Inspirational Jewels

Spiritual Tips and Guidance


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


Amany Shares Secrets About the Number 7


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

-Sidi Shaykh Muhammad al-Jamal

Do you ever notice that when you think you’ve grasped a spiritual concept, there appears another door that leads to a whole dimension you hadn’t been aware of? I do. The universe is bigger than I thought!

Such is the case yet again.

I was speaking with Amany Shalaby about her upcoming webinar series, Expanding Our Perceptions, and she began sharing with me some of the secrets around the Number 7. So, of course we popped onto a Zoom call so we could record and share it with you.

In this video, Amany talks about how the Number 7 shows up to support us in awakening our consciousness in many ways. It shows up in the creation of the Human Being, the Earth, the universe, in sound, in the alphabet, in language, in color and light, and even in prayer times and all stages of our lives!

The Number 7 is reflected for us in every way perceivable through all of our senses and at every level from the microcosm to the macrocosm.

Stay to the end of the video if you can. Amany guides us through an exercise (of 7 repetitions) to awaken to deeper and more expanded levels of consciousness!!

This is a taster from her upcoming webinar series, Expanding Our Perceptions. And now I understand more about why Sidi wants us to learn the Arabic language. The Secrets are everywhere!

I’m finding that when you think you know, that’s the time to ask, “What else is there? What’s next?” An infinite universe of knowledge is waiting to be explored, and we human beings were created by Allah for gnosis.

There are secrets in the numbers and in the letters and words and sounds. If you want to know more, to follow the path of gnosis for which you were created, please check out our Spring Webinars.

CLICK HERE to learn more and to register.

Courses begin the week of May 15th. The Early Bird pricing is in effect through Friday, May 5th. Payment plans are available. Class sizes are limited.

You have many reasons to take action now and reserve your space.

Thank you!
Mastura Graugnard and Casey Twining on behalf of all your friends and family at USHS

Are You the Microcosm or the Macrocosm?

Sidi teaches in his book Path to Allah, Most High, that we human beings are all a part of one body, each a cell in the larger body of the universe.

“If you look closely, you will find that the human being is called the big man, or the big world, or the microcosm, and that the cosmos is a big human being.”

Path to Allah, Most High, Sidi Shaykh Muhammad al-Jamal ar-Rifa’i ash-Shadhuli

Yet, we contain the entire universe within us.

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

Music of the Soul, Sidi Shaykh Muhammad al-Jamal ar-Rifa’i ash-Shadhuli

And Sidi also teaches that Allah made thousands of worlds like this one. When we would ask him about extra-terrestrials, Sidi would say,

“Why would you think you are the only one?”

As cells in a cosmic body, Allah has given us free will. Can you imagine what life would be like if we decided to give free will to a certain type of cells within our bodies? What kind of disease might reign the human body? And how might we bring healing to a group of cells who have run amuck within us?

We would certainly be forced to know ourselves more completely if we want to restore health to the larger body. And we would certainly learn to care about all of the cells of our bodies without making separation between them.

Disease teaches us the importance of overall health and the need to care for our physical bodies and self-care, our minds and thoughts, our hearts and emotional well-being, our souls and life lessons and purpose, and our spirits and connection to The One.

Disease teaches us that everything affects everything else. We cannot selectively give love to one part of ourselves and mistreat another part.

And, what does this teach us about what Allah asks from us on this planet day to day? Or in the larger body of the universe?

Sidi’s main teaching for us has been to care about our brothers and sisters without separation, to see the Face of Allah in every face. What is most important is of course to care about ourselves – the body cannot be healthy if we mistreat our own cells – and then to care about the poor and needy. Allah wants us to give love and compassion for His Face which is every face of every being, and to trust Allah.

It’s fascinating to think of ourselves as cells within a much larger body containing perhaps trillions of cells, and to think of ourselves as an entire universe containing trillions of cells within us. Smaller and smaller microcosms within larger and larger macrocosms, and one of many!

