Knowledge of God
Author: Shaykh Ahmad ibn Mustafa al-’Alawi/ Translated by Abd al-Kabir al-Munawarra and Abd as-Sabur al-Ustadh
Publisher: Diwan Press (UK)
Knowledge of God is a lucid and profound exposition of the gnostic science that lies at the heart of Sufism. A guide book to khalwa, spiritual retreat, preparing the murid by the doctrine of the Unity for the experiences that will befall him in the self-shattering annihilation he desires (meaning — the spiritual elevation coupled with ridding oneself of his ego and living a Godly, saintly, pious, peaceful life).
Shaykh al-Alawi has taken ibn al-Ashir’s verse poem, itself a summation of Islamic teachings, and made it a vehicle for making plain the unitary knowledge, the hidden doctrine, that lies beneath every phenomenon of outer wisdom. Thus he is able to unveil from even the lowest functions of cleaning the body an exalted meaning which indicates the Oneness of his Lord.
Above all, this is a book of action constantly returning the Gnostic traveller to slavehood, covering over his secrets and concealing the intoxicating knowledge that he gained. It confirms the simple qualities of correct moral behaviour that are the hallmarks of the great.
Shaykh Ahmad ibn Mustafa al-’Alawi
Shaykh al-’Alawi (1869–14 July 1934) was from Mostaghanem in Algeria. He first learnt from his father and then later became a murid of Shaykh Muhammad al-Buzidi, a murid of Shaykh Moulay al-Arabi ad-Darqawi. At his hands the Darqawi tariqa spread very far, particularly in, Algeria, France and Syria. He wrote a large number of books, established a newspaper and was active in sending his people to re-establish the deen and to call people to Allah.