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Finding Radical Love In Ancient Islamic Poetry

Courtesy of Omid Safi

As a prominent Islamic scholar, Omid Safi has written often in defense of the breadth and nuance of Islam. But for his latest book, Safi hones in on the idea of love, and how mystic Islamic poets interpreted the theme.

His new book is “Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition” (Yale University Press/2018) and in it he translates the work of Muslim poets from Persian and Arabic to English. Safi drives home the idea that these medieval Islamic poets thought brotherly love, community love, or even erotic love is all part of love for God.

Safi is the Director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center and a leading Muslim intellectual. He speaks with host Frank Stasio about why this message of radical love is critical today and how social justice can emanate from a place of love rather than anger.

Safi leads spiritual tours to Turkey and Morocco which focus on the spiritual side of Islam, highlighting the concept of radical love. The program is open to everyone. The next tours are to Turkey on September 30, 2018 to October 11, 2018 and to Morocco in April 2019.

Laura Pellicer is a digital reporter with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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