Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Tag: sincerity

Students of Knowledge not Memorising the Quraan–Why?

Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

Questioner: One of the other things I noted about this good, alhamdulillaah, [Islamic] awakening, and this interest in knowledge is that [unfortunately] the proportion [of people] turning towards memorising the Book of Allaah and also lessons [where] tafseer is [studied] is very low.

Al-Albaani: [Something] very rare [indeed].

Questioner: If not non-existent, what do you think?

Al-Albaani: This is what I have [previously] mentioned in some gatherings.  O brothers, I want to see one of you who has memorised the Quraan. Such that when I, for example, need an aayah and am not able to recall it then I can get help from some of you.

Those who memorise the Quraan are not found except for the very few. And the cause centres entirely around the fact that seeking knowledge today is not done sincerely for the Face of Allaah. This is a calamity.

Questioner: Part of that too are lessons in tafseer, now in Riyadh we have [only] a very limited number of lessons in tafseer.

Al-Albaani: Sorry?

Questioner: I was saying that …

Al-Albaani: Nowadays it is [as though it is] the turn of the study of the science of hadith and that’s it.

Questioner: Yes.

Al-Albaani: And the reason is very clear: it is the lack of sincerity in seeking knowledge for Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 599.

Conceited, Deluded, Self-Amazed, ‘Students of Knowledge’, Smitten by Their Own Opinions, Making Their Own ‘Ijtihaad’, Misguided and Misguiding Others


Shaikh al-Albaani said, “I advise you and myself firstly to fear Allaah, then [I also advise you and myself] with some of those things which branch off from the fear of Allaah, the Blessed and Most High. The first of which is that you seek knowledge purely for the Face of Allaah, that you do not want any reward nor thanks [for doing so], nor to be at the head of gatherings, only to the extent which Allaah the Most High specified the scholars with when He said, “Allaah will exalt in degree those of you who believe and those who have been granted knowledge.” [Mujaadilah 58:11].

And secondly that you keep away from the pitfalls that some of the students of knowledge fall into, from them being: how quickly one of them is dominated by self-importance [ujb] and conceitedness [ghuroor] such that he will dart forward, obstinate, issuing religious verdicts for himself and others based upon whatever is apparent to him without seeking the aid of the people of knowledge from the Salaf as-Saalih of this nation who bequeathed a great heritage to us illuminated with Islamic learning. [A heritage they left] so that we could seek its help in putting an end to many of the calamities that have accumulated through the ages; some of which we have lived through and which were [like] pitch-black darkness.

Seeking aid through the sayings of the Salaf and their opinions helps us to eliminate this darkness and to return to [take from] the spring of the Book and the authentic Sunnah.

And I will not conceal from you the fact that I lived in a time where I saw two opposing matters.

The first was when all of the Muslims, the Shaikhs and the students, the general masses and the scholars, lived in the centre of blind-following, not just of the madhhabs, but also of their fathers and forefathers, and in the midst of that we would call to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم), at this location and that.

And in various Islamic countries there were individuals doing the same as us, so all of us were living like the strangers which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) described in some of his well-known hadiths from which is, “Indeed Islaam started as something strange, and it will soon return to being something strange [just] as it began, so glad tidings for the strangers.” And in some narrations there occurs that he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “They are righteous people, few amongst many. Those who disobey them are more than those who obey them.” And in another narration there occurs, “They are the ones who correct that which the people have corrupted from my Sunnah after me.”

I say: We lived through that time. Then we started to see a pleasant impact of the call of the rectifying strangers upon the believing youth. And we saw these youth stand upright in all earnestness in many of the Islamic countries, being keen to cling to the Book and the Sunnah when they knew it to be authentic.

But this happiness of ours at this awakening which we felt in these last years did not last until we were taken by surprise by a transformation which occurred in these youth in some of the countries, and which almost wiped out the effects of this good awakening.

And what was the cause of that?

Herein lies the lesson. [It was nothing] except for the fact that they were afflicted with self-importance and conceitedness due to them seeing that they now were upon something of correct knowledge. And [they did] not [see themselves as such] amongst the group of lost Muslim youth only, but even amongst many of the Shaikhs of knowledge, and this was when they felt that they had risen above the people of Sheikhdom [or people who truly were Shaikhs] and the people of knowledge spread-out throughout the world.

