Mindrolling – Raghu Markus – Ep. 259 – Love and the Sufi Heart with Dr. Omid Safi


This week on the Mindrolling Podcast, Dr. Omid Safi joins Raghu for a conversation about the path of radical love found in the Sufi tradition.

Links from this episode: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan | Rahat Fateh Ali Khan | Al-Sulamī | The Poetry Of Hafez

Show Notes

The Path of Radical Love (Opening) – We are introduced to Omid’s work studying, translating and sharing the wisdom of Islamic mysticism. He shares with us the core of Sufi philosophy, looking at how this path of radical love relates to the Bhakti tradition. Raghu and Omid discuss the relevancy Sufi wisdom has to some of the biggest social issues we face today.

“At the heart of Sufism, it is about the heart; about people who live into their heart. It is a heartful existence where you seek to walk this path of love. It is that notion of love where you see love as something much more than just an emotion. You see love as something as much more bold and fierce on one hand and tender on the other hand.” – Omid Safi   

Subscribe to Omid’s new podcast series exploring the path of radical love in the Islamic traditions: Sufi Heart Podcast

Love and Other Dirty Words (11:40) – The word love – much like God, devotion or surrender – is quite a loaded term to use in the modern world. Love comes with so much baggage that using the word with the proper context and gravity can at times be problematic. Omid and Raghu talk about how these words have lost their full meaning and the possibility of restoring the original potency to these expressions.

Mingled Waters (21:30) – Omid looks at the aspect of the Sufi tradition that recognizes the oneness and unity in love and spirituality. He shares a poem from Rumi that reflects this aspect of oneness – sub ek – found in the Sufi tradition. Raghu and Omid discuss the quality of tenderness required to open our hearts fully

“As the centuries moved on and the Sufis really matured into the fullness of the tradition they changed their teaching; they started to say, in language that sounds a lot like Bob Marley and the reggae tradition, there is one love.  As we are trying to become whole as individuals, as we are trying to recognize the oneness of our human community, as we are trying to live a unified existence with other creatures, it is also important to have a notion of this mingled love – this one love.” – Omid Safi 

Tempering Rage (30:30) – Before we can fully open our hearts, we have to let go of our anger. Raghu and Omid talk about the double-edged sword of anger and look at the question of righteous anger. They explore the teachings of Al-Sulamī around seeing divinity and oneness with all people.

Here and Now (39:10) – Salvation, illumination and intimacy with God are not only found in a mythical future at the end of days as some depict. We look at the ecstatic poetry of Hafez who, like Rumi and other Sufi mystics, believed that we can have a heavenly existence and experience the Divine right here and now. Omid closes with a story that represents the open-minded, and at times humorous, aspect of Sufi philosophy.



Image via artistsayeed