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More than 300 million Sufis in the world

Sheikh Khaled Bentounes was born in 1949 in Mostaganem, Algeria, in a Sufi family

whose ancestors have been leading the Alāwiyya Brotherhood for three generations.

Under the direction of his father, Sheikh Hajj al-Mahdi, Khaled Bentounes received

religious training as well as an initiatory teaching at the Zawiya, a place of Sufi

teaching. At the end of the 1960s, he continued his training in Europe where he

studied law and history.

On April 24, 1975, Sheikh Khaled Bentounes became the 44th spiritual guide of the

Sufi Brotherhood Alāwiyya-Darqāwiya-Shādhiliyya and part of the initiatory chain

(silsila) that goes back to the Prophet Muhammad.

The headquarters of the Sufi Path Alāwiyya, heir to Shādhiliyya-Darqāwiya lineage,

whose founder is Sheikh al-'Alāwī, is based in Mostaganem, an open port city

steeped in history and spirituality. Sheikh Bentounes is the great-grandson of Sheikh

Ahmad al-'Alāwī (1869-1934), recognized as one of the greatest sages of the 20th

century and whose tribute was paid to him by UNESCO in September 2015 at the

symposium "Spiritual Islam and Contemporary Challenges".


Spiritual leader, writer, educator and lecturer, Sheikh Bentounes travels the world as

a messenger of peace in order to transmit the traditional teaching of Sufism, called

tasawwuf in Arabic. He emphasizes that "if Islam is a body, Sufism is its heart”. His

teaching is universal, non-denominational. It tends to encourage awakening of the

inner consciousness.

A man of dialogue, his opinions are sought by political decision-makers and spiritual

leaders, as at the Summit of Conscience in Paris. A man of action, he is the initiator

of the International Day of Living Together. He bears witness to the Culture of Peace

and Fraternity to unite the efforts of all, in order to bring out a common denominator,

nourished by shared universal values.

Since he assumes the position of guide of the ‘Alāwiyya Sufi Path, he has helped to

create a significant number of organizations dedicated to youth, peace, the

environment and the establishment of a reflection for a better living together. He has

participated in hundreds of international meetings to provide concrete proposals on

major societal issues.

In 1991, he founded the Muslim Scouts of France (SMF) as well as the Muslim

Scouts of Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain.

Sheikh Bentounes shares the conviction of all those who believe in a better world. To

achieve this vision, the human being must move towards greater humanity by

seeking reconciliation with himself and with his environment.


He therefore invites women and men from all backgrounds to become universal

beings, bearers of an extraordinary heritage: that of the wisdom of mankind given by

the Divine Mercy in all times and among all peoples.

For many years, he has been involved in interreligious dialogue in Algeria, Germany,

Belgium, France, Canada, Switzerland and other countries. He has also participated

in several editions of the World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace. His

spiritual commitment has led him to support actions for sustainable development,

such as the reintroduction of the culture of the argan tree in Algeria.

Sheikh Bentounes works for an altruistic world, sowing hope around him, convinced

that "the energy of the world is the authentic universal brotherhood"

Sheikh Bentounes invites everyone to “the Doing of Good” through the circle of

Virtues and Qualities. He works to transmit the Culture of Peace and Living Together

through a living spirituality.


For his commitment to a world of peace, he received several awards and distinctions

in 2017, including

     the Prize "Concorde M.diterran.e" by UNESCO in Valencia (Spain)

     the Prize "Lysistrata for the peaceful resolution of conflicts through mediation" by

     the Center of Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR) and the MED

     Program 21 network to promote excellence and cooperation in the Mediterranean.

     Chevalier de l’Ordre du M.rite (National Medal of Honor) by Emmanuel Macron,

     President of the French Republic

Key dates


Born in Mostaganem, Algeria.


44th Spiritual Leader Alāwiyya Sufi Order.


Creation of the Muslims Scouts of France.


Creation of the Sheikh al-Alāwī Association for Education and Sufi Culture,



Creation of Sheikh al-Alāwī Association for the Renaissance of Sufi Heritage,



Creation of the Association of Lands in Europe.


Creation of AISA, International Association Sufi Alāwiyya.


Founding member of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM).


Creation of the Djanatu-al-Arif Foundation (The Garden of Knowing),

Mediterranean Centre for Sustainable Development in Mostaganem.


Creation of the Therapy of the Soul Association.


International Forum Presidency of Soest (Germany)


Launch of the AISA Federation.


AISA International becomes an NGO recognized by the UN with ECOSOC

status. Honorary President of AISA International NGO.


Creation of the ADLANIA Foundation in Switzerland.


UN New York : Participation at the 59th “the Status of Women” of ECOSOC.


Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Alāwiyya Sufi

Order at UNESCO in Paris.


Participation at the “World Humanitarian Summit” in Istanbul.


