Posts Tagged ‘Salafism’

This document answers the erroneous claims made by Al-Albani in his book, “Sifah Salah-al-Nabee”. It is span across two posts, this post is the second, Insha’allah.Continued from Part 1.

The Abrogation of Performing Prayer Sitting: Behind a Sitting Imam

Al-Albani stated in ‘Sifah Salah an-Nabee’ (pg. 4):

“He (Peace be upon him) prayed sitting during the illness of which he died. He also prayed sitting on another occasion before that, when he was injured, and the people behind him prayed standing; so he indicated to them to sit, so they sat (and prayed). When he finished, he said, You were going to do as the Persians and the Romans do : stand for their kings who sit. So do not do so, for the Imam is there to be followed : When he makes ruku, make ruku, when he rises, rise, and when he prays sitting, pray sitting (all of you).” (See Sahih Muslim, 1/824, pg. 227, English ed’n).

The above statement made by al-Albani seems to indicate his lack of knowledge about the Hadiths on this rare issue; or to be safe we may say that again he has given us half of the ‘story’. According to Shah Waliullah Dehlawi (Rahimahullah), the above command is concerned with the earlier period when the present mode of prayer was made obligatory. The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) stressed this point with a view to effacing out of the minds of his people the undue respect and reverence which the neighbouring people of Persia and Rome showed to their kings. They kept standing before them in all humility and dared not sit down before them. The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) did not approve of this type of respect which is against the dignity of man. He, therefore, in contravention of the practises amongst the Romans and the Greeks, ordered them to sit down when the Imam was sitting and not to observe this type of ceremonious respect. But when the sense of human dignity and equality took hold of the minds of the Muslims, then this practise was abrogated and the Muslims were permitted to say their prayer standing behind a sitting Imam, when there is no valid reason for it, as standing in prayer is part of prayer and it should not be abandoned in normal circumstances (Hujjatullah-al-Baligha, vol. 2, pg. 27, quoted in the English translation of Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, fn. 633, pg. 227).

The proof against al-Albani’s opinion is found in the Sahih collections of al-Bukhari and Muslim; and it is of greater authority as evidence than the Hadith quoted by al-Albani. I say: so much for al-Albani giving his followers the most authentic Sunnah, when he himself has contradicted the authentic Sunnah by not realising that his opinion has been clearly abrogated by a later practise of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him)! Imam Muslim has a chapter heading titled: ‘The Imam is authorised to appoint one as his deputy when there is a valid reason for it (for example, illness or journey or any other), and if an Imam leads the prayer sitting as he cannot do so standing, his followers should say prayer standing provided they are able to do it and there is an abrogation of saying prayer sitting behind a sitting Imam.’ (see Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, pg. 228, English ed’n).The actual Hadith that proves our point is found in a long narration reported from Ubaidullah ibn Abdullah ibn Utba (Rahimahullah) from Aisha (Allah be pleased with her); the most important part of the Hadith is as follows: “Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) was leading the people in prayer. When Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) saw him (the Prophet, peace be upon him), he began to withdraw, but the Apostle of Allah (Peace be upon him) told him not to withdraw. He told his two (companions) to seat him down beside him (Abu Bakr). They seated him by the side of Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) said the prayer standing while following the prayer of the Apostle (Peace be upon him) and the people said prayer (standing) while following the prayer of Abu Bakr. The Apostle (Peace be upon him) was seated.” (for full Hadith see Muslim, 1/832, pg. 228-229 and Bukhari, 1/655, pg. 371-372)

NB – Imam Bukhari (Rahimahullah) said, “The Imam is appointed to be followed. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) in his fatal illness led the people in prayer while he was sitting (and the people were standing)….” (see Bukhari vol. 1, chapter 51, pg. 370, English ed’n).

Imam al-Bukhari (Rahimahullah) also quoted Imam al-Humaidi (Rahimahullah) as saying: “The saying of the Prophet (Peace be upon him): ‘Pray sitting, if he (Imam) prays sitting’ was said in his former illness (during his early life) but the Prophet (Peace be upon him) did not order them to sit. We should follow the latest actions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him)” (see Bukhari, 1/657, pg. 373).

Finally, Abdul Hamid Siddiqi said in his footnotes to Sahih Muslim (vol. 1, footnote 632, pg. 226): “According to Imam Awzai and Imam Malik, this mode is essential in offering (i.e according to al-Albani’s opinion). Imam Shafi’i and Imam Abu Hanifah (as well as al-Bukhari, Muslim and many others) are of the opinion that it is not advisable to say prayer sitting behind an Imam who has not been obliged to say prayer in a sitting posture due to illness or some other reason…” But according to Shams al-Haqq Azimabadi in Awn al-Ma’bood (1,233-234), Imam Malik does not allow anyone to lead the prayer sitting! (see Abu Dawood, vol. 1, fn. 266, pg. 159 English ed’n).

Going into Prostration (Sajud): Hands or Knees First?

Al-Albani is of the firm opinion that when one goes into Sajdah, he or she should place his hands onto the ground before his knees. He stated in ‘Sifah Salah an-Nabee’ (pg. 52): “He (the Prophet, peace be upon him) used to place his hands on the ground before his knees.” Then al-Albani said in the footnote of the same page (pg. 52, fn. 2): “Ibn Khuzaimah (1/76/1), Daraqutni and Hakim, who declared it Sahih and Dhahabi agreed. All the Ahadith which contradict this are inauthentic. This way has been endorsed by Malik, and similar is reported from Ahmad in Ibn al-Jawzi’s al-Tahqeeq (108/2). Also, al-Marwazi quoted with a Sahih isnad, Imam al-Awzai in his Masaa’il (1/147/1) as saying: ‘I found the people placing their hands before their knees.’ Then al-Albani continued on the same page: “He used to instruct likewise, saying: When one performs Sajdah, he should not kneel like a camel, but should place his hands before his knees” (related by Abu Hurayra, see Abu Dawood, 1/839, pg. 215 English ed’n).

Al-Albani has quite categorically claimed that the Ahadith which prove that one should place one’s knees down before one’s hands are all ‘Inauthentic’ according to his ‘classification’ standards. But as usual when there seems to be ‘contradictory’ Ahadith, al-Albani fails to tell his readers that many other scholars of Hadith and even the Mujtahid Imams like Abu Hanifah and al-Shafi’i (Allah’s mercy be upon them) are indifference to his view of placing the hands on the ground before the knees!

In fact Sayyid Sabiq said in Fiqh-us-Sunnah (vol. 1, pg. 151): “Most scholars prefer that one place his knees on the floor before his hands. Ibn al-Mundhir related this from Umar (ibn al-Khatab), an-Nakhai, Muslim ibn Yasar, Sufyan al-Thauri, Ahmad (ibn Hanbal, according to one of two views reported from him), Ishaq (ibn Rahwaih) and other jurists including Ibn al-Mundhir himself. Abu at-Tayyeb said that most jurists agree with this. Ibn al Qayyim (al-Jawziyya, the disciple of Ibn Taymiyyah) said: ‘When the Prophet, upon whom be peace, prayed, he would place his knees (on the floor) before his hands, then his hands, his forehead and nose. This is what is authentic and has been related by Shuraik from Asim ibn Kaleeb on the authority of his father from Wa’il ibn Hajr (Allah be pleased with him) who said: I saw the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, while prostrating, place his knees (on the floor) before his hands. Upon getting up, he would raise his hands before his knees. I never saw him do otherwise.’” (see Abu Dawood, 1/837-838, pg. 215).

Sayyid Sabiq then gave the opinion of Malik, al-Awzai, Ibn Hazm and Ahmad (according to his other opinion) whose opinions coincide with al-Albani’s.

The Hadith from Wa’il ibn Hajr and Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with them) can also be found in the English translation of Mishkat- ul-Masabih (see vol. 2, no’s 898-899, pg. 172) where it says: “Abu Sulayman al-Khattabi (d. 388/998; Rahimahullah) said that the tradition of Wa’il ibn Hajr is more sound than this (i.e the Hadith of Abu Hurayra) and it is also said that it is an abrogated one (i.e the Hadith of Abu Hurayra). Also the author of Awnal-Ma’bood (vol 1, 311-312), Shams al-Haqq Azimabadi said in his commentary to Abu Dawood; after quoting the opinions held by some scholars that the hands should be placed before the knees: “But al-Khattabi is of the opinion that the tradition of Wa’il ibn Hajr is better established because it is supported by several other sound traditions (which have not been quoted by al-Albani). Ibn Khuzaimah (a Shafi’i scholar of Hadith, d. 311/924; Rahimahullah) observes that the tradition of Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) has been abrogated. He reports a tradition on the authority of Sa’ad ibn Abi Waqqas (Allah be pleased with him): We used to place our hands (on the ground) before our knees, but later on we were commanded to place our knees before our hands!” The Hadith of Wa’il ibn Hajr is also found in Imam Tirmidhi’s Sunan, where Imam Tirmidhi said that the Hadith was Hasan Gharib (see Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 2/268, edited by Ahmad Shakir). The author of Awn al-Ma’bood also said: “Abu Hanifah, al-Shafi’i and Ahmad (according to his second view) maintain that one should place his knees before his hands. And this seems to more convenient (see Sunan of Abu Dawood, vol. 2, fn. 383-384, pg. 215 English ed’n).”

Taraweeh Prayer: 8 OR 20 Rak’ahs?

In a handout by al-Albani’s followers in England, by the title “Some common questions answered” (dated October 1990), there appeared the following question and answer (No. 22):

(a) Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reports that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) never prayed more than 8 rak’aats in Taraweeh, so how come nobody disapproves of 20?

(b) Is it true that Umar (Allah be pleased with him) introduced it?

Ans. 22

(a) As regards the Taraweeh prayer – people agree that the Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and the best way is 11 rak’aats. As regards any addition – then this is DISAPPROVED of and DECLAREDASA BID’AH (A bad innovation) by Shaykh al-Albani and by a few earlier scholars – that being reported from Imam Malik, Ibn ul-Arabee and as-San’aanee (see Salat-ut-Taraweeh of Shaykh al-Albani).

