THE CONDITIONS OF A MUFTEE
By Shaikh ‘Alee Hasan Al-Halabee
From his introduction to the book Salaah-ul-‘Aalam bi-Iftaa-il-‘Aalim  (pg. 3- 8) of Haamid Ibn ‘Alee Al-‘Imaadee (ra) [died 1171H]
Comments: We hope that this article serves to clarify the position of the scholars with regard to who is qualified to issue fatawa or religious verdicts, for this is something, which the Muslims have falen into neglect about during these times, such that they take ordinary people and seek verdicts from them. The Prophet SAWS warned us that this would occur as a result of the death of the scholars. So when they pass away and are gone, the people will begin to take ignorant individuals as their leaders and ask them questions (seeking verdicts) on the Religion. So they will answer and lead the people astray and lead themselves astray.
Verily, from the matters that have been agreed upon in the Religion is that the human being will be questioned about every word that he uttered in this worldly life. Allaah says: “Not a word does he utter except that there are (two) angels with him, watching (him), ready (to record his words).” [Surah Qaaf: 18] And he will be questioned about every action that his limbs committed. Allaah says: “Every person is a pledge for what he has earned.” [Surah Al-Mudaththir: 38] He will even be questioned on every idea that his mind and soul thought of, and which he put into action. Allaah says: “And whether you reveal what is in yourselves or you conceal it, Allaah will call you to account for it.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 284]
So mankind will be questioned a complete questioning – on his actions, his sayings, his inner aspects and his outer aspects. And how he linked all of that to the religious rulings for each of them, such as what is lawful and what is unlawful. And he will be held accountable for all of that, receiving recompense for it in the Hereafter, either with Paradise or with the Hellfire.
So from here, it becomes clear the Muslim’s needs for asking and inquiring about the rulings of his Religion concerning every big and small thing in this world. This is since no Muslim is completely aware and knowledgeable about every one of the rulings of the Religion, without an exception.
The words fatwa and futyaa refer to the clarification of a ruling. It is said: “The Faqeeh (scholar of Fiqh) has issued a fatwa on that issue” when he has clarified it’s ruling. And Istiftaa is when one asks the question, seeking the ruling.
Allah says: “They ask you for a religious verdict. Say: ‘Allaah gives His verdict concerning Al-Kalaalah (people who die leaving behind neither descendants nor ascendants for heirs).'” [Surah An-Nisaa: 176]
From the well known matters is that the first person to issue fatwas from this nation, and the highest of them in status, the most truthful in speech, the most closest of them in clarifying and the best of them in attaining (the correct verdict), and the most merciful of them to people, was the Messenger of Allaah – the one who was trustworthy in his delivering of the Message, Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdillaah, may Allaah’s peace and blessings be upon him. 
Therefore, the rank of being able to issue verdicts (fatwas) is from the highest of positions in honor, finest of them in status, yet most severe in danger and most questionable before Allaah, the Most Great, and before the Muslims. It is indeed a great trust that is upon the necks of the Muftees (those who issue verdicts). 
The Muftee is the one who informs of the ruling of Allaah based on his awareness and knowledge of its evidences. 
The scholars have placed a number of qualifications as conditions that the Muftee must have in order that he may be able to issue verdicts (fataawa). They are five:
First: Islaam (i.e. he must be a Muslim).
Second: Takleef (i.e. the state in which a person becomes accountable for his actions, such as when he has reached the age of puberty and is sane).
Third: ‘Adaalah (trustworthiness)
The scholars have unanimously agreed upon these first three.
This is the opinion of a majority of the scholars. Ijtihaad consists of four things:
1. Knowledge of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah: This is by knowing in detail what is held within them that is connected to rulings, and this is done by his memorizing a vast amount from both of them. Or he could just have the ability to arrive at the understanding of that in an easy and moderate manner, while knowing the aspects of evidence from the Qur’aan and the hadeeth, being able to distinguish the authentic hadeeth from the defective, what abrogates it and what is abrogated, its general and its specific, and its absolute and its restricted. 
2. Knowledge of the Arabic language: His knowledge should be a knowledge that enables him to understand the Qur’aan and the Sunnah in the language and tongue of the Arab people.
3. Knowledge of the principles of Fiqh; This serves as the foundation for the Muftee since by it, he becomes aware of the concepts of the rulings and he arrives at the detailed evidences.
4. Knowledge of the unanimous agreements (Ijmaa’) of the scholars and their differences: This is so that he does not go out from their fold. And so that his preference (for an opinion), which is in accordance with the evidences from the Book and the Sunnah can be within the fold of the opinions that are being differed in.
The Fifth Condition: He must have the qualities of intellectual genius and a good mind. So the verdict of a stupid and simple-minded person is not correct, nor that of one who makes too many mistakes. 
From what has been stated previously, it is clear that the verdict (fatwaa) of a person who blindly follows (a madh-hab) is not valid. The muqallid (blind follower) is: One who takes the saying (i.e. opinion) of another person without (knowing the) evidence for it. 
In his treatise “Al-Qawl-ul-Mufeed fee Al-Ijtihaad wat-Taqleed”, Imaam Ash-Shawkaanee (ra) has supported this chosen saying of the restriction of the blind follower’s verdict. Thus he said: “What I believe about the blind follower who issues verdicts is that it is not permissible for him to issue verdicts to those who ask him concerning Allaah’s ruling or His Messenger’s ruling or the truth or even on what is established in the Religion or on what is permissible for him and what is forbidden on him. This is since the blind follower is not aware of any of these things. And no one knows of them except the Mujtahid.”
These are the sayings of the scholars with regard to the regulations of issuing verdicts and their conditions for the Muftee. By the Will of Allaah, I have condensed them into a pleasant and agreeable abridgement. This is such that those who seek to lessen and degrade the qualification for issuing verdicts can be prevented from their falsehood, and so that they may go back on their deceptions. For, by Allaah they do not ascertain (the truth) in their blind following! So how can they fulfill the role of Iftaa (issuing verdicts) and Ijtihaad?
And indeed we see amongst us he who does not abide by these conditions, not to mention that he is aware of them, let alone that these conditions be set on him. And along with this, when he issues a verdict, you hear from him loud sounds like the explosions of bombs and roaring sounds, like the crashing of thunder and lightning. And this is all accompanied by offensive words, far from the manner of speaking and the behavior of the scholars, not even befitting a common Muslim!!
 “The rectification of the world is through the religious verdict of the scholar”
 I’laam-ul-Muwaqqi’een of Ibn Al-Qayyim (1/11)
 Al-Fatwaa wa ‘Alaaqatuhaa bil-Mujtama’ (pg. 6-8) of ‘Izz-ud-Deen Al-Khateeb At-Tameemee
 Sifat-ul-Fatwa (pg. 4) of Ibn Hamdaan
 See At-Tadhkirah fee ‘Uloom-il-Hadeeth (no. 41-45) of Ibn Mulaqqin with my checking to it.
 Al-Futyaa wa Manaahij-ul-Iftaa (26-29) of Muhammad Sulimaan Al-Ashqar
 Al-Futyaa wa Manaahij-ul-Iftaa (26-29)
IMAM BUKHARI: A BEACON OF HADITH SCHOLARSHIP
By Dr Mohamed Easa
Hadith has an important role in the development of Islamic law and jurisprudence. It occupies a position secondary only to the Quran, and these two are the most important aspects of the Islamic belief. There was an inextricable link between Allahs message and the personality of Prophet Mohammad (saws) to whom it was revealed. Throughout his prophetic life of 23 years the Prophet (saws) received Allah’s messages, the true meanings and implications of which he interpreted to those around him. Thus Hadith or Traditions are the records and the way of life led by Prophet Mohammad (saws) ever since he assumed Prophethood in the year 609CE, in the 40th year of his life.
Scholars, throughout the ages, have worked diligently in sifting the authentic Hadith from the forged or fabricated ones. Imam Bukhari ranks among the scholars who laid out the fundamentals of criteria applied for judging the genuineness of the Hadith.
Muhammed Ibn Ismayil Abu Abdullah was born at Bukhara on July 21, 810CE and died in 870. He had an exceptionally strong intellect and a very retentive memory which was evident from the fact that every hadith which was taught in school was memorized by him as it was stated that his class fellows used to correct their manuscripts from his recitations. At the age of 16 he became a master of Hadith and when he was 18 he compiled a book relating to the judgments of the Prophets companions. Owing to the inspiration and encouragement from Ishaque bin Rahawaihi, one of his teachers, he began compiling all authentic Ahadith by sifting them from the forged ones. He devoted himself wholeheartedly to this task and traveled throughout the then known world for many years in quest of this knowledge.
He was noted for his ability to detect defects in traditions and never accepted any Hadith unless all its transmitters were reliable persons, and until there was proof of one meeting another in the chain of narrators. He had collected 600,000 traditions out of which he knew by heart 220,000. But out of this mass he took cognizance of only 7,275 traditions as the most authentic in the book called Sahih Al Bukhari.
Har Gibb says that it is a work of immense interest and scrupulous scholarship. The book produces a remarkable impression of honesty combined with piety. Bukhari took 16 years to complete the work and has been acclaimed by scholars as the best and truest book on earth after the Holy Quran. His fame was so wide that 90,000 students attended his discourses in Khartanak village near Samarkand.
Apart from Sahih Al Bukhari, he laid the background for judging the authenticity of narrators. Detailed investigation was carried out regarding narrators of traditions, their moral character, truthfulness and powers of memory. A solid foundation was established for the formation of the sacred Law of Shariah. Thareekh Al Kabeer, Thareekh Al Sagheer, Thareekh Al Ausat, Kitab Al Duafaa and Kitab Al Duafaa Al Sagheer are some of his great works (in this viewpoint).
Thareekh Al Kabeer comprises the biographies of more than 10,000 authors from the Companions of the Prophet to his contemporaries who dealt with the Hadith seriously. Thareekh Al Sagheer deals with the history of the Companions of the Prophet who believed in his message from Makkah and Madina, took part in the battles with the Prophet and contributed to the propagation of Islam right from the time of the Prophet till the (reign) of the last Caliph Ali bin Abu Talib. Kitab Al Duafaa deals with those reporters who are considered to be unreliable and false considering the to their life and attitude of their day-to-day life and their morality.
As it is understood the Quran is the source of Islamic Shariat and the Hadith is its annotation or explanation in detail with reference to the context. In his farewell sermon the Prophet said he was leaving twothings which, if adhered to, will guide them, ie the Quran and his Sunnah or Hadith. Following Hadith therefore was as important as following the injunctions of Quran, without which the religion of Islam would be incomplete and would create dissension among the believers.
As far as the preservation and compilation of Ahadith were concerned, the Companions of the Prophet were eager to know and learn by heart the traditions taught by the Prophet. It may be noted that by merely quoting Ahadith, many controversial problems were settled. For instance, the Hadith, Let the Prophet be buried in the place he dies? was enough to settle the chaos that arose regarding the question of the place of burial of the Prophet and the divergent claims of taking his body to Jerusalem or Makkah were abandoned. That writing was not unknown during the lifetime of the Prophet is universally accepted. Messages in writing were sent to the neighbouring kings such as Caesar in Rome, the Chosroe of Persia and Negus of Abyssinia to accept Islam. Permission was granted to many trustworthy Companions who were highly scrupulous in dictating texts.
At that time there was no art of printing or publication, and the medium of writing was rarely resorted to; but the memory of Arabs was so retentive that everything was impressed and engraved on their minds. After the advent of Islam, their interest was diverted from poetry which was considered a legacy of heathenism, to religion which became a matter of love and devotion wherein was demonstrated the same faculty of remembrance. This system of propagation continued in the first century AH. No need was felt by the Caliphs for a regular compilation. No special care was taken in the transmission of traditions which were mostly oral and no effort was made to put all of them in a systematic manner subject-wise. In the course of the political rivalries between the followers of Ali, the fourth Caliph and Muawiah, the governor of Syria, each party produced sayings of the Prophet in defense of their particular tenets. Simple inventions started creeping in and forgeries were intermingled with genuine traditions. Scholars of Hadith felt the necessity and urgency of formulating some method of control to sift the genuine traditions from the forged ones.
Meanwhile the Muslim empire had extended far and wide and there was vast scope for these forgers to coin false traditions and to mix them with the true ones. In these contexts the Umayyad Caliph, Umar bin Abdul Azeez (101AH) a virtuous sovereign entrusted this task to Ulema of the realm and hundreds of books were written laying down rules to find out the sources of traditions and the biographical data of the narrators with special attention to their doctrinal views. Ibn Shihabal Zuhari was the first regular compiler of the traditions who dealt with the narration (Al Riwayat) and with the subject of tradition (Al Dirayath). Following him many scholars like Abu Bakr Ibn Hazm concentrated on this as they feared the loss of this knowledge with the passing away of learned men.
Later in the second century AH, there arose eminent scholars who compiled and collected authentic books on Hadith like Abu Juraij in Makkah and Iman Malik in Madina and Sufyan Al Thouri in Kufa and Hammad bin Salama in Basra. At present only the Book of Imam Malik Al Muwatta is available. So many schools of thought were founded in accordance with the works of these Imams in this century like the Maliki School of Imam Malik and Hanafi School of Imam Abu Haneefa. But the works of this century were not very comprehensive in character and were confined to the area of the particular Imam and related to Acts of Devotion such as prayer, fasting etc.
The necessity was therefore felt of making the compilation more comprehensive covering all subjects and making it wider in scope to include all places of the Muslim empire. The endeavor of Imam Bukhari is noteworthy in this regard of laying down a strong foundation of Hadith and hence for the formulation of sacred Law. Each tradition reported was prefaced by a chain of authorities going back to the original narrators and this process was called ?Isnad? or ?backing.? Besides this detailed investigation was carried out regarding the narrators of traditions, their moral character, truthfulness and powers of memory. Imam Bukharis endeavor was to scrutinize every tradition that he came across and to sift out of the hundreds of thousands of the Ahadith the most authentic ones. Out of 600,000 of traditions, he selected only 7,275 and reported them in his Sahih Al Bukhari which is a monument of scrupulous scholarship.
These scholars classified the Hadith according to the completeness of their Isnad and reliability of transmitters and gave them separate names relating to the authenticity viz Sahih, Hasan, and Daeef (weak) with respect to the number of reporters as Ahad (one chain) and Mutawatir (many chains comprising many reporters), etc. They further named it as suspended or defective with respect to the nature of the narrator who is missing or abstaining from the chain of reporters. Such divisions are many. These divisions have been made by Muhadditheen (hadith scholars) to establish the rank and reliability of a tradition. The critical manner in which each tradition was tested more than a thousand years ago is simply astounding. The honesty and integrity in which the work was taken was marvelous. The scholars traveled thousands of kilometers even for collecting a single tradition and they would rather risk their lives than deflect from the path of truth. They kept aloof from politics and courts of rulers and confined themselves to this important study in order to preserve and hand over this science to posterity and they did succeed admirably in this venture.
The science of Hadith (Ilm al-Hadith) is one of the most celebrated Islamic science forming the code of morals and code of Islamic Law. In its wake it brought about the origin and development of many branches of Arabic literature like history, biography, geography and lexicography, etc. Many of the foreign sciences also like medicine and philosophy could not escape the influence of Hadith.
When a tradition was narrated the proximity of time to the death of the Prophet led to a strong presumption in favor of its genuineness since the Companions were alive to corroborate it. The people who lived in the days of the Prophet were considered to be more pious than those in the second century and those in the second century more than those in the third century.
The second criterion for the credibility of a tradition was the unbroken series of reliable authorities called isnad. Jurists of eminence were reluctant to recognize any isolated tradition as having any authority in law. The unblemished character of the narrator based on his parentage, his occupation, honesty and particularly the reliability of his memory and power of retention was a stipulated condition for the acceptance of a tradition as genuine. Certain criteria were put forward by which a reporter was declared unreliable or reliable. The knowledge about the narrators was considered indispensable for every student of Hadith. Traditions are expected to follow the accepted modes of transmission.
Imam Bukhari laid a strong foundation for the classification of the reporters. We can call him a pioneer in developing the science of knowledge about the narrators. Thareekh al-Kabeer (Big History) and Thareekh al-Sagheer (Small History) of Imam Bukhari threw light even on the minute details of the history of Islam from the time of the Prophet to the third century AH. Every reporter of a tradition was scrutinized in detail such as his birth, education, his belief (acceptance of Islam) and the major incidents in which he took part in the history of Islam. This approach to each individual culture and history of a highly volatile society was a unique approach in writing history. The conforming of the tradition with historical facts was yet another test. Its adherence to reason, its conformity with other sayings of the Prophet, its wide circulation and its repetition by other reliable narrators were all relevant factors taken into account in deciding this issue.
The tremendous work produced in the development of this science with such care, in a period when Arabic grammar and principles of law were all in a primitive stage, is praiseworthy. Imam Bukhari and all other doctors of Hadith had dealt with them with such precision that it equaled the standards of the present age and made such rules of guidance that they astound the world to this day with their ability and knowledge in this direction. They preserved not only the tradition, but also the Arabic language, its idiom, its structure and its lexicography and prepared its grammar. They were pious and God-fearing men whose faith was based on the fact that if they concocted false reports about the Prophet their resting place would be in the Hell. History proves their character to be spotless and also shows that no other people have done even one hundredth of what the scholars of that age did to preserve their culture and religion.
SHEIKH NASIR UD-DEEN AL-ALBANEE: MY FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH A SCHOLAR WHO MAY NOT BE SUBTITUTED
By Mahmoud Ridha Murad
All praise is due to Allah Who made the scholars the heirs of the Prophets, and all praise is due to Him who made us of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah. Revivalists are rare breeds who come one at a time at the top of every hundred years. Therefore, the whole Ummah feels the loss of one, particularly by the students of knowledge and scholars.
