|Born||1200 CE (596 AH)|
|Died||1276 CE (674 AH)|
|Venerated in||By all those traditional Sunni Muslims who venerate saints|
|Major shrine||Mosque of Aḥmad al-Badawī, Tanta, Egypt|
|Feast||A few days every October (mawlid)|
Tradition or genre
|Sunni Islam |
Part of a series on Islam
Aḥmad al-Badawī (Arabic: أحمد البدوى IPA: [ˈæħmæd elˈbædæwi]), also known as Al-Sayyid al-Badawī (السيد البدوى, [esˈsæjjed-, elˈsæjjed-]), or as al-Badawī for short, or reverentially as Shaykh al-Badawī by all those Sunni Muslims who venerate saints, was a 13th-century Moroccan Sunni Muslim mystic who became famous as the founder of the Badawiyyah order of Sufism. Originally hailing from Fes, al-Badawi eventually settled for good in Tanta, Egypt in 1236, whence he developed a posthumous reputation as "Egypt's greatest saint." As al-Badawi is perhaps "the most popular of Muslim saints in Egypt", his tomb has remained a "major site of visitation" for Muslims in the region.
According to several medieval chronicles, al-Badawi hailed from an Arab tribe of Syrian origin. A Sunni Muslim by persuasion, al-Badawi entered the Rifa'iyya spiritual order (founded by the renowned Shafi'i mystic and jurist Ahmed al-Rifa'i [d. 1182]) in his early life, being initiated into the order at the hands of a particular Iraqi teacher. After a trip to Mecca, al-Badawi is said to have travelled to Iraq, "where his sainthood [is believed to have] clearly manifested itself" through the miracles he is said to have performed. Eventually, al-Badawi went to Tanta, Egypt, where settled for good in 1236. According to the various traditional biographies of the saint's life, al-Badawi gathered forty disciples around him during this period, who are collectively said to have "dwelt on the city’s rooftop terraces," whence his spiritual order were informally christened the "roof men" (aṣḥāb al-saṭḥ) in the vernacular. Al-Badawi died in Tanta in 1276, being seventy-six years old.
As with every other major Sufi order, the Badawiyya proposes an unbroken spiritual chain of transmitted knowledge going back to the Prophet Muhammad through one of his Companions, which in the Badawiyya's case is Ali (d. 661).
- Ibrahim El-Desouki, a contemporary Sufi.
- ʿAbd al-Samad al-Miṣrī, al-Jawāhir al-saniyya fī l-karāmāt wa-l-nisba al-Aḥmadiyya, Cairo 1277/1860–1
- Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, Al-Sayyid Aḥmad al-Badawî. Un grand saint de l'Islam égyptien, Cairo 1994
- Mayeur-Jaouen, Catherine. "al-Badawī, al-Sayyid". In Fleet, Kate; Krämer, Gudrun; Matringe, Denis; Nawas, John; Rowson, Everett (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. Brill Online. ISSN 1873-9830.
- ʿAbd al-Wahhab b. Aḥmad al-Shaʿrānī, Lawāqih al-anwār fī tabaqāt al-akhyār and al-Tabaqāt al-kubrā (Beirut 1988), 1:183
- Irving Hexham, The Concise Dictionary of Religion (Regend, 1993), p. 14
- Bosworth, C.E. (1960–2005). "Rifāʿiyya". The Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Edition. Leiden: E. J. Brill.
- Al-Imām Nūruddīn Al-Halabī Al-Ahmadī, Sīrah Al-Sayyid Ahmad Al-Badawī, Published by Al-Maktabah Al-Azhariyyah Li Al-Turāth, Cairo.
- Mayeur-Jaouen, Catherine, Al-Sayyid Ahmad Al-Badawi: Un Grand Saint De L'islam egyptien, Published by Institut francais d'archeologie orientale du Caire