Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Tag: albaane

On Breaking An Obligatory Fast on Purpose


Questioner: Does [extra] optional fasting help someone who has broken his [obligatory] fast intentionally, since there is no proof that breaking an obligatory fast can [actually] be made up for?

Al-Albaani: There is no doubt that it will help him, just like someone who missed lots of [other] obligatory duties, compensating for what he missed by performing supererogatory prayers will help him.

There is no way for a person who breaks his [obligatory] fast on purpose to make up for it, and he is extremely sinful [for doing that] until he truly repents to Allaah عزو جل. He should [try and] offset the good deeds that he has missed out on because of breaking the fast on purpose by performing lots of supererogatory prayers until he make amends for some of what he has missed.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 19.

The Wisdom Behind Fasting


The Imaam said, “I start by opening with something appropriate to the time and place we’re in, in that we all know the Statement of Allaah تبارك و تعالى, “… decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you, that you may become righteous,” [Baqarah 2:183] you’ve heard commentary and beneficial comments concerning this verse and things connected to it many times, but I believe that you will have seldom heard commentary on its last part, “… that you may become righteous.”

Why was this fasting decreed? “That you may become righteous.” This is one of the rare verses, in fact one of the rare legislated provisions that links the legislated order with an explanation of the intended goal and the reason it was legislated.

There is a declaration here of the obligation of fasting Ramadan, and Muslims should apply themselves to adopting and implementing this order without asking why or how and so on, something which is common now in terms of questioning the legislated orders, [such that] you will often hear some people [saying], “Why this? Why that? Why this?”—we don’t approve of exhaustively searching for the wisdom behind legislation, except what has been expounded on [itself] in it, like what we’re discussing now [i.e., fasting].

“Decreed upon you is fasting,” why? He تعالى said, “… that you may become righteous,” i.e., the point of fasting is for it to be a means for the fasting person to increase his taqwa of Allaah عز وجل and for him to get closer to Him.

If he fasts but does not improve compared to how he was before, i.e., before Ramadan, then it means that this person has not accomplished the desired goal wanted from the implementation of fasting.

There are some authentic hadiths, from the Prophet ﷺ of course, which explain and confirm this objective which the verse has stated, for example, the hadith qudsi which the Prophet ﷺ relates from his Lord عز وجل, in which He said, “Whoever does not leave false speech, and acting according to it, then Allaah is not in any need of him leaving his food and his drink,” this is a very great hadith, and goes completely with the end of the verse, “… that you may become righteous.”

So, when we look at both the verse and the hadith, the aim is not—the only aim is not, and I [purposefully say] ‘the only aim’ so that some people don’t misunderstand me—the only aim for the fasting person is not to refrain from eating, drinking and intercourse based upon the fact that they are listed as things which break the fast in the Quraan and the Sunnah, (leaving aside [for now, mention of] the other things which also break it concerning which there is a big difference of opinion amongst the scholars of fiqh), the aim is not to only refrain from these things which break the fast, but rather [to be aware] that there are other obligatory things which a Muslim must stop himself from too just like he did with these things.

In light of the explanation mentioned in the verse and the clear, authentic hadith just now, I can say something to you which might be new in terms of how it’s expressed but is not new in the ahkaam because it is mentioned in the Quran and the Sunnah, this new phrasing is [concerning the fact] that the books of fiqh, without exception mention the things which break the fast, and this is something that must be done, but, to explain and clarify what was previously mentioned in the verse and the hadith, I say: those things which break the fast are of two types, and this correct division [which I am about to mention] must be rooted in everyone’s mind, because of how important it is.

The first type: the material things which break the fast, and they are the things listed in the books of fiqh as was mentioned just now.

The second type: let’s call them the abstract things which break the fast, these are the things that the verse referred to, “… that you may become righteous,” and his ﷺ statement from His Lord تبارك و تعالى clarified that, “Whoever does not leave false speech, and acting according to it, then Allaah is not in any need of him leaving his food and his drink.”

Thus, along with leaving his food, drink and intercourse, to that he must also add refraining from what Allaah عز وجل has forbidden and what He has ordered every Muslim to be far from.

From the Prophet ﷺ that he said, “Fasting is not leaving food and drink but rather fasting is refraining from what Allaah عز وجل has prohibited,” or as he ﷺ said in words of a similar meaning, and whoever wants to read these hadiths and those like it where the Prophet ﷺ warned the fasting person from committing sins and [where it shows] that this forbiddance comes under the generality of His Statement تبارك و تعالى, “… that you may become righteous,” whoever wants to read these types of hadiths should refer to At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb of al-Haafidh al-Mundhiri, may Allaah have mercy on him.

To conclude I say, fasting, in terms of how it was legislated in order for a Muslim to get closer to Allaah and increase his taqwa of Him, is just like the prayer, prayer whose only purpose is also not that a Muslim just performs its conditions, pillars and requirements, but that he should also pay heed to the purpose and wisdom due to which Allaah عز وجل  legislated five of them, day and night, on His believing servants, that is what Our Lord عز وجل alluded to in His Statement, “Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing …” [Al-Ankabut 29:45], so a Muslim’s prayer is accepted by Allaah عز وجل in accordance with how much it prevents him from immorality and wrongdoing.

