Inspirational Jewels

Spiritual Tips and Guidance


Going ’round again…

The Sufi poet, Jalal id-Din Rumi said,

“Don’t grieve.
Anything you lose comes round again in another form.”


The grief today is mine. This is my final week writing to you as host of the newsletter and blog. It has been an honor and pleasure serving the USHS community over the past two years as University Relations Coordinator.

Though no longer directly employed by USHS, this community will always be family, as it has been without fail for the past twenty years.

Beginning August 1st, Rahma Sandra Collinger will be taking over, with the title of Director of Marketing and Admissions.

Rahma is a current student of USHS, about to begin her fourth year. Rahma comes to us with an MBA and a background in marketing. God willing, her gifts, talents and love for the University will guide her to bring the messages of USHS to a broader range of people whose hearts are yearning for the deep love and truths and gifts that can be reached through this doorway.

Please join me in welcoming her and sending prayers for Allah to bless her work and service for Him.

Before I go, I want to share a lesson learned in the past two years:

As the poem above states, “Anything you lose comes round again in another form.” This was my second round of employment with this organization. The first was a 9-year term as Operations Director, from beginning of 2000 through 2008.

Though my tendency is to think, “out of sight, out of mind,” whether alternatively or simultaneously, “absence really does make the heart grow fonder.”

This Round 2 has been even more delightful than the first. With hearts more open and deepened, the love flows ever more powerfully, as does the commitment to live and serve aligned with the highest expression of Allah’s light we can access from human form.

The experience has been the same over the years with my biological family. Initially, following the spiritual path distanced me from my parents and siblings. This felt necessary for the first part of the healing journey, as I carried so many hurts and wounds, along with judgments and blame.

After traveling the path of healing the wounds and cleansing the heart, each time I returned to visit family, the love was deepened. Before long, every family member had transformed as well. We are now closer than ever before, relating authentically and deeply as I had never imagined possible. Al-humduli’llah! Praise be to The One!

On the other hand, as I followed the calling toward spirituality, I left behind an old boyfriend with whom I have not reconnected. At the time as I stepped foot on the path, he felt me moving away. His Texas love song to me was, “She’s going to heaven, but she’s putting me through hell.”

That one has not come round again, and I trust Allah’s wisdom.

When Spirit calls, we are often faced with difficult choices. As we say yes to the call, our attachments are released and trust deepens. Dependencies are turned away from the material world and toward Allah. The true gifts of love Allah gives for our hearts remain or return in a more purified and fulfilling form.

If your journey brings distance between you and your loved ones, may it all come round again with more clarity, openness, depth and love, if Allah wills. And Allah knows best.

May Allah bless us all and keep us safe and bowed in service to His Light.

As-salaamu alaykum – May God’s peace and blessings be upon you.

Mastura Graugnard on behalf of all your friends and family at USHS


Photo credits: Adobe Stock Photo © Romolo Tavani #108197785


The Only Way Out Is In

The following article is from a beloved community member from the UK, Dr. Majid Kahn.


The only way out is in.

The attempts to configure an identity grounded simultaneously in (only apparently) irreconcilable world views lies at the heart of the modern Muslim dilemma.

Religious dogma, so often confused with cultural norms, provides a model of living which is grounded in confusion at its inception and crystallizes as anxiety in its manifestation.

The incoherence of “me” is ironically disguised as a coherent sense of self, which provides comfort without providing substance and the illusion of permanence built, rather bizarrely, on completely impermanent foundations.

Such a construct presents a mystery to the consciousness which purports to contain it, principally because the said consciousness has difficulty in recognizing the existence of a mystery at all. It is only when this consciousness becomes a question for itself that the speaking animal takes its first tentative steps to accepting the absurdity of being alive, having limbs, senses, hair, teeth, breath, and mysteriously walking on a giant ball of rock, moving inexorably towards permanently inhabiting the very land on which its feet now tread.

