Omid Safi

Omid Safi

is a columnist for On Being. His column appears every Thursday.

He is Director of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center. He is the past Chair for the Study of Islam, and the current Chair for Islamic Mysticism Group at the American Academy of Religion. In 2009, he was recognized by the University of North Carolina for mentoring minority students in 2009, and won the Sitterson Teaching Award for Professor of the Year in April of 2010.

Omid is the editor of the volume Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism, which offered an understanding of Islam rooted in social justice, gender equality, and religious and ethnic pluralism. His works Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam, dealing with medieval Islamic history and politics, and Voices of Islam: Voices of Change were published 2006. His last book, Memories of Muhammad, deals with the biography and legacy of the Prophet Muhammad. He has forthcoming volumes on the famed mystic Rumi, contemporary Islamic debates in Iran, and American Islam.

Omid has been among the most frequently sought speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing in The New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN and other international media. He leads an educational tour every summer to Turkey, to study the rich multiple religious traditions there. The trip is open to everyone, from every country. More information at Illuminated Tours.
Thursday
BY Omid Safi
December 02, 2016

In our pursuit of justice, we must cling to what illuminates the darkness and keep the pain and indignation that fuel us from hardening to hatred.

BY Omid Safi
November 17, 2016

Hope isn't always soothing and soft. A pragmatic embrace of compassion, kindness, and truth-telling in the face of America's rifts.

BY Omid Safi
November 12, 2016

#Woke reflections on our nation's deepest political and social wounds, and the hope to be found in our capacity to heal them, together.

BY Omid Safi
November 03, 2016

Accepting dark realities and difficult truths doesn’t negate love for our country. An appeal for choosing American aspiration over American pride, so that we might grow into the nation we want to be.

BY Omid Safi
October 27, 2016

From soured relationships to dead bugs, it's a given: life can get disgusting. But sometimes we can step back and recognize that we're far from powerless in the face of things we fear.

BY Omid Safi
October 20, 2016

An account of one man's years with the legendary American bard, who spoke to a desire for authenticity, justice, and love.

BY Omid Safi
October 15, 2016

A faith must account for the states and stages of life: joy and thriving, sorrow and death. Omid Safi honors the ritual of Ashura, a cornerstone of Islam whose historical, spiritual, and social significance carries forth to modern life.

BY Omid Safi
October 06, 2016

Often, the remedy to what ails us is simpler than we think. Omid Safi shares a comedic lesson on recognizing the blessings that are already within us.

BY Omid Safi
September 29, 2016

For Omid Safi, the words and movements of prayer are more than rote. A reflection on faith as a lived embodiment of love.

BY Omid Safi
September 22, 2016

A true friendship doesn't only bring support and joy, but also challenges us to grow. Omid Safi reflects on the importance of nurturing relationships that acknowledge our imperfections, and nourish the best in us.

BY Omid Safi
September 19, 2016

Who is the woman at the heart of the hajj? Omid Safi honors the roots of the global pilgrimage, and the social gravity that it holds for modern life.

BY Omid Safi
September 08, 2016

Beyond our busyness and worn-out calendars, Omid Safi seeks out the places where the eternal shines through the temporal — and offers a benediction for the beloved.

BY Omid Safi
August 11, 2016

The strength of spirituality lies in the just action it inspires. Omid Safi points to faith as inextricable from the work of bringing about a community of equity and love.

BY Omid Safi
July 28, 2016

In the face of fear and hatred, it's easy to be a mirror but harder still to hold fast to love and tenderness. Omid Safi calls for a more gritty, luminous love that manifests justice.

BY Omid Safi
July 21, 2016

Drawing on the walking undead from Game of Thrones, Omid Safi comments on the stubborn disease of white supremacy, and on resisting its spread with the resilience of kinship and kindness.

BY Omid Safi
July 14, 2016

In the wake of the violence in Falcon Heights, Baton Rouge, and Dallas, Omid Safi puts forth an impassioned call for the revolutionary work of love.

BY Omid Safi
July 07, 2016

Omid Safi laments the violence and loss of life in the holy city of Medina, and calls on our true capacity for love and mercy to heal the rifts that divide us.

BY Omid Safi
June 30, 2016

The Sufi tradition is infused with the beauty of art and song. Honoring singer Amjad Sabri, Omid Safi celebrates and gives thanks for the spiritual gift of the qawwali devotional.

BY Omid Safi
June 23, 2016

Fueled by a Vietnamese Zen master's question, Omid Safi waxes lyrical on the many ways we need to be loved and need to love others in a time of turmoil and uncertainty.

BY Omid Safi
June 17, 2016

Omid Safi honors each life lost in Orlando — with a hard look at the realities we face, and an appeal to the urgency of compassion to heal our wounds.

BY Omid Safi
June 09, 2016

Our columnist Omid Safi pays tribute to the life of boxing legend Muhammad Ali and the legacy he lived.

BY Omid Safi
June 02, 2016

Inspired by a beautiful hike in the Swiss mountains, Omid Safi with a meditation on the jaggedness of our hearts' stones, then and now. And some photos to illustrate it.

BY Omid Safi
May 26, 2016

We have charms to ward off harmful glances, but what might they teach us about more gracious and loving communication? Omid Safi studies the significance of the "evil eye," and wonders if it can inspire us to better interaction.

BY Omid Safi
May 19, 2016

After a lifetime of learning and loving and losing, Omid Safi shares a few — five, to be precise — practical lessons to you and recent college graduates about what it means to lead a successful life.

BY Omid Safi
May 12, 2016

Do we place women on an unrealistic pedestal when we celebrate Mother's Day? Omid Safi on honoring motherhood in its fullest, most human sense, and moving to an ethics of care for all, whether family or fellow human beings.

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