Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Tag: biography

Al-Albaani’s Goal in Life


 

The Imaam said, “And in reality, my entire goal in this life–after carrying out the obligatory duties and rights that Allaah has made incumbent upon me–is but to acquaint the Muslims with the accurate biography [seerah] of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم from every aspect as far as I am able, by teaching [them], lecturing and writing, and to urge them to take him as the definitive example for themselves, as Allaah the Most High has asked them to, as occurs in His Saying:

“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allaah an excellent example for anyone whose hope is in Allaah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allaah much.” [Al-Ahzaab 33:21]

And in that lies their happiness in this world and the Hereafter.”

Bidaayatus-Sool fi Tafdeelir-Rasool, p. 7.

Al-Albaani as I knew Him | End


 

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.

Al-Albaani as I knew Him | 1


 

Dr. Abdul-Aziz as-Sadhaan, said, “The first time he was mentioned before me was when I was leaving the Imaam Turki ibn Abdullaah Jaami Mosque from the north door in the year 1397ah [1977] or just before that, after having listened to a lecture of Shaikh Ibn Baaz, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on him.

Some of the people I was with were talking about Shaikh Ibn Baaz and the extensiveness of his knowledge, then they went on to talk about the care he paid to hadith when one of them said, “And likewise Shaikh al-Albaani is also a well-known scholar of hadith.”

When I heard his name and that he was from Syria I asked them about him so they replied saying that he has books about hadith and that he devotes his attention to the authentic [from them], clarifying those that are weak.

When I travelled with some of them to Medinah I heard that al-Albaani would be present in a house known as, ‘The house of the brothers,’ so we went there, those of us who had come from Riyadh, and entered that house.

We found a crowded group of people there, some of whom were wearing a turban, others a white and red scarf, others just the white one, and some had their heads uncovered. The gathering was on the roof of the house, and I saw a chair placed at the centre of the gathering, and it was surrounded, in fact swarmed, by the people close to it.

I was waiting for Shaikh al-Albaani to enter, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on him.

While I was sitting in the row before the last a man appeared full of dignity and veneration, and that solemnity would increase when he would look at you, calmly walking between the people who had cleared a way for him until he got to the chair and sat down. He was wearing a loose fitting thawb whose colour was close to light brown, and he had on a gulf type hat [skull cap].

When he began his lecture those present gave him their complete attention, and many of them, especially those sitting around him, had their pens and were making a note of some of what the Shaikh said, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on him.

The Shaikh finished his speech and the questions started to come from those present while he answered. Then, as far as I could tell, he excused himself before those present and asked for permission to leave. When he stood some of the people encircled him and they started to walk with him while asking him questions. I was walking behind them.

Then when he reached, or almost reached, his car I got the chance to speak to him, and so I asked him about a hadith I had read in the book, Tuhftudh-Dhaakireen, and this hadith included a supplication which is to be said after having eaten. So the Shaikh said to me in a word, “I do not regard it to be authentic.” Then I bid him farewell and came back and my love for him and his standing had found a place in my heart.

I met him in Munaa during Hajj in the year 1398ah and I recall that someone asked him in a loud voice saying, “O Shaikh, when I read a hadith in any of the books of the Sunnah and then I find that in its chain of narration is a man who is a weak narrator, should I then say, “This hadith is not authentically attributed to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)?”

So the Shaikh gave an answer whose meaning was: your negation of the hadith being attributed to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) could be invalid. May be it is that the hadith has been authentically reported through a different path? So it is more fitting that you limit the [judgement] that the hadith is weak to that [specific] chain of narration, so you say, for example, “This hadith in Ibn Maajah is weak.”

After that I met the Shaikh again during Hajj where he was staying in the tents set up for those working for the Civil Defense Hospital in Munaa. I visited him there with Shaikh Abdul-Kareem al-Muneef and there was no-one with him apart from his son, I think it was Abdul-Musowwir.

When our visit was over we got up and were going to leave when I came back to him and said, “O Shaikh, some of the people who love you spoke about you in Makkah and I said something which was not slander of you, Allaah forbid, but still I regret saying it. And I want you to forgive me.”

So he never asked me, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on him, what it was that I had said, rather he said something which I, inshaa Allaah, remember word for word, he said, “May Allaah absolve you of what you said, what you will say, and what you didn’t say.” So I kissed his head and bid him farewell.

The Shaikh came to Riyadh so I called him to breakfast at my house and that was after morning prayer on Thursday 6/7/1410ah [2/2/1990]. He came and along with him came a group of noble people at the head of whom was his Excellency, the Shaikh, Abdullaah ibn Qu’ood, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on him.”