Anathema to the modern secular mind-set is even the very suggestion that this collection of flesh, bones and blood, should have any predetermined meaning. Anathema to the Muslim mind-set is that it shouldn’t.

Meaning and its absence are arguably most authentically realized through that peculiarly human phenomenon: self-awareness.

And the bridge of this (apparent) gap between authentic self-awareness and authentic God consciousness is precisely what I had not expected to discover in the hills of Pope Valley on that warm October sunny day in 2016.

The existential space between that which “I possess” and that which “I want to possess” is the playground of imagination. But where there is a playground there must also be a play thing. Becoming the play-thing of my own imagination, I find myself emotionally pulled one way and pushed the other. Such confusion becomes the recipe for a suffering which I do not have, but which rather has me.

My attempts to relieve myself of this suffering end where they began, and I soon realize that I am rapidly running on the spot, going nowhere. I feel as though I am trying to fill a pail of water, only to find that the faster I fill it the more rapidly it empties. So absorbed am I in trying to correct the problem by filling faster that I fail to spot the hole in the bottom. For if I were to notice this hole, even glimpse it, it would change everything.

Propelled by my own suffering, I begin on a journey whose destination I cannot know. The Buddha’s apophatic path to enlightenment seems a reasonable starting point, and so I begin meditating. I dim the lights, pay attention to my posture, rest my hands in my lap, or occasionally on my knees; I am told to pay attention to my breath, my feelings, my thoughts and any bodily sensations I may experience. ..

And so I begin to feel my feelings. I explore their location, weight, texture, even colour. I might even ask them a question: “What do you want from me?”

The conceptual leap from “I am feeling sad” to “I am feeling my sadness,” I soon discover, is neither conceptual nor particularly leap-like; more an intuitive shift. Thence my entry into the world that is beyond words.

It is precisely in the generation of this space that I begin to relax, and to experience a relative stillness that gives me respite from anxiety, dread, fear and despair. I feel as though I can breathe. I feel as though I may even have some control. For to understand sadness for what it is: a transient state of mind, is to liberate it.

To understand my feelings is to understand myself. Trying to understand myself, I seek answers in books, courses, retreats, other people, family.

My feelings of isolation and loneliness are temporarily assuaged when I think I have “found the one,” though no sooner do I begin to feel at ease, then my old anxieties resurface, or are indeed replaced by new ones.

I cry as I realize that, yet again, my journey is at a new beginning, and yet again, I am back where I started, asking the same questions.

And I experience the thoughts which are the mantra of every seeker:
“Why me?”
“When will this end?”

And so in my hopes of finding the final answer, I join yet another group, and seek yet another teacher.

But the troubled heart does not listen very often to its cognitive counterpart, as I pack my things and start again, finding myself at the beginning of yet another long, hard road….

The path through these hills is winding, and the trees are beautiful. The air is clear, and the lakes give a serene comfort that only nature in its pure form can provide.

I sit back and enjoy the drive in silence, relishing the bizarre phenomenon of a brilliant warm sunny October day (something which presumably could only happen in California).

Arriving at the centre, I get changed and enjoy a rather delicious meal with other guests. I am too tired to make much meaningful conversation, and so enjoy my food in relative quiet.

I later get changed and then we all sit around and introduce ourselves to one another.

I meet a middle aged Chinese chap who used to attend 100 day silent Buddhist retreats before coming to Sufism, and I hear of another lady who was a lecturer in Buddhist studies before finding Sufism.

And then I learn of the teacher:

“If you want to go beyond all that you have been,
then I am your brother to take your hand and
to guide you from the darkness to the light,
to the garden of truth.”

` Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal al-Rifa’i

I think they call this “home.”

It is said that a butterfly flapping its wings can be the cause of a hurricane on the other side of the world. And if the truth of this infinite nexus of connections holds good, then my feelings of sweet certainty on this warm sunny day cannot but be directly dependent upon the events of that terrifying night on Tuesday the 13th of May 1997.

But that, as they say, is another story…….