Yet, to have the health, peace and harmony which our hearts are coded to seek, it still boils down to the same principles – love, compassion, mercy, peace, justice, equality and freedom.

May you have a blessed weekend, in service to the fellow cells of your body, the microcosm and the macrocosm, with love and compassion for all.

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

Hug a Tree. Bless the Waters. Shine Your Light!

Tomorrow is Earth Day, a day to remember the Earth Mother of Divine Compassion that we have been born into for this sacred journey.

Allah gives us everything we need to live the life we are meant to live here, to learn what we’ve come here to learn, to fulfill the purpose we have come here to fulfill.

In our natural perception of disconnection, we forget our nature and Allah’s Divine plan for us, and we get scared. Fear can cause us to grasp for safety – through whatever means we have come to believe will keep us safe. We are hard-wired for survival.

Unfortunately, fear-based grasping can result in taking more than we need and wasting that which we have. Provision for our material existence comes from the earth, and Allah is the Source of all provision, Who knows our needs and provides sufficiently for us.

Would Allah send us here for a purpose and not provide us with what we need to live out that plan?

Let this Earth Day be a reminder to return our trust to Allah and our respect and gratitude for the planet.

Hug a tree. Bless the waters. Shine your light. And have a blessed weekend!

NOTE: If you could use help increasing your trust and awareness of God’s abundance in this creation, check out the upcoming webinar with Amany Shalaby. It’s called Expanding Our Perceptions. The first module is about learning how to raise our sensual awareness of Allah’s created abundance in the physical world around us and becoming conscious of unity between all existents with the goal of cultivating qualities such as trust, gratitude and love.

CLICK HERE for more info…

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


Photo credits: Adobe Stock Photo © soupstock #134541544

How to help someone when they do not want to be helped

We all have people in our lives who seem to struggle a bit harder than we believe necessary. It’s easy to look at someone’s life from a distance and see what they need to do to get their act together. We might offer all kinds of advice, financial support and more, but it seems to be swallowed by a black hole and nothing ever changes.

We pray – “Allah please send your Mercy. Please wake them up so they can see how to fix their lives. What more can I do? I’ve tried everything, but they are just not getting it!”

Sound familiar? Have you been there? But can we fix someone when they are not ready to be fixed? Can we throw them a lifeline when they are not ready to let go of the sinking ship they are clinging to for life?

Here are a few thoughts about this all too common relationship dynamic.

  1. Check your judgment/acceptance meter. We tend to judge others, and the world, from our perspectives of what we want for our own lives. Of course, we want for our brothers and sisters what we want for ourselves, right? But they might not want what we have for themselves. They might not believe they can have what we have, or they might see a necessary tradeoff that they would not want to make, and therefore choose to stay where they are.

    Even if they are complaining, or if you can clearly see they are struggling, even suffering, they might be as content as they are ready to be. And if they are not ready to change their situation, any attempts on your part will appear as judgment, disapproval, and even coercion.

  3. Check your enabling/empowerment meter. Perhaps you’ve been providing support for a close friend while waiting for them to move through a rough spot, but they are not moving. Perhaps now you fear pulling your support would cause them hardship.

    Or, is continued support causing hardship to you? Even if it is not, setting a clear end point and sticking to it could give them the motivation and empowerment they need to make the changes they need to move beyond their current situation.

  5. Check your fear/trust meter. Remember to keep an open heart of love and compassion, and trust in Allah’s plan for you and your friend. No one is outside of Allah’s care. Seek guidance for what Allah asks of you and wants for you. You may want to save someone from living through pains you have endured. However, each of life’s challenges brings with it opportunities for growth and evolution of the soul.

    Each of us is here to learn through our circumstances and come to know ourselves and Allah more completely. Unfortunately, it is the tough times that crack open our shells so we can find what is inside ourselves.

If you are struggling with a friend or family member who cannot see the light that you see for them, give yourself love and compassion. Allow your saddened heart to be watered with mercy. Allah knows your heart, and He does answer prayers. The answers don’t always come in the way we want them to, but they do come in Allah’s perfection and timing.

