Miscellaneous and Other Interesting Articles
An Exposition of His Errors
and other important issues
Compiled by Sayf ad-Din Ahmed ibn Muhammad
All praise be to Allahu ta'ala. Peace and blessings be on His final Messenger, Sayyidina Muhammad. Auspicious salutations be on his pure Ahl al-Bayt (people of the Prophet's House) and on all his just and devoted Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all); and last but not least praise be upon the glorious pious predecessors (Salaf as-Salihin) and their successors who are the Ahl-as-Sunnah wa'l Jama'ah (People of the Sunnah and Community) of the four existing schools of Sacred Law (Fiqh).
O you who believe! What you are about to read is of dire importance to the believer who accepts the authority of the Noble Hadith, second only to the Holy Qur'an al-Karim. I here present to the open minded believer an exposition of the mistakes and contradictions of probably the foremost Hadith Shaykh of the 'Salafiyya' sect, by the name of Shaykh Muhammad Nasiruddeen al-Albani. I was asked by some brothers on the status and rank of al-Albani, and fearing the declaration of Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon him):
"He who is asked something he knows and conceals it will have a bridle of fire put on him on the Day of Resurrection" (Sunan Abu Dawood, 3/3650, English ed'n);I decided to compile this short work. Let me stress at the outset, this work was primarily compiled to correct some notions held by al-Albani and secondarily the "Salafi" sect; hence the last part of this work has been entitled: "and Other Important issues."
This short piece of work has been edited and abridged from the four volume set which emphatically and clearly outlines al-Albani's mistakes, contradictions, slanders and even lies in the honourable and sacred Islamic Science of Hadith (Uloom al Hadith), by the well known scholar, Al-Shaykh Hasan ibn Ali al-Saqqaf (may Allah reward him for his effort) of Amman, Jordan; from his work entitled: "Tanaqadat al-Albani al-Wadihat" (The Clear Contradictions of al-Albani).
Shaykh Saqqaf is a contemporary Shafi'i scholar of Hadith and Fiqh. His Shaykh's include Hashim Majdhub of Damascus in Shafi'i Fiqh, Muti' Hammami in estate division, Muhammad Hulayyil of Amman in Arabic Grammar, and he has been given written authorization (Ijaza) in the field of Hadith from one of the greatest Hadith scholars of our time - Shaykh Abdullah Muhammad al-Ghimari (may the Mercy of Allah be upon him) of Tangiers, Morocco [born 1910 C.E; died Feb. 1413/1993 C.E]; an ex-Professor of Hadith at Al-Azhar University, author of nearly 150 works, his late brother: Ahmad ibn Muhammad (Allah's mercy be upon him) was a great Hafiz of Hadith, (see later for the definition of Hafiz of Hadith). Shaykh Ghimari has declared in one of his published Fatwa's that al-Albani is an innovator (mubtadi) in Islam, (al-Albani has criticised Shaykh Ghimari's classifications of Hadith in some of his works; but then contradicted himself in others - see the quotes from Shaykh Saqqaf later). Shaykh Saqqaf presently teaches a circle of students in Amman and has published over forty five books and treatises on Hadith, tenets of faith (Aqeeda), Fiqh and heresiology.
So as to enlighten the reader who is unaware of al-Albani's status, the following is a short biography as given in the inside back cover of the English translation of al-Albani's booklet by the title 'Adaab uz Zufaaf' (The Etiquettes of Marriage and Wedding) as published by his followers in England (viz.: "Jami'at Ihyaa Minhaj al Sunnah") :-
"Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albani was born in the city of Ashkodera, capital of Albania in 1914 CE. While he was young his parents migrated with him to Damascus, Syria. From an early age he became fascinated by the science of Hadith and thereafter spent his time devoted to seeking knowledge. In later life he was given Professorship of Hadith at the Islamic University of Madinah. He is well known to students and scholars for his knowledge and writings. He has many well known students and has visited places through out the Middle East and Europe. He was forced to migrate from Syria to Jordan. He has been of enormous service to the Prophetic Hadith, taking great pains to check and sort out the authentic from the weak and fabricated narrations. He has produced many pamphlets and books, some of them running into many volumes - on topics of great importance to the Muslims - and has fully checked many of the famous books of Hadith - the Sunan of Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, An-Nasai and Ibn Majah, along with Suyooti's huge "Jami-us-Sagheer" and "Mishkat-ul Masabih". He is the foremost scholar of Hadith and related sciences of this age."
