Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Tag: syria

Praying in the Middle of the Mosque Without a Sutrah


 

The Imaam said, “What the people do in all of the mosques that I have seen in Syria and elsewhere in praying in the middle of the mosque far away from a wall or pillar [which they can use as a sutrah] is due to their heedlessness of his order and actions.”

Talkhees Sifatus-Salaah, 24.

The Incident That Directed Al-Albaani Towards the Science of Hadith


“Imaam al-Albaani grew up in Damascus, Syria.  In his youth the state the Ummah had reached alarmed and greatly disturbed him: [its] ignorance, myths/superstitions, blind following, innovations, misguidance, in fact polytheism and idol worship, and he used to renounce it. A Shaikh heard him forbidding some wrong and so said to him, ‘Haven’t you heard the hadith of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, “Leave the people in their heedlessness?”

Al-Albaani, still a youth, replied, “Who reported this hadith? And what is its grading?” The Shaikh was taken aback by this youth and was unable, naturally, to answer him.

So al-Albani went and started to delve deeply into books, checking, researching, scrutinising until Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, guided him to the hadith with its complete wording, “Leave the people to their heedlessness, they are granted provision [by Allaah] one from another,” [see here for other wordings of this hadith without the word ‘heedlessness,’ to get a clearer context of the meaning] and so he checked it and expounded upon the condition of its narrators and made known its grading.

So Shaikh al-Albaani told me one time that this was the beginning of his work in this noble [field of] knowledge.”

Written by Muhammad ibn Badee’ Musa in Al-Isaalah magazine, 23/59.

So Al-Albaani said, ‘… Forgive me if I have wronged you …,’ and started to cry


 

As-Sadhaan said, “Shaikh Sameer az-Zuhairee who is among the students of the Shaikh, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, ‘I met up with some of the students of knowledge in Jordan one day. As was the norm in such gatherings, the Shaikh was mentioned and one of the people there started a sweeping attack on him due to the difference in methodology [between the two].

I saw no point in debating with this man due, firstly, to his lack of fairness, and secondly, his severe anger which took him beyond the limits of moderation. So I said to him, ‘If this is the image you have of the Shaikh—and he is not as you imagine him to be—then why don’t you give him some advice directly, because he is better than your backbiting and slander of him?’

He replied, ‘Al-Albaani does not accept advice.’

So I said, ‘Have you tried?’

‘I’ve never seen him, but this is unanimous about him,’ he said.

So I said to myself, ‘Subhaanallaah! This man has been affected to such an extent due to his Shaikhs without ever having searched for the truth himself or [without ever] having met the Shaikh even though they live in the same city and have been doing so for years!’

Later I organised a gathering of knowledge in the evening with the Shaikh [held] at my house and I called a whole group of students of knowledge. [I also called] this person who had spoken against the Shaikh—but I didn’t tell the Shaikh anything about that [incident].

Most of the gathering was monopolised by that man who argued with the Shaikh, raised his voice and was infuriated [at Shaikh Al-Albaani], to such an extent that it became apparent that I was angry and embarrassed [on behalf of the Shaikh]. When the Shaikh saw that on my face he turned to me smiling and said, ‘Don’t worry about it/don’t take it upon yourself.’

By Allaah, that smile never left the Shaikh’s face and he continued answering him with proofs from the Book and the Sunnah with great patience and an open heart, as was his habit, may Allaah have mercy on him.

At the end of the gathering the man stood up and said to the Shaikh, ‘I thank Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, that you had [already] changed and that I met you after it!’

The Shaikh said, ‘And have you ever met me before today?’

‘No,’ he replied.

So the Shaikh pointed to one of the brothers from Syria who had accompanied him in [his call to] the Salafi da’wah, and who was, at that time, a guest of the Shaikh in Amman [Jordan], and said, ‘I have not changed. And this brother has accompanied me for more than twenty years in da’wah, and he knows that about me.  Either way, may Allaah reward you with good, and as for me, then I ask you to forgive me if I have wronged you in anything.  And I ask Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, to forgive me if I have wronged any of the Muslims.’

Then he started crying, may Allaah have mercy on him.

And then that person [who had been angry at the Shaikh] could do nothing except cry too, and he started to kiss the Shaikh’s hand and head.

