“The Imaam said, ‘When there is a large gathering, a blessed one, but the people are dispersed and sitting at a distance from the so-called Shaikh [الشيخ المزعوم]—who might [really] be a Shaikh or who might be a fake—…’
Ed. note: ‘Al-Albaani used to frequently refer to himself with this phrase, ‘The so-called Shaikh,’ so think about it, no further explanation needed!’”
Mowsūʿatul-ʿAllāmah, al-Imām, Mujaddidul-ʿAsr Muḥammad Nāṣirud-Dīn al-Albānī, vol. 4, p. 63.
ʾAbdullah ibn ʾAmr said, “A man passed away in Madinah and he was someone who was [actually] born there. The Prophet ﷺ performed the funeral prayer over him and then said, ‘Would that he had died somewhere else apart from his birthplace.’ So a man said, ‘Why, O Messenger of Allaah?’ He replied, ‘When a person dies somewhere which isn’t his birthplace a space is measured for him in Paradise [equal to the distance] from his birthplace to the place where he died.’”
Shaikh Abū Islām Ṣāliḥ Ṭāhā, may Allāh have mercy on him said, “One day I prayed Fajr in my mosque and then went to Shaikh al-Albaani’s house, may Allāh have mercy on him, where I found him in his library as usual. After he finished answering questions I had put to him, I asked, ‘Shaikh, I want you to give me some advice specifically for me.’
So he said, ‘I advise you with the same thing I have advised myself with—I have taken three things upon myself:
That I act upon what I know as much as I am able to. That I don’t look at what other people have. And that I don’t say something I will have to make an excuse for tomorrow.’”
Shaikh Abdul-Latif bin Ali as-Sultaani said, “In the Spring of 1977 I met a distinguished scholar who was serving Islam and freeing the Sunnah from things falsely attributed to it, uncovering the authentic hadith from the weak and false.
I asked him, ‘Noble Shaikh, do you give any lectures where you direct and advise and counsel the people?’ So he responded saying that the Ministry of Religious Affairs in their city had prevented him from teaching in the mosques unless he produced a permit from the [main] Ministry of Religious Affairs allowing him to do so. He said so when I applied for said permit the Ministry refused it.
I said to him that this is something common in Arab countries in general and that I didn’t know if it was the same in non-Arab countries. So I asked him, what then will you do?
He said, ‘I’ve gone back to writing and publishing and printing books and in this is service to this pure religion and I hope that Allaah grants me success in that and accepts it.’
That Shaikh was Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, may Allaah protect him.” Sihaamul-Islaam, p. 144.
Shaikh Al-Albaani was asked about wearing sunglasses, so he said, “Actions are judged by their intentions. They are permissible if someone wears them to protect himself from the sun. But if by wearing them he wants to hunt pretty girls in order to satisfy his animalistic impulses, then it is haram!” Al-Hudā wan-Nūr, no. 1256.
Al-Albaani: The sunnah in the takbīr [of ʿEīd] differs from the prevailing sunnah in matters of adhkār, the general sunnah in matters of adhkār is for the dhikr to be done quietly and not out loud, but there are times where this sunnah is not the case and where saying it out loud is what is legislated: the takbīrs of ʿEīd are of this type … the takbirs of ʿEīd al-Aḍḥā are said out loud and not quietly.
Al-Albaani: Who did you say is with you? I can hear him, tafaddal, … [doing dhikr] Lā ilāha illallāh, Lā ilāha illallāh …
Questioner: I was talking about how the problem in what a person is told is actually from the people telling him about it [a phrase taken from a line of poetry showing how people can relay things contrary to reality], so we’d heard about many scholars, many students of knowledge, but when we met them, and sat with them, they turned out to be less than what we’d heard—except for you, O Shaikh.
Al-Albaani: [trying to deny what he’s saying] ʿAfwan …
Questioner: When we met you, and Allaah is a witness to what I am saying …
Al-Albaani:Allaahu Akbar …
Questioner: … you turned out to be way above what we expected, and …
Al-Albaani: O Allaah forgive what they don’t know about me!
