Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Tag: methodology

Selling Books and Tapes of Those Who Do Not Adopt the Salafi Methodology

Questioner: I work with Islamic cassettes, and I wanted to ask some of the people of knowledge about the responsibility of distributing the tapes of some of those people who do not adopt the methodology of the Salaf, they ascribe, for example, to some of the groups that we are aware of in the Islamic world, like the Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon or the Tablighis and so on.

Some of them [i.e., the people of knowledge] ruled that I should not record or distribute these tapes at all and others said [that I should] choose those which I see to be valid and which do not openly oppose the methodology of the Salaf.

I’m still confused even now, and I ask Allaah the Mighty and Majestic to remove this confusion through what you see to be correct and through your direction in this issue, may Allaah reward you with good.

Al-Albaani: I have no doubt that the second opinion which you related from some of the people of knowledge is the correct one, because, ‘Wisdom is the believer’s objective, he takes it from wherever he hears it,’ even though this is a weak, inauthentic, hadith which some people in certain countries have become attached to, writing it on plaques and hanging it in prominent places in [their] sitting rooms on the basis that it is a hadith which is established from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم, but it is not established, [so even though this hadith is weak] it is sufficient for us that it really is a wise saying, and thus we act upon it and do not show bigotry towards our madhhabs, learning a lesson from the bigotry of those of the other madhhabs.

So we are the followers of the truth wherever that truth may be, and from wherever it comes, so wisdom is the believer’s objective, he takes it from wherever he hears it.

So when you come across an article or a piece of learned research from one of those groups which, unfortunately, does not adopt the methodology of the Salaf, but which contains a reminder by using Allaah’s aayahs … [using] some authentic hadiths of Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم, then there is nothing which prevents one from distributing these pieces of research through recordings–as long as they do not contain that which opposes the Book and the Sunnah and the methodology of the Salaf as-Saalih.

And this is a problem which in reality is not confined to recordings but goes beyond that to written works which are more widespread than this recorded material.

So is it correct for a book distributor or seller to print that which is not in accordance with the methodology of the Salaf, and is it permissible for him to sell such books? The answer is that maybe no book is free of certain conflicting statements, and it is the following two things that have to be taken into consideration:

The first is that the book, or tape, is not something which is calling to a methodology which opposes that of the Salaf as-Saalih.

Secondly, that that in it which is correct be more than its mistakes, for as Imaam Maalik, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, “There is none among us except that he rejects [things that other people may say or do] and has his speech rejected, except for the person of this grave, i.e., the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).” So for this reason these two principles must be taken into consideration concerning recorded material and printing books and selling them.

And if you were asking about recordings which do not contain any opposition to the Salafi methodology then I do not see any objection whatsoever to distributing them just because the one talking in them is not Salafi in his methodology but rather is a khalafi, or a hizbi, or similar to that. This is what knowledge and fairness demands, and what the attempt to bring together the differences present today, unfortunately, between the Islamic groups demands. This in summary is my answer to what you asked about.

Questioner: As a completion of this issue, some of those who hold that such things should be prevented say that by distributing the statements or tapes of people such as these there is a recommendation [tazkiyyah] of their methodology as though it is an approval of everything that they say.

Al-Albaani: I think there is exaggeration in that statement. If we were to assume that a man wrote a book in which he gathered hadiths about the words of remembrance [dhikr] from Sahih Bukhari, all the while not being someone who is Salafi in methodology, how can such a statement be applied to him? And what is the relation between distributing this material and supporting his methodology? No, by distributing this book of his we are supporting our methodology because he tread our way by choosing that which is authentically reported from our Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم, so I think that such a statement is an exaggeration, and Allaah knows best.

Fataawaa Jeddah, 9.

Al-Albaani asked about Sayyid Qutb | 13 | Salafiyyah is not a Mere Claim


Questioner: In some Arab countries a group has emerged which claims that they are followers of Sayyid Qutb and that they are the true Salafis, what is your opinion?

Al-Albaani: My opinion is that the problem is the same, and my answer is that groundless claims are invalid. We believe that Sayyid Qutb, may Allaah have mercy on him, was not Salafi in his methodology for the majority of his life. But near its end, when he was in prison, a strong inclination to the Salafi methodology became apparent from him.

Salafiyyah is not a mere claim, salafiyyah requires acquaintance with the Book and the authentic Sunnah and the Salafi narrations.

