Imam Hasan Al-Banna
Dear truthful brothers, the basic elements of our covenant are
ten; so grasp their meanings and memorize them. They are: comprehension,
devotion, action, striving, sacrifice, obedience, perseverance,
resoluteness, brotherhood, and trust.
The acceptance of this covenant obliges you to fulfil the following
duties so that you may become strong bricks in the structure.
1 .Devote a daily period for reading the Book of Allah (AI-Qur'an).
You are to finish the whole book within a month, but not before three
to four days.
2. Carefully recite the Qur'an, listen to it, and ponder over its
meanings. Study the purified prac- tice of the Prophet (peace be upon
him) and the history of the early Muslims, as far as your time permits.
The minimum required knowledge on this subject is contained in the
book The Defen- ders of Islam. Frequently read the collected say-
ing of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), and memorize at
least forty traditions. You are also to study a dissertation on the
principles of Islamic beliefs and another on Islamic juris- prudence.
3. Hasten to have a thorough medical checkup, and get treated for
any ailments you find in yourself. Attach importance to physical fitness
and self-defence, and stand aloof from all causes of bodily weakness.
4. Don't drink too much coffee, tea, or other stimulating beverages.
Drink them only when necessary. Also, abstain completely from smok-
5. Show interest in the cleanliness and tidiness of your home and
place of work. Be concerned with the cleanliness of your dress, diet,
and person, for Islam was founded on cleanliness.
6. Always be truthful, and never tell a lie.
7. Fulfil your promises and agreements. Never breach a covenant, regardless
of the circum- stances.
8. Be courageous and enduring. The highest degrees of courage are
telling the truth in your own disfavour, keeping secrets, admitting
mis- takes, and controlling yourself when angry.
9. Always be serious and dignified. However, this should not prevent
you from smiling or en- gaging in truthful jesting.
10. Always have bashful, delicate feelings. Be sensitive to beauty
and ugliness; the first pleases you, and the second pains you. Also,
be modest without humiliation, servility, or adulation. If you demand
less than what you deserve, you will receive what you deserve.
11. Always be equitable and of sound judgement in all situations.
Never allow anger to make you forget merits, nor let affection and
pleasure blind you to defects. Don't allow disputes to make you ungrateful.
Always speak the truth, no matter how painful it is, even if it is
against yourself or against the people dearest to you.
12. Be active, energetic, and skilled in public services. You should
feel happy when you offer a service to another person. You should
feel com- pelled to visit the sick, assist the needy, support the
weak, and give relief to the ill-fated, even if it is only a kind
word of sympathy. Always rush to do good deeds.
13. Be compassionate, graciously excusing and forgiving others. Be
tender, forbearing, and clement to people and animals, and observe
good manners with everyone. Observe Islamic social injunctions. Be
merciful to the young and respect- ful to the old. Make room for your
brothers in meetings and gatherings. Don't spy or backbite. Don't
be noisy. Always seek permission before entering non-public places,
and make a courteous exit.
14. Be proficient in reading and writing. Esta- blish a private library,
no matter how small. Delve deeply into your field if you are a specialist
in science or art. Acquaint yourself with the general Islamic subjects
to the degree which makes you capable of forming general judgements
concern- ing day-to-day problems.
15. Undertake some economic enterprise, even if you are wealthy. Try
to establish a private business, regardless of how small it may be
or how busy or scientifically oriented you are.
16. Don't run after government jobs, for they are the most limited
sources of income. However, don't reject them unless they totally
conflict with your duties towards the Islamic work (movement).
17. Perform your job in the best manner you can, and stand aloof from
dishonesty and cheat- ing. Observe your appointments, and never be
late for work.
18. Be amicable in claiming your due, and hasten to give others their
due in full, without procrastination.
19. Keep away from all forms of gambling, no matter what the incentive
may be. Avoid unlawful means of livelihood, regardless of what quick
profit lies therein.
20. Avoid the practice of charging interest (riba) in all your transactions.
Purify yourself from its putrid touch.
21. Foster Islamic wealth in general by encour- aging and helping
Islamic economic institutions. Be careful about your money. Don't
let it fall in unislamic hands, regardless of the circumstances.
22. Contribute a portion of your wealth to the Islamic work (movement).
Pay zakat, no matter how small your income is, and consider it the
inalienable right of the poor and deprived.
23. Set aside a portion of your income to defray unforeseen expenses,
no matter how small your income is, and never indulge in extravagance.
24. Struggle for the revival of forgotten Islamic practices and the
elimination of practices alien to Islam in all areas of life. This
includes greet- ings, language, calendar, dress, household furnishings,
times of work and rest, food and drink, arriving and departing, and
expressing joy and sorrow. Always refer to the purified practice of
the Prophet (peace be upon him).
