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About Shafiyy Institute

Our Vision, Mission & Initiatives


Vision: All people enjoy the blessings of Shafiyy healing, an expression of the holy medicine of all the prophets.


Mission: To promote the understanding, acceptance and use of Shafiyy healing worldwide through education, training and therapeutic programs.


The following initiatives support the fulfillment of our mission.


  • Establish a healing center that provides the full range Shafiyy healing therapies. The program will incorporate state-of-the-art documentation and evaluation research. The center design will serve as a model for the establishment of freestanding centers throughout the world.


  • Train healthcare professionals and students in the principles and applications of Shafiyy healing therapeutics. This may include becoming a contracted and collaborating training site for students in healthcare professional degree granting programs or in the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism.


  • Develop and implement Shafiyy healing intensives that can be duplicated throughout the country and around the world.


  • Establish programs for the care of chronically and terminally ill people.


  • Partner with community organizations to provide outreach and healing for populations in need, such as veterans, victims of violence, and the homeless.

How We Began


In early 2014, a group of highly accomplished professionals created the non-profit Shafiyy Institute to make available uniquely effective methods of physical, emotional and spiritual healing.


These founding members bring decades of experience as healers, counselors and healthcare providers, as well as dedicated service in the nonprofit sector. Each member has a longstanding commitment to engaging in the personal spiritual practices of classical Sufism.


The Institute was founded to make available to all people the insights, healing techniques and benefits found in this tradition.

Our founding members:

  • John Wadude Laird, M.D.

  • Nura Laird, M.Ed.

  • Cheryl Ritenbaugh, Ph.D., M.P.H.

  • Peter Sa`id Chamberline, J.D.

  • Susan Rahima Schmall, Ph.D., R.N.

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

  • Amina Stader-Chan

Our Spiritual Foundation


Classical Sufism is a 1,500 year-old spiritual tradition that has several fundamental elements that make it an ideal foundation for deeper healing of the body, mind, heart and spirit.


  • All human beings are seen and treated as sacred creations of the divine. Each person has innate wisdom, beauty, goodness, strength, power, love, compassion, creativity and many other inspiring qualities.


  • These qualities get “covered over” by the stresses, challenges and traumas of our life, creating physical constrictions, emotional & energetic blockages, self-limiting beliefs and spiritual distress.


  • Healing disease completely requires restoring each of these aspects of our being (the physical, emotional, mental & spiritual) to optimal functioning.


  • In the healing process, we gain more and more access to our original, innate qualities, experience increasing levels of well-being and live in greater alignment with our life’s deepest purpose.


  • Healing comes potentially in many forms: nutrition, herbs, medications, acupuncture, surgery, counseling and spiritual healing just to name a few. Our perspective is that all remedies ultimately come from God and that our work as practitioners and patients is to discern at each step what method or therapy brings the most benefits and moves toward true healing. 

What is Shafiyy Healing?


The word Shafiyy (SHA-fee) denotes all of the aspects of God that bring healing, whether they reside on the physical, emotional, mental or spiritual levels. Shafiyy healing includes the widest range of methods that promote healthful well-being and real benefit.


It is understood that divine love, compassion and generosity are central components of “shafiyy healing.”


Historically, shafiyy healing emerged from the teachings and divine insights of many of the great spiritual leaders in the prophetic lineage: Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.


We do not consider shafiyy healing to be denominational. Rather we experience it as divinely inspired gifts to relieve suffering and restore health.


Many “shafiyy” therapies have been in use for centuries around the world and have been central to the well-established effectiveness of healing in the classical Sufi tradition: natural foods, medicinal herbs, cupping, sacred prayers and recitations.


We also include within “shafiyy” healing scientifically confirmed advances in nutritional and mind-body therapies. Thus “shafiyy healing” is a unique blend of traditional and modern approaches to optimize well-being.


Our practitioners come from a wide range of professional, non-professional and spiritual backgrounds. Typically they are sincere students of classical Sufism and have taken Sufism as a personal spiritual practice.

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