Questioner: … and that is Allaah’s Grace on you.
Al-Albaani: I swear an oath that you are mistaken!
Questioner:Allāhul-Mustaʿān. You taught us to say, O Shaikh, ‘O Allaah make me …
Questioner: … better than what they think of me, and forgive what they don’t know about me.’
Al-Albaani: … and forgive what they don’t know about me. That is what I always say. Lā ḥawla wa lā quwwata illā billāh. You know some of the narrations from some of the Salaf, maybe you know them better than me, but maybe I can relate the meaning to you—if you knew what I was really like you wouldn’t go along with me, Allāhul-Mustaʿān, Allāhul-Mustaʿān.
Before he passed away, Shaikh al-Albaani, may Allaah have mercy on him, wrote in his will that he wanted to bequeath his entire library to the Islamic University of Madīnah, here is a video showing his section at the library there. At the entrance they show his handwritten will. The narrator, who is in charge of the library, says the university has a team which indexed it all, made copies of the manuscripts and organised them, they also copied all of his books which have his annotations, notes and explanations written on them to make available for viewing.
A link to his will here, at the bottom is a link to a translation.
Al-Albaani: … so as you saw with me the reality is that the entire ḥadīth [we were talking about] is knowledge, from the start to the end, it is all fiqh, and this is what is meant by his ﷺ well-known saying, “Whoever Allaah wishes to grant good, He gives him understanding of the religion.” Understanding in the religion is understanding Allaah’s Book and His Messenger’s Sunnahﷺ. So he ﷺ said to Muʿāwiyah, “Bring her,” so when she came he ﷺ asked her, “Where is Allaah?”
Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ is the one who established this Sunnah for us to ask, “Where is Allaah?” We did not innovate this question of our own accord, we are following Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ when we ask someone, “Where is Allaah?”
“So the slave-girl replied, ‘Above the Heavens.’”
“Where is Allaah?” the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ is the questioner.
“Where is Allaah?” She replied, “Above the Heavens.” He ﷺ said to her, “Who am I?” She said, “You are Allaah’s Messenger.” So then he ﷺ said to her owner, “Free her for she is a believer,” “Free her for she is a believer.”
There ends the ḥadīth of Muʿāwiyah ibn al-Ḥakam as-Sulamī which the Imāms, the Imāms of ḥadīth reported: Imām Muslim in his Ṣaḥīḥ, Imām Mālik in his Muwaṭṭaʾ, Imām Aḥmad in his Musnad, Imām Abū Dāwūd, his student, in his Sunan—count whichever books of the Sunnah you want, all of them reported this story, this authentic ḥadīth, and Imām ash-Shāfiʿī may Allaah be pleased with him used it as proof as did others and all the Ummah accepted it, some rulings were derived from it which we alluded to earlier when commenting on this authentic ḥadīth …
Al-Albaani: I wanted to remind you of a ḥadīth in connection to what you said but then my mind went to another one connected to what my friend here said …
He ﷺ said, “… if you did not sin, Allaah would replace you with people who would sin and they would seek forgiveness from Allaah and He would forgive them,” what does this ḥadīth mean?
Its meaning is that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic said in the Noble Quraan that He created mankind in the best form, He didn’t make man like an infallible angel, “… who disobey Him not and do whatever Allaah has commanded them,” He made him a human being who has intellect, a soul, desires and volition, so he lives with these characteristics which Allaah gave him so that he can obey Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, not in an infallible manner, because there is no infallibility according to the hadith—yaʿnī, our Lord doesn’t intend for us to be infallible, and there is no-one who can repel His Decree and Will—but He wants them to repent when they sin, “… if you did not sin, Allaah would replace you with people who would sin and they would seek forgiveness from Allaah and He would forgive them.”
And naturally this hadith is not an encouragement to commit sins inasmuch as it is an encouragement to seek forgiveness when one does.
