: Abdullaah Al-Jazooli

07-02-2013, 07:05 AM
Abdullaah ibn Yaaseen:

Abdullaah ibn Yaaseen ibn Makook ibn Sayr ibn Ali Al-Jazooli, originally from the village of "Tumamanut" in the desert of Ghana. He studied at the hands of the finest Islamic jurist of the Sous, Wajjaaj ibn Zullu. He then moved to Andalusia during the era of the kings of the Taifas and stayed there for seven years. He strove to acquire Islamic knowledge and became one of the finest Fiqh students of Wajjaaj ibn Zullu. When Abu Imraan Al-Faasi asked his student Wajaaj ibn Zullu to send a pious, knowledgeable jurist and virtuous educator with Yahyaa ibn Ibraaheem, he chose Abdullaah ibn Yaaseen, from the tribe Sanhaajah. Abdullaah ibn Yaaseen knew the traditions, customs, and conditions of his people and their environment.

Yahyaa ibn Ibraaheem, accompanied by Abdullaah ibn Yaaseen, managed to set foot inside the houses, gatherings and strongholds of the face-masked people of the Banu Judala tribe in the year 430 AH / 1038 AD. Banu Judala welcomed Abdullaah ibn Yaaseen and listened to him as he taught them Islam. He used to teach seekers of knowledge using classical Arabic and used the native Berber language to deliver religious lessons and preach Islam to the people of the Western Sahara.

Abdullaah ibn Yaaseen faced many difficulties in carrying out his mission. He found that many people of the Banu Judala did not pray and knew nothing about Islam more than its name! The Sanhaajah were at this stage only superficially Islamicised and still clung to many heathen practices, and so Ibn Yaaseen preached to them the true Islam. Ignorance dominated Al-Mulaththameen (the tribes of those who wear masks) as they abandoned prayer and deviated from the true teachings and beliefs of Islam. Their morals were tainted and their religious knowledge of Islamic teachings and provisions were distorted. The Islamic teachings that Ibn Yaaseen was preaching clashed with the interests of their rulers and nobles. They revolted against him and nearly killed him.

Ibn Yaaseen was forced to withdraw to the south with his followers. He moved to the Lamtoonah tribe where he chose his famous location at the mouth of the Senegal River. He established a Ribaat, i.e. a monastery-fortress or religious center, whose inhabitants (Almoravids) devoted their lives to religious instruction and Jihaad. [This combination of religious instruction, military discipline, and communal life were noteworthy and attracted many Sanhadja.] After the spread of his name among the neighboring tribes, gaining peoples love and attention, many people hastened to him seeking to join his Ribaat and be among his followers so that he would teach, organize, and discipline them.

One of his famous quotes addressing his students reads, Proceed with the Blessing of Allaah. Warn your people and stir their fear of the punishment of Allaah. Edify them on the Provisions of Allaah; if they repented, turned back to the Straight Path, and gave up their sins; then leave them alone. If they refused and continued to sin and became persistent in their ignorance and revolt, we will seek the Help of Allaah and launch Jihaad against them until Allaah Judges between us.