Bio: Al-Qutb Abu Madyan Shu`ayb – القطب أبو مدين شعيب | الشيخ أبو مدين شعيب

Bio: Al-Qutb Abu Madyan Shu`ayb – القطب أبو مدين شعيب

Abu Madyan Shu`ayb ibn al-Husayn al-Ansari al-Tilimsani

b. 509 H. in Cordoba, Andalus - d. 594 H. in Tlimsan, Algeria - radiya Allah anhu
القطب أبو مدين شعيب بن الحسن الأندلسي التلمساني - رضي الله عنه

Sidi Abu Madyan took the path from Sidi Ali ibn Harzihim (d. 559/1164) in Fas.

He left many successors, among them Sidi Mohammed ibn Harazem (d. 633/1218, “Grandson of Sidi Ali ibn Harzihim” and teacher of Sidi Abul Hassan Shadhili).


1. From Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra of Imam al-Sha`rani
2. From V. J. Cornell’s The Way of Abu Madyan
3. Muhyiddin Ibn `Arabi meets a disciple of Sh.Abu Madyan
4. From
Damas Cultural Society 2008 — View original page

1. Biographical notes
From Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra of Imam al-Sha`rani
View article in Arabic

Sheikh Abu Madyanal-Maghribi – may Allah ta’ala be pleased wtih him and have mercy on him – was one of the outstandning Sheikhs of al-Maghrib, and a great murabbi. His fame makes it unnecssary to introduce him. His name was Shu`ayb, and Madyan the name of his son. He is buried in Misr (Cairo) at the Mosque of Sheikh `Abd al-Qadir al-Dashtouti, at Barakat al-Qar`outside the city wall towards the eastern side. The maqam is covered by a grand qubba (coupole), and his grave is oft-visited.

His son is buried in Tlimsan in Maghrib, in cemetery of al-`Ubbâdila. He reached an age of nearly 80 years. His grave there is well distinguished, and oft-visited.

2. Biographical introduction
From V. J. Cornell’s The Way of Abu Madyan
Taken from – The Islamic Texts Society © 2002-2005

The man who was to become the most influential figure of the developmental period of North African Sufism, Abu Madyan Shu’ayb ibn al-Husayn al-Ansari, who was called by later biographers the ‘Shaykh of Shaykhs, Imam of the Ascetics and the Pious, Lord of the Gnostics, and Exemplar of the Seekers’, and who remains known to posterity as ‘Abu Madyan the Nurturer’ (al-Ghawth), entered the world in inauspicious circumstances. Born around the year 509/1115-16 at the fortress of Cantillana in the region of Seville (Ishbiliya) in Muslim Spain, the future shaykh was orphaned early in life by the unexpected death of his father and suffered cruel treatment and exploitation at the hands of his elder brothers. Fortunately, Abu Madyan’s own account of the often difficult, formative period of his intellectual development is available to the modem student of Sufism via the efforts of a near contemporary, the Moroccan biographer Abu Ya’qub Yusuf ibn Yahya at-Tadili (d. 627/1229-30), who reproduced many of the shaykh’s autobiographical comments in his Kitab al-tashawwuf ila rijal at-tasawwuf, written a short time after the latter’s death:

I was an orphan in al-Andalus. My brothers made me a shepherd for their flocks, but whenever I saw someone praying or reciting [the Qur’an], it pleased me. I would come near to him and found a sadness in my soul because I had not memorized anything from the Qur’an and did not know how to pray. So I resolved to run away in order to learn how to read and pray.

I ran away, but my brother caught up with me, spear in hand, and said, ‘By God, if you do not return I will kill you!’ So I returned and remained for a short time. Then I strengthened my resolve to flee by night. I slipped away at night and took another road [from that which I had originally followed]. My brother [again] caught up with me after sunrise. He drew his sword against me and said, ‘By God, I will kill you and be rid of you!’ Then he raised his sword over me in order to strike me. I parried him with a piece of wood that was in my hand and his sword broke and flew into pieces. When he saw [what had happened] he said to me, ‘Oh my brother, go wherever you wish’.

Upon leaving the region of Seville, the young Abu Madyan traveled south for three or four days, until he reached a hillock near the sea, upon which he found a tent. An old man (shaykh), wearing nothing except what was necessary to cover his nakedness, emerged from the tent and walked toward him. Thinking that the younger man was a captive who had fled from a Christian raiding parry, he asked Abu Madyan about his situation. When told of the young man’s desire to learn the fundamentals of Islam, the shaykh allowed him to remain in his company for a few days.

