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Translation from the Works of the Reviver of this Century

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Shaikh al-Albaani and Shaikh ʿUzair and Manuscripts


Shaikh ʿUzair would undertake the huge task of indexing manuscripts. He did so at the library of the Islamic University in Medinah over three years, and he said, “During work on the indexing there I met Shaikh al-Albaani, raḥimahullāh. He would come to the library to copy from the manuscripts and people would crowd around him wanting to speak to him while he was busy copying, so they would give him salām and he would reply and then go back to copying. I was amazed at his dedication to copying out from the manuscripts.”

Source.

On Tawbah for Those Afflicted with the Act of the People of Lūṭ


Al-Albaani: If someone commits such a shameful sin as this [i.e., homosexuality] then he should keep it hidden and not expose himself. Then he needs to add repentance to Allaah to that by feeling remorse at what he has done and resolving never to do it again, and he also needs to perform lots of righteous deeds …

Fatwās from the Car and on the Phone, no. 222.

On Hunger Strikes and Holding a Vigil and Having an Independent Islamic Personality and the Fact that Muslims are Ignorant of the Dīn’s Rulings and Someone who Doesn’t have Something Can’t Give It


Questioner: May Allaah bless you! Is it allowed for people or some people to go on a hunger strike in front of the rulers’ palaces so that they will respond to some of their requests?

Al-Albaani: Refrain from eating?

Questioner: Fast and condemn them, yaʿnī, stand in front of the palaces and in front of … so that they can ask for …

Al-Albaani: No this is a foreign, kāfir practice which the Muslims are not allowed to employ as a means to express their dissatisfaction with something that the state stipulates.

We must call to mind the Prophet’s ﷺ well-known ḥadīth related to this, “And whoever imitates a people is from them,” numerous, untold ḥadīths have been reported as more detailed clarification of this general, “and whoever imitates a people is from them,” one. One of those ḥadīths which can be regarded as a more detailed clarification of it is his saying ﷺ, “Pray in your sandals and your shoes and act differently from the Jews.”

Even more surprising is that once the Prophet ﷺ was coming back from a battle and they passed by a sidr tree which the polytheists used to hang their weapons on. So some of the Companions said, “O Messenger of Allaah! Make a Dhāt Anwāṭ [the name of that tree which the polytheists used to hang their weapons on and seek blessings from] for us just like they have a Dhāt Anwāṭ,” a statement they made, “Make a Dhāt Anwāṭ for us just like they have a Dhāt Anwāṭ.”

So the Prophet ﷺ disapprovingly said, “Allāhu Akbar! These are the ways [of those who came before you]! You have said the same thing that Mūsā’s people said to him, “Make a god for us like their gods.” [7:138]

Look at the difference between the two statements! They said, “Make another god for us instead of Allaah that we can worship,” as for the Prophet’s Companions [they said], “Make a tree for us, a Dhāt Anwāṭ, just like they have a Dhāt Anwāṭ,”—how different they both are, that one being connected to ʿaqīdah, indeed to worship, to tawḥīd and to major shirk which negates tawḥīd, “Make a god for us like their gods,”—and the statement of some of the Companions, “Make a tree for us, a Dhāt Anwāṭ just like they have a Dhāt Anwāṭ,” which was not [apparently] connected to ʿaqīdah or fiqh but which we could possibly say was related to some social norms. But the Prophet ﷺ was not happy with this imitation—the two situations are completely separate, and so he ﷺ disapproved that they said, “… just like they have a Dhāt Anwāṭ.”

This ḥadīth confirms that the Muslims must have a personality totally independent of the disbelievers, not only inwardly but outwardly too, [they must have] their own specific personalities that are distinct from the disbelieving nations and peoples.

So a Muslim going on hunger strike is totally like [that] shaving of the head [that I will now refer to] … in some Sūfī paths when a Muslim affiliates himself to a Shaikh who has his own [Sūfī] path he has to show his total submission to him as is represented in their, i.e., the Sūfīs saying, “The murīd [the Sūfī Shaikh’s follower] should be like a corpse before an undertaker.” So as part of this blind surrender which opposes the Most High’s Saying, “Say, ˹O Prophet, “This is my way. I invite to Allah with insight—I and those who follow me,” [12:108] they make a proclamation of this principle which goes against [true] insight by ordering those who affiliate themselves to this [Sūfī] path to shave their heads.

We know that shaving one’s head is a form of worship and obedience to Allaah ﷿ in certain places and is something permitted at other times too as he ﷺ said, “Shave it all or leave it all,” and in Ḥajj, “… ˹some with˺ heads shaved and ˹others with˺ hair shortened,” [48:27]. And in the two Ṣaḥīḥs the Prophet ﷺ said, “O Allaah! Forgive those who get their heads shaved.” The people asked, “Also those who get their hair cut short?” The Prophet ﷺ said, “O Allaah! Forgive those who have their heads shaved.” The people said, “Also those who get their hair cut short?” The Prophet ﷺ (invoked Allaah for those who have their heads shaved and) at the third time said, “… also (forgive) those who get their hair cut short.” So since shaving one’s head is a form of worship and one of the rites of Ḥajj it is not then allowed according to the Sharīʿah to transfer it to another occasion as the Sūfīs or some of the Sūfī Shaikhs have done, taking it as a path and manhaj for themselves as I have explained just now.

The same goes with fasting, fasting is an act of obedience to Allaah ﷿ which has its [own] regulations, conditions and pillars. If a Muslim wanted to fast al-Wiṣāl (i.e, fasting continuously without breaking one’s fast in the evening or eating before the following dawn) he would have disobeyed Allaah, because the Prophet ﷺ said, “Do not practice al-Wiṣāl. And if you must, then continue from suḥūr to suḥūr.”

So fasting perpetually—and [remember fasting] is an act of obedience to Allaah—is not allowed, then how can it be permitted in Allaah’s sharīʿah for one to withhold eating day and night in accordance with the way of the disbelievers?

There are two violations in doing so: the first is what we were speaking about earlier which is the imitation of the disbelievers. The second is that we would have made perpetual fasting a sunnah for ourselves whereas it is not allowed [as a normal act of worship] in Islaam let alone not being allowed in acts that are not worship.

