Recollections -Part 3

Abdessalam Yassine

February 8, 2013

Transcript of the second part of the interview by Dr. Azzam at-Tamimi
with Imam Abdessalam Yassine, in Rabat, Morocco
Broadcasted by Al-Hiwar Channel on Monday July 7, 2008.

Translated by: Amina Chibani
February 10, 2013

Al-Hiwar TV: Sheikh Abdessalam Yassine we stopped in our last episode at your epistle Islam or the Deluge. I would like to go back to that but before, let’s go a little further back, before Islam or the Deluge. When you were still with the Zawya, you wrote a thick book: Islam Tomorrow. I’m under the impression that this was the onset of your interest in politics and international events. Is that why you wrote it?

Imam Yassine: In the name of God…. Yes indeed, I wrote it, but it wasn’t well received by the Zawya. It was a book tackling political matters and talking about the rulers and the ruled; and as we said in our former discussion, the brothers in the Zawya (May God reward them with His best reward) had a conciliatory attitude towards the rulers, which I didn’t share- they are our masters, May God be pleased with the dead and the living amongst them. It was 1,000 pages in thickness. It was so because of my unfamiliarity with the rules of prose. Who reads a book that thick anyways! After that, my books became a lot shorter and accessible to a wider readership. Given how today, modern humans are afflicted with the internet and satellite television and all kinds of audiovisuals, we can no longer open a book so weighty -hopefully it was also weighty in a non-material sense.

Al-Hiwar TV: Was the book one of the reasons why you parted ways with the Zawya.

Imam Yassine: I was in a transitory phase, trying to distinguish myself from zawaya and Sufis. I’m not saying that to accuse or reject Sufis; some of them were great and noble men; in Libya for instance and several other places, they were real fighters in the way of God. It’s just this relenting towards the rulers that I wanted to distance myself from.

Al-Hiwar TV: But the matter was settled once and for all with Islam or the Deluge; it was a clear message.

Imam Yassine: It was the definitive separation. I said earlier that this was around the time I wrote a letter to Sidi Hamza (the sheikh of the zawya) telling him that this was where our roads parted; so as not to burden them with what they couldn’t sustain.

Al-Hiwar TV: Sufism, as many people understand it, is to withdraw from the world and its concerns and to turn to the hereafter and what leads to it. And they seem to believe that whoever concerns himself with mundane affairs, politics and governance is deviating from the norm.

Imam Yassine: Many of them do indeed hold such beliefs and tend to comprehend religion in this manner. But if we go back in time to the practices of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, and his companions, we will find that they were fighters and they kept night vigils and they were ascetics. And the most perfect example is our Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace. So to draw from that book, I have made an allusion to ten attributes. The first of which is the followership of a spiritual master inside a community of believers. They go hand in hand, while for Sufis …or more specifically Sufis of Zawaya, spiritual followership is carried on an individual basis. They have no concern for communities, be it the immediate small community or the community of believers worldwide. Some of them do maintain such views! Then come charity and ritual remembrance and other kinds of virtues around which we all coalesce. I treated that in ample details in this book and harked back to it in books that I subsequently wrote, notably in Islam or Deluge where I briefly mentioned it.

Al-Hiwar TV: In Islam or the Deluge you ended with a message, a plea that we formerly agreed to read:

“O Believers, O Umma of the prophet of God, O callers to the way of God. O you whose hearts are bleeding from the loss of the religion of God on this earth. I entreat you in the name of God and His messenger to end all your religious differences and desert those who claim that enjoining good and forbidding evil means accusing Muslims of apostasy and patronizing lay-Muslims in mosques. When one of them (the misguided) gets on the pulpit they cheer the king’s idolatrous feasts and praise the glory of tyranny.”