If you are celebrating a Holy holiday during this past week or the coming weekend, we wish you a blessed time with your loved ones.

In any case, have a beautiful weekend!

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

Sometimes we just need to know we’re okay


It’s hard to see someone we love in pain. It’s natural to want to rush in to fix the situation, to make everything okay. But when we try to fix too soon, it can send the wrong message.

A person in pain needs to be witnessed where they are. They need to be heard and understood. They need to be affirmed and validated. They need to know that they are loved even in the moments when they feel less than perfect.

If we try to jump to solution before seeing, hearing and understanding the person’s heart, it sends a subtle message that it’s not okay to be where you are. It signals that something is wrong or broken and needs to be fixed.

While that might be true on some level, and the person in pain may feel that way and even be asking for help, it’s important to spend time listening and affirming first.

And what if the person in pain is you? What are the voices present inside yourself? It’s important to take time to listen to your own heart and to be present with yourself. Be careful not to judge or dismiss your own feelings. Sometimes the inner voices tell you exactly what you need.

Hold your inner self in love, compassion and acceptance. Call on Allah to receive the Divine love, mercy and compassion. Know that you are okay. Then ask Allah to send you signs and guidance so you can find what you need.

Whether for a loved one or for yourself, sometimes we just need to know we are okay right where we are.

Wishing you a happy weekend!

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


Photo credits: Adobe Stock Photo © ipopba #83713008


Is true happiness attainable?

What is happiness? Is it attainable?

Often we think happiness as an exuberant joy that would have us doing somersaults and cartwheels on the sidewalks. That might be attainable from time to time, but it’s certainly not sustainable, nor is it meant to be.

We are human beings with all of the attributes of Allah (swta) breathed into our hearts, and we are here to freely experience the range and depth of all of the emotions available to us.

For much of my life, I had shut down my heart. I was disconnected from my heart, out of touch with my feelings, unable to experience my emotions. A spontaneous spiritual awakening burst open my heart in an instant, and suddenly I could feel again.

I was whisked through a range of highs and lows. My heart was expanded to encompass them all without taking me into a debilitating state. It was actually a joyful experience to be free to feel whatever was moving through me without trying to control it.

Though the experience was not 100% elation and expansion, it brought happiness. It brought joy. It reminded me that I was fully alive and experience all the gifts of this life. And on an average day, when things are on an even keel, I’m not holding anything at bay. There is not constriction, but more like a witnessing. It’s not cartwheels of joy, but contentment.

One of our students had this to say about his experience just last week:

Wishing you a happy weekend!

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

The Real-Life Game of Chutes and Ladders

Did you ever play the game Chutes and Ladders when you were a youngster? When we’re young, it seems like a fun friendly game with a relatively low level of competition. We’re striving to reach the finish line, hoping to land at the ladders and climb ahead, and praying to avoid the chutes that drop us back onto those roads we’ve already traveled, darn it!

Only when we get older do we realize the relevance of the game. You know, when you hit one of those chutes and feel yourself falling into the effects of a memory from your past only to have to walk that road again. At least this time it’s a bit more familiar. Maybe you’ll have a better shot at landing at the ladder and avoiding the chutes.

Thank Allah (swta), there is wisdom in the repetition. We’re not expected to get everything right the first time around. It’s like walking the stations on the path to Allah, The Most High.

The first time through, we’re in the station of Listening to the Orders from the Darkness – the station of having forgotten the truth of who we are and why we’re here. We haven’t figured out yet that we’re traveling on a board game.

Then we land on a chute, and we’re going through a second time, this time we’re questioning, as in the second station of the ego, the Station of Still Questioning. This is familiar, we’re recognizing there’s more to the path than the gravel on the road, or the shiny surface of the board game, but we’re not sure which road is best to strive for.

