Reflections podcast


Sami Yusuf

‘Reflections’ is a search for meaning and understanding through a series of dialogues between Sami Yusuf and some of the most remarkable minds today as they explore the ideas and values that are shaping our world. Leading creative thinkers bring their wisdom to topics ranging from culture, arts, spirituality, sciences, and much more, and discuss underlying trends and ideas in their full depth and subtlety.

14 Episodes

  • Reflections podcast

    Episode 13: Dr. SH Nasr


    It’s a true honor to have Seyyed Hossein Nasr as my guest on ‘Reflections’. Dr. Nasr is one of the most influential Muslim scholars in the world. He is a rare polymath, whose vast body of work covers the most important areas of contemporary thought from classical philosophy, sacred art, Islamic science, Sufism, and critique of modernity to interfaith relations and the environment. In this interview he discusses the significance of the current pandemic, the roots and implications of the ecological crisis, and the need for sacred and traditional music in our world. An eloquent lecturer and author of over 60 books and several hundred articles that have been translated into all major languages, Dr. Nasr is currently University Professor of Islamic Studies at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. The quest for knowledge that — to quote him — “liberates and delivers from the fetters and limitations of earthly existence” — continues to be the central concern of Dr. Nasr’s intellectual life.
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    Episode 12: Ibrahim Kalin


    It’s a pleasure to welcome Ibrahim Kalin to Reflections. Ibrahim Kalin currently serves as the presidential spokesperson and special adviser to the President of Turkey. He is a prolific writer, a renowned scholar of Islamic studies and comparative philosophy, and an accomplished musician. In this wide-ranging interview he shares his thought-provoking insights on metaphysics, music, and finding much-needed balance in our lives. Watch Ibrahim Kalin’s single ‘Çırpınıp İçinde Döndüğüm Deniz’ here
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    Episode 11: Aled Jones


    Joining me on Reflections is the legendary Welsh singer, Aled Jones. Aled became a household name across Britain and beyond as a boy in the mid-80s when he released his angelic song, ‘Walking in the Air’ from the movie ‘The Snowman’. He has gone on to have a brilliant career not only as a great vocalist — with over 40 albums to date and many highly successful world tours — but as a broadcaster known for his television and radio programmes including ‘Songs of Praise’ on the BBC and his shows on ITV and Classic FM to name just a few. In addition Aled’s talent for acting has landed him several roles in television, movies, and on the stage. With all that being said, I personally am delighted to have gotten to know Aled as a humble, thoughtful, and sincere human. Recently I had the pleasure to record a duet with him for his just released album ‘Blessings’ which also features Dame Judi Dench and Susan Boyle among others. Today we’re going to talk about the album, about his life in music, and so much more. Get Aled’s new album ‘Blessings’ here — Classic FM – UK Digital Radio Station Everyday Blessings: Inspirational Words of Comfort and Hope by Aled Jones  ‘Walking in the Air – Aled Jones Sings With His Younger Self’ BBC programme Songs of Praise
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    Episode 10: Rabbi David Rosen


    Born in the UK and based in Jerusalem, Rabbi Rosen was granted a papal Knighthood in 2005 for his contribution to Jewish-Catholic reconciliation and in 2010 made a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II for his work promoting interfaith understanding and cooperation. He was the former Chief Rabbi of Ireland, and is currently the International Director of Interreligious Affairs of AJC, the American Jewish Committee, as well as a leading figure in several prominent interreligious dialogue organizations. FOR MORE INFORMATION:
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    Episode 9: Dr Joseph Lumbard


    Dr Joseph E B Lumbard is an Associate Professor in the Arabic Studies Department of the American University of Sharjah and a former adviser on interfaith affairs to the Jordanian Royal Court. Among his recent publications is the unparalleled and comprehensive work, The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary, for which he was a general editor and author. We’re releasing this podcast during the holy month of Ramadan as our conversation focuses primarily on The Study Quran. It’s a nearly 2,000-page work that gives a comprehensive picture of how this sacred book has been read by Muslims for over 1,400 years. The Study Quran has been described as ‘monumental’, ‘magisterial’, and ‘a huge and significant scholarly undertaking’. We begin with Joseph Lumbard speaking about his experience working on this impressive project. To learn more about his publications visit:
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    Episode 8: Dr Umar Faruq Abd-Allah