Imam Yassine: This is a very important point. It’s idiocy…I won’t say idiocy, but the act of enforcing these sacrosanct principles is taking people for fools and insulting their intelligence. It is sheer idolatry: God, homeland and the king (is the Moroccan national slogan). We’re worshiping a trinity not a unique God. This is polytheism. There were people persecuted and thrown in jail on account of defiling those “sacred” things. Journalist used to scoff this assignment of the label of sanctity right and left and would quip: careful! “Sacred Stones”, meaning don’t dare speak in negative terms about the palace walls, as they are sacred walls. In wedding ceremonies in Morocco, people are used to hoisting the groom and bride on litters. Those litters when belonging to the king were supposed to be sacred and many other nonsense like that. There are people from the intelligentsia who condone this. Others flock to mosques and declare people apostates every which way.

Al-Hiwar TV: And you say: “be united after me if God decrees that I should be ennobled [with martyrdom] a mattersfter saying a word of good counsel to a Tyrant. Be united so as to prevail upon renegades and those who reject truth. This is my letter. Spread it among people may God grant you His Mercy. Do it in person or through mail from one country to another. Do not prevent good advice from reaching Muslims. I’m no agitator, and I’m not calling to cutting blood-ties. It’s a well-informed word of truth. And know that if I eschew giving counsel and temporize and palter, my lot would be the same as he whom being advised to heed God has made indignant. I have no backers or organized following…”-of course, this was before you founded the movement.

Imam Yassine: Yes, before.

Al-Hiwar TV: “If you find in my letter good and truth then be the supporters of God. And cling tight to mosques and be the advocate of the leniency and the mercy of Islam on a day when agitation and tribulation will beset the unjust from every corner. Is it not that dawn is ever close to those who await it.”

Imam Yassine: On a similar note, We had a magazine that we entitled “The Dawn” and as a subheading there was “ Dawn is their appointed time, is it not that dawn is ever close!” and for that and about it, no less, was I questioned and dragged to police stations: who do you mean by “they” who are the “they” whose time is coming? They took it as a threat and an insinuation. Well, I said, it’s quite obvious I don’t even need to clarify it.

Al-Hiwar TV: The transgressors! Those who disobey God and His messenger.

Imam Yassine: Sometimes I would say that, sometimes I would refer to the disbelievers…and it passed.

Al-Hiwar TV: “Keep in mind that he who sees a wrong to be righted and keeps silent is a dumb devil. And one of the avenues of this charitable action is to prompt a ruler to do good deed and dissuade him from engaging in evil ones. So what do you say O Scholars of Islam: ‘Is it falsehood –gods other than God- do you desire. Then what is your idea about the Lord of the Worlds’ 37:86-87. God has taken a covenant from you that you will reveal it to mankind and not hide it. Yet you kept it hidden and kept silent; what is then your excuse before God on the Day of reckoning? And God, we are ultimately all meeting Him. And there is no might or power except by God. And the future is for Islam, it’s an undeniable truth; with the king Hassan II, if he repents and pays amends, or without him. It’s God’s promise and His messenger’s, which we believe in and we deny the illusions and fabulation of fabulators. And our last prayer is praise be to God, the Lord of all creation.”

Imam Yassine: Some considered these words as an affront to Muslim scholars

Al-Hiwar TV: So scholars are above receiving advice?!

Imam Yassine: They interpreted it as an insult to them and sought to arouse the indignation especially of the scholars in the king’s entourage and court. There were individuals and organizations affiliated to the king such as the council of Ulama (scholars) and the association of Ulama, etc. So much so that when I wrote my second letter to the new king, they let it all out…they joined forces against me. And I only have compassion and mercy toward them and genuinely wish them to be on the right path, following the rule of God to whom belongs the dominion of earth and heavens. Sadly, many people do not know and refuse to take heed.

Al-Hiwar TV: So three years you spent incarcerated, as you reminded us in the last episode, first in the thoracic services division of the hospital and then in a mental institute. We have covered the period from 1974 to circa 1977 . Then you were forbidden from delivering sermons.

