The Shadhili Tariqa (Arabic: الطريقة الشاذلية) is a Sufi order of Sunni Islam[1] founded by Abul Hasan Ali ash-Shadhili[2] in the 13th century and is followed by millions of people around the world. Many followers (Arabic murids, "seekers") of the Shadhiliya are known as Shadhilis, and a single follower is known as Shadhili.

It has historically been of importance and influence in the Maghreb and Egypt with many contributions to Islamic literature. Among the figures most known for their literary and intellectual contributions are Ibn 'Ata Allah, author of the Hikam, and Ahmad Zarruq, author of numerous commentaries and works, and Ahmad ibn Ajiba who also wrote numerous commentaries and works. In poetry expressing love of Muhammad, there have been the notable contributions of Muhammad al-Jazuli, author of the "Dala'il al-Khayrat", and Busiri, author of the famous poem, the Qaṣīda al-Burda. Many of the head lecturers of al-Azhar University in Cairo have also been followers of this tariqa.

Of the various branches of the Shadhili tariqa are the Fassiyatush,[3] found largely in India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The Darqawi branch is found mostly in Morocco and the Darqawi Alawiyya (no connection to the Kızılbaş, Turkish Alevis, or the Syrian Alawites) which originated in Algeria is now found the world over, particularly in Syria, Jordan, France and among many English-speaking communities. British scholar, Martin Lings wrote an extensive biography of the founder of this branch, Ahmad al-Alawi, entitled 'A Sufi Saint of the 20th century'.[4]

The anniversary of Qutub Al Akbar Imam Abul Hasan Ali ash-Shadhili is held on 12th of Shawwal (the tenth month of lunar calendar) at Humaithara in Egypt.


Shadhiliyya has numerous across the globe. A few prominent branches are listed below.


Fassiyatush shadhili Sufi order was established by Qutbul Ujud Ghouthuz Zamaan Ash Sheikh Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Mas'ood bin Abdur Rahman Al Makki Al Magribi Al Fassi Ash Shadhili (Imam Fassi) who was a Moroccan by origin and born in Makkah.[5] Fassiyatush Shadhiliyya is widely practised in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Mauritius and Indonesia. The descendants of Imam Fassi who are Sheikhs of Fassiyatush Shadhiliyya who live in Makkah and in Jeddah visit to these countries frequently to train Ikhwan. The international leader of Fassiya ash Shadhiliyya (Sheikhus Sujjadah) is selected from the heirs of Qutbul Ujood and Najmul Ulema Sheikh Ajwad bin Abdallah al Fassi al Makki ash Shadhili is the present leader of the international Sufi order al Fassiya ash Shazuliya.


The Holy Dargah of Imam Shadhili, Humaithara, Egypt

The Darqawiyya, a Moroccan branch of the Shadhili order, was founded in the late 18th century CE by Muhammad al-Arabi al-Darqawi. Selections from the Letters of al-Darqawi have been translated by the Shadhili initiate Titus Burckhardt, and also by the scholar Aisha Bewley.[6][7] One of the first tariqas to be established in the West was the 'Alawiya branch of the Darqawiyya, [8] which was named after Ahmad ibn Mustafa al-'Alawi al-Mustaghanimi, popularly known as Shaykh al-Alawi. "A significant book about him, written by Martin Lings, is A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century."[9][10]


The 'Attasiyah Order is a branch of the 'Alawi Order, founded by Umar bin Abdur Rahman bin Aqil al-Attas. It is centered in Yemen but also has centers in Pakistan, India, and Myanmar. The 'Alawiya order in Yemen has recently been studied by the anthropologist David Buchman. In his article "The Underground Friends of God and Their Adversaries: A Case Study and Survey of Sufism in Contemporary Yemen", Professor Buchman summarizes the results of his six-month period of fieldwork in Yemen. The article was originally published in the journal Yemen Update[11][10]

Darqawi HashimiyaEdit

The Darqawi-Alawi branch of the Shadili tariqa also established itself in Damascus and the Levant through Sheikh Muhammad al-Hashimi al-Tilmisani, the son of an Algerian qadi, who migrated to Damascus along with his spiritual guide Ibn Yallis. After the death of Ibn Yallis, Hashimi was authorized by Sheikh Ahmad al-'Alawi (see above Martin Lings), during a visit to Damascus in the early 1920s, and was made his deputy in Damascus. A biography of his life was published in English as Shaykh Muhammad al-Hashimi: His Life and Works.

The most well known living spiritual guide of this branch of the Shadhili tariqa, especially to English-speakers, is Sheikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, an American scholar, author, and translator, who resides in Amman, Jordan. He was authorized by Sheikh Abd al Rahman Al Shaghouri, who was himself a student of Sheikh Muhammad al-Hashimi al-Tilmisani and the lead singer of his gatherings in Damascus. Advocating a holistic and erudite approach to Sufism, Nuh Keller and his students have played an instrumental role in broadening access to Islamic sciences through online education and high quality publications and translations of classical works. His tariqa is notable in attracting a large number of scholars, academics, and professionals.

Sheikh Muhammad Sa'id al-Jamal, another student of Sheikh Muhammad al-Hashimi al-Tilmisani and who died in 2015, had worked from the Haram al-Sharif or The Temple Mount in Jerusalem and was a mufti of the Hanbali Madhab. He was also a student of the spiritual guide and Shadhili Sheikh Abdur Rahman Abu al Risah of Halab of the Shadhili Yashruti line. He was a direct descendant of Muhammad, through his ancestor Ahmad ar-Rifa`i. He wrote many books in both English and Arabic on Sufism, tafsir, and healing. His students from the US also established the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism[12] which is devoted to the Sufi way of healing.