(b) It is not true that Umar (Allah be pleased with him) either prayed or ordered 20 rak’aats. Rather he ordered Ubayy ibn Ka’b to lead the people with 11 rak’aats (al-Muwatta 1/137, with a Sahih Isnad).

I do not wish to go into much detail on this issue, but Insha’Allah a separate publication is what is really required, to show which opinion is the most correct. But any way it should be said that the vast MAJORITYof the scholars of Hadith, Fiqh, and even the four Mujtahid Imams are in agreement that 20 rak’ahs are the most appropriate, followed by 3 rak’ahs of Witr, and this is also the opinion of the Imam of the “Salafiyya”, Ahmad ibn Taymiyya!

First, it should be said that the Hadith reported from Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) about 11 rak’ahs is not at all to do with Taraweeh, according to the majority of scholars, but in fact concerns the number of rak’ahs of TAHAJJUDprayer! The Hadith in question is as follows:-

Narrated Abu Salama ibn Abdur Rahman that he asked Aisha (Allah be pleased with her), “How was the prayer of Allah’s Apostle (Peace be upon him) in Ramadan?” She replied, “He did not pray more than eleven raka’at in Ramadan or in any other month. He used to pray four raka’at – let alone their beauty and length – and then he would pray four – let alone their beauty and length – and then he would pray three rak’aat (witr).” She added, “I asked, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! Do you sleep before praying the Witr?’ He replied, ‘O Aisha, My eyes sleep but my heart does not sleep.’” (Bukhari, 3/230, English edn)

According to the author of “Fatawa Rahimiyyah”, Mufti Abdur Rahim Lajpuri (vol. 1, pg. 275); in his defence of 20 rak’ahs of Taraweeh: “The commentator of al-Sahih al-Bukhari and the erudite traditionist, Shaykh Shamsud-Din al-Kermani (d. 786 AH; Rahimahullah) said: ‘In the Hadith (above), the Tahajjud prayer is meant. Abu Salama’s question and Hadrat Aisha’s answer concerned the Tahajjud.’ He adds further: ‘If the Tahajjud prayer is not meant, then this tradition will be at variance with the tradition that states that the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) led twenty rak’ahs each for two nights, and in the case of such clash the tradition of twenty rakah’s which is affirmative (muthbit) shall have precedence because according to the principles of Hadith, the affirmative takes precedence over the negative (naaf)” (vide: Al-Kawakib ud-Durari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 9, pg 155-156). I say, does this not mean that people who perform 8 rak’ahs of Taraweeh, should pray 20 rak’ahs instead? Since according to the principles of Hadith (as affirmed by al-Albani), “The affirmative takes precedence over the negative in certain cases.”

A great fact that should also be noted by the reader is that the Imam’s of Hadith have placed the Hadith from Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) under the section of Tahajjud prayers, which indicates their belief that the Hadith applies to Tahajjud only. The Imam al-Muhaddithin al-Bukhari (Rahimahullah) has placed the Hadith from Aisha under at least two sections of his Sahih, first under the section of ’21: The Tahajjud Prayer at Night’ (see Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 2, chapter 15, no. 248, English ed’n) and then under the section of ’32: The Book of Taraweeh Prayers’ (see Sahih al-Bukhari, 3/230, pg. 128 English ed’n). This means that Imam Bukhari believed that the prayer mentioned by Aisha was that of Tahajjud only, and since the Tahajjud prayer is performed also in Ramadan, then Imam Bukhari also quoted the same Hadith under ‘The book of Taraweeh prayers’, but Allah knows best. Imam Muslim (Rahimahullah) has also placed the Hadith from Aisha under the Tahajjud prayer section (see Sahih Muslim 1/1607, pg. 356, English ed’n). Also Imam Malik (Rahimahullah) has placed Aisha’s Hadith under the Book of Tahajjud (see Al-Muwatta, Book 7, section 7.2, no. 9, pg. 5, English ed’n). The Imam Abu Dawood (Rahimahullah) has also placed the same Hadith under the chapter ‘On the number of Rak’ahs of the prayer at night (Tahajjud)’ (see Abu Dawood 1/1336, pg. 351, English version). Even Imam’s Tirmidhi and Nisai (Allah’s mercy be upon them) placed Aisha’s Hadith under the Tahajjud section (see Tirmidhi, vol. 1, pg. 58 and Nisai, vol. 1, pg. 154). Even one of the most prominent Imams of the ‘Salafiyya’, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya placed the aforementioned Hadith in the section of Tahajjud prayers in his book Zaad al Ma’ad (vol. 1, pg. 86)!

Mufti Abdur Rahim said about Aisha’s Hadith: “And if this tradition may have been quoted in some book under the devotions of Ramadan along with the Taraweeh. Like the taraweeh, the Tahajjud, too, is a prayer of Ramadan, and because of this affinity, it can be mentioned along with the Taraweeh (as Imam Bukhari did). Hence, supposing it may have been mentioned in some book, it cannot be made thereby a categorical argument. ‘When uncertainty creeps in, the argument is falsified.’ Moreover, Hafiz al-Hadith Imam Qurtubi’s (d. 671/1273; Rahimahullah) statement regarding this Hadith (of Aisha) should not be overlooked that, ‘many a man of knowledge considers the aforesaid Hadith mudtarib (i.e. confounded).’” (vide: Imam Ayni in his Sharh Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 2, pg. 187).

In short, the aforesaid report is in no way a proof for eight rak’ahs of Taraweeh. In contradistinction to this, as regards the twenty rak’ahs the Companions Consensus (Ijma-as-Sahaba) has taken place over the approval of Ibn Abbas’ Hadith (about 20 Rak’ahs being performed by the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him) and practically the majority of Ulama have accepted it.” (Fatawa Rahimmiyah vol. 1, pg 276-277).

Although Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) had said: “He did not pray more than 11 Raka’at,” we also have reports from her that the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) also prayed more than 11 Raka’ats! The proof for this was given by her in another narration involving Abu Salama ibn Abdal Rahman (Rahimahullah). Abu Salama asked Aisha about the prayer of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), she said, “He observed 13 Raka’ahs (in the night prayer). He observed 8 raka’ahs and would then observe (three rak’ahs of) witr and then observe two raka’ahs sitting (nafl prayer), and when he wanted to bow he stood up and then bowed down, and then he observed two raka’ahs in between the Azan and Iqama of the dawn prayer (i.e. fajr).” (See Sahih Muslim 1/1603, pg. 357 and also al-Albani’s Sifah Salah an-Nabee, appendix 7, pg. 110). So does this not mean that the ‘Salafiyya’ should perform 13 Raka’ats of Taraweeh in Ramadan?

Now, the statement ‘the best way is 11 rak’aats’ is only the opinion of a small group of the ulama, in fact there are more than 50 opinions to say that the best way is 20 rak’ahs according to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his Companions (Allah be pleased with them all) practise! What is more interesting to note is that the four great Mujtahids, Abu Hanifah, Malik, Shafi’i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Allah’s mercy be upon them) are in agreement that the Taraweeh consists of twenty Rak’ahs. The statement that Imam Malik approved of eight Rak’ahs needs to be proved, most likely this ascription was made to him because he quoted the Hadith which is used to prove eight Rak’ahs of Taraweeh in his al-Muwatta (see Muwatta, 6.2, no. 4, pg. 48) by a small group of scholars. Although Imam Malik (Rahimahullah) quoted this Hadith in his book, it has no bearing on what his actual opinion and practise was, on the contrary Imam Malik believes in thirty-six rak’ahs of Taraweeh (i.e. 20 Rak’ahs and 16 rak’ahs of extra nafl prayers, see later for the official verdict of the Maliki Madhhab)! Also the Hadith which seems to prove 11 Rak’ahs of Taraweeh (including three rak’ahs of Witr) in Imam Malik’s Muwatta has been explained away by many other convincing arguments.

Recently I came across a booklet by the title, “Is Taraweeh 20 Rakaats?” (Published by Madrasah Arabia Islamia, Azaadville, South Africa, author unknown). In this booklet the Hadith quoted from the Muwatta of Imam Malik (Rahimahullah), about 11 rak’ahs of Taraweeh (including three Witr) was quite eloquently analysed.

The actual Hadith in question was related by Yahya ibn Yahya al-Laythi, who related from his teacher Imam Malik, who related from Muhammad ibn Yusuf, who said that as-Saaib ibn Yazid said, “Umar ibn Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) ordered Ubayy ibn Ka’b and Tamim ad-Dari (Allah be pleased with them) to watch the night in prayer with the people for eleven rak’ahs. The reciter of the Qur’an would recite the Mi’in (a group of medium sized surah’s) until we would be leaning on our staffs from having stood so long in prayer. And we would not leave until the approach of dawn.” (see above reference in al-Muwatta).

It was stated in the aforementioned booklet (chapter 7, pg. 20), after quoting the above narration, “If we analyse the chain (Isnad) of this Hadith, we notice that Muhammad ibn Yusuf narrates from Saaib ibn Yazid. Muhammad (ibn Yusuf) has 5 students and the narration of each student differs from the next (i.e. the text of the Hadith is different from each student). The five students are:

    • (1) Imam Malik(2) Yahya ibn Qattan 

      (3) Abdul Aziz ibn Muhammad

      (4) Ibn Ishaq and

      (5) Abdur Razzaq

Their narrations are as follows :

    (1) Imam Malik says that Umar ordered Ubayy ibn Ka’b and Tamim Dari to perform 11 rakaats. (What practise occurred thereafter is not mentioned, nor is Ramadaan mentioned).(2) Yahya ibn Qattan says that Umar made the people gather with Ubayy ibn Ka’b and Tamim Dari and both of them began performing 11 rakaats. (Hadrat Umar’s command is not mentioned, nor is any mention of Ramadaan made). 

    (3) Abdul Aziz (ibn Muhammad) says that we used to perform 11 rakaats in the era of Umar. (Neither is the command mentioned, nor is Ubayy ibn Ka’b or Ramadaan mentioned).

    (4) Ibn Ishaq says that we used to perform 13 rakaats in Ramadaan during the era of Umar. (Neither is the command of Umar mentioned. Instead of 11 rakaats, 13 are mentioned).

    (5) Abdur Razzaq says that Umar gave the command of 21 rakaats. (In this narration 21 rakaats are mentioned instead of 11).

