Adl wa al-Ihsan, al-

views updated


Moroccan Islamic movement.

Al-Adl wa al-Ihsan (Justice and Benevolence) is modern Morocco's largest Islamic movement, with a membership estimated at about 30,000. Its official foundation dates from 1987, though the organization started to take shape under different names as early as 1981. The structural and ideological nature of al-Adl wa al-Ihsan largely stems from the writings of its founder and charismatic Supreme Guide, Abdessalam Yacine. The movement, which is especially popular on university campuses, is based upon a pyramidal framework whose lowest unit is called usra (family). Each usra consists of two to ten individuals. Its function is to provide the members with a new familial environment where they may find the Islamic guidance and moral support necessary for their spiritual reeducation. Promoting the re-Islamization of Moroccan society, such small groups meet three times a week to pray, to study Yacine's teachings, and to cultivate the values of benevolence and communal responsibility. Members also benefit from social, recreational, and financial services. The movement provides medical services, offers funds for marriage, plans field trips, and organizes sporting events to build strong bonds between its members. At the top of this structure is a General Council presided over by the Supreme Guide, who retains strong discretionary powers. Although alAdl waʾl Ihsan remains officially illegal, the Moroccan government tolerates its activities. This is due in part to the movement's quietism: It does not claim the right to partake in politics, nor does it advocate armed struggle against the state. Yacine often makes political statements, but he has so far eschewed direct political involvement.

see also yacine, abdessalame.

Henri LauziÈre

About this article

Adl wa al-Ihsan, al-

Updated About content Print Article