Sufi Studies

Institute for Sufi Studies

The Institute for Sufi Studies (ISS) is a collaborative effort that invites people from around the world with the common interest of Sufism to join together for research and study of this ancient wisdom. ISS began in 2000 as an educational department of the International Association of Sufism. ISS offers classes directly through its center, online and at other educational institutions. Faculty are practitioners of Sufism as well as teachers in many diverse disciplines, including religion, literature, psychology, philosophy, sociology, education, martial arts, and science. ISS classes are offered under the direction and guidance of Dr. Nahid Angha and Dr. Ali Kianfar. ISS public offerings include: Understanding the Qur’an and Holy Books with Sufi Master Shah Nazar Seyyed Dr. Ali Kianfar; Sufism and Psychology study groups and dialogues; Introduction to Sufism; Illumination of the Ninety-Nine Names study group; 40 Days meditation and reading group; Nahj al-Balgha of Amir al mumenin Ali study group; Awareness of Breath and Movement; Purification meditation and discussion group; Meditation and Poetry.

Understanding the Qur'an

Taught by World-renowned Shah Nazar Seyyed Ali Kianfar, Ph.D.

Understanding the Qur’an, The Bible and Words of Wisdom are coursework for persons of all spiritual backgrounds and traditions who are seeking to learn more about themselves, the true meaning of religion (and Islam), the true but hidden messages of the Qur’an, truly understand the Bible and the knowledgeable way toward universal understanding (God/Allah).

Participants will leave the class with: A deeper understanding of their own Self; Deeper understanding of how the mysticism of religion is appropriately directed to the destination of Self-knowledge through the flame of Love burning in the hearth of Wisdom; An understanding of the Qur’an not as a book for external imitation but more fully as a mirror in which to understand the hidden language and rhythm that is the book of one's own Self in the point of Unity (universal harmony, etc.)

These classes, taught by a knowledgeable and wise Sufi Master, will prove to be a valuable resource to persons of all religious and spiritual faiths and traditions. They will deepen and enrich your own personal spiritual practice, whatever your faith or spiritual tradition, and have been attended by: people in rabbinical training, people in Christian ministry, Buddhist scholars, scholars of indigenous American traditions, psychologists, medical physicians, philosophy students, university professors, community activists, poets, masters of martial arts, and classroom teachers.

Community Offerings

Reading and Study Group

Sufi Psychology Reading & Study Group
Third Friday of the Month, 9-10am PST, on Zoom
Contact Dr. Amineh Pryor, Ph.D.
(415) 431-2900

Amineh Amelia Pryor, Ph.D., LMFT is a student of Uwaiysi Sufism under the guidance of Sufi Masters Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyyed Dr. Ali Kianfar, co-director of the Sufism and Psychology Forum, and a clinical supervisor and psychotherapist at the Community Healing Centers in San Francisco.

Peace and Love

Peace and Love Dialogues
Third Thursday of the Month, 7:30-8:30pm PST, on Zoom
Contact Sarah Hastings Mullin, Ph.D.

Sarah Hastings Mullin, Ph.D., is a member of IAS and of the 40 Days Alchemy of Tranquility Program. She received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, and is a clinical psychology with a private practice in Northern California. She holds a second degree black belt in Aikido, and has published several books on the teachings and practice of Sufism.

Introduction to Sufism

Introduction to Sufism – Public Offering
Second Fridays of the month (ongoing) @ 7:00pm PST, on Zoom
Contact Sheikh Jamal Granick, Ph.D.

Jamal Lawrence Granick, Ph.D., is a licensed psychotherapist in California and New Mexico. He is student of Uwaiysi Sufism under the guidance of Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Dr. Seyyed Ali Kianfar and a member of IAS.  Dr. Granick serves the IAS Executive Committee, and has participated in IAS programs for more than 20 years, including presenting on Sufism and Psychology nationally and internationally.

Breath and Movement

Awareness of Breath and Movement
Weekly practice group
Saturdays at 8am PST, (Zoom link provided in weekly emails)
Contact Sheikh Jalal Heery, Ph.D. if interested.

Jalal Brian Heery, Ph.D. is a 5th degree black belt and head instructor at Rocky Valley Aikido in Menlo Park. He has been investigating the interstices between the body, mind, and spirit, since his time as a competitive world class gymnast. Dr. Heery did his doctoral research on “Awakening Spirit in the Body,” and is a student of the Uwaiysi School of Sufism, under the guidance of Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyyed Dr. Ali Kianfar.

Ninety-Nine Beautiful Names

Illumination of the Names
Monthly discussion group
Wednesdays, 7-8 pm PST, on Zoom
Contact Leili First, Ph.D. if interested.

Leili First, Ph.D. is a student of Uwaiysi Sufism and a long-time member of the International Association of Sufism. Dr. First has given lectures on Sufism and Women in Islam at colleges and universities and presented at the Annual Sufism Symposium and Parliament of the World’s Religions.  She holds a Ph.D. in Transformative Studies.

40 Days Meditation Group

40 Days Meditation & Book Reading
Reading: The Journey
Sundays @ 9am PST, on Zoom
Email Arife Hammerle, Ph.D.
or call (415) 499-1115

Arife Ellen Hammerle, Ph.D. is a senior teacher of the Uwaiysi School of Sufism, guided by Sufi Masters Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyyed Dr. Ali. Kianfar. Dr. Hammerle is a member of the International Association of Sufism and sits on the Executive Committee for the Institute for Sufi Studies. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, and teaches courses at the Institute for Sufi Studies and 40 Days Alchemy of Tranquility Program.

Discussion on Nahj al-Balagha

Discussion on Nahj al-Balagha
(collection of sermons, letters, and sayings attributed to Ali ibn Abi Talib)
Monthly reading & discussion group
Sundays, 11:00 am PST, on Zoom
Contact Sheikh Salman Barui, LCSW

Sheikh Salman Baruti, MSW is a licensed clinical social worker.  For the past 30 years, he has provided case work and mental health services to underserved and at-risk youth in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Mr. Baruti is a student of Sufism and uses transformative life skills including Sufi wisdom, stories and sayings that he has learned from his teachers to help young people appreciate and value their lives.