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The Shaikh’s Life in his Own Words … 17


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.

The Shaikh’s Life in his Own Words … 12


Examples of his Patience

I caused myself to go hungry at the end of 1379 [1959 ce] for forty consecutive days–I did not eat any food during those days whatsoever, nothing but water entered my stomach.  That was in the desire to be cured from certain ailments, and [at the end of it] I was [indeed] cured from some but not others.  Before doing this I had sought a cure with some doctors for close to ten years without any apparent benefit.  I took away two tangible benefits from this forced hunger:

The first: the ability of a person to endure hunger for such a long period of time in opposition to what many people think.

The other: that going hungry can help in curing obesity related ailments as Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, mentioned, just as it can help with other illnesses as many people have [tried and] experienced.  Yet it does not help with all illnesses and with all body types, in contrast to what the author of the book, ‘Seeking Cures through Fasting,’ a European author, claimed.  And over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing.

His Father asking him about a Hadith

So I saw fit that I should speak about it, clarifying its defects–especially when the closest of people to me had asked me about it, and that was none other than my father, may Allaah have mercy upon him, and reward him on my behalf with the best of rewards.

Shaikh Mustafaa az-Zarqaa asking him about Hadiths

And this hadith was one of those that the noble teacher Mustafaa az-Zarqaa presented to me, desiring that I verify and check it, and this was on the 15th of the Islamic month of Jumaada ath-Thaani, 1371 which corresponds to the 12th of March, 1952.

His Journeys in Search of Knowledge

Egypt
During the short time that I spent in Cairo and Alexandria it was only possible for me to meet but a few of the people of knowledge and excellence, for example, the author of Islamic works Muhibbud-Deen al-Khateeb, Ustaadh Muhammad al-Ghazaali [who the Shaikh went on to refute later, translators note], Shaikh Abdur-Razzaaq Afeefi and Shaikh Abdul-Aziz ar-Raashid.

While I was in Cairo I would go–every time the opportunity presented itself–to Daar al-Kutub al-Misriyyah to study the manuscripts of the books of hadith there.  I did the same when I left it and went to Alexandria, going to its library known as Al-Maktabah al-Baladiyyah, and I received copious and important benefits from both of these libraries.  From this second library, I copied out with my own hand a treatise of al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaani in which he checked and verified the hadiths which al-Haafidh al-Qizweeni brought in the book Masaabih as-Sunnah and he judged therein that they were fabricated.

Aleppo
For many years one of my habits had been that I would travel to Aleppo for a week every month, spending it, or the great majority of it, in its only library there which is full of manuscripts, called Maltabah al-Awqaaf al-Islaamiyyah.  So I would spend hours there every day studying its manuscripts, copying what was of importance from it for my knowledge-based projects.  In addition to that I would also study the Sunnah and its sciences with some of those who desired knowledge, giving them a number of lessons every week [that I was there].

His Journey to Baital-Maqdis [Jerusalem]

And I travelled to Jerusalem for the first time on the 23rd of the Islamic month of Jumaada al-Awwal, 1385 [September 1965 ce], when the governments of Jordan and Syria agreed to allow their residents to travel freely between both countries without a passport.  So I seized the opportunity and travelled and prayed in the Al-Aqsaa mosque.  I visited the Rock, just to see it, since it has no [specific] excellence [mentioned] in the light of the Sharee’ah, in contrast to what the majority of the people think and what the government advocates.

Spain
In the month of Rajab, 1392 which corresponds to August, 1972 [he travelled to] Andalus when he was called to attend a conference for the unity of Muslim students held in Granada.

Morocco
My first journey to Morocco was at the end of the fourth month [Rabee ath-Thaani] in the year 1396 [1976 ce].

Qatr
In the blessed month of Ramadaan in 1392 [1972 ce, I travelled to Qatr] and in early Rabee al-Awwal in the year 1402 [1982].

His Second Journey to the Emirates
I returned to it on the 29th of March 1985 with official permission, numbered 1094/i, then I left on the 5th of April 1985 as is recorded in my passport with number 284024 sr/77.

Hayaatul-Allaamah al-Albaani, rahimahullaah, bi qalamihi, pp. 22-26.

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