Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Tag: fatwas

The Salafi Da’wah in Disarray – “He Can’t Even Recite an Aayah from the Quraan Properly—Even if the Noble Mushaf were [open] in Front of Him—Let Alone the Fact that He will Make Many Mistakes when [simply] Reading a Hadith of the Prophet ﷺ. It is the Love of Fame. It is Self-centredness, ‘I am here, I have Knowledge. Maa shaa Allaah about Me.’”


 

The PDF: The Salafi Dawah in Disarray.

Questioner: What is your Excellency’s opinion about … the Salafi da’wah in general, and specifically in Kuwait, Egypt and Saudi?

Al-Albaani: I say that unfortunately the Salafi Da’wah is now in disarray, and I attribute the cause of that to the hastiness of many of the Muslim youth to claim knowledge: so he will have the audacity to pass fatwas, and to declare things to be haram and halaal before he knows.

Some of them, as I have heard on numerous occasions, can’t even recite an aayah from the Quraan properly—even if the Noble Mushaf were [open] in front of them—let alone the fact that he will make many mistakes when [simply] reading a hadith of the Prophet . And so that proverb that is well-known in some countries is applicable to him:

إنه تزبب قبل أن يتحصرم
“He became a raisin before [even becoming] a sour grape.”

You know what الحصرم is, is this word used amongst you? When a grape starts out it becomes a green berry, this is what الحصرم is referring to, and it is very sour, so before he even reaches this stage of being a sour grape, he makes himself out to be a raisin.

Thus for many of these people to prop up their heads and be hasty in [both] claiming knowledge and writing when they haven’t even traversed half the way on the path to knowledge is what now unfortunately makes those who attribute themselves to the Salafi da’wah split into groups and factions.

And so there is no cure for this except for these Muslims to fear their Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, and for them to know that it is not for everyone who starts off seeking knowledge to take the lead in declaring fatwas about things being halaal and haram, or declaring hadiths to be authentic or weak except after a long lifetime, a lifetime in which he practices learning how fatwas are delivered and how [verdicts] are derived from the Book and the Sunnah.

And in this respect these callers or Salafis must comply with that third check which I mentioned before when speaking about beneficial knowledge and righteous actions, saying that beneficial knowledge must be according to the methodology of the Salaf as-Saalih.

So nowadays when many of the Islamic callers depart from this check, the third check which Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy on him, indicated in his poetry when he said:

“Knowledge is, ‘Allaah said … His Messenger said …
The Companions said …’ and it is not hidden.”

Not paying heed to what our Salaf as-Saalih were upon makes the people go back, after having been united, to disunity which separates them as it had done with many Muslims before, turning them into groups and factions, each faction pleased with what it has. This is my opinion of the situation.

So if, as we hope, they are sincere they must cling to the correct knowledge-based principles, and that the person who has not reached the level of having correct knowledge does not have the audacity to … that he keeps himself out of sight from [delving into] that and he entrusts knowledge to the one who knows it [i.e., the scholars].

… in this regard [there] is a narration which has been reported in the books of hadith, I think it was ’Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Abi Layla, may Allaah have mercy on him, who was one of the major scholars of the Salaf as-Saalih, he said, “In this mosque …” and maybe he was referring to the Prophet’s Mosque, “… I met …” and then he mentioned a [specific] number of Companions, I forget the number now, “… so  when one of them would be asked …”

Interjection: Seventy.

Al-Albaani: Maybe it was. “I met seventy Companions in this mosque, when one of them would be asked a question or asked for a fatwa, he would wish that another one of the scholars from those Companions who were present would shoulder the responsibility for it,” and the reason for that was because they feared that they would make a mistake and thus [as a result] would cause other people to fall into making a mistake. So they would wish to not have to take this responsibility and that someone else would.

As for now, then the situation, most unfortunately, is the polar opposite.

And that is because of one reason, which is something I always mention: that this blooming which we now see for the Book and the Sunnah and the Salafi Da’wah is something new, this blossoming which they call an awakening has not been going on for a long time such that these people can reap the fruits of this awakening or blossoming in themselves, namely, by being nurtured on the foundations of the Book and the Sunnah and for them to then inundate, with this correct nurturing based upon the Book and the Sunnah, others who are around them, [calling] those closest [to them firstly] and then those after them.

So the cause is that the effects of this da’wah have not become apparent because it is new to this time in which we live, for this reason we find the situation to be the opposite of what ’Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Abi Layla reported about those Companions who would be cautious of being asked questions and who would wish that someone else would be asked, and the only reason that would make them answer a question would be because they knew that it was not allowed for them to hide knowledge—but in the depths of their hearts they used to wish that someone else would bear that responsibility.