Then he took a rope, tied a nail to its end, threw it into the sea, and pulled out a fish, which he cooked so that I could eat it. I stayed with him for three days, and whenever I was hungry he would throw that rope and nail into the sea and pull out a fish. Then he would cook it and I would eat it. After [three days had passed] he said to me, ‘I see that you covet honor (amr). Return to the city, for God is not [properly] worshipped except with knowledge.’

Heeding his ascetic companion’s advice, Abu Madyan returned to Seville, from whence he proceeded to Jerez (Sharish) and Algeciras (al-Jazira al-Khadra’). From Algeciras he crossed the Straits of Gibraltar to Tangier (Tanja) and went from there to Ceuta (Sabta), where he labored for a time in the employ of local fishermen. Impatient to gain the knowledge he so earnestly desired, with the little money he had earned Abu Madyan next traveled to Marrakesh (Marrakush), then the rapidly growing capital of the Almoravid state.

Upon arriving in Marrakesh, Abu Madyan was recruited by these mercenaries and drafted into the regiment of Andalusians that was charged with defending the Almoravid capital. The shaykh apparently suffered further exploitation during the period of his military service, for he mentions that other, more experienced soldiers would regularly steal his wages, leaving him only a little with which to provide for his needs. Finally, someone said to him, ‘If you want to devote yourself to religion, go to the city of Fez (Fas).’

So I turned toward [Fez] and attached myself to its mosque-university (the famous Jami’ al-Qarawiyyin), where I learned to make the ablution and the prayer and sat in the study circles of legists and hadith specialists. I retained nothing of their words, however, until I sat at the feet of a shaykh whose words were retained firmly within my heart. I asked whom he was and was told, ‘Abu’l-Hasan [Ali] ibn Hirzihim’. [I went to this shaykh] and told him that I could memorize only what I had learned from him alone and he said to me, ‘These [others] speak with parts of their tongues, but their words are not worthy [even] to call the prayer. Since I seek [only] God with my words, they come from the heart and enter the heart.’

3. Muhyiddin Ibn `Arabi mmets a disciple of Sh. Abu Madyan
From: Ruh al-Quds fi munasahat al-nafs by Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi

Muhyid-din Ibn Arabi grew up in Seville, when Abu Madyan, as an old man, still in Bujaya. Ibn Arabi wrote:

One day the master (Abu Yaqub ben Yakhlaf al-Qumi al-Abbasi, who had been a companion of Abu Madyan) mounted his horse, and bade me and one of my companions follow him to Muntabar , a mountain that was about an hour’s ride from Seville. As soon as the city gate was opened, my companion and I set out on foot. My companion carried in his hand a copy of al-Qushayri’s Epistle, of which has I have said I knew nothing.

We climbed the mountain and at the top we found our master , who with a servant, had gone ahead of us. He tethered his horse, and we entered a mosque at the top of the mountain in order to pray. After the prayer, we sat with our backs towards the prayer-niche (mihrab). The master handed me Qushayri’s Epistle and told me to read from it. I was unable, however, to utter a single word. My awe of him was so great that the book even fell from my hands. Then he told my companion to read it, and he expounded on what was read until it was time for the afternoon prayer, which we said. Then the master said: ‘Let us now return to town. He mounted his horse, and I ran alongside him, holding on to his stirrup. Along the way he talked to me of the virtues and miracles of Abu Madyan. I was all ears, and forgot myself entirely, keeping my eyes fixed on his face the whole time. Suddenly he looked at me and smiled and, spurring his horse, made me run even more quickly in order to keep up with him. I succeeded in doing so. Finally he stopped, and said to me: ‘Look and see what thou hast left behind thee.’ I looked back and saw that the way along which we had come was full of thorn bushes that reached as high as my tunic, and that the ground was also covered with thorns. He said: ‘Look at thy feet!’ I looked at them and saw on them no trace of the thorns. ‘Look at thy garments!’ On them too I found no trace. Then he said: ‘That comes from the grace engendered by our talking about Abu Madyan-may God be pleased with him-so persevere, my son, on the spiritual path!’ Thereupon he spurred his horse and left me behind.

