Imam Yassine, being inspired by the prophetic model, embarked on a similar course. He believed in persuasion, not coercion; and it was his earnest desire that the message should reach the Muslims as well as the non-Muslims. Besides, his thought should appeal to all the Muslim sects, irrespective of their sectarian and factional affiliations. It is this catholicity of approach which has made him extremely popular among the Muslims of the world. Wherever he spoke, he was heard with rapt attention; whatever he said, his words received the maximum weight from the Muslims. They were, and still are, genuinely impressed by his warm and deeply concerned neutrality, and his immunity to bigotry and fanaticism.
Imam Yassine’s Journey
1928 - 2012
Imam Abdessalam Yassine
The word “Ihsan” (Spirituality) has three meanings that have been reported in the Quran and the sunna: 1) ihsan is to “worship God as if you see Him, and if you do not then truly He sees you,” 2) Ihsan is to treat people with kindness, graciousness and generosity, such as parents, relatives, orphans, the poor, Muslims in general and all of creation, 3) Ihsan is excellence and striving for perfection in one’s actions, whether they be acts of worship, habitual daily acts or interactions with others.
Taken together, these meanings convey to us the characteristics of the believer who is righteous in himself, in his character and in his interaction with society. They give us an ideal description of the relations between the servant and his Lord, the servant and people, and the servant and things in general.
The demand of justice precedes all claims of political programs worthy of the name. The justice ordained by God is the most important thing that the Muslim community and its oppressed peoples should long for and seek to accomplish.
Seek perfection, O woman! Seek perfection, O man! Yes, but what is perfection? What are the means? What is the end? What have the more lenient jurists considered permissible? What have the more stringent Muslims judged as heretical? Is there any way to make the journey towards the greatest happiness of the Hereafter without complications and ordeals, without a dauntless resolve that braves all obstacles?
For Imam Yassine’s Justice and Spirituality School, al-Minhaj an-Nabawi (the Prophet’s model) means the practical theory that Imam Yassine crafted to show the method or way that Prophet Muhammad (God’s blessings and peace be upon him) used to train his companions morally and spiritually, organize them socially and politically, and mobilize them to build an Islamic state. Among the features of the minhaj is authenticity in the sense that all concepts by which it is represented are derived from either the Quran or the sunna. Such careful choice of terminology is not made for the sake of difference per se. It is rather aimed to distinguish the minhaj from the other worldly methods in terms of source, intention, and purpose.
Imam Abdessalam ibn Muhammad ibn Sallām ibn Abdullah (may God have mercy upon him) was born on Monday morning, Rabi’ II 4, 1347 (corresponding to September 20, 1928) in Marrakech, where he grew up. During his attendance at the local school, which was founded by the Muslim scholar and mujahid El Mokhtar Soussi, young Yassine committed himself to, and subsequently succeeded in memorizing the Holy Qur’an. At the tender age of twelve, Abdessalam Yassine learnt the sciences of the Arabic language (including poetry writing) from the disciples of El Mokhtar Soussi.