Besides the narration of Imam Malik (Rahimahullah), 11 rakaats can not be established from the other narrations. Due to this difference, the narrator Ibn Ishaq gave preference to 13 while Ibn Abdal Barr al-Maliki preferred 21 (from the narration of Abdur Razzaq). Therefore this narration is Mudtarib (A Hadith that is transmitted in different manners, so that the contents of each transmission differ, and it is not possible to give preference to any particular transmission) with regards to the number (of rak’ahs) and hence unacceptable.

The above was an analysis of Muhammad ibn Yusuf’s narration via Saaib ibn Yazid. Now let us examine the narration of Yazid ibn Khaseefah via Saaib (ibn Yazid), which is mentioned in the Sunan al- Kubra of al-Bayhaqi (vol. 2, pg. 496): Abu Zi’b narrates from Yazid ibn Khaseefah, who reports from Saaib ibn Yazid that the people used to perform 20 rakaats in the month of Ramadaan during the era of Umar.

Imam Nawawi, Iraqi and Suyuti (all three were great scholars of Hadith) amongst others have accepted the authenticity of this Hadith (see Tuhfatul Akhyaar, pg. 192 and Irshaadus Saari, pg. 74, (by Imam al-Qastallani]).

Muhammad ibn Jafar (another narrator in the chain) has quoted the statement from Yazid (ibn Khaseefah) as Abu Zi’b (had). This narration is mentioned in Marifatus Sunan of al-Bayhaqi. Allamah Subki and Mullah Ali al-Qari have stated in Sharh Minhaaj and Sharh Muwatta respectively that the chain of narrators of this Hadith are correct. (Tuhfatul Ahwazee, vol.2, pg 75).

From the above narration we can clearly see that both the students of Yazid (ibn Khaseefah), unanimously narrate the fact that during Umar’s (Allah be pleased with him) era 20 rakaats was the standard practise. On the contrary, the 5 students of Muhammad ibn Yusuf quote Saaib (ibn Yazid) differently.

In such a situation the correct approach would be to rely on the narration of Yazid ibn Khaseefah. However the Ahl al-Hadith (another name for the “Salafiyya”) have unjustly discarded this narration and adopted the doubtful one of Muhammad ibn Yusuf, which has differing versions. This goes against the principles of Hadith.” Here ends the quote .

Another Hadith that is used by the protagonists of eight rak’ahs of Taraweeh has been related by Jabir ibn Abdullah (Allah be pleased with him): “The Prophet (Peace be upon him) led the people in prayer during Ramadan with 8 rak’ahs and the Witr. We gathered in the Mosque the following night hoping that he would come again. We remained waiting till the next morning (until he came out). The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, ‘I feared that the Witr may become incumbent on you.’” (related by Ibn Nasr al-Marwazi in Qiyamul-Layl, pg. 90, al-Tabarani and Ibn Hibban – see below for the actual Hadith)

The above Hadith has been analysed by Shaykh Abdur Rahim in his “Fatawa” (vol. 1, pg. 278-9) with the conclusion that the Hadith is Daeef. The Shaykh said: “The strange thing about this Hadith is that its chain of authorities (Isnad) is not trustworthy. Please examine the statements of the Imams of this science concerning the narrators of this chain. In this chain one narrator is Ibn Hameed Razi, about whom the opinions of the great and august critics of Hadith are as under:

    • (1) ‘He is weak.’ – Hafiz al-Dhahabi (see his Mizanul I’tidal, vol.3, pp. 49-50)(2) ‘He narrates many disowned (munkar ) Hadiths.’ – Ya’qub ibn Shaybah 

      (3) ‘He is objectionable.’ – Imam Bukhari

      (4) ‘He is a liar.’ – Abu Zur’ah

      (5) ‘I testify that he is a liar.’ – Ishaq Kausaj

      (6) ‘He narrates Hadiths about everything; I have not seen a man bolder than him vis-a-vis God.’ – Sauleh Jazrah

      (7) ‘By God! He is a liar.’ – Ibn Kharash

      (8) ‘He is not reliable.’ – Imam Nisai

Now, about the second narrator, Ya’qub ibn Abdullah Ash’ari al-Qummi:-

    • (1) ‘He is not strong.’ – Daraqutni (see Mizanul I’tidal, vol. 3, pg. 324).

About the third narrator, Isa ibn Jariyah:-

    • (1) ‘He has had disowned (munkar) Hadiths.’ – Ibn Ma’een(2) ‘His Hadiths are disavowed.’ – Nisai 

      (3) ‘His Hadiths are rejected (matruk ).’ – Nisai

      (4) ‘His Hadiths are disavowed.’ – Abu Dawood – synopsis

      (5) ‘He is counted among the weak.’ – (see Mizanul-I’tidal, vol. 2, pg. 311, by Hafiz al-Dhahabi).” Here ends the quote.

Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (Rahimahullah) has reported a similar narration to the above Hadith in his Bulugh al-Maram min Adillat al-Ahkam (no. 396, pg. 159), on the authority of Hafiz Ibn Hibban (Rahimahullah): “Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah (Allah be pleaed with him): Allah’s Apostle (Peace be upon him) prayed during the night in Ramadan; the people waited for him on the next day, but he did not come out; and he said, ‘I feared that the Witr might be enjoined on you.’” Note the above narration does not even state how many rak’ahs were performed by the Prophet (Peace be upon him)!! The above two Hadiths can not be used as justifiable proof in favour of 8 rak’ahs of Taraweeh on their own.

Al-Imam Malik (Rahimahullah) has in fact quoted a Hadith which proves the performance of 20 rak’ahs of Taraweeh in Ramadan; and that is as follows:-

Yahya related to me from Malik that Yazid ibn Ruman said,”The people used to watch the night in prayer during Ramadaan for 23 rak’ahs (i.e 20 rak’ahs of Taraweeh, followed by 3 rak’ahs of witr) in the time of Umar ibn al-Khattab.” (vide: al-Muwatta, 6.2, No. 5, pg. 48, English ed’n)

Although the above Hadith is Munqati (a link is missing in the chain) and has thus been declared to be Daeef by some scholars (including al-Albani), it never the less has been used as proof. Besides, the Hadith has been given a full Isnad (chain) by either Imam Ibn Abdal Barr al-Maliki (d. 463/1071; Rahimahullah) or Shaykh Muhammad Habibullah ibn Mayabi ash-Shanqiti (Rahimahullah), in their thorough research to complete all the chains of transmission (Isnad) which have an incomplete chain; as found in the Muwatta of Imam Malik!

In fact the latest edition of the English version of al-Muwatta (translated by A. A. at-Tarjumana and Yaqub Johnson) says (pg. xxxiv): “Ibn Hajar (al-Asqalani) said, ‘The book of Malik is sound by all the criteria that are demanded as proofs in the mursal, munqati (two types of Hadith which have a missing link) and other types of transmission.’ Then as-Suyuti followed what Ibn Hajar said here; and said, ‘The mursal Hadith in it are a proof with him (i.e. ash-Shafi’i) as well because the mursal is a proof with us when it is properly supported. Every mursal in the Muwatta has one or more supports as will be made clear in this commentary (i.e. Suyuti’s commentary on al-Muwatta called Tanwir al-Hawalik). It is absolutely correct to say that the Muwatta is sound without exception.’

Ibn Abdal-Barr collected together all the mursal, munqati and mu’addil Hadiths in the Muwatta and said that the total number of Hadiths in the Muwatta which do not have an Isnad are sixty one. He stated that he found the isnads of all of them in other sources with the exception of four Hadiths. The erudite scholar of Hadith, Shaykh Muhammad Habibullah ibn Mayabi ash-Shanqiti says in Ida’a al-Halik that he had found witnesses for these four Hadith and he then mentioned these witnesses. He said, ‘Some of the people of knowledge made these isnads complete.’ He mentioned from Ibn Abdal-Barr that there was no munkar(rejected) Hadith in the Muwatta, nor anything fundamentally refuted.”

In the light of what the erudite scholars of Hadith have said above, we may emphatically state that the apparently ‘munqati’ Hadith from Yazid ibn Ruman has a complete Isnad; hence it may be used as a proof, since Imam Ibn Abdal-Barr has said that there is, “No munkar Hadith in the Muwatta nor anything fundamentally rejected.” Hence, many scholars of Hadith and Fiqh have used the above Hadith as a proof in favour of 20 rak’ahs of Taraweeh.

The quote from “Some common questions answered,” also claimed that, “Rather he (Umar) ordered Ubayy ibn Ka’b to lead the people with 11 rakaats.” I say, this is half of the truth, since it is clearly stated in al-Muwatta :”Umar ibn Khattab ordered Ubayy ibn Ka’b AND Tamim ad-Dari ….(see Muwatta, 6.2, no. 4, pg. 48)!!

Al-Albani has said that if anyone performs more than 11 rak’ahs of Taraweeh, then he or she is basically committing a Bid’ah (a very bad innovation)! We seek refuge in Allah from such a disgusting statement! Since this tantamountally means that the foremost Imams of the saved sect (al-Firqat an-Najiyyah) of Ahl-al-Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah have been committing a gross innovation (Allah forbid). Al-Albani seems to be implying that the venerable Companions (may Allah be pleased with them and increase their rank), the four great Mujtahid Imams (Allah’s mercy be upon them), as well as the foremost scholars of Hadith and Fiqh of the last 1400 years have ‘innovated’ the practise of 20 rak’ahs of Taraweeh, if considered in the light of penetrative elaboration, implicitly and covertly! What alternative conclusion can one derive, if the “Albani Madhhab” says, “As regards any addition (to 11 rak’ahs) – then this is disapproved of and declared as a bid’ah by ‘Shaykh’ al-Albani?”

I ask you, are the so called “Salafiyya” in the true path of the original and true Salaf-as-Salihin (the pious predecessors of the first three generations of Islam), when they have declared the practise of 20 rak’ahs to be a bid’ah, even though the Salaf have been reported to have practised 20 rak’ahs?