4. Biography

Sidi Abu Madyan Shuayb ibn al-Hussein al-Ansari was born into a lower-class family in the suburban town of Cantillana near Seville around the year 509/1115-16. According to the autobiographical traditions transmitted by at-Tadili, he was orphaned at a tender age and worked for his brothers as a shepherd until an overwhelmingly desire for religion drove him to study the Islamic sciences in Morocco. Stopping first in Marrakech, he enrolled himself in the regiment of the Andalusian soldiers assigned to guard the Almohad capital during the reign of Ali ibn Yusuf ibn Tashfin. After completing this contract, he took the money he had earned and travelled to Fez, where he joined the study circle of Sidi Ali ibn Harzihim (d. 559/1164). Here he received the patched cloak (khirqa) into the Ghazalian tradition of orthodox mysticism and spent a number of years studying the works of al-Ghazali, al-Muhasibi, and al-Qushayri,

So I turned toward Fez and attached myself to its mosque-university (the famous Jami’ Al Qarawiyyine), where I learned to make the ablution and the prayer and sat in the study circles of legists and hadith specialists. I retained nothing of their words, however, until I sat at the feet of a Shaykh whose words were retained firmly within my heart. I asked whom he was and was told, ‘Abul Hassan [Ali] ibn Harzihim’. I went to this Shaykh and told him that I could memorise only what I had learned from him alone and he said to me, ‘These [others] speak with parts of their tongues, but their words are not worthy [even] to call the prayer. Since I seek [only] God with my words, they come from the heart and enter the heart.

While in Fez, Abu Madyan also studied in the al-Qarawiyyine under Sidi Abul Hassan Ali ibn Ghalib al-Qurashi ( the noted “Sidi Ali Boughaleb” of Fez; a disciple of Sidi Ahmed ibn al-Arif ; d. 568/1153) and the most notorious of the Sufi activists of Almoravid Sijilmasa Sidi Abu Abdellah Daqqaq who like Sidi Abul Hassan Ali ibn Harzihim (d. 544/1129) appears to have followed the lifestyle of malamatiya, for his statements provoked criticism from official ulama and Sufis alike. Some of these statements, like Sidi Harzihim’s, included the open proclamation of his holiness. Unlike, Ibn Harzihim, however, whose “path of blame” was based on a reputation for socio-political activism, Daqqaq’s malamati behaviour more often recalls that of such familiar eastern figures as Sidi Abu Yazid Bastami (d. 261/846) and Sidi Hussein ibn Mansur al-Hallaj (d. 309/894). This impression is reinforced by the fact that Sidi Daqqaq’s defenders judged his utterances as permissible only because they were made under the influence of ecstatic spiritual states (hal, pl. ahwal). Although he was supported by Sidi Ahmed Ibn al-Arif Tanji (d. 536/1121) and Sidi Abul Hakam ibn Barrajan Ishbili (d. 536/1121), Sidi Daqqaq was at times criticised by other mystics. This can be seen in the following satirical poem, which was written against Sidi Daqqaq by one of his Fasi Sufi contemporaries,

Say to the little man among the powerful,
“Poverty is the most excellent trait of the free.”
Oh complainer to man about the poverty granted by his Lord,
Can you not complain about a [truly] heavy load?
Oh, what vestments of piety you profess to wear!
If your Lord had only wished, you would come before Him naked”

Despite this rebuke, which accuses Shaykh Sidi Au Abdellah Daqqaq of the very un-Sufi practice of denying poverty and piety-oriented style of Sufism, later hagiographers claimed that his status as a holy man was confirmed in repeated dreams of the Prophet Sidna Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him). Although neither the date nor the circumstances of his death have been recorded, it is likely that Sidi Au Abdellah Daqqaq also met his end at the hands of the Almoravid authorities. Shaykh Sidi Au Abdellah Daqqaq took Sufism from Sidi Abi Amrou Tilimsani and Shaykh Sidi Abi Abdellah Mohammed ibn Omar al-Asam. His tomb outside of Bab al-Gisa on the Andalusian side of Fez was venerated for many centuries, partially because of the reputation of his most important disciple, Sidi Abu Madyan Shuayb al-Ghawt. Although Abu Madyan received his formal initiation into Sufism at the hands of Ibn Harzihim, there is a little doubt that the greatest influence of his spiritual development came from Sidi Abu Yaaza Yalnur (d. 572/1157)—whom he visited for few days only—unless Ibn Harzihim and the other masters of Abu Madyan paved for him the way to inherit the secrets of Sidi Abu Yaaza in a short period of time:

At the beginning of my spiritual journey, I attended the circles of several spiritual masters. When I heard the explanation of a Quranic verse or a saying of the Prophet, I used to immerse myself in it completely. I would flee to an uninhabited place [on Mount Zalagh] and apply myself to the exercises to Which God had inspired me following my absorption in what I had heard… And thus I lived for a certain time. Later I heard about the spiritual master Abu Yaaza and his miracles (karamat), about which the people were speaking. My heart was filled with love for him and I joined a party of fuqara (poor in spirit, e.g. those following a spiritual path), who were setting out on a journey in order to visit him. When we arrived at his place, he greeted everyone expect me, and when a mean was brought, he excluded me from it. Three days did I remain thus, tormented by hunger and assailed by doubts. Then I said to myself: when the master rises up, I will rub face on the spot he was sitting. When I raised myself up, I found that I was blind. Thus I remained; and I wept all night long. In the early morning the master called my name and came to me. ‘O my Lord’, I said to him, ‘I have become blind and can no longer see!’ He stroked my eyes with his hand and my sight immediately returned. The he stroked my breast with his hand, and all doubts departed from me. At the same time my pangs of hunger vanished, and I perceived many wonders that his blessing had worked for me. Later on I begged his leave to depart from him in order to fulfil the requirements of the pilgrimage. This he granted me, and said: ‘On the way you will meet a lion, pay no heed to it. If, however, fear overcomes you, say to it: “For the sake of the holiness of the men of light, depart from me!”’ And thus it came to pass.

By the time he founded his own centre for Sufi instruction, Rabitat az-Zayyat (Hermitage of the Oil Seller) in the city of Bujaya after returning from the Arab East and being introduced to the Qadiriya at the hand of Moulay Abdellqadir Jilani (d. 563/1148), Abu Madyan had assimilated all of the major traditions of Moroccan mysticism. Under Ali ibn Harzihim, he learned the ways of orthodox mysticism through the writings of al-Muhasibi, al-Qushayri, and al-Ghazali. The usul-based methodologies of juridical Sufism were also part of his training from Sidi Ali Boughaleb, via the latter’s master, Ibn al-Arif. The rural Sufism of the ribats of Dukkala was made known to him through the doctrines of the Nuriyya tradition, which he learned from his master Abu Yaaza. The activism of the Moroccan Malammatiya was also part of his background, via both Ibn Harzihim and the enigmatic Abu Abdellah Daqqaq. Both the biographical and the doctrinal record reveal that no other Shaykh in this period had a more electric spiritual and intellectual formation than did Abu Madyan. More than any other mystic of his time, he stands as the axial figure of early Maghribi Sufism –an assertion proven by the popularity of his written works, the large number of his disciples, and a doctrinal influence that can be felt even today.

A factor contributing to Abu Madyan’s fame was his accessibility to all types of people, from scholars to common labourers. This openness may have been a reason why the collective recollection of this saint become associated with the populism of Tariqa Qadiriya. Biographical sources reveal that during his lifetime, Abu Madyan, like Moulay Abdellqadir Jilani, was as well known for his public discourses as he was for his private teachings. During these public “sessions of admonition” (majalis al-wa’adh), petitioners would ask him questions about mysticism, the Shari’a, or the religious sciences in general. In answering these queries, he would tailor his response to his audience’s needs, often coming up with aphoristic answers that were later assembled into a collection titled Uns al-wahid wa nuzhat al-murid (The Intimacy of the recluse and the pastime of the seeker). Abu Madyan was also renowned for comprising poetic odes on various aspects of Sufi doctrine. Many of these poems were recited in “audition” (sama’) sessions attended by the Shaykh and his disciples. Several of his most famous odes, such as Al-Qasida an-nuniya (The Ode in [the letter] nun) are regarded as literary master pieces and are still recited in the Maghrib.

