From: Abdessalam Yassine
To: Sayyidī Muhammad al-Abbadi, the brothers in his company in the blessed spiritual station [ar-Ribāt], and to all the brothers and sisters of the Justice and Spirituality Movement (JSM).
Date: Sale, Thursday 5 Rajab 1418 (November 6, 1997)
In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, May Gods peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad, his Family, Companions, Brothers and Sisters, and Party.
May Gods peace, grace and blessings be upon you!
May God write in your records the best of deeds and assist you in all the undertakings that He loves and the enterprises that gratify Him!
May God crown your lifetime, mine and that of all Muslims with the best deeds of the righteous! Amen.
My dear brothers and sisters,
In the sessions of spiritual counseling, breasts open up with the blessing of [the Guides] spiritual company [as-Suḥba], Gods remembrance [ad-Dhikr], and the blessing of the true-heartedness [as-Sidq] of those who attend the sessions [of faith and Gods remembrance] for God’s sake. May God grant us such favor in full and let all our sessions be ones surrounded with His blessings. That is what we pray to God to grant us. Our hope is indeed great in the liberal generosity of our Lord -Glorified be He-.
Our duty is to give such sessions the veneration they deserve and the good consolation they require. By good consolation I mean the attendance of our movement’s senior officials, as servants of God feeling a great need for His mercy, side by side with the rest of the movements members. For I fear that the intention to attend such blessed sessions may be corrupted by the arrogance of some souls helped on by the disrupting and subversive interference of the Evil One the favored ally of lower selves. Thus, the sound foundations of the sessions of spiritual counseling, which are gatherings that direct the spiritual will of one’s soul towards God, may be sapped by the perverted intentions of some souls. For every session contains spiritual rewards that are earned only by those who attend, console spiritually, and combat the evil insinuations of their lower selves, nonchalance and negligence.
Yet I dont claim that every brother and sister must attend such sessions against their will if they do not feel a great want of Gods spiritual bounties, and if they do not know that the sessions of spiritual counseling are one of the gatherings wherein the great spiritual requests are fulfilled for those who attend them regularly, extend and raise their hands to implore God earnestly and humbly with their fellow brothers and sisters. From those brothers and sisters we ought to take what they are willing to give, and attempt to open the channels of their heart in the best of ways, as God -Exalted be He- may have predestined for them the greatest of rewards.
There are also some brothers and sisters of the movement who do not know the value of attending the sessions of faith and spiritual counseling, either because they are passing by a temporary period of lassitude, or because they have been estranged by somebody who failed to reconcile their hearts and endear such sessions to them.
You should go to those who did not come to you. That’s your share from the [Prophet’s] tradition of going to meet delegations [of tribes and nations].
My beloved brothers and sisters,
To show our gratitude to God for the favor of guiding us to remember Him and assist each other in working righteousness, we must inform of the spiritual importance of such sessions, reconcile hearts and souls, endear such blessed gatherings to our brothers and sisters, accompany them to such congregations and urge them kindly to attend them. Such endeavor should address each one in private, encourage him or her gently and repeatedly until their souls become firmly established in those assemblies. The deeds of those invited to such sessions will thereby be written down in the records of those who invited them.
You should insist kindly on those you hope will answer your call to such sessions, knock at their doors, physically and symbolically. Otherwise, our sessions might well turn into closed circles bereft of spiritual bounties. For there may be abundant spiritual rewards awaiting some brothers and sisters but which we have been deprived of because we did not inform them, invite them, reconcile their hearts and help them attend.
Somebody may well come ahead of me, as I kept silent or refrained from inviting my brothers and sisters to such blessed sessions and consoling them tactfully, and earn the greatest reward of those through whom God guides people to His Straight Path. For guidance comprises various degrees: an unbeliever who embraces Islam, a Muslim who acquires the Branches of Faith [Shuab al-Imān] and becomes a Believer [Mumin], and a Believer who ascends in your company the stations of spiritual excellence [Maqamat al-Ihsan], wearing thus the most beautiful garments of nearness to God Glorious and Almighty is He. That is verily the greatest reward and victory. That God may guide one man [or woman] to Him through your person is better for you than all over which the sun rises is a tradition [Sunna] highly recommended by the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace).
My dear brothers and sisters,
I will talk to you of Gods remembrance in its general sense, especially establishing the regular prayers in congregation. For there are some brothers and sisters who think that the stations of spiritual excellence [iḥsān] can be earned by jumping over the requisites of Islam and the Branches of Faith [imān]. By no means! Your heart will never be fit to host Gods spiritual bounties if you fail to perform the personal acts of worship that God -Glorified be He- prescribed for you, ahead of which come establishing the regular prayers, namely the Dawn Prayer [salātas-Sobh] in the mosque, the supererogatory prayers, as well as the obligatory and supererogatory acts of Gods ritual remembrance [ad-Dhikr]. Only then may we talk about your efforts to serve Gods cause within the community of the believers and acquire the other Branches of Faith.
There is no god but God [lā ilāha illa Allah] is the highest Branch of faith. What will they say, the man and woman who join our sessions but have no daily Wird (1)TN: A Wird is an act of worship that one undertakes to perform on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. of Gods remembrance [ad-Dhikr], nor sit in a session in the first moments of dawn [as-Sahar] to ask God forgiveness [Jalsat al-Istighfār]?
How can you expect those who fail to observe the Night and Day Schedule of the Believer to ascend up to the station [maqām] of remembering God and imploring Him humbly permanently, and asking Him constantly the greatest of rewards that of contemplating His Face for all eternity. Our initial intention and request, which is praying to God to grant us the greatest reward of contemplating His Face eternally, may be eclipsed or fall into oblivion, and our determination to worship Him earnestly may be undermined if we do not exert all our efforts to maintain the spiritual ties that link us to Him through the daily Wirds. Only then may we talk of exerting efforts to serve Gods cause in social and political activism.
Do choose for your sessions those men and women who have a predisposition for good; let not your sessions be like stock markets open to people of all stripes.
The hearts of the people you invite to those blessed sessions will die spiritually if you do not take care of them. They will inevitably perish if you leave them in the grip of evil temptations and do not help purify them from the germs of heedlessness of God. Anyway, no spiritually ill-mannered intruder will prosper in those blessed sessions.
My beloved brothers and sisters,
I have talked to you of tactful consolation, which is a manifestation of companionship [as-Suḥba] and reconciliation of hearts [ta’lif al-Qulūb]. I have also talked to you of Gods remembrance [ad-Dhikr], which is the spiritual lifeblood of the hearts. Now, I will talk to you of true-heartedness [as-Sidq]. Do choose for your sessions those men and women who have furnished practical evidence of their true-heartedness and have chosen to be among the true-hearted.
Four categories of people will never be truthful in worshipping God for His Sake and praying to Him to grant them the greatest reward of contemplating His Face for all eternity: first, those men and women who are hypocritical. Second, those who are ignorant of the fact that worshipping God for His Sake is a station far above worshipping Him to enter Paradise or be saved from Hell so long as they are ignorant. Third, those who arrogantly refuse to believe God -Exalted be He- Who informed us in the Divine Hadith (2)TN: A divine ḥadith or ḥadith Qudsi reports a teaching that is revealed by God to the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) but that is expressed in the Prophets own words. that He is with the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the disheveled and the dusty. Fourth, those who come to such sessions not for God’s sake but to spend agreeable moments in the company of some figures of high spiritual fiber they admire.
True-heartedness lies in your heart and is a secret affair between you and God -Glorified be He. Nobody can cure any defect you have in your true-heartedness. No one but you can approach this private area. You need to hold yourself to account night and day, comparing your negligence with the diligence of the righteous- the living and the dead. You need to implore humbly and in tears your Generous Lord to clean you of the dust of heedlessness and the impurity of self-importance ensuing from relying on your acts of worship, however numerous they may be. You need to seek the help of your brothers and sisters in the sessions of spiritual counseling by listening to the teachings, taking part in discussion on spiritual subjects, attending and consoling tactfully with the intention of seeking advice and guidance, not claiming leadership and erudition in spiritual matters.
Nobody will rest in your grave [to give an account of your deeds in this world] instead of you, and no man or woman will earn the station of true-heartedness in the Presence of God -Exalted be He- if they pretend to progress spiritually before people while their hearts are empty from a veracious will to work earnestly in order to earn Gods greatest reward, a veracious will to emigrate symbolically towards God -Magnified be He- and towards their fellow brothers or sisters, a veracious will to support the community of the believers and serve Gods cause, and, most importantly, a veracious need for God -Blessed be He.
My beloved brothers and sisters,
In the end, I pray to God to bless your spiritual station, and all the other spiritual stations that the JSMs members, men and women, are holding concurrently. Gods peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.
Abdessalam Yassine requests you to pray for him.