Questioner: Shaikh, this question reminds me of something I read yesterday or the day before in a newspaper where some Islamic jamāʿahs were asking people living in some city in this country to fast on a certain day and for them to carry torches and climb up on to the rooftops with the intention of this inspiring them to victory or something of the sort, yes …

Al-Albaani: Strange!

Questioner: Yes, carrying torches to the …

Al-Albaani: I have heard of this so called fasting [that we just spoke about] but torches what?

Questioner: A newspaper yesterday, Shaikh, said take some torches and stand on the rooftops and ask Allaah for help, that kind of thing …

Interjection: Sorry was it an Islamic group asking them to do that?

Questioner: Yes an Islamic group.

Interjection: That’s an imitation of the Christians.

Al-Albaani: Yes it is.

Questioner: Holding torches …

Al-Albaani: Wallāhī strange. I had heard about the fasting and had seen it [being done] in some mosques but [now] in this form too, Allāhu Akbar!

My brothers, this is a proof of what I said and what I always say: that the Muslims today do things based on ignorance not on the religion’s rulings, because they are ignorant of the rulings of the religion—and someone who doesn’t have something can’t give it.

That is why I say there has to be purification and nurturing on this correct knowledge otherwise the Muslims will have nothing to stand on.
Al-Hudā wan-Nūr, 465.

Shaikh al-Abaani Advises a Young Guy from America who Wanted Advice on Being Gay


Questioner: Another problem, one of the brothers, O Shaikh, I got a message of his yesterday, wallaahi, makes you cry.

Al-Albaani: Allaahul-Mustaʿaan.

Questioner: Can I read it to you? It’s short, yaʿnī

Al-Albaani: Tafaḍḍal.

Questioner: “I have a problem and I don’t know if there is a solution to it, especially since I’ve tried and failed. Before I mention it I want to let you know that I don’t want to identify myself I’ll just go by the name ‘ʿAbdullah.’

I have a big problem which is ruining my life. I’m in the prime of my youth and unfortunately I suffer from the sickness of homosexuality. I have no sexual desire for the opposite sex, my sexual inclination is for those of my own sex, other guys. It started in puberty and, truth be told, I ignored it because I thought that it would pass with time and I didn’t appreciate how dangerous this issue was until after I was twenty years old when I started to try and find out if there was a medical cure for it but they said that this sickness will stay with you for as long as you live.”

Al-Albaani: Auʾūthubillah.

Questioner: “And things have gotten worse especially since now I’m at the age to get married and my family are insisting on getting me married and I just try to divert the topic every time they bring it up because I don’t want to oppress [any future spouse]. I can’t tell my family about it, I haven’t told a soul about this. I have opened my heart up to you hoping that you can help me, with Allaah’s Permission.”

So by Allaah, yaʿnī, mushkilah, O Shaikh, I started to write a letter to him and I haven’t finished it yet, I wanted to say in it that the person who told you that it is a life long disease is a devil.

Al-Albaani: Of course, you are correct in saying that.

Questioner: Naturally I wanted to remind him of some aayahs, like, “Say, ˹O Prophet, that Allah says,˺ “O My servants who have exceeded the limits against their souls! Do not lose hope in Allah’s mercy, for Allah certainly forgives all sins. He is indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful,” [39:53] and, “Indeed, when Satan whispers to those mindful ˹of Allah˺, they remember ˹their Lord˺ then they start to see ˹things˺ clearly.” [7:201] Then I will mention the ḥadīth about that Companion who said that, “A bad thought will come to me where it is easier on me to fall out of the sky and have birds snatch me away …”

Al-Abaani: Okay.

Questioner: I’m [summarising all this here but] will mention it in full, insha Allaah.

Al-Albaani: Good, good.

Questioner: It’s from the devil, unless you have another suggestion, O Shaikh.

Al-Albaani: You must remind him of the ḥadīths which curse the person who does that, if he is a believer.

Questioner: Yes I have included that.

Al-Albaani: Ok good. If he doesn’t care and doesn’t establish his prayers, then in such a case there really is no cure.

Questioner: It doesn’t seem to me that he is wanton because his question alone doesn’t show that he is, O Shaikh.

Al-Albaani: That is how it seems and as such you should give him the narrations which strike fear [into the soul] and which warn [against such actions].

Questioner: Yes.

Al-Albaani: Because in addition to what you mentioned earlier these narrations will, inshaa Allaah, be a cure for him. And tell him to also make sure to say the adhkār and the supplications that have been reported for all occasions, like when leaving the house, when coming into it—all of these are legislated means and are regarded as spiritual cures for all diseases of the soul. And if you could give him a copy of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Kalim aṭ-Ṭayyib if you have one.

Questioner: Yes I have a copy, inshaa Allaah.

Al-Albaani: He needs to take care in memorising these adhkār and that he makes sure to say them in every situation and in that way, inshaa Allaah, the cure will happen.

Questioner: How authentic is the ḥadīth that the Throne of ar-Raḥmān shakes at …

Al-Albaani: It’s not authentic.

Questioner: It’s not authentic?

Al-Albaani: No.

Questioner: [Any other] ḥadīth which strike fear into one?

Al-Albaani: Maybe you can refer to my book [about marriage], Ādāb az-Zafāf [available in English under the title ‘The Etiquettes of Marriage and Weddings’].

Questioner: The one who does it and the one it is done to …

Al-Albaani: Yes my book Ādāb az-Zafāf has a good amount of ḥadīths about that.

Questioner: [Never heard the Shaikh properly:] Where can I find them?

Al-Albaani: I said Ādāb az-Zafāf.

Questioner: Ādāb az-Zafāf.

Al-Albaani: My book Ādāb az-Zafāf you must have a copy?

Questioner: Yes I do, yes.

Al-Albaani: Do you have the al-Maktabah al-Islāmiyyah one, not the al-Maktab al-Islāmī one?

Questioner: I got a copy from Kuwait two years ago and you said that we shouldn’t rely on the other copy.

Al-Albaani: Yes.

Questioner: I have the al-Maktabah al-Islāmiyyah print.