Abu Madyan’s widespread notoriety and high level of social engagement did not sit well with the Almohad authorities in Bujaya, who viewed his activities with suspicion. When accusations of sedition by the Shaykh’s enemies proved too strident to ignore, the Almohad caliph Yaqub al-Mansur summoned the now aged Sufi master to his capital for questioning. It was on this forced journey to Marrakech in 594/1179 that Abu Madyan died in the western Algerian city of Tlemcen and was buried in the nearby cemetery of Rabitat al-Ubbad. In the following generations, his tom became a major stop on the overland pilgrimage route from Morocco and was a symbolic bone of contention between the Marinid and Zayyanid states. The ornate mosque of Sidi Bu Madyan, constructed next to the tomb by the Marinid Sultan of Fez Abul Hassan in 739/1339, stands today as one of the finest examples of Hispano-Maghribi architecture in the Maghreb.

The way of Abu Madyan, as depicted in the Shaykh’s extant writings, owes an unmistakeable debt to the mystical traditions of Moroccan Nuriyya and Ghazaliya in addition to the Amghariya of Abu Abdellah Amghar of Ribat Tit al-Firt. Particularly important was the ethical fraternalism of futuwwa which was central in Moroccan Sufism as it was in Sufi classics of Khurasan. Characters similar to the way of Abu Madyan can be found in Kitab al- futuwwa (Book of Sufi chivalry) by Sidi Abu Abderrahman as-Sulami, whose writings were well-known in the Maghrib by the Almoravid period. One cannot but recall the pastoral ethos of Moroccan Sufism when as-Sulami writes: “Futuwwa involves the movements toward God (al-hijra ila Allah) in one’s heart and soul… [following the way of Lot]…who turned away from the his city and moved towards his Lord”. Traces of the teaching of Abu Madyan can also be discerned in the following sayings: ” Futuwwa is awareness of the rights of one who is above you, other than you, or alike to you; and that you do not turn away from your brothers because of a fault, a quarrel, or knowledge of a lie. He who loves his brother should see his [brother’s] obstinacy as loyalty and his rejection as acceptance and must not hate him in any state or moral condition” (Sidi Abu Amr Dimashqi [d. 320/932) ). ” Futuwwa means putting morality (akhlaq) into practice” (Shah ibn Shuja Kirmani [d. before 300/912-13]).

Bidayat al-murid (Basic principles of the Sufi path), a handbook for novices that reproduces Abu Madyan’s teachings, contains numerous references to early masters of futuwwa such as al-Fudayl ibn Iyyad and Shah ibn Shuja Kirmani. Consistent with Abu Madyan’s accent on fraternal ethics was his emphasis on social engagement. This outward orientation of ethico-religious expression is significant because it suggests that “the interiorisation” of the spiritual life, so often regarded as essential to the formal essential to formal definition of Sufism, comprised only part of the ‘amal (work) of a Maghribi saint. For Abu Madyan, the distinction between the outer (dhahir) and inner (batin) aspects of reality was not understood to mean that interiority, being more “real” that quotidian concerns, was the sole criterion of meaningfulness. Instead, his way followed an Islamic “middle path” between the sacred and the profane: a spiritual method in which all aspects of person’s life (outer and inner, public and private, wordly and spiritual) complemented each other as a part of a single reality. Abu Madyan regarded the dhahir/batin dichotomy as both a rhetorical device and a divine truth. If Sufism is the essence of Islam, and if Islam is a way of life, then outer practice, ‘amal, must complement, and not oppose, inner knowledge, ‘ilm. Giving too much weight to either outer practice or inner knowledge might upset the balance required for spiritual growth.

For Abu Madyan, the behavioural example of the Sufi Shaykh was a matter of paramount importance. The spiritual’s masters relationship to his disciples was comparable to that of the Sultan among his subjects or a doctor among his patients. The value of the true “knower of God” was that such a person could intervene in human lives and teach others the way to eternal bliss (sa’ada). However, a false or misguided Shaykh might cause his followers to be lost in eternal sorrow (saqawa). Because of the Shaykh’s potential to cause harm, Abu Madyan insisted that all who claim this rank be free of vanity and pretence. “Beware,” he said, “of one whom you see advocating in the name of God a state which is not outwardly visible, ” for “the most harmful of things is companionship with a heedless scholar, an ignorant Sufi, or an insincere preacher.”

