The Mystical Teachings of al-Shadhili

The Mystical Teachings of al-Shadhili -
Including His Life, Prayers, Letters, & Followers,
*[A5] Paperback - Total 288 pages.
Translated by Elmer H. Douglas.
Published by Suny Press, NY.

Back in Stock May 2024


From the Introduction :

The Mystical Teachings of al-Shadhili - A Translation from the Arabic of ibn al-Sabbagh's Durrat al-Asrar wa Tuhfat al-Abrar by Elmer H. Douglas. Edited with an Introduction and a Bibliography by Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi. Ibn al-Sabbagh gives the following biographical data about Imam al-Shadhili, may Allah have mercy upon him. He was born in the region of Ghumara, in today's Morocco, around A.H. 583 or C.E. 1187. He embarked on a spiritual journey in search of a genuine Sufi shaykh or the qutb [pole]. As a result, he travelled to Baghdad which was still famous as a theological and intellectual center. There, he was told by an lraqi Sufi shaykh to go back to the West, to his homeland, because the qutb was there. Abd al-Salam Ibn Mashish (d. 622/1225) was this qutb.

Ibn al-Sabbagh says that Ibn Mashish, may Allah be pleased with him, was a strict follower of the Qur'an and the Sunna. He applied them in his life and encouraged his disciples to do so. Douglas postulates on the meeting between al-Shadhili and Ibn Mashish by saying that, "Early in life al-Shadhili went to [Ibn] Mashish to take him as his spiritual guide. The venerable teacher recognised the 'saintly' qualities of the young man and gave him his final injunction to refrain from men and to depart to Tunisia:' Ibn Mashish "was by far the most important of al-Shadhili's teachers, one to whom he owed his instruction in the Sufi way:' Ibn Mashish also laid the foundations of "the future life of Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili:'

Al-Shadhili's stay in Tunisia marks the beginning of his career as a saint and theologian. It is on the basis of lbn al-Sabbagh's biography that we can determine with some accuracy al-Shadhili's life in Tunisia and his struggle to form an independent Sufi movement. The account given by lbn 'Ata'Allah, may Allah be pleased with him, in his biography does not shed as much light on the Tunisian phase of al-Shadhili as does Ibn al-Sabbagh's writings. Later authors of Shadhiliyya's Tabaqat base their narratives on Ibn al-Sabbagh's biography. Al-Shadhili's departure to Egypt, as already mentioned, marks the second phase in his career, which had a lasting effect on the future development of the Shadhiliyya order.

Ibn al-Sabbagh devotes a major section of his biography to a discussion of al-Shadhili's various travels in search of the qutb. He also assumes that the qutb plays a crucial role in sufism because he transmits the baraka (blessing) of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. One may argue that "Sufi realization" depends upon this baraka which, in turn, is transmitted through a shaykh, who is part of a silsila leading back to the Noble Prophet of Islam. In that sense, tasawwuf, as spiritual training and method, cannot be learned from books and sophisticated theories about God and the universe. Spiritual initiation is attained only with the help of a Sufi shaykh.

'Abd al-Halim Mahmud [d. 1977], a leading modem Shadhili disciple and former rector of the Azhar University, enumerates three essential conditions for attaining spiritual inititiation :


  • ---The first is a natural readiness on the part of the would-be disciple.
  • ---The second condition is the necessity of belonging to a genuine silsila (chain) that traces its origin back to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.
  • ---The third, after being blessed by a shaykh, is the need to engage in the greater jihad which is self-discipline, spiritual contemplation, and asceticism. Al-Shadhili was part of this genuine silsila into which he was initiated by Ibn Mashish.



Table of Contents

---Editor's Introduction
---Author's Introduction to the Pearl of Mysteries and the Treasure of the Righteous,

Chapter [1]. His Noble Lineage, Travels, and Rank,
---Testimony of Ibn Futuh: Alchemy, and Divine Protection,
---Story of the Woodcutter,
---Al-Habibi, First Companion,
---Testimony of al-Ibri: Mount Zaghawan, Birds, and the Spring,
---Intervention of Ibn al-Bara' and Abu Zakariya,
---Narration of Madi,
---Testimony of Abu 'Abd Allah, the Copyist,
---'Izz al-Din and the Pilgrimage,
---The Shaykh Watches over Madi,
---Madi and al-Shadhili Visit the Tomb of the Prophet, ﷺ,
---Testimony of Jamal al-Din: Worship and Works,
---Drunkenness of the Shaykh's Son,
---Shihab al-Din before the Shaykh,
---Testimony about 'Arifat al-Khayr,
---The Shaykh Settles a Dispute with Berbers,
---Argument with a Group of M'utazila,
---True Asceticism,
---A Litigation,
---Miraculous Multiplication of Sheep and Grain.

Chapter [2]. Correspondence with His Companions,
---Letter of Consolation to a Disciple in Quyrawan,
---Letter to Followers in Tunis,
---Exhortation to Certain Judges,
---Letter to 'Ali Ibn Makhluf.