Al-Albaani: That’s the one.

Questioner: This is the latest one?

Al-Albaani: Yes it is. Inshaa Allaah go back to that and take some of the ḥadīth from there on this topic …

Fatwās from the Car and on the Phone, no. 268.

Al-Albaani vs. Irjāʾ


Shaikh al-Albaani’s statements in accordance with the belief of the Salaf regarding īmān as compared to the misguided beliefs of the Murjiʾah on īmān.

1. Al-Albaani: “Īmān consists of statements [of the tongue], actions and belief. Righteous actions are part of the reality of īmān.” Adh-Dhabb al-Aḥmad, pp. 32-33, and At-Taʿlīq ʿalā aṭ-Ṭaḥāwiyyah, pp. 66-69.
The Murjiʾah: “Īmān only consists of statements of the tongue and belief. Righteous actions are not part of the reality of īmān.” Majmūʿ al-Fatāwā, 7/194, 13/38.

2. Al-Albaani: “Righteous actions are a fundamental pillar of īmān.” Muqaddimah Sharḥ al-ʿAqīdah aṭ-Ṭaḥāwiyyah, p. 58.
The Murjiʾah: “Righteous actions are the fruit of īmān not a part of it.” Majmūʿ al-Fatāwā, 7/204. 

3. Al-Albaani: “Īmān increases and decreases, it increases by doing acts of obedience and decreases through acts of disobedience.” Aṣ-Ṣaḥīḥah 4/369, al-Hudā wan-Nūr, no. 218.
The Murjiʾah: “Īmān does not increase or decrease because it is a singular entity which cannot be broken into parts or sections, so if some of it goes all of it is gone.” Majmūʿ al-Fatāwā, 12/474.

4. Al-Albaani: “The obligation of the connection between the outer and the inner: the actions of the heart and those of the limbs.” Muqaddimah Sharḥ al-ʿAqīdah aṭ-Ṭaḥāwiyyah, p. ل، ن.
The Murjiʾah: “There is no connection between the outer and the inner, for major disbelief may actually emanate from someone whose heart is firm in faith.” Majmūʿ al-Fatāwā, 7/583.

5. Al-Albaani: “It is permitted to say, ‘I am a believer, inshā Allaah,’ [استثناء].’” Aḍ-Ḍaʿīfah, 6/152.
The Murjiʾah: “The impermissibility of saying, ‘I am a believer, inshā Allaah,’ [استثناء] because that is to have doubt in faith.” Majmūʿ al-Fatāwā, 7/429.

6. Al-Albaani: “The evildoer [fāsiq] who abandons obligatory duties is weak in faith and we fear disbelief for him.” Aḍ-Ḍaʿīfah, 1/212.
The Murjiʾah: “The īmān of the most evil sinners is like that of the most obedient people.” Majmūʿ al-Fatāwā, 7/679.

7. Al-Albaani: “Disbelief can occur in the heart, on one’s tongue, and through one’s limbs by denying [the Truth], rejecting it, obstinately persisting [against it], hypocrisy, turning away from it, and doubting it.” Aṣ-Ṣaḥīḥah 7/134, al-Hudā wan-Nūr, no. 855.
The Murjiʾah: “Disbelief is only in the heart, because faith is only found in the heart.”Majmūʿ al-Fatāwā, 7/547.

8. Al-Albaani: “Abusing Allaah or His Messenger or His religion is major disbelief which contradicts īmān from every angle, and the one who does it is a disbeliever if he did it intentionally.” Aṣ-Ṣaḥīḥah 7/134, al-Hudā wan-Nūr, nos. 634 and 743.
The Murjiʾah: “Abusing Allaah or His Messenger or His religion is not disbelief, but it is a sign of disbelief, in fact, it can be present at the same time as the reality of īmān is present.” Majmūʿ al-Fatāwā, 7/557-583.
Al-Kunāsha al-Bairūtī.

We Want an Islamic Country when we Can’t Even Get a Mosque Right


When explaining how the adhān was being given incorrectly in the mosque he was in and how it should be given, al-Albaani said:

“The Muslims want to build an Islamic country—I’m going to explode at this predicament—they can’t even establish a mosque practising according to the Sunnah, a mosque!”
Al-Hudā wan-Nūr al-Jadīd, 1068.

On Military Coups and Revolts Against the Rulers


Al-Albaani: “And this shows how to attain salvation from the oppression of the rulers, those who are, ‘… from our own people, and speak our language,’—and it is by the Muslims repenting to their Lord and correcting their ʿaqīdah, and raising themselves and their families on the correct Islaam, implementing the Most High’s statement, ‘Indeed, Allaah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves,’ [13:11] and one of the present day callers alluded to that, saying, ‘Establish the state of Islaam in your hearts, it will be established for you in your lands.’

And the way to achieve this salvation [from them] is not through what some people imagine [to be the solution]—i.e., through uprisings against the rulers with weapons, using military coups to do so, for along with the fact that they are a present day innovation, they also go against the narrations in the Legislation which order one to change oneself. Thus the foundation must be corrected in order for it to be built upon, ‘Allaah will certainly help those who stand up for Him. Allaah is truly All-Powerful, Almighty.’ [22:40]
Qāmūs al-Bidʿah, p. 767.

Women Fighting Alongside Men


“As for training them [i.e., women] in combat and sending them to the battlefield to fight alongside men like some Islamic countries do these days, then it is a present day innovation, a false, communist innovated misinterpretation, and clear opposition to what our Salaf aṣ-Ṣāliḥ were upon, and is to ask women to do something they were not created for, and to expose them to things that do not befit them if they were to fall captive to the enemy, and we ask Allaah for His Help.”

Aṣ-Ṣaḥīḥah, 2740.

Does a Wife Have to Serve Her Husband? Yes? No? Obligatory [Wājib]? Recommended [Mustaḥab]?


Questioner: Concerning a woman serving her husband at home, is it obligatory [wājib] or recommended [mustaḥab]?

