Questioner: My question is concerning the subject that the brother, Shaikh Muhammad mentioned concerning stories and hadiths which some Shaikhs mention, for example, the story which I heard and which Abdul-Hamid Kishk reported. A story which I see great contradictions in such that I cannot believe that it is attributed or even mentioned in history [before].
The story as he himself says is that a person used to drink wine from a bottle. Umar ibn al-Khattaab passed by him the first time and when he saw him he threatened him that he would be whipped if he saw him drinking wine a second time. So he passed by him a second time at a distance, the man saw Umar ibn al-Khattaab and so asked Allaah to turn the wine into vinegar. When Umar ibn al-Khattaab asked him what was in the bottle, he replied, ‘It is vinegar.’ So Umar ibn al-Khattaab smelt it and it was [indeed] vinegar.
In my opinion this story has some contradictions and is also in opposition to [correct] fiqh. What I mean is that that person was committing a sin, and [then] calls on Allaah to save him from it while he is still doing it. Also, it has been mentioned that Abdul-Hamid Kishk reports or quotes some weak hadiths whose chains of narration are not authentic.
My question is in regard to this, because I know that Abdul-Hamid Kishk has a big effect on the youth today and he mentions weak hadiths and stories.
We’d like your input on this?
Al-Albani: The reality is that I have never come across this story which you just related about that man–[I’ve never seen it mentioned] amongst the authentic hadiths, nor the hasan hadiths, nor the weak ones, nor the fabricated ones and not even those that have no basis.
And another painful reality is that no one is denying that Shaikh Kishk’s style in effecting the people is uncanny, but I do not mean [by saying that] that his style is a legislated one. Because he uses emotion, inflaming the emotions of those present by such things as ordering that salaah be sent upon the Prophet [by saying], ‘Send more prayers!’ and ‘Let me hear you send prayers upon him,’ and so on. But in the end, his style leaves an affect.
But he, with great remorse, is a storyteller and not a scholar especially in that which is connected to the field of prophetic hadith. So along with being a storyteller he is also one who [just] rounds up and gathers things. He collects all kinds of hadiths [not caring about their authenticity] and then admonishes the people with them, reminding them using such hadiths.
And it is here that the alleged rule which leads admonishers such as this to deviate makes its entry. [A principle] which is mentioned in some of the books of the science of hadith as though it is something undisputed and without blemish: that it is allowed to act upon those weak hadiths which talk about the excellence [or merit] of [certain] actions [Fadaa’ilul-A’maal]. Whether this sentence is accepted or rejected is something disputed amongst the scholars of hadith.
That which I hold and which I have mentioned in more than one book or treatise is that it is not allowed for a Muslim to seek nearness to Allaah the Blessed and Most High through a hadith which he knows is weak. This is what I hold.
But [we must bear in mind that] those who adopted this rule laid down conditions [that must be met] to act upon such hadiths. So when the majority of the people who came later and who adopted this rule [actually] broke it, [the result was that] weak and fabricated hadiths became widespread.
We have very extensive experience with those who associate themselves to knowledge: when one of them mentions a hadith and we know for sure that he does not know where this hadith has come from, he doesn’t know whether it is authentic or weak, but when he is taken aback after he is repudiated and it is said to him, ‘O my brother, you’re relating this hadith and it is weak,’ he replies immediately with the alleged rule, ‘But weak hadiths can be acted upon in relation to the excellence of [certain] actions.’
But this rule is not taken without exception.
Do you [actually] know that the hadith you just related is [in fact] weak?
He doesn’t know anything about that. Thus, he has broken the rule, for conditions were laid down for it, from them being the fact that he should know that this hadith [which he is quoting] is weak so that he does not become mixed up [in differentiating between the] the weak hadith and the authentic one.
[The incorrect implementation of] this rule helps the admonishers, storytellers and preachers not to be cautious when narrating hadiths from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.
If the hadith were authentic then alhamdulillaah, and if it were weak [and the conditions applied] then it can be acted upon in relation to the excellence of [certain] actions. [I.e., Trans. note: the Shaikh does not agree with this rule but here mentioned the opinion of those who do hold it to be permissible, i.e., at the very least if these storytellers knew that a hadith was weak maybe this rule could then be implemented according to those who hold it to be permissible, but therein lies the problem, normally the storytellers don’t even know if it is weak: it could be worse than being just weak, i.e., it could be fabricated or have no basis whatsoever, so when they are not sure about the grading of the hadith how can they implement the rule that, ‘Weak hadith can be used concerning the excellence/merit of certain actions,’ correctly?]
So the aforementioned Shaikh does not have knowledge of hadith and for this reason in his stories and admonitions he narrates all kinds of hadith. So it is not strange that he should report narrations which have no basis whatsoever and have no connection to the sayings of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.
[Sorry folks, the druggie comes later!]