The Prophet ﷺ pointed to this fact connected to prayer in an authentic hadith, where he ﷺ said, “Verily the slave prays a prayer of which nothing is written down for him …” i.e., completely, but rather it is written as deficient according to how discrepant it is, he ﷺ explained that in the rest of the hadith where he said, “Verily the slave prays a prayer of which nothing is written down for him except a tenth, a ninth, an eighth, a seventh, a sixth, a fifth, a quarter, a third or half of it,”—and he stopped here, indicating that a complete prayer is very, very rare, a Muslim is not able to perform it, the best of them is the one for whom half is written and so on until a tenth, and [even then] a tenth is only if the prayer is [actually] accepted by Allaah عز وجل, otherwise many of a person’s prayers are those which he will have his face struck with on the Day of Judgement, and refuge is sought with Allaah, and that is because the Prophet ﷺ pointed to two realities.

The first is what we have spoken about connected to fasting, and the other is connected to prayer, for he ﷺ said, “How many a fasting person there is who has nothing but hunger and thirst from his fasting,” why? Because he never stopped doing what Allaah عز وجل forbade him from, he [i.e.,, this fasting person] only restricted himself to what we [earlier] called the material things which break the fast—yet he thinks he is fasting—about such a person we say, “He fasted but didn’t fast,” he fasted in terms of refraining himself from the material things which break the fast but he didn’t [really] fast because he didn’t withhold from the abstract things which break the fast, that is why he ﷺ said, “How many a fasting person there is who gets nothing but hunger and thirst from his fast, and how many a praying person there is who gets nothing but a sleepless night and fatigue from his standing in prayer.”

So, we hope that Allaah تبارك و تعالى inspires us to refrain from both types of thing which break the fast, the material and the abstract, and that He inspires us [to perform] prayers that are accepted by Him تبارك و تعالى, prayers which prevent one from immorality and wrongdoing.”

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 692.

On Marriage


The Imaam said, “If a suitor’s uprightness in his [day to day] life is not known before he proposes, you’re going to make it a condition that he prays and gives charity [after he’s married?]! Someone greater than you, your Creator and his, [already] stipulated that condition on him—so if he’s failed to meet the provision set by the Lord of the Worlds, won’t he fail to meet one set by a humble man? For that reason, this stipulation, my brother, is ink on paper of no value.”

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 174.

How does a Husband Deal with the Differences that Occur Between His Mother and His Wife?


 

Questioner: I have a mother and she causes problems with my wife, what should I do?

Al-Albaani: I’m thinking about this question [and as to] what my answer should be—I’m not with you such that I can know how it is that you deal with your mother and how she deals with your wife, so that I can [then, based upon that] say in answer to your question that you should do such and such. I don’t know what should be done.

But maybe you can bring to mind Allaah’s Statement عز وجل, “And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, ‘My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.’” [Al-Israa 23-24]

Maybe you interact with your mother the way your Lord has decreed in this aayah?

Questioner: Oh Shaikh …

Al-Albaani: I’m asking you but you’re not answering, maybe you are doing what your Lord has decreed in this aayah?

Questioner: Yes …

Al-Albaani: So then what’s the problem?

Questioner: The problem is that she is ignorant of the legislation and opposes it in my house and with my wife, and when … I’ll give you some examples, O Shaikh …

Al-Albaani: No, we’re not in need of examples. Is she, for example, more misguided than Aazar, [Prophet] Ibrahim’s father?

Questioner: I don’t know that story well, O Shaikh.

Al-Albaani: Don’t you know that Ibrahim عليه السلام was the Khaleel of Ar-Rahmaan, and his father was a polytheist, and in the Quraan it mentions that he would [yet still] always admonish him by saying, “O my father! O my father! O my father!” “O my father! Do not worship the Devil!” [Maryam: 44]. So he was always gentle with him even though he was a polytheist—and no matter how ignorant, as you said, your mother is, she still, inshaa Allaah, is not a polytheist, so it is important that you are gentle in dealing with her, this is from one angle.

On the other hand concerning your wife, is she righteous, inshaa Allaah, and listens to what you say and obeys you?

Questioner: This is the other problem, she is also ignorant of some of the legislation.

Al-Albaani: Then how do you want me to give you an answer to a problem which is sitting between two? The first is to do with your mother and the other is connected to your wife—you find a solution to it according to what the legislation and sound reasoning together dictate.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 437.

On Only Turning Your Head When You Give Salaam in the Prayer, Not Your Shoulders and Body


The Imaam said to a person who had been praying next to him, “When you want to give salaam [to end the prayer] don’t trouble yourself, moving your shoulders right and left, stay as you are [i.e., keep your shoulders as they are and just turn your head not your body], you will trouble yourself like that—and I don’t want you to be troubled, doing so is burdening yourself unnecessarily, may Allaah bless you.”

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, no. 397.

An Easy Way to Keep Devils Out of Your House by Reciting Two Blessed, Ancient Verses


An-Nu’maan ibn Bashir narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Indeed Allaah wrote a Book two thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth, He sent down two aayahs from it with which He ended Surah al-Baqarah—if they are recited for three nights in a home, no Shaitaan shall come near it.”

