Shaikh ’Abdul-Muhsin al-’Abbaad said, “All praise is due to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds, and may He praise and send peace upon His Slave and Messenger, our Prophet Muhammad and upon his Family and all of his Companions.
As for what follows:
We remember the statement of Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم in the hadith whose authenticity is agreed upon, reported from ’Abdullah ibn ’Amr ibn al-’Aas, may Allaah be pleased with them both, that the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Verily, Allaah does not take away knowledge by snatching it, snatching it from men’s hearts, but He takes away knowledge through the death of the scholars.” This noble hadith shows the importance of knowledge and the greatness of the rank of the scholars, and that losing them and their going away [through death] is nothing but a taking away of knowledge, and that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, does not take it away from the hearts of men whereby a person has it and then becomes someone who does not, but He takes it away through the death of the scholars, and he has said, عليه الصلاة والسلام, “And indeed the scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets. And verily the Prophets do not leave behind a dinar or a dirham for inheritance–but rather they leave behind knowledge. So whoever takes hold of it, has acquired a copious share.”
This is the rank of the scholars, and this is the status of the scholars who the Chosen Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم described as being inheritors of the Prophets.
And how excellent an inheritance it is–beneficial knowledge: legislated knowledge taken from the Book of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, and the Sunnah of His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم, because this is true knowledge, that of the Book and the Sunnah.
And as is known and mentioned in the statements of some of the people of knowledge: the passing of the scholars is an occasion of a gap in the Religion and a loss for the Muslims when those scholars who are referred to, who are benefitted from, who direct and give insight and enlighten them, leave, indeed that is a huge loss for the people.
And from that which has taken place in the last few days is the passing of the formidable scholar, the illustrious Hadith authority, the ’Allaamah, the Shaikh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, may Allaah have mercy on him and forgive him.
He was, truly, a magnificent scholar and well-known Hadith authority, who made enormous efforts in serving the Sunnah and in protecting the Hadith of Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم and clarifying the sources of those hadiths and the books that mentioned them, and clarifying their grading in terms of authenticity and weakness.
From those books [which Shaikh al-Albaani gave tremendous attention to] is the very book that we study [i.e., which Shaikh ’Abbaad teaches in the Prophet’s Mosque], Sunan Abu Dawud, for he expended great effort on it and others, devoting his attention to mentioning what he declared to be authentic and weak. So his efforts are enormous, and his service to the Sunnah distinguished and the student of knowledge cannot do without referring back to his books and his works, for verily there is abundant good in them, and profuse knowledge.
The passing of a scholar like this is in reality a loss and calamity upon the Muslims, and we ask Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, to whom belongs what He took and what He gave to replace [the loss] with good for the Muslims, and to grant them success to attain that in which lies their well-being and happiness, and that He aids the students of knowledge to give due attention to attain, seek, and become acquainted with it, indeed, He, the One free of all defects and the Most High, is Munificent, Generous.
And as is known, his books are great and renowned, and the majority of libraries will not be devoid of them or some of them, for they are in the tens, some large, others small and some medium in size.
In short, the passing of such a scholar, may Allaah have mercy on him, is a great loss for the Muslims, so we ask Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, to replace [it] with good for them, and that He aids the students of knowledge to acquire beneficial knowledge and action upon that knowledge, indeed, He, the One free of all defects and the Most High, is Munificent, Generous.
And even though he, may Allaah have mercy on him, had some opinions which we regard as being mistakes, they are however obscure in the sea, or seas, of that which he was correct in and [are overwhelmed] by the good and benefit he brought about for the Muslims in serving the Sunnah of al-Mustafaa, صلوات الله وسلامه وبركاته عليه. We regard those issues that emanated from him to be mistakes in which he strove to come to a legislated ruling [mujtahid] and [thus] he will be rewarded for his ijtihaad, but let that not make a person belittle or make slight of his vast knowledge, of his copious knowledge, of his tremendous service, of his massive benefit–for he, in truth, is from the unique scholars of this time and from those who have made strenuous efforts in the service of the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم.
In the first half of this year, 1420 AH [1999 CE], the Muslims lost a great scholar, a Rabbaani scholar, we regard him as such based upon what is apparent to us and we entrust the reality of his situation and ending to Allaah, and that [scholar] was his excellency, the Shaikh, the ’Allaamah ’Abdul-’Aziz ibn Baaz, may Allaah have mercy on him, and in the second quarter of the same year this great scholar, the famous muhaddith, the Shaikh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani passed away, may Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, have mercy on him. And in between [the time of] both of their deaths, the Shaikh ’Atiyyah Muhammad Saalim, may Allaah have mercy on him, who used to teach in the Prophet’s Mosque, passed away. So we have lost these three scholars and we ask Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, to forgive all of them, to overlook their sins and to raise their ranks.
Indeed these two scholars, in our opinion, are from the major, expert, investigative scholars who had a superior concern and resolute determination [in serving the Sunnah] and abundant good came about at their hands, huge benefit came to Islaam and the Muslims because of them–so may Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, reward them with the best reward, forgive them, overlook their sins, and seal all of our deaths with a blissful ending, indeed He, the One free of all defects and the Most High, is Munificent, Generous.”
Al-Asaalah Magazine, no. 23, pp. 13-14.