Shaikh al-Albaani’s Life | Questions and Answers … 5


 

Al-Albaani and his father debating while they worked
in his father’s shop

Al-Huwaini: Did your father notice that you had turned to [the study of] the science of hadith and its like?

Al-Albaani: Naturally, he had a very negative effect, but Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, made me stand firm. What used to happen in reality, and thanks are for Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, for the sittings He decreed for me in his shop and for [the fact that I] learnt my father’s profession such that he and I would work and debate [at the same time]–me [debating] with what would appear to me [to be the truth] from the Sunnah and the hadith, and him with what he had studied in Istanbul and other places, study in which he had spent a long time.

So when we would debate I would do so with the hadith and the Sunnah and he would say [i.e., debate with], ‘The madhhab.’ And when such research would become unbearable–and I had a lot of endurance for it, add to that the fact that I was a youth and he was middle-aged, an old man [shaikh] rather–he would say, “The science of hadith is the profession of the bankrupt!” May Allaah have mercy on him and forgive us and him.

Most of our time in the shop was like this, [spent] debating. And by continuing to study the Sunnah and the hadith the common mistakes of the people and the Shaikhs of the time became clear to me.

From all of my brothers I was the one son who would always go with his father to the mosque.

And from his habits, may Allaah have mercy upon him, was to go and pray in the Bani Umayyah mosque, and he was influenced by some of the sayings and narrations in the books of the Hanafis regarding the excellence of prayer in the Bani Umayyah mosque. From them, for example, is what occurs in the last book from the books which the Hanafis rely upon, Haashiyah Ibn Aabideen, in it he mentioned [a narration] from Sufyaan ath-Thawri that prayer in the Bani Umayyah mosque is equivalent to seventy thousand prayers.

I could not conceive of such excellence for a mosque such as it which was made after the Prophet, عليه الصلاة والسلام, and I was, instinctively, not prepared to accept this exaggeration regarding its excellence.

Then days turned into years, and my research and study led me to study the biggest known [collection] on Islamic history, ‘The History of Damascus,’ by Ibn Asaakir, and this narration is present in, ‘The Commentary of Ibn Aabideen,’ in [the section about] the excellence of the Amawi mosque attributed back to Ibn Asaakir, and this is how the learned people of the end of time are, it satisfies them that the hadith is just attributed [to someone], even Ibn Asaakir, so that the narration can become, as the masses say, ‘An established hadith.’

So when I became sure of this, and naturally, this was years later [and by then] the time had come when I was studying all of the manuscripts in the Dhaahiriyyah library. And when, through my research and study I came to [the book], ‘The History of Damascus’ of Ibn Asaakir, I read all of it[1]—and that which was present from it in the library was seventeen volumes, each one was huge, I came across this narration [i.e., regarding the excellence of the mosque of Bani Umayyah], and behold, its chain of narration was darkness upon darkness.

So I said [to myself]: Subhaanallaah, how these scholars of fiqh, due to their negligence of studying hadith, report a narration, which, firstly, if attributing to him is correct then [still] in the science of hadith it is a mu’adal[2] narration. So what is the case when attributing the narration back to him is darkness upon darkness, so for this reason they do bad whereas they intend to do good.

Then I had a look at the story of the burial of Yahya, عليه والسلام, or the presumed grave of Yahya, عليه السلام, in the Bani Umayyah mosque, I read that in the history of Ibn Asaakir too. The important thing is that the research led me to the conclusion that praying in the Bani Umayyah mosque was not allowed.

So I wanted to get the opinion of some of the Shaikhs, from them my father and Shaikh al-Burhaani, so one day I [think] maybe [it was ] Dhuhr I prayed with him and Allaah knows best, I secretly confided in him that it had become clear to me that praying in a mosque in which there is a grave was not correct …

Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Hayaatuhu, Da’watuhu, Juhooduhoo fee Khidmatis-Sunnah, of Muhammad Bayyoomi, pp. 14-16.


[1] Bayyoomi’s footnote: And this shows the very high resolve of Shaikh al-Albaani, may Allaah have mercy upon him, for this history of Ibn Asaakir has now been printed in seventy-four volumes, and it is well known that reading through a manuscript is much, much harder than reading a printed book.

[2] Trans. note: A mu’adal narration is one in which two or more people in a row are missing from the chain of narration.

Shaikh al-Albaani’s Life | Questions and Answers … 4


Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

What was Al-Albaani doing in his teens?

Al-Huwaini: What year was this, when you started to read the magazine, Al-Manaar?

