Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Tag: hanafi fiqh

Shaikh al-Albaani’s Life | Questions and Answers … 3


Learning from his Father

Al-Huwaini: I asked Shaikh Shu’aib al-Arnaa’oot about some things and then he ended up saying, “I used to go to Shaikh Nooh (i.e., Shaikh al-Albaani’s father) but Shaikh Naasir would not be present at our sittings.”

Al-Albaani: I never used to attend those lessons which he is referring to. But we used to have a private lesson with my father with two other Arnaa’ooti youths one of whose names was Abdur-Raheem Zainul-Aabideen and he is still alive, the other has passed away and we used to read Al-Qadoori in hanafi fiqh to him, likewise we read Al-Maraah in morphology to him and we finished reciting the Quraan to him.

So this does not mean that we did not read to him, for I would not attend at the time he was attending just as the opposite [conclusion] is not binding–for he never used to attend these particular lessons of ours with my father, [but this does not mean] that he never sat with my father, this is not binding.

Al-Albaani Leaving the Hanafi Madhhab to Study Hadith
and the time he was too poor to buy a Book

Al-Huwaini: There is a matter here which draws one’s attention: how did you turn to hadith and such, bearing in mind that some of what you have said and what Shaikh Shu’aib said [shows] that your father was a Hanafi, he would revere the Hanafi school of thought greatly?

Al-Albaani: That is from the blessings of Allaah. But as for the reason then it is as is said, “When Allaah intends a matter He facilitates the means for it.” So I truly was living in an atmosphere of bigoted Hanafism. My father, especially among the Arnaa’oots, was regarded as the most knowledgeable of them in Hanafi fiqh, he was the one they would recourse and refer back to.

When I finished elementary school and studied as I have previously detailed with some of the Shaikhs, I would have a very great desire to want to read as a hobby. But reading [those things]–as would seem to one looking in on it–that contained no benefit, indeed which could even have an adverse effect. But later on the effect of this reading became clear in my language for it had strengthened my oral skills. What is peculiar is that I was infatuated with reading modern day fiction works which were known as hiwaayaat [leisure reading/books that are read as a hobby], especially the stories of the American thief famous as Arsene Lupin. So I was truly infatuated with reading this type of story and narrative.

Then I found myself moving to the second stage which perhaps was better than the first, and it was studying Arabic stories, even though [most of them] were fiction. So for example I read A Thousand Arabian Nights, I read the story of Antar ibn Shaddaad, the story of Salaah ad-Deen al-Ayyoobi, a story of resoluteness and valiant champions, and so on. I was extremely captivated by such types of perusal and reading, and then from the perfectness of Allaah’s Plan and His Kindness to me was that when I changed my profession and accompanied my father I came across a lot of free time.

We would split the time [we’d sit] in the shop. So he would go [to it] in the morning and I would go with him [and he would stay there] until he prayed dhuhr, then after he had prayed it he would go home to relax and I would remain in the shop until he returned [which would be] after asr. We were both workers and sometimes I would come across a lot of spare time, there would be hours and I would not [have to] repair any watches, so I would ask his permission to go out … and to where? This was also from Allaah’s granting of success to me [that] I would go to the Amawi masjid and would give the people some general lessons, and I was influenced as regards ideology: some of it was correct, in what became apparent to me later, and some of it was incorrect.

That which was incorrect was connected to two points: blind following and Sufism. Then in this free time during which I would leave my father’s shop, Allaah ordained [that I meet] an Egyptian man who would buy books left by people who had passed away and then [sell them and] put them on display in front of a shop of his [which was] in the direction of the western door of the Amawi mosque. So I would pass by the stack of books which he would pile up outside his small shop, turning over the pages, and I would find whatever I wanted from those narrations, and I would loan the book from him for some money, read it and then return it and so on.

One day I found some issues of the magazine ‘Al-Mannar’ with him, and I remember very well that I read a chapter in it by as-Sayyid Rashid Rida, may Allaah have mercy upon him, speaking about the merits of al-Ghazaali’s book Al-Ihyaa and he [also] criticised it from some angles, likes its Sufism, for example, and the weak and baseless hadiths that were in it. In this regard he mentioned that Abul-Fadl Zainul-Aabidin al-Iraaqi had a book which he authored about Al-Ihyaa in which he checked its hadiths, distinguishing between its authentic and weak ones and he called it, Al-Mughni an Hamlil-Asfaar fil-Asfaar fee Takhrij maa fil-Ihyaa minal-Akhbaar.

So I began to greatly yearn for this book, I went to the market asking after it like someone infatuated and madly in love [aashiq] [saying], “Where is this book?” Until I found it with one of them and it was in four volumes, the print of al-Baabi al-Halabi, on soft, yellow paper.

But I was poor like my father and could not afford to buy a book such as it, so I came to an agreement with its owner that I would loan it from him, I don’t recall now [whether it was] for a year or less or more, so I did, I took the book and was almost about to fly out of joy. I went to the shop and I would take advantage of the time when my father was away so I could be alone with my book.  I made a plan to copy it out and so I started to do so. I bought some paper and got a ‘mistarah’–and this refers to cardboard that had parallel lines on it.

Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Hayaatuhu, Da’watuhu, Juhooduhoo fee Khidmatis-Sunnah, of Muhammad Bayyoomi, pp. 10-12.

Shaikh al-Albaani’s Life | Questions and Answers … 2


 

Al-Albaani the Carpenter

Al-Huwaini: After you finished your study why didn’t you go on to complete your academic education, i.e., secondary education and so on?

Al-Albaani: I didn’t increase upon my elementary education, and the reason for that goes back to my father. Perhaps this was a shot in the dark on his behalf [but a successful one at that], since what I witnessed later was that if I had continued in that line of education I wouldn’t have been able to do the study that I do. Since it is true that formal education makes it easy for someone who wants to progress in great strides in academic research, yet it is very rare to find this in those who do graduate.

My father, may Allaah have mercy upon him, had a bad opinion about the government schools, and he had a right to, since they would not teach anything from the Sharee’ah except its outline and not its reality [i.e., skim its surface]. For this reason he didn’t send me to a preparatory school, for example, which in those days was known as secondary school in Syria.

Due to that I started to study Hanafi fiqh and morphology [sarf] with my father; and with another Shaikh whose name was Shaikh Sa’eed Burhaani, and it became apparent to me later that he was a Sufi, a follower of a tariqah, I studied some Hanafi fiqh with this Shaikh, specifically [the book] Maraaqi al-Falaah Sharh Nurul-Eedaah. I also studied some books of Arabic grammar and modern day rhetoric with him using some books of contemporary writers.

I finished reading the Quran to my father with tajwid and at the same time I was pursuing work as a carpenter, that which these days is called Arabic carpentry. I finished learning [it] from two carpenters, one of them was my maternal uncle whose name was Ismaa’eel, may Allaah have mercy upon him, I worked with him for two years. The other was a Syrian known as Abu Muhammad who I also worked with for two years. Most of my work with them centred around repairing and restoring old houses, since old houses in Syria were made from wood and bricks. Over time and with rain, snow and such, parts of the floors would collapse and would require someone [specialising] in Arabic carpentry to come and fix them so I would go with them.

Most of the time in winter  we would not be able to do any work whatsoever, so I would pass by my father who was working as a watch repairer.  One day he said to me, when I had returned from my two [carpentry] instructors and he could tell that there was no work because it was an overcast and cloudy day, he said, “It looks as though there’s no work today.”

I replied, “Yes, no work.”

So he said, “What do you think, I feel that this profession [i.e., carpentry] isn’t easy nor is it a profession. What do you think about working with me?”

I said to him, “As you wish.”

He said, “Come on then, climb up!” His shop was raised off the ground since he used to fear that damp would set in, and so from that day I stuck to him until I learnt the profession from him and then opened up my own shop.

Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Hayaatuhu, Da’watuhu, Juhooduhoo fee Khidmatis-Sunnah, of Muhammad Bayyoomi, pp. 9-10.

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