My Letter to President Obama

October 28, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Last year I wrote a Christmas letter to President Obama (which I sent to him along with a present).  I want to share it with you before the election. It is below:

December 14, 2011

Dear President Obama:

I want you to know, with all your burdens and responsibilities, that I feel toward you as if you were my own son, and that I am honored to have you as my President.

I and many millions more have your back :)

Your intelligence and generosity of heart, your kindness and strength of character, are a testament to the brave soul of your mother, and to your grandparents, and your lovely wife and daughters.

Times are very hard, I know, and the economy you inherited, though slowly improving, still weighs on you; yet we are a hundred times better off now, thanks to the social safety nets put in place by Democratic Presidents and Congresses of the past.

A friend who lived through the Great Depression wrote this:

Those who lived through the 1930s and early 1940s, capitalize the word Depression. You can hear the capital “D” when we speak of it.  Cushioned generations have no inkling of the reality of those years.  Men lost their pride, many for the rest of their lives; women’s dreams died in their wombs.  Life was grinding work and anxiety.  The Depression was far more than an economic downturn: it was a world without a bottom. Every day with food was Thanksgiving. We were to learn that war is noisy violence; we already knew the silent violence of poverty.

I know you will win re-election, and I predict easily and without doubt that you will be one of the very greatest sons of the American experience. I pray for your success, your health, and your safety each night. 

I can also sense in your beautifully written books that you are guided by a profound creative and spiritual nature, and the love and dedication to service that, by God’s grace, is the root of all such natures.

I am the eldest son of Jewish Holocaust survivors who came to America in 1948 seeking a better life for themselves and their children. Through the course of a long life working as a writer and editor, I have come to write a book. I have also been a Sufi dervish for nearly twenty years.

Such a story is as unique to America as your own, where, as you well know, all things are possible. In that spirit, please accept my novel, Master of the Jinn, as a humble gift from a very grateful American, in the hope that reading it will help ease the stress of your daily burdens.

Love and many blessings,

Irving Karchmar

Here is a scan of the card I received back:

Please VOTE!

Ya Haqq!

What Love Demands – Eid al-Adha Mubarak :)

October 22, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Eid Mubarak!

May Allah bless you all this Eid al-Adha, dear Brothers and Sisters, with generosity of hand, sincerity of speech, kindness in action, and love and joy in remembrance of Him, who is the Source of all Generosity, Sincerity, Kindness, Joy, and Love. Ameen!

“O Lord! Let not our hearts deviate now after You have guided us, but grant us mercy from Your own Presence; for You are the Grantor of bounties without measure.” (Quran: 3:9)

This is the time of Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, which celebrates the faith of Abraham, who was willing to sacrifice even his beloved son Isaac as God had commanded. Now what are we willing to sacrifice in order that our prayers may be accepted?

That is the question I ask myself every year. Jesus (as) kissed the leper, the whore, and the thief, out of love and forgiveness and healing. Because of the great expansiveness of his heart, miracles were possible. What have we done, what can we still do, to be worthy of the love and forgiveness and healing we ask of God? The answer that comes to my heart is always the same:

Do what love demands.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. -1 Corinthians 13:4-8

According to a hadith, the Prophet (pbuh) once said, “A true believer is one with whom others feel secure. One who returns love for hatred.”

Alhamdulillah! Indeed, Love is the greatest miracle of God. There have been Spiritual Masters of the past who would not let an aspirant be initiated until they had gone to everyone whom they had wronged in their life, and begged forgiveness, making amends in any way that was required. And until they had gone to everyone that had wronged them in their lives, and granted them forgiveness without asking, and with a whole heart. Only then could such a one be initiated on the mystic path.

And so we come to the great task of our lives, brought into focus on this day of Eid al-Adha: To sacrifice our fear and hatred, our envy and greed and all the other works of the fearful and self-absorbed nafs, in the certain knowledge that anyone who forgives a debt will be repaid tenfold by God, and anyone who forgives a wrong will be forgiven by God a hundredfold, and anyone who returns love for hatred will make of this life a paradise. That is what love demands.

Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find
all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.
– Rumi

Ya Haqq!

Making the Darkness Conscious

October 18, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
– Carl Gustav Jung

The Stage of True Mysticism

October 10, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“When you consider all saints and prophets as legitimate and no longer differentiate between religions, you have reached the stage of true mysticism.”

– Ostad Elahi

Ya Haqq!

In Memory of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh

October 8, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

October 10th is the four year anniversary of the death of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, for over 50 years the Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order, and for 17 years, my Master (may God bless his soul and raise him to the highest rank of His beloveds. Ameen!).

To commemorate the occasion, his own poem is a fitting tribute to his life and station:

My heart holds Your home,

my head desiring You;

Night and day have all passed,

while I am pledged to You.

I have suffered at the hand

of the people of the time;

In the world I’ve only seen

fidelity from You.

I’ve been drunk with Your wine

Since pre-eternity;

I’m surrendered to Your will

till post-eternity.

I’ve no hope for heaven

or for the Resurrection;

I have never wanted

anyone but You.

Once I realized that in reality

the Path cannot be traveled

Except on Your feet,

I lost both my head and feet.

With every breath I take

I am conscious of You;

I gave up heart and soul

for contentment from You.

If, like Nurbakhsh, you have pledged

yourself wholeheartedly to God;

The creation then will be ready

to pledge itself to you.

– from the Divani Nurbakhsh: Sufi Poetry

Ya Haqq!

Obama for America!

October 4, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

I am donating all my royalties from Master of the Jinn to the Obama Campaign until the election, so buy Paperbacks or Ebooks, and support a better future for the middle class!

And go HERE to donate or volunteer!

Ya Haqq!