Saheeh at-Targheeb, no. 1476, al-Albaani said, “Saheeh.” [Translation taken from English translation of Al-Tirmidhi, slightly edited.]

The two verses are:

ءَامَنَ ٱلرَّسُولُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡهِ مِن رَّبِّهِۦ وَٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَۚ كُلٌّ ءَامَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَمَلَٰٓئِكَتِهِۦ وَكُتُبِهِۦ وَرُسُلِهِۦ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيۡنَ أَحَدٖ مِّن رُّسُلِهِۦۚ وَقَالُواْ سَمِعۡنَا وَأَطَعۡنَاۖ غُفۡرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيۡكَ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ

‘Āmanar-Rasūlu bimā ‘unzila ‘ilayhi mir-rabbihi wal-Mu’uminūna ۚ kullun ‘Āmana billāhi wa Malā’ikatihi wa Kutubihi wa Rusulihi Lā nufarriqu baina ‘aĥadin mir-Rusulihi ۚ wa qālū sami`nā wa ‘Aţa`nā ۖ  Ghufrānaka Rabbanā wa ‘ilaikal-Maşīr.

“The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. They say, “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers.” And they say, “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your Forgiveness, Our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).””

لَا يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفۡسًا إِلَّا وُسۡعَهَاۚ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتۡ وَعَلَيۡهَا مَا ٱكۡتَسَبَتۡۗ
رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذۡنَآ إِن نَّسِينَآ أَوۡ أَخۡطَأۡنَاۚ
رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحۡمِلۡ عَلَيۡنَآ إِصۡرٗا كَمَا حَمَلۡتَهُۥ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِنَاۚ
رَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلۡنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِۦۖ
وَٱعۡفُ عَنَّا وَٱغۡفِرۡ لَنَا وَٱرۡحَمۡنَآۚ أَنتَ مَوۡلَىٰنَا فَٱنصُرۡنَا عَلَى ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلۡكَٰفِرِينَ

Lā yukallifullāhu nafsan ‘illā wus`ahā ۚ Lahā mā kasabat wa `alaihā maktasabat ۗ
Rabbanā lā tu’uākhidhnā ‘in-nasīnā ‘aw ‘akhţa’nā ۚ
Rabbanā wa lā taĥmil `alainā ‘işran kamā ĥamaltahu `alalladhīna min qablinā ۚ
Rabbanā wa lā tuĥammilnā mā lā ţāqata lanā bihi ۖ
Wa`fu `annā waghfir lanā warĥamnā ۚ ‘Anta mawlānā fānşurnā `alal-qawmil-kāfirīn.

“Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error. Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us. Our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Protector! And give us victory over the disbelieving people.””

Is This The Time Being Referred To?


Al-Albaani gave the following title for the hadith below, “Is this the time the hadith is referring to?”

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Indeed, today you are in a time whose scholars are many, whose preachers are few, whoever leaves a tenth of what he knows has followed his desires. Later a time will come whose preachers are many, whose scholars are few—whoever holds firmly to a tenth of what he knows is saved.”

Silsilah, no. 2510.

Al-Albaani On Whether Long Fasting Hours Should Be Shortened


Questioner: The Muslims in Sweden, a European country, in Ramadaan they have only three hours to eat after opening their fast, i.e., the sun sets at ten o’clock and rises at one.

Al-Albaani: Where?

Questioner: In Sweden.

Al-Albaani: In Sweden, yes.

Questioner: Yes there are Muslims …

Al-Albaani: Yes … yes ma’roof.

Questioner: They only have three hours during which to eat, and they fast for twenty-one, so they find it difficult. One brother told me that some people gave them a fatwa that they can start and break the fast according to the time in Makkah, so this fatwa ya’ni

Al-Albaani: I don’t hold … I don’t hold this fatwa to be correct. Since we can flip the situation and say that a season will come where the situation will be the opposite, where they will fast for three hours or thereabouts and they will be able to eat for the remainder of those twenty four hours, clear?

Questioner: I don’t think …

Al-Albaani: Have you studied any geography?

Questioner: No, only a little.

Al-Abaani: Do you know that the sun, ya’ni, is hidden in the North Pole for half the year such that they don’t see it, and in the other half it’s the opposite of that totally, are you aware of that or not?

Questioner: My hold on geography [is weak], O Shaikh.

Al-Albaani:  So you don’t know that, it is something well-known.

Questioner: Yes.

Al-Albaani: And [then] between this and that [i.e., between the North and South poles] you have seasons in those countries, ya’ni, in the two poles you have night for half the year and day for half, [it is] in such a situation [that] the question as to what should be done is posed.

But those who are closer to us, [closer] to the equator, the closer they get to us the more uniform time becomes for them, you know that at the equator day and night are totally equal?

Questioner: Yes.

Al-Albaani: Yes, but it changes totally the higher or lower you go, so that you get a period in those countries where instead of the twenty or twenty-one hours they fast and the three hours they can eat, about half a year later it’s the total opposite of that.

