Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sheikh al-'Alawi's Legacy

His Will

When Sheikh al-‘Alawi felt his time drawing near, he called for two officials to write down his will. The first things he called for was that everything the Zāwiyah contained including the lands and properties around it remain for the general benefit of the Fuqāra. He made Sīdī ‘Udda b. Tunis responsible to oversee that it remained so as long as he respected the practices of the Order and did not change anything therein. He was ordered to respect the people who dedicated themselves to the Zāwiyah, whether they had been then for a time of whether they were newcomers. He was told to provide for them from the funds of the Zāwiyah. Any guest coming to the Zāwiya was to be honoured and treated with the utmost respect. His wife ‘Waraqa Mughniya’ daughter of ‘Ali was given the choice to take her inheritance from his personal wealth that he had earned from before he dedicated himself to the Order or she could remain there where she would be fully honoured and respected. When she was to pass away, he asked that she be buried next to him. As for the spiritual inheritance of the teachings of the Order, he declared that everyone who was affiliated had their portion of it, but his true inheritor would appear after him and spread the Order in respect with the teachings that Sheikh al-‘Alawi had laid down. This did not have to be from his family or close companions; he could be from those now far from him, and God chooses whom He wills.

Forty days after the Sheikh’s death the terms in his will were not respected. Sīdī as-Salih b. Dimrad gathered all the representatives of the Sheikh and called them to pledge allegiance to Sīdī ‘Adda b. Tunis. Sīdī Ahmed b. Sādiq stood up and exclaimed, ‘If we pledge allegiance to Sīdī ‘Adda b. Tunis and then another arises more deserving of the role who will benefit the people more, what do we do? Do we break our oath or do we remain in allegiance to Sīdī ‘Adda even though it is not just? I suggest we stay as we were in the life of the Sheikh unified. Everyone remains in his Zāwiya and no-one interferes with each other without their permission and we respect each other.’ This is where the division started; anyone that did not join the ranks of Sīdī ‘Adda was considered outside the fold of Order. Fuqāra were thrown out of the Zāwiyas in Algeria and the wealth of the Zāwiya became controlled by one particular family.

His Passing

The Sheikh lived a life of 63 years that was spent calling people to God. He passed away on July 14th July 1934. He remained on his bier for three days in order that the people from their respective regions could come to pay their respects. Thousands came to visit both men and women. At the time, the heads of the Order came together under the leadership of Sīdī Muhammad al-Madani, who was the biggest scholar of the Order, to discuss who would take the reins of leadership now that the Sheikh had passed on. He said, ‘We cannot decide on this matter you ask me about until we consult Sīdī Muhammādi Bil-Hājj. He was the greatest of Sheikh al-‘Alawi’s disciples. When they consulted him, he replied, ‘If that was the position of the Sheikh then we must leave it at that.’ The reason that Sīdī Muhammad al-Madani referred to Sīdī Muhammādi Bil-Hājj was that he heard Sheikh al-‘Alawi allude to the special station that Sīdī Muhammādi Bil-Hājj had and that he was the one to inherit the teachings of the Order. Once the Sheikh was buried and the people had paid their respects, his disciples returned to their respective homes to carry on his teachings as he had ordered

The Number of his Disciples

Moulay Sulaimān: ‘I was present in Mostāghanem when I heard one of the people who had dedicated their lives to the Zāwiyah and was a scribe for the Sheikh say, ‘Sheikh al-‘Alawi wrote to all his representatives and disciples of the Order all over the world and told them to collect the names of everyone that affiliated themselves to the Alawi Order. After they wrote back to him the number came to around 33 million. Sheikh al-‘Alawi also left behind him more then 50 thousand man capable of leading others to knowledge of God all-Mighty. Sīdī Sālih bin ‘Abd al-‘Azīz said he heard Shiekh al-‘Alawi say, ‘My hope, God willing, is that I leave behind me more teachers than Sidi Moulay al-‘Arabi left behind him, may God be pleased with him, and he did not pass away until he had left 40, 000; all of them were from the people who could take others to knowledge of God.

The Zawiyas he Left Behind

1) Tlemcan (district of al-Haddādīn): Representative: Sīdī al-‘Arabi ash-Shawwār (washed Sheikh al-‘Alawi’s body and was previously affiliated to the Hibri Order)
2) Oran (New City): Representatives: Sīdī Sālih bin ‘Abd al-‘Azīz
Sālih b. Murād
Sīdī ‘Ali Bilahsan
Sīdī Ahmed Bil-Farhat

