The Albaani Site

Allah have Mercy on Him

Tag: mosques

Praying Behind the People of Innovation | 2 | The Ruling Concerning the Youth Boycotting Those Mosques in Which the Imaams Fall Short in Implementing the Sunnah

Questioner: There are some youth in Morocco and Poland and other countries who boycott the mosques of the innovators, for example, [those who perform innovations such as] sending salaah on the Prophet of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم in unison, reading the Quraan in one voice, they do not give due attention to the Prophet’s Sunnah صلى الله عليه وسلم …

Al-Albaani: Like?

Questioner: … straightening the rows during prayer, saying Aameen loudly, and they also recite the Quraan in unison [as I mentioned above] and other things too.

Al-Albaani: From the mistakes of these Imaams boycotted by that group [of youths] you are speaking about is that they [i.e., those Imaams] do not establish the Sunnah, correct? [i.e., that is what you’re asking, right]?

Questioner: Yes.

Al-Albaani: This [itself] is something which is considered to be in opposition to the Sunnah: i.e., boycotting a mosque because of the shortcomings of the Imaams of these mosques in implementing the Sharee’ah rulings and their lack of due concern for the Prophetic Sunnah does not make it permissible for those keen on following the Sunnah to boycott those mosques–except if it is to leave a mosque which has innovations like those [you mentioned] for another mosque which does not.

As for boycotting in the manner described in the question, i.e., a total boycotting of all mosques, then the example of that is like someone who builds a palace but destroys a whole country in doing so.

Since establishing the prayer, establishing the five prayers with the Muslim congregation in the mosques is an obligation, and it is not permissible for a Muslim to turn away from or to be complacent in carrying it out except for a legislated excuse.

It is no excuse whatsoever that mosques should be completely abandoned because some of those who pray there, even if it be the Imaam himself, oppose the Sunnah in many or a few matters–except if it is like what I just mentioned, that a person leaves a mosque which is close to him and goes to another because it is free of innovation, this is something obligatory on those who want to cling to the Sunnah.

This is because in this day and age, if a Muslim wanted to go into such fine detail with the Imaams of the mosques he would have to seclude himself from all of the people, because you will hardly ever find a mosque today which is established on the Sunnah from all angles, this is something impossible.

And that is because firstly, all of the mosques, or most of them, are built with tainted money, and are built in a manner which opposes the Sunnah. You will hardly find a mosque today except that it is decorated and embellished, even Makkah and Madinah, as you know.

So if these people don’t want to pray in a mosque which has an innovation in it, where will they go? They will have to leave all the congregations of the Muslims and will remain in the corners of their homes, praying there. And as such many hadiths would apply to them about the one who opposes the jamaa’ah dying the death of the days of ignorance.

For we find an excuse for a person who leaves a certain mosque to go to another which has less innovations, I do not say that this other mosque does not have any innovations, this does not exist today, but as was said of old, ‘Some evil is less than others [in severity].’

So it is possible that a Muslim can find a mosque close or far from him which establishes the prayer on the Sunnah, but [still] it will be full of engravings and decorations, but he has no say in that.

So today the Muslim [should be] as the Prophet عليه السلام said in some authentic hadiths, ‘Be moderate and aim to do good …’ [Sahih Muslim, no. 7117], as for trying to find the Prophet’s Mosque as it was in his time عليه السلام, then he will not find it today–so will a person then isolate himself from the people by staying in his house and severing his ties between himself and the Muslims in the most sacred and pure of Allaah’s places as is mentioned in an authentic hadith that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said about the best and worst of places, ‘The best places are the mosques and the worst are the markets.’

So if a Muslim wants a mosque which does not have a single breach of the Sharee’ah, it will mean that he will leave the best of places, i.e., the mosques–and this is not allowed, because as you know the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله سلم, and I will not prolong this too much, encouraged and stressed that one should pray with the Muslim congregation in the mosques, rather, Allaah the Mighty and Majestic ordered that in the Noble Quran when He said, “And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience].” [Baqarah 2:43]

Thus, these people who stay away from or who boycott praying in the mosques–they are not doing so based upon any knowledge, for if they were upon knowledge they would have known the principle that when a Muslim is presented with two evils, he chooses the lesser of the two.

