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Al-Albaani Defending the Salafi Youth | Not Everyone who Speaks About a Particular Topic is Listened To

Questioner: Esteemed Shaikh, I have a question. There is a fatwā of Dr. [Yūsuf] al-Qarḍāwī about the ḥadīth concerning the splitting of the Ummah [wherein he states] that the last part of the ḥadīth, i.e., “‘… all of them are in the Fire except one …’ is fabricated,” and is not part of the original ḥadīth?

Al-Albaani: Not everyone who speaks about a particular topic is listened to.

Have you ever known Shaikh al-Qarḍāwī to have written a small piece on the Science of Ḥadīth, let alone a book, let alone books, let alone volumes?

This is the calamity of this day and age.

People like al-Qarḍāwī and the Egyptian, al-Ghazālī, they castigate some of the upcoming youth who are on the methodology of the Book and the Sunnah with the understanding of the Salaf as-Sāliḥ—[whereby] if one of them gives a fatwā and they [i.e., the youth] ask them what the proof is they savage them, [saying], ‘Who are you to ask what the proof is? You have to ask the scholars of fiqh and those who have knowledge and whose specialty this is!’—and then they go and fall into the same thing they were denouncing the youth for, and they are Shaikhs, because they [themselves] never took the opinions of the experts in the field of ḥadīth.

Questioner: True.

Al-Albaani:  Qarḍāwī himself, I know him personally and we were together for a few days in Qatar, we met at a gathering of the Higher Council of the Islamic University many times and he trusts my knowledge and knows my firm grasp of it, yet now in order to justify some of the bad circumstances in the Islamic world you see him authenticating what is weak and declaring weak the part in this ḥadīth [that you asked about] which is [actually] authentic.

That is why our Muslim brothers, [Muslims] whether they are men or women, should know, as is said in the old Arabic proverb, “How to eat the shoulder …” [a literal translation, it is used to refer to someone astute, insightful, who knows how to handle things].

Yaʿnī, as you know, today you will have a field of science that has categories of specialisation, for example, a person who has pain in his ear won’t go to a doctor who specialises in internal medicine, a gastroenterologist and so on, he will go to an ENT specialist.

This specialisation is very important and is one of the meanings of the Most High’s Statement, ‘And ask the people of knowledge if you do not know,’ so al-Qarḍāwī and al-Ghazālī like him and [yet] others are not people of knowledge in the science of ḥadīth, in declaring them to be authentic or weak, if they do have any knowledge then it is the blind-imitation fiqh [type] and not the fiqh derived from the Book and the Sunnah.

Questioner: Allāhu yusallimak.

Al-Albaani: We will end it here so as to give an opportunity to the other questioners waiting for this call to end. Was-salāmu alaikum.

Questioner: Wa ʿalaikum as-salām wa raḥmatullāh wa barakātuh, may Allāh reward you with good.

Al-Albaani: And you.

Mutafarriqātul-Al-Albaani, no. 001.

Shaikh al-Albaani’s Life | Questions and Answers … 3

Learning from his Father

Al-Huwaini: I asked Shaikh Shu’aib al-Arnaa’oot about some things and then he ended up saying, “I used to go to Shaikh Nooh (i.e., Shaikh al-Albaani’s father) but Shaikh Naasir would not be present at our sittings.”

Al-Albaani: I never used to attend those lessons which he is referring to. But we used to have a private lesson with my father with two other Arnaa’ooti youths one of whose names was Abdur-Raheem Zainul-Aabideen and he is still alive, the other has passed away and we used to read Al-Qadoori in hanafi fiqh to him, likewise we read Al-Maraah in morphology to him and we finished reciting the Quraan to him.

So this does not mean that we did not read to him, for I would not attend at the time he was attending just as the opposite [conclusion] is not binding–for he never used to attend these particular lessons of ours with my father, [but this does not mean] that he never sat with my father, this is not binding.

Al-Albaani Leaving the Hanafi Madhhab to Study Hadith
and the time he was too poor to buy a Book

Al-Huwaini: There is a matter here which draws one’s attention: how did you turn to hadith and such, bearing in mind that some of what you have said and what Shaikh Shu’aib said [shows] that your father was a Hanafi, he would revere the Hanafi school of thought greatly?

