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A Tribute to Tariq

Last Sunday, March 6th, was Tariq’s birthday–he would have been 48 years old married with children. Tariq loved children and children loved him. January 21st, 2022 was the 28th anniversary of his tragic death—he died at the young age of 20. He always wanted to do something big, and in his tragic passing, he has succeeded through the work of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation which has now reached millions of children and youth.
I am not grieving anymore as his gift to me was to put me on my spiritual purpose; I live a more virtuous and impactful life now as I do work in his name as a service to society. While the memory never fades, and you never get over it, you do learn to live with it. The work that has been done in his name explains the divine intent. The Lord works in mysterious ways! These 28 years have been very meaningful, purposeful, and more fulfilling than I could have imagined. I have given over 1,000 presentations to students and over 700 keynotes to adults in conferences around the world promoting the message of nonviolence, accountability, empathy, compassion, forgiveness, and peacebuilding. I know Tariq’s spirit is the backbone supporting the work of his Foundation and I continue to feel his presence especially when I am speaking to students.
This work is so very appropriate in the times we live in – It breaks my heart to learn that 38 children have died and 71 injured in the few days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I grieve for the parents and families of these innocent children sacrificed for no reason. We must raise the volume of our peacekeeping work, or we will all perish. War needs to be obsolete! Please join me in sending healing prayers and supporting the brave Ukrainians in all the ways you can. They need our solidarity.
I invite you to read on to learn more about Tariq’s life philosophy and more about his life.
Anniversaries and birthdays still are challenging. The 6 weeks between Tariq’s death and his birthday (or to be precise 44 days) continue to feel physically, mentally, and emotionally off-kilter. It feels like I am not fully present in my body or that I am walking on sea legs. The traumatic shock of that day has been stored in my body. This phenomenon is brilliantly explained by:
Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust.
He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.
Although physically, mentally, and emotionally I struggle during these 6 weeks I stay steadfast spiritually. My spiritual secret is meditation and forgiveness. I started meditating at the age of 20 and lost Tariq in my early 40s – so I had a strong spiritual foundation that has propelled me to positively deal with this dark negative event in my life and land on higher ground. I recognize the importance of being Strong in Spirit, which is why I now teach a 4 half-day virtual masterclass. Later this month I am doing a 1.5day in-person class called “The journey of Forgiveness destination Peace” in Honolulu HI. See below the link to register and if you can join me. I promise you will not be the same again.
I have been teaching this intensive workshop in person for more than two decades to help others weather their challenges based on my journey and experience. Most participants in this masterclass experience healing, transformation, and a Soulular breakthrough. The profound healing comes from learning and practicing the steps of forgiving people who have harmed you and self-forgiveness. I don’t believe that I would have weathered this devasting loss without mastering forgiveness or utilizing my meditation practice. It truly is an elixir of healing. The inspiration to do this work was birthed by Tariq.
Tariq Khamisa was a kind, generous, intelligent, and handsome old soul in a young body. He was a brilliant writer as is evident from his essay, “Philosophy of Life,” which he wrote at the age of 18 (see below). I was so moved by his essay that I asked him to personalize it for me and it continues to hang on my wall that I pass by every day. I often read it, especially during these 44 days between his passing anniversary and his birthday because it gives me strength. Above all, he was blessed with a great sense of humor and an absolute joy to be around. It is no surprise that his favorite hero was Gandhi, a true man of peace.
On this day, join me in celebrating the life of an amazing soul that was born in my family to indeed spawn a forgiveness movement that has reached millions and continues to inspire young and old towards building a compassionate culture and peaceful society.
Thank you, Tariq, for the gift of helping me and your sister, Tasreen, find our spiritual purpose to inspire many. TKF exists because of your sacrifice and Tasreen and I are both honored and privileged to do this work in your name. My heartfelt sincerest gratitude, my son. Please know you are very loved by many, and I am so proud of you and love you immensely. Someday we will reunite again—until then—rest in eternal peace, joy, and love. – Dad
Wishing you peace and many blessings!
Azim Khamisa
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