The Book “The Last Testament of Imam Abdessalam Yassine“
Translated from the Arabic by the Editorial Board
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
May God shower his mercy, peace and blessings upon our Master Muḥammad, his family, his companions, his brothers and his party
The ultimate goal of my testament is that believing men and women should hear it recorded in my voice or read a transcript of it and invoke mercy upon me as I rest in my grave, a prisoner of my sins and hopeful of the mercy of my Lord. That is the foremost aim. May God have mercy on those servants who call on Him with a humble heart, praying for one whose deeds are cut off except for those three things that may be hoped for. Perhaps God will cause the benefit of your prayers to reach us, may God reward you.
The second aim is that someone may remember and take heed of the essence of that which we called to when we were among the residents of the material word, passing on to the eternal. It is a testament so that people may remember and pray, such that those elements that connected us in life may be rejoined and the virtue of visiting and loving one another for the sake of God may be realized across time. The connection is not restricted by the barrier of death.
Bukhārī, Muslim, Abū Dāwūd, Tirmidhī, Nasāʾī and Mālik in the Muwaṭṭaʾ all narrate on the authority of our master ʿAbdullāh b. ʿUmar, may God be pleased with him, that the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, said, “It is not appropriate that a Muslim who has something to give as a bequest should sleep for two nights without having a written testament.”
Indeed, I have multiple things to bequeath and advise for those who hear and understand, and I hope that its echo will reach open ears and receptive hearts, by the permission of our Lord, the Guardian, the Praiseworthy.
An echo that will reverberate, God willing, amongst the generations of Justice and Spirituality (al-ʿadl wa al-iḥsān) until the Day of Judgment, in order that they may bear witness on the Day that witnesses stand forth that Abdessalam Yassine is a servant in utter need of the forgiveness of his Lord, who admits his sins and bears witness that there is none worthy of worship other than God, the One, the Self-Sufficient who neither begat nor was begotten and to Whom there is no likeness, and that our master Muḥammad is His servant and His Messenger, who He sent with guidance and the religion of Truth in order that He may make it prevail over all religion – beginning as an open appeal and a comprehensive proof for all creation and then reaching fruition as an awe-inspiring khilāfa built on the method of Prophethood.
He further bears witness that the angels are a purified creation from among the creations of God, and that the Book that God sent down is true, having reached us free of any distortion – may God reward the Companions who preserved and conveyed this book with the help of God such that the words of our Lord reached us between the two covers of the muṣḥaf.
He further bears witness that the Messengers of God, may God bless them and grant them peace, conveyed the messages of their Lord until the certainty of death reached them, and that their leader and seal is the beloved of God, His Prophet and Messenger Muḥammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, our intercessor with God on the day of the great terror when people stand before the Lord of the Worlds.
He further bears witness that God’s measuring out of all events is true – not a single atom in existence moves without the permission of the All-Wise, the Well-Acquainted.
He further bears witness that the Resurrection after death is true, the Gathering is true, the Balance is true, the Bridge over Hell is true, the Garden is true, the Fire is true, the Final Hour is coming without a doubt and God will resurrect those in the graves.
After that, I advise the one who hears or reads my words with that which God advised the human being. The Creator of the human being advised him to treat his parents well since his mother carried him, nursed him and raised him with tenderness and since both his mother and father took responsibility for him as a fetus and infant when he had no strength or ability of his own, and then through the various stages of his life.
God advised kindness and excellent treatment towards parents, especially in their old age when they are weak and in need of a tender hand, a sympathetic heart and beautiful treatment springing from fidelity and love.
I advise that which God advised His righteous servants and Messengers, Noah, Muḥammad, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, peace and blessings be upon them – namely that the religion be established and that its adherents remain united as we read in Sūrat al-Shūrā. Indeed, shūrā or mutual consultation in public and private affairs, as well as in governance, is from the essence of the religion. We, the umma of Islam, are even more responsible for fulfilling all that God advised his beloved chosen servants for their ummas insofar as we are the umma that has inherited God’s message and has been appointed as witnesses over mankind.