Imam Yassine: I was literally dragged out of the mosque. After my release from the mental health institute I went to the neighborhood Mosque after making a prayer of guidance (istikhara). After the dawn prayer, there was a little crowd in the mosque so I got on the pulpit and said some words in our Moroccan dialect, as is my wont. One of the two brothers who accompanied me in the beginning of this enterprise, Sidi Al-Melakh, read some prophetic hadiths aloud and I explained as we went along. The people present were very happy with that. On the very next day, I was summoned to the police commissionership and was ordered not to set foot in the mosque once more. I was expressly forbidden access. On that very day, the mosque was a deserted place; no one dared to come again; people’s fear of the rulers. Not one person attended with us. So that episode was over. However, the ruling power is very vindictive, and I’m talking from the perspective of someone who has been at the receiving end of its gall. They waited until 1984, they trumped up charges against me; it was because I released two magazines, one called: ‘’The Dawn’’ which they banned, then we released a second one: “The Speech.” They also banned it and threw me in jail for it. And that time it was actual prison not just temporary detention.

Al-Hiwar TV: Was it considered a criminal case or a political one.

Imam Yassine: It was criminal in due form. There were political activists there and criminals. It was called La’lu prison. It was famed for being a very rough place; One of the oldest prisons. I was sentenced to two years of effective jail time. I entered that prison in 1984 while an uprising was going on in Morocco. I met in prison all kinds of revolutionary youth. I met Marxists. And my neighbor in the cell was one of the big calibers of that movement. And to be relocated from that cell I had to carry a long and bitter struggle. I couldn’t stand being in the same cell as the commonest of criminals. I spent the first night in prison and it was a night out of hell. You were in a room with the vilest criminals with only 20 cm of space to sleep on your side, unable to move.

Al-Hiwar TV: All the prisoners in one cell !

Imam Yassine: All of them. And I ‘ve witnessed wonders there! One event that remained engraved in my memory until this day is that one morning, they brought in one of those criminals who have done ravages stealing and embezzling, and the rule was whoever gives the supervisor in charge of the inmates the most money gets the biggest space while the unfortunate others get 20 cm of space, barely enough to sleep on your side.

So the rich newcomer got the large space under our gaze and it was really a strange thing to witness. There was only one toilet for all. And I’ll spare you recounting the hygienic details. It was such a troublesome thing to make proper ablutions and pray in such filth. In all these conditions I told you about, this rich man wakes up in the morning and the first thing he thinks about is shaving his face. “You poor thing, take this time for some introspection, think of God Glorified be His name, think about where you came from and where you’re going!” No, he had to shave his beard right in the middle of prison inmates. “You’re a prisoner, unjustly so, but still…” It’s the principle of “following the ways of the victor.” As Ibn Khaldun, may God have mercy on his soul said: The honor of a person, his distinction, his personality and his sanctity is in following the ways of the one who defeated him. He must be presentable in good and in trying times; in freedom and in captivity, his face had to be shaved! You’re a prisoner! Why do you care?! He was quite generous, so they actually brought him grooming supplies. This is something I couldn’t forget in that horrible prison called La’lu.

I spent that first night in despicable conditions. In the morning, I opened my eyes to the sight of one of those young leftists-and they were quite knowledgeable about prison practices, unlike me who was a complete novice. He was wrapped in a black cloak. He addressed me asking who I were and he recognized me and asked why I was kept with lowlifes. He suggested that I should claim my rights. It was him who taught me and incited me to start my activism against the warden. The man must be dead by now, may God have mercy on his soul. I once entered a battle against him, and my finger still carries the mark of this brawl. I hit him right in his face, and he was a big man, very imposing, wearing the uniform of prison guards. So on the man’s incentive I struggled and struggled until they relocated me to a unit called “quartier moderne” (modern quarters), but how was it?! Barely 0.5m by 1.2m, but at least one had one’s own cell and toilet!

Al-Hiwar TV: Some Villa there!

Imam Yassine: Well, yes, compared to the 20cm of space we had to do with, it was quite a luxury. Next to my cell was incarcerated a renowned advocate of human rights, a lawyer, he is now an old man and he runs an organization for human rights advocacy. He was my neighbor in prison. And for the first time I sat in on one of the meetings of leftists.

