The Breath of Zekr

January 27, 2007

The breath of zekr inhales love
and exhales kindness

The heartbeat keeps time
to the rhythm of intention

Steady the breath with silence
and good works

Listen to the heart beat
La illa ha ill Allah!

O seeker, the traveler on this path
takes no provisions but love

– Irving Karchmar, © 2006

Master of the Jinn Ebooks

January 21, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The Sufi novel, Master of the Jinn, is now available as an Ebook in two ways.

1. You can purchase Master of the Jinn as an ebook from Mobipocket for only $4.99, by clicking HERE.

2. Master of the Jinn is now available as an Ebook on Amazon’s Kindle Book Reader for only $3.99.  To order, click HERE.

Ya Haqq!

Book Review and King of Humour

January 19, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Our Sister Samaha has kindly written a review of Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel on her blog of the same name. You can read it here.

And Suroor, known for her excellent and straightforward writing, has named me King of Humour (with the u added) on her blog. This is funny in itself, and you can read about it here.

Ya Haqq!

A Sufi Tale of Hajj

January 13, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Abd Allah and the Cobbler

Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak (d. 797 AD) was living in Mecca. One year, having completed the rites of the pilgrimage, he fell asleep and had a dream wherein he saw two angels descend from heaven.

“How many have come this year?” one asked the other.

“Six hundred thousand,” the other replied.

“How many have had their pilgrimage accepted?”

“Not one.”

This report filled Abd Allah with trembling. “What?” I cried. “All these people have come from the distant ends of the earth, with great pain and weariness from every deep ravine, traversing wide deserts, and all their labor is in vain?”

“There is a cobbler in Damascus call Ali ibn Mowaffaq,” said the first angel. “He has not come on the pilgrimage, but his pilgrimage is accepted and all his sins have been forgiven.”

When I heard this, I awoke and resolved to go to Damascus and visit this person. So I went to Damascus and found where he lived. I shouted and a man came out. “What is your name and what work do you do?” I asked. “I am Ali ibn Mowaffaq, a cobbler by trade. What is your name?”

I told him it was Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak. He uttered a cry and fell into a faint. When he recovered, I begged him to tell me his story. He said: “For thirty years now I have longed to make the pilgrimage. I had saved up three hundred and fifty dirhams from my cobbling. This year I resolved to go to Mecca, though my wife became pregnant. One day she smelled food being cooked next door, and begged me to fetch her a bit of it. I went and knocked on the neighbor’s door and explained the situation. My neighbor burst into tears. “My children have eaten nothing for three days,” she said. “Today I saw a donkey lying dead and cut off a piece and cooked it for them. It would not be lawful food for you.”  My heart burned within me when I heard her tale. I took out the three hundred and fifty dirhams and gave them to her. ‘Spend these on your children,’ I said. ‘This is my pilgrimage.’

“The angel spoke truly in my dream,” Abd Allah declared, “and the Heavenly King was true in His judgement.”

– From Attar’s Memorial of the Saints

Ya Haqq!

Muslim Prayer for Peace

January 11, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
Praise be to the Lord of the universe who has created us and made us tribes and nations, that we might know each other.
If the enemy inclines towards peace, do thou also incline towards peace, and trust in God, for the Lord is the One that hears and knows all things.
And the servants of God, most gracious are those who walk on the Earth in humility,
And when we address them, we say PEACE.”

Note: The prayer is a compilation from the Qur’an. It was one of the prayers for peace offered in Assisi, Italy, on the Day of Prayer for World Peace during the U.N. International Year of Peace, 1986.

Ya Haqq!

Raping the Shariah

January 8, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Isla has a story on her blog entitled Raping the Shariah, about Mukhtaran Mai and her gang-rape for the sake of “honor.”  This barbaric tribal custom has nothing to do with Islam, yet that is how it is perceived by the outside world. Honor rapes and killings! stoning women in Iran!  The Muslim world does not have to worry about being conquered by the West. They are defeating themselves as long as such cruel, stupid, barbarous patriarchal customs are allowed to continue unchallenged. 

