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.