Just as they didn’t thank Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, for the success [tawfeeq] He granted them [in guiding them] to this correct knowledge and its manners. Instead they deceived themselves and [falsely] thought that they had something to stand upon.

So they took to issuing crude religious verdicts [fatwas] not based upon an understanding of the Book and the Sunnah. So these religious verdicts came from [people with] immature opinions, [whereas] they thought it was knowledge taken from the Book and the Sunnah—and thus they were misguided due to those opinions as well as misguiding others.

And the effects of that seen in the existence of a group in some of the Islamic countries will not be hidden from you, [a group] who took to openly declaring all other Islamic groups to be disbelievers using philosophical arguments which there is no time to delve into now in this brief word, especially when we are in the middle of advising and reminding the students of knowledge and the callers.

For this reason I advise our brothers, the people of the Sunnah and the Hadith, in all the Islamic lands to be patient in seeking knowledge and not to be deceived by the knowledge they may have acquired. They should only follow the path and not just rely on their own understanding or what they call their ‘ijtihaad’!

And I have heard many of our brothers saying with the utmost ease, with total unaffectedness and without any concern, “I made ijtihaad [in this issue] … I think it is like this …” or, “I don’t hold that to be correct!” And when you ask them, “What is it that you have based your ‘ijtihaad’ upon such that your opinion is such and such? Did you rely upon the understanding of the Book and the Sunnah and the unanimous consensus [ijmaa’] of the scholars from the Companions and other than them? What did you use to help you? Did you use the books of fiqh and hadith and the understanding of the scholars to help you in that? Or is it [nothing but] desire and understanding deficient in its outlook and its derivations [of rulings from the proofs]?

[And] indeed, it is.

In my opinion, this is the cause of that self-importance and conceitedness. And it is due to this that in the Islamic world I find a very strange phenomenon becoming apparent in some of the books [being written], and it is: that you will find someone who is an enemy of the hadith authoring works in the field of the science of hadith! Only so that it may be said, “He has written [a book] on the science of hadith.”

And if you were to go back to that which he has written in this noble [branch of] knowledge you will find that it is nothing but the mere reporting of quotes which he has gathered and collected from here and there and from which he authored this book of his! What is the impetus behind that do you think? It is the love of showing-off and prominence. And he who said the following spoke the truth, “The love of showing off will be the end of you/your downfall.” [lit.: “will break the backs.”]

For this reason I repeat what I said to my brothers, the students of knowledge: that they distance themselves from every mannerism that is not Islamic, part of which is that they do not become deceived by the knowledge they have been given and that [they do not let] self-importance overcome them, and that lastly they advise the people with that which is best.

And that they distance themselves from having a harsh and severe manner in calling [to Allaah], since all of us believe that when Allaah the Mighty and Majestic said, “Invite to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better,” [An-Nahl 16:125] He only did so because the Truth in and of itself is [already] heavy on the people, it is heavy on the souls of mankind and that is why they become arrogant and don’t accept it, except for those upon whom your Lord has mercy. So when another thing and another weight, i.e., harshness in calling to Allaah [da’wah], is added to the weightiness of the truth on the human soul, it will result in driving the people away from the call. And you know the saying of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), “Indeed from among you are those who drive people away.” He said it three times.

In conclusion, I ask Allaah the Mighty and Majestic that He does not make us from those who drive the people away, but rather that He makes us from those wise people who act upon the Book and the Sunnah.

And I entrust you to Allaah.

Was-salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu.”

Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Duroos, wa Mawaaqif, wa Ibar, of Abdul-Aziz ibn Muhammad Abdullaah as-Sadhaan, pp. 161-164.

Shaikh al-Albaani’s Life | Questions and Answers … 12


The following post is from the same book we are going through but occurs later and is not part of the questions and answers section but is connected to the previous post about the Shaikh’s time at Medinah, so I thought I would add it here.


“In their biographies of Shaikh al-Albaani, the two Shaikhs, Eed Abbaasi and Ali Khashaan said, ‘Due to that continued effort and the tawfiq that Allaah, the Most High, gave him, many beneficial works [authored by the Shaikh] in the fields of hadith, fiqh, creed and others came to light which show the people of knowledge and excellence what Allaah had bestowed upon him from correct understanding, abundant knowledge, exceptional expertise in the field of hadith and its sciences and narrators, along with a sound knowledge-based methodology making the Book and the Sunnah the judge and scale for everything, taking guidance from the understanding of the Pious Predecessors and their way in understanding and deriving rulings.

