Spiritual Guidance

The Sufi Order of Rochester offers classes and activities open to the general public without any requirement to join or contribute financially (donations are welcome to help support our expenses).   If you are interested and would like to explore our offerings further, please contact Wadud.


Saum Wird #2, by Subhan John Lloyd

A silkscreen representation of the Sacred Names to be repeated with each line of the prayer Saum, generously donated by the artist to the Sufi Order of Rochester Center for Sufi Studies

For those seeking to connect with the Inayati Order as a personal spiritual path, the Esoteric School of the Inayati Order (formerly known as the Sufi Order International) offers personal spiritual guidance grounded in the teachings of inner and outer development as given by the Sufi masters Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan and Pir Zia Inayat Khan. The Core Curriculum is provided through Thursday night classes, Sunday morning Universal Worship Services and Eat, Dance and Pray.

The Sufi Order of Rochester, a local center of the Inayati Order, has seven local representatives who are authorized to provide initiation and spiritual guidance:  Inayat James Leff, Wadud Henry Cretella, Zaynab Kathleen FitzPatrick, Amina Linda Hall, Basira Maryanne Karpinski, Nur Qalbia Candice Emmons and Leelah Adena Shoshan.  These Representatives, along with other senior leaders, share leadership of the community through our Message Council.  Connecting with a personal guide is a highly individual process, usually begun by the person seeking initiation approaching the qualified initiator with whom he or she feels a heart connection.  We encourage interested people to get to know each of us to explore the particular attunement each of us brings.


Wadud Henry Cretella is a Senior Teacher and Representative in the Inayati Order.  He is an experienced guide and Friend on the Path, and is active in all the Concentrations, both locally and nationally. Wadud brings a strong background in the study of the teachings of Inayat Khan, as well as Tibetan Buddhism, nature awareness and psychology / psychiatry.  He is very interested in exploring the mutual influences of spirituality, psychology, philosophy and science on the evolution of human consciousness and the Universe.  Wadud offers seminars, retreats and workshops locally and nationally, and heads up the Sufi Order of Rochester Healing Order Activity.  He serves as a Mentor and trainer for Inayati Order Representative Training, for Cherag Training, for Healing Conductor and for Dances of Universal Peace leadership.  Wadud co-edited The Secret of the Heart and The Heart of the Healer, Volumes 2 and 3 of the Dynamics of Healing series through the Sufi Healing Order.


Zaynab Kathleen FitzPatrick is a Senior Teacher and Representative in the Inayati Order.  She is an experienced Retreat Guide and is active in all the Concentrations, with a particular interest in the Healing Order, Universal Worship, Knighthood of Purity and Ziraat.  Zaynab coordinates the team-taught Message Class the first Thursday of each month, offers a Gathering for Women day on an occasional basis and works with Wadud to offer trainings, teachings and retreats locally and nationally.  She is a Shafayat in the Sufi Healing Order and a practitioner of the Raphaelite Work, an individual healing modality.  Zaynab views spiritual guidance as the offering of spiritual friendship and companioning on the path of inner growth and development.  She co-edited The Healing Power of Sound, Volume 4 of the Dynamics of Healing Series through the Sufi Healing Order.

Inayat Jim Leff

Amina Linda Hall is a Senior Teacher and leader in the Inayati Order, having been initiated into the Sufi Order in the late 70’s. She and her husband Husamuddin began providing practices in their living room in 1979 and have been teaching and leading esoteric practice since then. Amina is a Suluk graduate and currently is a co-leader and Message Council member of the Sufi Order of Rochester Center for Sufi Studies. Serving now for many years as a teacher and leader, as a Representative and Guide/Retreat Guide, Farmer, Reverend Cherga and Siraj, Shafayat, and Senior Teacher, Amina brings a deep attunement and commitment with much experience in guiding and supporting others in practice. As the founder of multiple firms providing change mastery consulting services, Amina brings years of experience in providing teachings on individual and organizational healing and transformation to leaders in large and small businesses. Amina has served in leadership of the Inayati Order on the Board of Trustees as Chair for ten years and currently serves on the Inayati Order International Boards leadership team. Amina now holds the role as 2nd Vice President of the Universal Worship Activity.  She brings examples from her own life experience and learning to her work and her ministry. Amina lives in Rochester, has two grown sons and a 2 year-old grandson.