    Dr Umar Faruq Abd-Allah is an American Muslim who is the Scholar in Residence at the Oasis Initiative based in Chicago, a non-profit organization that educates Muslims in the US about Islamic teachings. He is a respected author and a sought-after teacher and lecturer. More about Dr Umar: To learn more about his publications see:
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    Episode 7: Saleh Nass


    Saleh Nass is an award-winning film director, producer, and editor based in Bahrain and educated in the UK. In this interview, he shares his keen insights into the world of films and filmmaking, gives advice for aspiring filmmakers, and speaks about the process for making the music video for Sami Yusuf’s single, ‘Al Faqir’. Watch ‘Al Faqir’ here: Get the track here: Read Sami Yusuf's blog 'The Journey to Al Faqir' here:
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    Episode 6: World Food Programme


    This episode addresses a topic very close to my heart. As you may know, I’ve been a Goodwill Ambassador for the World Food Programme since 2014. As such, I’ve tried to raise awareness of the plight of the hundreds of millions of people suffering from hunger around the world. Last month I was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from the WFP signed by David Beasley (Executive Director of the U.N. World Food Programme) and given an extensive tour around the International Humanitarian City, a humanitarian hub created by the Government of Dubai to support global humanitarian efforts out of the UAE, and the WFP operations there. I was humbled by the tour and trip. We recorded this interview at the International Humanitarian City where I spoke with three key people about the phenomenal work they are doing there: Giuseppe Saba, the CEO of the International Humanitarian City, Abdallah Al-Wardat, Director of the UN Office of the World Food Programme in the UAE and Elise Bijon, Head of Private Sector Partnerships for the World Food Program in the Middle East Region. We talked about the critical problem of hunger – which, tragically, is increasing around the world. We discussed what the IHC and the WFP are doing about it, and how an individual can get involved to make a real difference in the lives of those in need. With a tap on your smartphone you can "share the meal" with a child in need. It costs only US $ 0.50 to feed one child for a day. Download the ShareTheMeal App now: To learn more about the World Food Program’s initiatives and how you can get involved visit To learn more about the International Humanitarian City visit To see the music video ‘Forgotten Promises’ that was mentioned during the conversation:
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    Episode 5: A. R. Rahman


    My guest on this episode is the remarkably talented, two-time Academy Award winning composer and musician A. R. Rahman. AR and I first met in London over 10 years ago and I recall being instantly drawn to his humility and gracious character. Those familiar with AR will testify that he is a man of few words. It’s not easy getting him to talk for 30 minutes straight. So you can imagine my surprise and delight when he said “yes” to appear on Reflections! I feel both privileged and grateful for the opportunity to share our conversation. We talk about what keeps him grounded; how he maintains his passion and drive for film music; the role of (or lack of) spirituality in the industry as well as a fourteen hour round-trip bus journey which was all for an amazing fifteen minute experience at a special place! I’m sure you will love this inspirational episode. And for those who are interested, Nagore Dargah, the place that AR and I discuss visiting together, is a place of pilgrimage for both Muslims and Hindus, and a wonderful example of the peaceful interweaving of the two religions. Click here to read more:
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    Episode 4: Felice Liao


    I’m a foodie. There, I've said it. Whilst searching for “the best Chinese food in Dubai” on our–mostly reliable–friend Google, I stumbled upon a name I hadn’t heard of before but that had raving reviews. Fifteen minutes later, I walked straight through the doors of TaiPei Dao. We ordered some amazing–and surprisingly healthy–food and just before we were about to leave the lovely owner came over to our table, and, well, that’s how it all began. Felice Liao is passionate about manifesting Daoist concepts of balance and harmony, especially in the domain of the foods we eat. Her TaiPei Dao Teahouse and Restaurant in Dubai reflects this passion in its menu and ambience. I met up with her at her restaurant and we had a very interesting and inspiring conversation. I’m sure you’re going to love this episode!

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