Questioner: Does this include all sins?
Al-Albaani: What’s that?
Questioner: Does this include all sins or just minor lapses?
Al-Albaani: Whatever sin it is, yes.
Questioner: Even the major sins, yaʿni?
Al-Albaani: Whatever sin it is, whatever sin it is. I’ve forgotten the hadith that had occurred to me about what you said, what did you say?
Questioner: Not praying and then committing … [unclear] … better that he prays …
Al-Albaani: Ah, the hadith that I was thinking about was when a man came to the Prophet ﷺ and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, I went in a garden,” yaʿnī an enclosed garden, “and found a woman there and did what a man would do with his wife except intercourse,” so he ﷺ said:
“Did you pray ṣalāh with us?”
He replied, “Yes.”
So he said, “Verily good deeds wipe out the bad.”
For this reason when you say to a man [trying to encourage him] that, “You’re drinking so pray ṣalāh along with it Yaa Akhi, good deeds wipe out the bad,” this is a Legislated method of giving daʿwah, and is not an innovated one as you indicated that some say [earlier].
In relation to this I’ll mention that hadith of the young man who came to the Prophet ﷺ and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, give me permission to fornicate.” So he ﷺ said, “Would you like that for your mother?” The man said, “No …” He said, “Neither would people like it for their mothers. Would you like that for your sister?” The man said, “No,” The Prophet ﷺ said, “Neither would people like it for their sisters.” Then he ﷺ placed his hand on his chest and said, “O Allaah guard his chastity and purify his heart.”
Questioner: Now, should a person supplicate to the Lord of the Worlds to totally protect him from mistakes and slip-ups, yaʿnī, it’s as though it’s not recommended?
Al-Albaani: He, yaʿnī, the hadith in Bukhaari, “And the one who is truly protected is the one who is protected by Allah,” so he does ask [Allaah].
Questioner: This is recommended?
Al-Albaani: Yes … …
Questioner: May Allah reward you with good, by Allaah there’s no doubt that what caused this spiritual state in you was the Mercy of the Lord of the Worlds in that how can this person who does such a huge thing …
Questioner: [and then] one ṣalāh …
Questioner: … and that thing is gone, this is from the Lord of the World’s Mercy on His Slaves, for if not people would despair …
Questioner: Esteemed Shaikh, I have a question. There is a fatwā of Dr. [Yūsuf] al-Qarḍāwī about the ḥadīth concerning the splitting of the Ummah [wherein he states] that the last part of the ḥadīth, i.e., “‘… all of them are in the Fire except one …’ is fabricated,” and is not part of the original ḥadīth?
Al-Albaani: Not everyone who speaks about a particular topic is listened to.
Have you ever known Shaikh al-Qarḍāwī to have written a small piece on the Science of Ḥadīth, let alone a book, let alone books, let alone volumes?
This is the calamity of this day and age.
People like al-Qarḍāwī and the Egyptian, al-Ghazālī, they castigate some of the upcoming youth who are on the methodology of the Book and the Sunnah with the understanding of the Salaf as-Sāliḥ—[whereby] if one of them gives a fatwā and they [i.e., the youth] ask them what the proof is they savage them, [saying], ‘Who are you to ask what the proof is? You have to ask the scholars of fiqh and those who have knowledge and whose specialty this is!’—and then they go and fall into the same thing they were denouncing the youth for, and they are Shaikhs, because they [themselves] never took the opinions of the experts in the field of ḥadīth.
Al-Albaani: Qarḍāwī himself, I know him personally and we were together for a few days in Qatar, we met at a gathering of the Higher Council of the Islamic University many times and he trusts my knowledge and knows my firm grasp of it, yet now in order to justify some of the bad circumstances in the Islamic world you see him authenticating what is weak and declaring weak the part in this ḥadīth [that you asked about] which is [actually] authentic.