Although the death of scholars like Bin Baz and Nasirud-Deen al-Albani, may Allah admit them into Jannat al-Firdaws, is grave calamity, yet it does not mean the end of the Muslim Ummah. Their death however is not like the death of an ordinary man regardless how influential or powerful he may be. The death of a scholar leaves behind a vacuum that is not easy to fill. The time will come when Muslims realize that Shaikh Nasirud-Deen al-Albani was a genuine revivalist, and a specialist in a science which is nowadays shun by many students because it requires endurance, perseverance and an amazing memory to retain texts and chains of narrators in correct and chronological order. Even those who take the chance and study it, many of them are content with the university curriculum, and do not pursue further studies of their own. Rather, they rely on researches that were made by scholars of the past. And when it comes to narrating a hadeeth, some of them do not retain the precise text, rather, they narrate its meaning or miss or change one word here and another there. When one of them is asked about the source of a hadeeth, he would say after some ‘ahm, ahm. I think this or that Imam compiles it!
Shaikh Nasir did not attend regular schools or universities; he acquired his education studying under scholars and through his own research and studies, just like the Pious Predecessors. Yet he dwarfed doctoral Graduates who could not stand the chance of debating with him.
The arguments of those who differed with the Shaikh on certain Fiqh issues, such as the prohibition of wearing circular gold jewelry by women, and other issues, are too weak to stand the scrutiny of the Shaikh and his scholarly counter arguments.
About 17 years ago, I brought back with me from Kuwait a large number of cassette tapes of the Shaikh’s lectures. I passed the time during the flight listening to them, one after another with full concentration. At times I used to rewind the tape more than once to make sure I did not miss even a word from his lecture.
Besides his warm voice that reaches the listener’s heart, the Shaikh had a unique scientific method in subdividing the topic into various issues. He would handle each issue separately without straying from the main topic regardless how long it took him to elaborate on that issue. This is indicative of his vast knowledge, and powerful memory retention. He would entertain a question from one of the listeners during the course of the lecture, and he would answer it in details, and then go back to the very point where he left off before answering the question. There is no doubt that that was a trait of a genuine scholarship.
At times he would be deeply involved in a certain issue in his research, when suddenly a caller phones in to inquire about one particular hadeeth or seek a fatwa. The Shaikh would leave his work, and provide a detailed answer and give the caller the name of the reference, the name of the compiler, and even the page number. He would not give up until the caller is satisfied.
On the other hand, dealing with the Manhaj (methodology) issues was not common at that time. Scholars in Saudi and elsewhere restricted themselves to Aqeedah, Fiqh, or Targheeb and Tarheeb (making people hopeful of the mercy and His reward, and making them fearful of Allah and His punishment.) There was not a single scholar who discussed Manhaj issues. In fact it was the first time I heard someone not only making a reference to it, but also discussing it in detail. Having lived in variant Muslim societies, Shaikh Nasir stressed on the importance of combining between the sound Manhaj and the sound Aqeedah. This combination was clearly noticed in his lectures.
There was one particular lecture to which I listened many times. I consider it as a model-lecture to prove the significance of the Manhaj. The Shaikh in that lecture explains the Hadeeth of al-Eenah (Eenah transaction. He said that it is selling a commodity for a certain price to be paid at a certain period, and then buying it for less than the price for ready money.) That hadeeth is compiled by Abu Dawood and narrated by Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah say: “If you deal with Eenah, and hold the cows’ tails, and become content (with employing yourselves) with agriculture, and abandon jihad in the cause of Allah, Allah would permit your humiliation, and would not relieve you of it until you return to your Deen.”
This means that all of the ailments to which the Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention, referred in the above hadeeth are the consequences of one root problem; the departure from methodology of applying Islam, and the only remedy is the return to it.
Returning to Islam necessitates returning to its pure sources, the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, may Allah exalt his mention, and understanding them as the Pious Predecessors understood them.
Due to the fact that the majority of the Muslims are ignorant of the Manhaj of the deviant sects, many of them are easily deceived by them believing they are good Muslims. Had they learnt the proper Manhaj, they would have realized that the only Muslim sect that will be delivered on the Day of Resurrection is Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah.
It did not take me long before I listened to every tape of the Shaikh. I listened to some more than three or four times. Needless to say that afterwards, I bought or borrowed many other tapes of the Shaikh. Beside the science of hadeeth, the Shaikh dealt with the issues of Aqeedah, fundamentals of jurisprudence, Fiqh, Qur’anic commentary, Sirah, Arabic grammar, comparative studies of the madthahib, sectarian and many other issues of variant sciences.
The Shaikh encouraged students of knowledge to research and study on their own, and not to be content with school or university curricula. He also warned against following blindly one particular madth-hab, rather, one should follow the daleel (textual proof). He summed up his methodology in this regard in a beautiful manner in his book Sifat Salat an-Nabi. He said:
Since the main objective of this book is to show the format of the Prophet’s prayer, then it is obvious that I do not restrict myself to one particular madth’hab. Rather, I quote only the authentic proofs, in conformity with the methodology of the traditionists in the past and present. Hence, this book will in sha Allah, assemble pieces of relevant information that I have collected from various reference book of Hadeeth and Fiqh regardless of their schools of Fiqh. He who follows this book (Sifat Salat an-Nabi, or the Format of the Prophet’s Salah) will in sha Allah is among those whom Allah has guided ‘to the truth over which they dispute, with His leave, and Allah guides whoever He pleases to the straight path.’
Having restricted myself to this methodology, i.e., adhering to the authentic Sunnah which I have pursued in this as well as in other books of mine which will be circulated by the Muslims, in sha Allah, I knew that it will not meet the satisfaction of all sects and madthahib. Rather, some or most of them will censure me verbally as well as in writing. But there is no harm in that; because I know that pleasing all people is an unattainable aim. But I also know that “he who pleases people through displeasing Allah, Allah would commit his affairs to people.” (At-Tirmidthi)
It is enough for me to know that this is the right path that Allah has commanded the believers to pursue. Our Prophet, Muhammad, the best of all Messengers defined it. It is the same path that was pursued by the pious Predecessors of the Companions, the Tabi’een and those who followed them including the Four Imams to whose madthahib the assembly of believers adhere. All of the Four Imams are agreed that it is imperative to adhere to the Sunnah and to hold it as a term of reference, and reject everything, which opposes it regardless of how great, is the one who issues it. Because the Messenger of Allah is greater, and his methodology is the best. That is why I have pursued their guidance, followed their footsteps, and observed their command of adhering to the authentic hadeeth even if it contradicts their statements. Such commands have influenced me greatly in choosing this straight path, and turning away from blind taqleed (imitation.) May Allah reward them greatly on my behalf.
I was anxious to talk to this scholar, let alone seeing him. This finally took place when I made another trip to Kuwait, and visited the Society of Ihya’ at-Turath al-Islami. I was very happy when one of its officials gave me the Shaikh’s telephone number. At the time I had begun abridging and translating Ibn Katheer’s exegeses, which required scrutinizing the Prophet’s ahadeeth in it and pointing out their categories. I had to consult an authority on both, exegetical as well as hadeeth sciences.
Although it was costly to make overseas calls from Canada, yet it was greatly rewarding when I consulted the Grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, at the time, Shaikh Bin Baz, may Allah grant him mercy, and Shaikh Nasirud-Deen, may Allah grant him mercy, on the science of Hadeeth. From then on I communicated with Shaikh Nasir on regular bases.
During those calls, the Shaikh used to ask me about the Da’wah activities in N. America of which I briefed him, and of course I used to ask him questions and used to tape his answers and comments. Once I read to him the constitution of the Qur’an & Sunnah Society when I was its chairman, just to make sure that there were no violations in the Society’s Manhaj. He listened patiently and commented on certain points without showing any sign of boredom.
I used to visit Saudi frequently. So I asked the Shaikh if he was going for Umrah so that I could adjust my itinerary to meet each other in Makkah. But he suggested that I visit him first. I was not able that year to stop in Amman. In fact it was only two or three years after when I managed to do so. He asked me to give him the date and time of my arrival. I did so and expected that he would send someone to the airport to receive me. This was honoring enough for me. I felt excited about the idea. I also gave the same information to his eminence, Sh. Muhammad Shaqrah.
I had never seen any picture of the Shaikh, so I could only imagine him as a dignified gray haired old man. Had I remembered that he was an Albanian, I would have probably envisaged a picture of his closer to reality.
I felt as if the flight took longer time than usual, and I wished the pilot would double the speed of the plane. When finally it landed, I felt like dashing through the passport point in the airport into the meeting hall. Alas! I had to wait for long before I reached that hall. There was Sh. Muhammad Shaqrah, whom I met for the first time, Ali Abdulhameed al-Halabi and another brother.
I thanked them for taking the trouble of coming to receive me, and I asked them about the Shaikh. Ali al-Halabi said: “The Shaikh is waiting for us.” The first thing came to my mind was that the Shaikh was waiting for us in his residence. All I said was, ‘Alhamdu lillah.’ Having expected my reaction, Shaikh Ali looked at me and said: “The Shaikh is waiting for us outside in his car, for he could not bear standing for a long period of time.” I looked at Ali back to make sure I heard him right. He looked at me as though he knew the effect of the surprise on me and said smiling. ‘Yes, he is outside.’ I was about to break in tears, but managed to control myself, and did not know what to say.
Soon as the Shaikh saw us coming out of the hall, he opened his car door to come towards us. But I rushed to him to save him the trouble of walking. I looked at his shiny face and green eyes, his white straight haired beard and mustaches, and opened my arms to hug him. My arms could not encircle him for he was large. He then asked the brothers with an air of command to put my luggage in his car, and they did so obediently.
The excitement of being driven by a scholar made it difficult for me to carry on a long conversation with him. I remembered he was asking me questions about my family, my activities in the Society, and other questions of that nature. When we finally reached his house, which was on top of a hill, I was amazed of how he maneuvered the car through the narrow driveway and then into the car park. I took out my luggage, and went up the stairs while he took a simple electric lift that he later on told me that he designed and built because it was difficult for him to mount the stairs.
His study door was opened, and I went inside to see that there were other students of the Shaikh waiting for us. Someone made the introductions. I was asked about the da’wah in N. America, and activities of the Salafis, and the other sects. I gave them a brief account because I was anxious to hear the comments of the Shaikh, and his answers to their questions. That was my main concern.
I spent about a week in the Shaikh’s resident, which I consider as a condensed course in the science of hadeeth and fiqh. In deed it was a rare opportunity, at least for a person like me who at the time was living about 15,000. miles away from this renowned scholar.
Due to the fact that there was no mosque nearby, I would call the adthan for Fajr prayer, and he would lead the Salah then we would move into the library where the Shaikh began his work. Two hours later, the breakfast would be ready which we shared with two of the Shaikh’s aides. He used to talk while eating or listen to what they had to say.
Then the Shaikh would return to the library to resume his work until around 10 o’clock when he retired to his family’s apartment. He would remain there until Dthuhr prayer followed by lunch and siesta.
After Asr prayer, the Shaikh stayed in the library and remained there until around midnight. That was the best part of the day. Some of his close students would come in and join us for the rest of the evening. Due to certain reasons that were beyond his will, the Shaikh’s house was open only to his relatives and close students, not to visitors, let alone to public. They did not waste his time by idle talk or anything of that nature.. They would bring their questions concerning biographies of hadeeth narrators, their classifications and the hadeeth standards, and other issues on aqeedah or jurisprudence. He would answer them as if he was reading from a book.
There was another interesting period of that part of the day when the Shaikh began taking telephone calls and answering the questions of callers from all over the world. The phone never stopped ringing. As soon as one call was over, another would be waiting on line. We used to listen to the questions through a speakerphone. The topics varied widely.
He would give his answers according to the level of understanding of the caller. But he would not answer the question before he completely understood it, nor would he move from one point to another before he was sure that the caller understood the previous one. At times, he would repeat the point more than once without showing signs of frustration. He always used to ask the caller after answering his question whether he understood the answer.
One day the phone rang when the Shaikh was sitting in his library with some of his students. It was a female student of knowledge from Algeria, who used to call the Shaikh frequently. She said to him: Shaikh, I saw a dream last night. The Shaikh did not usually care much about interpreting dreams. But since he knew who she was, he allowed her to report to him her dream. She said: ‘I saw the Prophet (saws) walking while there was an old man with white beard sitting on the side of the road. I asked the Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention, who that man was, and he said: This is Shaikh Nasirud-Deen al-Albani.” At that point, the Shaikh broke in tears, and so did his students. In the meantime, the caller kept asking: ‘Shaikh are you there? Are you there?’ The Shaikh hung up, and gave his student a short speech about that fact that no one should take things for granted, for no one knows where will he end up. Or words to that effect.
Once the telephone period was over, he would listen to the comments or inquiries of his students on one of his answers, or would ask him questions relevant to some issues that were raised by callers. All of the questions and answers along with the comments of his students were taped. But unfortunately, the Shaikh did not keep the original tapes, and that was why he could not retrieve them from the fellow who was taping his sessions.
Knowing the Shaikh’s love of the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws), it was not surprising to know that he listened to his students’ funny incidents that occurred to them during the day. He himself would share with them an incident of his own. His Damascene dialect made his narrative more interesting.
Besides being a specialist in the science of hadeeth, the Shaikh, may Allah grant him mercy, also designed quite a few things in his home. One of them was the solar water-heater, which he showed me the next day of my arrival. He also designed an elevator for himself because it was difficult for him to climb up the stairs. He also devised a sundial that he placed on the roof of his house to show the exact prayer times, and other things.
There were other occasions that I really enjoyed. We used to receive invitations from his students for lunch, dinner, or even breakfast. He never refused any of them unless it was break fast, or when he was tied up with some important occupation. I enjoyed those occasions because they were attended by a large number of guests, which meant more questions and discussions.
One day we were invited for lunch by sh. Hassan al-Awaysheh. Among the guests was a young man who brought a message from Hikmatyar to Shaikh Naseruddeen al-Albani concerning the assassination of Shaikh Jamilur-Rahman, may Allah grant him mercy. The discussion was about the war in Afghanistan, and the assassination of Jamil Arrahman which was the topic of the hour. After the Shaikh opened the discussion and made his point, I asked his permission to share my views on the issue. The Shaikh looked at me in the face and noticed that I was irritated by Hikmatyar’s representative, and said: ‘In sha Allah.’ I waited long hoping that he would give me the chance to speak.
The time for Asr prayer was due, so we went to the masjid to perform Salah, and then we returned to our host’s house. When every one took his seat, the Shaikh looked at me and said, ‘I think you have something to say.’ I was just waiting for that moment, and did not hesitate to say: ‘Certainly.’
Having said what I had in my mind, I felt relieved. Later on, I realized that the Shaikh had a valid reason for not giving me the chance to speak when first I asked his permission. He knew that the statements of the guest irritated me, and he wanted me to calm down before I uttered any word.
On the way home, I apologized to him for being unable to hide my emotion while making my point. Although he agreed that it was valid point, but he said: “As you know, it is hard for the ego to accept the truth. It is more so to accept it when it is presented in a sharp manner.” I looked at him while he was driving, and gave him a smile tinted with a sense of guilt. I was unable to utter a word in response. I said to myself if these were the only words of wisdom I learnt from this great scholar during my stay with him, they would have been more than sufficient for me to take home.
One evening Shaikh Muhammad Shaqrah, may Allah preserve him, invited us for dinner. That night I felt sorry for having forgotten to bring along my tape recorder. The Shaikh at that night was in a good mood. There were only few of his devoted students with us, when he talked about his suffering in his life, and how he had to leave his father’s residence with little amount of money and be on his own. His recollection moved him to tears, and we cried along with him. I hope some day I will be able to write about that part of the Shaikh’s life which is not recorded in books.
Needless to say the duration of my visit flashed by when all of a sudden I realized that I had to pack for the return trip. The Shaikh insisted to take me to the airport, and I insisted that he should stay home. But he ignored my objection. Although I enjoyed his uninterrupted company for more than forty minutes, yet I felt guilty for taking him away from his work.
BIOGRAPHY OF THE IMAM: NASIR UD-DIN AL-ALBANI
I remind my brothers and offer my condolences for the major and shaky calamity as the Muslim Ummah has lost this last Sat one of its imams and great figures. Rather, he is the imam of this age in Hadeeth. He is the dawn of this age and the great scholar of the lands of Shaam, skeikh Muhammad Naasir ad-Deen al-Albaanee -may Allah have mercy on him and increase his level among the guided ones. And his death took place after Asr prayer on Sat the 22nd of Jumaadah al-Aakhirah, 1420 years after the Hijrah of our Prophet (saws). And every calamity, though severe, after the calamity of the death of the Prophet is easy to bear. And, by Allah, the eye will shed tears and the soul will feel sad and we indeed feel sorrow for the parting of the sheikh. And if many of us did not get the opportunity to see such honorable sheikh, and although I was -And to Allah goes all praise- honored to accompany him in one of his travels in Saudi Arabia for few days, I indeed consider that occasion one of my best trips in seeking knowledge and accompanying scholars. I certainly benefited from him a lot, not to mention his guidance, his clarification of matters, nor the excellence of his salaat or his worship in general, and not to mention his sincere advice to the common folk, his discussions with the students of knowledge and the scholars. He was indeed an example and an imam worthy of following in many of his affairs. Rather I say about him what the learned scholar sheikh ibn Uthaimeen said about him that in this age there are very few of the likes of the sheikh (rah). And I remember that one day I asked our sheikh Abdul-Azeez bin Baaz -may Allah have mercy on him- about thirteen years ago about his statement refering to sheikh al-Albaanee as the most knowledgeable person in hadeeth under the skys. So our sheikh told me that he did not say that and he could never say such thing and no one should, since we don’t know of every one under the sky. He then corrected my statment by saying, “I don’t know, under this sky and from among the living, anyone who is more knowledgeable of hadeeth than Albaanee.”
And more than once, skeikh ibn Baaz and sheikh al-Albaanee -may Allah have mercy on both- met in minaa and sheikh ibn Baaz used to pass all hadeeth questions to Albaanee. This is not to forget that sheikh ibn Baaz himself was an unchallenged imam of hadeeth.
