Faculty

Robert Ibrahim Jaffe, M.D., M.D.(H), D.D.

Robert Ibrahim Jaffe, M.D., M.D.(H), D.D.

Chancellor

Robert Ibrahim Jaffe, M.D., M.D.(H), D.D., is the previous President of the University and currently an active faculty member, consultant and teacher.  He received his medical degree from the University of Illinois and practiced allopathic, complementary and homeopathic medicine in Arizona, Hawaii and California. He now resides in Florida.

Dr. Jaffe is a world renowned Sufi Master Healer and Spiritual Teacher. He was officially given the title of Murshid Murrabai Ruhi (guide and caregiver of the soul), one of the highest distinctions for guiding people towards the world of unity and enlightenment. He has the reputation of healing serious diseases, by Allah, including some that have been unresponsive to traditional medicine and deemed irreversible or terminal.

Ibrahim founded the Jaffe Institute in June 2000 to bring his comprehensive synthesis of medical, energetic, and spiritual healing to professionals and lay people who want to heal in a complete and holy way by deepening their understanding of why people become sick and what can be done to resolve their illness. The Institute has grown over the years and is now known as the Institute of Spiritual Healing and the University of Sufism.  Dr. Jaffe is the author of God’s Way, Sufi Spiritual Healing,which describes the healing method he practices and teaches his students.

Dr. Jaffe brings an ocean of love, wisdom and healing to people who are seeking to find the truth, reality and joy of their beings.

Maxine Salima Adelstein M.Ed., D.D.

Maxine Salima Adelstein M.Ed., D.D.

Co-President, Dean of Education

Maxine Salima Adelstein M.Ed., D.D., helps people to discover and embody the deep truth of their beauty and essence through her work as a healer and teacher. Ms. Adelstein is also chair of the Department of Spiritual Ministry and Sufi Studies and a faculty member. She is a master healer who has helped hundreds of clients heal from illness and lifelong emotional pain.

She has a private healing practice in Pennsylvania and teaches spiritual healing seminars nationally and internationally. Her heart is filled with the joy and compassion that result from living in the heart of God.

Kamila Carolyn Shenmen, Ph.D., Dipl.Ac., Dipl.C.H., M.Div.

Kamila Carolyn Shenmen, Ph.D., Dipl.Ac., Dipl.C.H., M.Div.

Co-President, Dean of Admissions

Kamila holds a Master’s of Divinity degree from the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism and also holds a Doctorate in Computer Science and Molecular Biology. She worked for 18 years at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland and received that institution’s prestigious NIH Director’s Award. She is also co-author of the Amazon best-selling book “A Drop in the Ocean of Love”. She is a certified practitioner of Oriental Medicine and has practiced as a healer in the Sufi tradition for almost 20 years.

Kamila’s search for true healing at the deepest levels led her to Shaykh Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal and the ancient spiritual healing practices of Sufism. Having found, on the Sufi Way, the peace and healing that comes from opening the heart to God’s Love, Kamila is blessed to be able to share this healing path and its teachings with her students, community and clients. Her greatest wish for every human being is that they come to know the beauty, wholeness and truth they carry within.

Kamila can be contacted via email at cshenmen@comcast.net
and by text or phone at 520-399-5750

Halima Abdullah, M.S., M.Div.

Halima Abdullah, M.S., M.Div.

Halima Abdullah is a singer/songwriter and published author. She holds a Masters degree in psychology from Loyola University as well as a Masters of Divinity from the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism.  

Her past career as a trauma specialist, clinician, and facilitator found her in inner city basements counseling at-risk homeless women in recovery from substance abuse, to the first response help desk for the PTSD Alliance the day after 9/11, all the way to the internationally renowned Israeli Center for the Treatment of Pyschotrauma in Jerusalem to specifically integrate a spiritual perspective for educational and counseling trauma material. 

“I believe in Allah’s promise that ‘no experience you have been thru will ever be put to waste’.  Every step in life, steady and bruised knee, realized me here.  This Shadhdhuli Way is not just my religion; this is my family. This is a walking home with my family beside me.”

Habib Todd Boerger, M.Div., Ph.D.

Habib Todd Boerger, M.Div., Ph.D.

Dr. Habīb Todd Boerger brings to the University of Sufism extensive experience leading projects and staff in human services. Habīb left the field of human services to pursue his spiritual studies and now holds a Master’s of Divinity from the University of Sufism, where he specialized in Spiritual Healing and Counseling, and a Ph.D. in Theology from Claremont School of Theology, where he specialized in Spirituality and Spiritual Formation in Christianity and Islam. Additionally, Habīb has a master’s degree from Texas State University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas. He also holds a Certificate of Islamic Studies from Bayan Islamic Graduate School.

Habīb’s spiritual journey has included a variety of experiences and contexts—from attending conservative Christian churches to studying at a liberal Christian school and multiple Islamic institutions—from drinking ayahuasca with a shaman in the Amazon to performing the hajj pilgrimage. These experiences have furthered his appreciation for diverse approaches to spiritual thought and practice, and increased the value he places on an informed awareness of differences with a simultaneous focus on commonalities. Habīb has been teaching about spirituality for more than fifteen years. He is passionate about promoting a position of religious pluralism; building interfaith bridges; and sharing Islamic, Sufi, and multi-religious spiritual formation practices.