We know that these people and their likes, who claim that their da’wah is based on the Book and the Sunnah, do not know the principles of understanding the Book, principles which are well-known from the statements of Ibn Taymiyyah in his trestise on Usoolul-Fiqh, and the statements of the Imaams of tafseer like Ibn Jarir, Ibn Kathir and others: that the Quraan is interpreted with the Quraan, and if not then with the hadiths, and if not then with the sayings of the Companions and those after them from the Pious Predecessors.

So those who [merely] claim Salafiyyah do not tread this path in explaining the Quraan, this scholarly path, which the scholars of the Muslims have agreed upon.

Questioner: This is present among the Qutubis.

Al-Albaani: Of course, it is present. And that is why in Sayyid Qutb’s tafsir you will find some explanations which adopt the approach of those who came later who oppose the Pious Predecessors.

Thereafter I want to say that these people are not concerned about distinguishing between the authentic Sunnah and the weak, let alone the fact that they are not concerned about scrutinising the narrations of the Companion and the Pious Predecessors, [which is important] because it is these narrations which help a scholar to understand the Book and the Sunnah as we just alluded to.

From where will Salafiyyah come to them if they are far away from understanding the first foundation of Islaam, i.e., the Quraan, and far away from correct, scholarly principles, and far away from distinguishing between authentic and weak hadiths, and even more distant in examining the narrations of the Pious Predecessors, such that they can be guided through their guidance and seek light from theirs?

Thus, the issue is not to merely claim. And why do these people claim that they are Salafis? The answer is as I have mentioned in some of my previous answers: that now the Salafi call, through Allaah’s Grace, has almost covered the Islamic sphere, and it has become apparent to most of those who used to oppose it, even if only generally, that this call is that of the truth, for this reason they associate themselves to it, even though in their actions they are ever so far removed from it.

Al-Huda wan-Noor, 188.

Al-Albaani Destroys, “If You’re Not With Us, You’re Against Us.”

Here’s the PDF: IfYou’reNotWithUSYou’re AgainstUs.

Questioner: There are principles, O Shaikh, which some of the youth act upon, from these rules is, ‘Whoever does not declare a disbeliever to be a disbeliever then he is a disbeliever.  Whoever does not declare an innovator to be an innovator then he is an innovator,’ and another rule, ‘Whoever is not with us, then he is against us.’

What is your opinion about these rules, O Shaikh?

Al-Albaani: And where have these rules come from?! And who laid them down?!

This reminds me of a joke that is told in my motherland, Albania, my father, may Allaah have mercy on him, related it in a sitting. In the story he said that a scholar visited a friend of his at his house and then when he left he declared his friend to be a disbeliever.

He was asked why …

In our country we have a custom, and I think it is [something] uniform in the countries of non-Arabs, they glorify and respect, and revere the scholars with some customs and habits which differ from country to country. From these is that when a scholar enters a house, visiting someone, upon leaving his shoes are supposed to be turned around so that the scholar will not have to burden himself by turning around—he should just find the shoes are ready for him to slide his feet into.

So when this scholar visited his friend and then went to leave he found that his shoes were just as he had left them, i.e., the host had not respected the Shaikh and had just left them as they were.

So ‘the scholar’ said that this is disbelief.

Why? Because the host had not respected the scholar, and the one who has not respected a scholar has not respected knowledge, and the one who does not respect knowledge does not respect the one who brought the knowledge—and the one who brought the knowledge is Muhammad عليه السلام and he carried on in this way until he got to Jibreel and then the Lord of the Worlds, and thus the host is a kaafir.

This question [of yours], this rule [you mentioned], reminded me of this fable!

It is not a condition at all that someone who has declared a person to be a disbeliever or has established the proof against someone, that [as a result of that] all of the people have to be with him in that judgement of takfir, because he [i.e., the person’s situation] may be open to interpretation and [thus] another scholar may hold that it is not permissible to declare that individual to be a disbeliever, and the same goes for declaring someone to be a faasiq or an innovator.

This reality is from the trials of the present day, and from the hastiness of some youth who falsely claim knowledge. So the point is that this chain [of deduction] or making this binding is not incumbent at all.