Indeed, I would have had the right to make this whole lecture about sheikh Naasir. But what can a man say about a scholar who had a share in every good quality, and Allah has opened His bounties and blessings on him. Allah has opened for him from the doors of knowledge a great deal to a point that you may find in this age someone of his caliber. All this in the age of tribulations, laziness and weak determination, and the age of shortcomings in seeking knowledge.
This great imam who, while he was imprisoned in “Sijn al-Qal’ah” in Damascus, used to incite the prisoners to seek knowledge and he used to teach them hadith in jail. He also used to establish the congregational and Jomaa prayers in that prison. And it’s said that he was the first to re-establish the Jomaa prayer since the days of Sheikh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyah in that prison. This imam composed while in prison his abridgment of Saheeh Muslim. By Allah, he does not remind me except of the great imams of islaam such as Shams al-a’immah as-Sarkhasi the hanafi scholar who wrote his book “al-Mabsoot” which is in about fifteen volumes while he was improsoned in a well, for a word of advice that he gave to the ruler. Likewise, al-Albaanee was entered into jail for his refutations of the Durooz and Baatiniyyah sects, which the Syrian land was afflicted with. Our sheikh (Albaanee) used to teach, write and compose while in jail and when traveling or escaping from Syria passing by Lebanon where he survived a suicide attempt from his enemies. He was also shot at by snipers and his wife was injured, as he told in the introduction to his book, “Ghaayat al-Maraam fee Takhreej Ahaadeeth al-Halaal wal-Haraam”. And he wrote books while traveling like the imams before him did, such as al-imaam al-Qurtubee who wrote his commentary on Saheeh Muslim while he was in the sea, and imam ibn al-Qayyim who wrote “Zaad al-Ma’aad” while riding his camel.
By Allah, this sheikh has indeed revived the way of the scholars [of the past]. The sheikh in his early stages of life did not have money to buy paper to write on. So, he used to borrow the book, read it, transcribe it and return it. Some of his students, like sheikh Muhammad al-Majdoob, narrates that he saw some of the papers that the sheikh wrote some of his early work on, when he was 20 years old or less. Such work was about three volumes and comprises of about 2000 pages. Some of that paper that he used to write that book were old wedding invitations that the sheikh collected from the streets and wrote on its back since he did not have money to buy paper with.
This great imam that revived in people the love for the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allah, who revived in people jealousy for the sunnah by sorting the weak hadeeth from the authentic one and by warning people against the fabricated hadeeths and its danger on the ummah. And, there is no better evidence for this than “as-Silsilah adh-Dha’eefah wal Mawdoo’ah”. There is nothing more evident for all this than his adhering to clarifying the grade of any hadith upon mentioning it. Rather, the students of knowledge and the scholars alike owe it to the books of the sheikh. So here is for example the imaam of this age sheikh ibn Baaz and the book “al-Irwaa'” [skeikh Naasir’s grading of “Manaar as-Sabeel”, one of the most famous hanbali fiqh books] did not used to leave his gatherings, in order to refer to it and look-up the rulings contained in it, and as such are the true scholars. The sheikh [Naasir] revived in the ummah such matters and deserves truly to be the mujaddid of this century in the science of hadeeth. This sheikh also carried the banner of the pure Salafi call the day when everyone else turned its back to it, and many of the du’aat missed its clear methodology. He revived that great foundation in a country which was full of superstition of the Sufis, the Baatinees and the Ash’arees. So, you find the sheikh one of the first people to stand in the face of the innovators. He refuted the Sufis and exposed their deviant ways.
He refuted the Baatinees, the durooz, the Nusayrees, the Alawees and the Shee’ah the Raafi’dees, and his books are a testimony for that, and against them and an advice for the ummah in general. And he made a great stand against the people of rethoric from the Ash’arees and the Jahmees, refuting their misconceptions and exposing their falsehood, those who no islaam did they give victory to nor did they break the back of philosophy [as they wish to claim]. The sheikh broke their pens, such as you don’t see a person of innovation raising his head from the East or the West, except that the sheikh will bury him with his refutations which are filled with knowledge, evidence and proofs, till he became truly from the most distinguished scholars in this century known for their clear proof and their powerful argument. This sheikh used to be very patient and consistent in his advice to his brothers the “callers” [to Allah] who they might differ with the sheikh in the “manhaj”. He was also patient with his brothers from among the scholars who they might differ with him in certain issues related to da’wah. Some muslim jamaa’aat [groups/parties] used even to dismiss some of their members simply because they used to attend the circles that the sheikh used to hold.
And this is well documented and well known. And despite all this, the sheikh kept his good manners when he refuted, when he adviced and when he gave directions. In addition, the sheikh took care of modern books like he took care of old books. He commented/criticized the book “Fiqh as-Sunnah” by sheikh Sayyid Saabiq while praising that book and calling to it. Likewise, he checked [the hadeeths] in Dr. al-Qaradaawi’s book [al-Halaal wal-Haraam]. He also commented on the book “Minhaaj al-Islaam fee al-Hukm” by Muhammad Asad. And, you find that the sheikh used to have a profound understanding of the different sciences of the Sharee’ah, and primarily in hadeeth, aqeedah, fiqh and current affairs. He is considered one of the most experienced people in the ways of da’wah and how to resolve its issues. He used to publicly declare the truth without fearing the blame from anyone. Moreover, the sheikh used to be one of the most concerned people about the unity of the muslims and warning from their splitting apart.
Suffice it for the sheikh that he casted away the dispised fanaticism to the [four] imams and their math’habs. He also rejected narrowmindednes and zealotry to men, sheikhs, groups, symbols and slogans. When Damascus was under the darkness of blind following, there was no escape for the sheikh but to face such ignorance with the light of the sunnah and by reviving the books of the Salaf such as the books of sheikh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyah. Indeed, the sheikh was an extension to the da’wah of the past mujaddids taking care of the deen and giving respect to the daleel [the evidence from Quran or Sunnah], instead of letting the opinions of men or their desires take the lead.
He used to be one of the most devoted people trying to adhere to the way of the pious predecessors. And, he used to summarize his call in two great words that he used to repeat all the time. And I swear by Allah, we did not come to know these two words nor their reality except from his writings, his tapes and from our meeting with him. These two words are “at-Tasfiyah” and “at-Tarbiyah”. “Tasfiyah” is purifying the deen from the weak and fabricated hadeeth, from the innovated opinions in fiqh, from the dispraised blind-following of the madh’habs without going back to the daleel and from the innovations in matters of worship. Regarding the latter, you almost can’t find a book [on ibaadah] of his except that it has a mention of the innovations related to the topic of that book (e.g. “Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz wa Bida’uhaa”, “Ahkaam al-Hajj wal-Umrah”, his books on prayer, etc.). The “tasfiyah” that he was calling to is also related to purifying the deen from the innovations that entered into its aqeedah and foundations of belief. The sheikh was carrying on such purification on two fronts. One by refuting the people of innovations and the other by checking [the hadeeths] in the books that contain the pure unadulterated aqeedah, like he did to “Sharh al-Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah”, for example. On the other hand, he did a great deal of “tarbiyah” since he raised his students upon respecting the daleel and following it and upon following the guidance and the methodology of the Salaf as well as upon the softness of the heart, for how many times did we see him burst into tears.
He was also from the most caring people about the youth of the “sahwah” [islaamic awakening]. Therefore, he spoke against the innovation of assasinations and coups, calling it “the innovation of the age”. He was so mindful of the youth of this ummah and that they don’t fall a victim to hastening the results. Not a single major event used to take place except that you find the sheikh among the first people to speak about it, whether it was Afghanistan, Algeria, Bosnia, the Gulf or any of the major events affecting the ummah. He was like the compassionate guiding father, but he also was decisive in his advice like we found him in the events of al-Haram [in Mecca] where transgression was committed in it or the events of Hamaat [Syria, 1982].
What do we say and what do we leave off about this imaam? This imam who was the example of “al-aalim ar-rabbaanee”. He was indifferent about this world. Dunyaa came to him and he refused it, and misconceptions and temptations got in his way and he nullified it, may Allah have mercy on him and raise his level and his rank. How deserving he is of the words of al-imaam Ahmad that he said to his son when he asked him, “Oh my father, I see you making a lot of du’aa to ash-Shaafi’ee, so who was ash-Shaafi’ee?”. Imaam Ahmad replied, “Oh my son, he was like the sun to this earth and like health to people, and can people do away with these two?” To be continued, inshaa’Allah … This great imam was not spared by he who envied him nor by he who hated him. But, subhaana Allah, our testimony is on funeral days. When the funeral day comes, the one who agrees with the sheikh as well as the one who opposes him will acknowledge his authority. By Allah, I’m not exaggerating if I say that the sheikh, due to his standing up for the Sunnah, has become a litmus test by which other people are tested [on how much they follow the Sunnah].
So, whoever you find hating the sheikh then know that he is a person of innovation or a hypocrite. And I say hate him but I don’t say disagree with him because the sheikh maybe disagreed with on one issue or three or ten or twenty or more or less. And it’s enough honor for a person that his flaws can be counted. But I say that no one will hate him except a hypocrite known for his hypocrisy or an innovating open sinner known for his sinning by his innovation. Indeed, no one hates except a turuqee [one who follows a tariqaa] sufi deviant or a hating partisian [hizbi] or an innovator, may Allah not increase their numbers. The sheikh has become like what the imams have said about Sufyan or Hammaad, “Whoever you see attacking Hammaad, then doubt his islaam.”
[The following is a poem by Sheikh Muhammad al-Majdoob in the praise of Sheikh Naasir (rah)]
They said, is there not a word for the sheikh that gives him justice. For indeed transgression has filled even the scales Wars were waged against him that no mind can tolerate A mind that sees the truth in the shadow of evidences So I said, on top of my praise [?], what he relates [to us] The muhaddith of the [land of] Shaam from the best of the prophets And his bringing back this generation to the honorable revelation That no one can deny except a misguided one And it’s enough for him that he shook the minds After it has been imprisoned in blind-following, humiliated So, it [the minds] became awake with understanding And distinguishing between the obligatory and the recommended is not difficult to him And the religion is a secret from the Rahmaan and was clarified By His Messenger and everything else is nothing but pure guess work And the dull does not have in their hands Except the narration of a majrooh from a mawhoon [both terms refer to someone who has been criticized or weakened by the scholar of hadeeth] So, what can a poetry say about a man Who is guided by his hate of Naasir ad-Deen And what kind of good is there if one individual ignored him While his merit has become known for millions.
Oh my dear brothers, by Allah I cannot leave this occasion without bringing to your attention the significance of this imaam and his death, for indeed in Saheeh al-Bukhari Abdullah ibn Amr narrated that Allah will not pull-out knowledge snatching it away. Instead, Allah will uproot knowledge by the death scholars, until no scholar will be left out. Then, people will take ignorant people as their leaders. And this is indeed the sign for the destruction of this earth, and this is indeed a sign for the destruction of this earth and this is indeed a sign for the destruction of this earth. And in the hadith of Usaamah bin Zayd in the “Musnad of imaam Ahmad”, with an authentic chain, that the Prophet said, “The departure of this religion is through the departure of its carriers”. And how can one enjoy this life if those pious pure scholars were to depart? By Allah, the soul cannot feel hapiness and sadness cannot be stopped, but we make ourselves patient in our calamity by remembering the departure of our Prophet, sallaa Allah alyhi wa sallam. I ask Allah the High the Great to open our hearts and to bless us with what’s good after the passing away of our sheikh, may Allah have mercy on him. I also ask Allah to help us benefit from his knowledge and from his books and his tapes and to follow his manhaj. And I finally ask Allah to raise his rank in Illiyyeen and to widen his grave and to admit with the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the pious and what a good company that is, and to forgive his sins and to have mercy on him. And let the ummah of Muhammad excercise patience and expect the reward [for being patient] for the loss of the sheikh and we do not say except what pleases Allah.
Wa sallaa Allah alaa nabiyyinaa Muhammad, His worshipper and His messenger.
THE ETHICS (AKHLAAQ) OF THE MEN OF LEARNING (‘ULAMAA)
By His Eminence Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Abdullah Ibn Baz (rahimahullah)
Feature Volume 3, Issue 6 Safar 1420/June 1999
1) It is obvious that the men of learning (scholars) are the successors of the prophets. Knowledge is what is indicated by the book of Almighty Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (saws). And in this concern ‘Aa’isha (raa) said, when she was asked about the character (khuluqahu) of the Prophet Muhammad (saws), that “His character was the Qur’aan”. (Akhlaaq sing. khuluq: has several meanings: 1) ethics 2) morals 3) inborn quality 4) manners 5) natural disposition and shall be used, here synonymously.)
2) This word from ‘Aa’isha (raa) tells us that the natural disposition of the Prophet (saws) was following the teachings of the Qur’aan manifested in his following the orders and refraining from the interdictions. It is now worthy of the scholars, preachers, teachers and students to take good care of the Book of Allah, and to search into it and to assimilate the good ethical teachings which Allah loves from it. Almighty Allah says: “Verily this Qur’aan doth guide to that which is most right (or stable)” [Soorah Bani Israeel Aayah 9]
In another verse the Qur’aan says: “Nun. By the Pen, And by the (record) Which (men) write. Thou art not, By the grace of thy Lord, Mad or possessed. Nay verily for thee is a reward unfailing. And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character.” [Soorah Al-Qalam, Ayaat 1– 4]
3) The one who would like to attain this great standard of character should approach the book of Allah and pay attention to it when reciting and studying it; while referring all the questions and doubts to the learned people for reliable answers and guidance to the correct books and references on the explanations of the Quran.
Attention should also be given to the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) because it also explains the Qur’aan and leads to the understanding of it. Almighty Allah said to His Messenger (saws), “Say thou: “This is my Way; I do invite unto God on evidence clear as seeing with one’s eyes, I and whoever follows me. Glory to Allah! And never will I join gods with Allah.” [Soorah Yusuf, Aayah 108]
4) The abiding by the Book of Allah is part of the character of the Prophet (saws) and part of the character of all the scholars and the men of learning who are endowed with knowledge and insight, knowledge and faith, knowledge and piety. However people with knowledge but with no faith or any piety have no share of the high standard of character.
5) From this we know that who ever calls for something with ignorance is not on the path of the Prophet Muhammad’s (saws) standard of character and conduct and not on the path of the people of learning. Rather, he is a criminal with great sin because Almighty Allah considers that whoever says something that Allah did not say is beyond blasphemy and above polytheism. Chaos and disorder would result from this. Allah says: “Say: The things that my Lord hath indeed forbidden are: Shameful deeds whether open or secret, sins and trespasses against truth or reason, assigning of partners to Allah for which he hath given no authority, and saying things about God of which he has no knowledge”. [Soorah Al-‘Araaf, Aayah 33] Hence, whoever says things about Allah without knowledge and permits what is forbidden and forbids what is permissible, deters from the right thing and calls for the false.
6) So it is the duty of the scholars and men of learning and their students to be cautious about saying things about Allah without knowledge and pay attention to stating the legitimate proofs according to the “Sharia” so that they can be knowledgeable about what they presume, call for or deter from and not venture to say false things about Allah without any knowledge. Those who are knowledgeable about Allah are the ones who fear Allah the most and never trespass His limits. Allah says: “Those truly fear God, Among His servants, Who have knowledge”. [Soorah Faatir, Aayah 28] The knowledgeable people who fear Allah are those people who know His religion, and know the Sunnah of His Prophet Muhammad (saws). Those people are headed by the Prophets and Messengers of Allah because they are the best example.
7) It befits the men of learning, although they are found in a latter time like the time we are living in, to follow the foot steps of the pious people in their fear of Allah and make it their task to revere His orders and His prohibitions
8) The fear of Allah implies stopping at the limits stated by Him and following the path of His Messenger Muhammad (saws), Any overdoing it would be unnecessary and impermissible. The knowledgeable person is the one who does not trespass the limits of prohibition and permission, and in the doing (following) and in abstention. And besides all that be very cautious not to say any thing about Allah without knowledge, or do contrary to what he learned.
9) Almighty Allah mentioned some good characteristics of some of His pious worshippers as a reminder to us. Allah says: “There is, in their stories instruction for men endued with understanding.” [Soorah Yusuf, Aayah 111)
In other verses Allah says: “Not all of them are alike: Of the people of the Book are a portion that stand (For the right), they recite the verses of Allah all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. They believe in Allah and the Last Day. And they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong, and they hasten in emulation in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous.” [Soorah Aali ‘Imraan, Aayaat 113–114]
These good characteristics, which were adopted by the best of the People of the Book and by those guided by Allah from among their scholars, include deep faith in and total submission to Him. And that they would not sell the sign of Allah for a cheap price and would not show ingratitude and deny the truth and conceal it as did their men of learning who went astray, when they concealed the story of Muhammad (saws) and they concealed a lot of truths for the sake of worldly and immediate gain.
10) But the people of knowledge and faith, from the ancient and the latter times, would state the truth and declare it as Allah said: “Is then one who doth know that that which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord is the truth, like one who is blind? It is those who are endued with understanding that receive admonition.” [Soorah Ar-Ra’ad, Aayah 19]
And in another verse: “Say: Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know? It is those who are endued with understanding That receive admonition.” [Soorah Az-Zumar, Aayah 19]
By this Allah explained that it is the people with understanding who really think and work their insight and those are the people with healthy minds. Allah described them as: “Those who fulfill the covenant of God and fail not in their plighted word. Those who join together those things which God hath commanded to be joined hold their Lord in awe, and fear the terrible reckoning.” [Soorah Ar-Ra’ad, Aayaat 20 – 21]
They join together the things which Allah has commanded to be joined and by straightness in following Allah’s orders and showing loyalty to Him and the following of the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (saws). Hence, their faith is followed by work and practice shown in kindness to one’s parents and communication with relatives. And the fear of Allah is such as to help them in the obedience of Allah and to deter them from committing disobedience.
11) Then Allah mentioned the two characteristics that are the sixth and the seventh and said: “Those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Lord, And they establish regular prayers.” [Soorah Ar-Ra’ad, Aayah 22]
They persevere on the obedience of Allah and they persevere in their abstention from the interdictions made by Allah. Allah also mentioned the eighth and the ninth characteristics and said: “Spend out of (the gifts) We have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly, and turn off evil with good”. [Soorah Ar-Ra’ad, Aayah 22] The meaning here is that they spend to get the forgiveness and redemption of Allah. They spend openly as they do in Zakat in secret either seen or not seen by people; seeking the grace of Allah.