Al-Albaani: That is from the blessings of Allaah. But as for the reason then it is as is said, “When Allaah intends a matter He facilitates the means for it.” So I truly was living in an atmosphere of bigoted Hanafism. My father, especially among the Arnaa’oots, was regarded as the most knowledgeable of them in Hanafi fiqh, he was the one they would recourse and refer back to.

When I finished elementary school and studied as I have previously detailed with some of the Shaikhs, I would have a very great desire to want to read as a hobby. But reading [those things]–as would seem to one looking in on it–that contained no benefit, indeed which could even have an adverse effect. But later on the effect of this reading became clear in my language for it had strengthened my oral skills. What is peculiar is that I was infatuated with reading modern day fiction works which were known as hiwaayaat [leisure reading/books that are read as a hobby], especially the stories of the American thief famous as Arsene Lupin. So I was truly infatuated with reading this type of story and narrative.

Then I found myself moving to the second stage which perhaps was better than the first, and it was studying Arabic stories, even though [most of them] were fiction. So for example I read A Thousand Arabian Nights, I read the story of Antar ibn Shaddaad, the story of Salaah ad-Deen al-Ayyoobi, a story of resoluteness and valiant champions, and so on. I was extremely captivated by such types of perusal and reading, and then from the perfectness of Allaah’s Plan and His Kindness to me was that when I changed my profession and accompanied my father I came across a lot of free time.

We would split the time [we’d sit] in the shop. So he would go [to it] in the morning and I would go with him [and he would stay there] until he prayed dhuhr, then after he had prayed it he would go home to relax and I would remain in the shop until he returned [which would be] after asr. We were both workers and sometimes I would come across a lot of spare time, there would be hours and I would not [have to] repair any watches, so I would ask his permission to go out … and to where? This was also from Allaah’s granting of success to me [that] I would go to the Amawi masjid and would give the people some general lessons, and I was influenced as regards ideology: some of it was correct, in what became apparent to me later, and some of it was incorrect.

That which was incorrect was connected to two points: blind following and Sufism. Then in this free time during which I would leave my father’s shop, Allaah ordained [that I meet] an Egyptian man who would buy books left by people who had passed away and then [sell them and] put them on display in front of a shop of his [which was] in the direction of the western door of the Amawi mosque. So I would pass by the stack of books which he would pile up outside his small shop, turning over the pages, and I would find whatever I wanted from those narrations, and I would loan the book from him for some money, read it and then return it and so on.

One day I found some issues of the magazine ‘Al-Mannar’ with him, and I remember very well that I read a chapter in it by as-Sayyid Rashid Rida, may Allaah have mercy upon him, speaking about the merits of al-Ghazaali’s book Al-Ihyaa and he [also] criticised it from some angles, likes its Sufism, for example, and the weak and baseless hadiths that were in it. In this regard he mentioned that Abul-Fadl Zainul-Aabidin al-Iraaqi had a book which he authored about Al-Ihyaa in which he checked its hadiths, distinguishing between its authentic and weak ones and he called it, Al-Mughni an Hamlil-Asfaar fil-Asfaar fee Takhrij maa fil-Ihyaa minal-Akhbaar.

So I began to greatly yearn for this book, I went to the market asking after it like someone infatuated and madly in love [aashiq] [saying], “Where is this book?” Until I found it with one of them and it was in four volumes, the print of al-Baabi al-Halabi, on soft, yellow paper.

But I was poor like my father and could not afford to buy a book such as it, so I came to an agreement with its owner that I would loan it from him, I don’t recall now [whether it was] for a year or less or more, so I did, I took the book and was almost about to fly out of joy. I went to the shop and I would take advantage of the time when my father was away so I could be alone with my book.  I made a plan to copy it out and so I started to do so. I bought some paper and got a ‘mistarah’–and this refers to cardboard that had parallel lines on it.

Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Hayaatuhu, Da’watuhu, Juhooduhoo fee Khidmatis-Sunnah, of Muhammad Bayyoomi, pp. 10-12.

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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