That’s why I say to them your account is being accumulated in terms of what is coming [i.e., a time will come when your fast will be very short], and I do not give them a fatwa that they should fast according to [the timings of] their neighbouring countries, because the [following] aayahs apply to them: And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night], [Baqarah 2:187] in contrast to those we told you about in the North Pole who do not see the sun at all, there is no morning, no ’ishaa, nothing, [it is] these people [who] estimate the value as has been clearly stated in the authentic hadith about the Dajjaal in which the Prophet ﷺ upon informing his Companions that the Dajjaal would be there for how many days? Thirty or forty?

Questioner: Forty.

Someone else: Forty days.

Al-Albaani: Forty days. One of his days will equal a year, the next a month, the third a week and the rest will be like these days of yours. The question arose as to how they should pray [during that time]? He said, “You must make an estimate of its extent.”

So, making an estimate in that long year, what will the Muslims want to base that estimate on? On what they were accustomed to.

Now with the presence of watches it is very easy for them to estimate … if we supposed that the Muslims had a year-long dark night such that day and night were combined [into one], which happens at the two poles as we mentioned, in such an instance they have to make an estimate.

As for every country in which the sun can be seen setting and rising, and what that results in in terms of fajr­—then these people have to fast even if the duration of the fast seems long to them, and our Lord عز وجل says in the Noble Quran: And if Allaah had willed, He could have put you in difficulty, [Baqarah: 2:220] [but] He didn’t will difficulty for us, alhamdulillaah.

If such a situation does occur in some countries then soon enough they will get copious amounts of ease in place of that increased discomfort [when the day becomes short and their fasting becomes easier].

This is my answer and it is correct, inshaa Allaah.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 237.

See part two here.

The Fast of ’Aashuraa and Responding to an Invite


Questioner: Ustaadh, supposing that it’s ’Aashuraa, the fast of [the Day of] ’Aashuraa, and a person close to you has called you over for lunch, if you don’t go, he’ll get upset, so should you take up his invite or complete your fast?

Al-Albaani: If you don’t go he’ll get upset?

Questioner: He’ll get upset.

Al-Albaani: Go, but if there’s no harm [in not going] and he won’t get upset then he supplicates for him and completes his fast.

Questioner: So ’Aashuraa is like other optional acts of worship.

Al-Albaani: Optional, but it has special merit.

Questioner: Responding to an invite is regarded as being obligatory?

Al-Albaani: Yes.

Questioner: When a Muslim invites you then you must respond to his invitation, so the thing which is obligatory is given precedence over that which is optional.

Al-Albaani: That’s it, but if he accepts the excuse then he supplicates for him and asks Allaah to forgive him, if he doesn’t accept [his refusal] then he goes.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 25/2.

Giving Reminders Between the Rak’ahs in Taraweeh in Ramadaan


Questioner: Is it allowed for the Imaam of a mosque or a daa’ee, who leads the people in the mosque for taraweeh … between the rak’ahs there’s a break in which he reminds them of certain issues, for example, about performing the prayer well and following the Prophet , and alerts them to certain innovations or acts of shirk, yes, alerts them [to such things], ya’nee?

Al-Albaani: The answer is that it is [both] permissible and not permissible: if he is alerting or warning them, ordering or prohibiting them about something incidental then it is a must.

As for making it something structured and customary, [where] between every four rak’ahs, for example, or more or less than that, the Imaam gives a lecture, then this is in opposition to the Sunnah.

If it is about something unexpected then it is waajib to alert them about it, as for taking that to be something structured, then the taraweeh prayer is an unmixed act of worship in which the Muslim turns to Allaah عز وجل with all his limbs, core, mind and heart, this is the goal of the qiyaam in Ramadaan.

As for having sittings between two or four rak’ahs as something structured, then that was not from the Prophet’s guidance .

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 656.

On Taking Children to the Mosque


 

Questioner: O Shaikh of ours, if you would … sometimes, maybe a small [child] who has not reached an age where he can differentiate [between right and wrong], asks to go to the mosque to pray, what is the ruling? Does the father allow him since he has not reached the age where he can yet differentiate? [Does] he allow him to pray, to go to the mosque with him?

Al-Albaani: I thought you were going to ask [whether] it’s allowed for the father to take him without him having asked.

Questioner: No, in my opinion he doesn’t take him with him since he hasn’t turned seven yet …

Al-Albaani: I thought you were saying: is it allowed for the father to take his son to the mosque without the son having asked to go. What do you think, is it allowed or not?

Questioner: In order to pray or just to go to the mosque?

Al-Albaani: [Choose] whichever one you like.

Questioner: … if it’s to pray … something else …

Al-Albaani: Isn’t him going to the mosque to pray more fitting than anything else?

Questioner: [If he’s] less than seven …

Al-Albaani: This is what we’re discussing.

Questioner: Yes.

Al-Albaani: You know, O Ustaadh, that the early Salaf, at the head of whom was our Prophet , used to allow their children to enter his mosque .

