Light Upon Light Sufi Center

Everyone Welcome!


We follow the principle that “there are as many ways to God as there are human souls.” We move in two directions: horizontally outward to embrace wider and wider visions of community among all beings, and vertically toward the heights of Divine Awareness and the depths of Inner Reality (which are one and the same). Friends within our community walk many paths: traditional and modern Sufism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, the Red Road of the Native Americans, and more. Our common thread is participation in Divine Reality, the living landscape of the soul and spirit, which includes this beautiful Earth and all authentic sacred paths. Everyone welcome – any culture, color, gender, orientation, nation, religion! We will embrace you.



Sufism is both the mystical inner tradition of Islam and the aquifer of spiritual depth that exists beneath the surface of life, taking different forms in different times, places and cultures.The dervish, or Sufi student, is a door between the worlds – the inner and the outer, the seen and the Unseen, the self and the Self. Inshallah (God willing), our Center is also such a doorway.


Zikr (also spelled dhikr). The Sufi Ceremony of Divine Remembrance: Sitting, standing, and moving circles of music and prayer invite ecstasy as souls meet beyond personality. Our zikrs flow from the traditional practice of the mystics of Turkey, India, and the Middle East. People of all religions and traditions are welcome.

Would you like to see a table of the Names? For condensed explanations of each, boiled down from descriptions in Physicians of the Heart, as well as short translations and pronunciations, click here or on the image to the right.

Sources are given in a sidebar, as well as some information about pronunciation.

One of the greatest treasures in Islam/Sufism is the presence of the Asma al-Husna, the 99 Beautiful Names of God, which are found in the Qur’an. Actually there are more than 99, but where 100 would symbolize and telegraph completeness, the use of 99 implies that there is always more, that Divine Names are infinite. These are far more than just names: they are the qualities and attributes of Allah, which also make up the universe and our own interior and exterior worlds. Various Sufi teachers and lineages have made slightly different collections of the Names over the centuries, some of which have been translated. Physicians of the Heart is surely the most complete, in-depth and detailed collection available in English.

The aspects of God found in other world religions are here also – and more. God can be encountered in any of these aspects: as the Guide, the Evolver, the Protecting Friend, the Beautiful, the Subduer, the Forgiver, the Light, the Subtle, the Responsive, the Alive, the Gatherer and many more. Like the Tree of Life in the Kabbalah, like the Buddhist picture of compassionate and wrathful deities — like other schematics of the multiverse seen from different points of view — the Names of Allah include the balancing of opposite Names. So, we find the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden, the Constrictor and the Expander, the Delayer and the Expediter. Each Name can be encountered within the teaching and testing that is our life, our path, as we meet and melt into Divine Being, the Consciousness within every consciousness.

Aramaic Words of Jesus Based on the work of Dr. Neal Douglas-Klotz and his seminal book, Prayers of the Cosmos, these practices and Dances use the words of Jesus in Aramaic, the language in which Jesus spoke and taught.


NUR ASHKI JERRAHI ZIKR  with Karima Vargas Bushnell
NEW Day: Mondays starting July 3rd
Mondays 7:00pm-8:30pm Central Time

Due to limited space: Monday Zikr will be on ZOOM, only. 
[Current in-person participants are welcome to continue attending in-person. Thank you!]

Circles of music and prayer invite ecstasy as souls meet beyond personality. Our zikrs flow from traditional Sufi mystical practices of Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, and Eastern Europe. People of all religions and traditions are welcome. You may experience the subtle presence of the Friends of God as we sing ancient melodies that envoke their stories, and spiritual states. Taste the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah, readings from our lineage, and Qur’an verses in Arabic or English. These form the foundation of our experience.

Karima Vargas Bushnell (MA Intercultural Relations) has walked the mystical path from early childhood through spontaneous experiences. Her decades’ immersion in the mysticism of world religions led her in 1993 to enlightened teacher Shaykh Nur al-Jerrahi (Lex Hixon) who initiated her into the Heveti Jerrahi order, guided her carefully, and empowered her to initiate and lead zikr. Karima’s primary interest is in borders: not physical, but spiritual, mental, and emotional ones, the liminal spaces between worldviews where reality is negotiable. She has taught college courses and sometimes offers original experiential workshops.