So they either pray in these mosques which they have no control over, except for ordering the good and forbidding the evil, they can’t change the evil there with their hands but they can say a good word–so if they leave off praying in these mosques and do so in their houses it would mean that they would have left the legislated principle which [as I just mentioned is that] when a Muslim is presented with two evils, he chooses the lesser of the two.

But I [also] said that if there is a mosque which opposes the Sunnah less [than another] and a Muslim goes there leaving the one close to him, then this is something we order and encourage as far as we are able to do so.

It may be that one of these beginners in knowledge may have read, for example, the narration which occurs in Sunan Abee Dawud that Ibn Umar entered a mosque and heard a man calling out to the prayer, saying, ‘The prayer! The prayer!’ … in Syria after the call to prayer is given they open a window and [a person calls out and] his voice can be heard in the street, saying, ‘O worshippers, the prayer! O worshippers, the prayer!’–when the muezzin said, ‘Come to prayer! Come to success!’ was it in vain [such that this man now has to say these extra words after the call to prayer?] [Calling out with these extra words after the adhaan] is a correction of the One who laid down the Sharee’ah [i.e., Allaah], for this reason [going back to that narration of Ibn Umar], when he entered the mosque and heard that man calling out, he said, ‘This is a mosque which has an innovation in it,’ and he left it.

But this does not mean that one should leave all mosques, but rather that one should go to a mosque which does not have innovations [if he can find one], for this reason these people [mentioned in the question] were only overcome due to their lack of knowledge and their extremism in following the Sunnah and worship, and the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, sincerely advising his Ummah, ‘Indeed, for every action there is some vigor, and each [instance of] vigor has a certain time, so whoever’s period [of vigor] is towards my Sunnah then he has been rightly guided, and whoever’s is towards an innovation, then he has gone astray.’

They flee from some innovations which they do not have the power to rectify and instead fall into a bigger innovation which they do have the power to change, and thus they fell into the madhhab of Abu Nawwaas who said, ‘And cure me with the disease [itself] …’

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, no. 574.

Shaikh al-Albaani’s Life | Questions and Answers … 6



Al-Albaani and his father

Al-Huwaini: Did you secretly confide in your father?

Al-Albaani: No, [I confided] in al-Burhaani. [So] he said, “Write down the things that you have come across.” So I wrote them down and presented them to him, they came to about three or four pages. The time then, as far as I can remember, was the month of Ramadaan, so when I gave him the papers he said to me, “Inshaa Allaah, I’ll give you the answer after Eed.

Then [when the time came] after Eed, he said to me, “All of this that you have written and gathered has no value.” Astonished, I replied, “Why?” He said, “Because these books which you quoted from are books which are not reliable in our view. The books which are reliable with us are Maraaqi al-Falaah and Haashiyah Ibn Aabideen only.”

I had quoted to him from Mubaarik al-Azhaar Sharh Mashaariq al-Anwaar of Ibn Malik and he was a Hanafi, and from Mirqaah al-Mafaatih Sharh Mishkaah al-Masaabih of Mulla Ali al-Qaari, and he [too] was a Hanafi, and other texts along with them, but he cast them aside as you would a date-stone, and said, “These have no value.” Even though I had gathered hadiths for him but he didn’t bother with them and paid them no mind, and said, “Our reference in the religion are only the books of fiqh and not the books of hadith,” and my father’s stance was the same and so that was the nucleus which led [me to write] my book Warning the One who Prostrates from Taking the Graves as Mosques. [This is the book we are going through on the blog]

And I do not want my actions to oppose what I say, so as long as it had become clear to me that prayer in mosques built upon graves was not correct, then for sure I would not go with my father to the Bani Umayyah mosque again, and this, naturally, irritated and angered him, but he kept it to himself.

