Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Tag: father

Shaikh al-Albaani’s Life | Questions and Answers … 6


 

 

Al-Albaani and his father

Al-Huwaini: Did you secretly confide in your father?

Al-Albaani: No, [I confided] in al-Burhaani. [So] he said, “Write down the things that you have come across.” So I wrote them down and presented them to him, they came to about three or four pages. The time then, as far as I can remember, was the month of Ramadaan, so when I gave him the papers he said to me, “Inshaa Allaah, I’ll give you the answer after Eed.

Then [when the time came] after Eed, he said to me, “All of this that you have written and gathered has no value.” Astonished, I replied, “Why?” He said, “Because these books which you quoted from are books which are not reliable in our view. The books which are reliable with us are Maraaqi al-Falaah and Haashiyah Ibn Aabideen only.”

I had quoted to him from Mubaarik al-Azhaar Sharh Mashaariq al-Anwaar of Ibn Malik and he was a Hanafi, and from Mirqaah al-Mafaatih Sharh Mishkaah al-Masaabih of Mulla Ali al-Qaari, and he [too] was a Hanafi, and other texts along with them, but he cast them aside as you would a date-stone, and said, “These have no value.” Even though I had gathered hadiths for him but he didn’t bother with them and paid them no mind, and said, “Our reference in the religion are only the books of fiqh and not the books of hadith,” and my father’s stance was the same and so that was the nucleus which led [me to write] my book Warning the One who Prostrates from Taking the Graves as Mosques. [This is the book we are going through on the blog]

And I do not want my actions to oppose what I say, so as long as it had become clear to me that prayer in mosques built upon graves was not correct, then for sure I would not go with my father to the Bani Umayyah mosque again, and this, naturally, irritated and angered him, but he kept it to himself.

The Issue of the Second Congregational Prayer in the Mosque

Another issue came up in which I opposed the people and it was concerning performing a second congregational prayer in the mosque. The mosque which my father lived next to was called Jaami at-Tawbah and Shaikh Burhaani was the Imaam there. Since my father lived next to it, whenever Shaikh Sa’eed [i.e., Burhaani] would be absent he would appoint my father to lead [the prayer] on his behalf. There were two prayer niches [mihraabs] and two Imaams [in this mosque], a Hanafi Imaam who was Burhaani, and a Shaafi’ee Imaam who would [often] be absent.

Al-Huwaini: Two congregational prayers at the same time?

Al-Albaani: No. I wanted to say to you that during the [time of the] Ottoman Empire, the Hanafi Imaam would lead the prayer before the Shaafi’ee Imaam whether it was in the biggest mosque, i.e., the Amawi Mosque, or in any other mosque, like the Tawbah mosque and other than it.

Then when Shaikh Taajud-Deen took leadership of the [religious affairs of the] Syrian Republic, and he was the son of Shaikh Badrud-Deen al-Husaini who was well-known for being a scholar of hadith, he–since he followed the Shaafi’ee school of thought–issued an order that the Shaafi’ee Imaam should pray before the Hanafi Imaam. And so this order was executed, as is the natural course of events, by the ruler as they say, he executed it in every mosque, included amongst them was Masjid at-Tawbah, and so the Shaafi’ee Imaam would pray before Burhaani, who was Hanafi.

So when I had gained some understanding and had come to know that the second congregational prayer has no basis in the Sunnah, I began to pray behind the Shaafi’ee Imaam, [who was] the first Imaam, and this opposition caused the most severe tension on the part of my father. Firstly, because it opposed his school of thought [madhhab] and secondly, because it opposed his actions, because he would delay his prayer so that he could pray with the Hanafi Imaam, Burhaani. But he was going his way, and I was going mine.

Then Burhaani travelled for Hajj or Umrah, I don’t recall exactly, and so appointed my father to pray in his place–but I would not pray behind him, because there was no difference in my eyes between Burhaani and my father since both of them would delay [the time of] the first congregational prayer [jamaa’ah]. So I would leave my father to pray the second prayer, and I would pray with the first Imaam.