I advise with all that God advised his believing servants in Sūrat al-Anʿām (The Chapter of Livestock), in order that the believers be distinguished from the polytheists and that God may know who will come to the aid of His religion and His Messengers and who forsakes them. On this basis He will reward those who obey and disgrace those who are ungrateful and disobedient.
These are four pieces of advice so that we may understand deeply and be among the righteous monotheistic believers: that we not ascribe partners to God by worshipping material or mental idols, that we treat our parents kindly, that we not kill our children out of fear of poverty – one of the worst manifestations of such “killing” is to allow the sources of misguidance and corruption to pick them off in front of our eyes – and that we not approach shameful deeds whether they be open or secret. If we approach such things by our own will, or if we sit idly by in the face of those oppressive forces who would erase our culture and corrupt our morals then we have fallen into the quagmire of shameful deeds. “And do not take any life, which God has made sacred, except by just right…” Killing the very humanity of the human being and convincing him that he is merely an evolved animal who has no meaning to his existence other than grazing like an animal, entertainment and meaningless action is the worst form of taking the life that God has made sacred – this wreaks havoc on the human being, his soul and his rights.
I convey the following four pieces of advice from Sūrat al-Anʿām, reminding of that which God reminded anyone willing to take heed of: that we not approach the property of the orphan except in the best manner, that we give full, just balance, that we be just and unbiased where the truth is concerned and that we fulfill God’s covenant. All of that should be understood in its generality with respect to individual character and private practice of religion, and understood according to its specific limits with respect to communal and political action.
I advise with the mother of all divine injunctions in Sūrat al-Anʿām, which came to us in a single verse and is directed to us, the believers, perchance we may be among the God-conscious. This injunction is following the straight path – the path of God to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth and to Whom all matters return and to Whom we will return after death. This mother of all injunctions warns us against following those paths that would divide us or remove us from the expansive path of God.
I advise with the advice of Abraham, peace be upon him, whose religion we have been ordered to follow: He advised his sons that they not stray from the religion that God had chosen for them and that they not die except in a state of submission to God. Abraham’s grandson Jacob gave the same advice, upon him and our Prophet and all the Prophets and righteous servants of God be the purest peace. This is the natural, inborn, easy religion that is renewed, beautified and completed with the message of the best of the children of Adam, our master Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdullah, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him.
I further advise with that which our master Muḥammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, advised in his Farewell Pilgrimage, in the last period of his life in this passing world, when he enjoined on his noble Companions, his exalted family and his umma until the Day of Judgment that we not return to disbelief after him by striking one another’s necks, and that we beware of the False Messiah (al-Dajjāl), and that we refrain from shedding the blood or usurping the property of Muslims since they are forbidden, and that we protect the honor of Muslims. That was his advice – may my father and mother be sacrificed for him – and he called God and those present to bear witness to his testament. This testament has been conveyed to us and we have been admonished and warned so there is none among us who is not counted among those who heard, whether we obey or disobey, take heed or turn away.
I advise with that which the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, advised when he was on his death-bed: the prayer and that which our right hands possess. Prayer, prayer! And in that which our right hand possess we should not transgress God’s law or the testament of His Messenger. Slavery was an institution that existed when polytheism faced faith with equal military preparation. The people of faith then had the message of God and they conveyed it by calling others to it and defended its homeland through military strength. In our time and in the future conveying this message is still a weighty responsibility upon our shoulders, and every age has its own system organizing warfare and peace. We should struggle to defend our religion and possess the means of strength so that we can maximize our resources and “our right hand” can have some meaning.
I advise with that which the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, advised as death approached during his last moments in the world. He advised good treatment of women and we have been ordered to take this responsibility seriously, especially with respect to our wives and daughters. He emphasized in his last testament that which he had taught before – that the best of us are those who treat their wives best. And he left the example of his own beautiful conduct towards his wives, the Mothers of the believers, may God be pleased with them.
I advise of the prayer – that it be established in a congregation in the mosque, carefully fulfilling the prerequisite of purification in full awareness of the sunna of the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, in movements, stillness, prayer times and all else related to the manner of his prayer.
The prayer! The prayer! The prayer! It is the pillar of the religion and the support that holds it in place.
Establishing the prayer is the supplication that our father Abraham made for himself and his descendants: “My Lord, make me and my descendants among those who establish the prayer. Our Lord! And accept my supplication.”