And I never knew him after that to be anything except a Salafi, following [the proofs], who loved the Shaikh and honoured him greatly.’”

Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Duroos, wa Mawaaqif, wa Ibar, of Abdul-Aziz ibn Muhammad Abdullaah as-Sadhaan, pp. 158-159.

Shaikh al-Albaani’s Life | Questions and Answers … 13



His Migration to Jordan and the Secret Service

Al-Huwaini: In some of your books you mentioned in general terms your entrance into Amman, Jordan and then your return to Syria once again due to some powerful circumstances. We’d like to know about this situation.

Al-Albaani: I used to live there in a small, modest house, and was searching for [a piece of] land upon which to build a house, so I chose this piece and started to build. Our brothers were very eager for me to start giving them a lesson, as had been the case before I had settled here. I used to come [to Jordan from Syria] every month, or every other month or every third month–depending on my circumstances, and would give them lessons in the house of Shaikh Ahmad Atiyyah. I would also visit Zarqa and give some lessons there. This was my habit before I settled here.

When I [actually] moved there I became busy with building a house … we [finally] did finish building it and moved in, and all praise is due to Allaah. We used to hold the lesson on the roof of Shaikh Ahmad’s house here not the previous one in which I would give the lesson. The roof filled up with people even though it was large, and the lessons were on Riyaad as-Saaliheen [and would last] for about three quarters of an hour and then questions and answers.

The third lesson had hardly come when the secret service turned up behind me. I had prayed dhuhr in Noor Mosque along with my older brother whose name is Muhammad Naaji Abu Ahmad and that day my son, Abdul-Musowwir, was also with me. I was going up the stairs and my brother was behind me and then my son when someone said to my brother, “Are you so and so?” So I turned around and said, “I am so and so.” So he said, “We need you for a while.”

They took me to the secret service and asked me for my ID and asked me about my work and so on. Then someone else came in and it seemed as though he was senior in rank and said to me, “O Shaikh, your presence in this city here is not wanted.”

So I said to him, “Why? For I have been living here for one year now, and not only this, but in fact I bought a piece of land with the permission of the state, and not only this, but I built a home on it with the permission of the state, and not only this, but I got married to one of its women [too].”

So the senior one among them consulted with another and then left.

They then transferred me to another room and questioned me again. After which they took me downstairs with a soldier and put me in a military car and started to take me from place to place until they took me somewhere where there was a group of people, and judging by their faces most of them were base people, i.e., criminals, and they had their belongings with them. Close to them was an army vehicle so I realised that they were about to be transported, and in one of the centres which they had taken me to, one of the people there had said, “They now want to expel you to Syria.”

Then the sergeant came and said, “Come on them, O Youth, get on.” I was the last of them and refused to get on saying to the sergeant, “I do not want to go to Syria,” even though my exit from Syria was totally normal [i.e. the Shaikh had not fled Syria for doing something wrong etc.], and this is a point which many people are ignorant of, because a few months after I had left, the Syrian Revolution had taken place. After I had settled here [i.e., in Jordan] I didn’t think it a good idea to go back to Syria.

So the sergeant lied to me and said, “We will not take you to Syria, we’re taking you to Erbil instead.” Then they took us in the car to the Jordanian-Syrian border and handed me over to a Jordanian officer, who then permitted me to go to the Syrian border and [once] in Syria they questioned me and so I mentioned the story to them. They gave me a piece of paper which had a note [written] on it, saying, “You must report to the Syrian Secret Service after three days.”

When I went to my brother’s house there and stayed there for two nights I consulted with my brothers: should I go to the Syrian Secret Service or should I leave Syria? So all opinions were unanimous in that I should not go to the Secret Service. They said, “Because you do not know what they [might] do to you.” So based upon this I made my decision and travelled to Lebanon.

I remained there for six months approximately and then one of our brothers from the Emirates came and he had a pass to allow me entry into the Emirates and [so] I spent a few months there.

Then one of our brothers here like Abu Maalik [Muhammad Ibrahim Shaqrah] and others made an effort and got in touch with those in authority [in Jordan] until they were able to take the matter to the King [telling him] that the Shaikh is not a revolutionary and nor is he a political person–he is only a person of knowledge. And they presented two boxes full of [my] books to the Chief Minister and said to him, “This is the Shaikh.” And so those in authority allowed me to enter.

