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
Organization of Conferences
Public conferences given by Sheikh Bentounes
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.