Barbara Aisha Cotten M.A., H Ct

Barbara Aisha Cotten M.A., H Ct

Aisha brings more than eighteen years of teaching, healing and counseling experience to the University. She is a past director of the Healing Intensive Program of the Shadhiliyya Sufi Retreat Center and a master healer who specializes in facilitating healing of disease through her ability to bring the healing light deep within the physical body.

Aisha brings the deep love of God and gentle guidance to her teaching of Spiritual Ministry and Sufi Studies.

She has a private healing practice and teaches seminars nationally on divine surrender and sexuality in the holy way.

John Abd Al-Qadir Davies, LL.B., M.Litt, M.S., Ph.D.

John Abd Al-Qadir Davies, LL.B., M.Litt, M.S., Ph.D.

John Abd al-Qadir Davies, LL.B., M.Litt., M.S., Ph.D, is a faculty member and co-founder of the Department of Peacemaking at the University of Sufism, and Visiting Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Partners in Conflict and Partners in Peacebuilding Projects at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management at the University of Maryland. After practicing law and psychology and teaching meditation in Australia, he moved to the US in 1982 and has led or partnered in conflict transformation and peace building initiatives in over 25 countries. He has trained thousands of professionals in conflict transformation, conflict prevention and multi-track diplomacy, including political leaders and diplomats, UN peacekeepers, police, educators, religious, traditional and civil society leaders. He has conducted extensive research on the impact of spiritual and secular techniques in promoting peace, published widely and served as consultant to various US departments and international governments and organizations. His publications include: Preventive Measures: Building Risk Assessment and Early Warning Systems (1998 with Ted Gurr) and Second Track/Citizens’ Diplomacy: Concepts and Techniques for Conflict Transformation (2003 with Edy Kaufman). He took hand with Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal in 2002 and maintains an active private practice based at the Farm of Peace in integrative mediation and healing, leading spiritual retreats and workshops, and dedicating his life to empowering people, families, organizations and communities across several cultural and spiritual traditions to create sustainable peace, wholeness and personal growth.

Judith Sharifa Keith, PhD, MDiv, RN

Judith Sharifa Keith, PhD, MDiv, RN

Judith Sharifa Keith attended University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism where she earned a Master Of Divinity in Spiritual Ministry and Sufi Studies and another Master of Divinity in Spiritual Peacemaking. During this time Sharifa learned spiritual healing directly from Dr. Jaffe and became a Certified Master Healer.

Sharifa is a pole teacher with Dr. Jaffe in Level 3 Advanced Spiritual Healing, and also teaches Sufism at the Institute of Spiritual Healing (ISH).

She lives in Atlanta, GA, hosts spiritual retreats and has a private practice through which she offers Sufi spiritual healing.

John Wadude Laird, MD

John Wadude Laird, MD

Faculty and Past President

Dr. John Laird is the past President of the University of Sufism and a faculty member. He received his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School in 1976 and has more than twenty years of experience in direct patient care. Dr. Laird was responsible for the passage of landmark legislation in North Carolina in 1994, legalizing the practice of alternative medical therapies. Through his activities as an administrator and healer, Dr. Laird radiates the love of God to everyone he encounters.

His passion and strength inspire students to trust God fully and to give their lives in service to all who need healing and love.

Dr. John Wadude Laird is available for speaking engagements and presentations.

Nura Laird, M.Ed.

Nura Laird, M.Ed.

Nura Laird, M.Ed., is co-chair of the Department of Peacemaking and a faculty member at the University of Sufism. Nura has been a student of spiritual healing and Sufism since 1977. She has extensive training and experience in community and family mediation, and in teaching and counseling children and adults. Nura works professionally as a teacher, spiritual healer and counselor, and mediator, leading spiritual retreats and workshops internationally on Sufism, peacemaking, Sufi healing, and healing families through divine love. Nura is especially inspired to help restore health, love and peace to marriages and families, and to guide her clients and students to bring more love and peace into our world. She maintains an active private practice in healing and mediation.

Paul Hamid Werder

Paul Hamid Werder

Paul Hamid Werder, founder of LionHeart Consulting, has been a successful consultant in organizational culture and leadership development for over 38 years. Mr. Werder is a faculty member at the University of Sufism and teaches in the Spiritual Ministry department. He has merged his traditional business acumen with spiritual healing skills to empower leaders to work from their hearts’ inner wisdom. He supports students to discover their unique God-given talents and express them completely with deep humility.

Hamid thrives on the practical application of our Sufi teachings and loves to support students to beautify and illuminate their hearts to expand their contribution to humanity. This occurs most easily when they acknowledge and own their God-given talents, overcome their fears, and deepen their reliance on Allah.

Amany Shalaby, M.A.

Amany Shalaby, M.A.