And you’ll remember the story which one of the Companions narrated, [in which he stated] that one day he was praying ’Asr behind the Prophet , and the Messenger of Allaah prolonged the prostration during some of it, prolonging it to an extent which was not customary, so this Companion raises his head to make sure his Prophet is okay, he feared that he may have passed away—when to his surprise he sees a strange sight, he sees him in prostration, and al-Hasan and al-Hussain … so the Companion feels at ease [that the Prophet is okay] and falls back into prostration.

After he gave salaam to end the prayer, they said to him, ‘O Messenger of Allaah! You prostrated in the prayer and prolonged it …’ so he said, ‘My son was riding on my back and I did not want to disturb him …’ this boy went to the mosque for the prayer, he was, as you said, not at an age where he was able to differentiate—reminding those who pray, whether men or women, not to bring their children with them to the mosque, was not part of his guidance.

In fact, he used to endorse them doing that in opposition to the well-known hadith whose chain of narration is not authentic, ‘Keep your infants, your insane, your evil ones and your buying and selling away from your mosques …’, even though the last part of the hadith is authentic, proven to be so by other authentic hadiths, as is not hidden from you, inshaa Allaah.

The point being, he never used to prevent them [from bringing their children to the mosque], in fact, he used to endorse it, in fact, he had a ruling specific to it: [where] he took into consideration the feelings of the mothers who used to pray behind him in salaah, and whose children were crying, the Prophet [even] while he was calling upon his Lord, would take note of the fact that there was a woman praying who had her child with her, and so, ‘I stand in prayer, then I hear a child crying, so I make my prayer brief because I do not want to cause hardship for his mother.’

Thus, he would shorten the lengthy recitation, which was a habit of his , in order to free up a mother for her child. He could have done the same as many of the ignorant Imaams do and have said, ‘Why do you bring your children to the mosque, disturbing us?’ and so on—he did nothing of the sort.

So based upon this, it’s more fitting that a child, if he were raised with an Islamic upbringing, and then longs to go to the mosque, even if it were [just] to play, even if it were [just] to play, if he asks to go with his father to the mosque then the father should fulfill his request, since it will get him used to going to the best of all places, [the place] about which the Prophet was asked [the following question]: ‘What is the best of all places and the worst?’ and so he answered, ‘The best of all places are the mosques, and the worst are the markets.’

So if a child was raised like that, and then wants to go to the mosque instead of the streets or alleys, then this is a blessing and very pleasing news.

So the father, in fact, the mother, should take advantage of this phenomenon and facilitate the way for him to go to the mosque. Thereafter if he, and there is no doubt that this will happen, does something while playing or having fun which is not becoming in the mosque—and what play do you want which is greater than the Chief of Mankind being taken as something to [climb and] ride on [as al-Hasan and al-Hussain did]—and even then he didn’t rebuke him, in fact he carried out a ruling specific to it [i.e., he prolonged the prostration], just like he had there [in that other instance I mentioned, when he shortened the prayer upon hearing a child cry, out of concern for the mother].

If this were done today there would be shouting from all corners of the mosques, ‘You made the prayer too long for us, O Shaikh … the boy, why did you bring the boy [to the mosque]?’

They don’t know the guidance of the Prophet , they don’t know his kindness and compassion for his Ummah, and Allaah spoke the truth when He said, ‘… for the believers [he is] full of pity, kind, and merciful.’ [Tawbah 9:128]

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 668.

On Giving Salaam When Entering the Mosque


Questioner: [When someone enters the mosque does he give salaam to the people around him only or should he raise his voice] so that everyone can hear him?

Al-Albaani: I hold the first situation [to be correct], because the basic principle regarding someone who enters the mosque is that he does not disturb anyone, so if he must give salaam—and [indeed] he must—then to those around him.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 250.

Reading Witr After Fajr


The Imaam said, “Someone who falls asleep or who forgets [to pray witr] can pray it after Fajr, i.e., [he prays it] at the time he remembers it. As for someone who knows, then the time for his witr ends with the appearance of fajr, and this is obvious and clear.”

Irwaa al-Ghaleel, under hadith no. 422.

On Trimming What is in Excess of a Fistful from the Beard


 

Questioner: We’re aware that there are­­ detailed hadiths which have been reported concerning letting the beard flow, and what is apparent from them is that they are an order [to do so] and an obligation, and we know the hadith of ’Abdullah Ibn ’Umar [where it is stated], ‘… that when he would perform Hajj or ’Umrah he would trim some of his beard,’ so is this a proof for the permissibility of trimming the beard, whether that be more than a fistful or from either side?

Al-Albaani: This issue has no connection as to whether it is obligatory to let the beard flow or not, but rather as to whether it is allowed to trim the beard [in the first place] or not, correct?

Questioner: Yes.

Al-Albaani: The narration of Ibn ’Umar, if you are holding on to it [specifically] in connection with him [trimming his beard while] being on Hajj or ’Umrah, then that has an answer [specific to it], but if you are not holding on to that narration regarding that, then there is an answer for that [too], which of the two aspects do you mean?

Questioner: The aspect … he said, ‘… when he would perform Hajj or ’Umrah …’

Al-Albaani: Okay, if this restriction, ‘… when he would perform Hajj or ’Umrah …,’ is taken away, does the topic [at hand] change in your view?