Al-Albaani: [Allaah said,] “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, as they have been provisioned by Allaah over women and tasked with supporting them financially …” [4:34, and He said,] “… and men have a degree [of responsibility] over them,” [2:228] so a woman must serve her husband in exchange for him doing what is obligatory on him, [obligations] that Allaah imposed on him, like spending on her, housing etc.

So it is not allowed for someone to say that the right of a man is only that he can enjoy relations with her, since this is something that both sides share in, just as he enjoys that with her she does with him too, so in this issue they are both the same and equal.

So in exchange for the financial aid that the man undertakes the woman must serve him, and there is no doubt that this is limited to what she is capable of doing since Allah does not burden a soul with more than it can bear.

As for the situation getting to a stage where it is said, and unfortunately it has been said, that it is not obligatory for her to even give him a cup of water, or to make the bed and I don’t know [what else] … who will make the bed, subḥānallāh! The verse is very clear—because the man has a right over the woman apart from physical relations.

For this reason we find that in the biographies of the Companions with their women and the biographies of the women with their men, [we find] that they used to serve their husbands to such an extent that they would carry ground date-stones on their heads [date-stones would be ground and served as fodder for camels], and not only that [either].

For in Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī it has been reported that Fāṭimah the Daughter of the Prophet ﷺ came to her father ﷺ complaining about the marks on her hands from the hand-mill because she would grind flour in the house, so she asked him ﷺ for a maid so he ﷺ said to her, “Shall I not inform you of something better than a maid? That you say subḥānallah when you sleep … ” to the end of the ḥadīth, if it were not an obligation on her—and she is the Daughter of the Chief of Mankind ﷺ—if it were not obligatory on her to serve her husband, he ﷺ would have gone to her husband to say to him, “That is enough, don’t burden your wife with having to serve you.”

She had marks on her hands, but he ﷺ bore it [i.e., bore seeing his daughter’s hands like that ﷺ], because he ﷺ was the one to whom that verse was revealed, “… and men have a degree [of responsibility] over them,” [2:228], so this verse along with the practical Sunnah which the Companions were on with their wives and which they were on with their husbands—all of it shows that it is obligatory for a woman to serve her husband, within the confines of ability as we mentioned earlier.

Questioner: But O Shaikh some people say the silence the Prophet ﷺ showed, was it enough for it to be taken to mean it is obligatory?

Al-Albaani: We didn’t only mention the proof alone, we say that the practical life [example that they lived] is the tafsīr of the verse, what they did practically is not a proof on its own to say that it is obligatory, but when it comes as a tafsīr of a Qurʾanic verse or of something in the Sunnah, then it shows the obligation.

Questioner: Okay, some people say that if a woman used to have a maid when she was living in her father’s house then it is obligatory for the husband to get her a maid too, even if he is poor, is this right?

Al-Albaani: We say, “Show ˹us˺ your proof, if what you say is true.” [27:64].

Obviously that is not right.

Since every claim that is made which doesn’t have a proof from Allaah’s Book or the ḥadīths of Allaah’s Prophet ﷺ in this issue falls to the side and is not paid any mind. What has been said earlier is enough to show that it is not obligatory for the man to get his wife a maid.

Additionally I say that bringing a maid/helper to the wife’s home, whether a male or female, exposes one of the two to fitnah, if the person who comes to help is a woman then the man can fall into fitnah and if it is a man then the woman can fall into it …
Al-Hudā wan-Nūr, 33.

On Reviving the Sunnah of Giving Salaam to People You Don’t Know


The Prophet ﷺ said, “From the signs of the Hour is that a person only gives salām to the people he knows.”
Ṣaḥīḥah, no. 648.

On Women Dancing Among Themselves


Questioner: What is the ruling on women dancing in front of other women?
Al-Albaani: The same as men dancing in front of men.
Riḥlatun-Nūr, 29b.

Questioner: What is the legislated ruling on women dancing among themselves?
Al-Albaani: The ruling on what?
Questioner: Women dancing among themselves?
Al-Albaani: There is no dancing, not among men or women. No men dancing among men and no women dancing among women because this dancing is accompanied with lots of frivolity which a Muslim is above doing …
Al-Hudā wan-Nūr, 132.

The Poor Believers and Paradise


Abu Hurairah said, “The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘The poor believers will enter Paradise before the rich by half a day—[which is] five hundred years.’”

Ṣaḥīḥ Ibn Mājah 3343.

On The Prayer for Forgiveness [Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ] · How Do You Pray It? · End


See here for part seven.

Questioner: How do you pray Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ?

Al-Albaani: As has been reported in the paths of the ḥadīth about it, Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ is like the other prayers, it differs only in that in each rakʿah there are seventy-five tasbīḥs to be said, so the total would be three hundred.

So in the first rakʿah, before the bowing [rukūʿ], he says the tasbīḥ fifteen times, [so he says]:

سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ،  وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ، وَلاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ،  وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ
Subḥānallāh, walḥamdulillāh, wa lā ilāha illallāh, wallāhu-Akbar

And then he bows, when he has finished [saying what he says in] the regular bowing he [then] says this tasbīḥ ten times [while in rukūʿ], so that makes it twenty-five.

Then he raises his head from the rukūʿ [i.e., stands up] and says: Samiʿallāhu liman-ḥamidah, Rabbanā walakal-ḥamd, and then says it ten times.

And likewise with every pillar, ten tasbīḥs—when he prostrates, after he has said the [normal] tasbīḥs for the sajdah he then says ten of the Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ ones … when he rests between the two sajdahs, ten tasbīḥs, when he raises his head from the second sajdah [ten tasbīḥs], when he sits to rest after the second sajdah [before standing up for the next rakʿah], ten tasbīḥs, in total these come to seventy-five.

So he does that in every rakʿah which makes the total three hundred tasbīḥs.

This is how it is performed and he doesn’t add anything else to the sunnah prayers except these tasbīḥs and in the order I just mentioned now.

Riḥlatun-Nūr, 48b.

[So you stand to pray:

—after having read Fātiḥah and some of the Qurʾān you say the tasbīḥ fifteen times.
—then when in rukūʿ after having said the normal praise said in it, you say this tasbīḥ ten times.
—then after rising from rukūʿ ten times.
—in sajdah, after having said the normal praise said in it, ten times.
—between the two sajdahs ten times.
—in the second sajdah ten times.
—after the second sajdah while sitting before getting up for the next rakʿah, ten times.