Like the ninth-century Sufi al-Muhasibi, Abu Madyan saw the ego (nafs) as the main obstacle to self-awareness. Because the nafs thrives on desire, the most effective weapon against it is hunger, for hunger weakens the desire for eternal existence that gives rise to the ego’s stratagems. Essential to the systematic practice of hunger was fasting. Fasts performed by Abu Madyan and his followers included (in addition to the obligatory fast of Ramadan) abstaining from food during the months of Rajab and Sha’ban, the hadith-based Fast of David, and a supplementary fast of three days per month that was done at an individual seeker’s discretion. The most distinctive regime practiced by Abu Madyan was the sawm al-wasil, the “fast of intimate union,” a forty-day fast modelled on the austerities of Sidna Moses, peace be upon him, in the Egyptian desert and those of the Prophet Sidna Mohammed (peace and blessing be upon him) in the cave of Hira’ prayer to revelation. The disciple who performed the sawm al-wasil would first repent all sins, take a bath, and pray two prostrations. The Sufi would then go into seclusion for forty days, abstaining from all food (including what was normally taken at night) and subsisting only on water. Constantly repeating the first part of profession of faith (La ilaha illa Allah “There is no God but Allah”), the disciple would leave the retreat only to answer the call to nature, attend Friday prayers, and sleep whenever forced by exhaustion to do so.

The purpose of the sawm al-wasil was to instil in the disciple a firm reliance on the will of God (tawakkul). In later generations, Abu Madyan was to be memorised by North African Sufis as the master tawakkul par excellence. Among the more than 160 of his aphorisms that have survived to the present day, those dealing with tawakkul are second in number only to those having to do with asceticism. Closely linked to tawakkul were the related concepts of quiescence (khumul) and acquiescence (sukun). Attaining complete quiescence meant the cessation of all-ego motivated thoughts and desires, so that the heart would open itself up to divine inspirations: “The heart has no more than one aspect at a time, such that when it is occupied with a certain thing, it is veiled from another. Take care that you are not attracted to anything but God, lest He deprive you of the delights of intimate converse with Him.”

Abu Madyan’s characterisation of his disciples as “sultans” and “amirs,” and the “Party of God” (hizb Allah) firmly situates his doctrines within the tradition of futuwwa as practiced by Moroccan teachers and contemporaries. It also explains why his activities were viewed with suspicions by Almohads. Since Ibn Toumart also referred to his followers as the Party of God, the Mahdi’s successors could hardly have been comfortable with a Sufi rival. Ironically, these fears may have been exacerbated because the social doctrines of Ibn Toumart and Abu Madyan were so much alike. For Abu Madyan, an aspirant’s spiritual progress could never be separated from his social responsibility: “Sufism is not the [mere] observance of rules, nor does it consists of degrees or stages. Instead, Sufism consists of personal integrity, generosity of spirit, the emulation of what has been revealed, knowledge of the [divine] Message, and adhering to the way of the prophets. He who deviates from these sources finds himself grazing in the gardens of Satan, submerged in the ocean of lusts, and wandering in the darkness of ignorance.”

The mystic who embarked on the way of Abu Madyan was no withdrawn ascetic, lost in the contemplation of God while ignoring the injustices that beset the Muslim community. Instead the mystic was a full participant in social life, who used discipline and detachment from the world to maintain a constant vigilance over oneself and one’s neighbours: “The true Sufi must be neither jealous, egotistical, nor arrogant with his knowledge nor miserly with his money. Rather, he must act as a guide: not confused, but merciful of heart and companionate with all of creation. To him, every person is as [useful as] one of his hands. He is an ascetic: everything is equal to him, whether it be praise or blame, receiving or giving, acceptance or rejection, wealth or poverty. He is neither joyful about what comes to him nor sad about what has been lost.

Sidi Abu Madyan left many successors. Among the noted ones who spread his Sufi Tradition the names of Sidi Abderrazaq Jazouli (d. 592/1177), Sidi Abu Mohammed Salih al-Majiri (d. 631/1216), Sidi Malik Baqqiwi Rifa’i, Sidi Mohammed ibn Harazem (“Grandson of Sidi Ali ibn Harzihim” and teacher of Sidi Abul Hassan Shadhili; ; d. 633/1218). Unlike some Moroccan Sufis who preferred to stay home, others went abroad. One of these masters is the enigmatic Idrissid sharif, Sidi Ali ibn Maymun al-Fasi (d. 917/1502), the Madanite Shaykh who expanded the Way of Abu Madyan in Syria and Turkey. After he studied in Fez, Sidi Ali al-Fasi travelled to Tunisia where he met his master Sidi Ahmed Tibbasi (d. 929/1506). This latter was connected to Shaykh Abu Madyan through Sidi Ahmed ibn Makhlouf Shabbi (d. 888/1473), Sidi Abdelwahhab Hindi, Sidi Abu Moussa Sadrati and Sidi Ahmed Mawrawi. After the Shaykh’s death, the Madanite al-Fasiya managed to penetrate Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine thanks to al-Fasi’s outstanding disciple Sidi Mohammed Khawatiri (d. 932/1517) and his heirs Sidi Ali Ibn Arraq and Sidi Alwan Hamawi (d. 936/1530).


