Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Al-Albaani asked about Sayyid Qutb | 13 | Salafiyyah is not a Mere Claim


Questioner: In some Arab countries a group has emerged which claims that they are followers of Sayyid Qutb and that they are the true Salafis, what is your opinion?

Al-Albaani: My opinion is that the problem is the same, and my answer is that groundless claims are invalid. We believe that Sayyid Qutb, may Allaah have mercy on him, was not Salafi in his methodology for the majority of his life. But near its end, when he was in prison, a strong inclination to the Salafi methodology became apparent from him.

Salafiyyah is not a mere claim, salafiyyah requires acquaintance with the Book and the authentic Sunnah and the Salafi narrations.

We know that these people and their likes, who claim that their da’wah is based on the Book and the Sunnah, do not know the principles of understanding the Book, principles which are well-known from the statements of Ibn Taymiyyah in his trestise on Usoolul-Fiqh, and the statements of the Imaams of tafseer like Ibn Jarir, Ibn Kathir and others: that the Quraan is interpreted with the Quraan, and if not then with the hadiths, and if not then with the sayings of the Companions and those after them from the Pious Predecessors.

So those who [merely] claim Salafiyyah do not tread this path in explaining the Quraan, this scholarly path, which the scholars of the Muslims have agreed upon.

Questioner: This is present among the Qutubis.

Al-Albaani: Of course, it is present. And that is why in Sayyid Qutb’s tafsir you will find some explanations which adopt the approach of those who came later who oppose the Pious Predecessors.

Thereafter I want to say that these people are not concerned about distinguishing between the authentic Sunnah and the weak, let alone the fact that they are not concerned about scrutinising the narrations of the Companion and the Pious Predecessors, [which is important] because it is these narrations which help a scholar to understand the Book and the Sunnah as we just alluded to.

From where will Salafiyyah come to them if they are far away from understanding the first foundation of Islaam, i.e., the Quraan, and far away from correct, scholarly principles, and far away from distinguishing between authentic and weak hadiths, and even more distant in examining the narrations of the Pious Predecessors, such that they can be guided through their guidance and seek light from theirs?

Thus, the issue is not to merely claim. And why do these people claim that they are Salafis? The answer is as I have mentioned in some of my previous answers: that now the Salafi call, through Allaah’s Grace, has almost covered the Islamic sphere, and it has become apparent to most of those who used to oppose it, even if only generally, that this call is that of the truth, for this reason they associate themselves to it, even though in their actions they are ever so far removed from it.

Al-Huda wan-Noor, 188.

Al-Albaani Destroys, “If You’re Not With Us, You’re Against Us.”

Here’s the PDF: IfYou’reNotWithUSYou’re AgainstUs.

Questioner: There are principles, O Shaikh, which some of the youth act upon, from these rules is, ‘Whoever does not declare a disbeliever to be a disbeliever then he is a disbeliever.  Whoever does not declare an innovator to be an innovator then he is an innovator,’ and another rule, ‘Whoever is not with us, then he is against us.’

What is your opinion about these rules, O Shaikh?

Al-Albaani: And where have these rules come from?! And who laid them down?!

This reminds me of a joke that is told in my motherland, Albania, my father, may Allaah have mercy on him, related it in a sitting. In the story he said that a scholar visited a friend of his at his house and then when he left he declared his friend to be a disbeliever.

He was asked why …

In our country we have a custom, and I think it is [something] uniform in the countries of non-Arabs, they glorify and respect, and revere the scholars with some customs and habits which differ from country to country. From these is that when a scholar enters a house, visiting someone, upon leaving his shoes are supposed to be turned around so that the scholar will not have to burden himself by turning around—he should just find the shoes are ready for him to slide his feet into.

So when this scholar visited his friend and then went to leave he found that his shoes were just as he had left them, i.e., the host had not respected the Shaikh and had just left them as they were.

So ‘the scholar’ said that this is disbelief.

Why? Because the host had not respected the scholar, and the one who has not respected a scholar has not respected knowledge, and the one who does not respect knowledge does not respect the one who brought the knowledge—and the one who brought the knowledge is Muhammad عليه السلام and he carried on in this way until he got to Jibreel and then the Lord of the Worlds, and thus the host is a kaafir.