“And turn off evil with good” This indicates total patience, their resilience, their endurance and their subduing of their wrath: “For such there is the final attainment of the (Eternal) Home”. [Soorah Ar-Ra’ad, Aayah 22]
Allah explained that this “Eternal Home” as: “Gardens of perpetual bliss: They shall enter there as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their offspring”. [Soorah Ar-Ra’ad, Aayah 23]
To reward them for their good past deeds, Allah includes them together with their fathers, their offspring and their spouses in His giving. Henceforth, to be straight in carrying out of the orders of Allah and fulfilling the duties; to call for the good and deter from bad; and to stand firm with the right and be resilient on it; and to turn off evil by doing good – all these are ways for the servant of Allah to be useful and good and also for his fathers, his spouses and their offspring and their reunion will be in the home of hospitality and generosity in which the angels are visiting and welcoming them.
One of the great gifts of Allah to his servant is making him to be the reason for the guidance of his father, his mother, his spouse and his offspring, and so forth. Also it is one of the great gifts of Allah is making a woman to be the reason for the guidance of her husband, her father, her mother and her children.
12) It is learned from this holy verse that the admission into Heaven of fathers, husbands and their offspring together with their relatives is not because of this kinship and relationship but because of their correctness and their endeavor in the obedience of Allah. This verse is also similar to the verse which says: “It is not your wealth Nor your sons that will Bring you nearer to us In degree; but only those who believe and work righteousness – these are the ones for whom there is a multiplied reward for their deeds while secure they (reside) in the dwellings on high.” [Soorah As-Saba, Aayah 37]
13) Likewise the people of knowledge, faith and righteousness should follow this way of high conduct and high standard of personality so that they find the happy ending and reward. But it is very essential that the learner of knowledge should know that resilience is very important and that good deeds and abundant good does not happen simply by wishful thinking and hopeless expectations, but there should be work and patience.
RESPECTING THE STATUS OF THE SCHOLARS
By Al-Asaalah Magazine Editorial Staff
Translated by Abu Sumayyah Mohammad Khan
Produced by al-manhaj.com
Indeed, Islaam has given knowledge and the scholars great importance, and it has given them a lofty and great position. Allaah says: “Allaah will raise those who believe amongst you and those who were given knowledge many levels.” Thus Allaah has made it clear in this verse that the scholars will be raised from among the Ummah over the rest of the people, and also that they will be many levels over the ranks of others.
How can this not be true when they are the ones who fear Allaah and declare their loyalty to Him? Allaah says: “Only those who fear Allaah among His servants are the scholars.” So the scholars – who are well-versed in knowledge and hard-working – they are the ones who truly fear Allaah based on Allaah’s bearing witness to that for them. And whoever does not fear Allaah then he is not a scholar, even if he receives the greatest of testimony and achieves the highest levels of knowledge.
Since the need for knowledge is intense, even in the darkest periods of ignorance (i.e. the Days of Ignorance) Allaah began with knowledge first. This was even though (at that time) the need for calling the people to good manners and virtues was more required and necessary. Allaah says: “Recite in the name of your Lord who created – created man from a clinging substance. Recite and your Lord is Most Generous – who taught by the pen. He taught man that which he knew not.” So due to the honorable position of knowledge, Allaah began with it first. And because it is the foundation for good virtues and the source for good characteristics, Allaah started His revelation with it.
The source for mankind’s rectification is through knowledge. So therefore, knowledge is the means for the initial rectification. Allaah says: “He is the One who sent to the unlettered people (non-People of the Book) a messenger from amongst themselves reciting unto them His verses, purifying them and teaching them the Book (i.e. the Qur’aan) and the Wisdom (i.e. the Sunnah) – Although before that they were in clear error.”
Allaah has given blessing to His servants through knowledge, indicating the greatness of this blessing. Allaah says: “And Allaah extracted you from the wombs of your mothers while you knew nothing, and He made for you hearing and vision and hearts, so that you may be grateful.”
Allaah has made the scholars witnesses on the earth testifying to His Tawheed (Oneness) and His Worship. Allaah says: “Allaah bears witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Him and (so do) the angels and those who have knowledge. (He is always) maintaining (the Creation) in justice. There is no deity worthy of worship except Him, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” So Allaah begins with Himself and then seconds that testimony with His angels and adds the third testimony of the people of knowledge from His creation.
And Allaah clarifies that being brought up and nurtured upon Allaah’s way can only be achieved through teaching and educating, both of which must be according to the correct methodology. Allaah says: “But be righteous scholars because of what you have taught of the Scripture and because of what you have studied.”
Allaah has made the scholars the successors of Allaah’s messengers and inheritors of His prophets. The Prophet (s) said: “The scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets. And indeed the prophets do not leave behind any dinaar or dirham for inheritance. They only leave behind knowledge to be inherited, so whosoever takes hold of it, he has taken hold of an abundant portion (of their inheritance).”
Obeying them in that which they attain from the truth is obligatory because they are the leaders with regard to the Religion. Allaah commanded us to obey them after having commanded us to obey Him and His Messenger. Allaah says: ,b>”Obey Allaah and obey the messenger and those in authority amongst you.”
And the Messenger of Allaah (s) commanded to respect and honor the scholars, as He (s) said: “He is not from among us who does not know the worth (i.e. importance) of our scholar.”
So it is an obligation on the Ummah to respect the status of the scholars and to give them precedence, and to refrain from their mistakes, errors and incorrect scholarly deductions. And even if their errors are many, then that does not detract from their status and rank. Nor do they provide justification for anyone to insult them or speak ill of them or to be insolent with them. This is since, the Mujtahid (a scholar who makes a ruling from the Qur’aan and Sunnah) is rewarded whether he is correct or makes a mistake in his ruling. And Allaah will not hold the ummah accountable for the mistakes of the scholars for,”Every man will have his saying taken or rejected except for the Prophet (saws)” as Imaam Maalik said. But the refutation must be done with manners, gentleness, sincerity and love, not with defamation, slandering, cursing, pronouncing someone a kaafir (non-believer) and disparagement, as none of these are from etiquettes of the Muslims.
And indeed there has appeared in these times a new phenomenon – a people who have no concern or goal except to criticize and belittle the scholars, incite hatred for them and call the people away from them. So they accuse them of treachery and of being ignorant of the current affair! And they accuse them of being puppets of the leaders! And they accuse them of not having any knowledge except for the matters of menstruation and postpartum bleeding! All of this is done to step on the backs of the scholars and so that they can turn the people’s faces away from them and towards theirs!!
Don’t these people know that from the signs of the people of innovation is their attacking of the people of knowledge – the real workers and educators that the Ummah did not witness of them anything except good?
So these people have exhausted, may Allaah rectify them, every possible means to attack our scholars – whether from upon the mimbar or in books and tapes. And they have brought about fitan (tribulations and turmoil) for the ummah, of which the Muslims are not capable to of extinguishing or suppressing.
May Allah have mercy on Al-Haafiz Ibn Asaakir who said: “The flesh of the scholars is poisonous. And Allaah’s way in humiliating these people is well-known. And whoever reaches the scholars by defaming them, Allaah will test him by causing his heart to die.”
And indeed not listening to the instructions of the scholars and their advice, especially in the important issues, will result in problems, destruction, extremism and deviation. And history is the best teacher of this in the past and present.
So will the Ummah acknowledge and realize the position of our sincere and hard-working scholars in order that they may take it by the hand and guide it to the Straight Path? And that is not difficult for Allaah.
EXAMPLES OF THE FEMALE SCHOLARS
Abool Hasan Maalik (Student of Shaykh Muqbil — rahimullah)
“Rawaahah was the daughter of Imaam Al ‘Awzaa’e and again as we have mentioned, he was a scholar of hadeeth. Not many know that his daughter was also a narrator, and she carried ijaazah upon her father.”
“And also from the likes of ‘Abbaasah Bintul Fadl, who was (again as we have mentioned) the wife of Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. Na’am, also we wanted to mention in regards to this particular affair of the shuyook, (mas. pl of shaykh) some of the shaykhaat (fem pl of shaykh), some of the women teachers of Al Haafidh Imaam Adh Dhahabee specifically. Many of his teachers were from the women. He mentions them with great praise, those who were from the women of hadeeth, I (Abool Hasan) wanted to mention a few of them before we go on to the narration that shows the importance of the women seeking knowledge. From his shaykhaat were:
Khadeejah Bintu Yusuf.
‘Amatul ‘Azeez Al Baghdaadiyyah Thumma Dimashqiyyah – Adh Dhahabee said about her, “Aalimatun Faadheelatun,” (she was a noble scholar), and she narrated much upon the nakeer. He mentioned at the end of her tarjamah… (Abool Hasan gets disconnected).
Faatimah Binti Ibraheem Ibni Mahmood Ibni Jawhar – Imaam Adh Dhahabee said that she was a righteous woman, and a worshipper.She was a woman who narrated hadeeth. She narrated Saheehul Bukhaaree on Ibni Zabeedi many times. She heard Saheehul Muslim, meaning she took the lessons or read it. She heard Saheehul Muslim from Mahmood Ibnu Husayti, who was from the shuyookh of the Hanafiyyah. She also heard from Abool Qaasim Ibni Rawaahah. She lived a very long life, and was able to narrate very much in regards to hadeeth, and the books of hadeeth.
Hadiyyah Bint ‘Abdul Hameed Al Maqdisiyyah – Imaam Adh Dhahabee mentioned that she was a righteous woman and she narrated Saheehul Bukhaaree. She was read upon the print of Abul Jahm.
Hadiyyah Bint ‘Alee Al Baghdaadiyyah – Imaam Adh Dhahabee said that she narrated very much, she was a very poor woman, and a woman of ‘ebaadah. She was read upon (meaning she gave lessons) from the book of Ad Daarimee, from his musnad and a number of other books besides it.
“So, here we see from these few examples of the women teachers of Imaam Adh Dhahabee, that not only did he have teachers from the women, they were those who have read the books of hadeeth from the likes of Saheehul Bukhaaree, Muslim, and other than them like Ad Daarimee. We also see that Imaam Adh Dhahabee gave the same type of praise to the women that he gave to the men. He mentioned about the one particular woman that she was a worshipper, and another was righteous, and another was one who narrated hadeeth. So, we see the same kind of praise that was being expressed upon the men, being expressed upon the women.”
“This is a tremendous affair. Also from the narrations that I (Abool Hasan) wanted to show the importance of the women seeking knowledge is a very well known narration. The narration where Ibni Mas’ood, was teaching outside of the masjid. He mentioned the statement of the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him), “The curse of Allaah is upon the woman who tattoos, and gets a tattoo, the one who arches her eyebrows, and the one who does it for her.” In any rate, Ibni Mas’ood mentioned in this narration that this affair was in the book of Allaah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa. There was a woman, her kunya was Umm Ya’qoob, she said after Ibni Mas’ood mentioned “I will teach you everything that is in the Book of Allaah today,” she said, “Indeed I have read the Qur’aan from cover to cover, and what you say is not in the Qur’aan (or I do not find what you say in the Book of Allaah Ta’alaa).” He said, “Well if you have read “Whatever the Messenger gives you take it, and whatever he forbids you, abstain from it.” The point that we want to make is that we see from her statement that she was diligent in seeking ilm, for Ibni Mas’ood said that he was going to teach what was in the Book of Allaah Ta’aalaa. He read the narration from the Prophet (peace be upon him) about the curse of Allaah is upon the woman who tattoos, and gets a tattoo, the one who arches her eyebrows, and the one who does it for her. You see, because of her having ilm, and understanding of the Book of Allaah Ta’aalaa, she said, “Indeed I have read the Qur’aan from cover to cover, I do not find what you say in the mushaf.”
“This is a reminder and encouragement for the sisters to be diligent like Umm Yaq’oob in the reading and understanding of the Book of Allaah Ta’aalaa. We mentioned from the narration of Saheehul Bukhaaree where the women came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asked for a speficic day to teach them. So, these are all affairs that remind us. We have mentioned from the women Companions, and scholars of hadeeth, from At Taabi’een, and the generation after them, and other than them, from the wife of Imaam Ahmad, the daughter of Awzaa’ee, the daughters of Ibn Qudaamah, and other than them.”
“We wanted to make mention of a few more names of the women scholars as a reminder and encouragement for our sisters that I’ve collected, and also for the brothers. I have mentioned earlier that many of us know the name of the scholars of hadeeth, the names of men, but not many of us know the affair of the women in the science of hadeeth. I came across something the other day, I was reading through Al Muktarah by Shaykh Abee ‘Abdur Rahmaan Muqbil Ibn Haadee Al Waadi’ee. I found a chapter where a question was asked to the Shaykh about the position of women in the narration of hadeeth. It reminded me of the great importance that our shaykh used to place on the teaching of the women, to the point where we know his daughter, Umm ‘Abdillaah ‘Aaishah, that she is from the foremost of the women in this time in the teaching of Deen of Allaah Ta’aalaa to the women.”
“We have mentioned from the women, ‘Aaishah, she is from the Mothers Of The Believers, she’s from the Muksireen. She is from those who narrated the most hadeeth on the Prophet (peace be upon him) until the point where some people have counted what she has narrated to reach about 2,220 hadeeth. Allaahu Akbar! This is a tremendous affair yaa ikhwaan wa akhawaat. We see the Mother Of The Believers being from those who narrated the most narrations of the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him). Also, from those who came after was a woman known as ‘Aabidah Al Madeenah, meaning the slave of Madeenah. She was from the freed slave girls of Madeenah, and known to have been of those who narrated tremendously. She narrated much upon Imaamu Daarul Hijrah, to the point where it’s been said that she narrated 20,000 hadeeth.”
“Also from those who came after was Zaynab Bintu Yahyah Bint ‘Izzud Deen As Sulamee. She also narrated tremendously. She narrated the book Mu’jam As Sagheer of Tabaraani. Al Haafidh Adh Dhahabee mentions about her she had a tremendous love for narration, to the point that she read upon until the day of her death a number of book/works. This shows yaa akhawaat, the important diligence that the women place upon learning the Deen of Allaah Ta’aalaa.”
“Al Haafidh Al ‘Iraaqee, we have mentioned earlier that he’d given ijaazah to Zaynab Bint Ahmad Ibni Muhammad (inaudible) Damishqiyyah, and also Al Haafidh Al Alaa-e, gave ijaazah to Ummul Hasan Bint Ahmad Al Ansaariyyah. Also, Ibnu Mulaqqin the great scholar of hadeeth, and others gave ijaazah to Ummul Hasan Bint Ahmad Ibnil Kalaal.”
“From those who had been given ijaazah, Asmaa Bint ‘Abdullaah Al Mahraaniyyah, she was given ijaazah by 26 scholars of hadeeth. >From them was Aboo Bakr Ibni Muhammad Al Mizzi. Not only did the women receive ijaazah from men akhawaat, they also gave ijaazah to the men, they gave permission of narration to men. As we mentioned earlier, Faatimah Bint Al Mundhir was the shaykh of her husband Hishaam.”
“From the women who gave ijaazah was the muhaddithah, the ‘aalimah, Makkah Bint Daawood. She gave ijaazah to Ibni As Saakir, the great scholar of hadeeth. Also the muhaddithah, Zaynab Bint ‘Uthmaan Ibni Damishqiyyah, she also gave ijaazah to Ibni Hajr. ‘Aaishah Bint Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdil Haadee, gave ijaazah to many scholars of hadeeth. She was well known to be of those who narrated from the Book of Allaah Ta’aalaa.”
“Also, from those who gave ijaazah was Khadeejah Bint Muhammad Ibn (inaudible). She gave ijaazah to Al Haafidh Ibni Sahl (or Ibni Fahl Allaahu Aa’lam). This is what Allaah has made easy for me (Abool Hasan) to collect with regards to something of women scholars of hadeeth, those who gave ijaazah, and those who received it from them. As I have mentioned earlier, this is a tremendous reminder, and encouragement for the women of the believers to be diligent in their studies, and to be like the women of the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him), where they used to ask for a specific day to learn the Deen of Allaah Ta’aalaa. This should be an encouragement to the women to not only learn the affairs of their Deen, but to become mutathawwiqaat, to be from those who exceed, to be from those who go to great lengths, or great heights in the learning of the Deen of Allaah Ta’aalaa. They should be like their Salaf, from the likes of Faatimah Bint Al Mundhir, and before her, from the likes of the Mother Of The Believers ‘Aaishah, who was from those who narrated the most from Rasoolullaah( peace be upon him).I ask Allaah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa to give us fiqh of this Religion.”
IMAM MUHAMMAD IBN ABDUL WAHAB: HIS LIFE AND MISSION
By Shaikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdullah Ibn Baz
Published by Darussalaam
Imam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab was a great man, an outstanding reformer and a zealous preacher, who appeared in the Arabian Peninsula in the twelfth century A.H. He was educated by his father in his homeland, Oyayna, a village located at Yamama in Najd, northwest to the city of Riyadh. He learnt to read the Qur’aan at a very early age and exerted himself in studies and advanced learning at the hands of his father, Shaikh Abdul Wahhab Ibn Sulaiman, who was a great jurisprudent and the Judge of Oyayna.
Having attained puberty, the Shaikh traveled to Makkah and then to Medina to learn from learned personalities there. Then he went to Iraq (Basrah) to seek after knowledge. It was in Iraq that he started his mission. There he called the people to Tawheed and the Sunnah of the Prophet (). He announced that it was the duty of every Muslim to follow his or her religion (Islam) strictly in accordance with the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. He engaged in debates and discussion with scholars and thus became famous. However, some characterless scholars rebelled against him and he faced some harms and persecutions from them. So, he left Basrah moving towards Az-zubair, then to al-Ahsa, and then finally to Huraymela, where also he faced much suffering at the hands of the wicked because he enjoined the good and forbade the evil and persuaded the rulers to punish the criminals severely. So, some of them even attempted on his life, but Allah saved him. Then he moved to Oyayna, which was then governed by Prince Uthman Ibn Muhammad Ibn Muammar, who welcomed the Shaikh with hospitality and promised him all support and help in calling people to Islam.