So this is how it was, this is the story you asked about.

Al-Huwaini asked the Shaikh about his reason for leaving Syria [to go to Jordan in the first place] and how it happened?

Al-Albaani: Leaving Syria was a natural matter, a plan for the future, i.e., I had made a plan for myself, saying, “I must withdraw myself from the people in whatever remains from my life, and dedicate what remains from it to complete my projects,” or some of my projects at least. Because as you know in Syria I used to travel widely: from Damascus to Homs, to Hama, to Aleppo, to Idlib, to Latakia. So I didn’t want to become busy with the people such that I would not be able to complete my knowledge-based projects.

So I said [to myself], “I will go to a country where I am not well-known.”  But the reality turned out to be the total opposite, and this is as it is said in some of the Israaeeliyyat narrations [i.e., narrations from the People of the Book], “My servant wants [something], and I want something, and nothing will happen except that which I want,” and this is true without doubt.

So I came for this purpose so that I could live far away from being referred back to and [from being asked] questions and so on, and to devote myself to knowledge, so my departure [from Syria] was totally normal.

Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Hayaatuhu, Da’watuhu, Juhooduhoo fee Khidmatis-Sunnah, of Muhammad Bayyoomi, pp. 23-25.

Shaikh al-Albaani’s Life | Questions and Answers … 2


 

Al-Albaani the Carpenter

Al-Huwaini: After you finished your study why didn’t you go on to complete your academic education, i.e., secondary education and so on?

Al-Albaani: I didn’t increase upon my elementary education, and the reason for that goes back to my father. Perhaps this was a shot in the dark on his behalf [but a successful one at that], since what I witnessed later was that if I had continued in that line of education I wouldn’t have been able to do the study that I do. Since it is true that formal education makes it easy for someone who wants to progress in great strides in academic research, yet it is very rare to find this in those who do graduate.

My father, may Allaah have mercy upon him, had a bad opinion about the government schools, and he had a right to, since they would not teach anything from the Sharee’ah except its outline and not its reality [i.e., skim its surface]. For this reason he didn’t send me to a preparatory school, for example, which in those days was known as secondary school in Syria.

Due to that I started to study Hanafi fiqh and morphology [sarf] with my father; and with another Shaikh whose name was Shaikh Sa’eed Burhaani, and it became apparent to me later that he was a Sufi, a follower of a tariqah, I studied some Hanafi fiqh with this Shaikh, specifically [the book] Maraaqi al-Falaah Sharh Nurul-Eedaah. I also studied some books of Arabic grammar and modern day rhetoric with him using some books of contemporary writers.

I finished reading the Quran to my father with tajwid and at the same time I was pursuing work as a carpenter, that which these days is called Arabic carpentry. I finished learning [it] from two carpenters, one of them was my maternal uncle whose name was Ismaa’eel, may Allaah have mercy upon him, I worked with him for two years. The other was a Syrian known as Abu Muhammad who I also worked with for two years. Most of my work with them centred around repairing and restoring old houses, since old houses in Syria were made from wood and bricks. Over time and with rain, snow and such, parts of the floors would collapse and would require someone [specialising] in Arabic carpentry to come and fix them so I would go with them.

Most of the time in winter  we would not be able to do any work whatsoever, so I would pass by my father who was working as a watch repairer.  One day he said to me, when I had returned from my two [carpentry] instructors and he could tell that there was no work because it was an overcast and cloudy day, he said, “It looks as though there’s no work today.”

I replied, “Yes, no work.”

So he said, “What do you think, I feel that this profession [i.e., carpentry] isn’t easy nor is it a profession. What do you think about working with me?”

I said to him, “As you wish.”

He said, “Come on then, climb up!” His shop was raised off the ground since he used to fear that damp would set in, and so from that day I stuck to him until I learnt the profession from him and then opened up my own shop.

Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Hayaatuhu, Da’watuhu, Juhooduhoo fee Khidmatis-Sunnah, of Muhammad Bayyoomi, pp. 9-10.