That [same] methodology which many researchers and verifiers from the people of knowledge [before him] tread upon, especially the Shaikh of Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, his students, and whoever followed them in that.

All of this made the Shaikh a distinguished and renowned authority that the people of knowledge would refer back to. People supervising institutes of knowledge appreciated his worth, something which made those in charge of the Islamic University in Medinah al-Munawwarah when it was established–and at the head of them the Shaikh, the Allaamah, Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Aali-Shaikh, the Principal of the Islamic University and the Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at that time–choose Shaikh al-Albaani to take up the teaching of hadith and it sciences, during which he was an example of earnestness and hard work, to the extent that he would sit with the students on the sand during the breaks between lectures and some teachers would pass by him while he was sitting on the sand and would say, “This is the real lesson–not the one you just came of it or the one you will go back to [inside].”

The Shaikh would do that whereas the other teachers would head to the staff room and have some dates or tea and coffee, and this is from the Grace of Allaah which He gives to whoever He pleases.

And maybe this habit of his and his sincerity was something which led some people to become jealous of him, amongst whom were some of the people of knowledge, due to the affection and love the students had for him and how they would present themselves to him at the university and outside it during the trips which the university would supervise.

The Shaikh’s relationship with the students was that of friend with a friend, without formality, and not like [the relationship] between a teacher and his student, for he wiped out formality which would [normally] prolong matters and replaced it with trust and brotherhood.

He said, “In my car I would take with me whichever students I happened to meet on the way to the university and also back to Medinah.  So at all times, my car would be full of them, going and coming.”

The desire of the students to be with the Shaikh and their love for him and the fact that they felt as though there was no difference between them and their teacher reached such an extent that one day after having given his lectures the Shaikh went to the [university’s] administration and left his car outside the building and entered. Then it so happened that Ustaadh Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhaab al-Bannaa wanted to go to the city, so he came out [of the building] with Shaikh Al-Albaani heading to Shaikh Al-Albaani’s car so that he could take him with him–only to find that Shaikh al-Albaani’s car was [already] full of students! So when the students saw Shaikh al-Bannaa, one of them was compelled to get out for him, and this is how it was.

And when he would enter the university in the morning you would hardly be able to see his car due to the multitude of students gathered around it, giving the Shaikh salaam, asking him questions and benefitting from him.

The Plans of the Malicious and Spiteful Ones

All of these things which we just mentioned when put together stirred up those teachers at the university who were malicious and spiteful, so they plotted against him and reported him to the university administration fabricating false accusations against him, bearing false witness against him and slander, conspiring and machinating against him. And they forgot Allaah, the Most High, and the [fact that all will have to] stand before Him, on the Day when nothing will be hidden from Him, the Most High.

So the administration terminated his contract.

The Shaikh bore the accusations and slander against him, saying, “Sufficient for us is Allaah, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs,” and Allaah wills and chooses, and none can repel His Will, the One free and far removed from all defects.

So the Shaikh was satisfied with Allaah’s Decree with a believing and truthful soul, in fact he was happy because Allaah had blessed him to be able to understand complex issues and Islamic problems such that he returned [to Syria] with an even greater fervour to research and investigate those things which would be of benefit to the Muslims in many different fields of knowledge from the pure Sharee’ah, which he had been kept away from while he had to teach at the university.

[When all of this happened] Shaikh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baaz said some important words to Shaikh al-Albaani, consoling him, he said, “Wherever you are, you will fulfil the obligatory duties of calling to Allaah, there is no difference to you [whether you are here or there].” And that is because he knew of the strength of Shaikh al-Albaani’s faith in Allaah, the Most Great, his vast knowledge and his patience in the face of calamities.

And maybe this explains why Shaikh al-Albaani would so often repeat the supplication of Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq, may Allaah be pleased with him, “O Allaah! Do not hold me to account for what they say, and make me better than what they think, and forgive me concerning those things they do not know about.”

Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Hayaatuhu, Da’watuhu, Juhooduhoo fee Khidmatis-Sunnah, of Muhammad Bayyoomi, pp. 115-117.

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