People in Najd at that time lived in a condition that could not be approved by any believer. Polytheism had spread widely; people worshiped domes, trees, rocks, caves or any persons who claimed to be Awliya (saints). Magic and soothsaying also had spread. When the Shaikh saw that polytheism was dominating the people and that no one showed any disapproval of it or no one was ready to call people back to Allah, he decided to labor singly and patiently in the field. He knew that nothing could be achieved without Jihad, patience and suffering.
The Shaikh continued calling people to the Path of Allah and guided them to piety, righteousness and love in the cause of Allah. Gradually, the Shaikh became famous in and around Oyayna. People came to Oyayna to meet him from neighboring areas and villages. He also wrote to many scholars requesting their support and reminding them of their task of helping Allah’s Religion and fighting against polytheism. Many scholars from Najd, Makkah and al-Medina accepted his request, while some disagreed with him, reproached his mission, condemned him and kept him away.
The Shaikh and those with him were in between two types of people; one group consisted of the ignorant people, who knew nothing about Islam and followed deviations and innovations, superstitions, etc. which their forefathers had upheld. The Qur’aan says about them, “We found our fathers following a certain way and religion and we will indeed follow their footsteps.” The second group, on the other hand, was related to knowledge but responded negatively to the Shaikh because of their envy and also because they were ashamed and afraid that the people would question their integrity, ‘why did you keep silent without warning us against such and such evils until Abdul Wahhab appeared?’
But the Shaikh carried on patiently seeking the Help of Allah in all matters. He strove hard in studying the Qur’aan and reading useful books. He had a special skill of interpreting the Qur’aan and deducing from it. He also worked hard in studying the life of the Prophet r and the lives of his companions (radhi allahu anhum).
The Shaikh went on teaching and preaching. Gradually, he exerted himself on practically removing polytheism when he noticed that his call to Islam had no affect on some. One day, the Shaikh said to the governor, ‘Let us demolish the dome at the grave of Zaid Ibn al-Khatab t (Zaid Ibn al-Khatab was the brother of Umar Ibn al-Khattab t and a martyr, who died in the fighting against Musailimah Khaddhab in 12 A.H, he was buried and later on people built a dome on his grave). It is erected on deviation and the Prophet r has forbidden building domes or mosques on graves. Moreover, this dome has destroyed the people’s belief with polytheism. So, it must be demolished.’
The Prince agreed and mobilized an army of six hundred soldiers and marched towards the grave, headed by the Shaikh. As soon as they approached the dome, the people came forward to defend it but when they saw the Prince with his army, they changed their decision. Then the Shaikh took the action of demolishing and removing the dome. Allah removed it by his hands and Al-hamdulillah, none of its traces remains now. Similarly, there were other domes, caves, trees, etc. that were also destroyed and removed. The Shaikh, thus, continued his mission by words and action, for which he became very famous. Also, one day a woman came to him and confessed that she had committed adultery. After realizing that she was sane, married and had confessed without external compulsion, he gave the order according to the Sunnah that she should be stoned to death as a punishment, as he had now become the Judge of Oyayna.
Meanwhile, the Prince of al-Ahsa (and surrounding villages) feared the Shaikh’s position, because committing wrong, robbery, murder, etc, were usual for them. He wrote to Prince Uthman threatening him and demanding him to kill the Shaikh. The Prince approached the Shaikh saying, “the nomad prince has sent me a message to do so and so. We never wish to kill you, but we are afraid of the prince and we are unable to fight him. So if you think you may leave.” The Shaikh replied: “I am simply calling people to Islam and to the fulfillment of the testimony of Faith that there is no god except Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger. Whoever holds fast to Islam and upholds it truthfully, Allah will help him and make him ruler of his enemy’s countries. And if you endure and be righteous and accept this Religion, then be glad that Allah will help you and protect you from the nomad prince and others. Allah will also give you power over his country and his kinfolk.” But Uthman said: “O Shaikh! But we cannot fight him nor can we stand his oppression.” So, the Shaikh had to leave Oyayna for Dareyya on foot because Uthman did not even provide him any means of transportation.
On reaching Dareyya, the Shaikh stayed in the house of a man who was one of the best personalities in Dareyya, but he feared the prince of Dareyya, Muhammad Ibn Suad. The Shaikh said to him, ‘be glad and hope for the best. I am simply calling the people to Allah’s Religion, and He will undoubtedly make it victorious.’
The news of Shaikh’s arrival in Dareyya reached Muhammad Ibn Suad. It is said that his wife first informed him of the Shaikh. She was a kind and pious lady and she addressed her husband saying, ‘Here is a great fortune sent to you by Allah. A man who is calling the people to Islam, calling to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah of the Prophet r. What a good fortune! Rush to him and support him. Never resist him or stop him from that.’ Muhammad Ibn Suad accepted her advice and went to the Shaikh and made a contract with the Shaikh that he should not leave the country.
The Shaikh now settled in Dareyya. People started to come to him for learning from everyplace – from Oyayna, Iraq, Manfooha, Riyadh and other neighboring places. Respected, loved, supported by the people, the Shaikh arranged lectures on various topics; Creed, the Holy Qur’aan, the Qur’aanic commentaries, Islamic Jurisprudence and its principles, the Hadeeth and its terminology, and others. He arranged classes for the public as well as for the selected persons. Thus, he continued his mission and activities of preaching in Dareyya. He wrote to the scholars and rulers establishing his arguments and warning them against polytheism and innovation. Because of his correspondence with scholars and rulers and his struggling in the cause of Allah, the Shaikh became famous. His mission continued and spread all over the Islamic world and also other countries.
It is a known fact that every favor has its envier, as every preacher has his enemies. Allah, the Exalted, said in the Qur’aan: “And so We have appointed to every Prophet an enemy – devils among the men and Jinn – inspiring to each other adorned speech as a delusion. And had your Lord willed they could not have done it. So, leave them alone to their fabrication.” [Soorah al-An’aam (6): 112]
When the Shaikh became famous for his teaching, and his writings received wide popularity among the people, many envious groups emerged as his opponents. One group consisted of characterless scholars who saw the truth as falsehood and falsehood as truth, and believed that building domes and invoking the engraved as pertaining to Islam. The second group was associated with knowledge but was ignorant of the reality of the Shaikh’s mission. They simply believed others and kept aloof from the Shaikh. The third group that opposed the Shaikh consisted such people who feared the removal of their positions and ranks. They showed humility so that the supporters of the Islamic mission might not reach them and remove their positions and take over their lands.
So, some opposed him in the name of religion, while other opposed him in the name of politics though they hid under the cover of knowledge and religion and exploited the enmity of those scholars who had hated him and accused him of deviation. Sometimes, his opponents argued that he belonged to the Khawarij, at times some criticized him out of their lack of proper knowledge, etc. Thus, the fighting between words continued through debates and arguments. He would write to them and they would reply to him, and he would refute them, and thus numerous questions and answers were accumulated and compiled into volumes. And Al-hamdulillah, most of them have been published. Then the Shaikh turned to Jihad in 1158 A.H, he wrote to people to enter the field of Jihad and remove polytheism, which existed in their countries.
The Shaikh, thus, strove in his preaching and Jihad for fifty years from 1158 A.H. until he died in 1206. He resorted to all methods of his mission – Jihad, preaching, resistance, debates and arguments until people adhered to obedience and demolished the domes and mosques built by them on the graves and agreed to run their affairs in accordance with Islamic Law, discarding all rules and laws which had been applied by their fathers and forefathers. Then after the death of the Shaikh, his sons, grandson and supporters continued his mission and struggle in the cause of Allah.
Related Link “A Correction Of Misunderstandings Found In Non-Arabic Sources about the Movement Of Sheikh Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahhab”
ASK THOSE WHO KNOW
Shaykh Muhammad Nasir-ud-Deen al-Albani
Translated by Jami`at Ihyaa Minhaaj as-Sunnah
Question: Some who are seeking knowledge are very hasty in giving rulings in matters of halaal and haraam, and this is a common noticeable defect. What is your advice to such people?
Al-Albaanee’s reply: “We have spoken on this issue long before, and we said that Allaah the Wise has divided the Muslim community into two types of people: the Ahl adh-Dhikr, and those that depend on the Ahl adh-Dhikr. As Allaah says to the ordinary people: “then ask those who possess the Message (Ahl adh-Dhikr) if you do not know.” (Soorah 21:7 and 16:43)
The Ahl adh-Dhikr are, as we all know, are the Ahl al-Qur’aan and the Ahl al-Hadeeth, those who know the authentic from the unauthentic, the general from the specific, the abrogating from the abrogated, and other such principles of Fiqh and Hadeeth.
Hence, it is not allowed for a Muslim to begin giving fatwaas on the basis of some hadeeth, simply because he came across it in some book, although he does not know if it is saheeh according to the criteria of the scholars of hadeeth. On the other hand, he knows that he is not sufficiently well-versed in knowledge and competence in the Arabic language to explain the meanings and ideas behind the Kitaab and Sunnah. Therefore, anyone who has not decided to undertake acquiring knowledge and persevere in it for many years, until the people of knowledge testify that he can guide the people and direct them towads good, it is not permissible for him to thank that he is an alim (scholar) simply because he has read some ahadeeth and memorized some aayaat. We often hear of some of them who cannot even read the Qur’aan properly, nor the ahaadeeth of the Prophet (sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam). This is why I advise the seekers of knowledge to study two fundamentals: a) the principles of fiqh and b) the principles of hadeeth.
I have mentioned before that it is not easy for one to deduce the intended aim of the Lawgiver from any text unless he consults as far as possible, all the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah. I will give a clear example: Allaah says: “Forbidden for you are dead meat, blood…” (5:4). If a beginner who is studying the Qur’aan and has no knowledge of hadeeth is asked regarding dead fish, he will immediately bring this aayah as proof to clearly forbid it since it prohibits dead meat. But were he to look into the ahaadeeth, he would know that the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, excepted two types of animals, fish and locusts, from this prohibition, so he could rule accordingly.
Briefly, the student must learn these two fundamental branches of learning to help to understand the Qur’aan and Sunnah as correctly as possible.”
RESPECT FOR THE SCHOLARS
By Shaykh Saalih Ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan
Prepared by Jamaal Ibn Fareehaan al-Haarithee
Translated by Maaz Qureshi 
[Q]: Is it from unity to have disdain for the Committee of Major Scholars, and to charge them with hypocrisy and being paid workers?
[A]: It is obligatory to respect the Scholars of the Muslims, because they are inheritors of the Prophets. So having disdain for them refers to having disdain for their position, their inheritance from the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), and disdain for the knowledge that they carry. From disdain for the Scholars is disdain for other than them in the first case. So it is obligatory to respect the Scholars for their knowledge and status in the Ummah, and for their responsibility which they carry out for the benefit of Islaam and the Muslims. If one does not rely upon the Scholars, then whom will he rely upon? If trust in the Scholars is neglected, then to whom will the Muslims refer to in a condition of difficulty, and to explain the rules of the Sharee’ah? So at that point, the Ummah will become neglected, and they will fall into chaos. So if the Scholar performs ijtihaad and is correct, then he obtains two rewards. And if he performs ijtihaad and is incorrect, then he has one reward and is forgiven for the error. There is not anyone who has disdain for the Scholars, except that he brings a harsh punishment upon himself. History – in old and new times – is a good witness for this, regardless of whether these Scholars are from amongst those who are in charge of the affairs of the Muslims, such as the judges; or the Committee of Major Scholars. 
 The following is taken from al-Ajwibatul-Mufeedah (p. 140-142); Shaykh Saalih Ibn Fawzaan said on (p. E) of this book, “The praise is for Allaah, and may Prayers and Peace be upon our Prophet, Muhammad, and upon his Family and his Companions. To Proceed: So I approve the publishing of al-Ajwibatul-Mufeedah ’an As‘ilatil-Manaahijil-Jadeedah which contains my answers and notes from the brother, Jamaal Ibn Fareehaan al-Haarithee. And I hope that it is of benefit in explaining aspects of the truth which have been hidden from some of the people today. And may the Prayers and Peace of Allaah be upon our Prophet, Muhammad, his Family and his Companions. Signed: Saalih Ibn Fawzaan Ibn ’Abdullaah al-Fawzaan 18/4/1417.”
 Indeed, the Muslims today have been tested by a group from amongst those who ascribe themselves to the da’wah. This group has spoken ill of the major Scholars with hidden references. However, they did not remain hidden from those who possessed knowledge. So in order to clarify the affair and to blow away the dust, we shall mention some of the statements of these people. The speaker (Salmaan al-’Awdah) on the audio cassette Haqeeqatut-Tatarruf says, “It is obligatory to say to the Scholars and the callers: Establish your obligations and admonish the masses of the Ummah and carry out your classes without waiting for someone to permit or command you to do that.” He says these words absolutely, without exception. And he speaks about Saudi Arabia in this lecture!! So reflect – may Allaah grant you success – upon the speech and its intended meaning. Then he said that which clarified the intended meaning, “It is appropriate to say that the affairs of the Religion have been monopolized by a known group who are skilled in hypocrisy and deceit. These people have been delegated as an organization to speak about the affairs on behalf of Islaam and the Muslims, along with the fact that they do not fulfill anything for them except two affairs: [i] Announcing the beginning and end of Ramadaan; [ii] Attacking those whom they call radicals.” And he (Salmaan al-’Awdah) says in the audio cassette, ash-Shareetul-Islaamee Maa Lahu wa Maa ’Alayhi, “What is a Scholar worth who does not explain to politics to the people, the most important affair that they are in need of?” With these words he wishes for the Scholars to engross the people in politics and political affairs, and he wishes to involve people in that which does not rectify nor benefit the Ummah. Verily the most important affair is to call the people to Tawheed and to teach them the acts of worship, and this is what the people are in need of. And politics is not the futility that calls to chaos and ignorance of the Religion. So what is the benefit of knowing politics and the advantages of the Muslims without knowing anything of Tawheed, nor anything from the acts of worship except their names. The speaker (Salmaan al-’Awdah) on the cassette said, “Do you want a Scholar who is confined only to rules of sacrifices, produce, womens menses and childbirth, ablution, ghusl (ritual bathing) and wiping over the socks?” This represents disapproval from him for these acts of worship and knowing them well, and disapproval of worship which does not become correct until one knows the Sharee’ah ruling concerning them. The speaker (Safar al-Hawaalee) on the cassette Fafarroo ilallaah says, “I shall say our statement for the Scholars…we must not always place blame upon a specific side. Especially for those who are living in particular circumstances which necessitates them to be courteous in their conduct!! And difficult conditions! As we are those who are living in comfort, we should say the truth in our houses and our mosques… Our scholars, O brothers! Enough (excuses for them)! Enough (excuses for them)! (Kaffaahum! Kaffaahum!) We cannot justify everything for them, we cannot say that they are infallible!! … We say: Yes! They do have some shortcomings in their acquaintance of the current state of affairs, they have some things and we round them off! Not from our superiority upon them, but because we have lived the events, and they have not lived them because they lived in another time! Or different conditions!!… Nonetheless, I say the following: The essential responsibility is firstly upon us, the students of knowledge! And some of those Scholars have indeed begun to hand over (the authority) of the affair; because – I mean to say – they have become old, or to a certain degree…Think, who can succeed them, think who…” So reflect O readers, since they all speak in one fashion with one meaning along with the fact that this one is in the west and that one is in the east of the land of Saudi Arabia. And the likes of these ones are many, and there is no might nor power except for Allaah. And the likes of him – and those similar to him – from amongst the despicable politicians and those who incite fitnah (trial, discord) wish to succeed the major scholars in our country; the likes of al-’Allaamah Ibn Baaz, al-’Uthaymeen, al-Fawzaan, al-Luhaydaan, al-Ghudayyaan and the rest of their brothers! So may Allaah keep us safe.
THE GOD-FEARING ‘AALIM AND HIS IMPORTANCE TO THE UMMAH
By Imâm al-Haramain ‘Abdul-Bârî ibn `Awad ath-Thubayt
All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad saws, his household, his companions and all those who follow their guidance till the Day of Reckoning.
Islaam respects the `Ulamaa and reveres them because they are the heirs of the Prophets who follow their way. Infact, it is in respect to their dignity and merit that Allaah mentions them along with His Name and that of His Angels when He says: “Allah bears witness that Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also give witness); (He is always) maintaining His creation in Justice.” (Aal `Imraan 3:18).
It is enough a distinction for the `Aalim that Allaah sends blessings to him; and His angels and the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth also do ask Allaah to bless him. The Messenger of Allaah saws said: “Verily, Allaah do send His blessings to him who teaches people good. Also, the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth, even ants in their holes and fishes do ask Allaah to bless him.” (At- Tirmidhee).
`Ulamaa are the friends of Allaah; they are the ones who really fear Allaah.
“It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allaah.” (Faatir 35:28)
They bear the knowledge with the fear of Allaah, He then compensate them with great reward. Allaah says: “Their reward with their Lord is (Eden) Paradise (Gardens of Eternity), underneath which rivers flow, they will abide therein forever, Allaah Well-Pleased with them, and they with Him. This for him who fears his Lord.” (Al-Bayyinah 98:8).
Ibnul-Qayyim said: “Scholars of Islaam and those around whose sayings rev olves Fatwa (religious counselling) among people; those who are endowed with the ability to derive rulings from the (the Qur’anic and Hadeeth) texts and whose preoccupation is the regulation of the lawful and unlawful things are to the earth what the stars are to the heaven. It is through them that the confused get guidance and people’s need of them is greater than their need of food and drink. Allaah makes obeying them greater than obeying parents when He says: “O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority.” (An-Nisaa 4:59). The `Ulamaa are the people’s refuge during calamities. Many a blind people have seen through them; many a dead have been given live by them; many a Sunnah have been spread through them and many an innovation have been efaced through them.”
