Abul Hasan al-Shadhili

Abul Hasan Al-Shadhili

Abul Hasan al-Shadhili

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Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili () was the Sufi founder of the eponymous Shadhili order.

He was born into a Berber Ghomara family of peasant labourers, near Ceuta in the north of Morocco in 1196 . He studied in Fes. He set out across North Africa and into the Levant in the hope of finding the great living saint of his time (see Qutb). In Iraq a Sufi named al-Wasiti told him that he could find this saint in the country Abul Hasan had travelled from, ‘Abd al-Salam ibn Mashish, the great Moroccan spiritual master. Under his guidance, Abul Hasan attained enlightenment and proceeded to spread his knowledge across North Africa, especially from Tunisia and Egypt, where he is buried. He advocated a path of moderation in outward actions, concentrating instead on attaining sincerity through constant invocation, heartfelt petitions to God, and invocation of the Name, Allah. He died in 1258 in Humaithra, Egypt, while he was on his way to the pilgrimage in Mecca in 1258. His shrine is highly venerated.

When asked who his spiritual master was, he used to reply, ‘I used to be the close follower of ‘Abd al-Salam ibn Mashish, but I am no more the close follower of any human master.’ Shaykh Abul-Abbas al-Mursi (d. 1288), who succeeded Shaykh ash-Shadhili as the next spiritual master of the Order, was asked about the knowledge of his spiritual master and replied, ‘He gave me forty sciences. He was an ocean without a shore.’

He taught his close followers to lead a life of contemplation and...
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