Questioner: As long as there is no other proof, yes, the topic changes in my view.

Al-Albaani: Ya’nee, if it is established that Ibn ’Umar used to trim his beard even when not on Hajj or ’Umrah, ya’nee, the problem is over? I don’t think so [i.e., that should be the end of the argument but I don’t think that that will be the case with you].

Questioner: The problem wouldn’t be over for me, O Shaikh!

Al-Albaani: That’s what I thought, even though that was what you were talking about.

Questioner: Yes, O Shaikh.

Al-Albaani: Okay, so, for the sake of benefit, I say: it has been established [both that he trimmed his beard] with the restriction [of him doing so on Hajj or ’Umrah] and generally, i.e., he used to trim his beard when on Hajj or ’Umrah and also when not on Hajj or ’Umrah, what I understand from you is that it is as though you want to say: is it allowed to curtail the general order of the Prophet to let one’s beard flow based upon the unrestricted action of Ibn ’Umar or [in other words] without [restricting it only to] Hajj and ’Umrah, I think that is what your question is, isn’t it?

Questioner: Yes, that is my question [now], initially though it was about the restriction [of doing it during Hajj or ‘Umrah.]

Al-Abaani: Yes, for that reason here is a quick benefit [I will mention to you], it has been reported with the check [that it was done during Hajj or ’Umrah] and it has been reported without that restriction too. So it has been reported from Ibn ’Umar that he would do that during Hajj or ’Umrah and also when not on Hajj or ’Umrah.

And take as another point of benefit that it has been reported from others apart from Ibn ’Umar too, yes, and this is something which in reality has remained hidden from many of the people of knowledge and excellence, and for that reason they forbid practising people from cutting their beards since they want to stop at the general meaning given in the text, “Trim the moustache and let the beard grow,” and this is [in fact] the [foundational] principle, i.e., that a Muslim stops at a general or unrestricted text, and does act contrary to it by using a restriction or limit [to its generality] except with a proof.

So now, I hold that the proof is on our side in terms of restricting it, and [through] the action of Ibn ’Umar, and not specifically that he did it during Hajj or ’Umrah, even though this helps us along half the way, since those who say that the order [in the hadith] is to be carried out in its generality and unreservedly do not [even] allow one to trim one’s beard whether during Hajj or ’Umrah, [is that] clear?

So I say, Ibn ’Umar’s action here is a proof, and that is due to the following:

To understand the restriction [given to the general meaning of the hadith] by Ibn ’Umar’s رضي الله عنه action we have to bring to mind a reality that is connected to the aforementioned hadith, “Trim the moustache and let the beard grow,” [and that reality is] that Ibn ’Umar is one of its narrators. And here a fiqh principle comes in to play which the people of knowledge point out on numerous occasions when they debate with each other in matters in which they differ, they say, ‘The narrator [of a hadith] knows more about what he is narrating than others,’ and this is a sound statement, taken from some hadiths, such as his saying ﷺ, ‘An eyewitness sees what someone who is absent doesn’t,’ and there is another narration [which states], ‘Being informed is not like seeing [for yourself].’

And the reason for this hadith is that the Prophet ﷺ related the story of Musaa ﷺ and his brother Haaroon on one hand and the people on the other, that when he went to consult his Lord تبارك وتعالى, and left his brother in charge of the Jews and the Children of Israel, they made a calf, an image having a lowing sound, so when Musaa came back and he told him of the news, the vigilant sense of religious honour didn’t overcome him until he saw [what had happened], and when he did so he ﷺ said, ‘Being informed is not like seeing [for yourself],’ and this is true, self-evident, natural, and well known amongst people practically and through experience.

So when this is the case, Ibn ’Umar, as we all know, lived with the Prophet ﷺ for years and he heard this hadith from him. So in my opinion if Ibn ’Umar knew by seeing him ﷺ that he never trimmed his beard at all, it would be impossible that Ibn ’Umar would take a single hair from it, due to it being known that he was the most avid of the Companions in following him ﷺ, even in some issues which other people may reproach him for, and I think this is something you are all aware of.

So if a glorious Companion, part of whose biography I just mentioned now, someone who was the most eager of the Companions in emulating the Prophet ﷺ—if he didn’t see or hear something from him ﷺ which at the very least would have opened the way for him to trim it, he never would have done so, is that clear?

If we add to that the fact that some of the Salaf like Abu Hurairah, Ibrahim an-Nakha’i and so on, used to do that too, [they] used to trim their beards, and then add to that those who, I don’t say I know … but those who use the general meaning of the hadith, saying, ‘No one reported from any one of the Companions that they used to trim their beards,’ [in reply] to them we say, ‘No, they did, and those who did so are so and so and so and so and so and so,’ they now have to prove the opposite to us, and that is, as the Arabs say, nigh on impossible [the Shaikh used an Arabic proverb here: دون خرط القتاد—‘Before one can attain it, he has to strip the tragacanth of its leaves by grasping each branch and drawing his hand down it: i.e., he has to perform what will be extremely difficult if not impossible.’]. [And] what is the opposite [which they must prove]? That they never used to trim it, all they have is the absence of knowledge, and the people of knowledge have a very sound statement which they make, ‘The absence of the knowledge of something does not necessarily equate to its non-existence.’

