Shaikh Saalih as-Suhaimi, may Allaah protect him, said, “So it is not allowed to be bigoted for personalities nor to consecrate them—men are known by the truth, it is not the truth which is known by men.
And there is a situation that occurred which I will relate about our Shaikh, Shaikh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, may Allaah have mercy on him, when I visited him just before his death by about a month and a half.
After I gave him salaam some of the brothers introduced me to him, so he said, ‘You’re introducing him to me, the disputant concerning fasting on Saturday and praying more than one Jamaa’ah [in a mosque]?’
So I said to him, ‘O Shaikh of ours! I still hold that opinion, I hold it to be permissible to repeat the congregational prayer more than one time and I still hold the legitimacy of fasting on Saturday as long as a person doesn’t single it out alone as the day to be fasted on, in opposition to you—and you are the one who taught us this, O Shaikh of ours.
So he tightened his grip on my hand, may Allaah have mercy on him, and I have never forgotten the pull of his hand at that moment, and said, ‘This is how we want the students of knowledge to be—not being bigoted towards me nor others—so may Allaah reward you with good.’
And I attended a debate between him and our Shaikh, Shaikh ’Abdul-Muhsin al-’Abbaad al-Badr where each one of them revered the other, [the debate being] about cutting off more than a fistful of the beard which was the opinion Shaikh al-Albaani held based upon the narration of ’Abdullah ibn ’Umar, so we enjoyed this debate for about two hours, with each of them, both our Shaikh, Shaikh ’Abdul-Muhsin al-’Abbaad al-Badr and our Shaikh, Shaikh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, respecting each other [throughout].
And when Shaikh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani met our Shaikh, Shaikh Humood at-Tuwaijiri, may Allaaah have mercy on him, [prior to which] there had been strong rebuttals [between them] concerning the issue of the hijaab, when they met they honoured one another and when a question was put forth each one of them would refer it to the other.
‘These are my forefathers so bring me their likes
When, O Jarir, the places of assembly bring us together.’
These are the peerless scholars who left, and a huge breach was created because of their departure.”
Questioner: What is your advice about people who slander Shaikh al-Albaani, may Allaah have mercy on him, and warn against him? And what should our stance towards such an individual be?
Al-’Abbaad: That is the strangest thing, the fact that Shaikh al-Albaani is warned against, that a man who served the Sunnah is warned against, someone who spent his [entire] life examining and researching the hadiths of Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ, clarifying the authentic from what is not. What a person should do is supplicate for him, praise him, and benefit from his knowledge.
And the reality is that there are two people who someone working in the [field of] hadith cannot but refer back to, i.e., al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr and Shaikh al-Albaani. The benefit from al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr in those things connected to hadith is colossal, and the benefit from Shaikh al-Albaani in those things connected to hadith is colossal [too].
For this reason it means that the one who warns against Al-Albaani is warning against becoming acquainted with the truth and accessing the Sunnah, because what Al-Albaani did in connection to hadith was a preeminent service and complete diligence in [serving] the Sunnah, facilitating access to it and bringing it closer to comprehension for the students of knowledge.
So he is worthy of being complimented and supplicated for.