Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Tag: imaam ahmad

Al-’Abbaad: “Al-Albaani in Our Time is Like [Imaam] Ahmad in His.”


 

The ’Allaamah, the Muhaddith of Medinah, the Shaikh ’Abdul-Muhsin al-’Abbaad, may Allaah the Most High protect him, said, “Al-Albaani in our time is like [Imaam] Ahmad in his.”

Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Shaikhul-Islaam wa Imaamu Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah fi ’Uyoon A’laam al-’Ulamaa wa Fuhool al-Udabaa, p. 223.

What Has Been Attributed to Imaam Ahmad Concerning Seeking The Prophet’s Intercession صلى الله عليه وسلم


Questioner: It is reported from Imaam Ahmad that he used to permit intercession [tawassul] through the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, what is the authenticity of that [report]? And what is your opinion [concerning this]?

Al-Albaani: As for the authenticity of that according to the method employed when checking hadith, [then] we are not able to establish it, and it is not possible for us to establish [the authenticity] of every statement relayed about an Imaam of the Muslims according to the method of the scholars of hadith.

But we cannot but rely on the scholars who have preceded us in time and knowledge, and we can only but rely on them in the statements and narrations they relay to us–until a mistake in their reporting that becomes clear to us … [about] Imaam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy on him, permitting intercession through the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.

I remember reading that a long time ago in the Shaikh of Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah’s book, ‘At-Tawassul wal-Wasilah,’ he narrates that [statement] as being one of Imaam Ahmad’s, and his authority in that was the hadith of the blind man.

And as I just said: as long as Ibn Taymiyyah is narrating that, and he is someone who is trusted and relied upon in that which he narrates, then we maintain that which he narrated until the weakness of what he is narrating is established with us, this is regarding the answer to the question.

But I want to mention something important, in my view, concerning statements such as this: it does not harm us whether or not this statement is confirmed from Imaam Ahmad, both matters are equal before us–that is because we are not ‘Ahmadees’ [i.e., blind followers of Imaam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy on him], but rather as I just said: we cherish these Imaams and hold them in high esteem and benefit from their knowledge and methodology, but we do not surrender the command of our aqidah or our pillars to them except those to whom it becomes clear to us have the truth with them.

Thus, if the report from Ibn Taymiyyah about Imaam Ahmad allowing that … and that his proof in that was the hadith of the blind man, and then upon studying the hadith of the blind man it becomes obvious that it does not denote seeking the intercession of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم after his death, because the blind man was only seeking intercession through the supplication [du’aa] of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم as is well-noted in that same book of Ibn Taymiyyah’s [we] just mentioned, and as I further clarified in my book [entitled], ‘At-Tawassul Anwaa’uhu wa Ahkaamuhu,’ … and the hadith of the blind man all centres around seeking intercession with the rank of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, so it is not permissible for us to say that it is permissible to seek intercession through the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم now, because we cannot inform him what it is we need him to supplicate to his Lord for us is, and, for example, when he supplicates while in the state of barzakh we cannot know that he has [actually] supplicated, so the issue in the hadith of the blind man is connected to when he was alive عليه السلام and it has no connection to [after] his death.

Al-Fataawa al-Kuwaitiyyah, pp. 45-47.

Praying Behind the People of Innovation | 1 | There is a Distinction Between Praying Behind Innovators and Mixing with Them


Questioner: How do you deal with a dissenter [i.e., someone who opposes the Sunnah], between those who are too lenient which can lead to tamyee’ in practising the Sunnah, and those who are too harsh/strict which can lead to that which we have heard you mention many times, i.e., the lack of establishing the proof against the dissenter and other things, and I say this so as to not tire you by repeating what you have already mentioned.

But a doubt crops up based upon some actions of the Salaf, like the statement of some of them, ‘The hearts are weak, and sitting with the innovators snatches them away …’ and likewise, the fact that Imaam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy on him, would drive the people away from al-Haarith al-Muhaasibi.

Al-Albaani: Yes, yes.

Someone Else: He prohibited that his books be read.

Al-Albaani: Yes.

Questioner: … and dealing with this dissenter according to the scale of his good and bad deeds, i.e., there is a principle which says, ‘We look at the person’s good and bad actions,’ [but] then we have the statements of some of the Salaf regarding driving the innovators away even if they have some good deeds?

Al-Albaani: Yes. That which I hold, and Allaah knows best, is that the statements of the Salaf, are related regarding a Salafi environment, i.e., an environment that is full of strong faith and the correct following of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Companions.

And [this issue you mentioned] is totally like that of boycotting, where a Muslim boycotts another to educate and discipline him, this is a well-known Sunnah. But my conviction, and how many times I’m asked about this, is that I say: our day and age is not right for boycotting, our day and age is not right for boycotting the innovators, because that means that you will have to go and live on the peak of a mountain, that you isolate yourself from the people and seclude yourself from them.

And that is because if you do boycott the people due to their sins or innovations then you will not have the effect which the Salaf used to have when they made those statements encouraging the people to avoid the people of innovation. There is no doubt that that is something which is derived from the directions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم amongst which is his well-known saying, “The example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one, is like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows (or furnace); from the first you will either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows will either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof,” [Bukhaari], the well-known hadith, this is like what is mentioned in some places, ‘Your friend pulls/draws you [to whatever he/she is upon],’ ‘Your friend pulls/draws you [to whatever he/she is upon].’

But accompanying/associating with innovators is one thing and distancing yourself from them to such an extent … like that which is asked about often, for example [people will ask], ‘So and so is a Sufi who uses the Prophets and Messengers as intermediaries [instead of calling upon Allaah directly themselves],’ and so on, ‘… and he leads the people in prayer, should I pray behind him?’ I say: pray behind him, so this is one thing and [actually] accompanying and associating with him and benefitting from him is something else.

And I think that which will support me in this distinction and which comes together/agrees with the guidance of the Salaf stated in those words I just mentioned, is that it has reached us that from the aqidah of the Salaf as-Saalih is to pray behind and over every righteous person and sinner, so it will be from harshness that we take these statements to drive the people away from praying behind these Imaams [who lead the prayers in the mosques], Imaams amongst whom it is very rare to find those upon the Sunnah.  The result of doing so would be that the people would have to stick to their houses and suspend the Jamaa’ah of the Muslims, such a thing goes against the statement of the Salaf that it is from aqidah to pray behind every righteous person or sinner.

But what is correct is that we warn these people from mixing with the people of innovation and the Sufis due to what we just mentioned in the hadith and [due to] the example which is a summary of the hadith, that, ‘Your friend pulls/draws you [to whatever he/she is upon].’

This is my opinion, and Allaah knows best.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 511.

Asking For Allaah’s Mercy For Those who Fell into Innovations Connected to Aqidah | 4 | If You Call Someone an Innovator Either He Really is or it Goes Back on You


And finally I want to remind you of a reality about which there is no difference but I wanted to add something else to it which many of our youth in this day and age do not ponder over.

This reality is the statement he عليه السلام made in many hadiths, “Whoever declares a Muslim to be a disbeliever has committed disbelief,” this is a reality about which there is no doubt, and the detailed explanation of this is well-known from some other hadiths, i.e., if the one he has declared to be a disbeliever is [in fact] a disbeliever then he is correct but if not then it goes back on him.

This does not require a discussion because the hadith about it is clear, but I wanted to add to it and say: whoever declares a Muslim to be an innovator then either that Muslim [who he declared to be an innovator really] is an innovator or if not then he [i.e., the one who accused the other of being an innovator] is the innovator.

And this is the reality which I mentioned to you just now: that our youth declare the scholars to be innovators and they are the ones who have fall into innovation whilst they know not, and they [i.e., these hasty youth] do not want to commit innovations in fact they fight them, but the saying of the poet applies to them:

Sa’d led the camels to water while being wrapped up
Not like this, O Sa’d, are the camels taken to drink

[Ed. Note: namely he led the camels to water while being wrapped up such that he could not take his hands out of his garment, and thus did not perform his duty of tending to the camels correctly, and it is an example used for someone who falls short in carrying out a matter.]

For this reason, I advise our youth to stick to acting upon the Book and the Sunnah within the limits of their knowledge and not to tower over others who they cannot match in either knowledge or understanding, and maybe even righteousness.

So people like [Imaam] An-Nawawi and Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaani–give me someone in the [whole of the] Islamic world like these two men.

Leave Sayyid Qutb, he was a man we revere for his striving but he was no more than an author, a man of letters, a composer [of words]–but he was not a scholar so there is nothing odd about the fact that things and things and things emanated from him which opposed the correct methodology.

As for the ones who alongside him mention An-Nawawi and Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaani and others like them … it is oppression to say about them that they are from the people of innovation, I know that they were both Ash’aris but they both did not intend to [wilfully] oppose the Book and the Sunnah, they erred and thought two things about the Ash’ari aqidah that they inherited: firstly that Imaam al-Asha’ri held that view but he only did so in the earlier days because he came back from holding that opinion, and secondly, they were under the false impression that it was correct, but it is not.

[Addressing the questioner:] Bring what you have [i.e., mention what beneficial points of knowledge you have] …

Questioner: O Shaikh, from the manhaj of the Salaf was that they would not judge a man to be from Ahlus-Sunnah except when he would have the characteristics of the [Ahlus-]Sunnah, and that if he innovated or praised the people of innovation then he would be counted as one of them, as the Salaf would say for example, “Whoever says that Allaah is not above the Heavens then he is a Jahmee.

Al-Albaani: Some of that is present, but do not forget what I just said to you: this does not mean that he is not a Muslim, just as when the Prophet عليه السلام did not pray over the one who died whilst having a debt or the one who acted unfaithfully regarding the war booty or the one who killed someone [all of this] does not mean that such a person is not a Muslim.  This, O my brother, is to educate as we explained before, this is something else.

If the Salafi narrations are not complementing each other or unanimous [mutawaatir] then it is not fitting that a manhaj is based upon a saying from an individual from the Salaf. Thereafter this manhaj is in opposition to what is known from the Salaf themselves: that a Muslim does not leave the fold of Islaam simply by committing an act of disobedience or an innovation or a sin which he perpetrates. So when we find someone who differed with this principle we go back to explaining it as I just mentioned to you, that it is to reprimand and discipline/educate.

We have [an example] in Imaam Bukhaari, and what will explain to you what Imaam Bukhaari was? [i.e., how great a scholar he truly was] Some of the scholars of hadith left Imaam Bukhaari and would not narrate from him, why? Because Imaam Bukhaari differentiated between the one who says the Quraan is created–[for he regarded the one who said this as being] misguided, an innovator, a disbeliever, according to the terminology the scholars have used concerning such people–and the one who said, ‘My pronunciation of the Quraan is created.”

Imaam Ahmad stated that the one who said this statement, i.e., that my pronunciation of the Quraan is created, is a Jahmee, and based upon this ruling some of the people who came after Imaam Ahmad ruled that Imaam Bukhaari is not to be taken from because he has made a statement of the Jahmees. The Jahmiyyah do not say that only one’s pronunciation of the Quraan is created, they [in fact] say that the Quraan is not the Speech of Allaah but is just another part of Allaah’s creation.

So what is then said about [Imaam] al-Bukhaari who made the statement, ‘My pronunciation of the Quraan is created?’ and [what is said about] Imaam Ahmad who said that whoever makes that statement is a Jahmi?

It is not possible for us to reconcile between both issues except by interpreting it correctly in a way which corresponds to the principles … and before I continue, I think along with me, you [do] differentiate between the one who says the Quraan is created and the one who says that his pronunciation of the Quraan is created, don’t you?

Questioner: Yes.

Al-Albaani: So, how will we answer the statement of Imaam Ahmad that whoever says my pronunciation of the Quraan is created is a Jahmi? How do we answer this statement?

There is no answer except for what I mentioned to you, that it was to warn the Muslims from saying something which the people of innovation and misguidance, i.e., the Jahmiyyah, will take as a means [of calling the people to their falsehood]. So maybe someone, to try to make those around him fall into a problem they will have no way of escaping from, will say, ‘My pronunciation of the Quraan is created,’ but who [really] intends [that] the Quraan itself [is created] when he says that, but it is not necessary that everyone who says this statement intends that same evil meaning.

So now, Imaam Bukhaari has no need for anyone to claim that he is pure–for Allaah the Mighty and Majestic has shown him to be pure, since [right] after the Noble Quraan, Allaah made all of his book [i.e., Sahih Bukhari] accepted amongst the generality of Muslims despite the differences amongst those Muslims.

Thus, when he [i.e., Imaam Bukhaari] said, ‘My pronunciation of the Quraan is created,’ he meant something correct by it [and not the evil meaning intended by the innovators], but Imaam Ahmad feared [the outcome of this] and so said, ‘Whoever says that is such and such,’ to warn [the people] and not by way of believing that everyone who says that is truly a Jahmi, no.

For this reason when we find a ruling in the statements of some of the Salaf that whoever falls into innovation then he is an innovator it is to rebuke and not by way of believing [that everyone who does so is an innovator].

 

See here for the last part.

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