The Albaani Site

Translation from the Works of the Reviver of this Century

Tag: al-manaar

Shaikh al-Albaani’s Life | Questions and Answers … 7


Shaikh al-Albaani when he got Married

Someone at the gathering asked the Shaikh whether his father gave him any financial assistance after that or any other type of assistance?

So Shaikh Al-Albaani replied: I got married through my own efforts, I got married and my father did not get involved, nor did he visit me, nor congratulate me, nor ask Allaah to bless me. He would only come to the shop sometimes—but he would not enter.

But maybe he said something later which may be an expiation for the madhhab-based enmity which he showed to me. He said to me one time, “I do not deny that I have benefited from you,” and I was his youngest son, and I know this very well about him, that he did [indeed] benefit. Because he, like the other Shaikhs, used to go to the mosques in which there were graves and I used to say to him, “This, O my father, is not allowed, and in this is such and such …” Likewise [he benefitted] as regards which hadiths were authentic and weak. So he did indeed benefit but his age and his social standing in the Arnaa’ooti community … it didn’t give him the chance to be pleased with his son who was regarded as a deviant in front of the masses. So this is something from the story of the beginning of my seeking knowledge, and then my independence in it.

The point is that the Al-Manaar magazine was the thing that opened the path for me to become engaged in the science of hadith.

Al-Huwaini: But the first thing you actually authored was Ar-Rawd an-Nadeer?

Al-Albaani: Yes, that was the first thing I authored, because what I had copied from al-Mughnee and the commentary I wrote on it is not something which can be called the first thing I authored.

Then al-Huwaini asked the Shaikh about his method in compiling Ar-Rawd an-Nadeer?

So Shaikh Al-Albaani replied: My method was that I gathered the hadiths of every Companion under his name, just like [the way it is done] in musnads. But I increased in that which is common in the musnad collections by arranging the hadiths of every Companion in alphabetical order and so here it took on a new quality. Then after I finished, I added all of the hadiths together and made a general index in alphabetical order. This is how I arranged it.

Was al-Albaani disobedient to his Father?

Al-Huwaini: As regards your father, did he carry on with this alienation towards you until the end of his life?

Al-Albaani: I said to you: he would come to me in the shop and give salaam but would not enter it.

Al-Huwaini: But, our Shaikh, isn’t this regarded as disobedience [towards the parents]?

Shaikh al-Albaani started to laugh and then said: Some prejudiced people may think that, in fact, they openly say it, but, without doubt, it is not possible for a scholar in the world to say, “Preferring the Sunnah in opposition to the school of thought of the father is regarded as disobedience of the parents.” Because in the eyes of the scholars disobedience of the parents is opposing the father … opposing his orders and rebelling against him without there being any ijtihaad behind that opposition, without the ijtihaad being the incentive to follow the Book and the Sunnah. So I do not think that any fair individual will regard this has disobedience [of the parents] for if not, then Ibrahim, عليه السلام, would be [regarded] as having been disobedient to his father. Of course, someone may say: that was [an issue] of disbelief and monotheism [tawhid]. So I say: yes, but this too was [a matter] of the Sunnah or blind-following, so it is not permissible.

Then al-Huwaini asked the Shaikh how he would gather between his job and seeking knowledge?

Al-Albaani: This is something, and all praise is due to Allaah, which Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, granted success in and gave me the ability to do.

As I said: when I would be with my father in the shop I would take advantage of any free time, when there would be no work in his shop, [so] I would go to the market, to that Egyptian to scour through whatever books he had. Later, I became totally free when I got my own shop. And it seems as though our Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, instilled in me a natural inclination towards being satisfied [with little/or whatever Allaah gives you], especially when I set up my own shop and built my own house, and so I was free from having to pay the rent for the shop and house.

And I said to you just now: that when I left my father[’s house] and became independent in my own shop and work, ‘And the Generous One [i.e., Allaah, al-Kareem] said, ‘Take …’” my customers increased in number, and so due to that [such funds became available that] I was able to buy a piece of land … a modest house so I became free from having to pay rent. Then some more [finance] became available and some of them borrowed me a goodly loan and so I bought a piece of land … and was content and nothing remained except that with which I could support/feed myself, my wife and then my children.

How many a hours a day would he work in his Shop?

For this reason when I got this independence, I would work in the shop for one or two hours, up to eight or nine o’clock [in the morning] when the Dhaahiriyyah Library would open its doors. So I would close the door [to my shop] and make my way to the Library, [and spend] three hours at the very least [there] before Dhuhr. Then I would pray dhuhr in it in congregation with some of the other people who would visit the library. So when it would close its doors, I would go to my shop and work there for about half an hour or an hour until it was lunch time and then I would go home.

I had bought a bicycle and would ride it [home], and for history I say: it was the first time that the people of Damascus saw a Shaikh in a white turban riding a bicycle …

In those days I used to wear a turban based upon the previous line of thinking of the madhhabs, and some of the weak or rather fabricated hadiths such as, “Praying with a turban is seventy times better than praying without one.” I also used to wear a jubba, but with time I came to know that Allaah had not sent down any authority for these customs, so away went the jubba and the turban, and I started to wear what the people would wear.