معلومات عن أبو مدين التلمساني
Short bio from

شعيب بن الحسن الأندلسي التلمساني، أبو مدين. صوفي، من مشاهيرهم. أصله من الأندلس. أقام بفاس، وسكن "بجاية" وكثر أتباعه حتى خافه السلطان يعقوب المنصور. وتوفي بتلمسان، وقد قارب الثمانين أو تجاوزها. له (مفاتيح الغيب لإزالة الريب وستر العيب- خ) 92 ورقة، في شستربتي (الرقم 3259)

Article in At-Tabaqat al-Kubra of Imam al-Sha’rani (PDF) – View | Visit
Summary notes:

” رحلة في كتاب طبقات الشعراني”
أبو مدين المغربي

  • قال أبو الحجاج الأقصري: سمعت شيخنا عبد الرزاق رضي الله عنه يقول: لقيت الخصر عليه السلام سنة ثمانين وخمسمائة فسألته عن شيخنا أبي مدين فقال: هو إمام الصديقين في هذا الوقت، وسره من الإرادة ذلك أتاه الله تعالى مفتاحاً من السر المصون بحجاب القدس ما في هذه الساعة أجمع لأسرار المرسلين منه.
  • ذكر محيي الدين في الفتوحات قال: ذهبت أنا وبعض الأبدال إلى جبل قاف فمررنا بالحية المحدقة به فقال لي: البدل سلم عليها فإنها سترد عليك السلام فسلمنا عليها فردت ثم قالت: من أي البلاد فقلنا من بجاية فقالت: ما حال أبي مدين مع أهلها فقلنا لها يرمونه بالزندقة.فقالت: عجباً والله لبني آدم، والله ما كنت أظن أن الله عز وجل يوالي عبداً من عبيده فيكرهه أحد فقلنا لها، ومن أعلمك به فقالت يا سبحان الله، وهل على الأرض دابة تجهله إنه، والله ممن اتخذه الله تعالى ولياً وأنزل محبته في قلوب العباد فلا يكرهه إلا كافر أو منافق انتهى.
  • مكث سنة في بيته لا يخرج إلا للجمعة فاجمع الناس على باب داره، وطلبوا منه أن يتكلم عليهم فلما ألزموه خرج فرأى عصافير على سدرة في الدار فلما رأته في الدار فرت فرجع، وقال لو صلحت للحديث عليكم لم تفر مني الطيور ثم رجع، وجلس في البيت سنة أخرى ثم جاءوا إليه فخرج فلم تفر منه الطيور فتكلم على الناس، ونزلت الطيور تضرب بأجنحتها، وتصفق حتى مات منها طائفة، ومات رجل من الحاضرين.
  • مر يوماً على حمار والسبع قد أكل نصفه وصاحبه ينظر إليه من بعد لا يستطيع أن يقرب منه فقال لصاحب الحمار تعال فذهب به إلى الأسد، وقال له أمسك بأذن الأسد، واستعمله مكان حمارك فأخذ بأذنه، وركبه وصار يستعمله سنين موضع حماره حتى مات.
  • Burial Place

