Dr. Abdul-Aziz continues, “In the sittings of Shaikh al-Albaani, at some of which I was present, you would feel the veneration of the Sunnah, let alone the delight the listeners would feel at the mention of the names of the narrators of hadiths and the authors of the works of hadith, [along with] a mention of some of the well-known works of the books of the Sunnah and the names of the books of narrators and the defects found in hadith.
I have never seen or felt the likes of such gatherings, in my experience, except in the sittings with Shaikh Ibn Baaz.
And one of the things I remember from Shaikh al-Albaani’s gatherings is the fact that he would always touch upon the situation of the Muslims and [mention] that the reason for their splitting and many differences was their distance from the methodology of the Pious Predecessors; and that the callers to rectification bear a great burden due to their neglecting the need to pay attention to rectifying what they are able to from the creed of many of their people which has been polluted by verbal statements and actions damaging to the creed.
And I heard him directly, just as I have heard it on more than one occasion on audio cassettes, express sorrow and grief at those who have been set up by the people as callers to Allaah but who then paint certain innovations with the colour of the Sharee’ah, either due to ignorance or due to their imitating those they blindly follow.
And the Shaikh, may Allaah have mercy on him, had an amazing ability to absorb and respond calmly to overzealous zeal.
One of them would come to him, impassioned for a particular notion, having introduced it with an opening comprised of Quranic and Prophetic texts, no sooner would he finish speaking than the Shaikh would surprise him with a question, followed by another, quoting things related to the question itself, all of this with calm and tranquillity. Then he would start to give and take with the questioner, discussing, and it would only be a mere hour and that fervour would disappear.
The point I want to make from [all] this is [to demonstrate] the effect of knowledge in taming inflamed emotions and passions and [to show] how a scholar listens to them magnanimously in such a way that once they have unloaded their burdened souls, he cures those wrought up emotions with kindness and unhurriedness.
If it were not for the Grace of Allaah the Most High and then the forbearance of the Shaikh and his lenience in answering, those stirred up emotions would have turned into a raging tempest.
That which I noticed about Shaikh al-Albaani, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on him, was his endurance during discussions in a good-hearted manner, which would be intermitted with joking sometimes, and [such joking] would mainly occur when the Shaikh would have cornered the disputant on a particular premise, so when that person would begin to stutter in his counter answer, the Shaikh would throw a joke at him or a Syrian proverb relevant to the situation, and so everyone present would be engulfed in a friendly and cheerful atmosphere.
And in that respect it is appropriate to mention that I read a description of Yusuf the son of Imaam Ibn al-Jawzi when he would debate, and I saw that Shaikh al-Albaani was the most worthy of the scholars [in resembling this characterstic from those] who I had compared to this description; I saw the report I am referring to in Dhail Tabaqaat al-Hanaabilah and a summary of it is that: Yusuf the son of Imaam Ibn al-Jawzi would not move a limb when debating.
Part of another description of Shaikh al-Albaani has already preceded, for in the book just quoted from [above there occurs], ‘Abdullaah ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Qudaamah would not debate anyone except that he would be smiling. So much so that some people said, ‘This Shaikh kills off his opponent with his smile.’’
I visited him a month before his death in his house in Amman which was in the Hamlaan district, on ShahrZaad street.
His body had become weak due to his illness and I said to him while holding his hand, ‘O Shaikh, receive the glad tidings, for you are upon good.
Those who love you are many, as are those who supplicate for you, and Allaah the Most High has caused there to be [great] benefit through your books which have spread across the world.’
So he mustered up his strength and raised his left hand putting my hand between his and squeezed them lightly–and the signs of weakness were so clearly visible on him–and then in a frail voice, said, ‘Jazaakallaahu khairaa.’
And then I left.
When I was in Shaikh Muhammad Ibrahim Shaqrah’s house in Ammaan, he said that, ‘One of them had seen a dream where two stars had shot down from the sky. One of them fell to the earth and caused a terrifying boom. The other almost reached the earth but stopped [just before it].’
I interpreted it to mean the death of two great men.
Muhammad Shaqrah said, ‘Some time after the dream, news reached us of the death of Shaikh Ibn Baaz so I said, ‘From what someone who loved the Shaikh said, I understood that he expected al-Albaani to be the second star.’
I say: And that is not far-fetched, for Shaikh al-Albaani passed away a few months after Shaikh Ibn Baaz. Shaikh Ibn Baaz passed away at Fajr time on Thursday, 25/1/1420 and Shaikh al-Albaani at Asr time on Saturday, 23/6/1420.
May Allaah the Most High have mercy on both Imaams, and gather us and them in the Highest Firdous, aameen.”
Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Duroos, wa Mawaaqif, wa Ibar, of Abdul-Aziz ibn Muhammad Abdullaah as-Sadhaan, pp. 306-310.