The point is: I would be content with a little amount of work, spending all of my time in the Dhaahiriyyah Library. Then one time when working in the shop a Palestinian man who had emigrated to Damascus got to know me, and he suggested that his son work with me so that he could learn the profession. So this also aided me … a bit more time became available for me through that. In this manner, I gave a lot of time to study knowledge and to study [whatever was in] the Dhaahiriyyah Library.

Likewise, from the things that Allaah made easy for me were some of the bookshops which would sell books to the public … they would lend me [those books] that I did not have, I would take a book or two or more than that from the[se] bookshops and would keep them with me in the shop, until when the person who had loaned me the book would have no more remaining copies [in his shop] and somebody had come who wanted to buy the copy that I had, he would send news to me and so I would send the book to him.

[At times] a book would remain with me for years, no one would ask for it, especially [the books on] the science of hadith, as you know, it was an abandoned subject. So the Dhaahiriyyah Library, the Al-Qusaybaati Library and the Arabic Haashimi Library, were also from the reasons which Allaah made subservient for me until I benefitted from their books as if I owned them.

Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Hayaatuhu, Da’watuhu, Juhooduhoo fee Khidmatis-Sunnah, of Muhammad Bayyoomi, pp. 19-22, with editing.

Shaikh al-Albaani’s Life | Questions and Answers … 4

Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

What was Al-Albaani doing in his teens?

Al-Huwaini: What year was this, when you started to read the magazine, Al-Manaar?

Al-Albaani: Less than twenty, it is possible that [I was] seventeen or eighteen or the like. So I started to write until I had arranged [part of] the first volume when I had an idea which was that I was a beginner in seeking knowledge, secondly I was a foreigner, an Albanian–[and so] many times I would come across sayings of the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, which I would not understand or some Arabic words which would be obscure and vague to me–words which I later came to realise were from [that special category of word] which occur in hadiths and are problematic/difficult to understand [i.e., gharibul-hadith].

So I said [to myself]: why don’t I use some of the books which are in my possession or in my father’s library to explain these words which I find difficult to understand? So I did that but I had just begun to make some notes when I started to blame myself and regard what I had done as something disagreeable. Because now the first volume seemed to be unorganised: the first part of it had no [such] commentary but the second part did, and this disparity did not please me. So I cancelled what I did and started all over again, commenting and explaining from the beginning of the book when the need arose.

In this manner the first volume was completed and then I started the second. [Until in the end] the difference in commentary between the first volume and the last volumes was clearly apparent. For in the first volume you will see that most pages only have a little commentary but after that the complete opposite is true: you could see one line [of main text] at the top and below it would be [nothing but] footnotes, written in a very fine script.

In Syria we had two types of writing pen: that which was for writing Arabic and the other for writing French, they would call the latter ‘the French pen’ because it had a very fine nib. So I would write the commentary in Arabic with the French pen to distinguish it from the main text, so you would find all of the page full of this minute writing and at the top [you would see] a line or two [of the main text for which the commentary was written] with the Arabian pen and so on.

Bearing in mind that I felt that I benefitted greatly from this revision in making up for this deficiency which I used to feel due to, firstly, being a beginner in seeking knowledge, and secondly, due to my foreignness.

So I benefitted from this work greatly, greatly indeed, and it is present with me, and all praise is due to Allaah, as a remnant of that work.[1]

[1] Shaikh Muhammad al-Majdhoob said, “And the Shaikh showed me the work he did on that copy. And behold I came face to face with three volumes [which contained] four parts and whose pages reached two thousand and twelve in number, made up of two different types of handwriting. The first was normal whereas the second was fine, [and is] the one he used to write his commentary or corrections in the footnotes area. By Allaah, it is an effort which the people of high resolve from the people of knowledge today would lack the strength for, let alone the university graduates who have no firm will to give them the patience to check, verify and pursue [such matters].

Then what is the case when you add to that the fact that the Shaikh was not more than twenty years old? So there is no doubt that this colossal effort in writing those volumes, while using all those means of verification which were available to this youth at that time, had the greatest effect on him becoming accustomed to this kind of academic endeavour. For it, even though he was [still] not entirely satisfied with it in its complete form, had opened up the way for him to progress to a higher level in this field.

So through such a life and that development, and those problems that he faced, it seems to me [that the presence of] other hidden factors also steadily directed this youth to that path. To make him, in the end, one of the great aiders of the pure Sunnah in the lands of Syria.” Ulamaa wa mufikkiroon (1/292).

Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Hayaatuhu, Da’watuhu, Juhooduhoo fee Khidmatis-Sunnah, of Muhammad Bayyoomi, pp. 12-14.

The Shaikh’s Life in his Own Words … 2

The Beginning of his Quest for Knowledge

“The first thing that I had a passion to read were Arabic stories, like those of Dhaahir [Baybars] and Antara [ibn Shaddaad a famous Arab poet], King Saif [ibn Dhi Yazan] and their like, then translated crime or detective novels like Arséne Luprin and others.  After which I found an inclination towards reading books about history.

