The Shadhili order is one of the greatest Sufi orders in the world of Islam. It is renowned for its adherence to the prescriptions of the Shari'a, its insistence on sacred knowledge, its moderation and its emphasis on the principle of gratitude. The legacy and achievements of many of its early masters are well known. There are also many contemporary Shadhili Sufi masters who can easily be compared, in their influence & achievements, to their predecessors, yet very little is known about them. Recent works on Shaykh Ahmad al-Alawi and Shaykh Ahmad Ibn Ajiba have slightly rectified this state of affairs, but more work is needed on Shadihiliyya and its masters. There are moreover very few works in the European languages that deal with the Shadhili method of spiritual training. The present study tackles both concerns.
The life and works of the great Algerian Shadhili master Muhammad al-Hashimi (1881-1961) are ex posited and his method of spiritual training is amply explained. The details of this spiritual method will help to explain, albeit indirectly, how the Shadhilis try to accede to the kingdom of heaven, while at the same time, leading a harmonious and peaceful existence with their fellow Muslims as well as with the rest of the world.