That is why our Muslim brothers, [Muslims] whether they are men or women, should know, as is said in the old Arabic proverb, “How to eat the shoulder …” [a literal translation, it is used to refer to someone astute, insightful, who knows how to handle things].
Yaʿnī, as you know, today you will have a field of science that has categories of specialisation, for example, a person who has pain in his ear won’t go to a doctor who specialises in internal medicine, a gastroenterologist and so on, he will go to an ENT specialist.
This specialisation is very important and is one of the meanings of the Most High’s Statement, ‘And ask the people of knowledge if you do not know,’ so al-Qarḍāwī and al-Ghazālī like him and [yet] others are not people of knowledge in the science of ḥadīth, in declaring them to be authentic or weak, if they do have any knowledge then it is the blind-imitation fiqh [type] and not the fiqh derived from the Book and the Sunnah.
Al-Albaani: We will end it here so as to give an opportunity to the other questioners waiting for this call to end. Was-salāmu alaikum.
Questioner:Wa ʿalaikum as-salām wa raḥmatullāh wa barakātuh, may Allāh reward you with good.
Shaikh Mashoor was asked whether there was an incident that left an impression on him with Shaikh al-Albaani?
He replied, “There are lots, loads, the one that had a great impact on me was the first time I met him, the first time I met him was when I was in secondary school, and the Shaikh used to go to this house … where the top floor was a library, so subhānallah, I saw that there was some bedding on the floor, it was the Shaikh’s, he would work until he got tired, and when he would get tired he would sleep there, amongst the books—seeing that affected me greatly, it had a very deep effect on me …”
Maimūn ibn Mahrān said that Muʿāwiyah رضي الله عنه proposed marriage to Umm ad-Dardā so she refused to marry him and said, “I heard Abud-Dardā say, ‘Allāh’s Messenger ﷺ said, ‘A woman will be with the last of her husbands,’’—and I want no one in Abud-Dardā’s place.”
Shaikh ʿUthaimīn رحمه الله said, “And the Muḥaddith, the Muḥaddith of his time, the Shaikh Muḥammad Nāṣirud-Dīn al-Albānī, may Allāh grant him success, commented on this book with beneficial notes, brief in length yet with benefits abounding, clarifying some of the more obscure words [found in it], likewise expounding on the grading of the ḥadīths in it, [as to] whether [they are] authentic, or ḥasan or weak—and so with that the book became complete. We ask Allāh Who has blessed us to start it that He also blesses us to be able to finish it, and that He makes us benefit from it along with all those who hear it, verily, over all things, He has power.”
From Shaikh ʿUthaimīn’s explanation of Mishkātul-Maṣabīḥ, here.
In the checking, Shaikh al-Albaani wrote at the end that he completed it, “… on Wednesday, the 7th of September, 1960, in Alexandria …” and then said, “And all praise is due to Allāh for enabling me to do it.” May Allaah have mercy on him.
From ʿĀʾishah, from the Prophet ﷺ, “Three things I swear to: Allāh does not hold a person who has a share in Islām to be like the one who doesn’t have a share—and the shares of Islām are three: fasting, the prayer and giving in charity. Allāh does not protect [/become an ally to] a servant in this world and then abandon him to someone else on the Day of Resurrection. And a man does not love a people except that he will come with them on the Day of Resurrection. And [then] a fourth [thing]—and if I swear to it I do not fear that I will have sinned: Allāh does not conceal a person’s faults in this world except that He will conceal them in the Hereafter.” Aṣ-Ṣaḥīḥah, no. 1387.