And then you stand up for the next rakʿah. That makes seventy-five, repeated over four rakʿahs, three-hundred tasbīḥs. Also see here.]

End of the series on Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ.

On The Prayer for Forgiveness [Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ] · Is it Prayed in Congregation? · Part Seven


See here for part six.

Questioner: In relation to Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ … we know that the Prophet ﷺ taught [his uncle] ʿAbbās this prayer but that he ﷺ didn’t pray it [himself], and it has been said that it has not been reported that the Companions prayed it in congregation … how do we pray it in congregation and call the people to that?

Al-Albaani: I didn’t know that you pray it in jamāʿah—you pray it in jamāʿah?

Questioner: Yes, we have prayed it in congregation on more than one occasion Shaikh.

Al-Albaani: That’s on you … Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ is legislated to be prayed like the Sunnahs, on its own.

Questioner: Everyone [praying it] individually?

Al-Albaani: … or at home.

Questioner: You mean you didn’t pray it with us?

Al-Albaani: Astaghfirullah.

Questioner: A personal question, have you ever prayed it?

Al-Albaani: Yes.

Questioner: You did. So praying it in congregation is an innovation?

Al-Albaani: Yes.

Questioner: Wallaahi, we reported from you that you prayed it with us, O Shaikh.

Al-Albaani: May Allaah forgive you.

Al-Hudā wan-Nūr, 252.

On The Prayer for Forgiveness [Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ] · Did Shaikh al-Albaani Pray It? · Part Six


See here for part five.

Questioner: There is another issue, some of the youth were saying that Shaikh al-Albaani sometimes will declare ḥadīths to be authentic but not act on them [himself], like the ḥadīth about Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ … that even though al-Albaani said the ḥadīth was authentic he didn’t do it, [or that] maybe he didn’t do it, and that is only because it is possible that he feels something about it. What do you think about that?

Al-Albaani: How do they know that he doesn’t act on it?

Questioner: Their brains told them.

Al-Albaani: No. If you had said their desires and not their brains you would have been correct—because the one who has a brain does not guess blindly.

The ḥadīth says that the Prophet ﷺ said to his uncle ʿAbbās about praying it even if only once in his lifetime, so how do they know that I haven’t prayed it in my lifetime when I am now sixty-seven years old? This is from the misguidance of the youth of today and their guessing at the unknown.

Al-Hudā wan-Nūr, 307.

On The Prayer for Forgiveness [Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ] · Is the Ḥadīth Authentic or Not? · Part Five


See here for part four.

Questioner: [Is the ḥadīth] about Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ authentic or not?

Al-Albaani: The scholars have differed greatly over the ḥadīth about it, it has been said that it is authentic and that it is fabricated, and in between these two [opinions] are different levels. What I hold to be the stronger opinion, following on from some of the Ḥuffāẓ well-known for their precision in their checking of the Prophet’s ḥadīths ﷺ, like al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Nāṣir ad-Dimashqī who was a contemporary of al-Ḥāfiẓ aḏ-Ḏhahabī ad-Dimashqī, [so al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Nāṣir ad-Dimashqī] has a book in which he gathered the different paths of the ḥadīths about Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ. And it will become clear to whoever studies it and studies the paths of this prayer or the paths of the ḥadīth of Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ that the ḥadīth is authentic based upon all of its chains of narration. As for the individual chains of narration then there isn’t a ḥadīth among them about which it can be said that it is authentic [ṣaḥīḥ], indeed [there isn’t a ḥadīth among them about which it can be said that it is] ḥasan li-ḏhātihī.

The authenticity came about through all of the chains of narration taken into account together. And this is the reason why the scholars have differed so greatly over it.

So you have Ibn al-Jawzī and with him Ibn Taymiyyah and others who held that this ḥadīth was fabricated, not meaning by that that the chain of narration itself was fabricated, because some of its isnāds are in Sunan Abū Dāwūd and other collections and they don’t include anyone who has been accused as such, nor do they have anyone who was a [confirmed] fabricating liar, in fact the isnād does not even have anyone who was [even simply] accused of lying or fabricating, what they do have are those whose memorisation has been criticised.

But Ibn al-Jawzī and Ibn Taymiyyah looked at the wording of the ḥadīth and found that it was strange [gharīb] in its wording and also strange in the excellence given to this prayer even if only performed once a year, so they said that a ṣalāh like this has no resemblance to the well-known prayers mentioned in the authentic ḥadīths, and so for this reason they inclined towards it being fabricated.

And those who didn’t go as far as to say that it was fabricated [yet who still didn’t agree with it] looked at the apparent paths of narration and the isnāds—that is if they had collected and come across all of them, [again that is] if they had, because I am doubtful that they did that—because whoever did [actually] do that did not [then go on to] say that it was fabricated or weak. [These others] took a look at a few of its individual chains of narration and then said that the ḥadīth was weak.

As for those who reported it and said that it was authentic, they took into consideration all of its paths of narration and saw that the ḥadīth principle which the ḥadīth scholars laid down in the Science of Ḥadīth—i.e., that a weak ḥadīth is strengthened if it is reported through many paths of narration—they [went and] looked at this numerousness and found a not insignificant amount of isnāds that were [of a level] sound enough to strengthen the ḥadīth based on all such paths. So they held that the ḥadīth was strong, with some saying it was ḥasan and others that it was ṣaḥīḥ.

So therefore the difference between those [scholars] who call the ḥadīth ḥasan and those who say it is ṣaḥīḥ is not a fundamental difference since both of them are of the opinion that the ḥadīth is established, and following on from that that acting on it is legislated.

And this ruling is supported by the fact that ʿAbdullah ibn al-Mubārak may Allaah be pleased with him used to pray it. ʿAbdullah ibn al-Mubārak was one of the Imāms of the Muslims and one of the Shaikhs of the Imām of the Sunnah Imām Aḥmad, may Allaah have mercy on him. So if he didn’t have the opinion that the ḥadīth was established he wouldn’t have worshipped Allaah with this prayer which has that peculiarity in its form and manner. A peculiarity which led Ibn al-Jawzī and Ibn Taymiyyah to say that it was fabricated, but their ruling [that it was fabricated], as we mentioned earlier, was not about the isnāds of this ḥadīth, [they were not saying] that they all consist of fabricating liars, no.

