His music ushered Omid’s children into the world. Learning of Orüç Güvenç’s death, Omid offers an ocean of remembrance in return — for the Turkish Sufi master and ethnomusicologist who embodied the poetry of Islam in both his music and his being.
How can we nurture our identity and faith if we don’t feel recognized for who we are? A reflection on yearning for a community that truly sees us.
Omid Safi on the experience of being institutionally invisible — and how our structures and spirits might change to acknowledge each other’s entire being.
For the closing days of Ramadan, a young Catholic scholar shows us that we can look to many sources outside one’s own religious canon to find meaning and pay attention to the world before us.
The extraordinary is revered and celebrated, but where does that leave the ordinary? On rediscovering the meaning of awe, and finding it in the quiet majesty of the daily grind.
In the wake of the attacks in Manchester, an artist’s impassioned appeal to the West to cast off the scourge of collective responsibility for terrorism — and embrace the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims as partners not adversaries in the battle against extreme violence.
There are gems at the heart of all our faith traditions. Omid Safi on the challenge ahead to polish away the impurities of hatred and greed that keep the light from shining.
After a medical condition changed the way he observes Ramadan, Omid reflects on what he misses about the embodied experience of the fast — and the inner, spiritual fast he takes on now to live out the holy season.
Omid on recognizing that the path we’re on is the right one; Courtney with mental trickery to uncover our creative confidence; and Turkish-American poet Adnan Onart on finding the kinship of faith during Ramadan — in a Dunkin Donuts.
After a meditative walk through a Shinto shrine in Kyoto, Japan, a reflection on recognizing the paths we’re on as a spiritual destination.
Challenging the notion of the “Muslim world,” what dedication to peace looks like, and the weight words — and actions — carry.
We often speak about how best to heal the world around us, but it’s also essential to nurture ourselves. A reflection on self-care as a crucial part of healing one another.
Three wisdom keepers on the inner voice of compassion in the mystical and contemplative traditions
From the wrestling mat to challenging conversations in our own living rooms — the virtue of facing our deepest discomforts head-on.
When turbulence strikes, we must rise above to find a place of calm.
There’s a profound solitude in asking the challenging, radical question. A Muslim reformer finds a deep and consoling truth in the face of this reality in the voice of a poet.
Interrogating our anger, honoring our elders, facing the truth of life’s fragility, and helpful new discussion guides for Becoming Wise — the best of what’s engaging our minds and spirits these days.
Solidarity on social media can be a source of hope, but there’s more required of us to affect meaningful change.
To elevate the spirit, we must nurture the soul and the rational mind, alike.
What if our relationship with God were more long, tender, even humorous?
Faced with scatteredness of mind, body, and spirit, Omid Safi offers a balm: the prayer of the heart.
A Muslim man reflects on the pain of citizenship in this moment and the fragile hope he holds from the nation he and his loved ones call home.
A deep inquiry into Trump’s immigration ban, and its subversion of the American ideals we’re called to embody.
In the light of a New Year’s sparkler, a metaphor for the illuminating capacity we hold within, despite our fleeting existence.
A look at icons in our popular culture reveals the crucial work of healing at the heart of the Muslim faith.
t’s been an adventurous, power-packed week here at On Being on Loring Park. It feels so gratifying to release the…
A faith must account for the states and stages of life: joy and thriving, sorrow and death. Omid Safi honors the ritual of Ashura, a cornerstone of Islam whose historical, spiritual, and social significance carries forth to modern life.
For Omid Safi, the words and movements of prayer are more than rote. A reflection on faith as a lived embodiment of love.
A true friendship doesn’t only bring support and joy, but also challenges us to grow. Omid Safi reflects on the importance of nurturing relationships that acknowledge our imperfections, and nourish the best in us.
Who is the woman at the heart of the hajj? Omid Safi honors the roots of the global pilgrimage, and the social gravity that it holds for modern life.
The strength of spirituality lies in the just action it inspires. Omid Safi points to faith as inextricable from the work of bringing about a community of equity and love.
“When I’m running, I feel like I’m actively expressing gratitude.” Sarah Khasawinah works in the Senate to improve policies for older Americans. Her work requires focus and discipline, something that she also finds in her spiritual practice of running.
We find ourselves in a time of deep reckoning, and we must turn to each other for companionship and wisdom. Collected guidance on claiming the whole of our identities, and finding compassion for experiences that are not our own.
How do we enrich, rather than enforce, our historical perspective? These collected writings give a new lens on which stories serve us and where we encounter them.
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.
A gift of verse as we reach the close of the season of Ramadan — testaments to the comfort of faith across a lifetime, from the safety of home to the surprising kinship of a stranger.
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.
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.
Rabbi and philosopher Jonathan Sacks speaks of difference as expansive and unifying, rather than a force for division.
Our columnist Omid Safi pays tribute to the life of boxing legend Muhammad Ali and the legacy he lived.
“Let yourself be silently pulled by what you love.” Weaving poesy with mellifluous prose, an Egyptian poet celebrates the power of the lyrical art to bring us closer to the divine, and to ourselves.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our paths intersect with countless others as we navigate our days, but how often do we live out the potential of these exchanges? Gleanings from the complementary persistence of Super Mario and Sisyphus, the enduring kinship of the Abrahamic family, and the unexpected inspiration to honor a late loved one from a song by Sting.
The catharsis of living up to challenge, in all walks of life — essays on powering through the hardest miles in a marathon to facing a crowd of unfamiliar strangers, to reckoning with one’s best and worst selves while reflecting in the solitude of the woods.
Sometimes when a conflict involves Muslims, “Islam” may not be the best category for understanding it. Omid Safi with a reflection on the current crisis between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and why framing it as religion is not the most helpful framework.
Untamed, wild beauty kindles a yearning and an awe that few man-made structures can, even the most sacred churches, mosques, or temples. Our resident bard with a praise song for the wide open spaces that beckon us to open our hearts to all people and things before us.
Christians and Muslims are celebrating the births of Muhammad and Jesus on back-to-back days. Omid Safi reflects on these beautiful adjacencies and what the unity of these two traditions can teach us about opening our hearts, minds, and homes to those seeking physical or spiritual refuge.