August 3, 2013
There are thousands of followers of the School of Justice and Spirituality in many countries outside Morocco. In his listing of the branches of faith, Imam Yassine, the School’s founder and al-murshid al-‘ām [master guide], made Companionship and Community [aṣ-ṣuḥba wa’l jamāʿa] the first and most important heading under which he listed eleven branches of faith. This heading indicates that ṣuḥba takes place within a broad community, and that the spiritual benefit that we derive from ṣuḥba is found not only with the murshid al-‘ām but also with his followers, each according to their own level. Imam Yassine has been known to say, “All of the good that I have is with your brothers and sisters, so seek it with them and in your gatherings of learning and remembrance.” Furthermore, the relationship of ṣuḥba is primarily spiritual and is not dependent on physical proximity. Imam Aḥmad narrates that the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, said, “The souls of two believers meet at a distance of forty days, although one of them did not meet the other in person.” Spiritual companionship is a blessed seed planted in the heart of the seeker, and when it is watered by sincere dedication, remembrance of God, good deeds and the company of righteous brothers and sisters, it will grow into a beautiful tree bearing fruits no matter where it lays down its roots. The followers of the school outside of Morocco are blessed with the opportunity to be among those who build an organization and institutions that Muslims and people of other faiths will benefit from for generations to come, with God’s permission. It is their responsibility to determine how these principles are best implemented in the circumstances prevailing in their own countries, although the ultimate goal that we learn from ṣuḥba, that of seeking the Countenance of God and nearness to Him in the Hereafter, is shared equally by followers of the school across the globe.