So all of what I have mentioned reassures me in concluding that the ḥadīth is established from the Prophet ﷺ and that based upon that a Muslim should do it once every day, and if he can’t then every week, and if he can’t then once a month, and if he can’t then once a year, and if he can’t then at the very least, once in his lifetime.

This is my opinion about Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ.

And it crossed my mind now that I should add something further to clarify what has preceded, so I say: it is true that there is no equivalent to the peculiarity in the manner in which this prayer is performed, but after the ḥadīth has been found to be established based upon what I mentioned earlier, the ḥadīth should not be called defective based upon this peculiarity. Because we know that there is a prayer, authentically established by agreement of the scholars of ḥadīth even though it also differs from the regular prayers: I am referring to the eclipse prayer.

So there was a solar eclipse in the time of the Prophet ﷺ and it so happened to occur on the day when Ibrāhīm, the Prophet’s son ﷺ, passed away. One of the customs of the Age of Ignorance [Jāhiliyyah] was that they would say that an eclipse would occur because a great person had died. So when the solar eclipsed coincided with the death of Ibrāhīm ibn an-Nabiyy ﷺ they said that the eclipse was because he had passed away.

So the Prophet ﷺ gave a sermon among them and said that, ‘O People! Verily the sun and the moon are two of Allaah’s Signs. They do not eclipse due to the death of anyone or his birth, so when you see it then pray and give charity and supplicate,’ then he ﷺ prayed two rakʿahs bowing twice in each rakʿah—and here is the point: in each rakʿah he ﷺ bowed two times.

So this manner [of prayer] opposed all of the regular, known prayers, whether obligatory or optional, because all of them are distinct in having only one bowing and two prostrations … in one rakʿah there is one bowing and two prostrations. As for this [eclipse] prayer it differed from all of the other prayers, because he ﷺ prayed two rakʿahs and in each one there were two rukūs and two sajdahs—so is it thereafter correct to say that this ḥadīth is irregular [shāḏ] or munkar because it goes against the general form of all the [other] prayers?

We say no, as long as the ḥadīth about it is ṣaḥīḥ then it is an act of worship that Allaah ordained for His Slaves during an eclipse, so we should pray as he ﷺ used to pray.

So based upon [all of] this I say: this shows even if by way of comparison that even if Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ differed from the other known, regular prayers, the eclipse prayer also differed in some aspects from those same prayers but that was not seen as a defect in it and it remains an ordained act of worship until the Day of Judgement.

Riḥlatun-Nūr, 48b.

On The Prayer for Forgiveness [Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ] · How Authentically Established is It? · Part Four


 

See here for part three.

Questioner: How authentically established is Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ?

Al-Albaani: The scholars have differed greatly over the ḥadīths about Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ, where you have some saying that it is fabricated and others saying it is authentic, and the reason for such severe differing goes back to two issues:

     The first is that this prayer has in fact not been reported with an authentic chain of narration with which it can established.
     The second is that it differs from all of the legislated prayers in its form, so it is irregular [shāḏ] in this aspect—those who said it was fabricated did so based upon these two realities: that it has no authentic chain through which it can be established and that the wording itself goes against [the form of] all of the established prayers in the the Sunnah.

But those who said it is authentic or at the very least ḥasan said that: [yes], it is true that this ṣalāh, or that this ḥadīth about Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ, does not have an independent authentic chain of narration—but it does have many paths of narration, and one of the principles of the scholars of ḥadīth is that a weak [ḍāʿīf] ḥadīth is strengthened when it is reported through many paths of narration, and this ḥadīth does have many such paths, this is from one angle.

And from another angle it has been established that one of the Salaf, i.e., ʿAbdullah ibn al-Mubārak who was one of the major Shaikhs of Imām Aḥmad, used to hold that it should be prayed, and so he would pray it, and it is unlikely for an Imām such as him to act on a ḥadīth which he didn’t regard as being established.

So when we look at all this, that the ḥadīth about the Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ has been reported through chains which strengthen one another, in addition to the fact that ʿAbdullah ibn al-Mubārak used to pray it, one feels at ease about the ḥadīth being authentic and as a result the correctness of it being prayed is established.

And because of that the doubt which I mentioned earlier when quoting those who say it is not authentic is answered by saying that it is not a condition that a prayer has to be similar to others—because we know that there is a [another] prayer [which I will now mention] authentically established by agreement of the scholars which differs from all of the prayers at a time where the Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ is in agreement with them all in this aspect [which I will now clarify]: when I say a prayer which differs from all of the [other] prayers I am referring to the eclipse prayer. We all know that the eclipse prayer has two rukūʿs in each rakʿah and two sajdahs.

So [simply] by virtue of the fact that bowing is legislated twice in one rakʿah in the eclipse prayer it has opposed all of the well-known prayers in this regard, because there is no other prayer where bowing is legislated twice in one rakʿah, so is this … is the presence of such a point of difference in relation to the five prayers and others a cause for its authenticity to be disputed?

The answer is no.

Because Allaah can ordain whatever He wants for His servants in terms of prayers and how they are to be performed.

So the lesson to be taken is not that a form of worship has to have others that are like it but rather that it is established through [those] paths of narration through which all acts of worship are established.

So when we put aside this aspect of the critique, i.e., the criticism of the actual wording of the [ḥadīth] about Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ, and we turn back to the chains of narration [isnād] and we understand that they strengthen each other, in addition to the fact that one of the Salaf acted on it, [when we consider all of this] no valid argument criticising the manner in which this prayer is performed holds weight.

And thus the statements of those who say that the Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ is established rise up, which in turn establishes [the Sunnah of] praying it at the very least once in your lifetime as mentioned in the ḥadīth and at the most once every day.

This is my answer to this question.

Fatāwā Rābigh
, 5.

On The Prayer for Forgiveness [Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ] · Is it a Recommended Ṣalāh? Part Three


See here for part two.