I advise those who hear and understand to listen attentively and be eager to act every time they hear the appeal, “O you who believe…” They should be ready to obey commands patiently and restrain themselves from prohibitions.
I advise everyone whose aspiration has been awakened that their utmost goal should be the Countenance of God, for any lesser goal is liable to veil them from God. Seeking rewards and the Garden is certainly part of the sharīʿa, but longing for the Countenance of God and striving to gain His pleasure by engaging in those things that bring us near to Him is the ultimate aim of lofty aspirations. This is with the condition of consistent, tireless action and a perpetually renewed intention.
I advise that justice (al-ʿadl) is the inseparable counterpart of spiritual excellence (al-iḥsān) in the book of our Lord and in the name of our school. So the continual jihād to establish a just state in our umma should not distract us from an intensive jihād to reach the ranks of spiritual excellence and closeness to God. Iḥsān is that you worship God as if you can see Him, and there is no entry to this path without righteous companionship (ṣuḥba) that opens closed doors and guides you into the world of light and subtle meanings of the heart.
For this reason, I advise of righteous companionship and building a community (al-ṣuḥba wa al-jamāʿa), and of righteous companionship within that community (al-ṣuḥba fī al-jamāʿa). I advise of righteous companionship and building a community, and of righteous companionship within that community. I advise of righteous companionship and building a community, and of righteous companionship within that community.
In earlier times, a single Shaykh with an enlightened heart would take the hand of an aspiring spiritual wayfarer in the path on an individual basis. For the future of our daʿwa we hope that God, the Light of the heavens and the earth, will pour His mercy upon his individual awliyāʾ and inspire them to cooperate in righteousness and God-consciousness – in guiding creation through righteous companionship that brings hearts together. There is no harm if the love of Zayd for ʿAmr is more than his love for Khālid. Our hope from the Sovereign Bestower is that righteous companionship and community (al-ṣuḥba wa al-jamāʿa) will be as inseparable as justice and spiritual excellence (al-ʿadl wa al-iḥsān). The magnetism of one immersed in the spiritual world of light should not overcome the sharīʿa which orders, “…and take counsel with one another in a fair manner.”
I advise my beloved brothers that they should pray to our Lord that He hold together the unity of righteous companionship and community (al-ṣuḥba wa al-jamāʿa) just as He holds the heavens and the earth from passing away.
I advise my beloved brothers and sisters from the Justice and Spirituality Association that they should pray to our Lord that He hold together the unity of righteous companionship and community just as He holds the heavens and the earth from passing away.
I advise my beloved brothers and sisters in the Justice and Spirituality Association that they should pray to our Lord that He hold together the unity of righteous companionship and community just as He holds the heavens and the earth from passing away.
I advise of remembrance of God in public and in private, and I advise of all the specific forms of remembrance that are explained in detail under the attribute of “remembrance (al-dhikr)” in my writings.
I advise of sincerity and of being amongst the sincere, exercising patience in this company, carrying the loads it entails and bearing faults and mistakes with forbearance. For patient companionship with the sincere is no light matter. Whoever claims that he is sincere and then stops in his path when the first signs of an uphill climb appear to him has proven his claim to be empty.
I advise of ascending and overcoming the steep climb, as God has advised of this. Otherwise, low-lying, easy lands are a grazing pasture for others. Be people of hishg aspirations, my brothers and sisters!
I advise of sacrificing from one’s wealth, voluntary charity and great concern for giving the zakāt and putting it to use in the appropriate manner. Zakāt is an obligation from God for every individual who has the minimum amount of wealth and property required for it. It is a system to close the holes of poverty and need in a just state.
I advise of seeking knowledge – knowledge which guarantees the felicity of each individual in the Hereafter and knowledge of those sciences and disciplines that guarantee strength for the umma. Intellects capable of organization, production and creativity are necessary in gaining this strength before strong hands and well-spent wealth.
I advise of righteous deeds, beginning from the righteousness of obligatory and voluntary worship that bring believing men and women close to God and then moving on to the strenuous efforts of the far-sighted man and woman who are patient in the face of the trials they go through in the path of unifying the umma step by step, until the edifice of the khilāfa built on the method of Prophethood is established. This is what the Messenger whose words are divinely inspired promised us, giving the glad tidings of the future of Islam concerning which there is no doubt, just as the Final Hour, the Resurrection, the Gathering, the Garden and the Fire are realities regarding which there is no doubt.