The Shaikh’s Life in his Own Words … The End


 

A Final Summary

The compiler of the book, Esaam Moosaa Haadi, said, “I came across a summary of the biography of our Shaikh al-Albaani, may Allaah have mercy upon him, which he penned down with his own hand in as-Saheehah, no. 3203 of the manuscript [it was a manuscript at the time Esaam Haadi wrote these words, Trans. note], so I wanted to finish this small book by quoting it here.

The Shaikh, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said, “And concerning this it is fitting that I say for the record and as thanks to my father, may Allaah the Most High, have mercy upon him:

And likewise in the hadith [Esaam Haadi’s footnote: i.e., the hadith,There will be migration after migration.  So the best of the people of the earth are the ones who stick to the place Ibrahim migrated to.” Reported by Abu Daawud, no. 2482] there are glad-tidings for us, my father’s family, [since he] migrated with his family from Ashkodera which was the then capital of Albania; fleeing with his religion from the uprising of Ahmed Zogu, whose heart Allaah caused to go astray, who had started to do to the Muslims of Albania the same thing his predecessor Ataturk had done in Turkey.

Due to this migration of his to Damascus in Syria, I reaped [such blessings], by the Grace and Mercy of Allaah, that I cannot thank my Lord such as is rightly due to Him even if I were to live as long as Noah, عليه السلام.  For it was there that I firstly learned the Syrian Arabic dialect and after that classical Arabic which was what enabled me to know correct monotheism [tawhid] which most of the Arabs around me were ignorant of, let alone my family and people, except for a few of them.

Then Allaah granted me the ability, through His Favour and Blessings without the direction of anyone else, to study hadith and the Sunnah, its principles and fiqh [understanding] this was after having finished school and after having studied parts of Hanafi fiqh along with the tools for study such as grammar, morphology and rhetoric with my father and some other Shaikhs.

Then I started to call my brothers and friends to the correction of the creed, and then abandonment of bigotry towards the schools of thought [madhhabs], warning them against weak and fabricated hadith, encouraging them to revive the authentic Sunnah which the elite among them had killed off.  A result of that was the establishment of the two eed prayers in the musallaa in Damascus, then our brothers in Aleppo revived it, then [it was also revived] in other cities in Syria and this sunnah continued to spread until some of our brothers in Amman in Jordan revived it there too. [Transl. note: the English translation of Shaikh al-Albaani’s book on praying the Eed prayer in the musallaa can be found here: Eed prayer in the Musallaa].

I also warned the people from building mosques on graves and then praying in them, and authored my book concerning that, entitled, ‘A Warning to the One who Prostrates from taking Graves as Mosques.’ And I shocked the people of my nation and new home with that which they had not heard before: I stopped praying in the Amawi mosque at a time when some of my relatives used to go to it specifically believing that the grave of Yahyaa was in it!  In the course of that I met with, from both relatives and others, that which every caller to the Truth meets with, not fearing for Allaah’s sake the blame of the blamers.

I authored some works about some of the bigoted ignoramuses and was imprisoned two times due to the slander that they spread to the nationalistic, Ba’athist rulers and because I had proclaimed when asked, “I do not support the current rule since it opposes Islaam …’ and that turned out to be good for me and for the spreading of my call.

And Allaah has made it easy for me to go out to many Syrian and Arab cities calling to tawhid and the Sunnah, and then [also] to European cities.  While focusing on the fact that there is no way for salvation for the Muslims from the colonialisation, humiliation and ignominy that has afflicted them, that there is no benefit in the Islamic groups and political sects–except by clinging to the authentic Sunnah upon the methodology of the Pious Predecessors, may Allaah be pleased with them all.  Not by following what the people today are upon whether in matters of creed, fiqh or outlook.

So Allaah caused to benefit from that whatever and whoever from His righteous servants that He wanted to.  This became manifestly apparent in their creed, worship, the way they would build their mosques, their appearance and clothes–something which every just scholar will bear witness to and none will dispute except a spiteful one or a charlatan.

For this I hope that Allaah will forgive me all of my sins and that He will write the reward for that for my father and mother, and all praise is due to Allaah through whose blessings righteous actions are completed.

“My Lord!  Inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favours which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You, and admit me by Your Mercy among Your righteous slaves.” Lord, “… make my off-spring good. Truly, I have turned to You in repentance, and truly, I am one of the Muslims (submitting to Your Will).”