Majid Kahn is a doctor (family practitioner) living in Birmingham, UK. Majid teaches mindfulness to medical students, and he is an intern in mindful medical practice at the Rochester school of medicine in New York. Majid was born Muslim, but on his spiritual walking has gone through Buddhism and Atheism, before finally reaching Sufism and becoming a student of our guide, Sidi Shaykh Muhammad al-Jamal ar-Rifa’i.

We thank you, Dr. Kahn, for sharing your heart with us.


Photo Credits: Adobe Stock Photo © Dmytro Tolokonov #67761278


The Way to Love

The following poem was submitted by Susan Fatima Abbassi, a writing specialist and current USHS student:


The Way to Love


I am on my way to love,
Alertly, with the wholesome consciousness
And friending pure conviction
In this journey, I proceed
Only with a potent will.
You who have sealed your doubts,
And have defeated your fears,
Hurry to come with me.

To see love,
I have left myself behind
And have buried my thoughts alive.
Steadily but assuredly
I have abandoned my desiring.
You who are willing to die,
And eliminate your ego,
Hurry to come with me.

On my way to love,
I see roses and bluebells singing the song of harmony.
I can hear,
Plainly, with the soul of my being
The word of wisdom being preached by the flowers.
You who are tired of the mundane
And long to see the mystery,
Hurry to come with me.

In His sacred realm of light,
Where reality is palpable
And cosmos is at hand
The beloved gives away His love
Amiably, with assurance of serenity.
You who have an empty cup,
And are thirsty for truth,
Hurry to come with me.

Susan Fatima Abbassi is a writing specialist who holds a master degree in English literature and a double Bachelor Degrees in Religious Study and English from California State University, Bakersfield. Susan is the faculty adviser for Muslim Student Association (MSA). Her true passion for spiritual healing and the Divine brought her to the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism, where she seeks to be an instrument of divine love and healing for herself and others.


Photo credits: Adobe Stock Photo © Pellinni #75664169


Humility or Unworthiness?


I was speaking with a community member yesterday and the subject of humility came up. In particular, we were exploring that slippery slope where an attempt to be in humility can slide into the big “I’m not worthy” voice.

So, I called one of our founding faculty members, Dr. John Wadude Laird, MD, and put him on the spot for an impromptu teaching. As usual, his words were full of beauty and clarity.

Click the video to listen in…



Praying for you to have a weekend of deep humility and reverence for The One.

Mastura Graugnard on behalf of Dr. Wadude and all your friends and family at USHS


P.S. Reminder: This coming Wednesday, July 5th, you are invited to join Dr. Robert Ibrahim Jaffe, MD, for a FREE Teleclass on “Advanced Spiritual and Medical Healing.” Click here for more information.


Kindness, Compassion and Grace

May these final days of Ramadan find you swimming in the infinite Ocean of Allah’s Mercy, Kindness, Compassion and Grace.

“Ar Rahman [The Compassionate] is like the ocean of infinite kindness and beauty. Ar-Rahman is the tide, overflowing in its mercy, all-embracing in its nature. It is the gate through which all the Divine Names flow.”

– from Divine Names: The 99 Healing Names of the One Love
by Rosina-Fawzia al Rawi

We all need to be reminded of our connection with Allah’s Compassion from time to time. Compassion is the Divine container in which we live, the cosmic soup in which we swim.

The earth might not always feel like a compassionate place, but as a whole, the earth and all of its inhabitants exist within a Divine Ocean which is too big for us to see. We are completely contained and embraced in its love.

Just as a baby in the mother’s womb cannot see his mother with his eyes, we cannot see that which holds and contains us. Once we are born, we can see her and feel her in a different way.

Similarly, we cannot gain visual perspective of the air that surrounds us when we are standing in the space where we have the ability to breathe. However, pictures from satellites that orbit the earth can give us perspective on the atmosphere that surrounds our planet.

The same is true of the journey of the spiritual seeker. We exist within an ocean that we cannot see with our eyes, but compassion can be known through the eye of the heart.

