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
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.

BY Omid Safi
May 05, 2016

We mourn people whom we have never met at a personal level. But why? Our columnist pens a loving in memoriam for Fr. Daniel Berrigan, an exemplar of fierce love and radical faith, a man he never met.

BY Omid Safi
April 27, 2016

As social creatures, we are shaped by our unity with one another. Omid Safi on the power of connectedness to magnify the good in ourselves and in our neighbors.

BY Omid Safi
April 21, 2016

North Carolina's "bathroom bill" has created quite a stir, a political and cultural imbroglio. Omid Safi on the need to stand up and not remain silent, no matter what action you might take.

BY Omid Safi
April 14, 2016

We so often highlight acts of hostility and hate, but we have a tougher time amplifying the good. Omid Safi appeals to our collective power to undermine hatred by elevating the good and the beautiful.

BY Omid Safi
April 07, 2016

To put the children first is a parent's most basic instinct. But when does self-sacrifice become self-destruction? Omid Safi offers a new understanding of the importance of self-care.

BY Omid Safi
March 31, 2016

The violence in Lahore on Easter Sunday thrusts us once again into disbelief and mourning. Omid Safi on the necessity of the right response, and the resilient stories of love and neighborliness that often go unreported in the face of terror.

BY Omid Safi
March 24, 2016

Faith can be a salve for the soul in the face of the suffering we witness. But, Omid Safi reminds us, our spiritual love must be bolstered by how we stand for the weak and vulnerable in our midst.

BY Omid Safi
March 17, 2016

The clock presses upon us and our families every day. A reminder that it's not the roses we should stop to smell, but the most tender gestures written in the morning's light.

BY Omid Safi
March 10, 2016

Reflecting on a line from Wendell Berry, our columnist Omid Safi reflects on our collective worthiness for love and the gift we deserve regardless of our circumstances or stations in life.

BY Omid Safi
March 03, 2016

Presidential politics and front-running candidates are prompting some Americans to ask the question, "Where would I move to?" Omid Safi prompts another kind of reckoning — of an America yet that has yet to be.

BY Omid Safi
February 25, 2016

Challenged by Donald Trump's recent fear-mongering, Omid Safi asks us to look deeply into our history and ourselves and find the courage to save our democratic experiment.

BY Omid Safi
February 18, 2016

Reminding ourselves to breathe is simple enough, but the act of slowing down and bringing our awareness inward can be difficult. Omid Safi with a reminder that the ritual of respiration can be the place where presence of spirit begins.

BY Omid Safi
February 11, 2016

After a stint in the rain, our columnist comes to appreciate a new orientation to gray days, both in meteorology and in life.

BY Omid Safi
February 04, 2016

Our language to be inclusive through terms like "Judeo-Christian" and "Abrahamic" might not be big enough to encompass the needs of the many.

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