“A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground. Then it is done, no matter how brave its warriors nor how strong their weapons”
– Old Cheyenne Proverb, from Mary Crow Dog’s  “Lakota Woman”

Ya Haqq!

The Master Alchemist

January 6, 2007

You bewilder us with your grace,

all evils transformed into goodness.

You are the master alchemist.

You light the fire of love in Earth and Sky,

in heart and soul of every being.

Through Your loving,

existence and non-existence merge.

All opposites unite.

All that is profane becomes sacred again.

– Rumi

Sufi Journal Items of Interest

January 4, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The new issue of Sufi Journal, Winter 2006/2007, has just been published, and it features many things of interest. There is a wonderful Sufi poem by Sadiq Alam, who writes the spiritual blog Inspirations and Creative Thoughts. There is also a review of The Spy of the Heart, an exciting true account by Robert Abdul Hayy Darr of his exploits in Afghanistan. You can read the book online by clicking here .  Also, there is an excerpt from Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel.

You can order the magazine ($6.00 per issue) or subscribe here.

Ya Haqq!

New Year’s Letter from Iraq

January 1, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

To begin the New Year, here is a letter sent by our dear Sister Sabbie, who organized the Book Drive for Iraqi Kurdistan. It was a great success, with fifty-eight large shipping containers filled with all manner of books sent. Alhamdulillah!  Thank you all who participated with books and donations. It was truly a blessing.

Sabbie’s Letter:

Salaams to all from Iraq and Kurdistan:

May Allah bless all and their families during blessed Eid.

Allah has been most merciful to your sister in Iraq, showing
unexplainable miracles and gifts each day. I would like to share three stories with you, the only gift I can give at this time, while working my community action work with my blessed Iraqis.

Normally during the winning of special events, like Iraqi soccer, one can hear celebratory fire from AK47’s …and what goes up, must come down. There was one early evening, after Maghrib prayer and listening to my Shaykh’s zikr over the internet…. I heard the sound of drums, dafs, and then La ilaha il Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasool-Allah, coming from a
nearby mosque over the microphone… and then more zikr, an imam or leader chanting and many strong, loud voices behind his, through the microphone. My eyes and heart filled with love and awe. The International staff began to knock at my door, please tell us…what is this, should we be worried? I sat with them, heart full and explained zikr and the beauty of broadcasting zikr so publically, in a region where just an
individual’s word can cause attacks and violence. Celebratory gunfire has been replace by zikr, alhamdullah.

The second story, after a long and stressful day, I took the time for meditation playing a thunderstorm mp3 meditation, over and over again, then several zikrs, owwww….I wished to hear real falling rain, perhaps see snow, but I was too far south for snow. The winter has been unusually dry and warm, so much so we worry about drought. In the middle of
the night, Allah blessed us with rain, which turned to snow the next day. It was for 24 hours, a Huge blessing. Everyone was so happy! so I ask for dua, that we receive more rain for the crops and to calm the dust, but we give the greatest thanks to Allah for his blessed gift. I shout to the world – Allah is real, this is from knowledge and not simply belief,
my Beloved.

The 3rd story is short. Waking up very early on Christmas Day, the Chaldean Church, Assyrian Church, began prayers in Aramaic, broadcasting over the microphone, and the Imams from several Mosques, even though they had completed salat earlier, joined with the churches in Arabic, a
prayer different from salat. All voices joined together in prayer and zikr recognizing Isa’s, (peace and blessings be upon him), birth and life on this earth. It was amazing show of interfaith at its best.

Most people see Iraq through the media, the violence and sorrow. Truly I believe and know that Allah has blessed this place, if only we the people love him with pure hearts and intentions, there can be peace and prosperity. In the past when I visited Iraq, and finally moved here, I had seen and experienced the most fantastic, amazing and beautiful
gifts of Allah, like a vortex. It starts with each individual, and I know that many miracles are possible, inshAllah.

In closing, again, I wish you all a good Eid and many blessings for 2007 and a lifetime.



Ya Haqq!