Sidi Shaykh Muhammad al-Jamal reminded us many times –

“You think you are a small star,
when in fact you contain the entire universe.”

When we travel through the heart into the ocean of love and compassion contained inside, we can experience the Divine Ocean. We recognize that it’s much easier to breathe from this ocean, that we are held and supported and loved.

In her book, Divine Names, Fawzia gives us a way to become aware of our connection with Compassion, ar-Rahman:

“Repeating this name induces the feeling that one is enfolded in the gentle clouds of mercy, and starts to dissipate the isolation, the feeling of separation that so often accompanies us human beings.”

“Kindness in one’s heart means to carry a gentleness in one’s heart which opens the eye of the heart and induces a deep feeling of connectedness to all the beings of this world which we then truly understand.”

Compassion returns us from a world of separation to a state of oneness and love. Ar-Rahman is the attribute of Allah through which all the other qualities flow into existence. It is a key to healing, to returning to wholeness, to experiencing the qualities of Allah.

May you carry kindness in your heart, and have a beautiful weekend of kindness, compassion, mercy and grace.

Mastura Graugnard on behalf of all your friends and family at USHS

P.S. Want to learn more about healing through the Divine Names of Allah? You are invited to join Dr. Robert Ibrahim Jaffe, MD, for a FREE Teleclass on Advanced Spiritual and Medical Healing. Click here for more information.

Photo credit: © zhengzaishanchu #159581723


Spirituality in Mainstream Healthcare

A few years ago, I was talking with a friend who had moved to the US from England. In England, she had worked as an aromatherapist, prescribing and administering essential oil treatments to patients in the hospital. She worked alongside medical doctors as a respected and integral part of the patient care team.

In the US, she could not find work anywhere in the way she had practiced abroad. Here, aromatherapy is something practiced on the side, almost in secret from the medical team.

At the time, I remember being shocked – not that she couldn’t find work here, but that her work was respected in hospitals anywhere!


The same is true for Spirituality. Most hospitals have a chaplain who visits terminally-ill patients, helping them prepare to cross over, but otherwise, spirituality is something that happens separate from any concerns about illness. Chaplains and spiritual practitioners are not commonly a part of the patient’s healing team.

However, that could be changing.

For example, an article published in the Annals of Oncology states:

“Spirituality is an essential element of person-centered care and a critical factor in the way patients with cancer cope with their illness from diagnosis through treatment, survival, recurrence and dying… a treatment plan needs to include the spiritual as well as the physical and psychosocial issues of patients. Chaplains and other spiritual care professionals need to be recognized as the experts in spiritual care and should be integral members of the healthcare team…”1

The same article lists examples of spiritual care treatment plans that include reading from Sacred Text, embodied spiritual practice, and involvement in spiritual community.2

Spirituality is becoming more recognized as integral to healing, more than just a way of coping with disease and preparing for end of life. This is a big win for patients and practitioners alike.

Most of us have been aware of the power of spiritual healing practices in treatment of disease, and now there is an opening being created in the mainstream that could provide more support and accessibility for patients who want this type of care as a part of their healing plan.

This is an exciting time to be a part of this field. The University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism is on the forefront of bringing spiritual healing work to patients with diagnoses that are considered incurable. USHS has been training healers as a University for 11 years, and all of the faculty have been doing and teaching this work for much longer than that.

Dr. Robert Ibrahim Jaffe, MD, has been training healers to use the Sufi healing techniques and healing with the 99 Beautiful Name of God in working with physical disease. Now his program, which works specifically with disease, is being offered as a Master’s track in USHS.

Dr. Jaffe’s groundbreaking training is now being offered in the Masters of Divinity in Spiritual Healing for Physical and Emotional Well-Being. The program is equivalent to the Advanced Practitioner Level of Dr. Jaffe’s Medical Spiritual Healing program.

Ibrahim’s passion is to see our graduates working in the medical field as a part of patient care teams, similar to those described in the article mentioned above.