Organization of the first “Emir Abd el-Kader Prize for Living Together and

Peaceful Coexistence” in Algeria.


Workshop at UNESCO House in Paris to adopt a declaration to promote the

“International Day of Living Together”.


UN New York: Speech at the “Launch of the Fez Action Plan for Religious

Leaders on the prevention of incitement to violence”.


The 72nd UN General Assembly unanimously adopts the International Day of

Living Together in Peace on 8 December by 193 Member States.

Organization of Conferences


UNESCO Paris: Organization of a Symposium “Spiritual Islam and

Contemporary Challenges” in tribute to Sheikh al-'Alāwī for his school of tolerance and conviviality. 1600 participants.


Launch of the International Day of Living Together.


Launch of the 1st Festival of the International Day of Living Together in

Algeria, Mostaganem, Oran, and Algiers.


Launch of the Emir Abd el-Kader Prize for the promotion of Living Together

around the Mediterranean and in the world, Algeria.


Organization of the International Feminine Congress for a Culture of Peace

“Women’s Turn to Speak” Oran/Mostaganem (Algeria). 3200 participants.


Launching the collection of signatures for the International Day of Living

Together (JMVE).


The Flame of Hope in Germany.


Organization of the Citizen Flame of Hope, a non-partisan initiative to

encourage the French youth to vote during the elections in 26 French cities.


1st Living Together Festival in Cannes.


Organisation of the Congress “Spiritual Islam, free and responsible” at the

Palexpo in Geneva.


100th Celebration of the Anniversary of the Alāwiyya Sufi Order “Sowing

Hope” Mostaganem (Algeria). 6500 participants.


Organization of the Symposium at UNESCO in Paris “For an Islam of Peace”.

Public conferences given by Sheikh Bentounes

May 2017

Conference entitled “The responsibility of religions with regard

to peace”, Berlin.

March 2017

International Conference entitled “Why is humanity not at peace?”, Almere, The Netherlands.

May 2016

World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul

May 2016

1st Conference of the French-speaking Muslim intellectuals organized by the French Academy for Islamic Thought, Paris

April 2016

Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, Panel discussion at UN on Islamophobia

January 2016

25th Anniversary of the Muslim Scouts of France, Paris

December 2015

Participation in the Mawlid Day in Brussels

December 2015

Participation in the Mawlid Day in Paris

November 2015

Festival of Living Together, Cannes

November 2015

Participation in 24 hours of meditation for the Earth, Paris

October 2015

Intervention at Moussem Talk Brussels and at Sufi Night in Brussels

October 2015

Intervention during the Social Weeks of France to UNESCO

October 2015

Intervention during the 20th Anniversary of the Foundation Hirondelle, Geneva

September 2015

Intervention at the Day to Construct Peace, St-Maurice

August 2015

Intervention at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Forum “The responsibility of leaders in the prevention of Violence against Children”, Geneva

August 2015

Intervention at Karma Ling “Unity in Diversity for Better Living Together”

July 2015

Intervention at the Summit of Consciences, Paris

July 2015

Intervention “Making Peace with the Earth”, Val de Consolation

July 2015

Response to “Workshops of the Earth”, Chantilly

June 2015

Values of Islam, Republic and Citizenship, Fondapol Paris

June 2015

Intervention Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag, Stuttgart

May 2015

International Symposium Panafrican for Peace, Cotonou (Benin)

April 2015

“Promoting a Spirituality of Peace” Meeting with Cardinal Barbarin, Lyon

April 2015

Intervention at the Symposium “Women and Culture of Peace” University Centre Mediterranean, Nice

March 2015

Participation in the 59th Session of the Commission on “Status of Women” of ECOSOC, UN in New York

February 2015

Presentation of the International Day of Living Together, Centre Pierre Claverie, Oran

November 2014

Festival of Living Together at Cannes

International Feminine Congress for a Culture of Peace, “Women’s Turn to

Speak”, 27 October to 2 November, Oran, Algeria, 2014.

Convinced that a deep change in society can take place thanks to the contribution of feminine values, Sheikh Bentounes convened the first International Feminine Congress for a Culture of Peace “Women’s Turn to Speak”, held in Algeria from 27 October to 2 November, 2014. More than 3,200 people from 25 countries participated in this meeting, whose objective was to propose a new perspective on feminine values in order to restore equilibrium to today’s societies.

Archives of the Congress

UNESCO pays tribute to Sheikh al-'Alāwī,

September 28 & 29, 2015

The Paris office of UNESCO made a tribute to Sheikh al-‘Alāwī on the occasion of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the creation of the ‘Alāwī Sufi Order, a school of tolerance and interfaith conviviality, which took place the 28th and 29th September 2015 during the colloquium entitled “Spiritual Islam and Contemporary Challenges”. More than 1,600 people attended the colloquium.

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