It is this last statement which is highly far-fetched, and it is the predominantly imaginary belief of his misguided followers in certain parts of the world. Since only Allah knows who is the "foremost scholar of Hadith and related sciences of this age." I say this because there are others who may well be the 'foremost scholar'. One thing that may be noticed from the above biography, is that al-Albani does not seem to have been given any authorization (ijaza) in Hadith from any recognised scholar of Hadith. I have read other biographies and asked some of his supporters in England to give me the name of al-Albani's Hadith Shaykh; but to no avail. It seems that al-Albani "taught" himself the science of Hadith by spending many hours in the famous library of Damascus - al-Maktabatuz Zahiriyyah. In the biography written in the preface of the English edition of his work - "Sifah salah an-Nabee", it was also stated that he was: "influenced by articles in 'al-Manaar' magazine." The last named magazine was edited by the notorious freemason - Muhammad Rashid Ridah (d.1935 CE)!
Al-Albani has not made a handful of forgivable errors, but rather well over 1200, which are only forgivable if he himself admits and corrects his mistakes by repenting in front of the People of Knowledge, as well as the sincere believers who may have been relying on his 'classifications of Hadith'. The selected contradictions from "Tanaqadat al-Albani al-Wadihat" have been derived for sake of brevity from volume's one and two only, and whenever the symbol * is indicated, this corresponds to the original reference to the Arabic edition. The reader should also remember that whenever anything appears in brackets, then these are usually my words and not that of Shaykh Saqqaf. It should also be said that Volume 1 of the original contains 250 ahadith, in which al-Albani has said Sahih (an authentic Hadith) in one of his books and then contradicted himself by saying Daeef (a weak Hadith) in another of his books, or similar mistakes and contradictions. Volume 2 contains 652 Ahadith of the same description as the above, or similar contradictions in individual rijal (biography of a Hadith narrator) of the Sanad (the chain of transmission of a specific Hadith) of the Hadiths in question. In some instances (e.g. Vol.2, pp. 63-64), Shaykh Saqqaf shows how a Hadith narrator is 'trustworthy' when al-Albani wants to use a Hadith to prove something, but becomes 'untrustworthy' when in a Hadith used by the person al-Albani is arguing against; an extremely embarrassing mistake for anyone of any scholarly integrity. These books by Shaykh Saqqaf have already done much to pull the rug from under 'Salafiyyism' in Jordan and even in 'Saudi' Arabia, where the first volume alone has seen no less than SIX reprints in a single year alone! These books are extremely hot property that any 'Salafi' (or anti-Salafi) who reads Arabic will want to buy. I ask you, how many times does an inept student of Hadith like al-Albani have to contradict himself before he ceases to be of authority? Can you find even ten such contradictions in the works of the traditional memorizers of Hadith (Huffaz), those who had memorized at least 100,000 Ahadith with their sanad's? The great scholars like Abu Hanifah, Malik, Shafi'i, Ibn Hanbal, Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja, al-Nasai, Daraqutni, Hakim, Asqalani and so on . . . . Allah's mercy be upon them. The discerning believer should know that al-Albani has not in his memory anywhere near a 100,000 Ahadith in his memory, in fact as far as we know there is no one who is a Hafiz of Hadith today! If there is, we say please come forward and prove it, and only Allah knows best!
