January 6, 2005
Omid Safi and Seemi Bushra Ghazi —
The Spirit of Islam

We experience the religious thought and the spiritual vitality of two Muslims—male and female—both American and both with roots in ancient Islamic cultural, intellectual, and spiritual traditions. Their stories and ideas, music, and readings, evoke a sense of the richness of global Islamic spirituality and of some of its hidden nuances and beauty. They reveal how sound, music, and especially poetry offer a window onto the subtleties and humanity of Islamic religious experience.

Share Episode

Shortened URL


is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at Colgate University, co-Chair of the Study of Islam Section at the American Academy of Religion, and editor of Progressive Muslims.

Seemi Bushra Ghazi

is a lecturer at the University of British Columbia, musician, and non-clerical reciter of the Qur'an.

Selected Recordings

The Sound of Suras Recitations of Three Qur'anic Suras

The following passages are all recited by Seemi Bushra Ghazi and were excerpted from the CD included with Michael Sells' book, Approaching the Qur'an.

Surat al-Qadr, The Sura of Destiny(listen to two versions)

In the Name of God the Compassionate the Caring

Selected Poems

The Reed Flute's Song

by Jalalu'ddin Rumi, excerpted from Coleman Barks' translation in The Essential Rumi

Listen to the story told by the reed,

of being separated.

"Since I was cut from the reedbed,

I have made this crying sound.

Anyone apart from someone he loves

understands what I say.

Anyone pulled from a source

longs to go back.

At any gathering I am there,

mingling in the laughing and grieving,

Selected Readings

Ramadan, Date Omelets, and Global Compassion

by Omid Safi, Colgate University

Ramadan was simpler in my childhood: It was about date omelets.

We got up around 4 or 4:30 a.m. to have a suhur, also called sahari, meaning a dawn-time meal. After that, no food and no water until sunset time. For the grown-ups, it meant no smoking, and as they love to joke about it, no sex until sunset. Then we would break our fasts with a meal called iftar. Getting out of bed was always a titanic struggle, but not on Ramadan mornings. We got to have a special treat on those days: date omelets.

About the Image

The dome of the Aya Sofia in Istanbul, Turkey.

Share a Reflection



As Salaamu Alaikoum,.Al Hamdulillah for your efforts
in spreading the Haw. May Allah bless you and keep you safe.