The Breath of Zekr

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

29 Responses to The Breath of Zekr

  1. Aaminah says:

    Asalaamu alaikum.

    Very moving.

  2. pbsweeney says:

    Another one that makes me weep. “No provisions but Love,” is what really slays me, particularly after the calm and peace of the beginning of the poem. The last line just blows one away, as it is so incredibly expansive. The heart just bursts.

  3. Abdur Rahman says:

    Salaams Irving bhai,

    Ma sha Allah, a great poem. :) It reads like a breath: breathe in love, exhale goodness, and breathe love in once more at the end.

    More please!

    Abdur Rahman

  4. seeker94 says:

    Beautiful! It has a calming effect on my current troubled state of mind.

    Like Abdur Rahman said – MORE PLEASE!

    Jazakallah, Irving.

  5. Salaam Dear Sisters and Brothers:

    Thank you all for the kind comments :) May Allah guide my pen, as He wills.

    Ya Haqq!

  6. sf says:

    A Zekr enveloped in love!
    MashaAllah….Superbly sublime!!!

    Jazaak Allah Khair, Brother Irving.

  7. koonj says:

    Just as Abdur Rahman said, it reads like the rhythm of breathing. Mashallah.

  8. lulando says:

    Ishk Allah Mabud Lillah

  9. Baraka says:

    Salaam ‘alaykum dear Irving,

    Absolutely beautiful! The poem reads as naturally as gentle breathing and reflection.


  10. Maliha says:

    Beautiful as usual Mashaallah. I like the flow..its calming.

  11. razarumi says:

    this is lovely – take no provisions but love..
    extremely soulful and inspiring..many thanks brother

  12. Ya Haqq dear brother Irving!

    So beautiful!
    Rumi said: If I told “La Ilah ha”, its imply “Illa Allah”!

    Ya Haqq Madadi

  13. Baraka says:

    Salaam dear brother irving,

    I sent you a package so hopefully you should get that next week sometime.

    Also, you’ve been tagged!


  14. kevin says:

    ahhh! there are still sufis who can transmit aphorism from the Source! How delightful! Love to you good darvish

  15. Edward says:

    Fantastic and brilliant.

  16. Irving says:

    Salaam Dear Brothers and Sisters:

    Inshallah, the poem might be published in the next issue of Sufi magazine.

    Ya Haqq!

  17. Aaminah says:

    Asalaamu alaikum.

    Oh, alhamdulAllah if they publish it! I just subscribed a couple of weeks ago so maybe I will get the new issue, inshaAllah.

  18. James says:


    I have felt your calling me
    Here in this circle.
    We exchange looks; we pass everywhere in the streets,
    The quiet or noisy meals, the fruitless rebellions.
    To come together:this is all there is
    To return a love
    Alighting in a hidden core.

  19. Irving says:

    Thank you, Brother James, for the beautiful, spiritual poem :) May God bless your journey.

    Ya Haqq!

  20. Sadiq says:


    thats called sweetness in words.

  21. almiskeenah says:

    Assalamu alaikum,
    Such sublime divine energy!
    I add two Hadith on intention:
    Ibn Abbas RadhiAllahu anhuma narrates from among those sayings which Rasulullah SallAllahu alahi wassalam has related from his Rabb Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, Allah has spelled out good deeds and bad ones (to the appointed Angels over you) He explained it. If any one intends to do a good deed but does not do it, Allah enters for him in His record as a complete good deed; and if he intends to do a good deed and does it, Allah enters for him in His record as ten to seven hundred and many more times as much. If any one intends to do a bad deed and does not do it (because of fear of Allah), Allah enters for him in His record as a complete good deed; but if he intends to do it and does it, Allah records it for him as one bad deed. (Bukhari)
    And, Zaid ibn Thabit narrates: I heard Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wassalam saying: he whose objective is the world, Allah scatters his affairs (he faces worries and anxieties in every aspect) and places the fear of poverty before his eyes: and he receieves only that which has been preordained for him. And he whose intention is the Hereafter, Allah makes all his affairs easy, and enriches his heart and the world comes to him humiliated. (Ibn Majah)
    How Kareem is He!
    Wassalamu alaikum

  22. Abdul Muneer says:

    Assalamu Alaikum,
    My Shaykh instructs the mureeds to keep the Zikr of Allah in each breath-inhaling and exhaling. Alla-Hoo,Alla-Hoo…(not with the lips)
    There is no time when one abstains from breath, and there is no time when one abstains from zikr!
    Shaykh would tell, “Keep your wife near you, children in your lap, money in your pocket and Zikr of Allah in your heart”.
    Even in snoring of my friends I can hear the zikr Alla-hoo! They too take no provision but love!!
    May Allah bless us all with His Love.

  23. Abdur Rahman says:

    Salaams Irving bhai,

    Just a quick note to ask if I could post this on my poetry blog: ?

    Abdur Rahman

  24. darvish says:

    Salaam Abdur Bhai:

    Of course you can post it :) Please feel free to post anything on this blog. I am honored that you would want to post it with your own excellent poetry.

    Ya Haqq!

  25. James says:

    “Chapter 5”

    All those sad poets
    Would surrender in laughter had they known you.
    Oh, you would have kept them up nights–
    In vigils as supreme as breathing;
    Helpless in holy struggle,
    Against the insurgency of love and longing,
    Mounted at the threshold of their heart.

    Remembering home, they would have built fires in seven places
    To announce their location to your invisible spies,
    So cunningly implanted.
    They could not help but give up the secrets,
    The identified assassins and maps of the hideaway nafs–
    All sacrificed to the service of Lordly Love.

    “I am here…”
    “We are one and the same…”
    Love intones to Love–
    And then we lose our voices in that holy fire.
    Mouth, lips, tongue rush to know the flame.
    Breath, body, and heart circle the rounds
    And join in the dance to that imperishable song.
    The one we all know, that needs no poets to tell.
    The one that begins in the whiteness of the page.
    The one that surrenders
    Like this:

  26. Irving says:

    Greetings of Peace Dear Brother James:

    You poem is so beautiful that it should have a post of its own, and be read and loved by all who come to it, as I love it. I embrace you across the distance, dear Brother. May God guide your pen, for His pen is cut from the reedbed of the heart, and therein lies the Truth.

    Ya Haqq!

  27. […] poem is called The Breath of Zekr.  You can find the original post here.  Sit back, relax and let the breath of zekr lift you towards […]

  28. Pearl says:

    Take no provisions but love. What a fantastic idea. :)

  29. Ani l says:

    Good, i like your poem

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