3) Ghalīzān: Representative: Sīdī Sālih b. Murād at-Tilimsāni
4) Algiers (Bu Zarī‘ah): Representative: Sīdī al-‘Abbās al-Jazīri at-Tilimsāni
5) Burj Abi ‘Arīrīj: Representative: Sīdī al-Hasan b. al-Joudi al-Azhari
6) Ja‘āfra: Representative: Sīdī ash-Sharīf b. al-Hasan
7) Region of ‘Iyād: Representative: as-Sa‘īd al-Mekki
8) Khanshala: Representative: Sīdī Muhammad b. Da‘ās
9) Bani Ya‘lā: Representative: al-Hājj al-Hāshimi Bu ‘Amāma
10) ‘Ināba: Representative: al-Hājj al-Hasan (student from Zaytouna)
Sīdī Muahammad as-Salim (affiliated to Sulaimiyya Order previously)
11) Mostaghānem
The Reef (North Morocco):
1) Bani Yaznāsa: Representative: Sīdī al-‘Arabi b. ‘Umar ash-Shabābi
2) Ahfīr: Representative: Sīdī Abu Madyan al-Butchīchi (affiliated to the Qādiri Order previously) He went to visit the Sheikh and took the litany from him. Then the sheikh entered into spiritual retreat for a number of days. Then he went back to his people with the permission of the Sheikh to inculcate the order to the people.
3) Bani Bu Yahyā: Representative: Sīdī Muhammad as-Saghīr (grandson of Sīdī Muhammad b. Qaddor al-Wukīli and resident at the Zawiya in Kerker).
4) Bani Bu Yahyā: Representative: Sīdī Bil-Qāsim b. Ahmed as-Sa‘īdi.
5) Kebdāna: Representative: Sīdī al-Mukhtār b. Hadīdwan.
6) Bani Shikār: Representative: Sīdī Muhammādi Bil-Hājj
7) Farkhāna: Representative: Sīdī Muhammad b. Rahu
8) Qal‘iyya(Bani Muzuja): Representative: Sīdī al-Bashīr b. Abd al-Rahmān
9) Qal‘iyya(Bani Bu Yifrour): Representative: Moulay Sulaimān b. Mehdi
10) Qal‘iyya(Bani Sadāl): Representative: Sīdī Ahmed b. ‘Allāl
11) Bani Sa‘īd: Representative: Sīdī Muhammad b. Isā as-Sa‘īdi
12) Bani Tuzīn: Representative: Sīdī Muhammad Emziyān at-Tafrīsīti
13) Bani Wulīshk: Representative: Sīdī Shu‘aib b. Muhammad b. Tāhir (previously affiliated to the Nāsiriyya Order)
14) Bani Wulīshk: Representative: Sīdī Hadu b. Muhammad b. ‘Allāl al-Wulīshki
15) Bani Wulīshk: Representative: Sīdī Shu‘aib b. Maimoun
16) Tamasmān: Representaitve: Moulay Tāhir b. Muhammad b. Tayyib b. Muhammad b. Qaddour.
17) Bani Waryāghal: Representative: Sīdī Muhammad b. Muhammādi b. at-Touzāni
18) Bani Abdullah: Representative: Moulay Abd al-Rahmān al-Ghalabzouri
19) Bani ‘Amart: Representative: Muhammad b. Muhammad ash-Sharqi
20) Bani Mazdawi: Representative: Sīdī Muhammad Aghrabi
21) Sanhāja: Representative: Sīdī Muhammad b. al-Hājj Muhammad as-Sanhāji
22) Ghumāra: Representative: Sīdī Muhammad b. al-Mufaddal al-Ghumāri
1) Tetoun: Representative: Sīdī al-Mukhtār b. al-Hājj ‘Abd al-Qādir
2) Tangiers: Representative: Sīdī Muhammad b. al-Hājj Ahmed Tai Tai
3) Tangiers: Representative: Sīdī Ahmed al-Hassār al-Jazā’iri
4) Sebta: Representative: Sīdī Muhammad ad-Dou
5) Fez: Sīdī al-Hājj ‘Umar al-Labbār (gatherings were held in his house)
1) Sīdī Muhammad al-Madani al-Qasībi
2) Tunis (Shrine of Sīdī Yahyā): Sīdī Muhammad b. al-Wunīsi
1) Aden: Representative: Sīdī Amir Yahyā b. Hāmid ad-Deen. (He has numerous followers in Europe)
1) Paris (Algerians)
2) Marseilles
1) Lahai (Yemenis under the leadership of Sīdī Abdullah al-Hakīmi)
1) Cardiff: Representative: Sīdī Hasan Ismā‘il
2) Birmingham
3) Liverpool
4) Hull
5) South shields

1) Damascus: Representative: Sīdī Muhammad b. al-Hāshimi
1) Jāffa: Representative: Sīdī Muatafā ‘Abd as-Salām al-Filāli
2) Gaza: Sīdī Muhammad b. ‘Amīmour al-Hilāli
3) Falouja: Sīdī Hussein b. Muhammad b. Sulaimān
1) Representative: Ibrahim b. Abu Bakr
He also had zawiyahs in Medina and Somalia.
Ethiopia: Representative: Ali b. Muhammad as-Saqqaf al-Yemeni



Tariq said...

as salaamu 'alaykum,

Wasn't Sidi Sheikh 'Ali al-Boudlimi a representative for Sidi Sheikh al-'Alawi in Algeria?

faqir tariq

benamonishan said...

I wish to share with you all my humble attempt at translating Shaykh al-'Alawi's Munajat. The book in PDF format contains the original Arabic text and parallel English translation and can be viewed as well downloaded from this link:

Abdul-Majid Bhurgri

Anonymous said...

Which of his representative are still alive does anyone know?

Unknown said...

What about Sidi Yusuf Riq Bakhour al-Hasani? He is the successor of Sidi Abdul Qadir Isa, which was the successor of Sidi Muhammad al-Hashimi, which was the successor of Sidi Mustofa al-'Alawi.

Anonymous said...

Salam Alaykoum,

Please could someone post the transliteration (for arabic pronunciation) of the Luftiya sung at the end of the Alawi wird.
Thank you so much.


Ousama said...

Salam Alaykoum,

Is there any way of getting the book "Le Dogme de l'Islam" published by the Zaouia of Mostaganem.
I am also trying to get in touch with disciples of the late and much missed Sidi Alaoui Bendimerad.

Thank you so much


Khalid Williams said...

Alaykum Salam Ousama,

The first part of the Lutfiya is transliterated in this pdf, but unfortunately not all of it:

I'm afraid I can't help with your other questions, apologies.

Anonymous said...

br ousama, salam alaykum,
I am a disciple of the late Sidi bendimerad. I can possibly provide you contact info. there is a new shaykh now. send an email to

Post a Comment