The actual Hadith which states that the Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) performed 20 rak’ahs of taraweeh has been reported by Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him). He said, “Verily, the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) in the month of Ramadaan, used to perform 20 rak’ahs and the witr prayer (afterwards) without congregation.” (Reported in al-Sunan al-Bayhaqi, vol.2, pg. 496, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Kabiri of Imam al-Tabarani, Ibn Aadi in his Musnad, and by Imam Baghawi in his Majmua-as-Sahabah )

Although some scholars have declared this Hadith to be Daeef on its own, it does not mean that it should be whole heartedly rejected; since Daeef does not mean Maudu (fabricated). Please refer to the next section on Daeef Hadiths, and when they are acceptable to scholars for further elaboration. The Hadith related from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) is supported by many other narrations coming from great Companions like Uthman, Ali, Ibn Masood…(Allah be pleased with them all), as well as their successors (Tabi’in). Besides, some of the scholars of Hadith have even declared some weak Ahadith to be Sahih, if it has a firm basis. It was stated in the book “Criticism of Hadith among Muslims with reference to Sunan Ibn Maja,” (pg. 131, by one of the leading “Salafi” Shaykhs in Britain, Suhaib Hasan): “Shafi’i also recognises a weak Hadith as authentic (sahih) if it is found to be accepted by the whole Ummah (see al-Sakhawi: Fath al-Mugith). But he does not accept Malik’s view of restricting the practise to the people of Madinah. According to the later scholars of the Hanafi school like Ibn al-Humam, a Hadith will be declared Sahih, if it is supported by the practise of the Ummah (see Abdal Rashid Nu’mani: Ma tamusu ilaihe al-Haja, pg. 18). Among traditionalists, Tirmidhi often remarks, after quoting a less authentic Hadith: ‘It is being practised by the people of learning (Ahl al-Ilm).’ Suyuti deduces: ‘It indicates that the Hadith is supported by the sayings of the people of learning. More than one scholar has said that a Hadith is declared Sahih if supported by the sayings of the people of learning, even if it lacks a proper Isnad (see Suyuti: al-Ta’aqubat, folio 20).”

As stated above, the great research scholar (Muhaqqiq) Hafiz Kamal ibn al-Humam (d. 861/1457; Rahimahullah) had actually said: “One of the factors from which the authenticity of a Hadith is known is that the learned (Ulama) may conform to it, which is a proof of its being sound (vide: Fath al-Qadir, vol. 3, pg. 349).

There are many quotes from scholars which prove a near universal juridical acceptance of 20 rak’ahs of Taraweeh, but I content myself by quoting a select few from some of the foremost scholars of the Ahl-as-Sunnah, as well as the Imam of the “Salafiyya” (when it suits their whims and desires), Ahmad ibn Taymiyya.

(1) Shaykh al-Islam Ahmad ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (d. 852/1449; R.A.)

The Hafiz of Hadith, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani has reproduced from Imam Rafi’i (Allah’s mercy be on him): “For two nights the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) led twenty rak’ahs of prayer each night; on the third night the people gathered but the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) did not come out. Then the next morning, he told the people, ‘It so occurred to me that it would be made obligatory for you, and you would not be able to discharge this obligation.’” After reproducing this tradition, Hafiz Ibn Hajar said: “All the traditionalists (Muhaddithin) are unanimous about the soundness of this report.” (see Talkhis al-habir fi takhrij ahadith al-Rafi’i al-Kabir, vol. 1, pg. 119, by Hafiz ibn Hajar).

(2) Imam al-Azam Abu Hanifah (d. 150 AH; Rahimahullah)

It was stated in Fayd ul-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari (by Shaykh Anwar Shah Kashmiri): “Imam Abu Yusuf (Rahimahullah) asked Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahimahullah), ‘Did Hadrat Umar (Allah be pleased with him) have any compact from the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) for 20 rak’ahs of Taraweeh?’ The Imam replied, ‘Hadrat Umar was not one to invent on his own; certainly he had some proof with him for this!’” (also found in Maraqi ul-Falah, pg. 81, by Imam al-Shurunbulali and Bahr ur Ra’iq, vol.2, pg. 66, by Imam ibn Nujaim al-Misri).

(3) Imam al-Tirmidhi (d. 279/892; Rahimahullah)

Imam Tirmidhi said: “Umar, Ali as well as other Companions (Allah be pleased with them all) and Sufyan al-Thauri, Ibn al-Mubarak and Imam al-Shafi’i (Allah’s mercy be upon them), all believed in 20 rak’ahs of Taraweeh, and Imam Shafi’i has stated that he had seen the people of Makkah saying 20 rak’ahs (see Sunan al-Tirmidhi, vol.1, pg. 99).

(4) Imam Malik ibn Anas (d. 179 AH; Rahimahullah)

It was written in the most authentic book on Maliki Fiqh, al-Mudawwanah (vol.1, pg. 193-94), by Qadi Sahnoon (Rahimahullah): “Ibn al-Qasim said, ‘The rak’ahs (of Taraweeh) with witr are 39.’ Imam Malik said, ‘This is what the people have agreed upon from amongst the predecessors, and the people have not stopped doing it.’” (For an explanation of why it was 36 rak’ahs see the quote below from Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri).

(5) Hafiz Ibn Humam (d. 861/1457; Rahimahullah)

Allamah Ibn Humam asserts that it has been established from genuine authority that the Companions and their Successors (tabi’in) used to say twenty rak’ahs of Taraweeh during the auspicious time of Umar (Allah be pleased with him); this authority of Yazid ibn Ruman has been reported from Sa’ib ibn Yazid that, ‘during Umar’s auspicious time we used to say twenty rak’ahs.’ The genuineness of this authority has been verified by Imam Nawawi in the synopsis (see Fath al-Qadir, vol.1, pg. 407 and Nasb-ur-Rayah, vol.1, pg. 294, by Hafiz al-Zaylai). Hafiz Ibn Humam also said in Fath al-Qadir (vol.1, pg. 470): “At last unanimity was formed on 20 rak’ahs of prayer and this alone is in succession.” This last statement has also been said in similar words by Ibn Taymiyya in his Minhaj us-Sunnah (vol.2, pg. 224).

(6) Imam Ata ibn Abi Rabah (Rahimahullah)

The august successor (Tabi’in) and Mufti of Makkah in his time said: “I have seen the Companions, and other people in Makkah saying 23 rak’ahs, including the witr.” This report is Hasan (good). (see Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, pg. 406, Fath al-Bari, vol.4, pg. 219, of Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Qiyam ul-Layl, pg. 91, by Imam Ibn Nasr al-Marwazi).

(7) Imam Muwaffaq al-Din Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi (d. 620/1223; R.A)

The Imam of the Hanbali’s in his time, Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi, said in his book al-Mughni (vol.1, pg 803): “There has been the Companion’s consensus (Ijma-as-Sahaba) on 20 rak’ahs of Taraweeh.”

(8) Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri (d. 1352 AH; Rahimahullah)

It was stated in his published lecture, Tirmidhi al-ma’ruf ba-Arfa’sh-Shazzi (vol.1 pg. 329) :” Not even one of the the four Imams believes in less than 20 rak’ahs of Taraweeh; the practise and belief of the majority of the Companions was also this. Imam Malik (Allah’s mercy be upon him) believes in more than 20 rak’ahs; he is positive that they are 36. According to Imam Malik’s practise only 20 rak’ahs of Taraweeh will be said in congregation, but the general practise and method of the citizens of Madinah was that during the brief rest interval (after every 4 rak’ahs), when the Imam sat down after 4 rak’ahs, they used to perform 4 more rak’ahs. The men who said the Taraweeh in the sacred mosque at Makkah, used to circumambulate (tawaf) the Ka’ba during this brief recess. The people of Madinah, naturally, could not circumambulate the Ka’ba and hence, instead, they used to perform 16 rak’ahs more (in total) during these brief recesses.”

(9) Imam al-Ayni (d. 855/1451; Rahimahullah)

Allamah Ayni wrote in his Sharh al-Bukhari: “The number of rak’ahs in the Taraweeh is twenty. Imam Shafi’i and Imam Ahmed (Allah’s mercy be upon them) assert the same thing. Their proof is the report which Bayhaqi has, with genuine authority, narrated from Sa’ib ibn Yazid. The great Companions, including Umar, Uthman and Ali (may Allah be pleased with them), as also the revered Successors (Tabi’in), used to perform twenty rak’ahs.” Then he said: “The most excellent and the most advisable course to conform to is that of the Holy Prophet’s and his (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) Companions (practise).” (Umdat ul-Qari Sharh-al-Bukhari, vol. 7, pg. 178).

(10) Hafiz Taqi-ad-Din Ahmad Ibn Taymiyya al-Hanbali (d. 728/1328)

He has said in his Fatawa Ibn Taymiyya (vol.1, pg. 191): “It has been proven without doubt that Ubayy ibn Ka’b (Allah be pleased with him) used to lead the Companions, during Ramadan, for 20 rak’ahs and 3 rak’ahs of witr. Hence it is the principle (maslak) of most of the Ulama that this is the Sunnah, because Ubayy ibn Ka’b led 20 rak’ahs of prayer in the presence of the Muhajirin (the emigrants) and the Ansars (the helpers) and not a single Companion repudiated it!”

So please ask yourselves: “Who are the ‘Salafiyya’; are they the people who conform to the way of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him), his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all), and their successors (this includes the four Mujtahid Imams, Allah’s mercy be upon them) consensus on 20 rak’ahs, or is it the likes of al-Albani and his followers?”

May Allah guide them.


This document answers the erroneous claims made by Al-Albani in his book, “Sifah Salah-al-Nabee”. It is span across two posts, this post is the first, Insha’allah.Moving the Finger in Tashahhud

With reference to al-Albani’s recently translated book “The Prophet’s Prayer described from the beginning to the end as though you see it (Sifah Salah-al-Nabee)”, al-Albani claimed (pg. 66):

“Further, the Hadith that he would not move his finger does not have an authentic Isnad, as I have explained in Daeef Abi Daawood (175).”

But when I looked this Hadith up in the English Translation of the Sunan of Imam Abu Dawood (1/984, pg. 252) I found that Abdallah ibn al-Zubair (Allah be pleased with him ) said:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to point with his finger (at the end of tashahhud) and he would not move it.”