Al-Albaani’s Father Giving Him the Choice to Stay or Leave

Then later the time came where [there was], as they say, calamity upon calamity.  It so happened that my father had to be away for a day or two and so he requested that I [lead] the prayer on his behalf, i.e., the second congregational prayer, so I refused and said to him, “You know my opinion in the matter, and it is very difficult for me to change my opinion.” A number of issues came up which ignited his fury against me.

So one day while we were having dinner he said to me in a clear Arabic tongue, after he spoke about the situation that he and I were living in as regards my opposition to him, he said, “Either there is agreement or separation.” So I said to him, “Give me three days to think about the situation.” He replied, “You have that.”

So I came with the answer, i.e., that since you have given me the choice, then I choose to live far from you so that I do not trouble or upset you because of my opposition to your school of thought.

And so it was.

I left him and I did not own a single dinar or dirham [i.e., not a penny]. And I remember very well that he gave me twenty-five Syrian liras only when I left his house.

But during all this time I had established a nucleus of Salafi brothers. One of them had a store where he would sell grain, wheat, barley and beans and so on, and it was in the same place where I had rented my shop, so he borrowed me two hundred Syrian liras so that I could rent it.

My father used to have some old [watch repairing] equipment which he would not use and had no need of so he gave it to me. So I started to work independently and from the Favours of Allaah upon me was that I was very precise in my work and honest in it and so the number of customers increased, and, as they say in Syria, “And the Generous One said, ‘Take.’”

Al-Huwaini: So our Shaikh, you were about twenty-three years old when this happened?

Al-Albaani: Yes, I was over twenty, because I have a book with me which I refer to sometimes called, Ar-Rawd an-Nadeer fee Tarteeb wa Takhrij Mu’jam at-Tabaraani as-Saghir, my age when I finished it was about twenty-one or twenty-two.

So what is meant is that I became independent in my work and thinking there, and we would hold lessons in the night with some of the brothers. Later, when the scope of da’wah increased we rented out a place, and would give lessons in hadith there: about the understanding [fiqh] of hadith, hadith terminology, and so on.

Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Hayaatuhu, Da’watuhu, Juhooduhoo fee Khidmatis-Sunnah, of Muhammad Bayyoomi, pp. 16-19.

The Shaikh’s Life in his Own Words … 12


Examples of his Patience

I caused myself to go hungry at the end of 1379 [1959 ce] for forty consecutive days–I did not eat any food during those days whatsoever, nothing but water entered my stomach.  That was in the desire to be cured from certain ailments, and [at the end of it] I was [indeed] cured from some but not others.  Before doing this I had sought a cure with some doctors for close to ten years without any apparent benefit.  I took away two tangible benefits from this forced hunger:

The first: the ability of a person to endure hunger for such a long period of time in opposition to what many people think.

The other: that going hungry can help in curing obesity related ailments as Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, mentioned, just as it can help with other illnesses as many people have [tried and] experienced.  Yet it does not help with all illnesses and with all body types, in contrast to what the author of the book, ‘Seeking Cures through Fasting,’ a European author, claimed.  And over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing.

His Father asking him about a Hadith

So I saw fit that I should speak about it, clarifying its defects–especially when the closest of people to me had asked me about it, and that was none other than my father, may Allaah have mercy upon him, and reward him on my behalf with the best of rewards.

Shaikh Mustafaa az-Zarqaa asking him about Hadiths

And this hadith was one of those that the noble teacher Mustafaa az-Zarqaa presented to me, desiring that I verify and check it, and this was on the 15th of the Islamic month of Jumaada ath-Thaani, 1371 which corresponds to the 12th of March, 1952.

His Journeys in Search of Knowledge

Egypt
During the short time that I spent in Cairo and Alexandria it was only possible for me to meet but a few of the people of knowledge and excellence, for example, the author of Islamic works Muhibbud-Deen al-Khateeb, Ustaadh Muhammad al-Ghazaali [who the Shaikh went on to refute later, translators note], Shaikh Abdur-Razzaaq Afeefi and Shaikh Abdul-Aziz ar-Raashid.