    Zawiya of Abu Madyan


    50 different poems are attribbuted to al-Qutb Abu Mayan on

    ما لذة العيش إلا صحبة الفقرا

    مدح من البسيط عدد ابياتها 22

    تضيق بنا الدنيا إذا غبتم عنا

    شوق من الطويل عدد ابياتها 22

    تملكتموا عقلي وطرفي ومسمعي

    غزل من الطويل عدد ابياتها 11

    تذللت في البلدان حين سبيتني

    رومنسيه من الطويل عدد ابياتها 7

    لولاك ما كان ودي

    عامه من المجتث عدد ابياتها 10

    لست أنسى الأحباب ما دمت حيا

    حزينه من الخفيف عدد ابياتها 14

    بكت السحاب أضحكت لبكائها

    حزينه من الكامل عدد ابياتها 12

    لما عنك غبنا ذاك العام فإننا

    قصيره من الطويل عدد ابياتها 7

    أحب لقا الأحباب في كل ساعة

    رومنسيه من الطويل عدد ابياتها 4

    متى يا عريب الحي عيني تراكم

    رومنسيه من الطويل عدد ابياتها 14

    يا قلب زرت وما انطوى ذاك الجوى

    رومنسيه من الكامل عدد ابياتها 18

    طال اشتياقي ولا خل يؤانسني

    قصيره من البسيط عدد ابياتها 2

    هذا الحبيب الذي في القلب مسكنه

    قصيره من البسيط عدد ابياتها 2

    يا صاح ليس على المحب جناح

    رومنسيه من الكامل عدد ابياتها 13

    إليك مددت الكف في كل شدة

    دينية من الطويل عدد ابياتها 10

    أهل المحبة بالمحبوب قد شغلوا

    رومنسيه من البسيط عدد ابياتها 9

    يا من بغيث الورى من بعد ما قنطوا

    دينية من البسيط عدد ابياتها 17

    يا من علا فرأى ما في القلوب وما

    قصيره من البسيط عدد ابياتها 4

    دارت علينا كؤوس من خمره البالي

    رومنسيه من موشح عدد ابياتها 21

    كل واحد له نصيب يأتي

    رومنسيه من موشح عدد ابياتها 21

    أنا يا مدير الراح

    رومنسيه من موشح عدد ابياتها 12

    طابت أوقاتي بمحبوب

    رومنسيه من موشح عدد ابياتها 26

    إعلم يا خلي

    رومنسيه من موشح عدد ابياتها 16

    شوقي دعاني وافنيت فقرا

    شوق من موشح عدد ابياتها 17

    زارني حبيبي طابت أوقاتي

    رومنسيه من موشح عدد ابياتها 27

    يا عيني لازمي السهر طول الليالي

    رومنسيه من موشح عدد ابياتها 13

    إن شئت أن تقرب قرب الوصلِ

    رومنسيه من موشح عدد ابياتها 21

    إني إذا ما ذكرت رب

    شوق من موشح عدد ابياتها 15

    عيدوا إلي الوصال عيدوا

    رومنسيه من موشح عدد ابياتها 5

    ركبت بحرا من الدموع

    حزينه من مخلع البسيط عدد ابياتها 22

    لما بدا منك القبول

    حزينه من موشح عدد ابياتها 9

    إن كنت ذا اتصال أبصرت في العلا

    رومنسيه من موشح عدد ابياتها 21

    صح عندي الخبر وسرى في سرى

    رومنسيه من موشح عدد ابياتها 21

    كم صدود وكم قلا

    قصيره من موشح عدد ابياتها 7

    القلب إلي يهواكم

    رومنسيه من موشح عدد ابياتها 7

    ربي الكريم أعطاكم

    قصيره من موشح عدد ابياتها 3

    يا خالق العرش العظيم يا ذا الجلال

    دينية من موشح عدد ابياتها 25

    إذا ضاق صدري

    عتاب من موشح عدد ابياتها 24

    أنت بما قد سقيت شارب

    رومنسيه من موشح عدد ابياتها 17

    يا من بهم قد طابت حياتي

    قصيره من موشح عدد ابياتها 5

    قد لاح لي ما غاب عني

    قصيره من موشح عدد ابياتها 5

    يا من لا ذاق سكر طعم المحبه

    رومنسيه من موشح عدد ابياتها 20

    ليلي ليلي قد رجع نهاري

    غزل من موشح عدد ابياتها 9

    أنظر في مرآك الذي ترى

    هجاء من موشح عدد ابياتها 17

    يا عالما بالخفيات سألتك يا مولى الموال

    دينية من موشح عدد ابياتها 13

    أدرها لنا صرفا ودع مزجها عنا

    عامه من الطويل عدد ابياتها 52

    تحيا بكم كل أرض تنزلون بها

    عامه من الكامل عدد ابياتها 5


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