Interview with Blogger Irving KarchmarBy The Pakistani Spectator • Apr 28th, 2008 • Category: Interviews • No Responses
Irving Karchmar has been a writer, editor and poet for many years, and a darvish of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order since 1992. He is the author of Master of the Jinn, a Sufi novel and mystical adventure tale on the Sufi path of love, and write the popular Darvish blog.
Would you please tell us something about you and your site?
The Darvish blog is dedicated to Sufism and Islam, and attempts to show by its postings the beauty, kindness, courtesy, generosity, peace and love that are inherent in Islam, as well as how the Sufi path grew out of that love and reverence for, and submission to, the will of Allah, as best exemplified by His Prophet (pbuh). It of course includes all spiritual paths that extol these attributes.
Do you feel that you continue to grow in your writing the longer you write? Why is that important to you?
I think I continue to grow in my writing the longer I learn, the longer I seek knowledge that translates into writing that is worthwhile, that seeks to explain the truth. Writing well can be learned with practice, but growing and evolving as a human being, especially a spiritual being, takes constant learning and an open mind.
I’m wondering what some of your memorable experiences are with blogging?
My most memorable experiences with blogging come from the positive feedback I have gotten in the comments on the Darvish blog, and from the many friends I have met through blogging. For example, many comments pertain to Master of the Jinn, and how much the readers enjoyed it or were moved by it. And comments on a particular post that has helped a reader in that moment, or that moved a reader to a better understanding of a problem they were facing. Alhamdulillah!
What do you do in order to keep up your communication with other bloggers?
I read the blogs on my extensive blogroll and comment on them. There is such a wealth of love and knowledge and good information on the blogosphere that it is really inspiring. Of course there are also emails with bloggers who have become friends, and meeting them when Allah wills.
What do you think is the most exciting or most innovative use of technology in politics right now?
One has to look no further than the current race for the Democratic nomination for President in the
Do you think that these new technologies are effective in making people more responsive?
There is no doubt that these new technologies will drive the future of political campaigns and make people more responsive.
What do you think sets your site apart from others?
There are many excellent Sufi blogs, Islamic blogs and Spiritual blogs on the internet. Mine is only one small voice in a great chorus.
If you could choose one characteristic that has brought you success in life, what would it be?
I have always sought to be completely honest with myself, and from that, to work on my many faults. How successful I have been, only Allah knows.
What was the happiest and saddest moment of your life?
Besides the birth of my children, which is always the happiest moment in a man’s life, I would have to say that the happiest moment of my life was being initiated as a darvish in the Nimatullahi Sufi Order. The saddest was at the death of my mother.
Do you think the use of Twitter and other social networking tools by politicians is bandwagon jumping or what?
I am not qualified to answer that question, but I will say that if politicians want to connect with young voters, they had better learn networking skills and tools.
If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with no worries about how it’s
paid for - what would your top 3 choices be?
I would first pick
What is your favorite book and why?
The Qur’an, because even though I can only read it in English, it is a fountain of joy for the heart, and with each reading I learn something new. Alhamdulillah!
What’s the first thing you notice about a person (whether you know them or not)?
Their eyes, and that usually tells the whole story about them.
Is there anyone from your past that once told you couldn’t write?
No, although my father said I shouldn’t write, but learn to make a better living
How can bloggers benefit from blogs financially?
By allowing advertising on their blogs, or by asking for donations. I do not do either, but mine is a personal blog.
Is it true that whoever has a successful blog has an awful lot of time on their hands?
I don’t think so. The more successful the blog, the more time will be spent on it.
What are your thoughts on corporate blogs and what do you think the biggest advantages and disadvantages are?
I have never thought about corporate blogs, and so have no idea.
What role can bloggers of the world play to make this world friendlier and less hostile?
By doing what they are doing, communicating with each other from every country and in every language. It is really a great benefit to learn that people all over the world have the same concerns and hopes and dreams. It is a real blessing of blogging technology.
Who are your top five favorite bloggers?
Haha, I have too many favorites to pick only five, which is why I have such a long blogroll.
Is there one observation or column or post that has gotten the most powerful reaction from people?
Yes, it was entitled, My Out of Body Experience – A True Story. Here is a link to it:
What is your perception about
I have many Pakistani friends in the
Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger?
Yes often, usually about a particular post they have written. Again, there are too many to list them all.
What is the most striking difference between a developed country and a developing country?
The happiness and education opportunities of its people.
What is the future of blogging?
More interactive possibilities, social networking, live conversational blogging, the future possibilities are endless.
You have a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?
Blogging has taken on a life of its own, and has become part of my personal and professional life, in that I maintain contact with my many blogging friends, and also get many new ideas for my writing.
What are your future plans?
Whatever Allah wills.
Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?
May Allah bless you all for the good work you do, and ever increase your love and wisdom. Ameen.