As for now, in many Salafi gatherings let alone non-Salafi ones, a person who it is assumed has more knowledge than other people present is asked a question, and all of a sudden you will see that so and so has started to speak even though he wasn’t asked, and so and so has started to speak even though he wasn’t asked—what makes these people do that?

It is the love of fame.  It is self-centredness, “I am here,” i.e., “I have knowledge.  Maa shaa Allaah about me.”

This shows that we have not had a Salafi tarbiyyah. We have grown up with Salafi knowledge, each according to his efforts and striving towards that knowledge, but as for tarbiyyah, then we have not yet acquired it as an Islamic, Salafi community …

… so we are now in an awakening in terms of knowledge but we are not in an awakening of correct upbringing [tarbiyyah]. That is why many times we find individuals, some callers, that can be benefitted from in terms of knowledge but not in manners—because he brought himself up on knowledge but was not in a righteous environment in which he was raised from childhood, and for this reason he lives carrying the manners which he inherited from that society in which he exists and in which he is found, and it is a society which without doubt is not an Islamic one, but he was able to, by himself or with the direction of some of the people of knowledge, follow the path of [obtaining] correct knowledge, but the effects of this knowledge are not seen in his manners, in his behaviour, in his actions.

The cause of this manifestation which we are talking about now is that we have not matured/fully developed in knowledge except a few individuals.

And secondly, individuals, even more so, have not been brought up according to a correct Islamic upbringing and that is why you will find that many of the beginners in seeking knowledge will prop themselves up as a head … the head of a Jamaa’ah or faction, and it is here that an old piece of wisdom which expresses this manifestation applies, it says, “The love of fame will break one’s back,” so the cause of [all of] this goes back to a lack of a correct upbringing on that correct knowledge.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 188.

Dealing with Differences: Two Scholars Give Different Fatwas, How Does One Handle It?


 

 

Host: A questioner says, ‘These days, alhamdulillaah, we see a good resurgence in knowledge, especially among the upcoming youth, but it faces a number of problems, the most important of which is the differing of the people of knowledge in their fatwas which leads to some people becoming confused and mixed up. What should the stance of the Muslim youth be towards this? Provide us [with an answer], may Allaah bless you.

Al-Albaani: Without doubt this [now] is a spontaneous question [but in fact] we heard it on our previous trip time and time again, and in reality this problem only occurs with the youth in whom the correct, knowledge-based methodology is not firmly established. What I mean [by methodology] is that which has been reported from some of the Salaf like Ibn ’Abbaas and the Imaams who followed him like Mujaahid, Maalik and others, “There is no-one except that his statements are accepted and rejected, apart from the occupant of this grave,” and he pointed to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. This is a reality which the Muslim youth, the student of correct knowledge must bring to mind—it being nothing except, “Allaah said and Allaah’s Messenger said,” in addition to what we say over and over again, “… on the methodology of the Pious Predecessors.”

And they must also call to mind another reality, a Quranic reality, Allaah تبارك وتعالى said, “And if your Lord had so willed, He could surely have made mankind one Ummah, but they will not cease to disagree, except him on whom your Lord has bestowed His Mercy and for that did He create them,” [Huud 11:118-119]. So there is no escape or salvation from differing, this is the way of Allaah عز وجل with His creation, and you will not find any change to Allaah’s Way.

But there is [that type of] differing which people have an excuse for and [another which they] do not have an excuse for. They have an excuse for that differing which is inescapable, the one indicated in the aforementioned aayah, “And if your Lord had so willed, He could surely have made mankind one Ummah …” so our Lord did not will for mankind to be on one manhaj, upon one understanding, and if it were to have been like that then the Companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم would have been the most worthy of the people to have been as such, those who were the best of mankind as is openly mentioned in the well-known, mutawaatir hadith, but Allaah عز وجل willed, out of His Perfect Wisdom, [Wisdom] which some people who understand it may perceive whilst most of man does not, but that does not harm us … so differing is a natural thing as we have mentioned … as for differing and arguing due to misunderstanding one issue, this is what has been banned and this is what is not allowed and this is what the Salaf were saved from and the Khalaf fell into.

When the youth bear this reality in mind, they should not then find it strange that some scholars differ, especially when they are those who embrace the one methodology, and it is the true methodology: [that of] the Book, the Sunnah and what the Pious Predecessors were upon. They should not condemn it and find it strange because it is the Way of Allaah عز وجل with His Creation, and if they want to be delivered from it then they must tread the path of the people of knowledge, and it is what has been laid down in the Noble Quran, “Say, ‘Produce your proof if you are truthful.’” [Baqarah 2:111]

So when two or more different statements come to a student of knowledge from two venerable scholars, and it is believed that both are equal in knowledge and excellence and he thus becomes confused—and he may be entitled to be confused initially but it is not allowed for him to continue in that [state of confusion]: [so then] he must ask for proof, [he must] seek the proof from both of the scholars, whether he is speaking to them directly or through correspondence or on the phone or through other methods of communication of that sort which are used nowadays.

