Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Tag: library

Shaikh Muqbil About The Most Knowledgeable Person in Hadith in This Time and Libraries that Do not Have His Books


 

The Imaam of Yemen, Muqbil ibn Haadi al-Waadi’i, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, “… and likewise hadith, the most knowledgeable person found in this time [concerning hadith] is the Shaikh Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, may Allaah the Most High protect him, indeed we advise all students of knowledge to get hold of his books and to benefit from them—any library that does not have the books of Shaikh Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani is inadequate. So may Allaah reward him well on behalf of Islaam and the Muslims.”

Ijaabatus-Saa‘il ’alaa Ahammil-Masaa‘il, p. 559.

The Shaikh’s Life in his Own Words … 16


 

The Story of the Lost Paper

“I had been suffering from a mild eye ailment for over twelve years so an eye specialist advised me to give them some rest and stop reading, writing and working (repairing watches) for six months.

I heeded his advice initially, leaving all of those things for two weeks approximately–then my soul started to entice me, pushing me to do something during this tedious recess, something which would not, in my opinion, go against what the doctor had advised.  I recalled a manuscript I had seen in the library entitled Dhammul-Malaahee of Ibn Abid-Dunyaa which according to my knowledge had not been printed at that time.  So I said to myself, ‘What harm is there in getting someone to copy it out for me?  And by the time the manuscript would be copied out and the time to check this copy against the original would come round, a reasonable amount of time would have passed for my eyes to have rested.  And this would not demand an amount of effort which would compromise my health situation, and then I could check it at my own pace after that, verifying its hadiths and then we could print it, all in stages so that I would not overburden myself!’

When the person assigned to copy out the manuscript had reached half way he informed me that there was a missing part.  I told him to continue copying it out until he finishes it, and then we would compare it to the original.  [When he had finished] I checked and ascertained that there indeed was a missing part like he had indicated.  I estimated it to be about four pages long.

I began to ponder over it and how I could come by it? This manuscript was kept in one volume amongst many which were stored in the library in the section entitle Majaamee.  Each of these volumes on the whole had numerous treatises and books within it, with differing hand-writing, topics and paper different in both colour and size.  So I said to myself, ‘Maybe the manuscript compiler accidentally bound it in one of these other volumes.’  Thus I flung myself into searching for it in sequence with untold enthusiasm and energy.

And I forgot–or I made myself forget–the ailment in my eyes!  So whenever I remembered it I was never short of justifications to continue, like saying that this research would not adversely affect [the eye rest] since there was no writing or strenuous reading involved!

I had gone through only a few manuscripts when my attention was drawn to the titles of some of the treatises and works by famous scholars and well-known preservers of hadith.  So I would stop at them, search them, study them, wishing that they would be copied out and checked and then printed.  But most times I would find them to be missing parts and chapters, so I would find the second and not the first for example, and would thus not record them in my index.  I continued searching for the lost paper, but in vain, until finally I completed going through all of the volumes that were in the Majaamee section and which totalled 152.

Moreover, during this search I had started to pen down the titles of some of the books that had appealed to me and what encouraged me in that was the fact that during the search I had come across some of the missing parts of manuscripts that I had not recorded before [due to them having been deficient, and now that the missing parts had been found and the manuscript was complete he could record their names].

Since I could not find the lost paper among the aforementioned volumes, I said to myself, ‘Perhaps it was wrongly placed in one of the volumes of the books of hadith collections, stacked in the library under the hadith section!’  Thus I started to go through this section, volume by volume, until I went through them all without finding the lost paper.  Yet I recorded [in my index] as many names of treatises and books as Allaah, the Most High, willed.

In this way I continued to justify and entice myself by saying that I would come across the lost paper.  So in the search for it I would go from looking in the volumes and treatises of one branch of knowledge to the next—until I had gone through all of the manuscripts kept at the library, which numbered approximately ten thousand—but still I never found the lost paper.

Yet I never despaired.

For there was a section in the library where stacks and piles of papers and various scrapbooks were kept, the origins of which were not known–so I started to go through them, carefully and precisely, but [again] without success.

It was then that I began to believe that I may not be able to find the lost paper.

