Ahmad Ibn Idris al-Laraishi al-Yamlahi al-Alami al-Idrisi al-Hasani (1760–1837) was a mystic and a theologian, active in Morocco, North Africa, and Yemen. He had opposed the Ulema and tried to preach a vigorous form of Islam that is close to ordinary people.l
Ahmad Ibn Idris was born in 1760 near the city of Fes in Morocco. He died in 1837 in Sabya, which was then in Yemen but is today part of Saudi Arabia. He was the founder of the Idrisi order (Idrisiyya) and travelled extensively in North Africa and Yemen, instructing the ordinary people using their dialect, and teaching them how to perform such basics as the salat (prayer). He rejected the legal schools of Islam (Madahibs) and criticized the ideology of Wahabbism on many points.
He came to Cairo in 1799 and in 1818 went to Mecca for a second time and settled there. He became one of the most eminent teachers in the holy city. However, due to opposition from the exoteric Ulema, he had to flee to Zabid in Yemen in 1828.
After Ahmad’s death the Idrisiyya split into new lines and his more influential pupils embarked upon independent courses. The most important of these was the influential Muhammad al-Sanusi, founder of the Senoussiya Sufi order, who had taken over Ahmad's school in Mecca in 1828.
Thomassen, Einar & Radtke, Bernd, (eds.) (1993) The Letters of Ahmad ibn Idris. London: Christopher Hurst. A collective volume containing the texts and translations of 35 letters to and from Ibn Idris. The contributors are Albrecht Hofheinz, Ali Salih Karrar, R.S. O’Fahey, B. Radtke & Einar Thomassen. Published by Northwestern University Press, Evanston, Illinois by arrangement with C. Hurst and Co. (Publishers) Ltd., London. ISBN 978-0-8101-1070-0
O'Fahey, Rex S. (1994) Enigmatic Saint, Ahmad Ibn Idris and the Idrisi Tradition, This book details his early life and travels. The book also examines his relationships with his students, including Muhammad al-Sanusi and Muhammad Uthman al-Mirghani (founder of the Khatmiyya in the Sudan and Eritrea) and traces the influence of his ideas. Published by Northwestern University Press, Evanston, Illinois by arrangement with C. Hurst and Co. (Publishers) Ltd., London. ISBN 0-8101-0910-7
Radtke, Bernd; O’Kane, John; Vikør, Knut S.; and O’Fahey, Rex S., The Exoteric Ahmad Ibn Idris: A Sufi's Critique of the Madhahib and the Wahhabis : Four Arabic Texts With Translation and Commentary (Islamic History and Civilization), ed. Brill, Leiden, 1999, ISBN 978-90-04-11375-6