Al-Albaani as I knew Him | 1
by The Albaani Site
Dr. Abdul-Aziz as-Sadhaan, said, “The first time he was mentioned before me was when I was leaving the Imaam Turki ibn Abdullaah Jaami Mosque from the north door in the year 1397ah  or just before that, after having listened to a lecture of Shaikh Ibn Baaz, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on him.
Some of the people I was with were talking about Shaikh Ibn Baaz and the extensiveness of his knowledge, then they went on to talk about the care he paid to hadith when one of them said, “And likewise Shaikh al-Albaani is also a well-known scholar of hadith.”
When I heard his name and that he was from Syria I asked them about him so they replied saying that he has books about hadith and that he devotes his attention to the authentic [from them], clarifying those that are weak.
When I travelled with some of them to Medinah I heard that al-Albaani would be present in a house known as, ‘The house of the brothers,’ so we went there, those of us who had come from Riyadh, and entered that house.
We found a crowded group of people there, some of whom were wearing a turban, others a white and red scarf, others just the white one, and some had their heads uncovered. The gathering was on the roof of the house, and I saw a chair placed at the centre of the gathering, and it was surrounded, in fact swarmed, by the people close to it.
I was waiting for Shaikh al-Albaani to enter, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on him.
While I was sitting in the row before the last a man appeared full of dignity and veneration, and that solemnity would increase when he would look at you, calmly walking between the people who had cleared a way for him until he got to the chair and sat down. He was wearing a loose fitting thawb whose colour was close to light brown, and he had on a gulf type hat [skull cap].
When he began his lecture those present gave him their complete attention, and many of them, especially those sitting around him, had their pens and were making a note of some of what the Shaikh said, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on him.
The Shaikh finished his speech and the questions started to come from those present while he answered. Then, as far as I could tell, he excused himself before those present and asked for permission to leave. When he stood some of the people encircled him and they started to walk with him while asking him questions. I was walking behind them.
Then when he reached, or almost reached, his car I got the chance to speak to him, and so I asked him about a hadith I had read in the book, Tuhftudh-Dhaakireen, and this hadith included a supplication which is to be said after having eaten. So the Shaikh said to me in a word, “I do not regard it to be authentic.” Then I bid him farewell and came back and my love for him and his standing had found a place in my heart.
I met him in Munaa during Hajj in the year 1398ah and I recall that someone asked him in a loud voice saying, “O Shaikh, when I read a hadith in any of the books of the Sunnah and then I find that in its chain of narration is a man who is a weak narrator, should I then say, “This hadith is not authentically attributed to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)?”
So the Shaikh gave an answer whose meaning was: your negation of the hadith being attributed to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) could be invalid. May be it is that the hadith has been authentically reported through a different path? So it is more fitting that you limit the [judgement] that the hadith is weak to that [specific] chain of narration, so you say, for example, “This hadith in Ibn Maajah is weak.”
After that I met the Shaikh again during Hajj where he was staying in the tents set up for those working for the Civil Defense Hospital in Munaa. I visited him there with Shaikh Abdul-Kareem al-Muneef and there was no-one with him apart from his son, I think it was Abdul-Musowwir.
When our visit was over we got up and were going to leave when I came back to him and said, “O Shaikh, some of the people who love you spoke about you in Makkah and I said something which was not slander of you, Allaah forbid, but still I regret saying it. And I want you to forgive me.”
So he never asked me, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on him, what it was that I had said, rather he said something which I, inshaa Allaah, remember word for word, he said, “May Allaah absolve you of what you said, what you will say, and what you didn’t say.” So I kissed his head and bid him farewell.
The Shaikh came to Riyadh so I called him to breakfast at my house and that was after morning prayer on Thursday 6/7/1410ah [2/2/1990]. He came and along with him came a group of noble people at the head of whom was his Excellency, the Shaikh, Abdullaah ibn Qu’ood, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on him.”