While I was in Cairo I would go–every time the opportunity presented itself–to Daar al-Kutub al-Misriyyah to study the manuscripts of the books of hadith there.  I did the same when I left it and went to Alexandria, going to its library known as Al-Maktabah al-Baladiyyah, and I received copious and important benefits from both of these libraries.  From this second library, I copied out with my own hand a treatise of al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaani in which he checked and verified the hadiths which al-Haafidh al-Qizweeni brought in the book Masaabih as-Sunnah and he judged therein that they were fabricated.

Aleppo
For many years one of my habits had been that I would travel to Aleppo for a week every month, spending it, or the great majority of it, in its only library there which is full of manuscripts, called Maltabah al-Awqaaf al-Islaamiyyah.  So I would spend hours there every day studying its manuscripts, copying what was of importance from it for my knowledge-based projects.  In addition to that I would also study the Sunnah and its sciences with some of those who desired knowledge, giving them a number of lessons every week [that I was there].

His Journey to Baital-Maqdis [Jerusalem]

And I travelled to Jerusalem for the first time on the 23rd of the Islamic month of Jumaada al-Awwal, 1385 [September 1965 ce], when the governments of Jordan and Syria agreed to allow their residents to travel freely between both countries without a passport.  So I seized the opportunity and travelled and prayed in the Al-Aqsaa mosque.  I visited the Rock, just to see it, since it has no [specific] excellence [mentioned] in the light of the Sharee’ah, in contrast to what the majority of the people think and what the government advocates.

Spain
In the month of Rajab, 1392 which corresponds to August, 1972 [he travelled to] Andalus when he was called to attend a conference for the unity of Muslim students held in Granada.

Morocco
My first journey to Morocco was at the end of the fourth month [Rabee ath-Thaani] in the year 1396 [1976 ce].

Qatr
In the blessed month of Ramadaan in 1392 [1972 ce, I travelled to Qatr] and in early Rabee al-Awwal in the year 1402 [1982].

His Second Journey to the Emirates
I returned to it on the 29th of March 1985 with official permission, numbered 1094/i, then I left on the 5th of April 1985 as is recorded in my passport with number 284024 sr/77.

Hayaatul-Allaamah al-Albaani, rahimahullaah, bi qalamihi, pp. 22-26.

The Shaikh’s Life in his Own Words … 2


The Beginning of his Quest for Knowledge

“The first thing that I had a passion to read were Arabic stories, like those of Dhaahir [Baybars] and Antara [ibn Shaddaad a famous Arab poet], King Saif [ibn Dhi Yazan] and their like, then translated crime or detective novels like Arséne Luprin and others.  After which I found an inclination towards reading books about history.

Then one day at one of the booksellers, I noticed an issue from a magazine called Al-Manaar amongst the books for sale so I bought it.  In it I came across a piece of research written by as-Sayyid Rasheed [Rida] in which he was describing the book Al-Ihyaa by al-Ghazaali, pointing out its strengths and weaknesses.

So for the first time I across this type of knowledge-based critique and that drew me to reading the entire issue.  I continued following the subject of Al-Ihyaa in the [book] Al-Ihyaa itself, with the version which contained the hadith verification of al-Haafidh al-Iraaqi, and I found myself having to borrow it since I did not have the money to purchase it.

As a result I started to read [the entire] book since that detailed verification fascinated me such that I resolved to copy out the book or summarise it after I had laid down a mental picture of copying out the [hadith] verification which was printed in the footnotes of Al-Ihyaa.  I started to write out the hadith, “Indeed praise for a servant can spread as far and as wide as that which is between the east and the west and yet he is not equal to the weight of a mosquito before Allaah …” this is how it was written in Al-Ihyaa.

