Welcome Jack :) My Grandson is Born!!

March 20, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Alhamdulillah! Praise God that last evening, March 19th, my first grandson was born, Jack Christopher Karchmar :)
Mother Christine and child are doing well, and for them, here again is a poem written for the birth announcement of baby Jack’s father, my son Matt, when he was born:

When a child is born, a Sun begins
In some dark and distant galaxy
And the ancient Weaver, warned thus,
Strikes Her loom
Pausing surely to gauge the thread for strength
And the needed courage to hold Life’s dream
Then spins rejoicing on the wheel
‘Ere the first heartbeat of creation.

– for Matthew, 1972 (and Jack, 2009)

May Allah bless the parents and the child with long life, good health, and love in a world or peace. May he be raised and grow up in righteousness, as a blessing to His parents and a joy to his family and friends. Ameen.

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “A servant will have his rank raised after death and will say, ‘O my Lord how has this come about for me?’ and He says, ‘through your sons after you seeking forgiveness for you.'” [ibn Majah]

Ya Haqq!

Islamic Writers Alliance Poetry and Short Story Contests

March 18, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Announcing the Islamic Writers Alliance 5th Annual Poetry Contest and…
The Islamic Writers Alliance Short Story Contest!

Both contests run from April 1, 2009 to midnight April 30, 2009 Pacific time.

Both Contests have CASH prizes, and you do not have to be a member of the IWA to participate.

The theme for both contests is open so whether you are young or old, a poet or a writer or a combination of both, there is an opportunity this year to write what you believe and show the world you believe in what you write.

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” ~William Wordsworth

Click HERE for Submission Guidelines:

Ya Haqq!

The Initiation of Nasir-i Khusraw

March 13, 2009

That sage set his hand upon my heart
(a hundred blessings be on that hand and breast!)
and said, “I offer you the remedy
of proof and demonstration; but if you
accept, I shall place a seal upon your lips
which must never be broken.” I gave my consent and he
affixed the seal. Drop by drop and day
by day he fed me the healing potion, till
my ailment disappeared, my tongue became
imbued with elegant speech; my face, which had
been pale as saffron now grew rosy with joy;
I who had been a stone was now a ruby;
I had been dust-now I was ambergris.
He put my hand into the Prophet’s hand,
I spoke the Oath beneath the exalted Tree
so heavy with fruit, so sweet with cooling shade.

Have you ever heard of a sea which flows from fire?
Have you ever seen a fox become a lion?
The sun can transmute a pebble, which even the hand
of Nature can never change, into a gem.
I am that precious stone, my Sun is he
by whose rays this tenebrous world is filled with light.
In jealousy I cannot speak his name
in this poem, but can only say that for him
Plato himself would become a slave. He
Is the teacher, healer of souls, favored of God,
image of wisdom, fountain of knowledge and Truth.
Blessed the ship with him for its anchor, blessed
the city whose sacred gate he ever guards!

O Countenance of Knowledge, Virtue’s Form,
Heart of Wisdom, Goal of Humankind,
O Pride of Pride; I stood before thee, pale
and skeletal, clad in a woolen cloak,
and kissed thine hand as if it were the grave
of the Prophet or the Black Stone of the Kaaba,
Six years I served thee; and now, wherever I am
so long as I live I’ll use my pen and ink,
my inkwell and my paper…in praise of thee!

– from the Diwan of Nasir-i Khusraw, greatest of the Isma’ili Shia Persian poets, on his initiation. It is a striking example of the depth of the Master-disciple relationship expressed in beautiful poetic form.

Ya Haqq!

Psalm 19 – A Song of David

March 5, 2009

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,

which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat.

The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.

The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.

The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure
and altogether righteous.

They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the comb.

By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.

Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Ya Haqq!

Note:  This is my favorite Psalm for its simple beauty and universal truths.

The Cell Phone vs The Quran

March 3, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Our Sister Safiyyah, of the excellent Shaalom 2 Salaam blog, received this email and posted it. There was no author attributed to it, but with her permission I pass it on as a question most worthy of consideration in the modern era.


Ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Quran like we treat
our cell phone?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we flipped through it several time a day?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?

What if we used it to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it like we couldn’t live without it?

What if we gave it to kids as gifts?

What if we used it when we traveled?

What if we used it in case of emergency?

This is something to make you go….hmm…where is my Quran?

Oh, and one more thing.

Unlike our cell phone, we don’t have to worry about our Quran being disconnected.

And there are no dropped calls!

Ya Haqq!