Amany Shalaby graduated as an electrical engineer from`Ein Shams University, Cairo, Egypt 1985. She earned her post-graduate diploma in Islamic studies from the Islamic College of Advanced Studies in London in 2002. In 2015, Amany earned her master’s degree in comparative philosophy of religion from Middlesex University in London.  Amany obtained her certificate of completion of Clinical Pastoral Education Level I from Adventhealth.

She is the founder of Universal Chaplaincy, LLC., a member of the Association of Muslim Chaplains and serves as chaplain to Shaddhilya Sufi Center and the Muslim Women’s Organization.  She has eighteen years of experience providing spiritual care for several Shadhiliyya Sufi communities across the states.

She obtained an ijazah (license) from Sidi Sheikh Muhammad Sa’id al-Jamal, who was an imam at al-Masjid al-Aqsa and the Head of the Sufi Counsel in Jerusalem for thirty years. She served for twelve years as the Sheikh’s simultaneous interpreter and she translated twenty books on Islamic spirituality, written by the Shaikh.

She lives in the United States and is the author of The Essence of Creation and a book of poetry, Hidden Pearls.

Amany Shalaby is available for speaking engagements and presentations.

Mahabbah Kimberly Young, MD, M.Div.

Mahabbah Kimberly Young, MD, M.Div.

Mahabbah Kimberly Young, MD, MDiv, is a faculty member of the University of Sufism. She took hand with Shaykh Muhammad al Jamal ar-Rifaii ash-Shadhuli in 2013 and took shahadah the following year. She’s a full-time practicing family physician with a focus on OB/Gyn care, specifically outpatient women’s health and prenatal care. She has written and developed extensive programs building teams among nurses, medical assistants, pharmacists and physicians to work together to improve patient care.

She received a Masters of Divinity in Spiritual Peacemaking in 2017 and a Masters in Spiritual Healing for Physical and Emotional Well-Being in 2019, both from the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism (now the University of Sufism). Additionally, she completed a 40-hr Basic Mediation Training and several Restorative Justice courses at SEEDS (Services that Encourage Effective Dialogue and Solutions) Community Resolution Center in Berkeley, CA.  As an experienced mediator, she enjoys working with couples and groups to support healing and deepening relationships.  She loves to perform Sufi spiritual healing, having witnessed the profound impact it’s had on her own and other people’s lives.  

By Allah’s grace and her husband’s patient help, she has learned to read and recite Qur’an in Arabic. Mahabbah and her husband Ahmed live in San Francisco, where they have been holding regular dhikrs, community gatherings, and sohbets for several years. They were blessed to be allowed to make Hajj in 2017, and love to share their experiences with others. 

Laila Brady Walzer, M.Div.

Laila Brady Walzer, M.Div.

Laila Brady Walzer, M.Div., has studied music, sound and healing for decades; and she personally healed from chronic illness through Sufi prayer, Qu’ran recitation, and herbs. She is founder and director of the Woodstock Sufi Center in New York state, and co-coordinates the Northeast Region of the Shadhuliyya Sufi tariqa brought by Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal. She holds the rank of Muqaddim Mirrabi-Rouhi. She loves to reflect on the mirror of divine Truth in the beauties of nature.

She rejoices in using her extensive musical background, her love and experience of God, and joy of life, to guide people into deep healing and inner wholeness.

Guest Lecturers

Rosina-Fawzia Al-Rawi, Ph.D.

Rosina-Fawzia Al-Rawi, Ph.D.

Guest Lecturer: Sufi Studies, Mystical Feminine Studies

Fawzia was born in Baghdad and spent her childhood in Iraq and Lebanon. Her grandmother initiated her into the culture and traditions of the Middle East where belly-dancing played a major part as an expression of the world of the feminine. She holds a PhD in Islamic studies. She completed her Arabic, Islamic and ethnological studies at the Universities of Vienna and Cairo.

 Fawzia then spent 12 years in Jerusalem where she brought up her children and worked at the Institute for the Promotion of Palestinian Agriculture and at the University of Jerusalem, while deepening both her theoretical and practical knowledge of Sufism under the guidance of Sidi Shaykh Muhammad Al-Jamal. She has been living in Vienna with her husband and their three children since 2001. She has been teaching Sufism for over 20 years. She holds workshops in various countries and works particularly with women.

Ahmed Manawy

Ahmed Manawy

Guest Lecturer: Arabic language, Quranic Recitation

Brother Ahmed Manawy, a native Arabic speaker, hails from Cairo, Egypt, where he spent the first half of his life. He started his Qur’anic studies at age 10, when he spent 4 years studying in Saudi Arabia. His studies included reading and writing Quranic Arabic, Tajweed Quranic recitation, and memorization of the Qur’an. He received his bachelors degree in Commerce from Ain Shams University in Cairo before emigrating to the United States.

 For the past ten years he has been working as an accountant in LA. He carries a deep love and respect for the guidance and wisdom of the Qur’an, and is passionate about helping others to read the Qur’an. He has great himma to assist the sincere seeker to deepen their relationship with the Qur’an so that they can begin to read and recite Qur’an from the Arabic calligraphy, allowing the sounds to enter and transform the heart. He believes in a collaborative approach to learning, and has great patience with the beginning student.