Biography of Sheikh Ahmed Al-Alawi: (1869 – 1934)
Sheik Abu El Abbas Ahmed Ben Mostfa Ben Aliwa, best known as Al Alawi originating from Mostaganem, was born in 1869, in Mostaganem where he grew up and died, in 1934. As to learning how to write, he did not make much effort in that direction and he never went to school but, he learned the Quran from his father, El Hadj Mostfa at home and reached Surate ER Rahmane (The All-Merciful). He was still young when his father passed away so he was obliged to start work; he engaged in trade to meet his family’s daily needs. He was addicted to learning and deeply religious by nature; he used to attend religious evening courses in the mosque. Later, he met his Spiritual Master, Sheikh Sidi Mohamed Ben Habib El Bouzidi; he remained his disciple till his death, in 1909.
He was designated by the wise assembly to succeed their Master, El Bouzidi. He was the new Sheikh of Darkawyya order in Mostaganem and its offshoots. Early in the second decade of the 20th century, he founded the, ‘’Alawiya order’’, his disciples urged him to give his name ‘’Ben Alioua’’ to the Tariqah (Sufi order) so it is the Shadilyya, Darkawyya, Alawiya Tariqah.
The Sheikh certainly stands as one of the greatest Sufi Masters of Islamic history; he was a renewer of Sufism, and a great spiritual educator in the twentieth century. A lot of people from inside and outside the country came to take from him. Under his guidance, many of them attained to the Ma`rifah of Allah (The Divine Knowledge of Allah) and so they became great Gnostics (Arifun). Sheikh Al Alawi was famous for the transmission of the invocation of the Supreme Divine Name.
Sheikh Al Alawi enriched the spiritual and intellectual life in the twentieth century. He left numerous books on Sufism, Sufi poems, the Unity Science, jurisprudence, Astronomy, philosophy, Quraanic Exegesis and press articles.
He also established workshops and classes for learning and gaining a job such as printing, mechanics, carpentry…, newspapers, associations and cultural clubs.
He founded Lisane Al-Din (Language of Faith), newspaper in 1923, then, Al-Balagh Al-Djazairi (Algerian Messenger) in 1926.
Sheikh Al Alawi consecrated his life to the service of ‘’ The Path of Allah’’ and to that of the man, by preaching him to correct his contact with God and with all humans. He called for the interreligious dialogue, renunciation of the ideological differences, deepening the idea of communication, tolerance and spread of peace, love, and unification principles.
All these values still exist until now thanks to his successors in his Great Zawiya in Mostaganem, and to his disciples all over the world.
Kebersihan itu dapat dilakukan dengan Air Mutlak, Air Yang Ghaib yang mana jernihnya itu membanjiri seluruh alam nyata ini. Jernihnya itu menimbulkan berbagai warna dalam penzahirannya. Kerana penzahirannya itu Ia terlindung. Mutlak dalam nisbah Nya. Inilah Air yang tidak sedikit pun ada kotor dan boleh dibuat untuk membersihkan diri. Berkenaan Air ini seorang ahli makrifat ada berkata : "Bersucilah engkau dengan Air Ghaib itu, jika engkau ada Sir (Rahsia). Jika tidak, bersucilah engkau dengan tanah atau batu".
Carilah Air Hakiki ini. Siapa yang dapat Air ini tidaklah lagi akan kekurangan. Oleh itu orang yang berakal hendaklah mencari Air ini. Carilah Air ini walaupun dengan memakan korban yang besar, walaupun mengorbankan nyawa sendiri. (Apakah Air dan mati itu bersangkutan? Mati untuk diri yang mana?).
***Petikan diatas diambil dari buku bertajuk Risalah Kesufian Syekh Ahmad Al-Alawi. Tajuk berkenaan Air hanyalah salah satu tajuk yang diperkatakan. Buku ini dibeli aku sekitar tahun 1987. Ketika itu aku berumur 23 tahun. Membaca tapi tidak memahami ketika itu. Penghormatan kepada Abdul Majid Haji Khatib kerana jasa beliau dalam arena penterjermahan buku-buku sufi.***