Questioner: O Shaikh, is there any, for example, sin on me if I call a person who doesn’t pray [to Allāh], and after having called and called and called him and showed him the punishment for the person who abandons the prayer and that the one who does so wilfully has left the religion … Al-Albaani: The proof has been established against him. Questioner:Yaʿnī, the proof has been established against him but he doesn’t want to .. so if I [then] say, yaʿnī, to myself that I won’t ask Allāh, the Mighty and Majestic, to have mercy on him unless he repents, would I be sinful for making a duʿā like that? Al-Albaani: What was the duʿā? Questioner: To say, ‘Yā Rabb! Don’t show mercy to him unless he repents! Don’t forgive him unless he repents!’ Someone else: ‘O Allāh, don’t have mercy on him!’ Al-Albaani: No [you don’t say that]. You say, ‘O Allāh! Guide him!’ Questioner: O Allāh guide him, yaʿnī, I … Al-Albaani: ‘O Allāh! Guide my people for they know not.’ Questioner: May Allāh reward you with good, may Allāh bless you, may Allāh guide us all, inshā Allāh. Al-Albaani:Āmīn, and furthermore, the reality, my brothers, is that I say that these misguided people are ill, and for this reason we have to show them compassion, we have to show them compassion …
Fatāwā ʿibar al-Hātifi was-Sayārah, no. 158.
Al-Albaani: … … It’s not mine, it’s not mine. [unclear from the context] Questioner: Yes, yes, and your books, explanations of ḥadīth? Al-Albaani: Enough, Yā akhī, that’s it, may Allāh guide you! Questioner: Huh? Al-Albaani: It’s not your time now, question after question after question, until when? Questioner: Sorry, O Shaikh, may Allāh protect you! Al-Albaani:Yā akhī, may Allāh guide you, don’t be selfish, there are other people waiting. Questioner: Things about ʿaqīdah, Yā Shaikh, just answer me about them and then that’s it. Al-Albaani: No, these are not things about ʿaqīdah, you’re asking me whether I have a book about this or that, that is not something connected to ʿaqīdah. Questioner: Ok, where can I understand the correct ʿaqīdah from what you’ve written, Yā Shaikh? Al-Albaani: I don’t have any books specifically about ʿaqīdah … ʿaqīdah is spread out in the books of the people of knowledge, as it is in some of my books … [ending the conversation], was-salāmu alaikum. Questioner: May Allāh protect you, Shaikh. Al-Albaani: Reply to the salām, may Allāh guide you. Questioner:Wa ʿalaikum …, Yā Shaikh, ok, a second question, sorry … Al-Albaani: Reply to the salām, may Allāh guide you. Questioner: Wa ʿalaikum as-salām wa raḥmatullāhī wa barakātuhū.
The Imām said, “I want to remind some of our brothers present here that when they came in they would give salām to every person sitting down individually or to a lot of them, so when they would shake hands they would say, ‘As-salāmu alaikum, as-salāmu alaikum …’ and so on. What I wanted to remind you of, and reminders benefit the believers, is that when someone comes to a gathering the sunnah is for him to give salām in general to all present, saying, ‘As-salāmu alaikum wa raḥmatullāh,’ and if he is able to shake everyone’s hand individually, then without doubt that is more perfect a thing for him to do and more complete, and if he can’t, because there are too many people, then in such a case it’s enough for him to give salām [in general to all].
If he were to follow up on his salām by shaking everyone’s hands then it is not part of the sunnah whatsoever for him to [then go and say] say, ‘As-salāmu alaikum, as-salāmu alaikum, as-salāmu alaikum …’—this is an innovation [bidʿah] of this era which the past generations never knew, and I’m not saying just the Salafī generations but rather the Salafī and the Khalafī [the generations who came after the first three] ones. This kind of handshaking was not known except in this present generation.
And this is a reminder and reminders benefit the believers, this was something [I wanted to say] before any questions you might have …”
Al-Albaani: ‘Until when [the dam of] Gog and Magog [Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj] has been opened and they, from every elevation, descend …,’[21:96] there is no doubt that believing in the people known as Gog and Magog is a correct Islamic belief, due to it being present in the Quran and due to the story and its details [also] being related in the Sunnah.