If you are interested in joining us
at the forefront of a monumental breakthrough in healing,
we invite you to learn more about
the Advanced Spiritual Healing Masters program.

CLICK HERE to speak with an Enrollment Specialist.

May Allah open the doors for all who are suffering to receive the full complement of healing, and for those whom He guides to deliver the holy medicine.

Mastura Graugnard on behalf of all your friends and family at USHS

P.S. More information on the Advanced Spiritual Healing of Disease program with Dr. Ibrahim Jaffe, MD, is coming soon. Meanwhile, click here to speak with an Enrollment Specialist or click here to apply online.


1. Reference: Annals of Oncology (2012) 23 (suppl_3): 49-55. Published 01 April 2012.
2. Reference: Annals of Oncology (2012) 23 (suppl_3): 49-55. Published 01 April 2012.


Clearing up Confusion (Ya Muhaymin)

May Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you in this holy month of Ramadan. We are in the second 10 days, which are about Forgiveness, al-humduli’llah, thanks and praise be to The One.

Last week’s newsletter contained a couple of “Heads Ups,” and one of them caused a bit of confusion.

It seems my thoughts and words were unclear, so first I want to clarify the point of confusion. Then, since everything in life has the potential to teach us and draw us nearer to God, why not turn it into a teaching moment that can be shared?



Last week we announced the new Master’s Program – Advanced Spiritual Healing for Disease – which will be taught at USHS by Dr. Robert Ibrahim Jaffe, MD.

We’re very excited about what this program is bringing to our students and the potential that is being created for the field of Spiritual Healing. And apparently so are a number of you. The response was fabulous – and we are thrilled to receive your calls and emails.

The part that created confusion is the eligibility requirements.

There are 2 paths of eligibility for this program:

  1. This class is being offered in the fourth year of the Masters of Divinity program, so if you are a current student in your third year, or if you are a graduate, or if you have completed 3 years of school at USHS, you are eligible to apply. Upon completion, you will receive a Masters of Divinity in Spiritual Healing and Counseling for Physical and Emotional Well-Being and a Spiritual Healer Certification from Dr. Jaffe.

  3. Students of Dr. Jaffe’s programs are also eligible to apply. Upon completion, if you have not completed the additional course materials for the USHS Masters program, you will receive a Spiritual Healer Certification from Dr. Jaffe.

If you would like to discuss your eligibility, please CLICK HERE to connect with one of our Enrollment Specialists.

To apply, CLICK HERE to access the online application.



Everything in life has the potential to teach us and draw us nearer to God, and it’s fun to seek those moments when we recognize a mistake. So, in attempting to clarify the confusion, I asked my friend and fellow traveler, Amina Deb Lewis, for a quality to help with clarity.

She replied with “Ya Muhaymin – the Watchful, the Protector, the Guarantor, the One Who determines without limitations.” Perfect!

In the book, Divine Names: The 99 Healing Names of the One Love, Rosina-Fawzia al-Rawi writes the following about al-Muhaymin:

“Al-Muhaymin determines what is true and what is false, and it gives us the capacity to pay careful attention to our deeds, words, and thoughts. Nothing conquers the ego as powerfully as loving mindfulness. Al-Muhaymin should not restrict our joy of life; rather it should enhance it as our awareness of right and wrong deepens.

Al-Muhaymin is connected with the Divine Names Ash-Shahid and Ar-Raqib. They help us watch our thoughts, words, feelings, and deeds.”

Prescriptions involving al-Muhaymin include:

“Human beings who activate this quality in themselves and fill their beings with it know how to observe and see themselves clearly, without any sentimentality, without ever losing sight of the balance of inner and outer expression. They see the Existence and divine laws everywhere. They have the strength to follow the straight path and to lead others on the path, while protecting them and themselves from weakening deeds.”

“When you repeat this name, guide your breathing toward all those inner spaces where you feel unsure of yourself and defenseless. May the divine breath in you fill you completely and bring you relief. You may also accompany this Divine Name outwardly and strengthen others by enfolding them in it.”

