficient to meet their needs
-And those whose businesses have stalled
-And those who have lost their jobs. [4/36]

37. Treat kindly:
-Your related neighbors, and unrelated neighbors.
-Companions by your side in public gatherings, or public transportation. [4/36]

38. Be generous to the needy wayfarer, the homeless son of the street, and the one who reaches you in a destitute condition. [4/36]

39. Be nice to people who work under your care. [4/36]

40. Do not count what you have given to others, nor afflict them with reminders of your generosity. [2/262].

41. Do not expect a return for your good behavior, not even thanks. [76/9]

42. Cooperate with one another in good deeds and do not cooperate with others in evil and bad matters. [5/2]

43. Do no try to impress people on account of self-proclaimed virtues. [53/32]

44. You should enjoin right conduct on others but mend your own ways first. Actions speak louder than words. You must first practice good deeds yourself, then preach. [2/44]

45. Correct yourself and your families first [before trying to correct others]. [66/6]

46. Pardon gracefully anyone who commits a bad deed out of ignorance, and then repents and amends [6/54, 3/134]

47. Divert and sublimate your anger and potentially virulent emotions to creative energy, and become a source of tranquillity and comfort to people. [3/134]

48. Call people to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful exhortation. Reason with them most decently. [16/125]

49. Leave to themselves those who do not give any importance to the Divine code and have adopted and consider it as mere play and amusement [6/70]

50. Sit not in the company of those who ridicule Divine Law unless they engage in some other conversation. [4/140]

51. Do not be jealous of those who are blessed. [4/54]

52. In your collective life, make rooms for others. [58/11]

53. When invited to dine, go at the appointed time. Do not arrive too early to wait for the preparation of meal or linger after eating to engage in bootless babble. Such things may cause inconvenience to the host. [33/53]

54. Eat and drink [what is lawful] in moderation. [7/31].

55. Do not squander your wealth senselessly. [17/26]

56. Fulfil your promises and commitments. [17/34]

57. Keep yourself clean. [9/108, 4/43, 5/6].

58. Dress in agreeable attire and adorn yourself with exquisite character from inside out. [7/26]

59. Seek your provision only by fair endeavor. [29/17, 2/188]

60. Do not devour the wealth and property of others unjustly, nor bribe the officials or the judges to deprive others of their possessions. [2/188]

The Angel of Death

June 25, 2006

“And now listen, those that have ears, to a tale of Solomon the King. Yes, Solomon, the mightiest and wisest ruler of the earth that ever was or shall be. Wealthy beyond measure was Solomon, and with such wisdom as only Allah may bestow.

“And lo, he commanded the wind, and both men and Jinn, birds and animals. All were servants unto him. Yet he lost favor in the sight of God, for neither wealth nor power nor wisdom brought him enlightenment.

“One day, while King Solomon was walking alone in the royal garden, he came upon Azrael, the Angel of Death, who was pacing back and forth with a most worried expression. Solomon knew well the face of the Deadly Servant, for with the sight given unto him he had seen Death often, hovering over battles, or in the tents of the ill and wounded. When Solomon asked what troubled him, the Angel sighed, saying that he had on his list of those destined for the next world two scribes of Solomon, the brothers Elihoreph and Alijah.

“Now Solomon was grieved at the thought of losing his scribes, for he had known them since childhood and loved them like brothers. So he ordered the Jinn to carry Elihoreph and Aljah to the fabled city of Luz, the only place on earth where Death has no power. Instantly the Jinn did as he commanded, but the two scribes died at the very moment they reached the gates of that city.

“The next day Azrael appeared before Solomon. The Angel of Death was greatly pleased and said, ‘I thank thee, O King, for speeding thy servants to the place appointed. The fate destined for them was to die at the gates of that far city, but I had no idea how they were to travel so great a distance.’

“Now the King wept exceedingly, torn between sorrow and wrath at the death of his friends and the inescapable doom of men. And Azrael wondered greatly at this. ‘Why do you weep, O Lord of the World?’