This is an open/expansive issue, one scholar may hold something to be obligatory and the other may hold that it is not. And the scholars of before and those who came later never differed except due to the fact that the door of ijtihaad does not make it incumbent on others to take his opinion, ‘that others have to take his opinion.’ It is only the blind-follower [muqallid] who has no knowledge who has to blindly-follow [yuqallid].

The scholar, who sees another declare an individual to be a disbeliever, or a faasiq or an innovator, but does not agree with his opinion—it is not incumbent upon him at all to follow that [other] scholar.

And this is a calamity which, inshaa Allaah, has not spread from your country to others?

Questioner: By Allaah, O Shaikh, it is present in our country, the issue of declaring people to be innovators and declaring them to be disbelievers.

Al-Albaani: As for the Jamaa’atut-Takfeer then it is well-known that it is a group that started in Egypt and their fitnah was here in Ammaan before I settled here, i.e., about fourteen years ago. But Allaah the Mighty and Majestic guided them and they became upright on the Sunnah with us. Likewise some of them came to Damascus before I came here, and they tried to spread the fitnah of declaring other people to be disbelievers there, but again, our Lord did not give them success and they returned empty-handed. As for this misguidance, it is still present in Egypt and I fear that some of it may have reached the students of knowledge, and Allaah’s Aid is sought.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 778.

Asking For Allaah’s Mercy For Those who Fell into Innovations Connected to Aqidah | End | If we open the door to boycotting, ostracising and declaring people to be innovators, we will have to go and live in the mountains.


Maybe it is pertinent on this occasion to mention the well-known narration from Imaam Maalik when a man came to him and said, ‘O Maalik! Allaah’s Ascendancy?’ He replied, ‘Al-Istiwaa is known. The ‘how’ is not and asking about it is an innovation. Remove the man for he is an innovator.’ So the man didn’t become an innovator just because he asked a question, he wanted to understand something but Imaam Maalik feared that as a result an objection to the Salafi Aqidah would occur, so he said, ‘Remove the man, for he is an innovator.’

Look now how the means differ, do you or me, or Bakr, or Umar or Zaid and so on think that … if we were to ask a person from the common folk of the Muslims let alone their elite a question like this … shall we give him the same answer that [Imaam] Maalik gave and put him in the same category as that man, saying, ‘Remove him for he is an innovator?’

No. Why?

Because the time [we live in] differs, the means which in those days were accepted are not acceptable today–because they harm more than they benefit. And this speech has a connection with the well-known principle of boycotting in Islaam, or ostracizing for the Sake of Allaah.

Many times I am asked that so and so is my friend and companion but he does not pray, he smokes, does such and such … and so on, shall I boycott him? I say [in answer]: do not boycott him, because you ostracizing him is what he wants. Your leaving him will not benefit him, on the contrary, it will make him happy and will [just] leave him in his misguidance.

And I remember on this occasion the example of that sinner, someone who had abandoned the prayer but who repented. He went to pray his first prayer at the mosque and lo and behold [when he gets there] he finds the door closed, and so says, ‘You’re closed and I have a day off [from praying]!’ [i.e., the first chance he got he went back to his old ways].

So this sinner which the [practicing] Muslim wants to boycott, it is as though from his behaviour he is saying [the same thing as the person in the example above], ‘You’re closed and I have a day off …’ [i.e., he wants the practicing Muslim to leave him so he can carry on as he is].

Because a righteous person accompanying a sinner hinders that sinner from committing his sins, and that sinner does not want that. So if a righteous person boycotts him, it is what the sinner wants. For this reason, boycotting is a legislated means through which the realization of a legislated benefit is desired, i.e., to educate/discipline the person being ostracized. So if the boycotting does not educate him, and in fact just causes him to increase in misguidance upon misguidance, then it is not applied.

Today we live in a time in which it is not right that we stick to the means that the Salaf used to use, because they were moving forth from a position where [the sunnah] was strong and [innovation was] weak.

Today, have a look at the state of the Muslims, they are weak in everything, not only in the governments, individuals [too], the state of affairs is as he عليه السلام said, “Indeed Islaam began as something strange and will return to being strange. So glad-tidings to the strangers.” They said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Who are the strangers?’ He replied, “They are the righteous few among the evil masses, those who disobey them are more than those obey them.”

So if we open the door to boycotting, ostracising and declaring people to be innovators–we will have to go and live in the mountains.

