Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Ahmad al-Alawi – a Shaykh of the Darqawi Shadhili sufi path (tariqa)

Sidi Al Alawi

Shaykh Ahmad ibn Mustafa al-Alawi (186914 July 1934), (Arabic: أحمد بن مصطفى العلاوي), was the founder of one of the most important modern Sufi Muslim orders, the Darqawiyya Alawiyya, a branch of the Shadhiliyya.

Shaykh Ahmad al-Alawi was born in Mostaganem, Algeria, in 1869. He was first educated at home by his father. From the time of his father's death in 1886 until 1894, he worked in Mostaganem and followed the Aissawiyya order

In 1894, he traveled to Morocco, and followed for fifteen years the Darqawi shaykh Muhammad al-Buzidi. After al-Buzidi's death in 1909, Shaykh Al-Alawi returned to Mostaganem, where he first spread the Darqawiyya, and then (in 1914) established his own order, called the Alawiyya in honor of Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet, who appeared to him in a vision and gave him that name for his new order.

He was a Sufi, Maliki scholar, Koranic exegete, poet, and the Shaykh and renewer of the Shadhili tariqa, of which he founded the 'Alawi-Darqawi order that bears his name.

His teaching stressed the threefold nature of the Muslim religion (din) as mentioned in the Gabriel hadith: Islam, represented by one's inward and outward submission to the rules of Sacred Law; true faith (iman), in the tenets of faith of Ahl al-Sunna; and the perfection of faith (ihsan), in the knowledge of Allah which the way of Sufism provides the means to.

He authored works in each of these spheres, though his most important legacy lay in the spiritual way he founded, which emphasized knowledge of Allah (ma'rifa) through the practice of solitary retreat (khalwa) under the supervision of Shaykh, and the invocation (dhikr) of the Supreme Name.

Europeans visited the Shaykh, but some who met him later wrote works that tried to assimilate him to a sort of perennialist philosophy that would consider all religious traditions as valid and acceptable reflections but a single truth, substituting traditional spirituality versus modern materialism for Islam versus unbelief.

The Shaykh's own works emphatically deny their philosophy, and the reason Allah afflicted them with it would seem to be that they did notre main with the Shaykh long enough to absorb his state or become as he was, a follower of the way of the prophets and purified ones, rather taking their affiliation with him as a means to legitimize opinions they had from the first and were unwilling to ever relinquish, remaking the master, as it were, in their own image.

The true measure of a spiritual way, however, does not lie in books produced by writers, in the wrong or in the right, but in hearts it opens to knowledge of divine realities conveyed by prophetic revelation, and in the Sheikh Ahmed al-'Alawi, whose order has spread to the farthest reaches of the Muslim world, certainly stands as on of the greatest Sufi masters of Islamic history. He died in Mostaghanem in 1353/1934.

Although Shaykh al-Alawi showed unusual respect for Christians, and was in some ways an early practitioner of inter-religious dialogue, the centerpiece of his message to Christians was that if only they would abandon the doctrines of the trinity and of incarnation "nothing would then separate us."

The great size of his following may be explained by the combination of classic Sufism with engagement in contemporary issues, combined with his own personal charisma, to which many sources, both Algerian and French, speak. Shaykh Al-Alawi's atheist French physician, Marcel Carret, wrote of his first meeting with Shaykh al-Alawi "What immediately struck me was his resemblance to the face which is generally used to represent Christ."

[Shaykh Ahmad al-Alawi was] an Algerian saint considered by many to be one of the greatest Sufi Masters of the 20th century. He was largely unknown in the West until the publication of Martin Lings' classic work A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century: the Spiritual Legacy of Shaykh Ahmad al-Alawi.

The Silsila of the Darqawi Shadhili (Alawiya) Tariqa

Our Prophet Muhammad ibn ‘Abdallah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam

Sidi Al Imam‘Ali ibn Abi Talib - Karram Allahu Wajhah -
Sidi al Imam al-Hasan as-Sibt ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib - Radhiya Allahu Anhu -
Sidi Abu Muhammad Jabir
Sidi Sa‘id Al Ghazwani
Sidi Muhammad Fath As Su’ud
Sidi Sa‘ad
Sidi Abu Muhammad Sa’id
Sidi Alimad Al Marwani
Sidi Ibrahim Al Basri
Sidi Zain ad-Din Al Qazwini
Sidi Muhammad Shams Ad Din
Sidi Muhammad Taj Ad Din
Sidi Nur ad-Din Abu’l-Hasan ‘Ali
Sidi Fakhr Ad Din
Sidi Taqi ad-Din Al Fuqair
Sidi ‘Abd ar-Rahman Al ‘Attar Az Zayyat
Sidi ‘Abd as-Salam ibn Mashish
Sidi Al Ustadh Abu ‘l-Hasan Ash Shadhili
Sidi Abu’l-‘Abbas Al Mursi
Sidi Ahmad ibn Ata’ Allah Al Iskandari
Sidi Da’ud ibn Bakhili
Sidi Muhammad Wafa Bahr As Safa
Sidi ‘Ali ibn Wafa
Sidi Yahya’l Qadiri
Sidi Ahmad Al Hadrami
Sidi Ahmad Zarruq
Sidi Ibrahim Al Fahham
Sidi ‘Ali as-Sanhaji Ad Dawwar
Sidi ‘Abd ar-Rahman Al Majdhub
Sidi Yusuf Al Fassi
Sidi ‘Abd ar-Rahman Al Fassi
Sidi Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah
Sidi Qasim Al Khassasi
Sidi Ahmad ibn ‘Abd Allah
Sidi Al-‘Arabi ibn ‘Abd Allah
Sidi ‘Ali Al Jamal
Sidi Al Ustadh Al-‘Arabi ibn Ahmad Ad Darqawi
Sidi Ya'za Al Muhaji
Sidi Muhammad ibn Qaddur Al Wakili
Sidi Muhammad ibn al-Habib Al Buzeidi
Shaikh Al Waqt Sidi Al Ustadh Ahmad ibn Mustafa Al `Alawi Al Mostghanmi
Radhiya Allahu Anhum Jami'an - May Allah Be Pleased with them -

Source and References:





No comments: