The Statement

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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What makes a holy man?

By Jacob Axelrad, Assistant Arts Editor
Published September 18, 2012

Safi has called himself a “circuit,” someone who sparks connections between people. In many ways, he exemplifies Karen Armstrong’s advice: The authority he carries doesn’t really derive from a greater knowledge of his religion or of God. It stems from an openness to listen, to humble himself before whomever he sits with.

Do you consider yourself spiritual?


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Maybe my discussion with Jono wasn’t too different from the discussions Safi has with Muslim students in his office. After all, while neither Jono nor I were “believers,” we had, whether we knew it or not, opened ourselves to the discussion of belief. And the discussion, I think, may suffice.