iOS app Android app

Omid Safi

Entries by Omid Safi

HuffPost Jummah: The Prophet's Ascension: To See the Face of God and Return to Humanity

(136) Comments | Posted June 7, 2013 | 12:56 PM

One of my friends undertook a lengthy and difficult journey this week, from Tennessee to Cincinnati, there to Frankfurt, to Istanbul, to Jordan, then a 14-hour wait at a checkpoint, before arriving in Jerusalem. In Jerusalem he headed straight for the Aqsa mosque at 3 a.m.

Why would a person...

Read Post

HuffPost Jummah: The Light and the Wound: America and the Global Community

(44) Comments | Posted April 26, 2013 | 10:29 AM

There are many questions that one asks -- and should seek answers for -- regarding the political ramifications of the Boston Marathon Explosions, ranging from public safety to civil rights. There is a time and place to ask the political questions. For today, however, I want to take...

Read Post

HuffJummah: A Prophetic Response to the Anti-'Muhammad' Film

(341) Comments | Posted September 21, 2012 | 10:07 AM

What would Muhammad Do?

How would the Prophet have his community respond to the defamation of his character?

With the wave of demonstrations in many countries, these questions have a political relevance, and there is a time and place to talk about those tensions. But for today, for this Friday,...

Read Post

A Muslim and a Sikh Talk about Sikhism in the Aftermath of the Wisconsin Tragedy

(6) Comments | Posted August 7, 2012 | 12:23 PM

In the aftermath of the tragic shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, Omid Safi, Professor of Religious Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and one of America's Muslim public intellectuals interviewed Simran Jeet Singh, a doctoral candiate in the Department of Religion at Columbia University whose...

Read Post

HuffJummah: Becoming Who We Already Are

(69) Comments | Posted July 13, 2012 | 11:52 AM

Last week we got to take a family vacation, having a sweet reunion with my parents, siblings and our children. We choose a place in the mountains of North Carolina for the reunion. Like much of the nation, the day times were engulfed in an infernal 100-plus degree temperature, but...

Read Post

What Would Dr. King Say About Amendment One?

(3) Comments | Posted May 8, 2012 | 11:05 AM

Today, citizens in the state of North Carolina are going to the polls to vote on Amendment One.

In some ways, the controversial Amendment is superfluous, as same-sex marriage is already illegal in this state. What this amendment would do, however, would be to write the ban into the...

Read Post

The Meaning of Life (and Death)

(105) Comments | Posted March 30, 2012 | 11:08 AM

Socrates was right: "The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being."

I like to ponder the big questions worth asking. The meaning of life, and all that. Robert Fulghum (the "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten" guy), once said that he asks...

Read Post

HuffJummah: Jesus, the Dead Dog and Recognizing the Presence of God Everywhere

(244) Comments | Posted February 10, 2012 | 8:31 AM

There are many tales about the life of Christ that circulated orally in the ancient Near East and never made it to the canonical Gospels. Some of the loveliest of these tales remained oral for centuries, and eventually came to be told and retold by both Christians and Muslims.

Read Post

HuffPost Jummah: The Islamic Path To God Flows Through Humanity

(219) Comments | Posted January 20, 2012 | 6:00 AM

One of the richest, and simultaneously most difficult, teachings of the Islamic tradition is that the path to the Divine presence goes not through an institution, or a creed, or a location, but through humanity.

This close connection between God and humanity goes back to the very foundation of...

Read Post

What Would Martin Say Now?

(9) Comments | Posted January 14, 2012 | 7:51 AM

Prophets are hard.

Prophets don't come to us to make us feel better about ourselves, to tell us to affirm our inner goodness, or to grant us wishes like a Santa-Clause.

No, prophets come to hold up a mirror to our society and our hearts, and let us...

Read Post

Pilgrimage to Rumi: May It Be Love

(7) Comments | Posted December 22, 2011 | 11:31 AM

A few days ago I stood with a few thousand people, huddled inside Rumi's shrine, celebrating the 738th anniversary of his passing on to the Beyond. Millions of people around the world have been touched and transformed by his teachings and sublime poetry, whether in the original Persian, Turkish translations...

Read Post

Is Islamic Mysticism Really Islam?

(399) Comments | Posted March 30, 2011 | 12:22 AM

There is a lovely story from the life of the Prophet Muhammad, remembering that a mysterious visitor came upon him and his companions. The visitor, later revealed to be the archangel Gabriel, proceeded to sit intimately next to Muhammad and quiz the Prophet. He asked Muhammad about three increasingly higher...

Read Post

The Hijra: Movement of God's People

(271) Comments | Posted December 6, 2010 | 6:02 PM

The Islamic calendar does not begin with the year of Muhammad's birth (as the Christian calendar begins with the birth of Christ), nor does it begin with the commencement of revelation to Muhammad. Rather, it begins with this purposeful move of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to what became known...

Read Post

Eid Mubarak: Blessed Holiday, Service to Humanity

(45) Comments | Posted September 9, 2010 | 7:10 PM

Ramadan is the holiest month of the year for Muslims, a lovely combination of spiritual introspection, family gatherings, late night prayers, and social justice identification with those for whom going hungry is not a voluntary choice, but a daily reality. And Eid, the holiday marking the...

Read Post

Park51 Controversy Requires Less Heat, More Light

(34) Comments | Posted August 27, 2010 | 12:18 PM

There is much heat, and not a lot of light, in the discussion about the Park51 community center.

No, it is not the "Ground Zero Mosque." In the crowded landscape of Manhattan, two blocks away from Ground Zero is a significant distance. In the same distance from Ground...

Read Post

Obama's (Almost) Perfect Speech

(1) Comments | Posted June 6, 2009 | 12:56 PM

2008-07-28-bnet_logo_white.gifHistoric. Brilliant. Nearly Perfect.

The tone of President Obama's speech in Cairo was most reminiscent of his masterful speech on race in America: Acknowledging open wounds on all sides, while laying out a hopeful vision for a shard...

Read Post

The Urgency of Now -- Obama Must Act on Gaza

(13) Comments | Posted January 8, 2009 | 2:19 PM

The death toll from Gaza keeps rising like a morbid nightmare, from 150 to 300, to at last count 702 victims. 702 Palestinians killed by the Israeli military through massive bombings that have inflicted unimaginable violence upon...

Read Post

Obama and the Muslim World

(10) Comments | Posted December 8, 2008 | 10:46 AM

Dear President Obama,

There has been so much discussion in this country about what this election, your election, our election, signifies for America. May it be that it signals the healing of our racial wounds. Yet this...

Read Post

Terrorizing the American Politic

(4) Comments | Posted October 7, 2008 | 5:21 PM


There have been many low points in this protracted and seemingly never-ending Presidential season. Race and gender wedge-games dominated much of...

Read Post

Obama and the Kevin Bacon Game of Persecuting Muslims

(9) Comments | Posted August 18, 2008 | 11:42 AM


The Obama Campaign, at it's best, has not been about Obama. It's been about a mass movement, a coming together of longtime activists and newcomers, who have dared to restore hope to politics, to dream that there is...

Read Post