The On Being Project

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 [email protected].

Let It Be Love

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.

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Let It Be Love

A Faith That Is Anchored and Sustained

The marrow of our existence — that deep understanding and commitment to tenderness — is just as important as the rituals, traditions, and ideologies that structure our lives.

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A Faith That Is Anchored and Sustained

The Tree Did Not Die

The resilience of redwood trees is a beautiful metaphor for the great vitality and growth that can come from life’s deepest wounds.

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The Tree Did Not Die

May We Cherish A Love That is Raw, Gritty, and Real

Let us think of love more expansively and celebrate the very act of loving — for its power to connect us with each other, to the world, to God.

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May We Cherish A Love That is Raw, Gritty, and Real

What I Did When I Thought I Had Two Hours To Live

There will come a time in our lives when we will truly have only two hours to live. How lovely to greet that moment with no regrets, but with a sense of purpose, meaning, love, tenderness, and forgiveness.

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What I Did When I Thought I Had Two Hours To Live

In Times of Despair, Keep Planting

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.

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In Times of Despair, Keep Planting

Why Conversations Across Ideological Lines Fail

Acknowledging and honoring the emotions, passions, and pain of fellow citizens may not be the solution to ideological polarization, but it is the beginning of an antidote — one that is critical to building the America we yearn to see.

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The Art of Learning Side-by-Side

What is lost when we no longer look to those who’ve gone before us for guidance? Omid Safi asks us to look beyond self-help towards the lost art of apprenticeship.

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The Art of Learning Side-by-Side

Comfort Food for the Soul

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.

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Comfort Food for the Soul

Great Love Is Softened and Worn

The greatest love is not extravagant or glamorous, but like good leather or a favorite pair of jeans, wears in and softens with us through the years.

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