God-conscious `Ulamaa are leaders in piety; if they had wanted beauties and high positions of this wo rld, it would have come to them submissively, but they live with their knowledge and meritorious deeds in a happiness that is far better than that of the people of worldly positions; that is because, their whole life revolves around no more than what Allaah and His Prophet saws say. They do not learn knowledge for adornment purpose but to benefit from it. Their impact is so strong that, if they walk on a barren land it becomes fertile and if they step their feet on a territory full of darkness it becomes illuminated.
An ‘aalim in the real sense of the word, is not the holder of higher certificates and academic titles. He is rather the one who has a combination of knowledge, strong and deep Eemaan, obedience to his Lord and a lot of Ibaadaat (acts of worship). These are the people of knowledge whom Allaah describes as incomparable to others when He says: “Are those who know equal to those who know not.” (Az-Zumar 39:9).
Ibn Al-Mubaarak was asked: “How can a true knowledgeable man be recognised?’ He replied: `He is the one who is ascetic in this world and occupies himself with the affairs of the hereafter.”
Nevertheless, `Ulamaa should not be regarded as perfect beings who are immunised against any defects, errors or mistakes; for, this is quite impossible. However, one should not be looking for the mistakes of a knowledgeable man because he may have an excuse that is unknown to us or that, this mistake may have a reason which can not be perceived by us.
If the Prophets -peace be on them- have the right to be honoured and revered, their inheritors should also have a share of that. The Messenger of Allaah saws said: “The `Ulamaa are indeed the heirs of the Prophets.” (Aboo Daawood and others).
It is therefore incumbent on us to love them, to obey them in good, to defend them and ask for Allaah’s Mercy for those who are deceased among them. Ibn Abbaas ra said: “Whoever annoys a knowledgeable man has annoyed the Messenger of Allaah; and whoever annoys the Messenger of Allaah has annoyed Allaah.”
Brothers in Islaam! Death of `Ulamaa is an irreparable loss to this Ummah. We beseech Allaah to forgive the deceased among them and to benefit us with the knowledge of the living ones.
Yes! Eyes do shed tears and hearts do get saddened, but if all of us shed our tears, that cannot change the situation nor prevent any harm. Actually, reaction of people of weak minds -after the death of `Ulamaa- do not go beyond shedding tears and mere wailings and lamentations; but people of lofty aims and enlightened minds do go beyond that for, they know that sincere love for those scholars means to live according to their way; to die on their path; to be good example in knowledge and good deeds; to be leaders in piety and humbleness; to be models in p atience and perseverance and to be pace- setters in generousity and sacrifice. Such are the characteristics of the `Ulamaa and such should be the characteristics of those who love them.
The `Ulamaa are not personalities whose virtues should merely be sung or written on pages without benefiting from their light. Ibraaheem ibn Habeeb said: “My father told me: My son! Go to the `Ulamaa, take knowledge from them and learn from their manners, characters and guidance; that is dearer to me than your learning of many Hadeeths (without manners).”
Brethren in Faith! There is nothing strange in the death of `Ulamaa for, such is the end of all living creatures; but the big calamity and the greatest tribulation is when their knowledge dies with them and their illuminating legacies gets buried with them. Therefore, it is a matter of obligation for those who are indebted to these `Ulamaa -i.e. their children and students- to promp tly bring out their scholastic treasures so that this Ummah and the coming generations may benefit there from.
Death of some `Ulamaa no doubt posses a big challenge to their contemporaries as well as other students of knowledge. They are obliged to fill the gap and keep the light of guidance burning.
Dear brothers, responsibilities of `Ulamaa vary according to the differences in levels of their knowledge. The responsibility of the person who has got a share of the Prophets’-peace be on them- Legacy is the fear of Allaah, constant remembrance of the hereafter, following the path of those Prophets, seeking knowledge for Allaah’s sake, high degree of moral character and striving to remove bonds of ignorance from the midst of this Ummah. It is improper to be an inheritor of the Prophets’ Legacy without being perfectly on their path.
O you people of knowledge! Be trustees over this religion by saveguarding it from alterations and acquaint the Ummah with the realities of Islaam and lead it back to its pure sources: the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Protect the Ummah from epidemic tendencies and misleading ideologies. Do not hide the knowledge that Allaah has endowed you with. Allaah says: “Those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allaah and cursed by the cursers.” (Al-Baqarah 2:159).
O you people of knowledge! Dangerous is that discord and deadly contention which is rampant among you. Give harmony and mutual love a chance amongst yourselves and keep yourselves away from insignificant issues.
O people of knowledge! Let not your goal be mere attainment of academic titles and degrees lest you abandon your teaching roles in scholastic gatherings where the rising generation of `Ulamaa are being groomed. When you take a keen look at this Ummah, whose membership of over one billion Muslims scatter all over the world and you see that, a vast majority of them are engrossed in ignorance of their religion, you will realize for sure that the Ummah is in dire need of tens (of thousands) of God-fearing scholars; those who regard this world disdainfully and preffer what is with Allaah; that it is in need of `Ulamaa who will be vanguards of this religion, directing people to Allaah with their sayings and deeds and explaining to them the lawful and unlawful things. If not for the `Ulamaa, mankind would have been like beasts and people would have remained in perplexed state of ignorance.
Yahyaa ibn Mu’aadh said: “`Ulamaa are more compassionate to the followers of Muhammad saws than their fathers and mothers… because, their fathers and mothers protect them from the hell of this world and the `Ulamaa protect them from the hell of the hereafter.”
The Ummah is therefore in need of those `Ulamaa, whose deeds do actually have more impact on people than their words. Yes, the world is full of books which one can read and benefit from, but it can not make a God-fearing `Aalim dispensable, because, a `Aalim is a living example of knowledge and good deeds; an epitome of piety and righteousness.
Dear brothers! When you ponder over the histories of God- fearing `Ulamaa in the first stages of their learning, you will see that they had many contemporaries during this stage. But Allaah selected them and blessed them with extraordinary qualities that make them well-accepted and loved by the dwellers of the heaven and the earth. Allaah made them a direction of knowledge and meeting point of its seekers. Their love is very deep in people’s hearts and scenes of their funerals are enough an evidence for that. This mammoth crowd do not come out for their funerals because of their money, for, they usually do not leave any money behind, nor do these people trooped out because they were forced to. Such is the case of God-fearing `Ulamaa. Hundreds of years do pass after their death and yet their stories and remembrance remain fresh in people’s memories. Then let us ponder: How did these people attain what they have attained? It is by the power of knowledge, good deeds and sincerity. They were truthful with their Lord so He treated them with truth.
Brethren in Faith! The `Ulamaa do die and others also do die. But there is difference between two deaths. Far is the difference between a death after a life that was full of generousity and through which Allaah revived a set of people and brought light to them after they had been in darkness; and a death after a slugish life ridden with weak piety and preocuppied with mundane affairs. When the `Ulamaa die, their knowledge perpetuate for them in this earth a new life, their names are engraved in peoples’s hearts as a result of the useful knowledge they leave behind and their written works that seekers of knowledge devote themselves to. But as regards others, some of them die before the actual death comes to them. They may even not have any good mention while they are alive nor any prayer for Allaah’s Mercy on them when they die.
The companions of the Prophet saws were overpowered by despair and confusion after his death because of their burning love for him. Aboo Bakr ra then came and said his famous saying: “Whoever used to worship Muhammad r should be aware that Muhammad r is now dead and whoever used to worship Allaah should know that Allaah is Ever-Living, Immortal.”
The Islamic Faith shall remain and the Divine Message shall survive. The religion survived after the death of the Messengers -peace be on them-; it survived after the death of Muhammad saws and it shall survive after the de ath of some `Ulamaa. There should be no pessimism nor weakness no matter how great the calamity may be. The Religion is Allaah’s and He has guaranteed its safety and victory. Allaah says: “It is He Who has His Messenger (Muhammad) with guidance and the rreligion of truth (Islam), to make it superior over all religions even though the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah) hate (it).” (At-Tawbah 9:33).
Therefore, we should not lose hope at all in the Mercy of Allaah for, the Prophet saws has assured us thus: “A group of my nation will ever be consistently prevalent with the truth they shall abide by; those who forsake them will not be able to harm them. They shall remain so until the command of Allaah comes.” (Muslim).
In view of all this, this Ummah is so fortunate that Allaah has made it the True Community and promised that He shall never forsake it. He endowed it with `Ulamaa who are the inheritors of the Prophets and He has not left this Ummah throughout her history in a period without `Ulamaa so much so that each time a `Aalim dies Allaah substitute him with many of his contemporaries and his like to continue keeping the religion upright. All praise be to Allaah.
HOW TO DEAL WITH THE DIFFERING OF SCHOLARS
By Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-`Uthaymeen (rahimahullah)
Taken from Kitaabud-Da’wah (5)/ Page 45-47
Translated by Abu Khadeejah ‘Abdul-Waahid
Question: I am a student of knowledge in the first year of the Faculty of Sharee’ah. There come to us many issues in which there is differing [of opinion]. It is possible that the preferred position (‘raajih’) in some of these matters opposes some of the statements of the scholars of today. Or we take on issues and there is nothing that is predominant from them. So we become confused in our affair. So what should we do about the ruling of an affair in which there is a difference of opinion regarding, or when we are asked by the general people? May Allaah reward you with good.
Answer: This question which the questioner mentions does not only happen to a student of the Sharee’ah, rather it is general to everyone. When he sees differing of the scholars regarding a fatwa he gets perplexed, but the reality is that there is no confusion in that because a person, when the fatawa differ, he follows what he sees to be closest to the truth, in accordance to the expansiveness of his knowledge and the strength of his faith. Just as a person, when he is sick and two doctors differ with respect to his illness, then he takes the speech of the one that he sees as being more preferable when the cure is described to him. And if the two matters are equal to him, meaning that he does not prefer the opinion of one of the two differing scholars over the other, then some of the scholars state that he follows the saying: “[Take] the more severe position because it is the safest.” Some of the scholars state that he follows the easier position because that is the origin in the Islamic Sharee’ah, and it is said that he chooses between the two. However, the correct position is that he follows the ‘easier’ position because this conforms with the ease in the Islamic Religion due to the statement of Allaah, the Blessed and the Most High: “Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you.” Al-Baqarah (2):185
“and He has not laid upon you in religion any hardship” Al-Hajj (22):78
And his (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) statement: “And make things easy and do not make things difficult.” [Al-Bukhaaree in ‘Al-Ilm’ (69)]
And also because the origin is acquittance or discharge from responsibility in an affair until he establishes that which removes this origin. This principle is for the one who is not able to arrive at the truth by himself. And if he is able to do that, such as the student of knowledge who is able to read what is said in this affair, so gives preference to what he sees to be the preferred position due to the Sharee’ah proofs with him, then it is binding upon him to research and read to attain knowledge of that which is more correct from these statements regarding which the ‘ulemah differ.
THE JORDANIAN MASHAYKH
Shaykh Abu Usama Wasi’ullaah Abbas
Translated by Abu Muhammad al-Maghribi
The Question: Noble Shaykh received a few questions about the Jordanian Mashaaykh. And we all know that our senior scholars love them, due to their high status in knowledge and due to their tremendous effort in da?wah. However, since our next lecture will be with our Noble Shaykh Ali al-Halabi hafidhahullaah, we are presenting you this question so that it may serve as a medicine to the sick heart and a cure to those that envy him. And hopefully, it will also be fruitful and beneficial to those who are not aware of the matter.
So we say, for the Mashaaykh of Jordon, it is enough for them as an honor that they are the student of al-Allaamah al-Imaam Muhammad Naasiruddeen al-Albaani and they have spent their strength and resources in defending the Manhaj of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaah and they are highly praised by the leading Imaam and Muhaddith of our time, al-Allaamah Abdul Muhsin al-Abbaad hafidhahullaah, and even before him, they were highly praised by Imaam Abdul Azeez ibn Baaz and Imaam Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen and Imaam Muqbil ibn Hadee al-Wadiee rahimahumullaah and they have established a great center to disseminate authentic knowledge and also have many beneficial books. May Allaah reward them for their efforts.
However we believe only Prophets and Messenger are infallible or free from mistakes. And they statement of Imaam Maalik is well known in regards to this. And he says, “All are capable to make mistakes except this” and he pointed to the grave of Muhammad alayhissallaatus Salaam. So our scholars may refute one another, or/and correct mistakes of one another and what is mandatory upon us is to follow the proofs and stick to the truth and benefit from the scholars.
However, it is very sad to see youth go beyond the limits and bypass the words of the scholars and they do not stop where our scholars stop.
Rather they, the Shabaab, the youth, warn against the Jordanian Mashaaykh and from their lectures and they order their blind followers to boycott them due to their extreme Ta’assub. They also plotted against the Mashaaykh and ordered to remove their books and tapes from the shops or from the bookstores. And they work very hard to confuse others about them and if the Mashaaykh come to visit us in the west, they, the Muta’asiboon do not benefit from them.
Rather, they have the audacity to stop others from benefiting from them or they warn the others against their conferences and lectures. And the saddest part is that such youth are very quick at turning against Mashaaykh and hasty in passing judgments upon them. So we see them, they will raise only those whom they think will serve their agenda. Yet, they turn against them and drop them like they are nobody, just because they do not agree with them.
So we turn to you, a noble Shaykh, for your insightful words so that you may tell us what you say about those Mashaaykh.
The Answer: First of all, may Allaah reward you for the introduction that came in your question. It was a fair and just one. All that you said about them, about the ulamaa of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaah is just and fair.
Imaam Maalik said every person’s statement is to be accepted or rejected, except for this man in his grave [i.e. of the Prophet Muhammad].
We find in the history of Islam that some of the main scholars of Islaam, some of their statements were rejected and refuted. It does mean when some of their statements were refuted that all what they say is rejected in its entirety.
No, if they are people of knowledge and Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaah we benefit from that. We benefit from that as long as they don’t go against that which is according to the Sunnah of the Salaf and as long as we don’t follow them in that which they were found mistaken in it.
There is a principle here, a fundamental, an Asl, that a person should not be boycotted, period, except if he is astray or went astray or if his mistakes are way more than his good. Then that which is right as for the main mistakes that were known and some of the people of knowledge may fall into them, we don’t leave of the scholar and boycott him. No, rather we benefit from them that which is right from the statements.
As for that which you mentioned pertaining to the youth, in this time, in this era, that we are talking about the ulamaa, the scholars and refuting them. I am going to tell you one thing, this is not something that is strange, rather this has been happening throughout the times and this is the way of the people of desires, who talk against the ulamaa and the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaah. So this is not something that is strange to us.
Of course, when a scholar falls into a mistake, the mistake should be mentioned. It should be pointed out, but with adab, with manners; with good manners and respect.
But, these are people who show no respect to the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah and they just slander and talk about them like the way you mentioned in the question. That is because they blindly follow statements of certain people who talk bad about the people of knowledge. This is not from the deen, to just go on ahead at a student of knowledge or a scholar who made a mistake. And they are subject to make mistakes.
As Imaam Maalik said, “And then they refute them, and warn against them, and boycott them?? This is not from the deen, period. The ulamaa, the scholars, in the earlier times they used to refute one another, and address the mistakes of one another, but that doesn’t mean that they boycotted one another.
As for the scholars and the Mashaaykh of Jordon and the most known and outstanding amongst them is Shaykh Ali Hassan Abdul Hameed al-Halabi, or Shaykh Mash-hoor Hassan, or Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaali hafidhahumullaah, what we know about them is that they were raised and educated under the care of Imaam al-Albaani rahimahullaah.
In these times, we don’t know of anyone in these times that serve the Sunnah of the Prophet as Imaam al-Albaani did rahimahullaah. It is like Allaah created him just for this time so that he can take care of the Sunnah of the Prophet by authenticating narrations, classifying others to be weak, making a lot of tahqeeq, on a lot of issues. We do not know of anyone like Imaam Albaani rahimahullaah who preserved the Sunnah in these times so therefore I’m not going to exaggerate. If they say he is Mujaddid al-asr it is that he revived the deen to the people, but yet he is an Imaam in this deen, a mujtahid. He has a lot of work and efforts in distinguishing the narrations to the Prophet, in separating the weak from the authentic, so he spent his life upon this and he left behind for us a treasure, a magnificent work. May Allaah reward him with Jannah, Ameen.
As for the scholars of Jordon, especially the three scholars that we mentioned, Shaykh Ali Hassan Abdul Hameed al-Halabi, and Shaykh Mash?hoor Hassan, and Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaali hafidhahullaah, we know them very well. We stayed with them many times. We heard their statements, we read their books, we know about their beliefs and creeds. Even, we know that they always call to good and to that which is according to the Sunnah of the Prophet and issues that are relating to issues of aqeedah and actions. This is something that is well known and nobody can deny this. This is a reality that cannot be denied.
As for the rumors, that has been spread against them, we say to those people, bring us the issues that show that the Mashaaykh of Jordon went against the Manhaj of Ahlus-Sunnah. Even if they are mistaken or make a mistake, this is the part that we mentioned that the people of knowledge make mistake and one of them refute the other or correct one another, that does not mean that when a scholar falls into a mistake, that we do not benefit from him, period. So this is not permissible that we boycott them and not benefit from their classes. That is IF they have any mistakes, but when they have mistakes, it should be dealt with respect, and things like this. And we don’t know that they say things against that which the Salaf said.
Why this Ta’asub, this extremism, and why these statements? If anyone has any animosity or hatred in his heart for them we just say “Fear Allaah and be mindful that you are going to be standing in front of Allaah and you will be asked in regards to what you say?
As Allaah says in Surat-al-Kahf, “There is not a word that he or she utters except that there is an angel waiting to record it.” They are accusing the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah with innovations and when a time of the people of innovations, they gather their forced together to fight against the Sunnah. It is not befitting to talk about the people of Ahlus-Sunnah and the Salaf, even if they find a mistake on one another, they kindly, in a respectful manner they try to correct the mistake. But they don’t boycott one another and call others to boycott them.
