Al-Albaani and Abdul-Fattaah Abu Ghuddah
“I first met Shaikh Abdul-Fattaah Abu Ghuddah in his city, Aleppo, more than twenty years ago approximately. I realised that he was a man who was bigoted towards the Hanafi madhhab such that he blindly followed it when in his mosque in Aleppo he agreed to the permissibility of treating someone with alcohol under the supervision of a skilled, Muslim doctor.
So I said to him, “This is not enough. The doctor must also be well-acquainted with the Sunnah. For in the Sunnah, for example, alcohol has been described as being a disease and not a cure. So how can a Muslim doctor who knows the Sharee’ah prescribe a cure which the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, described as being a disease?!”
So he said, “Perhaps the hadith is weak or not authentic!” I replied, “How can it be when it is in Sahih Muslim?” So he said, “We will go back and check it to make sure.”
So one of the people who was present and he was a friend to both parties in the debate said, “So when you do check and find out that it is authentic, will you act upon it or what the madhhab says?”
So he replied, “The madhhab!”
Al-Albaani and the Preacher [Khateeb]
An incident regarding a khateeb is funny and yet will make one cry at the same time, it is befitting that it is mentioned due to the lesson that can be learnt from it.
A few years ago one of the khateebs from a mosque in Damascus came to me, and he was an exhorter and preacher who would travel to different places [to admonish and remind the people]. He mentioned to me that he had written a book in which he had gathered hadiths that he had taken from the books of the Sunnah and that he had requested an affluent brother to assist him in getting the book printed. That brother said to him “If Ustaadh Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani agrees that the book should be printed then I will help you.” Then this preacher asked for my agreement but I refused saying I would not do so until I had a taken look at the book. So he sent the book to me.
When I went through it I found things in it that were strange and deplorable. From this was that he attributed the saying of Eesaa, عليه السلام, which Maalik mentioned to Sahih Muslim saying it was from the narrations of Abu Hurairah attributed back to the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, that he, صلى الله عليه وسلم, said, “Eesaa said …”!
When I saw this I was extremely astonished since I was sure that no such hadith even existed in the Sahih of Imaam Muslim nor in any of the other six books–except for the first sentence from it which is reported in Sunan at-Tirmidhee from the hadith of Ibn Umar with a weak chain of narration, as I have clarified in Silsilah al-Ahaadith ad-Da’eefah, no. 924 or after that.
So I phoned him and told him my opinion about the book and the criticisms and faults that were in it, the strongest being the attribution of the narration of Eesaa, عليه السلام, to the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم. Then I asked him, “Where did you get this from?” So he went quiet for a moment and then said, “Wait for a second until I bring the book.” Then he said to me, and how shocking and alarming what he said was, “Imaam Maalik is the one who attributed the hadith to Sahih Muslim in the book of Virtue and Maintaining Ties of Kinship …” and so on. So I said to him, “What is this O Shaikh! Don’t you know that there is a huge gap between Muslim and Maalik, that Muslim came after Maalik; that from the Shaikhs of Muslim is Imaam Ahmad, and from the Shaikhs of Imaam Ahmad is Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee and from the Shaikhs of ash-Shaafi’ee is Maalik? So how can Maalik attribute this hadith to Muslim when he passed away years before him?!”
So he went quiet in bewilderment and said some words from which I understood that he was saying that Maalik made this statement in his book Al-Muwatta! I said, “This is impossible and I will study the issue and clarify the reality to you, if Allaah, the Most High, so wills.”
So I went to Al-Maktabah adh-Dhaahiriyyah and reviewed [Imaam Maalik’s book] Al-Muwatta with the checking of Muhammad Fu’aad Abdul-Baaqi and it was then that the reason for this foul mistake was uncovered which bred a mistake worse than it! Due to the ignorance of people regarding hadith and their lack of diligence and caution concerning it even in the schools and colleges of Sharee’ah.
Al-Albaani and Those Envious of Him
So there is nothing for me but to seek refuge from their evil just as our Lord has ordered us in His Book, “Say: ‘I seek refuge with the Lord of the daybreak. From the evil of what He has created. And from the evil of the darkening (night) as it comes with its darkness; (or the moon as it sets or goes away). And from the evil of the blowers in knots [i.e., those who practice magic]. And from the evil of the envier when he envies.’” And I hope for my reward from Allaah for this calamity which these transgressing oppressors brought my way. Allaah’s Aid is sought, and there is neither might nor power except with the Permission of Allaah, Allah Alone is Sufficient for me, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs..
His Lack of Concern at what the People say if he knew the Truth was on his side
The obligation of transmitting knowledge and the forbiddance of hiding it is what leads me not to care whether the people are pleased or outraged.
The Harm he came across in Amman
My house was raided by the secret services and searched extensively for seven hours or more. They seized approximately sixty letters that were from different Islamic countries and others. They also seized a number of cassettes of mine and of other students of knowledge on the grounds that they were looking for weapons and explosives! And Allaah’s Aid is sought.
Hayaatul-Allaamah al-Albaani, rahimahullaah, bi qalamihi, pp. 38-41.