But lo and behold, this very Hadith has not been listed In “Daeef Ahadith of Abu Dawud’s Sunan“, by his followers; which means to the user of this list that this Hadith is acceptable to them, and is either of the rank of SAHIH or HASAN to the user of this list! Imam Muslim (Rahimahullah) also reported Ibn al-Zubair (Allah be pleased with him) narrating from his father: “That when the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) sat for supplication, i.e. Tashahhud, he placed his right hand on his right thigh and his left hand on his left thigh, and pointed with his forefinger, and placed his thumb on his (middle) finger, and covered his knee with the palm of his left hand.” (Sahih Muslim, 1/1202, English ed’n.)

According to the Hanafi, Hanbali and Shafi’i Madhhabs, one should not continuously make supplications with the fore-finger. It is written in the English translation of Fiqh-us-Sunnah, by As-Sayyid Sabiq, (vol. 1, pg. 157, i.e. the Salafi book of Fiqh): “Wa’il ibn Hajr (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would place his left palm on his left thigh and knee. He would place the end of his right elbow upon his right thigh and would then close his right hand, forming a circle. In another narration it states, he would make a circle with his middle finger and thumb and point with his index finger, and (Wa’il) saw him moving it to make supplications (related by Ahmad).” Explaining the Hadith, al-Bayhaqi (Rahimahullah) says, “The implication of ‘he would move it’ is that he would point with it, not that he would continue to move it.” This would be in agreement with the narration of Ibn az-Zubair (Allah be pleased with him), who reported, “The Prophet (Peace be upon him) would point with his finger while supplicating, and he would not move it.” This is related by Abu Dawud with a Sahih chain. An-Nawawi also mentioned it.

(NB – Both Imams al-Bayhaqi and Nawawi were great Shafi’i scholars of Hadith who followed this Hadith of Ibn al-Zubair, besides so many other scholars of Hadith).

Now, there is also a footnote (no 11) by the translator Jamal Zarabozo who said, “In his notes to Mishkat al-Masabih, al-Albani has discussed the Hadith of Wa’il ibn Hajr and of Ibn az-Zubair. He said that the first Hadith has a Sahih chain. The narrators of the latter Hadith (i.e of Ibn al-Zubair) are all trustworthy. Muhammad ibn Ijlan (a narrator in the chain going back to Ibn az-Zubair) has some weakness due to his memory, but his memory was not so poor as to drop to the rank of hasan (a good Hadith). Therefore, the statement recorded by Sabiq that the chain is Sahih is incorrect (i.e only if you accept al-Albani’s classification of Hadith); The important words in the latter Hadith are, ‘and he would not move it.’ According to al-Albani this addition is irregular and rejected (shadh and munkar).”

And I Say: “al-Albani’s followers have not said that it is shadh and munkar in their Daeef Ahadith of Abu Dawud’s Sunan !”

Again referring to Fiqh-us-Sunnah (vol. 1, pg. 158), Sabiq says: “According to the Shafiyyah, one points with the finger only once, when saying ‘except Allah’ in the statement bearing witness. The Hanafiyyah raise the finger in the denial part of the Statement (there is no God) and put it back down during the confirmation part (except Allah). The Malikiyyah (see below for the Maliki view) move the finger to the left and to the right until they finish the prayer. The Hanbaliyyah point with the finger every time they mention Allah, as a reflection to the oneness of Allah, and they do not move it.”

Another two Hadith on this issue have been related by Imam Muslim (Rahimahullah) in his Sahih: “Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) reported that when the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) sat for the tashahhud he placed his left hand on his left knee, and his right hand on his right knee, and he raised his right finger, which is next to the thumb, making supplication in this way, and he stretched his left hand on his left knee. Another version on the authority of Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) says: When the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) sat for the tashahhud, he placed his left hand on his left knee and placed his right hand on his right knee, and he formed a ring like (Arabic number 53) and pointed with his finger of attestation. (Also) Ali ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Mu’awi reported: Abdullah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) saw me playing with pebbles during prayer. After finishing the prayer he forbade me (to do it) and said: Do as the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) used to do. I said: How did Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) do? He said that he (the Messenger of Allah) sat at tashahhud, placed his right palm on the right thigh and closed all his fingers and pointed with the help of the finger next to the thumb, and placed his palm on his right thigh.” (Sahih Muslim, 1/1203-4, English ed’n)

Imam Ibn Abi Zaid al-Qairawani (d. 389 AH; Rahimahullah) who is famed with the title ‘little Malik’, gave the view of the Maliki Madhhab in his al-Risala (pg. 31) in the following words: “At the time a worshipper reads the tashahhud, that is the tahiyyah, he places his hands on his thighs. He then folds the fingers of his right hand, but he leaves his index finger unfolded and pointing forward with its side pointing towards his face. There are differences of opinion about the interpretation of the state of the finger. Some believe that, keeping the finger still signifies that Allah is one God. Those who shake it consider it a club with which to ward off the Satan. I consider that the interpretation of that is that it reminds the worshipper that he is in the state of prayer, and that moving the finger shall prevent him from forgetting himself. The worshipper then places his left hand on his left thigh with the palm downwards, he must not move it nor point with it.”

Finally, it is written in the English translation of Umdat al-Salik wa Uddat al-Nasik – {This book gives the Shafi’i Madhhab’s views} (The Reliance of the Traveller, by Shaykh Ahmad Ibn Naqib al-Misri, d. 769AH/1368 CE; Rahimahullah, trans. Nuh Ha Mim Keller, pg. 142, f8.44): “One does not move it while it is thus raised (Shaykh Umar Barakat said in his commentary to Umdat al-Salik: following the Sunnah from a Hadith related by Abu Dawud. It is offensive to move it here, though some hold that it is recommended, the evidence for which is also from the Sunnah, in a Hadith related by Bayhaqi, who states both Hadiths are rigorously authenticated (Sahih). Precedence is given to the former Hadith (i.e of Ibn Az-Zubair), which negates moving the finger, over the latter Hadith, which affirms it, because scholars hold that what is sought in prayer is lack of motion, and moving it diminishes one’s humility). (I say: al-Albani’s comment on the Hadith of Ibn al-Zubair: ‘Even if it were authentic, it is negatory, while the Hadith above is affirmatory: the affirmatory takes precedence over the negatory, as is well known among the scholars’ [see pg. 66 of Sifah Salah an-Nabee] is of no consequence to what most of the Fuqaha (Jurisprudents) have said from amongst the Hanafi, Shafi’i and Hanbali scholars, but his opinion is only supported by the Malikiyyah, so do not be confused). The Prophet’s moving it was merely to teach people that it was permissible (and Shaykh Abdal-Wakil Durubi said: ‘As it was the Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) duty to distinguish for his Community the acts that were offensive from those that were unlawful, and he was given the reward of the obligatory for doing such offensive acts’). Moreover, Bayhaqi says that the meaning of ‘moving it’ in the latter Hadith is simply raising it, so there is no actual contradiction).”

From the above discussion we may briefly say in summary that al-Albani labelled the Hadith of Abdallah ibn al-Zubair as being DAEEF according to what he said in ‘Sifah-Salah an-Nabee, (pg. 66), but his followers have not labelled it as being DAEEF in ‘Daeef Ahadith of Abu Dawud’s Sunan’!! Also according to Jamal Zarabozo’s quotation from al-Albani’s checking of Mishkat ul-Masabih, this same Hadith was of the rank of HASAN, and not DAEEF as he had said in ‘Daeef Abi Dawood (no 175)’; is this not a grave contradiction? We should rather accept the checking of such great memorizers of Hadith like the Imam’s Bayhaqi and Nawawi (Allah’s mercy be upon them).

Allah knows best.

The Placing of Hands

With regard to the placing of the hands below the navel in Salah (see Sifah Salah an-Nabee, appendix 4, pg. 102-103, English ed’n), al-Albani has declared all the Hadith that reached him on this issue to be Daeef, due to the presence of the narrator Abdar-Rahman ibn Ishaq al-Wasiti al-Koofi. This may be true due to what the scholars of Hadith have said, but he has either overlooked the fact that there are many other Ahadith which order the placing of the hands below the navel, or has deliberately not bothered to mention them to his readers who are usually unaware of this fact! Al-Albani claims on page 12 of the same book : “To place them on the chest is what is proved in the Sunnah, and all that is contrary to it is either Daeef or totally baseless.” But he contradicts himself on page 102-103 of the same book by saying: “What further points to its weakness (i.e. the Hadith of Abdar-Rahman ibn Ishaq) is that contrary to it has been narrated on the authority of Ali (Allah be pleased with him) with a better Isnad: the Hadith of Ibn Jareer al-Dabbi an (from) his father, who said, ‘I saw Ali holding his left arm with his right on the wrist, above the navel (I say: The statement above the navel, does not mean on the chest, but literally above the navel and below the chest, since this is the opinion of the Shafiyyah scholars like Bayhaqi, Nawawi, Muslim and so on) – this Isnad is a candidate for the rank of HASAN; Baihaqi (1/301) firmly designated it to be Hasan, and Bukhari (1/301) designated it with certainty while giving it an abridged, ta’leeq form.”

Is this not a clear contradiction from within the same book? And this is not all my dear reader…

Al-Albani claimed that it was found in Bukhari (1/301), but when I examined the Sahih al-Bukhari (Vol. 1, Chapter. 6, no. 707, pg. 396, English ed’n), I did not find this narration of Ibn Jarir al-Dabbi (Allah be pleased with him), but instead a Hadith from Sahl ibn Sa’ad (Allah be pleased with him) who said: “The people were ordered to place the right hand on the left forearm in the prayer.” Abu Hazim said, ” I knew that the order was from the Prophet (Peace be upon him).” [see also Muwatta of Imam Malik, section 9.15, no 50, pg 70, English trans’n by A. Abdarahman and Y. Johnson for a very similar narration]. According to the author of Ja’al Haqq, Shaykh Ahmad Khan, there is not even one Hadith in the Sahih collections of al-Bukhari and Muslim which specify where the hands should be placed!

