The recent visit of some American Muslim leaders to Jerusalem to engage in interfaith dialogue with the Jewish leaders has yet again opened deep wounds for the American Muslim community. It is Ramadan, and it is Gaza. It is a sacred time, and it is a time of profound sorrow and outrage as we see Baraka and pain mingling. Let us hope that these words may help usher some healing for our community.
Author Archives: Omid Safi
About Omid Safi
Omid Safi is a Professor of Islamic Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in contemporary Islamic thought and classical Islam. He is the past Chair for the Study of Islam, and the current Chair for Islamic Mysticism Group at the American Academy of Religion, the largest international organization devoted to the academic study of religion.
In 2009, he was recognized by the University of North Carolina for mentoring minority students in 2009, and won the Sitterson Teaching Award for Professor of the Year in April of 2010.
Omid is the editor of the volume "Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism," which offered an understanding of Islam rooted in social justice, gender equality, and religious and ethnic pluralism. His works "Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam," dealing with medieval Islamic history and politics, and "Voices of Islam: Voices of Change" were published 2006.
His last book, "Memories of Muhammad," deals with the biography and legacy of the Prophet Muhammad. He has forthcoming volumes on the famed mystic Rumi, contemporary Islamic debates in Iran, and American Islam.
Omid has been among the most frequently sought speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing in The New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN and other international media.
He leads an educational tour every summer to Turkey, to study the rich multiple religious traditions there. The trip is open to everyone, from every country. More information here: http://www.illuminatedtours.com
I wonder if it is possible for us as human beings to bring our shared love and affection to mingle, rather than compete in a zero-sum game. What would it be like for us as diverse religious communities to share the sites that we love so dearly, such as the Haghia Sophia?
The Qur’an begins with the Opening (Fathia). This Opening is not just the opening of the Qur’an, it is in reality the opening of the human heart.
One of the most prominent Sufi leaders of the past century, Shaykh Nazim, has passed away at age 92. He was an important figure in the resurgence of Sufism in the West.
Hundreds of girls were stolen and enslaved from their schools on April 15th. 276 remain as captives. The group responsible has to be called what it is: a vile, repulsive, terrorist organization.
Ms. Amal Alamuddin comes from a Druze background. The Druze started out as a medieval off-shoot of the Ismaili sect of Shi’ism.
Turbulence in flight, and in life, often leaves us nauseous. And yet beyond that turbulence, there is a calm.
There is serenity. Can we access it?
Are we clinging today to metaphors and allegories of our ancestors as they clung to their idols? What are some of the metaphors from scriptures that no longer serve us, no longer bring us closer to God, yet we insist on clinging to them?
By accurately labeling the terrorism associated with 9/11 as “Al-Qaeda terrorism”, we avoid the dangers of legitimizing the terrorist organizations or demonizing an entire religious or ethnic block of humanity.