Inspirational Jewels

Spiritual Tips and Guidance


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


Augment Ramadan Practices: Learn Qur’anic Arabic

The very holy and special time of Ramadan begins in less than two weeks. It’s the perfect time to learn to read the Qur’an.

This course for beginners starts TOMORROW, Tuesday, May 16th, and runs for 8 weeks.

Our brother Ahmed Manway, who was asked by Sidi to teach us to read and write Qur’an, sent this video to explain how he teaches students Qur’anic Arabic, and how his students have success.



Allah has placed many secret clues in this world that we can observe with our human senses to learn more about ourselves so that we can know Him more completely.

Ahmed is offering this very special opportunity to learn in a small group with personal instruction.
If you feel called to learn, it’s not too late, but you need to act quickly.

To register:
Qur’anic Arabic for Beginners:
Intermediate Arabic:

If you have questions about any of these courses, email Casey at CASEY at SUFIUNIVERSITY dot ORG.

Hope to see you there!

Much love and gratitude for you!!
Mastura Graugnard and Casey Twining on behalf of all your friends and family at USHS

Powerlessness: 3 Ways it Show Up, and How to Take Your Power Back


The topic of Powerlessness has been showing up in many ways lately. It is always present in some way, but it seems to be highlighted in flashing neon lately – a gift to help to learn about the subtle tricks of the shaytan that keep us from trusting in Allah.

Here are a few ways it shows up. If you hear yourself saying any of these statements, try shifting the conversation within yourself and between you and God.

1. “I can’t have [fill in the blank] because I don’t have any money.”

Money carries energy. In itself, it is inert and has no power over you. There is plenty of it in this world, and it is not difficult to get the money energy to flow to you. Furthermore, if Allah puts a desire in your heart for something, or gives you a gift to steward in this world, then He also gives you the means to fulfill that desire or care for that gift.

Whether you desire a vacation or to pay your rent, try shifting the conversation to “Beloved Allah, my heart has a desire for… If this desire is from You, I trust in You to provide me the means. Please open my eyes to see, and guide me to right action to receive Your provision. I trust in You. Thank You!”

Then really trust. Put it in Allah’s hands. And take action.

For example, if you need $!00, say the Fatiha (Opening prayer, if you know it) and ask for guidance. Make a list of all the ways you can bring in $100. Then take action, with confidence, certainty, and trust in Allah’s provision.

2. “I can’t control my eating. At certain times of day or in certain emotional states, the urge to eat overpowers me, and I binge.”

What is the urge that overpowers you? Is it bigger than you? This urge is an energy, and it is not bigger than Allah.

Call it out of your body, and face it directly. Say the following phrase directly into the energy: “Le illaha illa ‘llah.” There is no god, but the One God.

Watch as the energy of the urge shrinks in size and the strength within you increases.

Nothing has power over God, and only God has power over you. God wants you to know Him through knowing yourself. Know the power God puts in you, and let it be bigger than the urge for food.

3. “My life is overwhelming. There’s not enough time to do everything I need to do. I feel like I’m always behind.”

Sometimes life gets so busy, and it feels like the to-dos become a swarming cloud overhead, or maybe the cloud is engulfing you. Now your life has taken charge, and it is managing you instead of you managing your life.

Again, this overwhelm is an energy. It is not bigger than you, and certainly not bigger than Allah. Call on the strength of Allah, al-Aziz. Call the cloud into formation in front of you. Say “Le illaha illa ‘llah” into the cloud.

Let the strength of al-Aziz build in your core. Call on al-Muqaddam, the orchestrator. Take your power back from the cloud and become the manager of your affairs, with the grace and ease of the attributes that Allah has put in you to know Him.

Whether you struggle with money, food or time, notice what voices are playing in your storyline. Where have you surrendered your power?
The Sufi teachings say to be self-sufficient in the world and needy only for Allah.

Notice is you are passively waiting for someone or something to rescue you. Why have you given more power to something outside of yourself and Allah. Turn to Allah and His attributes that He has put in you to know Him.

Generally, we need to take action to meet what Allah has for us. Allah sends many gifts, and sometimes we have to get up and open the door to let them in.

What gifts are knocking at your door?

May you have a blessed and fulfilling weekend, in trust of Allah and positive expectancy of His decree for your life.

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

She asked, and she received!


Today’s message comes from Mary Halima Fleming, Muqaddam Murabbi Ruhi, a beautiful beloved, teacher and community leader from Fort Lauderdale.


After trying sixteen different careers, trying to find my purpose for myself and the truth of who I was and why I’m here on this earth, I wrote a letter. It said, “God, if you’re out there, I want to know You. I want to pick up the phone, and I want You on the other end. I want to know from You what the truth is. I don’t want any middle man.”

The priest didn’t know, my mother didn’t know, the teachers didn’t know. I wanted to know God right from God. So I asked.
Within a few weeks, I met Dr. Ibrahim Jaffe, I went to a workshop about Sufism, and two months later I was at the school [now USHS], and I knew I was home. I finally knew who I was, why I was here, and I knew without doubt that I could have a direct connection with the Divine, without a guru, without an intermediary.

As Sidi wrote in Path to Allah Most High:
“Know that the human spirit was created in the best of form, meaning with a predisposition to receive the Divine overflowing without intermediary, and that the human is unique in this rank as compared to other creations.”

If your soul is calling for the truth, this is a straight path that can help you to know the truth of who you are, to know that you can have a connection with the Divine that keeps growing and growing and growing; to be able to carry that light and help others to know the truth of who they are, why they are here, and that there is life beyond the everyday.

Now that I have something real to give, my passion is to help heal people, to be the catalyst to help awaken their souls and spirits, to find their purpose and express it in the world. My passion is to pay forward what I’ve been given.

Now, more than ever, I’m blessed to be a part of the awakening of the soul of humanity. That’s what is going to save the world. It’s now a spiritual revolution. it’s no longer a fighting-in-the-street revolution. It’s time for us all to wake up.

I’m thankful every day for this path and all that I learned at the University and all that I have received. It has shown me a way to heal and help other awaken that’s clean, straight, pure and safe.

Al-humduli’llah! Amen!

May you have a blessed weekend filled with enlightenment to know the truth of who you are!

With love and gratitude,
Mastura Graugnard on behalf of all your friends and family at USHS


Photo credits: Adobe Stock Photo © Marek #102440857