Imam Yassine: In prison. Yes, they had a roomy cell, some had single cells, but they were given access to a spacious one where they conducted their meetings. I was curious to know what they discussed in their meetings so I snuck in, they didn’t seem to notice me, and they spoke about everything, except God glory be to Him, and religion and Quran and the hereafter… no no, those weren’t things to be mentioned.

Al-Hiwar TV: It was inexistent for them!

Imam Yassine: It did not exist; neither in their heads nor in their discussions: Marx said this, Lenin and Stalin did that, and they cited dates… Che Guevara and so on, I wondered at that and it taught me a lesson.

So I stayed there… and another lesson, very important one. They used to provision me from the house with some food, and inside the basket, tucked underneath they used to slip some notes telling me about the situation in the house. So I used to receive my little basket from home while the people, the leftist crowd used to receive from their supporters especially from south morocco, from Agadir, as they had there organized supporters, they used to receive…how shall I describe it, …boatfuls of food and fruits, really incredible. And they used to employ regular inmates downstairs, offenders who were dressed in black bee-striped prison uniforms. The miserable lads were to bring the food to the “masters” in their posh quarters. They ate what they could and threw away the remains. No one had the right to touch the leftovers; very egotistical, there’s no power or might except with God.

Al-Hiwar TV: Interesting experience!

Imam Yassine: I took that as a challenge. I asked the brothers to bring me bigger portions of food and more loafs of bread. So I was receiving a fair amount, less than they did, but substantial nonetheless. And with the help of another inmate, who was a Unionist and an Amazighi, I used to distribute food to prisoners, not much, but a lot compared to the needs of one person. And I also gave lessons there in the prison of La’lu. It wasn’t detention like in the mental institution or the hospital; it was prison custody by the book.

Al-Hiwar TV: A short break and we will be back.

Al-Hiwar TV: Sheikh Yassine, you were telling me about your experience in prison. Before you were detained, you had begun founding the movement, right, what was it named, the Family of Al-Jamaa?

Imam Yassine: Yes, the brothers inside Justice and Spirituality, it wasn’t called that yet, at the time it was called the Family of Al-Jamaa, the Jamaa being the title of the magazine and the editorial staff made the entire movement, i.e. the family of the “Jamaa”.

Al-Hiwar TV: And this movement we are talking about, what was its nature, was it sufi, political, what brought it together?

Imam Yassine: What brought them together was something we call, “the day and night schedule of the believer,” the way a believer spends his day and night. What are the mandatory acts of worship, what are the recommended and the Sunna ones; when to wake up, what to do: wait for sunrise to do the Duha prayer, and things like that. “The day and night schedule‎ of the believer” details the duties of the upright believing worshiper. That was our program. We started; we had started before prison. And I want to say before I continue that the brothers and the sisters used to pay me visits in prison. We were very few at the time, nothing to do with our status now; today we are nations, in Morocco and abroad, in Europe and Canada and the US, and this really irritates “them”. God has blessed this community and it spread very widely. And they are now begrudging us this success. Some are even envious of our name; they would say: where did they find this Al-Adl Wal Ihsan, it’s an unusual and striking name.

Al-Hiwar TV: When you were released form prison you changed the name of the movement to Al Adl Wal Ihsan.

Imam Yassine: That’s right.

Al-Hiwar TV: Where did it come from, incidentally?

Imam Yassine: Well from the Quran. It comes from the verse: “ Verily God enjoins Al-Adl Wal Ihsan [justice and (spiritual, social and professional) excellence]” 16:90.

Al-Hiwar TV: And you have written two books one of them you titled Al-Adl and the second Al-Ihsan. The two constituents of the name: Which one comes first AL-Adl or AL-Ihsan?