Questioner: Is the Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ a mustaḥab prayer? And is it established that the Prophet ﷺ used to pray it all the time? Ibn al-Mubārak said it is encouraged to pray it and that a person should become used to praying it all the time and not neglect it, if that is the case then what is the proof for it?

Al-Albaani: It has not been reported that the Prophet ﷺ prayed it himself but many ḥadīths have been reported from him ﷺ encouraging one to do so, like the ḥadīth of Ibn ʿAbbās that the Prophet ﷺ said to his uncle ʿAbbās, “O ʿAbbās! Shall I not give you a gift? Shall I not give you something? Pray four rakʿahs …” then he ﷺ mentioned this well-known prayer, in every rakʿah there being seventy-five tasbīhs, saying, “If you can observe it once daily, do so; if not, then once weekly; if not, then once a month; if not, then once a year; if not, then once in your lifetime,” then he ﷺ mentioned something else which I don’t recall right now.

There is a long, ongoing dispute about this ḥadīth among the scholars of ḥadīth and what I hold to be the stronger opinion is that the ḥadīth is established through all of its paths of narration, and it is reported in Mishkāh al-Maṣābīh and I have checked it there and also in my book, ‘Ṣaḥīḥ al-Kalimaṭ-Ṭayyib,’ sorry I meant, ‘Ṣaḥīḥ at-Targhīb wat-Tarhīb.’

So in summary the ḥadīth is established based upon all of its paths of narration.

Al-Hudā wan-Nūr, 97.

See here for part four.

On The Prayer for Forgiveness [Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ] · A Discussion About the Actual Textual Wording [Matn] of the Ḥadīth · Part two


See here for part one.

Questioner: We were going over and studying the ḥadīth about the Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ and then some of the students of knowledge, it was as though they were saying that there is something wrong with this ḥadīth, when we were going over its chain of narration [isnād] they were saying there is something wrong with the actual text of the ḥadīth [matn], saying that the wording has been criticised because this prayer has not come in a recognised or correct form, so my question is: has anyone [actually] criticised the wording?

Al-Albaani: … some of them have spoken about it … they said that this prayer differs in form from the well-known, established prayer, this is what they said.

Questioner: From those well-known in this field?

Al-Albaani: Our Imām, Ibn Taymiyyah said it.

Questioner: Yes.

Al-Albaani: And Ibn al-Jawzī before him.

Questioner: Yes, in [his book] al-Mowḍūʿāt.

Al-Albaani: Yes, but their statements are rebutted because this defect [that they mention] is an intellectual, logical one which has no value when it comes to looking at the criticism of the wordings of ḥadīths. Maybe you recall the form of the Eclipse prayer?

Questioner: Yes.

Al-Albaani: That it is two rakʿahs, and that in each rakʿah you bow twice, this prayer stands out against the regular prayers—so how does that harm it after it has been established in a ḥadīth from the Prophet ﷺ, even though the Ḥanafīs oppose the way it is performed like this? This criticism doesn’t harm it in the slightest.

The critique of every person working on ḥadīth and who takes up critically commenting on ḥadīth must be based on the chain of narration [isnād] not the actually wording [matn] itself.

But if the ḥadīth is not authentically established in its chain of narration, it is then that the scholar, if he has something logical to say, turns to critiquing the wording too. And in such a case the ḥadīth would be weak [ḍaʿīf] in both its chain of narration and the textual wording itself.

And beware of being fooled, you or anyone else, with what is mentioned in Muqaddimah Ibn aṣ-Ṣalāḥ and other books of ḥadīth terminology, which say that a ḥadīth might have an authentic chain of narration but have wording which is not.

Beware [and I’ll say it again], beware of that—because in fact this unrestricted statement is not correct, and it must be patched up by interpreting it so that it becomes sound. And it is made sound by saying that it refers to someone who says that a [certain] chain of narration is authentic but who never took into account some of the conditions [required] of an authentic isnād, like the fact that it should not be irregular [shāḏ] or have any hidden defects [i.e., the scholar missed the fact that the isnād had some defects in it, in such a case Ibn aṣ-Ṣalāh’s statement that a ḥadīth might have an authentic chain of narration but have wording which is not would be sound], [and if a scholar did do that concerning a ḥadīth] then he is excused because maybe the hidden defect [ʿillah] was not clear to him. Hidden defects in ḥadīths are of two types: apparent and unclear, this second type is the one which evades many scholars let alone those less than them, so when one of them makes the statement that the isnād of a ḥadīth might be authentic [but its textual wording is not] it is explained in this way.

As for there being an authentic chain of narration which is free of any hidden defect [ʿillah] but then [saying] the text in the ḥadīth itself is weak and contradicts something more authentic [munkar]: such a thing does not exist in the dunyā.

When you understand this reality, then the ḥadīth criticiser should, as I just said, turn to critiquing the ḥadīth’s isnād, such that if the isnād is found to be sound then so is the wording itself. Because if not then we will have opened the door for those people who claim that Islām is only [what is in] the Qurʾān and that is it, [just] because they came across a lot of weak ḥadīths.

Especially when they open the door to critiquing the wording of ḥadīths which some of those who blindly-imitate the orientalists call, ‘Inner/internal-critique,’ they call the critiquing of the actual wording of the ḥadīths, ‘Inner/internal-critique.’

So when they went on and extended this criticism [to include more and more texts of ḥadīths] only a tiny amount of ḥadīths were safe from it, such that they even turned away from those too and just stuck with the Qurʾān—and thus left Islām in the name of the Qurʾān.

In summary, the ḥadīth about the Prayer of Tasbīḥ does not fall below the level of being ḥasan, and in my opinion, when all of its paths of narration are taken into account, it is authentic [ṣaḥīḥ].

And it is enough for the student of knowledge to know that one of the Imāms of the Salaf, ʿAbdullah ibn al-Mubārak who was the Shaikh of the Imām of the Sunnah, i.e., Imām Aḥmad, used to pray this prayer which these people who criticise its wording want to call a shāḏ or munkar ḥadīth. [A shāḏ ḥadīth is one which is reported by a reliable narrator in contradiction to someone more reliable. A munkar ḥadīth is one which is reported by a weak narrator which goes against another authentic ḥadīth.]

