CHEIKH KHALED BENTOUNES
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
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
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
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
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
Conference entitled “The responsibility of religions with regard
to peace”, Berlin.
International Conference entitled “Why is humanity not at peace?”, Almere, The Netherlands.
World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul
1st Conference of the French-speaking Muslim intellectuals organized by the French Academy for Islamic Thought, Paris
Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, Panel discussion at UN on Islamophobia
25th Anniversary of the Muslim Scouts of France, Paris
Participation in the Mawlid Day in Brussels
Participation in the Mawlid Day in Paris
Festival of Living Together, Cannes
Participation in 24 hours of meditation for the Earth, Paris
Intervention at Moussem Talk Brussels and at Sufi Night in Brussels
Intervention during the Social Weeks of France to UNESCO
Intervention during the 20th Anniversary of the Foundation Hirondelle, Geneva
Intervention at the Day to Construct Peace, St-Maurice
Intervention at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Forum “The responsibility of leaders in the prevention of Violence against Children”, Geneva
Intervention at Karma Ling “Unity in Diversity for Better Living Together”
Intervention at the Summit of Consciences, Paris
Intervention “Making Peace with the Earth”, Val de Consolation
Response to “Workshops of the Earth”, Chantilly
Values of Islam, Republic and Citizenship, Fondapol Paris
Intervention Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag, Stuttgart
International Symposium Panafrican for Peace, Cotonou (Benin)
“Promoting a Spirituality of Peace” Meeting with Cardinal Barbarin, Lyon
Intervention at the Symposium “Women and Culture of Peace” University Centre Mediterranean, Nice
Participation in the 59th Session of the Commission on “Status of Women” of ECOSOC, UN in New York
Presentation of the International Day of Living Together, Centre Pierre Claverie, Oran
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.
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.