Then one day at one of the booksellers, I noticed an issue from a magazine called Al-Manaar amongst the books for sale so I bought it.  In it I came across a piece of research written by as-Sayyid Rasheed [Rida] in which he was describing the book Al-Ihyaa by al-Ghazaali, pointing out its strengths and weaknesses.

So for the first time I across this type of knowledge-based critique and that drew me to reading the entire issue.  I continued following the subject of Al-Ihyaa in the [book] Al-Ihyaa itself, with the version which contained the hadith verification of al-Haafidh al-Iraaqi, and I found myself having to borrow it since I did not have the money to purchase it.

As a result I started to read [the entire] book since that detailed verification fascinated me such that I resolved to copy out the book or summarise it after I had laid down a mental picture of copying out the [hadith] verification which was printed in the footnotes of Al-Ihyaa.  I started to write out the hadith, “Indeed praise for a servant can spread as far and as wide as that which is between the east and the west and yet he is not equal to the weight of a mosquito before Allaah …” this is how it was written in Al-Ihyaa.

Al-Haafidh al-Iraaqi said, “And I have quoted it from him but have not been able to find it with such wording.  In the two Sahihs from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah there occurs, “Indeed a huge fat man will come on the Day of Resurrection and he will not weigh the weight of the wing of a mosquito in Allaah’s Sight.”

But what did I do?  I wrote down a hyphen and completed the hadith as it is found in the two Sahihs and I continued upon this so as not to attribute to Al-Haafidh al-Iraaqi something that he did not say, and I also placed the addition which I was writing from the original and to which he attributed the hadith, between two hyphens [=].  In those days I was new to researching and if I knew then what I know now I would have used brackets like the ones I used in my books thereafter instead of the two hyphens.

I started to copy and then got half way through the first volume, when an idea occurred to me which was that during my work on the hadiths parts of them would come by me whose words I did not understand and as a result the intending meaning of the hadith would not be clear to me.  So I said to myself, ‘Why don’t I explain all of these words in the margins which would be a revision for me and an aid to understanding the hadith?” So after I had gotten half way through the first volume I left it and started copying all over again based upon this new idea.

Every time I came across a hadith which had a word I couldn’t fathom I would use Ibn al-Athir’s book Ghareeb al-Hadith [a book explaining rare and difficult words found in hadiths] and dictionaries and then I would write the meaning in the margin, until the notes that I would write for myself turned out to be more than the actual text, and I carried on like this until I finished the book.  I strived like this until a good method was established which helped to make concrete all those new points.

And I think this effort which I put into that study is what encouraged me and endeared to me the desire to continue upon this path, since I found myself seeking the aid of many different works on the Arabic language, figurative speech [بلاغة], and works explaining the rare and difficult words found in hadiths so that the text could be understood alongside its verification.

And this is what benefitted me greatly, and in reality I say: I am amazed at Allaah’s Kindness to His servants, and I feel that Allaah was moving me from one step to the next.  Now I reap the benefits of what I used to write and make copies of, [at that time] I did not know what was behind that writing or that copying, now I reap the benefits of some of that work.  I will find writings from my early knowledge-based research that is profuse and abundant and that was due to the persistent desire to follow such research and because I found the narrations of hadith to be something beautiful.  And I still  continue, and all praise is for Allaah, to have the vigour and desire to research, but old age has its rights.”


His Children

“Indeed from the blessings of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, upon me is that he inspired me to name all of my sons as servants of His, and they are: Abdur-Rahmaan, Abdul-Lateef, Abdur-Razzaaq from my first wife, may Allaah have mercy on her; and Abdul-Musowwir, Abdul-Muhaimin and Abdul-A’laa from my other wife, and I don’t think anyone has beaten me to naming their son Abdul-Musowwir since with all of the names of narrators that I have come across in the books of the men of hadith and its conveyors [I never found this name].  And I ask Allaah, the Most High, to increase me in success and that He bless me in my family, “”Our Lord!  Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring those who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the pious.” [Furqaan 25:74]

Then in 1383AH [1963CE] while I was in Medina, Allaah blessed me with a son whom I named Muhammad, as a reminder of his, صلى الله عليه وسلم, city and in fulfilment of his saying, “Name yourselves with my name, but do not use my kunyaa.”
[Bukhaari and Muslim]


Giving Precedence to the Truth over the Heritage of the Forefathers

“I continued to follow in the footsteps of my father in this direction, until Allaah guided me to the Sunnah, so I left much of what I had studied with him which he regarded as being a means of getting closer to Allaah and worship.”


Al-Albaani and His Father

“I had proceeded to study the Sunnah with great longing and adoration, and so when my father saw that in me he began to warn me and said, “The science of hadith is the profession of the bankrupt!”  But despite what that differing put between us in terms of ideological outlook, near the end of his life we become very close, as he used to say at the end of every debate, ‘I do not deny that you brought me some knowledge based benefits concerning matters about which I was not on clear proof beforehand, like it not being legislated to intend to go to pray salaah at the graves of the righteous.’”

Hayaatul-Allaamah al-Albaani, rahimahullaah, bi qalamihi, pp. 5-10.

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