Chapter [3]. Supplication, Devotional Recitations, and Prayers of Confrontations,
---The Noble Litany and the Mighty Veil (Hijab), or the Great Litany,
---Blessed Supplication Known as the Litany of the Sea,
---Litany of Light,
---An Anecdote,
---A Devotional Recitation (Dhikr),
---A Devotional Recitation: Prayer for Happiness,
---A Devotional Recitation: The Veiling,
---A Devotional Recitation: Divine Grace,
---A Devotional Recitation: God's Love All-Sufficient,
---A Devotional Recitation: Contemptibility and Respectability,
---A Devotional Recitation: On Hearing the Call to Prayer,
---A Devotional Recitation: The Worship,
---A Dhikr to Dispel Depression,
---A Devotional Recitation: God the Living and Sole Provider,
---A Devotional Recitation: Thanksgiving for Benefaction,
---In Praise of the Maker,
---A Prayer before the Prophet's, ﷺ, Tomb,
---A Prayer for Forgiveness,
---An Invocation: The Great Name,
---A Devotional Recitation: Inner Sight and Providence,
---A Devotional Recitation: Granting of Requests,
---A Devotional Recitation: Compassion.

Chapter [4]. His Opinions, Injunctions, Doctrine on Sufism, and Other Sciences,
---Rule of the Religious Retreat ('Uzla),
---Help-Procuring Sayings on Entering the Religious Retreat,
---Section on Overcoming Satan,
---Perils of the Religious Retreat,
---Fruits of the Religious Retreat,
---On Sainthood,
---Contraction (Qabd) and Expansion (Bast),
---Loss and Gain,
---The Will,
---Religious Science,
---The Elect,
---The Way,
---Recitation and a Prayer,
---Miscellaneous Instructions,
---Chapter in Love,
---Scrupulous Piety,
---One of His Devotional Recitations (Adhkar),
---Verses of the Shaykh, Saint and Mystic Abu al-'Abbas al-Mursi,
---My Observation of His Salutation on the Apostle of God,
---One of His Devotional Recitations,
---A Devotional Recitation,
---A Devotional Recitation,
---A Saying,
---Verses of al-Mazduri,
---Sayings and Anecdotes,
---A Daily Dhikr,
---A Dhikr of the Heart,
---Spiritual Communion,
---Miscellaneous Teachings,
---Section on the Commonality and the Elect,
---Display of Knowledge,
---Good Breeding,
---Love for God,
---Sin and Pardon,
---A Remedy,
---Worldly Goods,
---Religious Acts,
---Sure Pardon,
---A Request,
---A Petition,
---Divine Management,
---Final Injunction,
---Qualities of the Sincere.

Chapter [5]. Al-Shadhili's Death and the Appointment of Abu Al-'Abbas al-Mursi as Successor,
---Testimony of Sharaf al-Din,
---A Premonition,
---Testimony of Abu Ishaq Ibrahim,
---Testimony of 'Imad al-Din,
---Personal Description,
---Excellences' of al-Shadhili's Successor,
---Testimony of Madi ibn Sultan,
---Testimony of Yaqut al-Habashi: The Story of the Raisins,
---Story of Fishing,
---Testimony of 'Abd al-Da'im: An Abundant Harvest,
---Testimony of 'Imad al-Din on Taj al-Din,
---Story of Two Jars of Honey,
---Statement of Abu Zayd ibn 'Abd al-Rahman: Pilgrimage with the Apostle,
---Testimony of Jamal al-Din Yusuf,
---Correspondence of al-Mursi,
---Statement of Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Hariz,
---Letter to Shihab al-Din on the Soul,
---Eulogy of Shihab al-Din,
---Correspondence with Jaml al-Din,
---Death of al-Mursi and His Grave,
---A Sea Rescue,
---The Grave: A Theriac,
---Tomb and Mosque of al-Mursi,
---Attainments of Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Sultan, Brother of Madi,
---A Dhikr is Given,
---A Case of Exegesis,
---Al-Yafruni: The Murabit,
---Other Anecdotes,
---Wajih al-Din,
---Story of the Crow,
---Story of the Beard,
---True Worship,
---Al-Murjani: Fear and Hope,
---House of Evil,
---Ibn al-Mu'addib, the Sultan, and the Well,
---Story of the Grape Thief,
---Story of the Cattle Thief,
---Carbuncles Healed,
---On Learning the Qur'an,
---The Orange Tree,
---Fasting and Feasting,
---The Fig,
---Unveiling Secrets,
---The Viper,
---A Heritage,
---Testimony of al-Himyari,
---Story of the Rent Money,
---Tombs of Saints,
---Story of the Cripple,
---Christians Enter Tunis,
---Light from the Grave,
---The Tailor Shop,
---Anecdotes about Madi.


More Shadhiliya books.

More books on Tasawwuf (Sufism). 
Also see Sufi Wisdom,
Also see Sufi Saints,
Also see Sufi Poetry.

*Dimensions : 21.6 x 14cm.




  • Shipping Weight: 0.525 kgs
  • 5 Units in Stock
  • Written by: Imam Abul Hasan al-Shadhili

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