Imam Yassine: This was later. What I don’t want to skip saying is that the brothers and the sisters used to come visit me in prison. And the visiting hours were like a busy bazaar, a pandemonium. People came to see the prisoners, there was a kind of separation between them and they had to yell in order to hear each other. So, once again, I struggled and petitioned and demanded until they yielded and gave me exclusive visiting hours. I stood alone on the prisoners’ side of the partition and the brothers came to see me, between thirty and fifty of them, we weren’t so numerous. And I gave lessons and delivered sermons, and criticized the ruling power more harshly than Imam Malik criticized liquor! I didn’t hold back!

Al-Hiwar TV: Were they recording, could they hear?

Imam Yassine: It was recorded and they could hear. And I meant for everybody to hear. Because one of our principles is transparency; when the Islamic movement first started in Morocco, three things characterized it: secrecy, which we rejected from the get-go. And if you look at what I wrote in the Minhaj, in the introduction, I plainly say that we have to get ourselves out of this pigeonhole. We are against secrecy, violence and foreign sponsorship. And it was something we were able to implement. So in these meetings in prison, I declared what I always advocated.

Al-Hiwar TV: While you were in prison, there were some new occurrences. The Shabiba Islamiyya affair, the assassination of Omar Benjelloun; some were imprisoned, others managed to flee abroad. You were aware of all that.

Imam Yassine: That’s the point; it was because of the use of violence and secrecy. I’m very well acquainted with the founders of Shabiba. I would rather not elaborate on these matters. They claim that they were the sole instigators of the Islamic movement in Morocco. It’s all talk, but on the ground the fact of the matter is that they are a scattered few, in Germany and Libya and so on.

Al-Hiwar TV: And working for Islam is not the monopoly of anyone, it’s God’s religion and no one knows the soldiers of your Lord except He.

Imam Yassine: …Yes, and each one works according to his aptitude and understanding.

Al-Hiwar TV: So the change of the name of the movement came right after you came out of prison. And you tried to charter all the undertakings of the movement to no avail.

Imam Yassine: Forbidden.

Al-Hiwar TV: I believe they don’t license any of the Islamic movements; even the other movements weren’t accredited either.

Imam Yassine: After my release, I settled in the city of Sala; the movement was expanding. The brothers were organizing sit-ins at the door of my house. And this was another sea change for us.

Al-Hiwar TV: So after you were granted freedom, people received you at your house …

Imam Yassine: There were meetings held continuously in the house, especially on Sundays, on the model of what Imam Banna used to do, and what a man he was; I don’t claim to be his equal, and I cannot compare myself to a heavyweight like him. I respect and affectionate him greatly. We held gatherings on Sundays and many people attended. And we used to videotape them with archaic equipment, but they are still stored in our archives.

Al-Hiwar TV: During that time, were your harassed by the authorities?… for the Sunday lessons.

Imam Yassine: The harassment was constant. It never relented! The movement was banned and censured… I suppose they must have convened once and decided: “well this man who is pestering us with his persistent complaints, let’s clip off his wings once and for all.” And that would be the brothers in the Council of Guidance; they therefore threw them in jail under some false accusations… they’re experts at that! They served a two-year sentence there. After that they shifted gears and decided to take the coaxing and negotiating way with us. They must have said that, despite putting his associates in prison, this man is still active; let’s try negotiation and reconciliation with them. So they came to me. And I remember the day one of their commissioners or deputies came to me accompanied by an amazing creature; a massive man, so tall, nearly two meters, really frightening and perhaps that was their intention: to scare me. He told me: “we would like to talk with you and with the others, would you like to visit them in prison?” I said yes, my primary motive was to meet with the brothers in prison. We went to the prison; they took me there at night. And we sat down to talk. And my aim was to meet the brother after a long separation. The aim behind that reunion was to get us to collectively write a letter of propitiation. We were left alone in a building. We talked and caught up with each other while the guard stood outside waiting and occasionally asking if we were done, if we had written the letter yet. Eventually, we agreed to write some unsubstantial letter; we didn’t placate or grovel or yield or recant…never. And that was it! The brothers spent two years in prison and tasted its cruelty and its kindness, its good and also its bad.

Al-Hiwar TV: You were imprisoned because of another letter you wrote to the king, beside the famous Islam or the Deluge.

