Ibn Ata' illah al-Iskandari, May Allah be pleased with him, was born in Alexandria, Egypt. He was one of the great Sufi Imams who was also known as a muhaddith, preacher, and Maliki jurist. He is the author of 'al-Hikam' (Aphorisms), 'Miftah al-falah' (The key to success), 'al-Qasd al-mujarrad fi ma'rifat al-ism al-mufrad' (The pure goal concerning knowledge of the Unique Name), amongst others. This pious and extraordinary contemplative figure left behind a spiritual legacy no less impressive than those of his own beloved Shaykh, and the eminent founder Shaykh Abu'l-Hasan ash-Shadhili, May Allah be pleased with him. All the biographers refer to Ibn 'Ata illah with illustrious titles and reverence and mention how marvellously he spoke and how uplifting his words were. In spite of the fact that he followed the Maliki madhbab, the Shafi'is laid claim to him, most probably because some of his earlier teachers had been Shafi'i scholars, not to mention some of his students.
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