‘For the long friends of my youth who are with me no more,’ said the King. ‘Have you no pity for those whose life you end?’

‘Pity?’ exclaimed Azrael scornfully. ‘You weep for the loss of their companionship. Your true sorrow is for yourself, and your wrath is truly self-pity. Alas, it has darkened your wisdom. Death is the most sublime gift of God, distilling from this life of fleeting joys and many sorrows that single drop which is the soul. Of such wine, O King, is poured the Sea of Light. Praise Allah that I, who am to you the Angel of Death, am in truth the Angel of Mercy.’“

From Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel

Peace Message from Pakistan

June 24, 2006

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

This email from a peace activist in Pakistan came through the Master of the Jinn website contact link. Apparently S.A. Rehman is sending out emails to everyone he finds, or is led to find, on the web. There is no organization behind it. Also check out the website, and the open letters to Bin Laden and Muslims:
You can write back if you wish via the website, where an email address is listed.


Dear brothers & sisters,

We all need to pray for one another, and to love one
another. We should always pray for the safety, peace,
love and brotherhood for people all over the world.
Too bad we can’t have an independence day for the
entire world. A day of freedom from ignorance, hatred,
war, illusions, power and control. A day where we can
all love each other as human beings and toss away the
weapons of war, and cast out our fears and hatreds
from our hearts into the graves. We must mourn the
graves of the innocents all over the world, and give
the children of the world the hope of a peaceful,
loving and beautiful world.

A world full of love and without hatred or fear. A
world where we can join hands together and accept one
another, regardless of our skin color, ethnic
divisions, religion or nationality. If we don’t unite
as a human race, then we have condemned the future
generation of children a dark and very grim future.

Think of love, compassion and peace always…


Merciful God, You made all of the people of the world
in Your own image and placed before us the pathway of
salvation through different Preachers who claimed to
have been Your Saints and Prophets. But, the
contradictions (made by us) in the interpretation of
Your teachings have resulted in creating divisions,
faith based hatreds and bloodshed in the world
community. Millions of innocent men, women and
children have so far been brutally killed by the
militants of several religions who have been
committing horrifying crimes against humanity and
millions more would not be butchered by them in the
future, if You guide and help us find ways to reunite

look with compassion on the whole human family; take
away the controversial teachings of arrogance,
divisions and hatreds which have badly infected our
hearts; break down the walls that separate us; reunite
us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and
confusion to accomplish Your purposes on earth; that,
in Your good time, all nations and races could jointly
serve You in justice, peace and harmony. (Amen)


Peace Activist

The Friend of God

June 23, 2006

When Abu Abdullah Salemi was asked how the Friend of God might be recognized among humanity, he said :

By the mildness of his speaking, the grace of his temperament, the youthfulness of his face, his generosity, his contentment of character, his acceptance of all who seek to make amends, and his kindness towards all,
however virtuous or corrupt.

The Nurbakhsh Encyclopedia of Sufi Terminology- Volume 6.

Keeping Faith

June 22, 2006

Penelope, bereft of joy
Left by Odysseus for the walls of Troy
Kept faith

And neither Helen’s wanton lips
That launched in war the thousand ships
Nor Circe’s song nor Circe’s lore
Could stay him from the path he swore

Not forgotten by true heart
Are pledges made when lovers part

Thus I would not forsake my love
For anything less than what, as love, it was intended
Until that final day when our souls meet
With those in the past ascended

Then you and I shall also fly
As two hearts bound in this life might
And the world is ended

– Irving Karchmar, © 1990

Meeting the Master

June 21, 2006

On the day before summer 2003, I finally met the Master, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh. And though I had thought of him often and dreamed of him and talked to him in my mind, even missed him as though we were separated family, I had never actually met him nor spoken to him.

Over the years I have read all his books and heard many stories about him. And for many of those years I had written a Sufi novel entitled Master of the Jinn, a project whose research led me to read many Sufi texts, and whose unfolding became almost like a zekr as I worked on it for hours each night. For much of that time I was fortunate enough to live in the Chicago khaniqah, whose library and energy and knowledgeable darvishes helped enormously.