Rather it is obligatory on us today to, “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best.” [Nahl 16:125]

Questioner: As a completion of this discussion, O Shaikh, this issue as you have noticed is something which repeats itself often these days … in the following comments I wanted to point to something so that the benefit [from this discussion] will be complete, inshaa Allaah. And this is something which the brothers who adopt this stance mention.

They say that, “We say that mercy should not be sought for them [i.e., for those scholars] because asking for Allaah’s Mercy for them is permissible but not obligatory. We do not prevent nor declare to be forbidden the asking of Mercy for them but we refrain [from doing so] so that it does not show some form of praise, or recommendation, or commendation for the people of innovation.  We may say that these people are not innovators for example and are not from the major innovators, but we do not praise them or say they are scholars. For example, when mention is made of Al-Nawawi we do not say, ‘Imaam al-Nawawi,’” rather sometimes they refrain from and shun quoting from them or referring to them.

Such that in a talk one of our brothers was giving he quoted something from one of these, and the thing he quoted was quite frankly a Salafi quote which aided the manhaj, [but] they said to him, ‘How can you quote from these people?’ And by ‘these people’ I am not referring to those who our Shaikh [al-Albaani] mentioned, like Ibn Hajr or al-Nawawi, but let’s say, for example, Sayyid Qutb, Muhammad Qutb, so he [i.e., the people who say you should not ask for mercy] said, ‘How can you quote these people when they are known not to be Salafi, so when you, being a Salafi, quote from them, it is as though you are praising them and as a result the people will say that these people are Salafis. And this is a way of deceiving the people regarding them and maybe [as a result] they will become like them in innovations and deviance and being far from seriousness.”

So if you, O Shaikh, see fit to comment on this.

Al-Albaani: Firstly, I don’t think this is what their objective is, and secondly, if their objective [by not quoting from these scholars or asking for Allaah’s Mercy for them] is a way of warning then I say:

These people [i.e., the ones who hold the views mentioned above of not asking for Allaah’s Mercy] who you just alluded to, do they read Fathul-Baari [i.e., the explanation of Sahih Bukhaari by Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaani] or not?

Whichever of the two answers we assume, then it is a mistake in relation to them. If it is said they do not read it, then where do they understand Sahih al-Bukhaari from, its explanation, its understanding, the differences of opinion, the terminology, [things related to the] hadith and so on …

They will not find, in the whole world, explanations of Sahih Bukhaari that are entirely Salafi.

They will not find a [totally] Salafi explanation of Sahih Bukhaari like we want, and even if they did it would only have the main points [and wouldn’t be as detailed as Fathul-Baari]. As for this ocean replete with comprehensive knowledge, which Allaah granted to the author of Fath [ul-Baari] they will not find what it contains in any of the books that have taken up the task of explaining Sahih Bukhaari.

Thus, they will lose out on a huge amount of knowledge. So if they mean or what they say includes, amongst the things they warn against, preventing people from benefitting from what this Imaam [i.e., Ibn Hajr] says, then they will lose out on knowledge whereas it is possible for them to gather between taking the benefit and repelling the harm which is what the scholars do.

In the [whole] world now, not a scholar after al-Asqalaani and al-Nawawi can be found, to this day, who can do without benefitting from both of their explanations–this one’s [i.e., Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaani’s] explanation of Bukhaari and that one’s [i.e., Imaam al-Nawawi’s] explanation of Muslim.

Yet along with that, when they [i.e., the scholars] take benefits from both of their books, they know that in many issues they were Ash’aris and were contrary to the methodology of the Salaf as-Saalih [in those particular issues]. So with their knowledge and not with ignorance they [i.e., the scholars] were able to take the knowledge which benefits them from these two books or their authors, and turn away from what would harm them and not benefit them.

So I want to say that the thing I fear the most is that behind all of this [apparently] favourable but in reality false talk is a warning from benefitting from their books, and [that being the case] then there is a loss.

And if they say that we do benefit from both of their books and read them ourselves and to others too–if that is the case then what is the point of this procedure of refraining from asking for Allaah’s mercy for them when they are Muslims as we said at the beginning of this answer?

Additionally, what is the benefit or the fruit of their saying, “We do not say that it is not permissible to ask for Allaah’s Mercy for them, but we [personally] don’t, because he fell into innovation,” we just mentioned that not everyone who falls into innovation is called an innovator, not everyone who falls into disbelief is declared a disbeliever, the disbelief may have been unclear to this one and the innovation unclear to that one, we already said this.