Imam Yassine: Yes, yes indeed. It was a letter I wrote in French. And another one I wrote to Mohammed VI. Because those are westernized people and they utterly despise the Arabized and the Arabic language, and anything that has to do with them.

Al-Hiwar TV: Although the late king was a faqeeh!

Imam Yassine: So they say! He had companions; some of whom I know, and he used to tell anecdotes … let’s not talk about him, he is gone, he went to his Lord. May God have mercy on him, and I say it in all sincerity.

So I wrote an innocuous letter, in French; very polite, just like the Islam or the Deluge letter; I never reviled or cursed him. I only said: “O descendant of the prophet of God, repent!” And when he didn’t heed what I said in Arabic I wrote the same thing in French perchance he understands it this time.

Al-Hiwar TV: But why this antagonistic attitude towards the power in place by the movement?

Imam Yassine: Because we say: “No,” and they can’t bear anyone saying “No” to them. We have a French-Arabic portmanteau word which is: “banu-oui-oui”, literally “sons-of-yes-yes” or ‘Yes-men”. That’s what they wish for… but the tension is there, and they have the upper hand because the power is theirs.

Al-Hiwar TV: Could it be-as it is claimed, and I would like you to elucidate that- could it be that it’s because you don’t recognize the legitimacy of this ruling power?

Imam Yassine: That’s true! We refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of neither the hereditary despotic rule nor the current dictatorial rule because our Prophet informed us, and we trust his words, our din and our hereafter are dearer to us than anything else, and we do not cherish anything else the way we cherish them. Our prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, said in the hadith: “the ties of Islam will be unraveled one by another, whenever a tie is unlaced, people hang on to the next.” And in another hadith which we have taken as a motto, may God bless him and grant him peace, says: “Prophethood will be amongst you as long as God wills, then He will remove it when He wills to do so. Then there will be a khilafa that runs according to the Prophetic Method (‘ala minhaj al-nubuwwa) and it will last as long as God wills, then He will remove it when He wills to do so. Then there will be oppressive, hereditary rule and it will last as long as God wills, then He will remove it when He wills to do so. Then there will be tyrannical rule and it will last as long as God wills, then He will remove it when He wills to do so. Then there will be a khilafa that runs according to the Prophetic Method.” Then [the Prophet] was silent.”

In this hadith the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, foretells what will happen to his Umma after him; the hereditary rule: the Umayyads. And if Muslims don’t take heed of their history; if they do not learn its lessons, and do not heed the tradition of their prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, who indicated to them the path to follow; they will never be able to tell where they are heading, if they don’t lay first the foundations of their work. They are like an aimless muddled crowd, hitting against one another and tripping over each other.

We start by what the prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, said and then we go from there. He said the bonds of Islam will be unraveled, so they were! Then he listed the subsequent stages of our political history…it is something we have witnessed and still do. The prophet peace be upon him gives us the key to understanding our history. The Umayyad hijacked power, except for that great man Umar Ibn-Abd-Al-Aziz, and people abdicated. Why did they do that? Because of reasons the understanding of which is obtainable for those who wish to attain it. We say that they yielded to a fait accompli to salvage what little could be salvaged. They were afraid that the unity of Muslims would be compromised so they chose the lesser evil, instead of the mutiny they acquiesced. There’s much to say about this.

Consequently, we are against hereditary and coercive rule. Not only in Morocco; the Alawit dynasty is not the only one we condemn. Before them, there was the Marinids, the Almoravids- they were powerful men, and the Almohads- they established the greatest dynasty in the history of Morocco and their reign extended from here to Libya to north Andalusia, to the Sahara and Sudan. So we’re not only against the Moroccan power alone but all kinds of coercive rule, against whoever rules with anything other than what God declaimed; and God ordered consultation (shura): “their affair (is determined by) consultation amongst them” 42:38

I have written a book- I don’t know if we have it here.

Al-Hiwar TV: No it’s not here.