Now you have just read above that al-Albani classified the Hadith of Ibn Jarir al-Dabbi to be HASAN, but when I found this very Hadith in the Sunan of Abu Dawood (1/756, pg. 194, English ed’n) and cross referenced it to the list, “Daeef Ahadith of Abu Dawud’s Sunan.” I found that his followers listed it as being DAEEF!! Imam Abu Dawood (Rahimahullah) said after relating the Hadith from Ibn Jarir al-Dabbi: “Sa’id ibn Jubair narrated the words: ‘above the navel’. Abu Mijlaz reported the words: ‘below the navel’. This has also been narrated by Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him). But that is not strong.” The latter quote is one which al-Albani failed to mention in “Sifah Salah an-Nabee!”

Note also that al-Albani said with regard to the placing of the hands on the chest (see Sifah Salah an-Nabee, pg. 12, in the footnote):

“In fact, Imam Ishaq ibn Rahwaih acted on this Sunnah, as Marwazi said in ‘Masaa’il (pg 222): ‘Ishaq used to pray witr with us…. he would raise his hands in qunoot, and make the qunoot before bowing, and place his hands on his breast or just under his breast.’”

But when Iread the footnote to Abu Dawood’s Sunan (vol. 1, pg. 194, fn. 345, English ed’n), I noticed that the author of Awn al- Mabood (1,275), Shams al-Haqq Azimabadi, claimed that both Abu Ishaq al-Marwazi and al-Hafiz Ishaq ibn Rahwaih (one of Imam al-Bukhari’s teachers) held the position that the hands should be folded below the navel! In his Sahih Muslim sharif-Mukhtasar Sharh Nawawi (vol. 2, pg. 28, fn. 23), Wahid az-Zaman (a late scholar of the ‘Salafiyya’ in Pakistan) also affirmed that the Imam’s Sufyan al-Thawri, Abu Hanifah, Ishaq ibn Rahwaih and Abu Ishaq al-Marwazi (Allah’s mercy be upon them) all used to place their hands below the navel! So who do you think is quoting correctly, al-Albani or al-Azimabadi and az-Zaman?

Here is the full quote from Abu Dawood’s Sunan:

“The question of folding hands in prayer below the navel is disputed amongst the jurists. According to Abu Hanifah, Sufyan al-Thawri, Ishaq ibn Rahwaih, Abu Ishaq al-Marwazi (I say: others who held the same view include the Mujtahid’s like Ibrahim al-Nakhai, Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman, Abu Yusuf, Muhammad al-Shaybani, Zufar ibn Hudayl and many other scholars, Allah’s mercy be upon them), the hands should be folded below the navel. This tradition is followed by them (I say: it is not just this tradition which lends support to placing the hands below the navel, but others as well). According to al-Shafi’i, the hands should be placed below the chest (I say: this is also the opinion of Imam Muslim, according to the chapter heading used by him: ‘The placing of the right hand over the left hand after the first takbir in prayer below the chest and above the navel and then placing them opposite the shoulders in prostration’ -see Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, pg. 220, English ed’n). Al-Nawawi says that this is the view of the majority of the jurists (this may have been in Imam Nawawi’s day, but it is well known that through out the centuries of Islam in aggregate, most of the Ulama as well as the common folk have been placing their hands below the navel, by Allah’s decree and will). Two statements have been attributed to Ahmad ibn Hanbal (see al-Albani’s Sifah Salah an-Nabee, footnote on pg. 51). According to the third view ascribed to him he does not give any preference to any of these two views. One has the choice of placing the hands. Malik is also reported to have held two different views. According to the second, he held that one should leave the hands in their natural position without folding them. One should not fold them placing one on the other.”

NB- The most authoritative position of Imam Malik (Rahimahullah) has been recorded in al-Mudawwana al-Kubra, by Qadi Sahnoon (d. 240 AH). This book contains the most authentic positions of al-Imam Malik and his illustrious disciples, namely Imam ibn al-Qasim and Imam ibn Wahb. Qadi Sahnoon recorded the declarations of Imam Malik directly from Imam ibn al-Qasim, hence there is no real doubt in my mind that whatever has been recorded in this book is the Madhhab of al-Imam Malik, and usually the amal (practise) of the people of Madinah in his day. In al-Mudawwana (vol. 1, pg. 75-76), Imam Malik has been recorded to have said, “Putting the right hand on the left in salah, I have no knowledge of it in the compulsory (fard) prayer, it is thus disliked (makrooh). But in the supererogatory (nafl) prayer there is no harm (in folding the hands), it is left to the individual to decide.” This statement from Imam Malik is a strong proof against those who claim that Imam Malik only prayed with his hands at his sides, after he received a severe beating (see The Evolution of Fiqh, pg. 70, by A.A. Bilal Philips)!

Al-Albani has only ‘checked’ six Hadith which allow the placing of the hands below the navel (see his ‘Sifah’, pg. 102, Appx. 4). But there are more than 6 other Hadith (which allow the placing of the hands below the navel) which he has not bothered to mention/check; may be he has not come across them! One of such Hadith is very similar to what al-Albani mentioned in “Sifah Salah an-Nabee,” pg. 11: “We, the company of Prophets, have been commanded to hasten the breaking of the fast, to delay the meal before the fast, and to place our right arms on our left arms during prayer [from Ibn Hibban and Diyaa’, with a Sahih Isnad according to al-Albani]. The version I have is related by Sayyidina Ali (Allah be pleased with him): “Three things are from the habits of Prophethood: To hasten the breaking of the fast, to delay the Sehri (pre-fast meal) as late as possible, and to place one’s right hand on top of the left hand below the navel (transmitted by Hafiz Ibn Shaheen).”

To finish, As-Sayyid Sabiq quoted Imam Tirmidhi (Rahimahullah) as saying in Fiqh-us-Sunnah (vol. 1, pg 132): “Knowledgeable Companions (Allah be pleased with them all), their followers and those that came after them believed that one should put his right hand over the left during prayer, while some say above the navel and others say below the navel.”

Raful-Yadain : The Raising of Hands in Prayer

Another point I wish to raise concerns the long disputed issue of raising the hands in prayer (salah). It is a well known fact that al-Albani and the generality of people amongst the ‘Salafiyya’ have made a mountain out of a molehill, and have brewed a storm in a tea cup with regards to this issue, such that many of them are bold enough to accuse those who do not raise their hands in Salah (i.e. after the initial raising called Takbir-Tahrimah) of not following the Sunnah, as well as going to the disgusting length of openly detesting and despising those who do not raise their hands after the first Takbir!

I must also admit that among those who do not raise their hands in the subsequent stages of Salah, usually the ignorant people have accused those who raise the hands in the other stages of Salah to be ‘Wahabbi’s!’ This is due to ignorance and pride of both sides, which usually stems from the lack of knowledge of the opinion of our great Mujtahid Imam’s, and the Ahadith based evidences used by the research scholars in their respective defence of either raising or not raising the hands in the other stages of Salah. Our brothers and sisters who accuse those of raising the hands in the other stages of prayer should ask themselves: “Were the great Imam’s like al-Shafi’i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Allah’s mercy be upon them) Wahhabi’s?” I pose this question because it is well known that both of the latter named Imam’s used to practise Raful-Yadayn after the initial Takbir, besides many other Companions and successors (Tabi’een), may Allah be pleased with them all!

It is a well known fact from the Mutawateer Ahadith (a report of a large number of narrators whose agreement upon a lie is inconceivable) available to us, that the Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) used to raise his hands when pronouncing the initial Takbir in Salah. Sayyid Sabiq stated in his Fiqh-us-Sunnah (vol. 1, pg 129): “Says Ibn al-Mundhir, ‘All scholars agree that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) raised his hands at the beginning of his prayer.’ Commenting upon this report, Ibn Hajar (al-Asqalani) says, ‘The Prophet’s raising his hands at the beginning of his prayer has been narrated by fifty companions, including the ten who were given the tidings of Paradise.’ Al-Bayhaqi related that al-Hakim said, ‘I do not know of any Sunnah other than this one which is accepted by the four rightly guided Khalifahs, the ten companions who were given the tidings of Paradise, and other Companions scattered across many lands.” (NB-In my own experience, the only people I have met who do not raise their hands in any stage of the Salah have been the remnants of a Kharijite sect called the Ibaadiyah, nor do they fold their hands in Salah).

Now, the difference in opinion stems on the question of whether the raising of the hands is necessary in the other stages of Salah, like when going into Rukoo, standing up from Rukoo, in between the prostrations (sajdah) and when standing up for the third rakah in Salah…

Al-Albani said in “Sifah Salah an-Nabee, pg. 42, fn. 4″: “The raising of the hands is reported as Mutawateer from him (Peace be upon him), as is the raising of the hands on straightening up after Rukoo. It is the Madhhab of the three Imams Malik, Shafi’i and Ahmad, and of the majority of scholars of Hadith and Fiqh. Imam Malik practised it right up to his death, as reported by Ibn Asakir (15/78/2). Some of the Hanafi’s chose to do it, among them Isam ibn Yusuf Abu Asamah al-Balkhi (died. 210 A.H.), a student of Imam Abu Yusuf, as has been explained in the introduction.”

I wish to say to the bias of al-Albani, “You have quoted a portion of the truth correctly, but have also blundered in one of your opinions!” It is absolutely true that the great Mujtahid Imams like al-Shafi’i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Allah’s mercy be upon them) recommended the raising of the hands in the other subsequent stages of Salah, but it is a mistake to say that the great Imam of Madinah, Malik ibn Anas (Rahimahullah) “practised it right up to his death” as al-Albani claims, by quoting from Imam Ibn Asakir (a Shafi’i scholar of Hadith, and a staunch defender of Imam Abu’l Hasan al-Ashari, he wrote a work entitled ‘The Exposure by al-Imam Abu’l Hasan al-Ashari of Mischievous untruths, d. 571 AH; Rahimahullah).

For the real and authoritative view of Imam Malik and his followers, one must study the books written by the Maliki Madhhab, and then quote their opinions! I say this due to the sensible advice given to me by one of my friends in a written communication. He said:

“One lesson you should learn from all this is not to, for example, take Hadith from someone who is mainly specialized in Fiqh or some other subject, or take Hanafi dalils (evidences used to give legal verdicts) from someone who is not a specialist in the Hanafi madhhab’s methodological bases and evidences, or take a Hanbali scholar’s word about some ruling in a different madhhab, or take Hadith knowledge from scholars who make large numbers of mistakes, and so on. In general, one does not take an accounting problem to a shoe salesman.”