Ya Allah, Ya Muhaymin. I’m always grateful for the opportunity to learn, heal and draw near to Allah through His Beautiful Names.

May this quality bring you the clarity, strength and protection you need, and Allah knows best.

Mastura Graugnard on behalf of all your friends and family at USHS

P.S. More information on the Advanced Spiritual Healing for Disease program with Dr. Ibrahim Jaffe, MD, is coming soon. Meanwhile, click here to speak with an Enrollment Specialist or click here to apply online.


Heads Ups (that means more than one Heads Up)

I want to give you a heads up about a few projects and exciting changes we’ve got in the works here at USHS.


As you may know, our beloved Nura Laird went through a journey with cancer a few years ago. With her diagnosis, she, Wadude and their two daughters, Sahra and Kamela, bonded together to move through this challenge as a cohesive unit in service and surrender to Allah, bringing healing and spiritual growth to the whole family.

Their process was so moving, the medical professionals they worked with asked Nura and Wadude to teach at their hospital. This sparked a passion in them that led to the formation of the Shafiyy Institute for Divinely Guided and Scientifically Sound Healthcare. The Shafiyy Institute offers cancer patients Sufi healing work, complementary and alternative treatments, and comprehensive education programs.

This summer, USHS is partnering with Shafiyy Institute to produce an educational interview series called, “Getting to the Heart of Cancer.” It addresses the spiritual underpinnings of cancer – what the disease can lead us to uncover within ourselves and what it can bring on the spiritual realms.

This interview series also offers many complementary alternative approaches to healing, including nutrition, sound healing, movement and much more. The program addresses grief and including the whole family in the healing process.

Dr. Wadude Laird, MD, is curating and hosting the interviews with healthcare professionals, cancer patients and their families. We’re very excited to bring you this series.

It’s still in production. We intend to launch the series beginning July 18th. Stay tuned for updates about this event.

This is a completely free series that we are making widely available with the help of a grant from the Lloyd Symington Foundation – a small family nonprofit that serves the cancer community by supporting visionary individuals and spiritually grounded programs which offer healing at every level.

We are honored to receive this backing and blessed to have the support and encouragement to get this information to the people who need it.

We hope you can join us for this series, and of course share this information with friends. Stay tuned…


Our Masters of Divinity in Spiritual Healing and Counseling program will now be led by Dr. Ibrahim Jaffe, MD, and it’s now called “Advanced Spiritual Healing of Disease.”

Ibrahim is a Master Healer and Murshid in the Shadhiliyya Sufi tariqa in North America. He is founder of the Jaffe Institute, which later became this University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism.

Ibrahim has been on the forefront of spiritual healing as he brings together his medical training, intuition and insight with complementary and alternative training and Sufi Spiritual Healing.

Ibrahim has helped thousands of people heal from a multiplicity of diseases through this method of healing, and he has trained hundreds of students to heal in this way.

We are excited to have Ibrahim bring his gifts to this program and our USHS students.

If you are a current student, you have the option to join Ibrahim if you choose the Advanced Spiritual Healing for Disease track for your fourth year of training.

If you are a graduate of the school and you would like to participate in this program, you are welcome to apply to join Ibrahim and friends for the training program and earn an additional master’s degree.

If you have completed at least two years of training with USHS or have a background in healing in your own right, you are welcome to apply as well. You may be eligible to join the group and receive either a Masters of Divinity in Advanced Spiritual Healing for Disease or a Master Healer Certification.

Classes begin September 10th.

Want to find out more? Click here to speak with an Enrollment Specialist.

Stay tuned for more information. Meanwhile, may you have a blessed weekend and receive all the beauty and richness of this special time.

Mastura Graugnard on behalf of all your friends and family at USHS

A Day in the Life… during Ramadan

The holy month of Ramadan is upon us. Ramadan is a time of deep prayer and fasting. It brings many special gifts, and recommendations for many extra practices. If your life and schedule are already full, it can feel daunting to try to fit all the practices into your day.