Shoot! Another chute! But that’s okay. This time it’s getting clearer. We’re beginning to have more Faith and Trust. We’re understanding where to place the faith and trust. We’re feeling better about striving to continue on the way.

Here we go again. Another chute. But this time you feel solid. You have trust. You know this is an opportunity for deeper cleaning, and for knowing yourself more completely as you pass this way again without becoming distracted by the voices of the darkness or the voices of the ego. You are living on the inside, traveling in peace regardless of what this path holds on the outside. You are in the station of Security.

Al-humduli’llah, Praise God! Another chute! What a blessed opportunity! Thank You for bringing me along this way! Now I have tasted Your mercy and love! Thank You for all You give to me! I’m sorry that I wasted the time before and did not see Your Face when I traveled along this path. My eyes weep because I see more clearly now. Thank You! This is the station of Not Obeying Anything from the Nafs (Ego).

A chute. As You wish, my Beloved God. I accept what You give. Please teach me and show me Your Truth in everything, on the inside and the outside, and there is no inside and no outside. I am thirsty for the water of Your Love. I am hungry for the knowledge of You. Change me to be what You want from me in every step. Help me to walk only in Your way.

Chute. Yet, there is no chute and there is no ladder. There is no before and no after. There is no beginning and no end. There is only You in every step of the path, in every rung of the ladder, in every inch of the chute. No higher or lower. No winning or losing. Only Allah, The One. The Perfection. Al-humduli’llah!

We are grateful to be on the path of healing, of learning, of wisdom, of mercy.
Does that mean we’ve won? Chute! Here we go again…

Children’s games are full of wisdom. If only we had known, and Allah, swta, knows.

Perhaps this weekend you can play with the children in your life, and look for the wisdom in the games that teach them, and the games they teach us.

Have a beautiful, blessed weekend!
With love and gratitude,
Mastura Graugnard on behalf of all your friends and family at USHS


Photo credits: © Sergiogen #36091062


Preparing to Answer the Call in Your Heart

Just today, I was speaking with a new friend. You might relate to her story.

She has known all her life that there is more to this existence than the mundane physical reality. And with all that is happening in the world today, she can no longer deny her awareness of a greater existence. She feels the spark inside getting more vibrant, and she can no longer stifle her passionate spirit.

She feels the calling to bring peace and healing to the world. Yet, like so many, she has no idea where to go with that sense of purpose, and she is afraid to ask for help for fear that people might think she’s crazy.

It appears more and more people are awakening to an urgency to find and fulfill their purpose. Allah calls whom He wills to his net, and He seems to be using a louder megaphone now than in previous decades.

That is the beauty of the challenging times we are in. The polarization is asking each of us to examine our beliefs and decide what is most important for us. The inner exploration is driving people to seek a higher truth.

And when we are called to serve, Allah asks us to purify ourselves and turn to Him. Sidi Shaykh Muhammad al-Jamal writes in Music of the Soul, p. 230, that we must be:

“pure and purified,
poor and true and truthful,
judicious and of high moral character;
…genuine and sincere,”
to have “perfect manners (al-adab, the deepest politeness)
and nothing is more truthful than to truly taste.

If you direct yourself to the house [of worship], then follow the rules of pilgrimage. First, the intent, second, the readiness, third, the response. Then complete the rituals to face Him in your heart, speaking both by tongue and deed as follows:

‘Here I am, my Lord, at Your service!
Here I am, O Lord,
for Whom there is no partner!
Here I am, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee and Blessing and Lordship.’”

If you are experiencing a calling to serve and you can no longer sit on the sidelines, if you are being called to step into what has been destined for you, we would be honored to serve you in preparing yourself to be of the highest service for the highest good in this world and the next.

We invite you to connect with one of our enrollment specialists to see if USHS has something that can help you. Click here to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Have a beautiful, blessed weekend!
With love and gratitude,
Mastura Graugnard on behalf of all your friends and family at USHS


Photo credit: Adobe Stock Photo © crazymedia #74234721