The Issue of the Second Congregational Prayer in the Mosque

Another issue came up in which I opposed the people and it was concerning performing a second congregational prayer in the mosque. The mosque which my father lived next to was called Jaami at-Tawbah and Shaikh Burhaani was the Imaam there. Since my father lived next to it, whenever Shaikh Sa’eed [i.e., Burhaani] would be absent he would appoint my father to lead [the prayer] on his behalf. There were two prayer niches [mihraabs] and two Imaams [in this mosque], a Hanafi Imaam who was Burhaani, and a Shaafi’ee Imaam who would [often] be absent.

Al-Huwaini: Two congregational prayers at the same time?

Al-Albaani: No. I wanted to say to you that during the [time of the] Ottoman Empire, the Hanafi Imaam would lead the prayer before the Shaafi’ee Imaam whether it was in the biggest mosque, i.e., the Amawi Mosque, or in any other mosque, like the Tawbah mosque and other than it.

Then when Shaikh Taajud-Deen took leadership of the [religious affairs of the] Syrian Republic, and he was the son of Shaikh Badrud-Deen al-Husaini who was well-known for being a scholar of hadith, he–since he followed the Shaafi’ee school of thought–issued an order that the Shaafi’ee Imaam should pray before the Hanafi Imaam. And so this order was executed, as is the natural course of events, by the ruler as they say, he executed it in every mosque, included amongst them was Masjid at-Tawbah, and so the Shaafi’ee Imaam would pray before Burhaani, who was Hanafi.

So when I had gained some understanding and had come to know that the second congregational prayer has no basis in the Sunnah, I began to pray behind the Shaafi’ee Imaam, [who was] the first Imaam, and this opposition caused the most severe tension on the part of my father. Firstly, because it opposed his school of thought [madhhab] and secondly, because it opposed his actions, because he would delay his prayer so that he could pray with the Hanafi Imaam, Burhaani. But he was going his way, and I was going mine.

Then Burhaani travelled for Hajj or Umrah, I don’t recall exactly, and so appointed my father to pray in his place–but I would not pray behind him, because there was no difference in my eyes between Burhaani and my father since both of them would delay [the time of] the first congregational prayer [jamaa’ah]. So I would leave my father to pray the second prayer, and I would pray with the first Imaam.

Al-Albaani’s Father Giving Him the Choice to Stay or Leave

Then later the time came where [there was], as they say, calamity upon calamity.  It so happened that my father had to be away for a day or two and so he requested that I [lead] the prayer on his behalf, i.e., the second congregational prayer, so I refused and said to him, “You know my opinion in the matter, and it is very difficult for me to change my opinion.” A number of issues came up which ignited his fury against me.

So one day while we were having dinner he said to me in a clear Arabic tongue, after he spoke about the situation that he and I were living in as regards my opposition to him, he said, “Either there is agreement or separation.” So I said to him, “Give me three days to think about the situation.” He replied, “You have that.”

So I came with the answer, i.e., that since you have given me the choice, then I choose to live far from you so that I do not trouble or upset you because of my opposition to your school of thought.

And so it was.

I left him and I did not own a single dinar or dirham [i.e., not a penny]. And I remember very well that he gave me twenty-five Syrian liras only when I left his house.

But during all this time I had established a nucleus of Salafi brothers. One of them had a store where he would sell grain, wheat, barley and beans and so on, and it was in the same place where I had rented my shop, so he borrowed me two hundred Syrian liras so that I could rent it.

My father used to have some old [watch repairing] equipment which he would not use and had no need of so he gave it to me. So I started to work independently and from the Favours of Allaah upon me was that I was very precise in my work and honest in it and so the number of customers increased, and, as they say in Syria, “And the Generous One said, ‘Take.’”

Al-Huwaini: So our Shaikh, you were about twenty-three years old when this happened?

Al-Albaani: Yes, I was over twenty, because I have a book with me which I refer to sometimes called, Ar-Rawd an-Nadeer fee Tarteeb wa Takhrij Mu’jam at-Tabaraani as-Saghir, my age when I finished it was about twenty-one or twenty-two.

So what is meant is that I became independent in my work and thinking there, and we would hold lessons in the night with some of the brothers. Later, when the scope of da’wah increased we rented out a place, and would give lessons in hadith there: about the understanding [fiqh] of hadith, hadith terminology, and so on.

Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Hayaatuhu, Da’watuhu, Juhooduhoo fee Khidmatis-Sunnah, of Muhammad Bayyoomi, pp. 16-19.

Taking Graves as Mosques … 2

The Shaikh continued, “Yet despite the fact that I did not repay their transgressions and lies in kind, the treatise, as far as academic style was concerned, was a direct refutation of them. As such there may be some sternness and harshness in its manner in the opinion of some who make apparent their resentment of refuting the opposers and liars, wishing that they be left alone without being called to account about their ignorance and their accusations against innocent people, under the false impression that being silent about them is the tolerance mentioned in the Most High’s saying, “… and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness.” [Furqaan 25:63]. And they forget, or they choose purposefully to forget, that such an approach is what aids such people in their continuance upon [their own] misguidance and their misguidance of others, and Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says, “… but do not help one another in sin and transgression …” [al-Maa’idah 5:2].

Which sin and transgression is worse than accusing a Muslim of something which is not true about him rather something which is in total opposition to what he is upon?! Indeed if some of these who make apparent what we have mentioned were afflicted with enmity less than what was thrown at us, they would have rushed to refute, so it is as though they seem to say,

“Nay, let no-one behave ignorantly towards us!
For then we will behave ignorantly over and above
the level of the ignorant ones.”

Yet despite this I say: there is not much benefit in reprinting this book based upon its first edition; as such there are points that had to be removed along with a slight change in some forms of expression which would refine its style and suit its second edition without taking away from its academic value and its key research.

In the introduction to the first edition I had written that the subject of the book centres around two very important matters:

The first: the ruling concerning building mosques on top of graves.
The second: the ruling concerning praying in these mosques.

I chose to research these two topics since some people had delved into them without any knowledge, saying that which no scholar before them had uttered. Especially when most people have no knowledge of this matter whatsoever, being under a cover of heedlessness, ignorant of the truth, being supported in that by the silence of the scholars–except for the ones whom Allaah wills to speak out, and how few they are–being afraid of the masses or just wanting to pay lip service to them in order to preserve their honour and standing among them, pretending to have forgotten the saying of Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, “Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allah and cursed by the cursers,” [Al-Baqarah 2:159] and his, صلى الله عليه وسلم, saying, “Whoever conceals knowledge will be bridled by Allaah with reins of fire on the Day of Resurrection.” [A hasan hadith, reported by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh, no. 296 and al-Haakim (1/102) and he declared it to be authentic and adh-Dhahabi agreed with him.]

The result of this silence and that ignorance was that many from the masses ended up committing that which Allaah, the Most High, forbade and the perpetrator of which He cursed, a mention of this will follow later–and if only the problem ended there! Rather some of them started to seek closeness to Allaah, the Most High, through that! So you will see lots of those who love good and are in charge of maintaining the mosques spending huge amounts of money to build a mosque for the sake of Allaah–but at the same time he prepares a grave inside it, stating in his will that he be buried in it after he passes away!

Another example I know of this, and maybe it will be the last, if Allaah so wills, is that mosque which is at the top of Baghdad Street at the western side in Damascus, known as, “The Mosque of the Donkey,”–the grave of the donkey is inside it. It had reached us that the Ministry of Religious Endowments had initially forbidden its burial in it, but we do not know the true reasons that came between it and the forbiddance it had wanted and so ‘a donkey’ was buried in it, indeed in the direction of prayer! So to Allaah we belong and to Him we shall return and His Aid is sought to rid us of these abominations and their like!

A few days ago a mufti from the Shaafi’ees passed away and his relatives wanted to have him buried in one of the old mosques in the eastern part of Damascus but the Ministry of Religious Endowments prevented them from doing so and thus he was not buried there. And we thank the Ministry of Religious Endowments for this praiseworthy stance and its eagerness to prevent burials inside the mosques, hoping from Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, that what leads them to prevent such things is a desire to seek the Pleasure of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, and to follow His Legislation and that it is not due to political, social or other such considerations. [Also hoping that] this is a promising start from it on the road towards purifying the mosques from the innovations and detestable affairs that have swarmed them! Especially when the minister of Religious Endowments, his eminence Shaikh al-Baquri has made honourable stances in fighting against many of these detestable matters especially concerning building mosques over graves. In this regard he has some beneficial words which will be related in the appropriate place if Allaah, the Most High, wills.