So the fact that I, Zaid, Bakr and ’Amr don’t know any one of the Companions who used to trim his beard doesn’t mean that none of the Companions [actually] did, this is not knowledge this is ignorance, [since] it could [either] be this or that, but one of these two possibilities has [actually] been reported as we just mentioned from Ibn ’Umar, Abu Hurairah and others from the Pious Predecessors.

And I recall that Ibrahim an-Nakha’i relates, and as we know Ibrahim was one of the Taabi’in, he related that they used to trim their beards—and this is a very important narration [in this issue].

Based upon this we are able to say that the Prophet’s ﷺ order to let the beard flow is not unrestricted and all-encompassing, because it has been practically established by those who carry weight in both knowledge and in their following that they did not implement this hadith unrestrictedly.

Through this example and others I stated in many pieces of research, and this [point] is, in fact, a very important knowledge based principle, whoever understands it will have comprehended tens of issues which [people’s] minds err in correctly grasping, in terms of whether or not they are allowed in the legislation, so I say: ‘It is not allowed to act upon the general meaning of every general text which was not acted upon in a general manner.’ Is this statement clear or not?

It will not be hidden from all that there are many parts to a general text, so then [a person] wants to use this general text to prove one of those parts, because it is either forbidden or legislated by way of what? [By way of that] text which is general in meaning—so coming to such a conclusion based on a general text is not allowed in many instances when using it to come to that conclusion includes a part which was acted upon or not acted upon, it is in light of this that we should use the general [meaning] as a proof or [conversely] not use the general [meaning] as a proof, which is the case in point at the moment.

And we are able to bring other examples, some of which take place in our lives nowadays, and others which [do not take place in our lives nowadays but which] we give to serve as an example in order to clarify this principle.

An example before us is this general order, “Trim the moustache and let the beard grow,” which is used to show that it is not allowed to trim it at all, but through practical examples we were shown that it was, so: we do not take this general ruling because that which opposes it has been established, i.e., trimming [what exceeds a fistful].

Sometimes you have the total opposite: a general order is used to show the legislative legitimacy of a particular act of worship, an act of worship which has not been relayed to us from the people of worship of old and so [in such a situation] it is not correct to use the generality of the text to come to that conclusion, for if we did we would have agreed with all of the innovations that innovators do, since any innovation on the face of the earth—especially if it is categorised according to what Imaam Ash-Shaatibi calls additional/secondary innovations [al-bid’ah al-idaafiyyah]—it is not possible except that this innovation will have a proof from the Book and the Sunnah, yet along with that we [still] say that it is an innovation.

Now I will bring you a practical example and another which I will make up in order to make this principle understood. You all know, since you’ve performed Hajj and ’Umrah many times, that there are many worshippers, [there] and here too, who we now see placing their right hand on the left after raising their heads from rukoo’, [is that] clear? This holding of the hands after rukoo’ which some Shaikhs who have their standing in knowledge do, what is their proof? A general text, they in no way at all have a hadith [which states] that when the Prophet ﷺ would raise his head from rukoo’ he would place his right hand over his left in prayer, there is no such hadith at all, there is however a general hadith, ‘When he would stand for prayer, Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ would place his right hand over his left,’ [so] they said, ‘… stand in prayer …’ this includes the first standing, the second, [in fact] any standing which is after the rukoo’—this is where a general text has been used to come to a conclusion, likewise, for example, other hadiths [general in nature which they use as proofs], that, ‘We, the company of prophets, have been commanded with three things …’ one of which was, ‘… and to place our right arms on our left arms during prayer.’ They said: this is unrestricted and so includes the first time one stands and the second time after the rukoo’.

We hold that this conclusion is very weak, why? Because this was either carried out practically by the Salaf, at the head of whom is Muhammad ﷺ, or it was not. The person who claims that it was done practically is like those who use a general text as a proof: they have to establish that the Prophet put his hand on his chest after raising his head from rukoo‘—and no such text exists at all.

Those who do not do that do not need to establish that he didn’t do it, why? Because acts of worship are restricted, ‘I have not left anything which will bring you closer to Allaah except that I have ordered you with it,’ so if the Prophet ﷺ put his hands there in this place it would have been relayed to us just as it was concerning the first place … if the Prophet ﷺ used to put his hands there in the second place it would have been reported to us just as putting the hands there in the first standing was, so if placing the hands there in the second standing was not transmitted then this is a practical proof which the Muslims carried out [showing] that the Prophet ﷺ never used to do it.

So using general proofs to come to conclusions, whether they are sayings of the Prophet, which are [obviously] strongest [in establishing proof], or statements of the Companions, which are less [authoritative than the statements of the Prophet ﷺ], since the statements of the Prophet ﷺ are more precise and definitive than that of a Companion … … this is a clear example of what we were explaining, or does anyone have a question or something they are unclear about before we move on to the next example … yes?

Questioner: Regarding how much is to be trimmed, he limits himself to what is in excess of a fistful?

Al-Albaani: Yes, when he holds his beard, whatever is under the fistful, those hairs, it is permissible for him to cut them.