A ḥadīth like this which has been reported through many paths of narration, some of which are only slightly weak and [fall into that category of ḥadīth] which can be used to give strength to chains of narration in addition to the fact that that Imām acted on it—[after all of this] don’t be deceived by what is reported in some statements of some of the Imāms in Islām that its chain of narration is weak or munkar.

This is my answer.

Al-Hudā wan-Nūr, 224.

See here for part three.

On Ṣalātut-Tasbīḥ [The Prayer of Glorification] | Part One


Questioner: Is it true that the ḥadīth about the Prayer of Tasbīḥ is weak?

Al-Albaani: In reality the scholars of ḥadīth have differed greatly over it, with some of them saying it is fabricated [mowḍūʿ] and others that it is weak [ḍaʿīf], or ḥasan and yet others that it is authentic [ṣaḥīḥ].

I don’t want to prolong the discussion by discussing what the difference between ḥasan and ṣaḥīḥ is and that each of them can be further broken down into being ḥasan li-dhātihī and ḥasan li-ghairihī or ṣaḥīḥ li-dhātihī and ṣaḥīḥ li-ghairihī—what is important is for me to say that whoever said it is fabricated has gone too far and has digressed greatly from what is correct, and that whoever said it is weak is close to them too.

The correct stance is that the ḥadīth falls into place somewhere between the people who say it is ḥasan and those who say that it is authentic, this is what I hold to be the stronger opinion.

And its authenticity comes about in two ways:

The first is that the ḥadīth about the Prayer of Tasbīḥ has been reported through a number of paths in Sunan Abī Dāwūd and other books of the Sunnah, [the kind of paths] which the people of knowledge who are acquainted with ḥadīth say strengthen each other, because no one who is a liar or who has been accused of lying is in them but only those whose memorisation has been criticised, so the mistakes of those narrators whose memorisation has been criticised is not a concern with the presence of another narration which supports them, so what then is the case when more than [just] one supporting narration exists for the Prayer of Tasbīḥ?

The second is that one of the major Imāms of the Salaf who reported this ḥadīth acted upon it, i.e., ʿAbdullah ibn al-Mubārak who was one of the Shaikhs of the Imām of the Sunnah, Aḥmad ibn Hanbal, if he didn’t hold it to be authentic he wouldn’t have acted upon it.

So the correct opinion is what the scholars said about this ḥadīth—that it is authentic and that a Muslim should do it even if only once in their lifetime: i.e., pray four rakʿahs, each one having seventy-five tasbīḥs, each standing part fifteen, and the rest of the pillars tens, which would make the total three-hundred tasbīḥs—for it will be [a cause of] forgiveness for him as the ḥadīth states.
Al-Hudā wan-Nūr, 75.

See here for part two.

Are There Questions or Topics You Would Like to See Shaikh al-Albaani’s Opinion On?


I’d be interested to know if there are any topics that you’d like to see Shaikh al-Albaani’s opinion on. If there’s a particular question you may have been wondering about or just a subject that you might want to see covered, please post it below and I’ll try to see if anything from the Shaikh is available on it.

I’ll leave this post open and slowly try to work through any suggestions, so that this could possibly be an ongoing, slow grind, with the obvious caveat that this all depends on relevant material on proposed topics/questions being available and time constraint permitting, bi ithnillah, wallaahu yuʿeen.

On a Neighbour’s Rights


“The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while his neighbour goes hungry.’

Al-Albaani said, ‘The ḥadīth contains clear proof showing that it is ḥarām for a rich neighbour to leave his neighbours hungry, he must give them something they can repel their hunger with and similarly what they can cover themselves with if they were naked and likewise with other such necessities.’”
Jāmiʿ Turāth al-ʿAllāmah al-Albaani fil-Fiqh, vol. 10, p. 569.

A Shaikh’s Humility and a Student’s Manners: Al-Albaani’s Humility with ʾAbdur-Razzāq al-Badr


 

ʾAbdur-Razzāq al-Badr: [These] two hours [we spent with you] feel like one!
Al-Albaani: Okay we can take a little break.
ʾAbdur-Razzāq al-Badr: Forgive us, we’re a burden on you, O Shaikh, but our opportunity to sit with you is limited …
Al-Albaani: [No] sorry [that is not the case] someone like you is not an inconvenience to me in the slightest …
ʾAbdur-Razzāq al-Badr:Jazākallāhu khair
Al-Albaani: … [you] as someone who is a strong student of knowledge inshā Allāh …
ʾAbdur-Razzāq al-Badr: I ask Allāh to make me one …
Al-Albaani: … and who wants to gain understanding of his religion …
ʾAbdur-Razzāq al-Badr: may Allāh grant me success in that …
Al-Albaani: … that is my good fortune …
ʾAbdur-Razzāq al-Badr: No it is ours, O Shaikh.
Al-Albaani: May Allāh bless you.
ʾAbdur-Razzāq al-Badr: May Allāh honour you.

You can find Shaikh ʾAbdur-Razzāq’s website here.

Al-Albaani when He was Called the Bukhaari of this Time


A teacher from Medinah University wrote a letter to Shaikh Ali and in it he penned some poetry praising Shaikh Al-Albaani and called him the Bukhārī of our time. Shaikh Ali then read the letter with all the poetry out to al-Albaani and when he finished Al-Albaani apologises and amongst other things says, “Allāhu-Akbar.

بِئْسَ الْعَصْرُ إِذَا كُنْتُ أَنَاْ بُخَاْرِيَّهُ
How wretched a time it is if I am its Bukhārī.
Lā ḥawla wa lā quwwata illa billāh.”

The English is forever lacking as compared to the Arabic and the translation doesn’t do it justice and falls short as always, so if anyone wants to hear the clip, which is called ‘Imaam al-Albaani Crying when Praised,’ here it is linked to where the reading of the letter and its poetry has only a few seconds left and al-Albaani goes silent and then reacts.

And for more on Al-Albaani’s humility see here, raḥimahullah.

Al-Albaani’s Modesty: “The Alleged, So-Called Shaikh…”


“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.

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