Al-Albaani: Less than twenty, it is possible that [I was] seventeen or eighteen or the like. So I started to write until I had arranged [part of] the first volume when I had an idea which was that I was a beginner in seeking knowledge, secondly I was a foreigner, an Albanian–[and so] many times I would come across sayings of the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, which I would not understand or some Arabic words which would be obscure and vague to me–words which I later came to realise were from [that special category of word] which occur in hadiths and are problematic/difficult to understand [i.e., gharibul-hadith].

So I said [to myself]: why don’t I use some of the books which are in my possession or in my father’s library to explain these words which I find difficult to understand? So I did that but I had just begun to make some notes when I started to blame myself and regard what I had done as something disagreeable. Because now the first volume seemed to be unorganised: the first part of it had no [such] commentary but the second part did, and this disparity did not please me. So I cancelled what I did and started all over again, commenting and explaining from the beginning of the book when the need arose.

In this manner the first volume was completed and then I started the second. [Until in the end] the difference in commentary between the first volume and the last volumes was clearly apparent. For in the first volume you will see that most pages only have a little commentary but after that the complete opposite is true: you could see one line [of main text] at the top and below it would be [nothing but] footnotes, written in a very fine script.

In Syria we had two types of writing pen: that which was for writing Arabic and the other for writing French, they would call the latter ‘the French pen’ because it had a very fine nib. So I would write the commentary in Arabic with the French pen to distinguish it from the main text, so you would find all of the page full of this minute writing and at the top [you would see] a line or two [of the main text for which the commentary was written] with the Arabian pen and so on.

Bearing in mind that I felt that I benefitted greatly from this revision in making up for this deficiency which I used to feel due to, firstly, being a beginner in seeking knowledge, and secondly, due to my foreignness.

So I benefitted from this work greatly, greatly indeed, and it is present with me, and all praise is due to Allaah, as a remnant of that work.[1]


[1] Shaikh Muhammad al-Majdhoob said, “And the Shaikh showed me the work he did on that copy. And behold I came face to face with three volumes [which contained] four parts and whose pages reached two thousand and twelve in number, made up of two different types of handwriting. The first was normal whereas the second was fine, [and is] the one he used to write his commentary or corrections in the footnotes area. By Allaah, it is an effort which the people of high resolve from the people of knowledge today would lack the strength for, let alone the university graduates who have no firm will to give them the patience to check, verify and pursue [such matters].

Then what is the case when you add to that the fact that the Shaikh was not more than twenty years old? So there is no doubt that this colossal effort in writing those volumes, while using all those means of verification which were available to this youth at that time, had the greatest effect on him becoming accustomed to this kind of academic endeavour. For it, even though he was [still] not entirely satisfied with it in its complete form, had opened up the way for him to progress to a higher level in this field.

So through such a life and that development, and those problems that he faced, it seems to me [that the presence of] other hidden factors also steadily directed this youth to that path. To make him, in the end, one of the great aiders of the pure Sunnah in the lands of Syria.” Ulamaa wa mufikkiroon (1/292).

Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Hayaatuhu, Da’watuhu, Juhooduhoo fee Khidmatis-Sunnah, of Muhammad Bayyoomi, pp. 12-14.

The Shaikh’s Life in his Own Words … 1



There’s a small book written by a person called Isaam Moosaa Haadi, entitled, “The Life of Allaamah al-Albaani, may Allaah have mercy upon him, in His Own Words.” I thought it would be a good idea to go through the book, a little at a time, so we could get a picture of the Shaikh’s life as he narrated it himself.  Isaam Haadi basically went through the Shaikh’s works and gathered sections where the Shaikh spoke about himself and the result was this small but lovely work.  Here’s the first post …

 

Migrating to Syria

Shaikh al-Albaani said, “Indeed the blessings of Allaah upon me are numerous and I cannot enumerate how many there are.  And perhaps from the most important of them are the following two: the migration of my father to Syria and that he taught me his profession as a watch repairer [horologist].

The first [blessing] made learning arabic easy for me and if we had remained in Albania I do not believe that I would have learnt a letter from it, and there is no path to the Book of Allaah or the Sunnah of his Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, except by way of arabic.

The second [blessing], learning how to repair watches, gave me spare time which I filled with seeking knowledge.  And it provided me with the opportunity to visit the Dhaahiriyyah library and other than it for many hours every day.

And if I had continued to stick to carpentry, which I had initially tried to learn, it would have devoured all of my time, and as a result the paths of knowledge would have been closed in my face, [paths] whose students must have free time.”

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