R. Abraham b. Mordehai Azulai (c. 1570–1643), was born in Fez, first mastered the study of the Talmud and philosophic literature and then Kabbalah. He did not agree with the interpretations of the Zohar which his teachers provided, and he did not really enter this subject until he obtained R. Moses Cordovero's Pardes Rimmonim. Thereafter, he was preoccupied with the question of the relation between Kabbalah and philosophy, until he forsook philosophy and dedicated himself entirely to Kabbalah. He decided to go to the center of kabbalism in Erez Israel, but did not realize his wish until after he had lost all his wealth during the anti-Jewish persecutions in Morocco (1610–13). He drifted between Hebron, Jerusalem, and Gaza during the epidemic of 1619, and finally settled in Hebron where kabbalists from Safed had congregated and where he found all the books of R. Cordovero and the majority of R. Isaac Luria's works in R. Hayyim Vital's version. R. Eliezer b. Arha became his friend there.
Azulai's numerous writings were not published during his lifetime. Those books he had written while still in Fez, were lost at sea. He wrote three treatises on the Zohar and several commentaries.