That which is truly upsetting for every believer is that many mosques in Syria and other than it are not free from the presence of one grave or more, as though Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, ordered it and did not curse the ones who do such an act! How good an act it would be if, with wisdom, the Ministry tried to cleanse the mosques from such graves. I do not doubt that it is not from wisdom at all to shock general opinion whilst doing that, but rather that before everything else it has to make known the fact that, ‘… graves and mosques do not go together in the religion of Islaam …’ as some of the illustrious scholars have said and a mention of which will follow, and that if they do gather together then it negates making tawhid and worship purely and sincerely for Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, alone–that sincerity in pursuit of which mosques are built [in the first place], as the Most High said, And the mosques are for Allah (Alone), so invoke not anyone along with Allah.” Al-Jinn 72:18.

I believe that making this declaration is obligatory and something which cannot be avoided, and maybe I have been given the success by Allaah to carry it out through this book. For in it I have gathered mutawaatir hadith showing the prohibition of this act, followed by a mention of the schools of thought of the scholars and their established sayings concerning this topic and that they prove such a prohibition. While at the same time bearing witness to the fact that the Imaams, may Allaah be pleased with them, were the most compliant and eager of people to follow the Sunnah and in calling the people to follow it, and warning them against opposing it. But [alas] Allaah, the Most Great, spoke the Truth when He said, “Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up the prayers and have followed lusts–so they will be thrown into Hell.” Maryam 19:59.

Here are the chapters of the book:

Chapter One: A Mention of the Sayings of the Prophet which prohibit taking graves as mosques.
Chapter Two: The Meaning of taking a grave as a mosque.
Chapter Three: That taking graves as mosques is regarded as a major sin.
Chapter Four: Doubts and their clarifications.
Chapter Five: The wisdom behind prohibiting the building of mosques over graves.
Chapter Six: The hatred of praying in mosques which are built on graves.
Chapter Seven: That the previous ruling [mentioned in Chapter Six] applies to all mosques except that of the Prophet’s Mosque [in Medinah].

In the footnotes there are other important sub-chapters which contain important benefits, if Allaah, the Most High, wills.

And I have named it, “Warning the One who Prostrates from Taking Graves as Mosques.”

That is what I had written in the introduction to the first edition.

And I ask Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, to benefit the Muslims with this edition more than its previous one, and that He accepts it from me along with all of my righteous actions with a goodly acceptance and that He reward the one who published it well.

23rd of Jumaada al-Oolaa, 1392
[Wednesday 5th July 1972ce]

Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani.”

The Shaikh’s Life in his Own Words … 7


Appointed as a Lecturer at Medinah University

“I was a lecturer in the Science of Hadith at the Islamic University [in Medinah], from 1381 [1961 ce] to the end of 1383 [1963 ce].

In my car I would take with me whichever students I happened to meet on the way to the university and also back to Medinah.  So at all times, my car would be full of them, going and coming.”

His Shaikhs Benefitting from Him

“As for our Shaikhs today, then they are heedless of this legislated ruling.  Many of them will intend to go and pray in mosques such as this [i.e., mosques with graves in them or built on graves etc.].  I used to go with some of them to pray with them at the grave of Shaikh Ibn Arabi – when I was young and when I had not yet understood the Sunnah! Then when I learnt of the prohibition of that I discussed it with this Shaikh [who I used to go with] many times until Allaah, the Most High, guided him and he refrained from praying there.  He would later acknowledge that and would thank me saying that I was a reason for him being guided.  May Allaah, the Most High, have mercy on him and forgive him.

And all praise is due to Allaah who guided us and we would not have been guided were it not for the fact that Allaah guided us.”

What he would say when Praised

He would repeat the supplication of Abu Bakr, the Truthful, “O Allaah!  Do not hold me to account for what they say.  And make me better than what they think.  And forgive me that which they do not know.”

Hayaatul-Allaamah al-Albaani, rahimahullaah, bi qalamihi, pp. 15-16.

%d bloggers like this: