Abdessalam Yassine, the Imam of Renewal

Abdelhak Bzioui

December 12, 2014

Nothing indeed is more poignant and heart- breaking than the passing of a man who is one of those God -Glorified be He- uses to revive His Din [Islam]. He is a man, from whom you learn, at every moment, by every word he says and on every occasion, lessons of firm conviction in these times of denial. You learn lessons of how to unyieldingly brave obstacles at a time everyone is turning away. From him you also draw lessons of dedication to God in such times of heedlessness. He is a man through whom God has revived certain disappearing sunan (established ways of life and worship) and certain fading glorious deeds. On top of which was his speaking up against tyrant rulers [former and present kings of Morocco] for which he had to undergo what he underwent… . He stood still and firm against all winds and storms, and set out to accomplish his major Qur’anic mission which is to raise avant-garde generations who would shoulder squarely the divine Message.

All along the history of Islam and Muslims, there have been a lot of religious scholars, but few innovating ones. Abdessalam Yassine is one of those who have come to inject new life into the pathetic Muslim Umma. He has come to breathe life into the values of justice alongside the values of spirituality and benevolence. He has come to revive precious meanings in the Umma; to remind it of its initial mission and of the Awful Tidings, the tidings of the hereafter and the encounter with God. He (may God bless his soul) reiterated: “Our silence on the Awful Tiding and our indifference to tell about the hereafter and our destiny after life is a breach of trust and a docile subscription to the world orchestra. Our silence is a submission to the power of a pre-Islam-like culture that does not know God (Glorified be He) besides deriding any statement or allusion to what awaits us after death.” Few are such innovators whom God (praised be He) uses to revive decomposed hearts by sowing the seeds of truthfulness and trust in God’s Promises.

Yassine views that Tarbiya (spiritual training) is the springboard towards any reform and that “sheer smokescreen is any remedy for fitna (trying times when pre-Islamic mixes with Islamic values in a Muslim society, resulting in loss of faith) that does not disinfect hearts from the germ of mischief through Tarbiya. The latter instills in the hearts the peace of faith and the reassurance of God. Otherwise, we would be beating about the bush”. Assured hearts come from praising God. God stated in the holy Quran “Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find assurance”. (Chapter 13, verse 28)

Yassine, may God bless his soul, used to have something secret in his relationship with God. He would captivate people around him with his abundant love, extreme humility, and far insight. He established a full-fledged trend in religious renewal based on knowledge, suluk (the active journey towards God) and Jihad (the strenuous effort and hard work in God’s cause). He would strongly reiterate the importance of remembering God, of counseling and of tarbiya through words, deeds and vigor.

I implore God’s mercy upon his soul. Eyes shed tears and hearts are saddened by his parting but we say only what would please our Lord: “to God we belong and to Him we shall return” (chapter 2, verse 156).

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