What does love have to say at a time of war?

Video with

You and I
have to live
As if you and I
have never heard
of a you
an I.

— Rumi

A video with SAND speaker, Omid Safi, from the Festival of Faiths 2023.

Connect with Omid Safi at our upcoming SAND Community Gathering:

Love-with-Justice: A Muslim Perspective on Palestine/Israel
February 10, 2024 • 11:00 am – 12:30 pm PST

From Omid Safi:

In November 2023, I was invited by the beautiful people of the Festival of Faiths in Louisville, KY to take part in a keynote on “Why is Love Sacred?”

We were all asked to speak on “Love in a sacred context is more than a concept or a feeling. It is a powerful force that encompasses our relationship with the Divine, with others and with our world.”

Though I am quite accustomed to speaking on mystical love, I began by talking about how challenging it is to speak on love and the sacredness of love at a time that bombs are falling on innocent people in Palestine, at a time where over 11,000 Palestinians and 1,200 Israelis have been killed. In Palestine, that includes over 6,000 children killed, a reality that would make rocks burst open in grief. It is a time of shattering grief, fear, rage, and despair.

What do we have to say? What does love have to say? How can love be said to be sacred at a time of such utter violence, disregard for the sanctity of human life, and divisiveness?

I did not, and do not, pretend to have the answers, but did want to share some thoughts on that subject here. It begins and ends by insisting that if we love God, we love humanity, we love creation, that we recognize that yes every single soul is precious and luminous, and that we begin with those who are poor, orphans, needy, widows, refugees, as all of our great traditions remind us.

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