During the course of examining various Hadiths, Shaykh Saqqaf compared them to the written opinion of al-Albani. Eventually Shaykh Saqqaf began a compilation of al-Albani's mistakes. He came across contradictions, supposition, inadequate research and the blatant perversion of sayings quoted from the great scholars of Islam. He was especially worried by the fact that many students and members of the youth who do not have enough or no knowledge are simply not bothering to investigate the Hadiths classified by al-Albani, are being misled into blind ignorance; even though these very people are the one's calling staunchly and vociferously for the complete abandonment of taqleed (usually translated as "blind following" by the opponents, but in reality it is the following of qualified and verified scholarship of a Mujtahid Mutlaq [an absolutely independent scholar of the highest calibre] like the Imam's Abu Hanifah, Malik, Shafi'i, Ibn Hanbal (Allah's mercy be upon them) and the like, as well as the scholars who adhered to and promulgated a particular school of fiqh [Madhhab] for the greater part of Islam's history; taqleed in simple language is the following of one of the four existing schools of fiqh). These people seem to contradict themselves, as well as displaying hypocrisy when they go around making it a priority to attack the followers of the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i or Hanbali schools of Sacred Law; even though they themselves are practising taqleed of an individual(s)!
Bearing in mind the Hadith reported by Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Holy Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him):
"Whoever sees an evil, he must prevent it with his hand, and if he has no power for this action, then he should prevent it with his tongue, and if he cannot do this, then he should at least consider it a vice in his heart, and this is a very low level of one's Iman (faith)." [see Sahih Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Nasai - as recorded in Targheeb Wa'l-Tarheeb by Al-Hafiz Mundhiri, d. 1258 C.E; Rahimahumullah],
and even more explicitly from Imam al-Darimi (Rahimahullah) who reported Ziyad Ibn Hudair (Rahimahullah) saying:
"Umar (Allah be pleased with him) said to me: Do you know what can destroy Islam?" I said: "No." He said: "It is destroyed by the mistakes of scholars, the argument of the hypocrites about the book (of Allah), and the opinions of the misguided leaders." (see Mishkatul Masabih, 1/269, Trans. A.H. Siddiqui).
We took the liberty to forewarn and guide the many sincere believers who are turning to their faith from blundering into miscomprehension and wrong by translating selectively from Shaykh Saqqaf's books.
In order to safe keep today's youth from falling into heresy, Shaykh Saqqaf has embarked upon a quest to expose such a person who considers himself to be among the great scholars of Hadith like, Imam's al-Bukhari and Muslim (Rahimahumullah), to the extent that one of his deluded followers considered him to be in the rank of the Amir al-Mu'minin fil Hadith, Shaykh al-Islam al-Hafiz Ahmad Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (the Shafi'i Imam who authored the most famous commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari and many other books, d. 852/1449 C.E; Rahimahullah).
As for Shaykh Saqqaf, the respected reader may get the impression that he has an uncompromising demeanour in some of his comments made straight after he exposes an error of al-Albani. I make no apology for his style of exposition, since many Allah fearing scholars have been uncompromising in the past when it comes to enjoining the Good and Forbidding the Evil as has been prescribed in the Qur'an and Sunnah (e.g. in the refutations against the heretical sects like the Khawarij, Mu'tazila, Shi'ah . . . . ), so long as it forewarns the general masses from accepting the falsities of the heretics and other like minded "scholars". May be Shaykh Saqqaf considers al-Albani to be an innovator, just as his late teacher - Shaykh Ghimari (Rahimahullah) considered him to be. There are many Hadith which command us to detest the Heretics. For example, Ibrahim ibn Maisara reported Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon him) as saying:
"He who showed respect to an innovator he in fact aided in the demolishing of Islam." (Bayhaqi - see Mishkatul Masabih, 1/189, English ed'n).
I hope the esteemed reader will read this short piece of work with vigilance and an open mind, especially those who have been loyal readers and supporters of al-Albani's books and decrees. I sincerely hope that this work will be of great benefit to all who read it and pray that Allah accept it as a good deed done purely for His pleasure. I would also like to thank all those brothers who assisted me in the compilation of this work, especially to the brother who supplied me with Shaykh Saqqaf's books.
May Allah forgive us for any shortcomings and errors. Amin.
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