I advise of the beautiful comportment of Islam that manifests in the character, appearance and reputation of believing men and women. We should be distinguished as a person whose noble comportment and sublime concerns transcend the lowly concerns and degraded character and thoughts of the generality of people, just as they transcend their media, their entertainment and their aimless action. We seek refuge in God from the evil whisperer who whispers in the hearts of people and jinn and then retreats.
I advise of being deliberate in our actions so that we may be led with wisdom, and of moderation so that our direction may be sound, and of jihād in the path of God – the jihād of the strong who does not aggress and of the gentle who is not weak. I advise of deliberateness, moderation and jihād in a world that is shaken by various types of divine trials that God uses to sort out the good from the bad at the individual and communal levels. God makes Truth supreme whenever and however He wills. And He grants victory to whomever He wills, however He wills, whenever He wills.
We take rest on a bed of patience beneath the drops that fall from the spout of God’s decree, as the Master ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī said.
This is the last of what God has eased as a testament. It was written on the 25th night of Dhū al-Ḥijja in the year 1422 at roughly 3:30 AM, the time of God’s bounty and answered prayers in the last third of the night, when our Lord manifests Himself in the most generous bestowal. Let us move on to duʿā al-rābiṭa and donating the reward of reading the Qurʾān as a gift to those for whom we pray. I advise of duʿā al-rābiṭa – let nothing hold us back from it or busy us from it. Do not forget us in your prayers, may God reward you generously. I leave your faith and the seal of your deeds in the care of God. May the peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you.
O God, send your blessings upon the Prophet Muḥammad, his wives, the Mothers of the believers, his descendants and the people of his house, just as you have sent blessings upon the family of Abraham in all the Worlds, indeed You are Majestic and Praiseworthy. O God, fill our hearts with love of You, love of Your Messenger Muḥammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, love of the chosen ones amongst Your Messengers, Prophets and saints, especially the noble Companions, who struggled, were patient, emigrated and supported Your cause, and especially the purified People of the Prophet’s House, the chosen amongst the last people created by God. All praise is due to God, Lord of the Worlds.
The Testament in Poetry
Following the above is a testament in the form of poetry that I composed recently. Its verse speaks to a part of the soul that prose cannot reach.
I advised you, my beloved brother, in my lifetime
And this is my final advice from my grave
Daughter of my soul, sister in struggle
I present to you a garment of silk brocade
I present to all the essence of wisdom from a lifetime passed
In which hardship was suffered and success was gained
The final advice of one laid to rest
A person forgotten in the darkness of his grave
The Lord of People will remain as a witness
Watching over all who adopt it or leave it aside
O my companions, has there come to you
Or have you remembered or forgotten?
Mention of the race to a resting place
Near to God in holiness sublime
If you don’t find an assembly
And an intimate companion close to the source of Light
Your heart will be confused
By empty and worthless debates
Do you prefer, my friend, the scorch of estrangement
Or the gift of an intimate companion?
What a loss if the soul reaches the throat
And you have not attained the presence of intimacy?
And you have not attained the station of spiritual maturity
So you die while your heart is full of darkness
When Zayd, ʿAmr and Daʿd are all brought to their graves
Along with all those who passed before
And you come to the grave in darkness
And pass further into the night of constriction and detainment
And in the scene of Resurrection how great your regret
Over your commerce that has left you utterly bankrupt!
When it is said, “Here, take your record!
