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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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A viral post showing images inside the sacred site in Mecca inspired awe and adoration from Muslims around the world, and controversy. But Omid Safi finds power in the revelation of the center, the heart of the Ka'ba, and an opportunity to turn inward to the beloved.
What it would be like to build, one glance at a time, a beloved community? Inspired the defaced churches in Cappadocia, Omid Safi appeals to the loving glances that acknowledge the sacred beyond in each one of us.
Zayn Malik's announcement crushed millions of fans' hearts, including that of our columnist Omid Safi. Despite the comforting scenario painted by Stephen Hawking, Omid prefers this one universe, this one place we call home.
We are inextricably entwined with each other. Omid Safi sees the pain and suffering of two tragedies — in Nepal and in Baltimore — and appeals to all of us to embody the ethics of a natural tragedy, reaching out in compassion, when we're faced with man-made destruction and systemic corruption.
Omid Safi steps forward with this lyrical reflection on wounds and healing, cracking more whole, and being the person we want to become.
Who you're going to be and what you're going to become takes time. But, nowadays, getting educated has an extraordinary set of expectations for students. Omid Safi reminds us that students need to be gentle with themselves as they discover what it means to be a human being and not just a human doing.
A story from Rumi's masterpiece Masnavi illuminates the paths we all travel from brokenness to healing, from spiritually feeling worthless and cut off to being wholehearted. In the wisdom of the saints, Omid Safi reveals the goal of the spiritual path: not reaching divinity, but achieving full humanity.
The spring festival of Nowruz and an invitation from the First Lady allow our columnist to see the White House as “the people’s house” and a place that honors the diversity — and promise — of America.
So much can terrify us in the world today. Fear is a natural response. But the path of love, Omid Safi writes, is not the absence of fear but a notion made possible through vulnerability.
The killing of three college students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina has shaken the Muslim community to its core. Omid Safi remembers the extraordinary human beings we lost and the pain that may lead to a new civil rights movement.