Yet after thinking about this situation I found that because of it Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, had opened a towering gateway of knowledge for me, which I had been ignorant of just as others like me had.  [And this was the fact that] the Dhaahiryyah Library [in Damascus] contains a treasure of books and treatises in various branches of beneficial knowledge which our forefathers, may Allaah, the Most High, have mercy on them, left for us, and that it has rare manuscripts which most likely cannot be found in other libraries across the world and which have still not been printed to this day.

So when this [reality of the value of material in the library] became clear to me and was established in my heart, I resumed the study of all of the library’s manuscripts, from the first to the last.  For the second time.

[This time round I did so] in light of the experience I had gained from my previous search where I had [only] recorded selections [that I had chosen] from the books–now I started to record every single thing that [I came across which] was associated with the knowledge of the science of hadith.  Not coming upon the minutest detail except that I recorded it, even if it came from one [stray] piece of paper from a book or volume whose origin was not known.

It was as though Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, was preparing me through all of this for the third and final stage which was the actual study of these books, a detailed study, [so that I could] pull out from them the Prophetic sayings along with their chains of narration and paths, and [any] other benefits.

This index was the result of individual effort, a personal drive, from someone who was not employed at the library or assigned to it, and as such the necessary aids to review the manuscripts, study them and search the parts of them that were unknown were not available as would have been the case for someone who was employed by the library or assigned to do such a job by the administration.

So it was only natural that I face some hardship during that research–and there were days that came by me where I would have to perch up a ladder, and then climb up it and stay there for hours on end in that very spot to study it [as] quickly [as was possible].  So when I would choose something from it which I would want to study and scrutinise deeply, I would ask the librarian to take it down for me to the desk …”

Hayaatul-Allaamah al-Albaani, rahimahullaah, bi qalamihi, pp. 34-37.

The Shaikh’s Life in his Own Words … 9


His Sudden Departure from Amman back to Damascus
and then to Lebanon

“It was while I was preparing for the third lesson that I was shocked to hear of that which forced me–in such a manner that I had no choice whatsoever–but to leave Amman and my dependents therein since it was no longer possible for me to stay there.  Thus I travelled back to my first place of migration, Damascus, and that was during a Wednesday afternoon, the 19th of the month of Shawwaal, 1401 [August 1981 ce].  I arrived there at night in an extremely bleak and sombre state, imploring and beseeching Allaah, the Most High, to avert the evil that has been decreed and also the plots of the enemies.

I remained there for two nights and in the third, after seeking counsel and praying for guidance [istikhaarah], I travelled to Beirut with great caution and fear due to what was known of the great trials and tribulations there and the wanton killings.  The route to Beirut was surrounded by danger but Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, saved me and made it easy.  I arrived at Beirut during the first third of the night, heading to the house of a dear brother of mine, a devoted, close friend who received me with his well-known kindness, manners and hospitality, and who who took me in as a respected and honoured guest, may Allaah reward him with good.

When I settled down in his house and my mind was no longer preoccupied with the difficulties of travelling, it was only natural that I [should] seize the opportunity of this sudden isolation, thus I turned all of my attention to studying and reading in his populous, rich library that was full of books and rare manuscripts, it contained most of the resources that I needed and many others that I did not have in my library in Damascus.

I asked him to show me the catalogue of the manuscripts and photocopied material that were in his hands and which he had written down on cards.  He responded to that with an open heart and righteous Islamic manners that were well-known about him.  May Allaah reward him with good.”

Hayaatul-Allaamah al-Albaani, rahimahullaah, bi qalamihi, pp. 18-19.

[Translators note: It was as a result of this journey that the Shaikh completed his book, Raf’ul-Astaar]

The Shaikh’s Life in his Own Words … 8


 