Al-Haafidh al-Iraaqi said, “And I have quoted it from him but have not been able to find it with such wording.  In the two Sahihs from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah there occurs, “Indeed a huge fat man will come on the Day of Resurrection and he will not weigh the weight of the wing of a mosquito in Allaah’s Sight.”

But what did I do?  I wrote down a hyphen and completed the hadith as it is found in the two Sahihs and I continued upon this so as not to attribute to Al-Haafidh al-Iraaqi something that he did not say, and I also placed the addition which I was writing from the original and to which he attributed the hadith, between two hyphens [=].  In those days I was new to researching and if I knew then what I know now I would have used brackets like the ones I used in my books thereafter instead of the two hyphens.

I started to copy and then got half way through the first volume, when an idea occurred to me which was that during my work on the hadiths parts of them would come by me whose words I did not understand and as a result the intending meaning of the hadith would not be clear to me.  So I said to myself, ‘Why don’t I explain all of these words in the margins which would be a revision for me and an aid to understanding the hadith?” So after I had gotten half way through the first volume I left it and started copying all over again based upon this new idea.

Every time I came across a hadith which had a word I couldn’t fathom I would use Ibn al-Athir’s book Ghareeb al-Hadith [a book explaining rare and difficult words found in hadiths] and dictionaries and then I would write the meaning in the margin, until the notes that I would write for myself turned out to be more than the actual text, and I carried on like this until I finished the book.  I strived like this until a good method was established which helped to make concrete all those new points.

And I think this effort which I put into that study is what encouraged me and endeared to me the desire to continue upon this path, since I found myself seeking the aid of many different works on the Arabic language, figurative speech [بلاغة], and works explaining the rare and difficult words found in hadiths so that the text could be understood alongside its verification.

And this is what benefitted me greatly, and in reality I say: I am amazed at Allaah’s Kindness to His servants, and I feel that Allaah was moving me from one step to the next.  Now I reap the benefits of what I used to write and make copies of, [at that time] I did not know what was behind that writing or that copying, now I reap the benefits of some of that work.  I will find writings from my early knowledge-based research that is profuse and abundant and that was due to the persistent desire to follow such research and because I found the narrations of hadith to be something beautiful.  And I still  continue, and all praise is for Allaah, to have the vigour and desire to research, but old age has its rights.”

 

His Children

“Indeed from the blessings of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, upon me is that he inspired me to name all of my sons as servants of His, and they are: Abdur-Rahmaan, Abdul-Lateef, Abdur-Razzaaq from my first wife, may Allaah have mercy on her; and Abdul-Musowwir, Abdul-Muhaimin and Abdul-A’laa from my other wife, and I don’t think anyone has beaten me to naming their son Abdul-Musowwir since with all of the names of narrators that I have come across in the books of the men of hadith and its conveyors [I never found this name].  And I ask Allaah, the Most High, to increase me in success and that He bless me in my family, “”Our Lord!  Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring those who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the pious.” [Furqaan 25:74]

Then in 1383AH [1963CE] while I was in Medina, Allaah blessed me with a son whom I named Muhammad, as a reminder of his, صلى الله عليه وسلم, city and in fulfilment of his saying, “Name yourselves with my name, but do not use my kunyaa.”
[Bukhaari and Muslim]

 

Giving Precedence to the Truth over the Heritage of the Forefathers

“I continued to follow in the footsteps of my father in this direction, until Allaah guided me to the Sunnah, so I left much of what I had studied with him which he regarded as being a means of getting closer to Allaah and worship.”

 

Al-Albaani and His Father

“I had proceeded to study the Sunnah with great longing and adoration, and so when my father saw that in me he began to warn me and said, “The science of hadith is the profession of the bankrupt!”  But despite what that differing put between us in terms of ideological outlook, near the end of his life we become very close, as he used to say at the end of every debate, ‘I do not deny that you brought me some knowledge based benefits concerning matters about which I was not on clear proof beforehand, like it not being legislated to intend to go to pray salaah at the graves of the righteous.’”

Hayaatul-Allaamah al-Albaani, rahimahullaah, bi qalamihi, pp. 5-10.

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