Questioner: O Shaikh, may Allaah bless you! Regarding the youth that Allaah has blessed with the Salafi Da’wah, and those who have united on the fundamentals, but when they differ regarding some of the subsidiary issues you find that they have enmity in that? And likewise what is your advice regarding the youth whether it be those who associate themselves with the other Islamic calls or those who have associated [themselves] with the Salafi call and who stage protests and call out their slogans, is this from the methodology of the Salaf or not?
Al-Albaani: As for the students of knowledge who study the two fundamentals, i.e., Usoolul-Hadith and Usoolul-Fiqh, then these people have to implement the subsidiary affairs according to the usool [they have learnt], and they must not blindly-follow anyone from Allaah’s creation but should benefit from each scholar of the Salaf who were on the Book and the Sunnah and the methodology of the Companions and those who followed them in good, this is my advice to the students of knowledge.
From another angle it is obligatory that we distance ourselves from [this] disgusting bigotry and offensive harshness and that we do not become enemies … that we do not have enmity towards each other because of hizbiyyah and [because of] gathering [the people] or affiliation to one of the groups, and it is fitting that we advise each other and show each other love/affection.
And that when we see some people are far from the Book and the Sunnah in practice even if in affiliation, verbally, they have taken as methodology the Book and the Sunnah, if we see that in action they are far away from that then it is upon us to be gentle with them and to call them to be with us in implementing what we all verbally affiliate ourselves to, that we [practically] make it the methodology of our lives, calling them as He the Most High said, “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best.” [An-Nahl 16:125]
As for shouting out slogans, [a method] which some of the groups adopt, then in reality this, as has preceded in the previous repudiation of it, was something not present in all [previous] generations–I don’t just say [that it was not present] amongst the Salaf as-Saalih only who are our proof and our example, but that in fact such slogans were not present in the generations that came after them.
We have copied such shouting slogans from the Westerners and the disbelievers and the polytheists who do not have a methodology that was sent down by Allaah the Blessed and Most High, so every day they are upon innovation, rather misguidance.
So it is upon the Muslims to emulate what the Salaf as-Saalih alone were upon and not to increase upon that in any way.
These protests remind me of another custom of some people: when they enter a gathering and those in it are sitting and the person who enters is able to [go around, there being room, and] shake hands with each person, then [what they do is that] every time he gives salaam to one person he follows it up with another for the next person, and so on until he finishes shaking hands with all of them, this also is an innovation, an additional innovation [bid’ah idaafiyyah].
Because the Sunnah is that when a Muslim enters a gathering he gives salaam one time, [saying], ‘As-Salaamu alaikum … [or] As-Salaamu alaikum wa Rahmatullaah … [or] As-Salaamu alaikum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuhu …’ and [then] if he is able to shake their hands then doing so is a sunnah due to the saying of some of the Companions, ‘We never met Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم except that we shook hands.’
And there is another hadith in Sunan at-Tirmidhee, I will mention it because of its total connection to this topic so that we can kill two birds with one stone, meaning it’s connected to what we are talking about, its chain of narration is weak, and it is, ‘From the completion of the greeting is to shake hands.’ So when a person enters, the Sunnah is that he gives salaam one time and then if it is possible for him to shake hands with those present then that is better, and better because of the authentic hadith which I just mentioned now concerning his action in that regard عليه السلام [i.e., the first hadith mentioned about the Companions above].
And for this reason, the weak hadith … regarding weak hadith like this one it is possible to say that it can be acted upon in relation to the excellence of performing certain actions [fadaa’ilul-a’maal], and this is a very fine and sensitive point which many of those who hold that weak hadith can be used regarding the excellence of performing certain actions are unmindful of.
Because in reality by the statement that, ‘It is permissible to act upon a weak hadith regarding the excellence of performing certain actions,’ they mean that it is permissible to establish the legitimacy and excellence of an action in the Sharee’ah through a weak hadith–and no scholar says this, for it is to make something part of the Sharee’ah through a weak hadith.
And the scholars are united, except some of the ones who came later who have taken an anomalous stance, like some of the Ghumaaris and their likes who said that it is permissible to establish a legislated ruling with weak hadiths, and they thought that the Imaams–and this is a lie and fabrication against them–established rulings with weak hadiths.
And these people were heedless of or wilfully ignored this … Allaah knows best as to what their intentions were … because some of the Imaams may establish a ruling without any hadith at all but instead based upon deductive analogy [qiyaas], and putting aside whether such qiyaas was correct or not, that being another issue, it is not allowed for us to say that they established legislative rulings with weak hadiths.
So if the ones who say that it is permissible to act upon a weak hadith regarding the excellence of performing certain actions [means] to legislate actions which have an excellence in the Sharee’ah with a weak hadith–then no scholar says this.
But if they mean that it is permissible to act upon a weak hadith regarding the excellence of performing certain actions which have already been established in the Sharee’ah with a proof which is qualified to be used as a proof in the Sharee’ah, and then they came with a weak hadith which established a [type of] excellence for this [action] already established by an authentic hadith, then there is no objection to that, and this example has [already] come to you [i.e., the one about shaking the hands].
‘We never met except that we shook hands,’ [which is an authentic narration, and then], ‘From the completion of the greeting is to shake hands,’ [which is weak].
So when he met them there is no doubt that he would give them salaam and then shake hands. So from the greeting’s perfection is to shake hands, so there is no harm in shaking hands as a completion of the greeting–but we do not establish this through a weak hadith, we do so through all of the hadiths regarding the obligation of giving salaam, and I mean what I say … ‘the obligation’ of giving salaam, and not just that it is a sunnah, because the Prophet said, ‘When you meet him then give him salaam,’ so when the Prophet met his Companions he for sure gave salaam to them and [this is also shown through] this hadith which we mentioned, that, ‘We never met except that we shook hands.’
Thus, it has been established from both of these hadiths at the very least that shaking hands is from the completion of the legislated greeting, and so if a hadith like this comes along and we mention it whilst making its weakness clear then there is no harm in that, and it is a good example of the permissibility of acting upon a weak hadith concerning the excellence of certain actions which have [already] been established not through a weak hadith but an authentic one.
This is what comes to me as an answer to the previous question.
Questioner: … also as a caution … for the youth …
Al-Albaani: Please go ahead …
Liqaa’aat al-Madinah, 3.