CHISTI ZIKR  /  NOMAD CAMPFIRE  with John Hakim Bushnell 
Wednesdays 7:00pm-8:30pm Central Time

Representing a living tradition of Sufism grounded in the deep past and evolving in the global west, the Nomad Campfire invites you to draw near to each other and to the One. Inshallah (God willing) we step onto the Path of the Heart though close attention, singing, guitar, poetry and Sufi teachings. Zikrs and teachings are drawn from the wisdom of the Chisti lineage of India and America and from ongoing inspiration.

John Hakim Bushnell has studied Sufism since 1990 when he was initiated into the Chisti Sufi lineage by Saadi Dr. Neil Douglas-Klotz. He is a certified Dances of Universal Peace teacher with permission to teach and initiate. An experienced group facilitator and accomplished guitarist, John Hakim has completed multiple trainings with his teacher Murshid Saadi in the traditional foundations of Middle Eastern Mysticism, the Aramaic Jesus, and more. He combines friendly informality with an experienced leading style that helps people to feel both comfortable and included. He recorded an album, “Delirious Walrus” with his grown children, and music continues to flow into and through him.

zikr options

In person at The Light Upon Light Sufi Center or
Online via Zoom

Light Upon Light Sufi Center
3754 Pleasant Ave, Studio 2B
Minneapolis, MN 55409

ARABIC STUDIES with Ustadh (Teacher) Ali Raul Omar Pacheco

Arabic Language and the Art of Calligraphy
Introducing the 99 Names of Allah

Introductory Class with Ustadh Ali O. Pacheco
Member of the Sufi Qadiryya Order

Tuesday, January 23rd 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Mountain Time (adjust or your time zone!)
To sign up and receive Zoom link and password: Call 505.500.2308 or Email

Ustadh (Teacher) Ali Raul Omar Pacheco, a Sufi-friendly and highly gifted instructor from Cordoba, Argentina, has taught Arabic Language and Calligraphy for over 30 years. After 4.5 years’ study in Medina, he began his teaching career at the Centre Culturel de la Courneuve in Paris and before returning to the Americas, organized a calligraphy workshop in Cordoba, Spain, the fabled city for which his birthplace is named. Ali taught at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York in Manhattan for five years and now teaches Arabic for the Lighthouse Muslim Community Center in Albuquerque and Arabic Language, Calligraphy, and Tafsir online independently and for the Light Upon Light Sufi Center in Minneapolis.

Please see below for how to attend zikrs or other events online.
To see other things we’ve done, check out Events and Workshops.


All Times in Central Daylight Time

Starting July 3rd, 2023
Nur Ashki Jerrahi Zikr     –     In person and on Zoom

Chisti Zikr  /  Nomad Campfire     –     In person and on Zoom

June 28th, 2023
Free introductory class!     /     On Zoom
The Inner Aspects of Calligraphy Through the 99 Names of Allah
Contact Ustadh Ali @ 505-500-2308

Events & Announcements

Both weekly zikrs are now meeting in person as well as on Zoom.      No masks are required.      Arabic Calligraphy is on Zoom.

Online Attendance: the Process

We use Zoom, and there’s nothing to download. To attend one or more Monday Jerrahi and/or Wednesday Ruhaniat zikrs, let us know by EMAILING US HERE. Because zikr is a profound experience, we do a light one-time screening to protect the space, so tell us a few words about your spiritual journey and why you’re interested and we’ll send you either or both links.

To join any of our other classes held in future, REGISTER HERE. (There is no screening for non-zikr classes and events.) To keep up with changes and new events, please ask to receive the newsletter.

TO EXPLORE Arabic, Qur’an and Calligraphy study though classes or private lessions, contact Ustadh Ali at 505-500-2308.

Our Message to You

Bismillah! We’re still here, and if you’re reading this, you are too, so that’s a bit of good news, anyway. These are hard times in so may ways! Like Herman Hesse’s Magic Theatre, we’re “not for everybody,” but for some of you we offer a window into new places of knowledge and beauty which you might be seeking or into familiar places of strength and comfort. Ya Fattah, ya Barr, ya Wakil! Oh Opener, Oh Doer of Good, Oh Guardian and Protecting Friend! May you be blessed and protected.

John Hakim and Karima Nur

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