Now, I thought, I had created something worthwhile enough so as to be worthy of meeting the Master and being in his company. How little I knew of the Master, or of his loving-kindness.

And so, after ten hours of travel I arrived in England, and by chance met a fellow darvish who apparently was on the same plane. He saw my sleeping bag and guessed I was going to the same, very crowded khaniqah. There was to be a large gathering of darvishes from all over the world and many brought tents or sleeping bags. Together we traveled to the khaniqah by taxi.

Shortly after we arrived, the Master called us into his room, as he does all darvishes who come from a far distance. The Master was dressed in white and sat cross-legged, and we sat on our knees before him. He greeted us warmly, and as he looked at me his face lit up with wide-eyed surprise and joy, as if I were someone he was not expecting but happy to see. Perhaps it was my imagination, but my heart sang. I remembered well the tales of the Master’s glance and attention.

He asked how our trip had been.

“It was a good trip, one I want to make often, inshallah,” my companion said.

“Sufis are always inshallah (God willing),” the Master replied. “There is no need to say it.”

We nodded our heads at this advice, and after a few kind words, he smiled and said, “Welcome, then,” and waved us out.

As soon as we were outside, I felt a sharp pain in my left knee, as if I had twisted it, though I could not for the life of me remember how. I limped upstairs to get some aspirin, and found a darvish brother from Chicago there.

“Do you have another pair of pants with you?” he asked me.

“Only a pair of sweats. Why?”

“Because you have a large tear in yours, on the seat.” I turned my head to look, and groaned. It was a wide tear. “Get a needle and thread from someone and sew it,” he suggested.

“What the hell is going on?” I thought, taking the aspirin and changing into sweats for the time being.

Once outside, I met a Shaykh I knew walking on the grounds and I greeted him happily, kissing his cheeks. He asked how I was doing. “Well, I’ve been here for half an hour and I’ve already twisted my knee and torn my pants,” I said.

He chuckled, “Such things are common here.”

And so I borrowed needle and thread from one of the darvishes and walked to the sleeping area to mend the tear.

As I limped along the path, each painful step made me slowly realize what a fool I had been. I had walked in with pride, and limped out in humility. I had come in arrogance and received torn pants for my folly.

“Thank you, Master!” I said softly.

And the words of the great Sufi Junayd came to my heart.

“I will walk a thousand leagues in falsehood, that one step of the journey may be true.”


Note: Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh passed to the Beloved on October 10, 2008. Dr. Alireza Nurbakhsh is the present Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order. To read more about both of them and the Order, go HERE.

Song of the Heart

June 19, 2006

There is a true song of the heart
It is sung in the tongue of Angels
Unheard, except in whispers of their flight
Yet its harmony caused the darkness to depart
And the world to arise in light

Beauteous it is beyond compare
And every living creature has a part to share
In the joyous, wondrous sound
Commanded to the Seraphim, highest of the nine Angelic orders
Of which Cupid is the most renowned

Yes, Love is the eternal song,
And each star a celestial instrument
Orchestrated as they belong
To the moon’s accompaniment

Now when my beloved looks at me, and smiles so happily
I cannot but respond with love
Joining in the living song, two hearts aglow for however long
Repeated one hundred million times a day
By each lover that would the night prolong

– Irving Karchmar, © 1986

A Mote of Dust

June 18, 2006

Alhamdulillah! We are but a mote of dust in the universe!

Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida has put up an awe-inspiring page on their site. It begins as a view of the Milky Way Galaxy viewed from a distance of 10 million light years, and then zooms in towards Earth in powers of ten; 10 million, to one million, to 100,000 light years and then it finally reaches a large oak tree.

If ever there was a witness to the wonder of God’s creation, this has captured it.

Once you click on the site, the software does all the work. Sit back and see the perfection of Allah’s universe! You can play it forward and backward. At the end it says AUTO… click on that and review the process in reverse!