Shaykh Abd al-Wahid Pallavicini
Shaykh Abd al Wahid Pallavicini is President of CO.RE.IS. (Italian Islamic Religious Community), which has branches in Italy and France. Born in Milan, he converted to Islam in 1951.
In the twenty years that followed, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahid Pallavicini lived in the East, where he embraced the opportunity to meet with what was perhaps the last generation of masters of Islamic esotericism (tasawwuf). He sought out masters such as Sami Effendi of the Naqshbandi Sufi order (tariqah) in Istanbul and Shaykh Hashimi of the Qadiriyah in Jerusalem.
His spiritual search, spanning from Morocco to Japan, finally brought him to Singapore, where he met Shaykh Hajj ‘Abd ar-Rashid al-Linki (1918-92) of the Ahmadiyah-Idrissiyah-Shadhiliyah brotherhood. This particular order was founded by Shaykh Ahmad ibn Idris (b. Maysur 1750; d. Yemen 1837)1 and is a branch of the ancient brotherhood of Shaykh Abu’l- Hasan ash-Shadhili (1196–1258). Shaykh Pallavicini’s frequenting of this brotherhood led Shaykh Hajj ‘Abd-ar-Rashid al-Linki to entrust him with the unexpected and unsought authorization (ijazah) to autonomously pass on spiritual influence and to initiate believers in the West.
After years in the East, in 1980 he received authorisation to organise an autonomous branch of the Islamic confraternity Ahmadiyya Idrisiyyah Shadhiliyyah in Europe in his capacity as teacher (shaykh).
In 1986 the Italian Islamic Cultural Centre, the body that administers the mosque in Rome, designated him as the person responsible for interfaith dialogue, especially with regard to Christianity. That same year he participated as Islamic representative in the meeting for peace promoted by Pope John Paul II at Assisi.
Shaykh Pallavicini is Founder and President of the Metaphysical Studies Centre in Milan. The centre unites Muslims and Christians without syncretism and works to safeguard religious orthodoxy in the West and a metaphysical perspective of existence. The centre publishes Les Cahiers de l Institut des Hautes Etudes Islamiques, a bilingual review with the subtitle Intellectuality and holiness . His book Islam interiore is available in French and Italian. Shaykh Pallavicini is Founder and President of the Italian Association for Information on Islam. He annually represents Italy at the General conference in Cairo, an event organised by the Egyptian Ministry of Religious Affairs and al-Azhar University that brings together the leading institutional and spiritual authorities of the Islamic world. In 2001, following the September 11th terrorist attacks, a delegation of CO.RE.IS., received by the vice- president of the Council of Ministers and a number of ministers, emphasised the value and dignity of the Islamic religion, as also that of Judaism and Christianity, and stressed that Islam is foreign to all violent attempts aimed at exploiting religious creeds. In 2002 he participated in a seminar in Jerusalem on the value of the sacred texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, organised by the Shalom Hartman Institute. In the last twenty years he has participated in about one thousand public meetings and conferences in which he emphasised the orthodoxy of Islam within Abrahamic monotheism.
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