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Omid Safi

Omid Safi leads spiritual tours every year to Turkey, Morocco, or other countries, to study the rich multiple religious traditions there. The trips are open to everyone, from every country. More information is available at Illuminated Tours.

He is director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center. He specializes in the study of Islamic mysticism and contemporary Islam and frequently writes on liberationist traditions of Dr. King, Malcolm X, and is committed to traditions that link together love and justice.

Omid is the past chair for the Study of Islam at the American Academy of Religion. He has written many books, including Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and PluralismCambridge Companion to American IslamPolitics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam; and Memories of Muhammad. His forthcoming books include Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Traditions and a book on the famed mystic Rumi.

Omid is among the most frequently sought out speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing in The New York TimesNewsweekWashington Post, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN, and other international media. He can be reached regarding speaking engagements at omidsafi@gmail.com.

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For Omid Safi, writing his weekly On Being column has been an exercise in planting seeds of joy and love, in service of cultivating justice in this world.
Times of darkness require what Omid Safi calls “a prophetic quality of hope.” Our columnist speaks to the value of kind, intentional action, even when the results aren't immediately apparent.
Winter’s coldness has Omid Safi searching for warmth in his mother’s lentil soup — and asking what it means to find comfort and nourishment in each other. He shares the recipe and some food for thought.
Following the president's decision to move the capital of Israel to Jerusalem, our columnist reminds us that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a simple question of theology. It is wrapped up in political, historical, and colonialist motivations that prevent the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian communities from reaching a peace in the holy city that all can share.
We never would have guessed it, but Omid is a total gearhead. What a jaunt in a convertible dream car taught him about seeking out the luminous moments in the mundane — that while we can’t all speed around in expensive convertibles, we can find the joy of driving the family car with all the windows rolled down.
To feast on Mom's home cooking is its own blessing — but sometimes, traveling with it is a different story. On the particular frustration of traveling while brown and Muslim, and on food as a vehicle for love, not judgment.
We might laugh at the clumsiness of the question, posed so often to people with brown skin in the U.S. But Omid Safi asks us to consider what we’re really saying when we ask this question — and how we might expand our imagination about what American identity is.
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