Thus, there is no benefit from this cautiousness now. Thereafter, O my brother … the scholars who we inherited this good da’wah from–was their stance like this towards these Imaams? Was it like the stance of these new, novice, youngsters who claim Salafiyyah? They [i.e., those scholars] were like these [youngsters]? The opposite is the case. It is only natural that these [ignorant youth should try to] be like those who preceded us to this righteous da’wah.

Is there anything else?


Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 666.

Following the Understanding of the Salaf

The following is the translation of a lecture given by the Shaikh.  The PDF version can be found here: The Understanding of the Salaf

باب مصادر الاستدلال عند أهل السنة
الكتاب، السنة، فهم سلف الأمة، وبيان أثر التنكب
عن منهج فهم السلف في أبواب العقيدة

Being a Discussion of the Sources which the Ahlus-Sunnah Derive Proofs from: The Book, The Sunnah, and The Understanding of the Pious Predecessors of the Ummah And a Clarification of the Effect of Deviating from the Methodology of the Pious Predecessors in the Affairs of Creed

“In the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, all praise is for Allaah, and may the peace and praise of Allaah be upon the Messenger of Allaah, may the prayers of Allaah, the Most High, be upon him, his family, and his Companions. As for what follows:

Then verily Allaah, the Most High, has favoured us with the blessing of faith, and has favoured the ummah with the scholars, the ones whom He, the Most High, honoured through the knowledge He gave them so that they could illuminate the path to Allaah and to the worship of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, for the people. And they are the inheritors of the Prophets without doubt. The reason for our coming here [today], [a reason] which will remain, inshaa Allaah, is [to seek] the Pleasure of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, and to seek [that] knowledge which leads to it, inshaa Allaah.

And by Allaah, this is certainly an excellent hour that we are able to meet our Shaikh, our scholar and our great teacher, the Shaikh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, in the name of the residents of this district firstly, the Shuwaikah district, we welcome our excellent Shaikh wholeheartedly, and [we welcome him] in the name of the residents of Al-Mafraq, and especially [in the name of] its students of knowledge, who all welcome [him] too and who have been eager to meet our noble teacher today–and there is no harm in that because all of us are eager to hear the pearls of knowledge and wisdom that he possesses inshaa Allaah.

So let us listen to Read the rest of this entry »

The Shaikh’s Life in his Own Words … 11

His Justice and Fairness

So may Allaah have mercy on a servant who points out my mistake to me and guides me to my faults, since it is easy for me–with Allaah’s permission and his granting of success–to take back any mistake whose fault is made clear to me, and my books which are printed for the first time and the corrections that are made therein [in later editions]  are the greatest witness to that.

And would that the people who refute us inform us of such benefits [i.e., corrections] so that we could return to the correct opinion [in any matter where we are mistaken], whilst acknowledging their excellence and giving them thanks.  And the infallible one is the one who Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, grants infallibility to.

Al-Albaani’s Methodology Regarding Hadith Classification

It is befitting that I mention that I do not blindly follow anyone when giving a verdict about those hadiths.  Rather I follow the knowledge-based rules that the People of Hadith [Ahlul-Hadith] laid down, and which they traversed upon when issuing verdicts concerning hadith, as to whether they are authentic or weak.  And that was during a time when the Islamic way of life and knowledge was flourishing.  I hope from Allaah, the One free of all defects and the Most High, that I have been given the ability [tawfiq] to follow that way, and to show it, or even part of it, to the Muslims in a practical way, hoping that from the Muslim youth there will be those who renew implementation of these principles, principles which are from the most precise of what methodological, scientific thought has seen throughout the differing ages of mankind, as a group of orientalists and others like them from the opposition have borne witness to.  And of old it was said, “Excellence is what the enemy bears witness to.”

The Importance of time with Al-Albaani

I turned away from refuting it a second time, desiring to save time thereby.

His Methodology in Organising the Hadiths in his two Collections of Hadith Named As-Silsilah and Ad-Da’eefah

And I did not follow a specific order when compiling the hadiths, rather [I listed them] as I came across them.

Hayaatul-Allaamah al-Albaani, rahimahullaah, bi qalamihi, pp. 21-22.

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