IMG_2079Basira Maryanne Karpinski is a Representative of The Inayati Order.  She is a Cherag of the Universal Worship, a Healing Conductor in the Sufi Healing Order, a Farmer in Ziraat, coordinates our local Ziraat activity and is co-coordinator of the Kinship Activity.  Basira manages the local Healing List, is a member of the Message Class team and also offers Healing Class and Circle, in rotation with other Healing Conductors.  She is a devoted friend, loves the Isle of Mull in Scotland, the color blue and her feline companions.        

NurQalbiaNur Qalbia Candice Emmons Nur Qalbia was initiated on February 5, 2000. She has been devoted to the Inayati Order since that time. She is a Ziraat Farmer, Cherag, Healing Conductor and loves to facilitate classes and practices.  In her professional life she works in substance use disorder treatment, working to keep an open heart. In her family life she greatly loves and enjoys her four adult children and 11 grandchildren.

unnamedLeelah Adena Shoshan is a Representative offering spiritual guidance in the Inayati Order, a minister (Cherag) of the Universal Worship, a Healing Conductor offering individual and group healing retreats, and Zikr leader. She offers Universal Worship once a month and conducts the Healing Circle in rotation with other Healing Conductors. Leelah also studies and teaches the “Turn” – which is the moving meditation practice of the dervishes originated by Jalaluddin Rumi. She is passionate about the potential and hope found in the human experience and about using all experiences as catalysts for growth, interconnectedness, and self-awareness. As a psychologist in private practice and as a spiritual guide she is inspired by the innate movement of each of us toward healing and wholeness.  Leelah lives with her two sheep dogs, loves to sing, and enjoys kayaking, karate, decorating, and photography. 

A Message from Pir Zia:  Life Goes On

Dear Friends,
The election is over, and life goes on.
We will keep bearing witness to the One Being.
We will keep honoring the legacies of the prophets and prophetesses of all lands.
We will keep revering the sacredness of the Earth.
We will keep following the way of remembrance which all religions share.
We will keep pursuing justice for all people.
We will keep recognizing people of all races and persuasions as our sisters and brothers.
We will keep extending our hearts’ goodwill toward everyone, excluding no one.
We will keep witnessing the beauty that is all around us and within us.
We will keep learning the truth of our being.
We will keep working to draw back the curtains of egoism from our eyes.
Life goes on, and we will keep going.
Yours ever,
Sarafil Bawa


The Power of our Practices to Open Space for New Possibilities,                        by Azar Baksh Weiner

Murshid said, “There is no such thing as impossible. All is possible. Impossible is made by the limitation of the capacity of understanding…….They say God is all-mighty; and I say, God is all-possible.”

Some of you may be familiar with the research of William Tiller on subtle energy. Tiller has done experiments which have been replicated that show that when there is a linkage of subtle energy with physical manifestation, then there is a decrease in entropy (disorder), and things become possible that would be impossible from “ordinary reality”.

When we do any practice, attunement, or have an experience which brings us to an experience of a transformed state of consciousness, then we are bringing about a linkage of subtle energy to “ordinary reality”, and we open up a space of new possibilities. Another way of saying this is we create a new akasha (accommodation), and this new akasha is not just an expansion of the already existing space, but rather a creation of a new space with more degrees of freedom than were present before. The result is not just a transformation of ourselves from a previous condition of consciousness, but an opening of new possibilities to others not only in our immediate surroundings, but to all those whom we have inner connections with.

An additional thought, it can be mathematically demonstrated that when there is a system with say 100 things in resonance, if one more thing is brought into resonance with that system, the additional contribution of that addition is 200 times as much as that of one thing in isolation. I believe this same principle applies to conscious beings in harmony with each other with a common intention. There is a great power in the addition of each one of us when we join with the multitude of beings seen and unseen who are holding an intention for healing, compassion, peace, and understanding throughout the world.

Toward the perfection of love, harmony, and beauty,
Azar Baksh


There are many Guides and Representatives in the Region and across the country.  If you are interested in exploring this opportunity for spiritual development and growth, please contact Wadud.  For more information, please see the Activities, Esoteric School page on this website.  The national organization offers many events throughout the world.  Please see the website at Inayatiorder.org for more information.

The Sufi Order of Rochester Center for Sufi Studies, 494 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607, the Carriage House behind the AAUW mansion (Carriage House is 492).