Translators Note: There follow five pages where the compiler lists the books the Shaikh authored, I have left that out here and maybe we can mention a more updated list in the future since some of the books listed have been printed whereas they were in manuscript form at the time the book was put together.  After listing the books, the compiler, Esaam Moosaa Haadi says:

“And this is the last of what I was able to gather about his biography.  O Allaah!  Send your Prayers upon Muhammad and his family and all of his Companions.

Written by:
Esaam Moosaa Haadi
Amman, Jordan
Wednesday, 1st Jumaadi al-Aakhirah, 1421 which corresponds to 30th August 2000 ce.”


And the translation was finished on Sunday, 13th March, 2011.

I hope whoever read this was able to benefit from it and grasped an understanding, a glimpse, of how much the Shaikh loved the Sunnah and how hard he tried to study and propagate it.

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 … 6


 

The Shaikh of Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and al-Albaani
in the same prison

“It was decreed that I was imprisoned in 1389 Hijri, which corresponds to 1969, along with a number of scholars for no other crime than calling to Islaam and teaching it to the people.  So I was taken to the fort prison[1] and others in Damascus, and then I was freed after a while, only to be taken back a second time and then exiled to the Island to spend a number of months in the prison there, something which I regard to be in the Way of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic.

Allaah so decreed it that there was nothing with me [when I was put in prison] except my treasured book, Sahih Muslim, a pencil and an eraser.  It was there that I engrossed myself in fulfilling my dream of summarising and abridging it [i.e., Sahih Muslim], something which I completed in three months, toiling day and night, without feeling any weariness or boredom.  And so as a result that which the enemies of the Ummah had intended to be a punishment for me was turned on its head and became a blessing for us, with students of knowledge from the Muslims benefitting from it all round the world.

So all praise is for Allaah through whose blessings righteous actions are completed.

House Arrest

Allaah, the Most High, facilitated the completion of many knowledge based works for me.  I would not have had the opportunity to have given them the required time if my life had continued on the path it was on.  [And this was] because some of the successive governments had prevented me from going out to the cities of Syria for my monthly lectures where I would call to the Quraan and the Sunnah, and this is what is more commonly known as ‘house arrest.’

Likewise during these successive periods I had also been prevented from giving any of the many knowledge based lectures that I used to deliver, the preparation for which used to consume a large portion of my time.  This took away a lot of the work that I was doing and came between myself and meeting lots of people who used to take a great amount of my time.”[2]

Hayaatul-Allaamah al-Albaani, rahimahullaah, bi qalamihi, pp. 14-15.


[1] [Transl. note] And this is the same prison that the Shaikh of Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah was imprisoned in many hundreds of years earlier!  See the Arabic article here: http://www.alalbany.net/albany_serah.php

[2]  i.e., all of this gave the Shaikh extra time to get busy with his research and writings, may Allaah have mercy upon him.

The Shaikh’s Life in his Own Words … 5


 

Some of the Contention Faced by the Shaikh

“The first of these was when a group of Shaikhs, among them one whom it was thought would have been a help to the Salafi da’wah, set up a petition claiming therein that I was spreading a Wahhaabi da’wah to cause trouble amongst the Muslims.  So they started collecting signatures for the petition from the people and then submitted it to the Mufti of Syria.  He, in turn, passed it on to the chief of police who summoned me in and questioned me about the affair, until in the end it came to nothing.

One day a friend of mine who I used to study with asked me about a certain hadith concerning the reward of fasting, so I explained to him that [this particular] hadith was weak.  This friend had heard the hadith from the Imaam giving the Jumu’ah sermon quoting it as a proof on the pulpit and he could not help but go back to this Shaikh who had given the sermon to mention what he had come to know about the weakness of the hadith and the reference where that could be checked.  So as a result, the next Jumu’ah sermon of this Imaam was an attack on the way of the Salaf and he started to accuse those who followed it as being Wahhaabis, characterising this way as misguidance, warning the people from approaching them and calling on them to protect their children from its callers.  The people listening to this [second] sermon were not all equal in accepting or rejecting what he said, and as a result there was a lot of disorder and confusion.

Hayaatul-Allaamah al-Albaani, rahimahullaah, bi qalamihi, pp. 13-14.

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.”

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