“Imaam al-Albaani grew up in Damascus, Syria. In his youth the state the Ummah had reached alarmed and greatly disturbed him: [its] ignorance, myths/superstitions, blind following, innovations, misguidance, in fact polytheism and idol worship, and he used to renounce it. A Shaikh heard him forbidding some wrong and so said to him, ‘Haven’t you heard the hadith of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, “Leave the people in their heedlessness?”
Al-Albaani, still a youth, replied, “Who reported this hadith? And what is its grading?” The Shaikh was taken aback by this youth and was unable, naturally, to answer him.
So al-Albani went and started to delve deeply into books, checking, researching, scrutinising until Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, guided him to the hadith with its complete wording, “Leave the people to their heedlessness, they are granted provision [by Allaah] one from another,” [see here for other wordings of this hadith without the word ‘heedlessness,’ to get a clearer context of the meaning] and so he checked it and expounded upon the condition of its narrators and made known its grading.
So Shaikh al-Albaani told me one time that this was the beginning of his work in this noble [field of] knowledge.”
Written by Muhammad ibn Badee’ Musa in Al-Isaalah magazine, 23/59.