The Aḥmadiyya-Idrīsiyya Shādhiliyya in Italy
In this article I will analyse the Sufi order Aḥmadiyya-Idrīsiyya Shādhiliyya based in Milan, established by Abd al-Wahid Pallavicini in the 1980s. This is one of the most important Sufi orders in Italy, and it is engaged in interreligious dialogue activities and institutional relations with Italian political actors. I will argue that this Sufi order has experienced a process of esotericisation, “Western”-style, in the sense that: 1) it was shaped by the “forms of thought” of the French esotericist René Guénon; 2) following Hanegraaff’s and von Stuckrad’s definitions, it embodies both a rejected and an absolute knowledge; and 3) it is characterised by a sectarian organisational structure, which has distanced it from other Islamic communities. Starting from the 2010s, this Sufi order has been living through a process of “de-esotericisation,” following the same sense outlined before, in that the absolute knowledge is gradually opening up to other forms of esoteric knowledge and the sectarian dimensions are gradually fading, allowing a dialogue with other Islamic communities.
Sufism; Islam; Esotericism; Metaphysics; Traditionalism