This is what I have to say about them. This is what I have to say about the scholars of Jordon, especially Shaykh Ali Hassan Abdul Hameed al-Halabi, or Shaykh Mash?hoor Hassan, and Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaali hafidhahumullaah and the other scholars of Jordon, their aqeedah is sound. Their belief is correct. They are upon the correct Aqeedah. They have knowledge. They greatly benefited from the tremendous treasure Shaykh al-Albaani left for them, and what he told them about the Hadeeth and narrations of the Prophet. They have abundance of knowledge, especially in affairs of the Hadeeth. And warning against them is something that I see is not permissible. And fear Allaah once again.
And that which we call our brothers, especially you, our brothers in the West, that you safeguard your tongues and May Allaah preserve the Muslims, especially in those lands where Fitan is abundant. So we ask Allaah to preserve you. And we ask you and actually invite you to benefit from the scholars of Jordon. They have efforts, they have a lot of efforts in coming to establish the deen of Allah in this land where the da?wah is in need, in dire need to be established.
Benefit from their efforts and many of the people of knowledge mention them with good and I mention Shaykh Abdul Muhsin al-Abbaad hafidhahullaah who is really more than just qualified to talk in this issue and he praised them and mentioned them with good.
COMMON ERRORS IN KNOWING WHO IS A SCHOLAR
By Sheikh ‘Ubayd ibn Abdillaah al-Jaabiree
Taken from an upcoming book “The hadeeth reported by the Companion ‘Irbaad ibn Saariyah” (May Allaah be pleased with him)
Sheikh Ubayd al-Jaabiree says: “A scholar is the one who becomes known for knowledge, his feet become firmly established. He is the one whom the Muslims should study under and not leave for someone who is less than him except if there is a need to.
Ibn Mas’ud (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, “The people will continue to be upon goodness so long as they take the knowledge from the companions of the Messenger, and from their elders but if they take the knowledge from the young ones they will be destroyed.”
Do you know who the young ones are? They are the people of whims and desires . They are the ones who leave the Prophetic texts and hold onto their opinions, philosophy and beautiful speech until they deceive the people. They control and overcome them with the outcome being ignorance.
The scholars used to test the people of each place with their scholars. So in the past they used to say: Test the people of Madinah with Malik ibn Anas and test the people of Sham with al-Auzaa’ee and test the people of Egypt with Laith ibn Sa’d and test the people of Koofah with Sufyaan and test the people of Mosul with Mu’afah ibn Imran.
What they mean by this is that the people in these areas are asked about their scholars. If they spoke well of them and respected them they would be brought closer and respected. If they spoke ill of these scholars and insulted them then the scholars kept them away from themselves by splitting off from them. This shows that the scholars are a blessing for this Islamic nation, they educate the people and teach them from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, the religion of Allaah upon the understanding of the Pious Predecessors. By them the people are strengthened, the scales are measured in full and people’s possessions are protected from innovations and newly invented matters.
If the Islamic nation does not have a need for its scholars and it puts the scholars behind itself then those people are considered to be evil. Salute them for indeed the devils from the jinns and people will overcome them.
Oh Muslims, do not be like those who have no need of the scholars. Those scholars who are known to the general and specific ones like the Imam Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Baz (rahimahullaah-may Allaah have mercy on him), and like the Imam Sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah-may Allaah have mercy on him), and like the Imam Sheikh al-Albaani (rahimahullaah-may Allaah have mercy on him), and their brothers who are upon the truth after them in our judgment and Allaah is their reckoner.
At the head of them, the Muftee of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Abdulaziz ibn Abdillaah al-Sheikh, and the honourable Sheikh Salih al-Luhaydan, and the honourable Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzaan, and the honourable Sheikh Abdullaah ibn al-Ghudayan, and their brothers who are with them upon the Sunnah. We do not praise them above Allaah’s praise and Allaah is their reckoner.
Oh Muslims, be careful that opinions overcome you and you are confused by dazzling speech for this is the beginning of misguidance and destruction. May Allaah protect us and you in our religion in this life and the hereafter…”
The Prophet, salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallaam, said: “…Upon you is to follow My Sunnah(way) and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs…”
THE MAJOR SCHOLARS IN THE LANDS OF YEMEN
Taken from the Tabaqaat of Shaykh Yahyaa bin ‘Alee al-Hajooree (hafithahullah) pages 22-23 and available as a free downloadable book at http://www.muqbel.net/dammaj
Translated by Aboo Imraan al-Mekseekee
The Major Mashaaykh of the Da’watus-Salafeeyah in Yemen, they are the ‘Ulamaa (Muslim scholars) of the land whom legal rulings are sought after. We mention them arranged by their names in alphabetical order:
1. The Noble Shaykh Aboo Muneer ‘Abdillah bin ‘Uthmaan al-Qeesee adh-Dhamaaree (hafithahullah): A very profound and inspirational preacher, it is as if Allah created him solely for this purpose, such that Allah has caused many of the Muslims to benefit from his sermons and to awaken those who are neglectful because his sermons rely on the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (may the peace & blessings of Allah be upon him),he gives lessons and does beneficial missionary work in his area.
2. The Noble Shaykh Aboo ‘Abdillah ‘Abdur-Rahmaan bin Umar bin Mur’ee bin Burayk al-‘Adanee (hafithahullah): He possesses unique intellect one whom Allah has given knowledge that is abundant and causing good. Along with giving him humbleness and bountiful manners, and firmness upon the Sunnah, he gives beneficial lessons on Fiqh and has explained the Daraaree of ash-Shawkaanee with some portions having been published.
3. The Noble Shaykh Aboo Dharr ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Yahyaa al-Bura’ee (hafithahullah): A Caller to Allah, sharp, courageous, an eloquent orator, a beneficial teacher and author, he has a blessed center of learning in Mafraq Jaish (in Ibb) and printed works such as Bidayaa-tul-Inhiraaf (The Beginning of Deviance) and others, he is from the Poets of the Salafee da’wah.
4. The Noble Shaykh Aboo ‘Abdil-Hameed Muhammad bin Saalih as-Soomalee (hafithahullah): Imam and Orator (of the Friday Sermons) of Masjid-ul-Khair in Beer ‘Abeed (in Sana’a), a caller to Allah, having insight and a beneficial teacher, the likes of him are few concerning generosity and love for the da’wah and undertaking its load in Sana’a, his center of learning is considered the original stronghold of Ahlus-Sunnah in Sana’a and Allah has caused great benefit to be spread by him.
5. The Noble Shaykh the possessor of extraordinary endeavor, Aboo Nasr Muhammad bin ‘Abdillah ar-Raymee nicknamed as al-Imaam (hafithahullah): One of the pioneers of the Sunnah, excellent in writing, profound in preaching, an outstanding admonisher, when he recites the Quran you will barely be filled with his recitation (meaning you will want him to recite more because of the beauty of his recitation), he has a blessed center for knowledge-based studies in Ma’bar, large number of preachers and memorizers of the Quran have graduated from his hand and he has a number of printed works such as Tanweer-uth-Thulumaati fee Mafaasid-il-Intikhaabaat (Illuminating the Darkness concerning the Evils of Voting), al-Muaamarat-ul-Kubraa ‘alaa al-Maraatil-Muslimah (The Largest Conspiracies against the Muslim Woman) and al-Bayaanu lima ‘alayhi Jaami’at-ul-Imaan (The Explanation of what the University of Imaan is upon).
6. The Honorable Shaykh, the trustworthy, the ascetic, the perseverant, the esteemed scholar, Aboo Ibraaheem Muhammad bin ‘Abdul-Wahhaab al-Wasaabee al-‘Abdalee (hafithahullah): From the chiefs of the protectors of the lions den of the Sunnah never needing a physical weapon, Allah bestowed upon him tranquility and love for the Sunnah and its people, his religious exhortations are more valuable than pearls, he has a number of printed publications of the most precious and beneficial is al-Qawlul-Mufeed fee Adilatit-Tawheed (The Beneficial Word concerning the Evidences of Monotheism) then the treatises at-Tardu wal-Ib’aad ‘an Hawdhi Yawmil-Mi’aad (The Expulsion and Distancing from the Pool of the Prophet- may the peace & blessings of Allah be upon him-on the Day of Meeting), Hukum Ridhaa’il-Kabeer, al-Qawlus-Sawaabi fee Hukmil-Mihraab (The Correct Statement regarding the Ruling of the Prayer Niche), al-Jawharu fee ‘Adadi Darajaatil-Minbaar (The Essential concerning the number of Steps that the Sermon Ladder should have), and the treatise Tuhfatul-Areeb fee Ittikhaadil-‘Asaa lil-Khateeb ( The Profound Masterpiece regarding the Orator using a staff while conducting the Friday Sermon), he has a blessed center for knowledge-based studies in al-Hudaydah where he gives beneficial lessons of knowledge.
7. The Noble Shaykh Aboo ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Yahyaa bin ‘Alee al-Hajooree (hafithahullah): He teaches his brothers in Daar-ul-Hadeeth in Damaaj as a representative of Shaykh (Muqbil) during his life and after his death (rahimahullah).
 This school in Sana’a is run by Abdul-Majeed az-Zindaanee-may Allah guide him and all of us, the Ulamaa have warned against studying there. Translators Note
 In the original text Shaykh Yahyaa didn’t even write Noble Shaykh before his name and instead only wrote: Yahyaa bin Alee al-Hajooree Aboo ‘Abdir-Rahmaan and the shortest description of himself compared to the other Mashaykh he wrote about which is evident of his great piety and humbleness. I have added this title into the translation out of respect for him (hafithahullah). Translators Note
SHAYKH ‘ABDUS-SALAM BIN BARJAS ALI ‘ABDIL-KARIM (1387H-1425H)
By Haanee bin Saalim Al-Husaynee Al-Haarithee
This biography was written by Haanee bin Saalim Al-Husaynee Al-Haarithee in Jeddah and was distributed in the Saudi newspaper “al-Jazeerah”
Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah were shocked when the news reached them about the death of the noble shaikh, Dr. ‘Abdus-Salaam bin Barjas bin Naasir Aali ‘Abdil-Kareem who had died on a Saturday night on 3/12/1425H in a terrible car accident while on his way from Ahsaa to Riyadh.
Shaikh ‘Abdus-Salaam was well known to the scholars and shuyookh of this blessed country (i.e. Saudi Arabia). The proof for this was the large amount of scholars and teachers that attended his funeral prayer. And I indeed heard some of the people of knowledge and virtue say about him: “The level of knowledge of Shaikh ‘Abdus-Salaam surpassed his age.” 
And it was also said about him: “Had he lived long, he would have been an ayah (proof/sign).” And I have seen a large amount of scholars and students of knowledge affected by his loss. This was since he was a defender of the Sunnah, safeguarding it with his life, pen and wealth.
Allaah blessed me by allowing me to be close to the Shaikh for a period of time, which is considered short in comparison to the number of close friends and loved ones he had. During my closeness to him, whenever I would hear anything from him concerning his biography and personal information, I would write it down. So, after a while, I had collected several pieces of information about him. And every time I would gather with him, I would remind him about that, and he would say to me: “I am not one whose biography should be recorded. I am less (significant) than that.”
However, I now feel that it is the least of my duties to him that I bring out this biography even though it has deficiencies in it. So I say, while seeking assistance from Allaah:
His Name and Lineage:
He was Abu ‘Abdir-Rahmaan ‘Abdus-Salaam bin Barjas bin Naasir Aali ‘Abdil-Kareem. He was born in Riyadh in 1387H as confirmed in his personal identity card. He was raised under the care of his parents and their home was a place of religiousness and righteousness. Ever since his youth, the Shaikh was intelligent, determined, diligent and hard-working.
His Early Studies:
He memorized the Qur’aan and began seeking knowledge at the age of 13. His teachers observed distinguishing and distinctive signs in him, thus giving him special attention and importance.
The Shaikh studied at the hands of a number of scholars in this blessed country, the likes of:
1. The Imaam and great scholar, Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin ‘Abdillaah bin Baaz (D. 1420H), may Allaah have mercy on him, whom he accompanied for a period of time, attending a number of his lessons, particularly his classes on Buloogh-ul-Maraam of Ibn Hajr, Tafsser Ibn Katheer and other books.
2. And among them was the scholar of Fiqh and Usool, Muhammad bin Saalih bin ‘Uthaimeen (1421H), may Allaah have mercy on him. Shaikh ‘Abdus-Salaam traveled to him between the years 1401H and 1403H during the regular school breaks. He also maintained close contact with him when Shaikh Muhammad began his classes in Al-Masjid-ul-Haraam in Makkah in 1402H. He would also live with him before he accompanied the Shaikh and his family to Makkah. This also includes the other times he spent with him. He studied Kitaab at-Tawheed with him, as well as al-‘Aqeedah al-Waasitiyyah and some statements from Zaad al-Mustaqni’ on Fiqh, al-Ajroomiyyah on Grammar, Shaikh Muhammad’s abridgement of al-Qawaa’id of Ibn Rajab and almost half of Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree. Shaikh Muhammad would have great respect and esteem for Shaikh ‘Abdus-Salaam. I even saw this for myself.
3. He also kept close company with Shaikh ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Abdir-Rahmaan Ibn Jibreen, whom he accompanied for a period of four years in which he read and studied the book at-Tawheed of Ibn Khuzaimah under him, as well as an-Nooniyyah of Ibn Al-Qayyim along with its explanation by Ibn ‘Eesaa. Shaikh ‘Abdus-Salaam memorized almost one thousand lines from it. He also studied Zaad al-Mustaqni’ along with (its explanation) Ar-Rawd al-Murabbi’ and Ma’aarij-ul-Qabool of Shaikh Haafidh Al-Hakamee. Shaikh ‘Abdus-Salaam benefited immensely from Shaikh Ibn Jibreen.
4. Also amongst his teachers was the great scholar and Muhaddith, ‘Abdullaah bin Muhammad Ad-Duwaish (D. 1409H). He studied the Alfiyyah of Al-‘Iraaqee and a portion of Sunan Abee Dawood under him during his scheduled school breaks in Buraidah.
5. He also studied under Shaikh Saalih bin ‘Abdir-Rahmaan Al-Atram in the College of Sharee’ah of the Imaam Muhammad bin Sa’ood University. He studied the notes on ar-Rawd by Ibn Qaasim and attended his lessons in the masjid.
6. His teachers also include Fahd Al-Humain, may Allaah preserve him, under whom he studied Tawheed and Fiqh.
7. He also studied under Shaikh ‘Abdullaah bin Qu’ood whom he read Fat’h-ul-Majeed with.
8. Also amongst his teachers was the scholar of Fiqh and Usool, ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Abdir-Rahmaan bin Ghudayaan whom he studied under while in the higher institute of judicial education.
9. Amongst them was Saalih bin Ibraaheem Al-Baleehee (D. 1410H). He attended his classes on Zaad al-Mustaqni’ along with his notes to it, which is called as-Salsabeel fee Ma’rifat-id-Daleel.
10. Amongst them also was the Shaikh, Dr. ‘Abdul-Kareem Al-Khudair under whom he studied Nayl-ul-Awtaar of Ash-Shawkaanee and the Alfiyyah of Al-‘Iraaqee on Hadeeth Terminology.
11. His teachers also include A. D. ‘Abdul-Muhsin bin Muhammad Al-Muneef under whom he studied ar-Rahbiyyah on the Laws of Inheritance while in Makkah in 1405H during Ramadaan.
His Positions and Advanced Studies:
These are just some of the teachers the Shaikh studied under with the determination of the people of knowledge. As for his organized studies, the Shaikh acquired his education in the city of Riyadh. There, he began his primary level studies. Then he joined an educational institute under the auspices of the Imaam Muhammad bin Su’ood University. After that, he moved on to the College of Sharee’ah at the same university and graduated from it in 1410H. Upon his graduation, he was appointed as a teacher in the educational institute in Qaway’iyyah, which is located about 170 kilometers west of Riyadh on the road to Makkah.
He then aspired to continue his education with higher studies, so he joined the higher institute for judicial education and completed his Masters there. The title of his Master’s thesis was “at-Tawtheeq bil-‘Uqood fil-Fiqh-il-Islaamee.”
He was then appointed a judge in the Ministry of Justice, but he asked to be excused from this position. He was finally granted his request after much hard struggle. He was then nominated to work in the bureau of complaints and injustices in the city of Jeddah. However, he only stayed in that position for one week. He then abandoned the bureau out of dislike for it and looking to absolve himself from it. He returned to Riyadh as a lecturer for the higher institute of judicial education. And he obtained his Doctorate’s degree in 1422H due to his verification of the book “al-Fawaa’id-ul-Muntakhabaat Sharh Akhsar-ul-Mukhtasaraat” of ‘Uthmaan bin Jaami’ (D. 1240H) in conjunction with others. The person that supervised him in this project was the current head Muftee of Saudi Arabia, Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Aali Shaikh.
After this, he was appointed an assistant professor, a position he held up until his death, may Allaah have mercy on him.
He was profound in his good manners and humbleness, and he was known for his gentleness, amiability and cheerfulness with his parents, teachers, family members and colleagues. Everyone that associated with him knew him to be this way. This is why there were so many people that were affected and grief-stricken upon hearing news of his death. We ask Allaah to unite us with him in His honorable abode. 
Shaikh ‘Abdus-Salaam was also an excellent poet. His poetic verses were of the highest quality and at the uppermost level of precision. He has recorded poetic talks. His poetry shows his naturalness at this talent and that he had no need for writing it down (i.e. he would make poetry off the top of his head). He would use poetry in his regular conversations and it would be limited to his friends and loved ones. If we were to try to collect all these poems, they would fit into a moderate-sized volume – may Allaah assist the one who compiles it.
His Books and Writings:
Shaikh ‘Abdus-Salaam possessed a fluent writing style and used elegant expressions. He has authored numerous books which have spread far and wide, going to the east and the west, and producing much benefit. He wrote his first book before reaching eighteen years of age. His books are valuable and of great benefit. I will now mention those books he wrote, which I am aware of, including both those that are printed and those that are not:
1. Al-Qawl-ul-Mubeen fee Hukm-il-Istihzaa bil-Mu’mineen (The Clear Statement on the Ruling of Mocking the Believers) – printed in a concise treatise.