Will you be sent either to felicity or to torment”
Life passed by in heedlessness
The soul was not purified nor did it follow right guidance
The poor man was duped into purchasing
The diversions of life’s pleasures for the most valuable price
Another poor heedless woman failed to expend
Any of the vanity of fine clothing
Or to spend of the jewelry of which she is proud
Or of precious gems and diamonds
Youth passed with its ease
And now life gives way to grey and old age
As if the supple branches of youth never flourished
And the water of your youth never gushed forth
One tree is brought to life by a wind from the east
And dances as one passing the night in celebration
And your tree, young lady, has withered
As if its branches never bent with the wind
A cheek once clothed with the pink hue of youth
Turns pale and gray in old age
The wide eyes of youth once sparkled
And shone like the gentle glow of a flower
And here they are in the twilight of life
Fading into the darkness of night
Your hair is now a mix of grey and black, my grandmother
So you may expose it or cover it as you wish
Only yesterday your braids were adorned
With henna in the darkness of night’s celebration
But today the grey of old age is apparent
Like white flowers dotting an empty landscape
My sister, do not be alarmed at the approach
Of a warner of the departure from the prison of life
Rush towards the Garden
As the believing women strive, and do not be in loss
Arise and ride forward on the aspirations of the righteous
Aspiring to the holiest abode
Stand tall in the lofty heights
And do not surrender or retreat
And you, my brother, descendant of the proud
Emerge from the dark of night into the light
Stand up and call to God,
Let nothing divert your determination lest you be among the cowards
Purify yourself, my brother
For you have no chance of survival amongst the filthy
Approach God in the company of those
Whose pure raiment is not defiled
Let your companions be people of iḥsān
Accompany them well and do no harm
If you should follow their steps
They are your guide to the holiest of all goals
Their caravan strives towards God
So love them and you will be saved from loss
You will gain with them the good pleasure of God
And from their enlightened hearts you will gain light
And from remembrance, your provision in every gathering
Partake of their pure drink!
In the extensive shade of the angels’ wings
Who surround your gathering, you will find peace
If some people clamor in winding valleys
And they are nourished by the confusion of the corrupt
Then rush to that place where the sweet-smelling calm
Of the most precious of breaths is diffused
The perfume of those who pray and remember God
And the musk of mosques and their devotees
With those who sacrifice, extend your helping hand
To those sunken in misery
With those who know, expend your effort to arrive at the truth
And study with them yet again
With those who work, roll up the sleeves of your efforts
Do not be grieved or lose hope
With the women who work you will be
A model of goodness for multitudes to follow
Purify your comportment from blind, aimless following
And from the empty deeds of a shameless fool gone to waste
O sister, God has clothed you
With the veil of modesty so do not be saddened
Do not be enticed by the adornment of a woman
Who is chewed up by others’ teeth for their pleasure
Indeed, snakes full of deadly poisons
Are adorned in beautiful patterns and smooth to the touch!
With the patient proceed deliberately and moderately
And do not be one who perpetuates the slumber of the heedless
If the forbearance of one who struggles
Is not joined tightly with determination it will wane
Seek the way of the Prophet and renew
The signposts of the religion that have faded away
Follow the companions, the predecessors and the righteous
And hold them always as your model
They are my example in life
My aid and my protection
In struggle be a wise companion
Be gentle and merciful and be not adverse
With the Muslims be merciful
And be gentle in your relations with all
Proclaim the truth openly
With wise and gentle speech
If enemies should transgress against you be as a lion
They will return humbled and hanging their heads
Your struggle is two-fold: be firm without wavering
As the man of strength must be
And then call people forth
From the ruin of total ignorance
Call them and guide them to Light
From the darkness of the night
Draw near to God by fulfilling His obligations
And through extra deeds approach Him and despair not
From non-existence you were brought forth to eternity
So that you may be tested in the world of madness
So be not in doubt regarding the meeting
With God in a resting place of delight
Prepare earnestly for the day of your exposition
When the records of each soul will be displayed
Here is a bride brought in her procession
To the Gardens of eternity, but another wrought evil
So she is resurrected in a single line
With obstinate deniers and the defiled
Another rose to the heights of perfection
Swaying with those who sway in delight
And yet another ascended to a station of Truth
He fulfilled his trust and did not breach it
Send Your blessings my Lord, on the chosen one
Of the most blessed and precious essence
And upon the family and companions – the guardians of the sanctuary
May the peace of our sincere assembly rest
Glory be to your Lord, the Lord of honor and might. Peace be upon the messengers, and all praise is due to God, the Lord of the Worlds.
Completed at 5:00 AM exactly, shortly before dawn on Wednesday the 28th of Dhū al-Ḥijja, 1422/2002.