Imam Yassine: Well, I wrote a book entitled consultation (shura) and democracy and detailed in it the common points between the two concepts. So the people who accuse us of obscurantism and of atavism; of wanting, after the progress humanity has made, to take it back to the civilization of the camel. This is what all Islamist movements are accused of. We say, this thing called democracy, what is it and where did it come from? I said in the book that it came from a marketplace! In Athens there was a place called the Agora which was nothing more than a market. It’s a system devised to enslave people ever since the Greek time. While Shura was born in the Mosque, from Quran: “their affair (is determined by) consultation amongst them” 42:38, and its conditions are such and such…these are one of the things that Muslims do not pay heed to. And whomsoever lacks insight into their roots, can never achieve a clear, critical and informed insight into their personal future, and into that of their Umma. What is our destination? Either we let pessimism have the best of us and start moaning the disunity of the Umma. Why on earth is it divided, who divided it?! The power. The first tie of Islam to come undone, power, when the Umayyads seized it, and then strife ensued and the Umma split into crumbs and pieces. We have no idea what is it we want!

Some people accuse us of naiveté and intellectual unsophistication when we say that we seek a rule on the model of prophethood; we’re called deluded, with outlandish expectations. We want khilafa, we want Umar Ibn-Abd-Al-Aziz, we want Salah-Eddin Al-Ayubi. Why won’t we?! Did those great men fall from the sky? Were their achievements done overnight? There was first Nureddine Ibn-Zanqi, may God have mercy on his soul, who brought together Muslims in ash-Sham, and they were little scattered governorships; then came Najmeddine, then Salah-Eddin. There were preludes! And they blame us for wanting khilafa, as if we were expecting it to fall down on us from the heavens. God has established for us a cause and effect law, which is a universal law that should be respected. Which reminds me of a book I wrote entitled The Way of God, in which I have extensively tackled the Jewish and Zionist issue.

Al-Hiwar TV: All Muslims wish to see the khilafa on the prophetic model re-established. The point of discord between them is what is the best way to concretize it. This mode of governance that we have inherited and which contains so many imperfections, and defects and corruptions; how can we reform it. This is where opinions diverge. But in my own belief, all people working in the Islamist field ultimately seek to re-establish the Law of God, and replace this coercive rule with consultation, am I right?

Imam Yassine: Yes, of course. But how? How can a regime built on the faith in God and His messenger rule a scattered people?

Al-Hiwar TV: They need to get together first.

Imam Yassine: There is a need for education first. We need to first address individuals as such. Teach them that they weren’t created for this lowly life but for a much weightier purpose; for the afterlife, its rewards and its heights. If you seek the hereafter then: “whoever desires the harvest of this world – We give him thereof” 40:20. Seeking the khilafa in itself, if not coupled with the intention for the hereafter is considered a “harvest of this world.” And the afterlife concern is sadly absent from most Muslim minds except a few. So education is foremost waking people from their deep slumber, reminding them that they will one day soon be called into account before God, how have they prepared for that in this life? There should be some righteous work done. God says: “For those who believe and work righteousness, is (every) blessedness, and a beautiful place of (final) return” 13:29. What is this righteous work? Some people’s only care is their selves. They rationalize: “I pray and fast and give alms and do not oppress anyone; by myself, alone.” This is not bad; by doing that one has saved himself. I recently found a hadith, in Imam Darimy’s, may God have mercy on his soul, where the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, says: “whoever seeks knowledge to revive Islam, between him and prophethood is one step.” The difference between this hadith and the others we all know, “seeking knowledge is an obligation,” “Angels lower their wings in respect for the seeker of knowledge,” etc. The difference is that this hadith has a communitarian dimension. If you only care about your own spiritual redemption, it’s fine! We call it individual salvation. But God has favored mujahids. And there’s no better jihad than to wish good for your umma and do your best to resuscitate it back from the dead.

Al-Hiwar TV: The time of this episode is over. We will wrap it up and resume next time with the method of the justice and spirituality movement, its ideas and views. God willing.