For the most authentic view and stance of Imam Malik (Rahimahullah) and his disciples please refer to the appropriate title and discussion later, but as for what al-Albani quoted from Imam Ibn Asakir (Rahimahullah), then I say the authenticity of this report needs to be checked, since al-Albani has failed to classify it himself in his “Sifah Salah an-Nabee,” (does this not mean that he wants his readers to ‘blindly’ accept his verdicts?), and even if Hafiz Ibn Asakir’s reference proves to be Sahih, then there is no doubt in my mind that this statement coming from Imam Malik must be rejected in favour of the real position of Imam Malik himself. The statements that I shall be quoting in favour of Imam Malik’s authoritative opinion, comes directly from his most famous disciples, where as the reference coming from Ibn Asakir as given by al-Albani, was recorded well over 300 years after the death of Imam Malik (NB- Imam Malik passed away in the year 179 AH; while Imam Ibn Asakir was born in the year 499 AH)!

As you have read above al-Albani stated that the Imam’s Shafi’i and Ibn Hanbal (Allah’s mercy be upon them) performed Raful-Yadayn, but one should also know that on the other hand, the great Mujtahid’s amongst our Pious-Predecessors, like Abu Hanifah, Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman, Ibrahim al-Nakhai, Alqama, Aswad (two famous disciples of the great Companion Abdallah ibn Masood), Abu Yusuf, Muhammad al-Shaybani, Sufyan al-Thawri and many other Ulama (Allah’s mercy be upon them all) did not perform Raful-Yadayn, except in the initial Takbir, based on many sound chains of narration! So you may now ask: “Why the difference of opinion?”

The answer to this small problem is simple; it is only due to preference given to the derived Ijtihad of the available Ahadith on this subject, by individual Mujtahid’s of the highest scholarly rank, and not that of the laity amongst the general masses of this Ummah. Since many a scholar has said that it is impermissible to derive legal verdicts from the Qur’an and Sunnah, if one is not qualified to do Ijtihad (see the section on Taqleed), but conversely, what do we see today (see later)? The Imams who held the view that Raful-Yadayn is unnecessary, besides the initial Takbir, have based their views from many authentic Ahadith coming from the Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim), as well as directly from the great Companions (May Allah be pleased with them all).

The fact of the matter is, that in their view the practise of performing Raful-Yadayn in the other stages of prayer have been abrogated, and hence unnecessary in performance. Contrary to this, Imam’s like al-Shafi’i, Ibn Hanbal…. believe it to be desirable to perform Raful-Yadayn, and in their view the practise has not been abrogated. Consequently, many of the well known and wise research scholars have said that one’s Salah is correct and acceptable by the practise of either mode! So please do not fall into the abyss of ignorance, by accusing and abusing each other of performing Salah incorrectly, since it was not generally the way of our foremost Mujtahid’s of the pious generations (see the discussion between Imam al-Azam Abu Hanifah and Imam al-Awzai later)!

Al-Albani has said that some of the Hanafi’s like Shaykh Isam ibn Yusuf al-Balkhi (Rahimahullah) chose to perform Raful-Yadayn because he did not know the evidence of his Imams who held the view that Raful-Yadayn was unnecessary after the initial Takbir (See “Sifah Salah an-Nabee, pg xvii,” and also “The Evolution of Fiqh, pg. 126″, by A.A. Bilal Philips). I find it strange that Shaykh Isam ibn Yusuf did not know the evidence for not performing Raful-Yadayn, since by simple logic one can deduce the fact that he must have seen his two main Imams (Muhammad al-Shaybani and Abu Yusuf) not performing Raful- Yadayn, and hence he must have been curious enough to ask his Imams for the evidence they used for not performing Raful-Yadayn! What seems more apt in a situation like this, is to say that probably Shaykh Isam ibn Yusuf felt that the evidence for performing Raful-Yadayn was more convincing to him, than the converse evidence for not performing Raful- Yadayn, and Allah knows best.

One lesson which can be learnt from this incident, is that if Shaykh Isam ibn Yusuf was a Mujtahid within the Hanafi school, then like all other Mujtahid scholars it is incumbent on him to follow his own Ijtihad, even if it has at times contradicted the founder of the Madhhab he belonged to. Thus, Shaykh Isam had to follow his own Ijtihad. The proof for what I have just said has been agreed upon by most of the scholars who were specialized in the fundamentals (Usool) of Islam. For example, it is written in the book “Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence”, by Mohammad Hashim Kamali (pg. 370): “The Ulema of Usul are in agreement that the Mujtahid is bound by the result of his own Ijtihad. Once he has deduced the ruling on a particular issue which is founded in his true conviction and belief, he may not imitate (Taqleed) other Mujtahids on that matter regardless as to whether they agree with him or otherwise. For the Mujtahid, the conclusion that he reaches is tantamount to a divine command which he must observe. It is therefore unlawful for him to abandon it or to follow anyone else in respect of it. But if he had not rendered his own Ijtihad on an issue which is not urgent, and he has time to investigate, then according to some ulema he may imitate other Mujtahid’s. However, the preferred view is that he must avoid taqleed, even of one who might be more learned than him. Only the ammi (layman/non-Mujtahid’s) who is incapable of Ijtihad is allowed to follow the opinion of others.” (The above author has quoted from Imam Ghazzali’s Mustasfa, vol.2 pg. 121; Imam Amidi’s Ihkam, vol.4 pg. 204 and from al-Kassab’s Adwa, pg. 119).

The above quote clears some of the misconceptions held by some people on the role of Mujtahid’s in Islam. For example, some people who try to refute the Taqleed of the Mujtahid’s, bring forward examples in which the disciples of the four main Imams contradicted the Ijtihad of their Master’s on certain points. These people should always remember that if a disciple contradicts the opinion of his master, then this is the result of the natural prerogative bestowed upon him, when he attained the high and honourable grade of Ijtihad. There is a well known story related from the great Imam Abu Hanifah (d. 150 AH; Rahimahullah), who said: “I follow the book of Allah, and if I find no solution there, I follow the Sunnah of The Prophet (peace be upon him). If I find no solution in either the Qur’an or the Sunnah, I follow whichever of the pronouncements of the Sahabah I prefer, and leave whichever I wish. If there is a pronouncement on a particular matter by any of the Sahabah, I would not adopt any other made by any other scholar. But, if I found a solution only in the opinions of Ibrahim (al-Nakhai), al-Shabi, Ibn Sirin, Hasan al-Basri, Ata (ibn Abi Rabah) or Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib (they were all Mujtahid’s), I would make Ijtihad just as they did.” (vide: “Usul al-Fiqh al-Islami,” pg. 64, by Taha Jabir al-Alwani, who reported this account from Tarikh Baghdad, vol. xxxi, pg. 368, al-Intiqa of Ibn Abdal Barr, pg. 142, and Mashayikh Balkh al-Hanafiyah, pg. 190).

This report exemplifies the prerogative of a Mujtahid, as well as why Shaykh Isam ibn Yusuf may have held different opinions from his Masters. I must stress, the above discussion only refers to those who can perform Ijtihad, and not to those who are unable to fulfil the conditions recognized by the scholars of Usool for carrying out the duties of a Mujtahid. Those who are not Mujtahid’s are bound to the opinions of qualified Mujtahid’s, and this is Taqleed.

Al-Albani said in ‘Sifah Salah an-Nabee’, (pg. 105-6): “About raising the hands on going into Ruku and rising from it, many Ahadith have been narrated from the Prophet (Peace be upon him): they are actually mutawateer in the eyes of the scholars; in fact, raising the hands with every takbir is proven on his authority in many Ahadith; whereas not raising the hands is not authentically related from him except once via Abdallah ibn Masood (Allah be pleased with him), but this is not suitable for putting into practise, for it is naaf (negatory). It is firmly established, in the eyes of the Hanafi’s and others, that the muthbit (affirmatory) takes precedence over the naaf (negatory); this is even when the affirmatory is on its own, let alone the case when it is a multitude of narrations, as in this issue! On the basis of this principle, and in the absence of anything contrary, this renders it binding on them to adopt the raising of the hands, and not to stick zealously to the Madhhab after the establishment of proof. However, it is a pity that only a handful of the earlier or later ones have adopted it, so much so that not raising the hands has become a land mark for them!”

The above quote shows the limited and superficial knowledge of al-Albani, in the evidences used by the Hanafi scholars for not performing Raful-Yadayn! It is true that the Ahadith confirming Raful-Yadayn are Mutawateer, but what the reader should also know, is that not performing it has also come down to us in a Mutawateer way! In fact there are more than 50 Ahadith proving the converse of what the “great scholar,” al-Albani holds, as well as those who bolster his claims!

Al-Albani claims that not raising the hands has come to us authentically only, “once through Abdallah ibn Masood, but this is not suitable for putting into practise.” To which I reply, why should it not be possible to put into practise the Hadith related by the great Companion Ibn Masood (Allah be pleased with him)? Did he (Allah forbid) lie or fabricate from the Prophet (Peace be upon him)?

Please do not forget that there are many other authentic Ahadith to back up the opinion of the Hanafi’s (and Maliki’s)! Al-Albani only explains this Hadith of Ibn Masood away by bringing in the jurisprudential principle of, “the affirmative takes precedence over the negatory”, but his argument is fallacious in this case, since I have already said that the Hanafi’s believe that the performance of Raful-Yadayn has been abrogated by many other Ahadith, hence the above principle is inapplicable in this case! He claims the Hadith from Ibn Masood (Allah be pleased with him) has been only related authentically once. I say this is incorrect, and only due to his ignorance of all the available routes (Asanid) coming from Ibn Masood. As far as I know he has not listed the Hadith of Ibn Masood to be Daeef, in his checking of Imam Abu Dawood’s Sunan, since his followers have not recorded it in their, “Daeef Ahadith of Abu Dawud’s Sunan”.

