Manuscript Delivered by Imam Nasir Bin Murshid to the Governor, Sheikh Bilarab Bin Mani Al-Ismaili

The manuscript is regarded as one of the most important manuscripts contained in one of the works of Ibn Rajab which was written during the era of Imam Nasir Bin Murshid Bin Malik Bin Ibn Abu Al-Arab Al-Yarubi. The manuscript was addressed to the Imam’s Governor, Grand Sheikh and Jurist Bilarab Bin Mani Bin Ali Al-Ismaili. Imam Nasir (May Allah have mercy on him) cited in this manuscript that he appointed Sheikh Bilarab as a governor over Samad Al-Shan Village, its precincts, green areas and farms located in between it. The manuscript then stated a myriad of directives and instructions. As stated earlier, Sheikh Bilarab was one of the renowned scholars and leaders who lived during the early Yarubian era. Imam Nasir appointed him as governor over the city of Sur after he led an army to expel the Portuguese from the city.

The following is the text of the covenant as appeared in the manuscript.

The following are the words of Imam Nasir Bin Murshid Bin Malik(May Allah support him) directed to Governor Bilarab Bin Mani Bin Muhammad:

I have appointed you as a governor over the rural and urban areas of Samad Al-Shan Village, its environs, greeneries and cultivated lands located in between it. I advise you to judge among its inhabitants according to the Qur’an, revive the Sunnah of His Messenger (May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him), and adhere to the traditions of the rightly-guided and pious Imams whom Allah has made as inheritors of the Qur’an and Sunnah and role models for the people to follow.


I also advise to propagate virtue and prohibit vice among them. I also advise you to be allied with those who are loyal to Allah and to be at enmity with those who are disloyal to Him.


You are also advised to fear the blame of none for the sake of Allah, mix strictness with leniency, lower the wing of mercy to those who follow you from among the believers, know the reality of matters, put things in their right places, give rights to their deserved owners, forbid evil practices without violating the divine obligations by means of defamation. You are also advised to avoid carelessness and negligence, care for the interests of the people under your authority, improve the conditions of their gorges, maintain their mosques, pardon the offenders among them to the best of your ability, collect Zakat from them whenever it becomes due and payable, distribute it to the categories worthy of receiving it, ensure that the people give it out with willing obedience except in cases when they are forced to pay it.


You will be aware of such matters by Allah’s Will. I permit you to exploit the state-owned lands by means of muzarah (crop-sharing), qiadah, and collect crop yields. I command you to protect the village and defend its harem. I also command all the inhabitants of this village to obey you and forbid them to disobey you as long as you continue to obey Allah and His Messenger and fulfill the conditions which I have stated in this covenant which I made with you. Should you violate these conditions, I as well as the Muslim Treasury will disassociate ourselves from you and you will be taken to task accordingly. 


You are also advised to prevent the oppressors from committing oppression, suppress the transgressors, silence their tongues, eliminate the matters which the innovate in religion, disperse their gatherings wherein they commit forbidden acts, engage in sinful talk, or commit grave sins, as best as you can. I permit you to imprison the criminals and offenders in the manner you may deem fair and fit and in accordance with the Muslim traditions, which you have retained in your memory without you committing an act of injustice or inequity. As my trustee before Allah and Muslims, I command you to trust only the persons who are worthy of trust as regards the matters of religion. 


I advise you to fear Allah, seek His help, and resort to Him. There is neither might nor power except through Allah, the Exalted, the Ever-Great. May Allah send His peace upon His Messenger and Prophet Muhammad, his kith and kin and his Companions.”