Another branch of the Shadhilia which has groups in Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey and America is the Shadhilia-Batawia founded by Sheikh Ibrahim al-Batawi, for many years professor at al-Azhar. He was a confrere of Sheikh Abdu-l-Halim Mahmud, Shaikh al-Azhar, who was very influential in the revival of Sufism in Egypt. Sheikh Ibrahim's student, Sheikh Abdullah Nooruddeen Durkee has established the Shadhdhuliyyah-Baddawia order in the US. Sheikh Nooruddeen has translated and transliterated the Qur'an and has compiled two definitive books on the Shadhdhuliyyiah, Orisons and Origins.[13]

"Between October 17–26, 1999 the First International Shadhilian Festival occurred in Egypt. It concluded with a pilgrimage to the tomb of Abu 'l-Hasan al-Shadhili and involved Sufi gatherings of dhikr" and the singing of qasidas, or classical poetry.[10]


The Maryamiyya Order was founded by Swiss-German metaphysician Frithjof Schuon, author of The Transcendent Unity of Religions, among other influential books, as an outgrowth of the Alawiyya order. In 1946, the disciples of a group he led in Switzerland declared him to be an "independent master", spurring him to create his own order. In 1965, he began having visions of Maryam (as the Virgin Mary is known in Islam), who the Order is named after. The Maryamiyya Order was largely formed around Perennial philosophy and Neoplatonism, and heavily influenced by Advaita Vedanta and Guénon's Traditionalist School.[14]


On ChristianityEdit

Miguel Asín Palacios has suggested that Ibn Abbad al-Rundi drew detailed connections between the teachings of Ibn Abbad al-Rundi and St. John of the Cross, such as in the account of the dark night of the soul.[citation needed]

José Nieto, on the other hand, argues that these mystical doctrines are quite general, and that while similarities exist between the works of St. John and Ibn Abbad and other Shadhilis, these reflect independent development, not influence.[15]

The Spiritual ChainEdit

Every tariqa must have a chain of transmission and authorization to be recognized as valid. Most of the chains start from Ali ibn Abi Talib and goes as 2 branches one through his son Hasan ibn Ali and another through Husayn ibn Ali.[16]

  • Muhammad
  • Ali ibn Abi Talib
  • Imam Hasan
  • Abu Muhammad Jabir ibn ’Abdullah
  • Sa‘id al-Ghazawani
  • Abu Muhammad Fath al-Su'ood
  • Abu Muhammad Sa'eed
  • Abul Qasim Ahmad ibn Marwani
  • Sayyid Ishaq Ibrahim al-Basri
  • Zayn al-Din al-Qazwini
  • Shams al-Din
  • Muhammad Taj al-Din
  • Nur al-Din Abul Hasan ‘Ali
  • Fakhr al-Din
  • Tuqayy al-Din al-Fuqayr
  • ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Madani al-‘Attar Az zayyat
  • Abd as-Salam ibn Mashish
  • Abul Hasan al-Shadhili

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ al-Ṣabbāgh, M.A.Q.I.; Douglas, E.H.; Abu-Rabiʻ, I.M. (1993). The Mystical Teachings of al-Shadhili: Including His Life, Prayers, Letters, and Followers. A Translation from the Arabic of Ibn al-Sabbagh's Durrat al-Asrar wa Tuhfat al-Abrar. State University of New York Press. ISBN 9780791416136. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
  2. ^ "Sufis & Shaykhs [3] – World of Tasawwuf". Archived from the original on 2012-09-11. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
  3. ^ "Fassiyathush Shazuliya Tariqa | Madurai-Tamil Nadu-India".
  4. ^ Lings, Martin (1993). A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century: Shaikh Aḥmad Al-ʻAlawī : His Spiritual Heritage & Legacy. ISBN 0-946621-50-0.
  5. ^ "Fassiyathush Shazuliya | tariqathush Shazuliya | Tariqa Shazuliya | Sufi Path | Sufism | Zikrs | Avradhs | Daily Wirdh | Thareeqush shukr |Kaleefa's of the tariqa | Sheikh Fassy | Ya Fassy | Sijl | Humaisara | Muridheens | Prostitute Entering Paradise". Retrieved 2015-02-26.
  6. ^ "Fons Vitae books - Letters of a Sufi Master - Shaykh ad-Darqawi (trans. Titus Burckhardt) ( Darqawi, darqawa, al arabi al darqawi, addarqawi)". April 26, 2009. Archived from the original on April 26, 2009.
  7. ^ "Darqawi". January 26, 2006. Archived from the original on January 26, 2006.
  8. ^ " :: Shaikh Ahmed Al-Alawi - The Spiritual Path in Islam -". June 17, 2006. Archived from the original on June 17, 2006.
  9. ^ "iKitab.Com Islamic Bookstore - A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century : Shaikh Ahmad al-Alawi : His Spiritual Heritage and Legacy - MYST - Book". December 18, 2005. Archived from the original on December 18, 2005.
  10. ^ a b c Alan Godlas, "Sufism, Sufis, and Sufi Orders: Sufism's Many Paths"
  11. ^ "sufi.html". January 4, 2006. Archived from the original on January 4, 2006.
  12. ^ "Welcome · University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism".
  13. ^ "Bismillahi-r-Rahmani-r-Rahim : Green Mountain School : Tasawwuf". February 28, 2009. Archived from the original on February 28, 2009.
  14. ^ Curtis, Edward (2010). Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History. Infobase Publishing. pp. 361–362.
  15. ^ José Nieto, Mystic Rebel Saint. A study of Saint John of the Cross (Geneva: Droz 1979) at 25–27. Cf., Swietlicki, Spanish Christian Cabala (1986) at 184.
  16. ^ "Spiritual Genealogy". 8 February 2018. Retrieved 2019-11-06.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Shadhili at Wikimedia Commons