This question [of yours], this rule [you mentioned], reminded me of this fable!

It is not a condition at all that someone who has declared a person to be a disbeliever or has established the proof against someone, that [as a result of that] all of the people have to be with him in that judgement of takfir, because he [i.e., the person’s situation] may be open to interpretation and [thus] another scholar may hold that it is not permissible to declare that individual to be a disbeliever, and the same goes for declaring someone to be a faasiq or an innovator.

This reality is from the trials of the present day, and from the hastiness of some youth who falsely claim knowledge. So the point is that this chain [of deduction] or making this binding is not incumbent at all.

This is an open/expansive issue, one scholar may hold something to be obligatory and the other may hold that it is not. And the scholars of before and those who came later never differed except due to the fact that the door of ijtihaad does not make it incumbent on others to take his opinion, ‘that others have to take his opinion.’ It is only the blind-follower [muqallid] who has no knowledge who has to blindly-follow [yuqallid].

The scholar, who sees another declare an individual to be a disbeliever, or a faasiq or an innovator, but does not agree with his opinion—it is not incumbent upon him at all to follow that [other] scholar.

And this is a calamity which, inshaa Allaah, has not spread from your country to others?

Questioner: By Allaah, O Shaikh, it is present in our country, the issue of declaring people to be innovators and declaring them to be disbelievers.

Al-Albaani: As for the Jamaa’atut-Takfeer then it is well-known that it is a group that started in Egypt and their fitnah was here in Ammaan before I settled here, i.e., about fourteen years ago. But Allaah the Mighty and Majestic guided them and they became upright on the Sunnah with us. Likewise some of them came to Damascus before I came here, and they tried to spread the fitnah of declaring other people to be disbelievers there, but again, our Lord did not give them success and they returned empty-handed. As for this misguidance, it is still present in Egypt and I fear that some of it may have reached the students of knowledge, and Allaah’s Aid is sought.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 778.

Continuing from the Same Tape | 12 | True Mujtahid Scholars who Fall into Innovations Unintentionally are Rewarded

The Meccan Man: If you allow us, as a completion of this discussion [to discuss the following example], some of the people of knowledge whose usool are correct [may] see that a certain issue is an innovation because the basis whih the ruling [he made] is dependent on is reliable in his opinion, and another scholar does not see it as such because the basis for his ruling is reliable in his opinion [too], [this could be] because of the difference [that occurs between them] in declaring a hadith to be authentic or weak or for reasons other than that, so is it possible for us to term this as, ‘interpretative innovation [bid’ah ijtihaadiyyah]?’

Al-Albaani: I previously mentioned that if a man from the people of knowledge and ijtihaad [namely, someone who comes to an Islamic ruling through his interpretation of the texts] falls into an innovation then he is not blamed due to that, just like if he were to declare something haraam to be halaal–and this is something which is even more important than innovations: maybe a scholar will declare something that Allaah has forbidden to be permissible but through ijtihaad and without intending to [make something haraam, halaal].  So do we now say that what he says is halaal is [in fact] halaal because the ruling came from a mujtahid who is qualified to make ijtihaad?  We say no, the haraam  is haraam, and the halaal is halaal–but this mujtahid scholar … and he is not rebuked for having made a mistake for he is rewarded whatever the case … but [at the same time] this does not mean that we declare his ruling to be correct while in reality it is a total mistake.

And maybe it is more pertinent for me to say that when a mujtahid scholar falls into an innovation and in doing so opposes the Sunnah without intending to, I say that he has [indeed] fallen into an innovation but that he is rewarded for what has emanated from him, because it was based upon ijtihaad.

The Meccan Man: Maybe we can say, based upon what you just stated, that there are three conditions, in fact one condition, but maybe for elaboration [we can say that]: he has to be from the people of knowledge, and from those capable of doing ijtihaad, or that he has correct usool …

 Al-Albaani: … but is not from the people of knowledge …

The Meccan Man: … or that the basis for his rulings is correct, likewise he will not be from the people of knowledge unless the basis for his rulings is correct.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 785.

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