His Migration from Damascus to Amman, Jordan

“Indeed Allaah, through his wisdom, has made a reason for everything and an appointed term for every affair, and He has decreed everything in a most excellent way.  Part of which was that I migrated with my family from Damascus in Syria to Amman [in Jordan], at the beginning of Ramadaan in the year 1400 [1980 ce].  So I undertook the steps to building a house there which I could betake myself to for as long as I was alive and Allaah, through his great favour and grace, made its completion easy.  I began to live there after a lot of hard work and an illness affected me as a result of the effort I put in from purchasing the land, putting down the foundations and [finally] building the house, and I still suffer from it a little, and all praise is due to Allaah in every condition and all praise is due to Allaah through whose blessings righteous actions are completed.  So it was natural that this would divert me from what I was used to doing in Damascus [where I had been] devoting myself to knowledge both studying and teaching, writing and checking – especially since my personal library was still in Damascus for I had not been able to have it transferred to Amman due to well known difficulties and obstacles.  I would console myself daily and wish for it, saying [to myself] that very soon the water will return to its course, but how often the winds flow [in directions] opposite to that which the sailors long for.  For as soon as some of our brothers in Jordan realised that I had settled at home they started to request that I resume the lectures that I used to give them in the years gone by before I migrated to Amman–since I used to travel to it every month or two, giving them a lesson or two on each journey.  They persisted in their request and so even though I had not decided to give any lectures so that I could spend what remained of my energy and life to complete some of my knowledge-based projects–and how many there are–I saw that I had to fulfil their good [natured] request and desire.  So I promised good to them and told them that I would give them a lesson every Thursday after Maghrib prayer in the house of one of our noble brothers whose house was close to mine.

That was realised, by the Permission of Allaah, and I gave them the first and then the second lesson from the book Riyaad as-Saaliheen of Imaam an-Nawawee, and I answered some of their many questions after the lesson, questions which showed their extreme desire for knowledge and to become acquainted with the Sunnah.”

Hayaatul-Allaamah al-Albaani, rahimahullaah, bi qalamihi, pp. 16-18.

The Shaikh’s Life in his Own Words … 1



There’s a small book written by a person called Isaam Moosaa Haadi, entitled, “The Life of Allaamah al-Albaani, may Allaah have mercy upon him, in His Own Words.” I thought it would be a good idea to go through the book, a little at a time, so we could get a picture of the Shaikh’s life as he narrated it himself.  Isaam Haadi basically went through the Shaikh’s works and gathered sections where the Shaikh spoke about himself and the result was this small but lovely work.  Here’s the first post …

 

Migrating to Syria

Shaikh al-Albaani said, “Indeed the blessings of Allaah upon me are numerous and I cannot enumerate how many there are.  And perhaps from the most important of them are the following two: the migration of my father to Syria and that he taught me his profession as a watch repairer [horologist].

The first [blessing] made learning arabic easy for me and if we had remained in Albania I do not believe that I would have learnt a letter from it, and there is no path to the Book of Allaah or the Sunnah of his Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, except by way of arabic.

The second [blessing], learning how to repair watches, gave me spare time which I filled with seeking knowledge.  And it provided me with the opportunity to visit the Dhaahiriyyah library and other than it for many hours every day.

And if I had continued to stick to carpentry, which I had initially tried to learn, it would have devoured all of my time, and as a result the paths of knowledge would have been closed in my face, [paths] whose students must have free time.”

Al-Albaani and The Ladder


 

Shaikh Baasim Faisal al-Juwaabirah said, “And from that which showed the Shaikh’s patience and fortitude in seeking knowledge was what Dr. Mahmood al-Meerah, may Allaah protect him, told me: that Shaikh Naasir climbed up a ladder in the Dhaahiriyyah library in Damascus to take a book, a manuscript, so he got the book and opened it and then started to read it while standing on the ladder—and stayed there reading for more than six hours.”

Al-Imaam al-Albani, Duroos wa Mawaaqif wa Ibar, p. 63.

“Show me that book …”


Esaam Moosaa Haadi said, “A student of knowledge who used to study at the Institute of Sharee’ah used to work with our Shaikh.  During his spare time he would come to our Shaikh and transcribe for the Shaikh [whatever he wanted penned down].  So this student told me that the Shaikh once said to him, “Show me that book you have with you …” [alluding] to a book that student had with him.  The Shaikh then started to look through the book.  He then left the study with it and came back later returning it to the student.  So when the student left our Shaikh, he said, “I noticed that there was something in the book.  When I had a look I saw that our Shaikh had left some money [between the pages].””

Al-Imaam al-Albani, Duroos wa Mawaaqif wa Ibar, p. 173.

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