The Sufi complex of al-Zawiya al-Shadhiliyya was built in 1862 by the founder of the Dervish order in Acre, Shaykh al-Din al-Yashruti (also named al-Maghribi, "the North African"). According to the order's tradition the prophet Yunis (Jonah) had revealed himself to al-Yashruti in a dream, while he was performing his Hajj (the duty of pilgrimage to Mecca). Yunis commanded al-Yashruti, Tunisian in origin, to spread his religious message in Acre. Al-Yashruti arrived in 1849, and at first used the Zaytuna mosque as the order's gathering place. Soon, many of Acre's Muslim leaders and inhabitants from the surrounding areas joined the order, and al-Yashruti built his own Sufi zawiya in the nearby village Tarshiha. Finally, transforming Acre to the world's spiritual center of the Shadhili order, al-Yashruti built the present zawiya.
The big yard of al-Zawiya al-Shadaliyya contains apartments for the believers and provides a place of gathering and retreat for dervishes and sheikhs of the order. The main building is the mashhad, a commemorative mosque that houses the tombs of Shaykh Ali Nur al-Din and his descendants. The rectangular space of the mashhad is divided by two rows of pointed arches crossing the hall from north to south and echoed in the east and west facades that are fully pierced with large arched windows.
Dichter, Bernhard. 2000. Akko-Sites from the Turkish Period. Haifa: University of Haifa, 122-126.
Petersen, Andrew. 2001. A Gazetteer of Buildings in Muslim Palestine: Part 1.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 84.