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.
More than 800 years later, the great Sufi mystic Rumi continues to influence millions. Omid Safi marvels at the unifying and ripening power of Rumi’s wisdom and grace through his poetry and his presence.
Two sacred celebrations coincide this year. Through the ancient story of Joseph, Mohammed Fairouz reimagines a world bound together in a common family and a common future.
“We live in a state of constant scatteredness,” writes Omid Safi. Through the lens of the Hajj, he turns our gaze to the true focus of the journey: to seek, to find, and to be found.
Extraordinary images of Pluto reveal the vastness and mystery that lies beyond. Omid Safi revels in it all, weaving together the poetry of Rumi and Rabi’a with the “celestial realities mirrored in the human heart.”
For the world-weary, cynicism may feel safe. But, in our efforts toward self-protection, what might we be missing? A Millennial reflects on the doubt and distrust he sees in his generation, and suggests a courageous counterpoint: sincere and hopeful optimism.
An American writer living in Egypt during the months after 9/11 experiences the beauty of Ramadan in Cairo. She finds unexpected kinship in the rhythms of the culture and its people, reflecting all that is human: piety and gaiety, charity and ostentation, sacrifice and indulgence.
Is there room in our seeking for not-knowing? Are our hearts big enough to hold mystery? A prayer and a meditation for the mystery of the last ten nights of Ramadan.
Freedom rings this Independence Day with a panoply of sounds and sights to remind us of our burgeoning world!
Feces can be a powerful thing, but not in the way that you might gather. Before becoming a father, Omid Safi thought love was something you feel or experience, the everyday ritual of changing his daughter’s diaper taught him about a love that’s stronger than shit.
The wealth of information curated and articulated — drawing on all our executive editor reads, hears, and sees. From collective silence to the moral quality of action, words of advice and admiration.
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.