Ibn Ata Allah

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Ahmad ibn Muhammad Ibn 'Ata Allah al-Iskandari (died 1309), a Maliki jurist and the third sheikh of the Shadhili Sufi order was born and grew up in Alexandria, lived and died in Cairo. He was responsible for systematizing the order's doctrines and recording the biographies of its founder, Sidi Abu-l-Hassan ash-Shadhili, and his successor, Sidi Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi. Ibn 'Ata Allah was the author of the first systematic treatise on dhikr, titled The Key to Salvation: A Sufi Manual of Invocation (Miftah al-Falah) and his compilation of aphorisms (hikam) helped to make the group very popular. Commentaries on the hikam have been made by some of the most famous of the Shadhili order such as Ibn Abbad al-Rundi, Sheikh Ahmed Zarruq founder of the Zarruqiyya Sufi order and Ahmad ibn Ajiba. The wide circulation of his written works led to the spread of the Shadhili order in North Africa, where the order's founder had been rejected in earlier attempts. The Wafai Sufi order was also derived from his works. He died in 1309 while in Cairo.

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