So after he listens to the proof from all of them, he is not then charged with having to prefer Zaid [for example] over ’Amr or ’Amr over Zaid—rather he follows the one who has the proof which his soul finds ease in, and his breast opens up to, and maybe this … and the answer will end with this … is one of the meanings of his statement عليه الصلاة والسلام, “Consult your heart even if you are given fatwas by those who deliver religious verdicts.”

Two statements come to you from two great scholars: consult your heart—after you have asked for a clarification of the proofs—then whichever of the two your heart leans towards and is the one you take then you will have an excuse before Allaah تبارك وتعالى.

But as for you becoming bigoted for one [scholar] over the other, then this is the way of the blind-followers who Allaah عز وجل has saved us [from being] and whose way He took us out of and [Who then led us] to the Straight Path.

Wal-Hamdulillaahi rabbil-’Aalameen.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 375, [2/5/440].

Shaikh al-Albaani’s independence from the rulers …


Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

Shaikh Muhammad Musa Nasr said, “We do not know from the life of our Shaikh and through the times we accompanied him which spanned over twenty years that he ever entered upon a ruler, or those in authority or a judge, or ever fawned on one, or was ever appointed in a religious position under one, or ever ate at the table of one: which was the thing that made him independent in the stances he took; and his religious verdicts were not issued due to political or religious pressure …

So his religious verdicts were never to please Zaid or Amr.  Allaah had made him free of having a need of the people, and provided for him through what his own hands earned where he worked repairing watches for many long years, “The best of what a man eats is that which his own hands have earned …”

And I took his hand one day and said to him, “Our Shaikh! Have you ever shaken hands with any of the tyrants of this world?”

He replied, “No.”

I said to him, “And have you ever eaten at their tables or entered upon them?”

He said, “No.”

So I took his hand to kiss it and he prevented me from doing so, but I overcame him and kissed it. After which he severely reprimanded me, so I said, “And why shouldn’t I kiss a hand that has never shaken that of a tyrant? And which has served the Sunnah of the Messenger صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ for more than half a century?”

And the Shaikh would reprimand me many times for my exaggeration in the love and honour for him, and in my view this was less than what he deserved.

But this did not prevent us from opposing him, sometimes, in some of the independent judgements [ijtihaad] he would come to, may Allaah have mercy on him. For everyone’s saying is accepted and rejected except for the companion of this grave [i.e., the Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ] as Imaam Maalik, may Allaah have mercy on him, said …”

Al-Imaam, al-Mujaddid, al-Allaamah, al-Muhaddith, Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, pp. 63-64.

Conceited, Deluded, Self-Amazed, ‘Students of Knowledge’, Smitten by Their Own Opinions, Making Their Own ‘Ijtihaad’, Misguided and Misguiding Others


 

Shaikh al-Albaani said, “I advise you and myself firstly to fear Allaah, then [I also advise you and myself] with some of those things which branch off from the fear of Allaah, the Blessed and Most High. The first of which is that you seek knowledge purely for the Face of Allaah, that you do not want any reward nor thanks [for doing so], nor to be at the head of gatherings, only to the extent which Allaah the Most High specified the scholars with when He said, “Allaah will exalt in degree those of you who believe and those who have been granted knowledge.” [Mujaadilah 58:11].

And secondly that you keep away from the pitfalls that some of the students of knowledge fall into, from them being: how quickly one of them is dominated by self-importance [ujb] and conceitedness [ghuroor] such that he will dart forward, obstinate, issuing religious verdicts for himself and others based upon whatever is apparent to him without seeking the aid of the people of knowledge from the Salaf as-Saalih of this nation who bequeathed a great heritage to us illuminated with Islamic learning. [A heritage they left] so that we could seek its help in putting an end to many of the calamities that have accumulated through the ages; some of which we have lived through and which were [like] pitch-black darkness.

Seeking aid through the sayings of the Salaf and their opinions helps us to eliminate this darkness and to return to [take from] the spring of the Book and the authentic Sunnah.

And I will not conceal from you the fact that I lived in a time where I saw two opposing matters.

The first was when all of the Muslims, the Shaikhs and the students, the general masses and the scholars, lived in the centre of blind-following, not just of the madhhabs, but also of their fathers and forefathers, and in the midst of that we would call to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم), at this location and that.

And in various Islamic countries there were individuals doing the same as us, so all of us were living like the strangers which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) described in some of his well-known hadiths from which is, “Indeed Islaam started as something strange, and it will soon return to being something strange [just] as it began, so glad tidings for the strangers.” And in some narrations there occurs that he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “They are righteous people, few amongst many. Those who disobey them are more than those who obey them.” And in another narration there occurs, “They are the ones who correct that which the people have corrupted from my Sunnah after me.”

I say: We lived through that time. Then we started to see a pleasant impact of the call of the rectifying strangers upon the believing youth. And we saw these youth stand upright in all earnestness in many of the Islamic countries, being keen to cling to the Book and the Sunnah when they knew it to be authentic.

But this happiness of ours at this awakening which we felt in these last years did not last until we were taken by surprise by a transformation which occurred in these youth in some of the countries, and which almost wiped out the effects of this good awakening.

And what was the cause of that?

Herein lies the lesson. [It was nothing] except for the fact that they were afflicted with self-importance and conceitedness due to them seeing that they now were upon something of correct knowledge. And [they did] not [see themselves as such] amongst the group of lost Muslim youth only, but even amongst many of the Shaikhs of knowledge, and this was when they felt that they had risen above the people of Sheikhdom [or people who truly were Shaikhs] and the people of knowledge spread-out throughout the world.

Just as they didn’t thank Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, for the success [tawfeeq] He granted them [in guiding them] to this correct knowledge and its manners. Instead they deceived themselves and [falsely] thought that they had something to stand upon.

So they took to issuing crude religious verdicts [fatwas] not based upon an understanding of the Book and the Sunnah. So these religious verdicts came from [people with] immature opinions, [whereas] they thought it was knowledge taken from the Book and the Sunnah—and thus they were misguided due to those opinions as well as misguiding others.

And the effects of that seen in the existence of a group in some of the Islamic countries will not be hidden from you, [a group] who took to openly declaring all other Islamic groups to be disbelievers using philosophical arguments which there is no time to delve into now in this brief word, especially when we are in the middle of advising and reminding the students of knowledge and the callers.

For this reason I advise our brothers, the people of the Sunnah and the Hadith, in all the Islamic lands to be patient in seeking knowledge and not to be deceived by the knowledge they may have acquired. They should only follow the path and not just rely on their own understanding or what they call their ‘ijtihaad’!

And I have heard many of our brothers saying with the utmost ease, with total unaffectedness and without any concern, “I made ijtihaad [in this issue] … I think it is like this …” or, “I don’t hold that to be correct!” And when you ask them, “What is it that you have based your ‘ijtihaad’ upon such that your opinion is such and such? Did you rely upon the understanding of the Book and the Sunnah and the unanimous consensus [ijmaa’] of the scholars from the Companions and other than them? What did you use to help you? Did you use the books of fiqh and hadith and the understanding of the scholars to help you in that? Or is it [nothing but] desire and understanding deficient in its outlook and its derivations [of rulings from the proofs]?

[And] indeed, it is.

In my opinion, this is the cause of that self-importance and conceitedness. And it is due to this that in the Islamic world I find a very strange phenomenon becoming apparent in some of the books [being written], and it is: that you will find someone who is an enemy of the hadith authoring works in the field of the science of hadith! Only so that it may be said, “He has written [a book] on the science of hadith.”

And if you were to go back to that which he has written in this noble [branch of] knowledge you will find that it is nothing but the mere reporting of quotes which he has gathered and collected from here and there and from which he authored this book of his! What is the impetus behind that do you think? It is the love of showing-off and prominence. And he who said the following spoke the truth, “The love of showing off will be the end of you/your downfall.” [lit.: “will break the backs.”]

For this reason I repeat what I said to my brothers, the students of knowledge: that they distance themselves from every mannerism that is not Islamic, part of which is that they do not become deceived by the knowledge they have been given and that [they do not let] self-importance overcome them, and that lastly they advise the people with that which is best.

And that they distance themselves from having a harsh and severe manner in calling [to Allaah], since all of us believe that when Allaah the Mighty and Majestic said, “Invite to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better,” [An-Nahl 16:125] He only did so because the Truth in and of itself is [already] heavy on the people, it is heavy on the souls of mankind and that is why they become arrogant and don’t accept it, except for those upon whom your Lord has mercy. So when another thing and another weight, i.e., harshness in calling to Allaah [da’wah], is added to the weightiness of the truth on the human soul, it will result in driving the people away from the call. And you know the saying of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), “Indeed from among you are those who drive people away.” He said it three times.

In conclusion, I ask Allaah the Mighty and Majestic that He does not make us from those who drive the people away, but rather that He makes us from those wise people who act upon the Book and the Sunnah.

And I entrust you to Allaah.

Was-salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu.”

Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Duroos, wa Mawaaqif, wa Ibar, of Abdul-Aziz ibn Muhammad Abdullaah as-Sadhaan, pp. 161-164.

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