25. Boycott non-Islamic courts and judicial systems. Also, dissociate
yourself from organ- izations, newspapers, committees, schools, and
institutions, which oppose your Islamic ideology.
26. Always be conscious of Allah (may He be exalted); seek His pleasure
with determination and resoluteness. Bring yourself closer to Allah
(may He be exalted) by performing extra night prayers (tahajjud),
fasting at least three days every month, contemplating Allah and mentioning
His name, and reciting the respected supplica- tions of the Prophet
(peace be upon him).
27. Perfect your personal purity and cleanliness, and try to keep
in a state of ablution (wudu) most of the time.
28. Perfect your prayers, and strive to perform them within their
proper time periods. Also, try to pray in congregation in the mosque
as frequently as possible.
29. Fast the whole month of Ramadan, and per- form pilgrimage to the
Sacred House (Kaabah) if you can afford to. If you cannot afford to
make Hajj, make it one of the goals of your life and strive hard to
30. Always cherish the intention of jihad and the desire for martyrdom
in the Way of Allah, and actually prepare yourself for that.
31. Repeatedly repent of what you have wrongly committed, seeking
Aiiah's forgiveness. Try to avoid committing pardonable offences as
well as major sins. Devote an hour every night before going to bed
for self-criticism, reflecting upon the good or bad things you have
done throughout the day.
32. Strive hard against your own soul until it is under your full
control. Lower your glance, control your emotions, and direct your
sexual urge to decent and lawful outlets, absolutely deterring it
from despised and unlawful outlets.
33. Completely avoid intoxicating drinks and everything that causes
impairment of the body or delay of the mind.
34. Avoid corrupt friends and evil companions. Keep away from places
of immorality and sin.
35. Fight to abolish places of play and diversion as well as not patronizing
them. Avoid luxury and all aspects of softness and laxity.
36. Perform your duties towards your brothers; that is, love and esteem
them, help them, prefer them to yourself, and regularly attend meetings,
being absent only because of an overpowering circumstance. Always
impress them with your behaviour.
37. Dissociate yourself from those orgariiza- tions and institutions
with which you feel your contact is not in the interest of your cause,
especially if you are commanded to do so by your leadership.
38. Propagate Your call everywhere. Familiarize your leadership with
your activities, and never undertake any action that will seriously
affect the movement without first consulting your leadership. Keep
yourself in constant spiritual and practical contact with your call,
and always consider your- self a soldier in the barracks awaiting
Dear truthful brothers, that was a summary of your call and a brief
account of the important concepts of your ideology. The principles
outlined can be combined into five clauses:
These can be condensed further into five words: plainness, recitation
(of Qur'an and Hadith), prayer, military preparedness, and manners.
So hold firmly to these teachings, or else you will not have difficulty
finding a place among the frivolous, the lazy, and those who lag behind.
On the other hand,if you make these teachings consistent with the
goals of your life and act according to them,your reward will be honour
in this life and blessings and divine favour in the Hereafter. You
will belong to us, and we will belong to you.
But if you forsake them and cease to act accord- ing to their guidance,
there will be no connection between you and us, even if you appear
great among us and the people give you the highest titles and foremost
positions in the councils. Allah will bring you to a severe account
and will ask you about your slackness and inactivity. So choose yourself,
and we pray to Allah to guide and help you.
- Allah is our goal;
- the Messenger is our example;
- the Qur'an is our constitution;
- Jihad is our means;
- and martyrdom is the Way of Allah is our aspiration.
"0 you who believe, shall I lead you to a bargain that will save
you from a grievous penalty? That you believe in Allah and His Apostle
and that you strive your utmost in the Cause of Allah-that will be
best for you, if you but knew. He will forgive your sins and admit
you to gardens beneath which rivers flow and to beautiful man- sions
in gardens of eternity. That is indeed the supremne achievement. And
another favour will He bestow, which you do love-help from Allah and
a speedy victory. So give glad tidings to the believers."
"0 you who believe, be helpers of Allah. Jesus, the son of Mary,
said to the disciples, 'Who will be my helpers in the work of Allah?'
The disciples said, 'We tlre Allah's helpers!' Then a portion of
the children of Israel believed, and a portion dis- believed. But
We gave power to those who believed against their enemies, and they
became the ones who prevailed." (The Qur'an 61: 10-14)
May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you.
*Extract from the Message of the Teaching-an English translation
of Imam Hassan Al-Banna's writing 'Risalatut Ta'aleem! The original
work i.e. Risalatut Ta'aleem was an address by Hassan Al-Banna to
the members of the lkhwanui Muslimoon of the fundamental Islamic
Ideology and to instruct them regarding their obligations and responsibilities
toward their movement.
Although the message was delivered to an audience of workers in the
Islamic struggle more than thirty years ago, it has retained both
its grandeur and relevance to the training of Islamic workers today.