The barrier mentioned in the verse before this one in the Noble Quraan is the one our Prophet ﷺ spoke about in the authentic hadith, i.e., that behind this barrier are the people of Gog and Magog and that every day they betake themselves to it in order to escape from it to [the rest of] the world, licking it with their tongues until when they [do get through it enough that they can] see a ray of light they say, ‘Tomorrow we will complete it and then leave through it,’ but when they come back they find it to have reverted to how it initially was.
[It will carry on like this] until when Allaah تبارك و تعالى [finally] permits them to leave He will inspire some of them to say, ‘Tomorrow, inshaa Allaah,’ so they then come back to the barrier … and find that it is as they had left it and carry on doing what they were doing and then they will, ‘… from every elevation, descend …’ as the Lord of the Worlds said.
So now, the doubt which is thrown around these days—emanating from the disbelievers and ending among some of those [Muslims] who are weak in knowledge, if not weak in eemaan, where these people claim even more than the disbelievers do, these people weak in knowledge and eemaan claim things the disbelievers don’t even claim about themselves—saying, ‘The non-Muslims have covered the entire globe and are acquainted with all of it, from its mountains to its plateaus, plains, rivers, seas, forests and so on,’ there is no place left, according to them, that they haven’t traversed—the disbelievers themselves don’t even make this claim.
This is because, regretufully, we acknowledge that the disbelievers don’t believe in anything except scientific research and it is this scientific research that causes them to refrain from claiming something they don’t have knowledge about such that they will say, ‘We reached this point but we don’t know what is beyond it.’
As for those in our Ummah who are weak in knowledge and eemaan … … so I say: this is a claim bereft of any proof, it is obligatory on the believer to believe in the Quraan and the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ, the very least that can be said is that he believes in these things more than his belief in what the disbelievers say and [more than his belief] in their research and experiments, and if the Quraan has openly declared the presence of a barrier there and of a people behind said barrier and that a time will come when they escape from it, then this means that the disbelievers [fall under the description that Allaah mentioned, when He said], talking about all creatures in general, ‘… and of knowledge ye have been given but a little,’[17:85] from the knowledge that they have not acquired to this day is where Dhul-Qarnain’s barrier or the people who are behind it are.
It is, without doubt, on this earth—‘Allaah knows and you do not.’ [2:216]
Therefore, let no-one be confused into thinking that the disbelievers have explored all the world, for this is a false claim. Additionally, if the disbelievers did find it they would hasten to deny it because in that would be a … … for Islaam whereas they disbelieve in it, and if that were the case then the statement of the Lord of the Worlds regarding the early polytheists, would [also] apply to them, ‘They denied them [the signs], in their wickedness and their pride, even though their souls acknowledged them as true. See how those who spread corruption met their end!’[27:14]
This is my answer to the issue and in summary it is that: we believe in what has come in the Book and the Sunnah and reject the statement that it does not exist.
Questioner: The statement of the Prophet ﷺ, ‘Woe to the Arabs from a great evil that has drawn near! Today a gap has been made in the wall of Gog and Magog …’ to the end of the hadith, along with what is mentioned from his statement ﷺ that they lick the barrier with their tongues, does it mean that a gap in this wall was made from that time?
Al-Albaani: The gap is made every day and then goes back to being as it was.
Questioner: The Prophet’s saying, ‘Today a gap has been made …,’ does it mean every day?
From Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, from the Prophet ﷺ, [who said], “When you leave your house, pray two rak’ahs—they will prevent you from an evil exit. And when you enter your home, pray two rak’ahs—they will prevent you from an evil entrance.”
As-Saheehah, no. 1323.
Al-Albaani: [The questioner says] “I read in As-Saheehah a page where there is a hadith from the Prophet ﷺ where he said, ‘When you leave your house, pray two rak’ahs—they will prevent you from an evil exit. And when you enter your home, pray two rak’ahs—they will prevent you from an evil entrance,” is that when one travels or when resident? And is it to be done constantly?”
The answer is that it seems as though it is when travelling and not when resident and if it is during travelling then naturally it wouldn’t be something that is done constantly.