2. Eeqaaf-un-Nabeel ‘alaa Hukm-it-Tamtheel (Alerting the Noble Person on the Ruling of Plays) – published in an average-sized paperback. 
3. At-Tamannee (Hope) – published.
4. ‘Awaa’iq-ut-Talab (Obstacles in the Path of Seeking Knowledge) – published.
5. Al-I’laam bi-Ba’adi Ahkaam-is-Salaam (A Notification of Some of the Rulings on Greeting with Salaam) – published as a small treatise.
6. Al-Hujaj-ul-Qawiyyah ‘alaa annaa Wasaa’il ad-Da’wah Tawqeefiyyah (Sound Proofs that the Means of Da’wah are Based on Revelation) – published as a short-sized paperback.
7. Daroorat-ul-Ihtimaam bis-Sunan (The Need for Giving Importance to the Aspects of the Sunnah) – published as a small paperback treatise.
8. Al-Abyaat al-Adabiyyah al-Haasirah (Confined Poetic Verses on Ethics) – published twice.
9. Al-Abyaat-ul-‘Ilmiyyah al-Haasirah – The Shaikh mentioned it in his introduction to his afore-mentioned book, stating that he has yet to finish it. I asked him five months before his death about it, and he told me it was still not complete. If it were to be completed it would indeed be something amazing. The Shaikh let me review two sections from it. If it were to be printed in the manner that the Shaikh left it, it would still be very beneficial.
10. Al-Mu’taqid-us-Saheeh Al-Waajib ‘alaa Kulli Muslim I’tiqaadu (The Correct Creed that Every Muslim must Believe in) – Originally, this treatise was a lecture that the Shaikh gave in the Central Mosque. Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz commented on this talk and praised Shaikh ‘Abdus-Salaam, may Allaah have mercy on both of them. One of the noble mashaayikh suggested to the Shaikh to print the book, so he did so. It was published several times and much benefit came from it.
11. Ibtaal Nisbat-ud-Deewaan al-Mansoob Li-Shaikh-il-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah (The Falsehood of Ascribing ad-Deewaan to Ibn Taimiyyah) – published in a small paperback.
12. Majmoo’ Shi’r Shaikh-il-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah (A Compilation of Poems from Ibn Taimiyyah) – published as an appendix in the afore-mentioned book.
13. Mu’aamalat-ul-Hukaam fee Daw’-il-Kitaab was-Sunnah (Interacting with the Rulers in Light of the Qur’aan and Sunnah) – This book was printed several times. Much benefit came from it. It is a book that is unique in its subject.
14. Al-Amr bi-Luzoom Jamaa’at-il-Muslimeen wa Imaamihim wat-Tahdheer min Mufaaraqatihim (The Obligation of Sticking to the Unified Body of Muslims and their Imaam and a Warning on Splitting from them) – The source for this book is a chapter in the afore-mentioned book. One of the mashaayikh close to him advised him to publish it separately due to its importance.
15. Bayaan al-Mashroo’ wal-Mamnoo’ min at-Tawassul (A Clarification of the Legislated and Prohibited Forms of Tawassul) – published.
16. At-Tawtheeq bil-‘Uqood fil-Fiqh-il-Islaamee (Authenticating Contracts according to Islamic Jurisprudence) – This was a scholastic research which the Shaikh presented in order to receive his Master’s Degree in the higher institute for judicial education. It has not been published.
17. Qat’-ul-Miraa fee Hukm-id-Dukhool ‘alaal-Umaraa (Removing Arguments on the Ruling of Entering in the Presence of Rulers) – The Shaikh wrote this book at the request of one of the noble mashaayikh. It has been published in a small volume.
18. Al-Ahaadeeth an-Nabawiyyah fee Dhamm-il-‘Unsuriyyah al-Jaahiliyyah (The Prophetic Ahaadeeth on the Censure of the Nationalism of the Days of Ignorance) – This was published in a medium-sized booklet.
19. Al-Khiyaanah: Dhammuhaa wa Dhikru Ahkaamihaa (Deception: Its Disapproval and a Discussion on its Rulings) – This book has been formatted and is ready for printing. The Shaikh told me this about four months before his death.
20. Mashroo’iyyah Hibbat-ith-Thawaab (The Legality of Presenting Rewards) – It is formatted and ready for print.
21. Al-Muhaadaraat fid-Da’wah wad-Du’aat (Lectures on the Call and the Callers) – The book consists of nearly thirteen lectures the Shaikh delivered, which I took the task of transcribing along with a brother, Mansoor bin Mubaarak As-Safaree. The Shaikh then reviewed it and made corrections to it. It was then formatted and is now ready for publication.
22. Sharh Al-Muharrir fil-Hadeeth li-Ibn ‘Abdil-Haadee (D. 744H) – The Shaikh devoted a lot of time to this book, loved it and had a strong desire to complete its explanation. However, Allaah willed that he not complete it. He was only able to finish the chapter on Purification and most of the chapter on Prayer.
23. Tadween-ul-‘Aqeedah As-Salafiyyah: Juhood A’immat-il-Islaam fee Nashr-il-‘Aqeedat-il-Islaamiyyah (The Recording of the Salafee Creed: The Efforts of the Muslim Imaams in Spreading the Islamic Creed) – It is a wonderful book containing lots of benefit. It consists of a list of the books of the Salaf on Creed along with brief biographies for each of their authors. The Shaikh originally intended to make the book two volumes, the first one consisting of books from the first century to the end of the seventh century, and the second one from the beginning of the eighth century to modern times. The Shaikh completed the first volume. As for the second volume, he did not begin writing it, according to my limited knowledge. The first volume is formatted and ready for publication. I have a photocopy of it in my library.
24. A book on Fiqh – The Shaikh would mention it often and he said he was revising it and examining it in depth. I don’t know how much he cut off from it.
25. Taraajim Li-Ba’ad-il-‘Ulamaa (Biographies of Some of the Scholars) – I do not have any information on this book other than that the noble Shaikh, ‘Abdul-Kareem bin Muhammad Al-Muneef mentioned it to me and told me that Shaikh ‘Abdus-Salaam told him about it.
26. Bayaan Mashroo’iyyat-id-Du’aa ‘alaal-Kaafireen bil-‘Umoom (A Clarification on the Legality of Supplicating against the Disbelievers in General) – This is a small booklet on this subject printed in eight pages and widespread.
27. Darb-ul-Mar’ah baina Hukm-ish-Shara’ wa Waaqi’-in-Naas (Hitting Women between its Legal Ruling and the Actions of People).
There may be other books that I am not aware of. The Shaikh has also written numerous articles which have been distributed in newspapers and magazines.
The Shaikh also gave special importance and time to verifying, spreading and working hard to distribute the books of the scholars of Najd. He deserves credit, after that of Allaah, for reprinting the book: “Majmoo’-ur-Rasaa’il wal-Masaa’il An-Najdiyyah.” This book was originally published in 1346H. He, may Allaah have mercy on him, also took on the task of verifying many of the treatises that were published in two volumes, the first with the title “Silsilat Rasaa’il wa Kutub ‘Ulamaa Najd-il-A’laam”, and the second with the title “Min Rasaa’il ‘Ulamaa Najd Al-Fiqhiyyah.” They are as follows:
1. Dahd Shubuhaat ‘alaat-Tawheed of Shaikh ‘Abdullaah Abaa Butayn
2. Al-Fawaa’id-ul-‘Udhaab of Shaikh Hamad bin Mu’amar
3. Ar-Radd ‘alaal-Qubooriyeen of Shaikh Hamad bin Mu’amar
4. Ad-Diyaa-ush-Shaariq of Shaikh Sulaymaan bin Sahmaan
5. Su’aal wa Jawaab fee Ahamm-il-Muhimmaat of Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan bin Sa’dee
6. Tuhfat-ut-Taalib wal-Jalees of Shaikh ‘Abdul-Lateef Aali Shaikh
7. As-Sawaa’iq-ul-Mursalah ash-Shihaabiyyah of Shaikh Sulaymaan bin Sahmaan
8. Ar-Radd ‘alaa Shubuhaat Al-Musta’iyeeneen bi-Ghairillaah of Shaikh Ahmad bin ‘Eesaa
9. Kashf-ush-Shubhatain of Shaikh Sulaymaan bin Sahmaan
10. Iqaamat-ul-Hujjah wad-Daleel of Shaikh Sulaymaan bin Sahmaan
11. Shifaa-us-Sudoor fir-Radd ‘alaal-Jawaab-il-Mashkoor of Shaikh Muhammad bin Ibraaheem
12. Ar-Radd ‘alaa Jareedat-il-Qiblah of Shaikh Sulaymaan bin Sahmaan
13. At-Tuhfat-ul-Madaniyyah fil-‘Aqeedat-is-Salafiyyah of Shaikh Hamad bin Mu’amar
14. Usool wa Dawaabit fit-Takfeer of Shaikh ‘Abdul-Lateef Aali Shaikh
15. Naseehah Muhimmah fee Thalaatha Qadaayaa of several scholars
16. Minhaaj Ahlul-Haqqi wal-Ittibaa’ of Shaikh Sulaymaan bin Sahmaan
17. Ar-Rasaa’il-ul-Hisaan of Shaikh ‘Abdullaah bin Humaid
18. Naseehah fit-Tahdheer min al-Madaaris al-Ajnabiyyah of Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan bin Sa’dee
19. At-Ta’sees wat-Taqdees fee Kashf Talbees Duwaad bin Jarjees of Shaikh ‘Abdullaah Abaa Butayn
20. Al-Jahr bidh-Dhikr ba’adas-Salaat of Shaikh Sulaymaan bin Sahmaan
21. Munaasaht-ul-Imaam Wahb bin Munabbih of Shaikh Sulaymaan bin Sahmaan
22. Al-Fawaa’id-ul-Muntakhibaat fee Sharh Akhsar al-Mukhtasaraat of Ibn Jaami’ An-Najdee – The Shaikh verified this book and presented it to the advanced judicial institute to obtain his Doctorate’s Degree in Comparative Fiqh. He verified the book from its beginning to the end of the chapter on gifts. The person in charge of supervising this treatise was the current Muftee, Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Aali Shaikh, may Allaah prolong his life.
There are other books that the Shaikh verified but which have not been printed yet.
Shaikh ‘Abdus-Salaam was eager to spread the books of knowledge in general and the books of the scholars of the Salafee Da’wah in particular. He would at times make photocopies of manuscripts or strive to obtain them for those who would take on the task of verifying them. More than thirty books and treatises were counted in which the verifiers mentioned that they used some of the manuscript copies that were found in the Shaikh’s library for their verifications. There are many other stories and reports which are hard to confine here. May Allaah facilitate their compilation and arrangement.
 Translator’s Note: This means he had more knowledge than was typical for his young age.
 Translator’s Note: It is important to note that the Shaikh also was diligent and active in the field of Da’wah as he would travel throughout Saudi Arabia to participate in conferences and seminars. This also includes his trip to the United Kingdom in which he delivered several lectures and lessons for the benefit of the Muslims there.
 Translator’s Note: In his introduction to this treatise, Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan said: “I have reviewed the valuable book written by Shaikh ‘Abdus-Salaam bin Barjas bin Naasir Aali ‘Abdil-Kareem with the title ‘Eeqaaf-un-Nabeel ‘alaa Hukm-it-Tamtheel’, which consists of evidences for the prohibition of such an act. In it, he mentions the arguments used by those who allow it, so I found it, all praise be to Allaah, to be a valuable treatise, comprehensive in its subject. It will solve a current problem that has affected many scholars and teachers. Shaikh ‘Abdus-Salaam, may Allaah reward him, has clarified the truth in it, leaving no room for doubt concerning the prohibition of plays.” Shaikh Rabee’ Al-Madkhalee said: “I reviewed this valuable knowledge-based research, which was actively put together by the noble youth, the one with enthusiasm for the Religion, Shaikh ‘Abdus-Salaam bin Barjas.”
 Translator’s Note: This does not include the many lectures he gave which were later transcribed and published as booklets. Some of these transcribed treatises are available on the Al-Ibaanah On-Line Bookstore.
DEALING WITH THOSE WHO HAVE ERRORS
By Shaykh ‘Ubayd Al Jaabiri
…The Second Topic is in relation to the one who has made an error. Who is he? We are certain that the one who opposes the Sunnah is in error. We are certain that so and so is mistaken. For the prophet may peace and blessing be upon him, said to the one who did not perfect his salat: “…go back and pray for indeed you have not prayed”
Didn’t he draw his attention to the fact that he made a mistake in his salat? Didn’t he inform him three times while saying to him “go back and pray for indeed you have not prayed!” and the man did so until he said: “I swear by the One Who sent you as a prophet with the truth, I can’t do any better than this, so teach me”
So the prophet taught him to the end of the Hadeeth, which is well known to everyone, even our small ones in grammar school know this Hadeeth and the praise is for Allah.
With this I say; how do we deal with the one in error? Pay attention to this for there are some details involved in this topic.
The one in error is of two types and if you want to you can say that his is one of two circumstances.
He is either someone upon the Sunnah and his foot slipped. His intent was the truth but he was not given the tawfeeq (success). Firstly his error is to be refuted because of what we mentioned previously and I showed you all how the mistake was not accepted with Ahlus Sunnah and I will add here that the goal is refinement of the religion and purification of it from desirous innovations and sins.
Secondly he is not to be followed in his errors with the argument that he is a scholar. Rather he is like every other Mujtahid in search of the truth and his Ijtihaad does not make it ok for you to follow him nor the fact that he is foremost in virtue or the sublimity of his rank and status nor his leadership in the religion. He is nothing more than a Mujtahid who said the truth but if you follow him along with the fact that you know he is in error and you are aware of his opposition to the truth then you are a sinner for doing such. As for him, then as long as he is a Mujtahid searching for the truth then his error is refuted and he is rewarded for his ijtihaad and the messenger may peace and blessing be upon him said: “If the scholar makes his own interpretive judgment and he is correct he gets two rewards and if he is wrong then he gets one.”
You are ordered to worship Allah by following the evidences established in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, this is the truth, and you have not been ordered to worship Him by following the ijtihaad of anyone. For the Ijtihaadaat of the people of Knowledge and the Imams are not infallible and as a result of this they should not be taken as a Manhaj. And because of this he is excused and is not to be defamed nor rebuked or censured. Nor should the people be chased away from him because of what Ahlus Sunnah know of his sublime rank and status, him being foremost in virtue and his leadership in the religion. The scholars have mentioned: “If everyone who has erred is defamed and rebuked there would be no one left.” And they make this clear in relation to those who are known to be from Ahlus Sunnah and their principals are from the Sunnah.
For how many scholars have made mistakes, outrageous mistakes in ‘Aqeedah, the acts of Ibaadah, in their procedures in certain affairs and in their dealings with people, and along with this, we know those who are fair and impartial (towards them). The scholars refute their mistakes along with preservation of their honor and reputation.
For example Ibn Qudaamah Al Maqdasi the author of the book Luma’ tul I’tiqaad (Sufficiency in Creed) mentioned in a few places in his book At Tafweedh (none knows the meanings of the characteristics of Allah except Him) in relation to the texts concerning the characteristics of Allah. And His Eminence Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim refuted him with a powerful refutation and clarified the truth in that affair along with preserving and safeguarding the honor of Ibn Qudaamah May Allah have mercy on them all.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE OF KNOWLEDGE IN EGYPT?
Shaykh Hasan b. Abd Al-Wahhab al-Banna
On Saturday 29th April 2006 Shaykh Hasan b. Abd Al-Wahhab al-Banna (Hafidullaah) the brother of Shaykh Muhammad Al-Bannah currently living in K.S.A was asked: Who are the people of Knowledge in Egypt?
This is after the aforementioned names that Shaykh Rabee Al-Madkhalee (Hafidullaah) had mentioned previously. The Shaykh responded by saying: I advice you to take knowledge from:
1) Shaykh Khalid Abu Abdur-Rahman (Hafidullaah) Plus phone number: شيخ خالد ابو عبد الرحم القليوبية قرية ناى تليفون:2131582 2 (0) 20+ ، 2131584 2 (0) 20
2) Shaykh Ali Hasheeshe (Hafidullaah) Plus phone number: الشيخ علي حشيش المركز الرئيسي لجمعية انصار السنه 8 شارع فولة عابدين القاهرة تليفون: 3915456 2 (0) 20+ ، 3915576 2 (0) 20
3) Shaykh Abu Baker bin Mahr bin Ahtiyyah (Hafidullaah) and الشيخ ابو بكر بن ماهر بن عطيه المنصورة
4) Shaykh Majd Arafat (Hafidullaah). الشيخ مجدي عرفات ميت غمر
InshaAllah more names of the people of knowledge in Egypt to be mentioned by Shaykh Hasan al-Banna (Hafidullaah) and their locations.
Question asked by those who are in corporation with Minhaj-us-Sunnah.com… Abu Yahya al-Misree
Names previously mentioned by Shaikh Rabee:
Shaykh Hasan b. Abd Al-Wahhab Al-Banna (الشيخ حسن بن عبد الوهاب البنا ) (The brother of Shaykh Mohammed Al-Banna currently living in K.S.A) Please note: This is NOT The Soofee Hasan Al-Banna who had died many years ago and is a Mufawwidh (rejectore of the Attributes of Allah).
Shaykh Mahmood Lutfi Amir( الشيخ محمود لطفي عامر )
Shaykh Sa’ad Nida(الشيخ سعد ندى )
Dr. Abu Abd Al-A’la Khalid (الأخ أبو عبد الأعلى خالد )
Then the Noble shaykh was asked about those who warn against some of the aforementioned Shaykhs, by saying, there is no one under whom we can study in Egypt, and as such they have stopped seeking knowledge.
The Shaykh responded by saying: I fear that those who are saying this are from the Haddadiyah!!!
Amongst those who were present at this sitting with Shaykh Rabee’ah were: Ahmad Al-Diwani, Khalid Bagaise and others.