Alima Moosa, a community leader from our Austin community, offers a glance at how she schedules her day during this month.

Note: If you do not have time to fit in all of these practices, look at what might fit where for you, and start there. Especially if you are new to the path, start simple and work in more as you feel ready.

Here’s a general overview to help you decide where to focus (from Alima):

The 1st 10 days are days of Mercy. During this time, I focus on reciting and sitting with Qualities associated with Allah’s Mercy, making special du’a for His Mercy.

The 2nd 10 days are about Forgiveness. This is a time for reciting and sitting with Qualities associated with His Forgiveness, asking for & anticipating His Forgiveness.

The 3rd 10 days are about Freedom. This is a time for reciting and sitting with Qualities as you feel guided to; seeking refuge in Allah (especially from the fire).

It’s my intention to rise around 4:35am for Tahajudd – the night prayer prior — sometimes i naturally wake about 4am. Currently, Fajr prayer, the dawn prayer, is just after 5am.

A typical /day insha’Allah (God willing):
4:35am – Tahajudd, the night prayer prior.
4:45am – We make a light breakfast, like a protein smoothie or egg with avocado, and we hydrate well.
5:05am – We pray Fajr and then do al-wird practice.

…I Continue with reciting YaSiin, Wazifa and the Qualities. Specifically during this time I’m committed to read (transliteration) a few pages per day from the Qur’an holding a sincere desire to draw close, not worried about pronunciation so much, going as far as i can.

Mohamed Moosa recites at 7:30am mornings on the Sufi Communities conference line, alhamdulilah (thank Allah), so I hear the resonance and read along via transliteration or sometimes in English.

In the afternoon, I read, write and contemplate, aiming for 2 pages from Sidi’s books. A few days a week, I’ll do a healing exchange.

Regular work gets done too: I’m developing a website and working on a syllabus (in guidance & research still). I sit w/guidance and books outlining what to teach in my recurring Thursday class. I attend meetings, make travel arrangements and juggle many moving parts coordinating details for the upcoming Sufi school in October… And do regular salat prayers (daily prayers) throughout the day, too, of course.

In the beginning of the month, my energy usually drops about 5:30pm, and I’ll nap (kitties’ favorites time to nap too). I don’t do regular exercise this month, but will go for a walk instead.
6:30pm – I’m checking emails then trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Once I get something going, I’ll break for 20 minutes to do al-wird recitation. We’ll break fast with dates, have a meal and pray Maghreb (sunset prayer). After Maghreb is a good time to draw closer to the Qualities — I’d like to do a special practice with them this month.

Inshallah, some nights after Isha (night prayer) may include tarawih (extra) prayers and time with beloveds, attending or hosting iftars (community meals for breaking fast together). Mostly, I look forward to being quiet and alone with my Lord, especially in the last 10 days. I cherish that time.

I pray that Allah writes for me good deeds during this time especially and gives me a heart full of Light, a soft smile and kind words. — and Allah knows best.

Ramadan Mubarak

Thank you Alima for sharing your life with us. We hope you can pick from this schedule what works for you to enrich your heart and spirit during this special time.

May you have a blessed weekend and ease into the beauty and richness of this special time.

Mastura Graugnard on behalf of all your friends and family at USHS


How Can You Know the Divine Light Within You?

Intellectually, most of us have some notion that the Essence of Spirit is contained within us. God created the human being in His image, as a reflection of His Light.

This is one of the core concepts in Sufism that lies at the foundation of why we were created and why we are here in this life on this earth.

Nura Laird, USHS Faculty and chair of Department of Peacemaking, recorded this short teaching for us a while back, which explains perspectives of this teaching according to the Sufi principles.

I thought you might enjoy this today.



May you have a blessed weekend, seeing and knowing the Light of God in yourself and in all that you see.

Mastura Graugnard on behalf of all your friends and family at USHS