Questioner: From both sides?

Al-Albaani: From both sides if they are more than a fistful. Maybe someone has another question too?

Questioner: Others apart from Ibn ’Umar narrated [this hadith], they never limited it to a fistful or anything else, so is it allowed for us to trim even more than a fistful or do we restrict ourselves to what Ibn ’Umar did?

Al-Albaani: No, we stop at what Ibn ’Umar did, because he has a distinction which is that he is the narrator of the hadith.

Questioner: This is a strong principle, Shaikh.

Al-Albaani: Yes, I’ll give you an example which will make the issue even clearer. Many times on such occasions I say: if a group of people entered a mosque at dhuhr or ’Asr time, and they wanted to pray the Sunnahs that are prayed before these prayers, that which occurs today and which is correct is that each person will pray the Sunnahs in a spot on their own.

So if someone [now went and] had an idea, upon seeing this group of people entering the mosque and praying on their own [he thinks]: why [is each one praying] alone? ‘Come together, Yaa Jamaa’ah, why have we split our prayer up when the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Allaah’s Hand is over the Jamaa’ah,’ and, ‘The congregational prayer is more superior to that of a person praying on his own …’’ to the end of the hadith, ‘… and he ﷺ said, ‘A man’s prayer with another man is greater in reward than his prayer alone. And a man’s prayer with two other men is greater in reward than his prayer with one other man …’’ and so on, ‘… Come and let’s pray together as a Jamaa’ah,’—would you say this Jamaa’ah is legislated or not? All of you in unison will say, ‘No, it isn’t.’ Okay, is there a [textual] prohibition against this prayer? There isn’t, there isn’t a prohibition, the Prophet ﷺ didn’t say, ‘Do not pray the Sunnahs in Jamaa’ah.’

But I will say, I will say in my own particular way: the Prophet ﷺ did prohibit it. But the common folk don’t share in understanding this prohibition, in fact, not all of the elite [i.e., scholars etc.] share in understanding it, only some to the exclusion of others.

And it is from here that the discord concerning good and bad bid’ahs came about, because those who say that there is [such a thing as] a good bid’ah understood the [following] statement of the Prophet ﷺ, ‘Every innovation is misguidance, and all misguidance is in the Fire,’ to mean that it is restricted: i.e., [they incorrectly understood that the statement is not general but restricted and means] that not every bid’ah is misguidance.

Ya’nee, this is one of the strangest areas of discord that has arisen in the Ummah. So we are [from] those whom Allaah has helped, through His Grace and Mercy, to understand this most great principle which the Prophet ﷺ laid down in general gatherings, in his sermons on Fridays and elsewhere, saying, ‘And every innovation is misguidance, and all misguidance is in the Fire,’ we have understood this to be unrestricted and all-encompassing.

When a person comes to us with the example I just gave to you now, ‘Come and let’s pray [the Sunnah prayers] together in congregation,’ this goes with [i.e., deceives] the people of innovation, ‘Why, Yaa akhee, do you criticise us? Allaah said, ‘… ask [Allaah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allaah to grant him] peace,’ don’t they disapprove of us like that?

So this example which I gave to you just now deceives those people who did now ground themselves on this great principle, ‘And every innovation is misguidance, and all misguidance is in the Fire,’ as for us then the issue is not dubious to us, and all praise is due to Allaah, [for] we say that praying Sunnahs in congregation is an innovation.

Okay, going back to our previous question [about praying the Sunnahs before an obligatory prayer in Jamaa’ah], is there a prohibition concerning it? There isn’t, there isn’t a prohibition concerning it as they understand or as they want, but his statement ﷺ is enough for us, ‘And every innovation is misguidance, and all misguidance is in the Fire,’ and the hadiths in this regard are well-known.

Thus, in the same way in which we reproved this [praying of the Sunnahs in] Jamaa’ah, the proofs for which were [those] general [hadiths], [in the same way] we say: this act of worship, if, in fact, it was an act of worship, the Salaf would have preceded us in it, just as we were saying that if placing the hands [on the chest] in the second standing were legislated and if the general proofs which they use included [placing the hands on the chest in] this place [then the Salaf would have preceded us in it], so when they didn’t our answer and stance is just like our statement concerning praying the Sunnahs in congregation, i.e., if that were included in the general proofs, they would have carried that out, clear?

Thus, ‘… let the beard grow …,’ this is a general text—but was implementation of this general text carried out? The answer is no. Why? Because we have textual evidence from the Salaf while [at the same time] not having that which opposes them. So the deduction that cutting what is in excess of a fistful is permissible stands correct for us through the proof of the narrator of the hadith, Ibn ’Umar and whoever from the Salaf followed him in that.

And [all] praise is [due] to Allaah, Lord of the worlds.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 267.

Do This and Allaah will Build a House for You in Paradise


 

The Imaam said, “The Merit of Filling the Gaps in the Rows [for Prayer]:

The Prophet said, ‘Whoever fills a gap, Allaah will build a house for him in Paradise and raise him one degree in status thereby.’” [Saheeh]

As-Silsilah as-Saheehah, 4/515. 

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