The Hadith in question is from Alqamah (Rahimahullah), who said: “Abdallah ibn Masood (Allah be pleased with him) said :’Should I pray in the way the Apostle of Allah (Peace be upon him) had performed it?’ He said: ‘He prayed, raising his hands only once.’” [Abu Dawood, 1/747, pg. 193, English ed’n]. Since it has not been listed in the above mentioned publication, this means that the above narration is either Sahih, or at least Hasan to the user of the list.

Note also, according to Shams al-Haqq Azimabadi, in his book Awn al-Mabood (1,272-73), the above Hadith was regarded to be Hasan by Hafiz Ibn Ma’een (Rahimahullah), and it is well known that Imam Tirmidhi (Rahimahullah) rated it to be Hasan (see Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 2/257, pg. 40-41, edited by Ahmad Muhammad Shakir).

The above Hadith has been related from Imam al-Azam Abu Hanifah (Rahimahullah), through an absolutely SAHIH chain (all the narrators given below were well known Mujtahid’s and absolutely truthful), and here it is: Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahimahullah) has related to us from his teacher, Imam Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman (Rahimahullah), who related from his teacher, Imam Ibrahim al-Nakhai (Rahimahullah), who related from his two teachers Imam Alqamah and Imam Aswad (Allah’s mercy be upon them), the two distinguished pupils of Ibn Masood (Allah be pleased with him), who related from Ibn Masood (Allah be pleased with him), who related from the Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim). The reference for this is given after the discussion between Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam al-Awzai (Allah’s mercy be upon them), please see below. So my dear reader, I have just proven to you that the Hadith from Ibn Masood has come to us authentically, through at least two authentic routes, as given above. Can you now believe in al-Albani’s assertion that it has only come through one authentic narration?

As for al-Albani saying, “However, it is a pity that only a handful of the earlier or later ones (i.e. Hanafi’s) have adopted it, so much so that not raising the hands has become a landmark for them!” I say this statement is due to his ignorance, lack of scholarly deduction and knowledge of the principles and proofs held by the Hanafi’s! He claims that it has become a “landmark”, for the Hanafi’s only! I say, “O ‘Shaykh’, have you not contradicted yourself by admitting that others besides the Hanafi’s do not raise their hands in Salah in the same book?” Here is al-Albani’s admission that it is not just the Hanafi’s who have made it a “landmark”; he said in “Sifah Salah an-Nabee,” (footnote to pg 91): “The Ibaadiyyah have distorted this hadeeth: their scholar Rabee’ has related it in his unreliable Musnad with a different wording to justify their view that raising the hands with takbeer invalidates the Prayer! That wording is false, as I have explained in ad-Da’eefah (6044).”!!! This by Allah, is a grave contradiction from within the same book, and tantamount to his admission that besides the Hanafi’s, the Ibaadiyyah sect do not also raise their hands! In fact we have on record some scholars who initially used to perform Raful-Yadayn, but later on in their lives they stopped performing it altogether, except for the initial Takbeer; when they had taken into account all the arguments and evidence. Two of such great scholars are as follows:-

(A) Imam Abu Ja’far al-Tahawi (d. 321 AH; Rahimahullah):

He was a Mujtahid in specific issues (Mujtahid fi al-Masa’il) and also the famous author of the work ‘Al-Aqeeda al-Tahawiyya’ (The Muslim Belief According to al-Tahawi), which has been translated into English by two different organisations, and many other works on Hadith. He was originally a Shafi’i scholar who gained mastery in Shafi’i Fiqh from his famous uncle Imam al-Muzani (Rahimahullah) [mentioned in Sifah Salah an-Nabee, pg. xvi], who was the famous disciple of Imam al-Shafi’i (Rahimahullah). But later in his life he joined the Hanafi school and hence stopped performing Raful-Yadayn indifference to the Shafi’i view of performing it. Imam Tahawi lived in a time when most of the Hadith had been collected (after Bukhari, Muslim etc), hence he had an ideal opportunity to sift through the Hadith on Raful-Yadayn and he came to the conclusion that Imam Abu Hanifah’s (Rahimahullah) view point was more convincing to him, and in this regard he quoted some Hadiths negating the practise of Raful-Yadayn in some of his works.

(B) Imam Muhammad Amin ibn Abidin (d.1252/1836; Rahimahullah):

He was also originally a Shafi’i scholar who changed his school and became the foremost Hanafi Imam of his time. Hence he also changed his original opinion of performing Raful-yadayn, to not performing it. His most famous work is ‘Hashiya Radd al-Mukhtar’. Al-Albani has quoted from him in ‘Sifah Salah an-Nabee’ (pg’s viii, xvii).

The View of Imam Malik and his Madhhab on Raf-ul-Yadayn

I have already quoted the opinion of al-Albani with regard to his quotation from Imam ibn Asakir. Al-Albani has claimed that Imam Malik used to perform Raful-Yadayn right upto his death. But this is in direct contradiction to what has been related from Imam Malik (Rahimahullah) by his famous disciple, Imam ibn al-Qasim. The foremost book of the Maliki Madhhab in terms of Fiqh is a book called ‘Al-Mudawwanah’ (A Book of Legal Cases).

It is a recension of Qadi Sahnoon (Rahimahullah), containing his questions, answered by Imam Ibn al-Qasim (Rahimahullah). These answers repeat the literal words of Imam Malik (Rahimahullah) by occasional personal interpretation of Ibn al-Qasim himself. It is written in “al-Mudawwanah”, (vol. 1, pg. 71): “Imam Malik has said that he does not know of Raful-Yadayn being done in any Takbeer, even when going into (Rukoo) or rising from it, except in the Takbeer Tahrimah (the initial Takbeer), then ibn al-Qasim said that in the opinion of Imam Malik the performance of Raful-Yadayn was Daeef (a weak practice).”

The diligent reader may have noticed that Imam Malik has quoted two Hadith which seems to support the practice of performing Raful- Yadayn, in his celebrated al-Muwatta! The Hadith quoted is as follows, “Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Salim ibn Abdullah from Abdullah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with them) that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to raise his hands to the level of his shoulders when he began the prayer and when he raised his head from ruku he raised them in the same way, saying, ‘Allah hears whoever praises him, our Lord and praise belongs to You.’ He did not raise them in sujud (prostration).” Also, “Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi that Abdullah ibn Umar used to raise his hands to the level of his shoulders when he began the prayer and when he raised from the ruku he would raise them less than that.” (see Muwatta section 3.4, no. 17 and 21, pg. 27, trans. by A. Abdarahman and Y. Johnson). The above Hadith has also been related by Imam’s Bukhari and Muslim in their respective collections, besides many other books of Hadith with slight variations in wording and description.

The above Hadith has been one of the main proofs used to prove the performance of Raful-Yadayn by some great scholars. But, the Hanafi and Maliki schools put forward some of the following arguments to explain their contention.

The Imam Abu Dawood (Rahimahullah) reported a Hadith very similar to the one above, he said that Imam Nafi said on the authority of Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) that when he began his prayer, he uttered the Takbeer (Allah is most great) and raised his hands; and when he bowed (he raised his hands); and when he said: “Allah listens to him who praises Him,” (he raised his hands); and when he stood up at the end of two rak’ahs, he raised his hands. He (Ibn Umar) traced that back to the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him). Abu Dawood then said: “What is correct is that the tradition reported by Ibn Umar does not go back to the Prophet (may peace be upon him).” Abu Dawood then said: “The narrator Baqiyyah (found in the Isnad) reported the first part of this tradition from Ubaid Allah and traced it back to the Prophet (may peace be upon him); and the narrator al-Thaqafi reported it from Ubaid Allah as a statement of Ibn Umar himself (not from the Prophet). In this version he said: ‘When he stood at the end of two rak’ahs he raised them up to his breasts. And this is the correct version.” Abu Dawood then said: “This tradition has been transmitted as a statement of Ibn Umar (and not of the Prophet) by al-Layth ibn Sa’ad, Malik,Ayyub, and Ibn Juraij; and this has been narrated as a statement of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) by Hammad ibn Salamah alone on the authority of Ayyub. Ayyub and Malik did not mention his raising of hands when he stood after two prostrations, but al-Layth mentioned it in his version. Ibn Juraij said in his version: I asked Nafi, “Did Ibn Umar raise (his hands) higher for the first time?’ He said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Point out to me. He then pointed to the breasts or lower than that.’” (see Sunan Abu Dawood, 1/740, pg. 191, English ed’n).

Now, the Hadith related by Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) stated that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) “used to” perform Raful-Yadayn; although Imam Malik (Rahimahullah) quoted this particular Hadith it does not necessarily mean that he himself, as well as Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) performed Raful-Yadayn! In fact we have to remember that Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (Peace be upon him), “used to” perform Raful- Yadayn. I say this because we have many other Ahadith which have been related from Abdullah Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) himself which prove that he did not always perform Raful-Yadayn, as well as indicating that the Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) himself stopped performing Raful-Yadayn; but Allah knows best! Here follows a few of these Ahadith from Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him):-

(A) The Imam of Hadith, Abu Awaanah (Rahimahullah) related in his “Sahih” (vol. 2, pg. 90) from Sufyan ibn Uyayna, who related from Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri, who related from Salim ibn Abdullah, who related from his father Abdullah ibn Umar, who said: “I saw the Prophet (Peace be upon him) raise both his hands up to the shoulders when starting Salah, but he did not raise his hands when going into rukoo, or when rising from it; not even between the prostrations (sujud).”

(B) The Imam of Hadith and teacher of Imam al-Bukhari, Abdullah Ibn Zubair al-Humaidi (Rahimahullah) related in his “Musnad” (2/614, pg. 277) from Sufyan ibn Uyayna, who related from Ibn Shihab al- Zuhri, who related from Salim ibn Abdullah, and he from his father Ibn Umar: “I saw the Prophet (Peace be upon him) raise both his hands at the beginning of Salah up to his shoulders, but when going into Rukoo and when raising his head from rukoo he did not raise his hands, not even between the prostrations.”

(C) The Hanafi scholar of Hadith, Imam Yusuf al-Zaylai (d. 762 AH; Rahimahullah) quoted in his book “Nasb ar-Rayah” (vol. 1, pg. 404), a narration from Abdallah ibn al-Kharraz, who related from Imam Malik, who related from Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri, and he from Salim ibn Abdallah, who related from Ibn Umar, who said: “The Prophet (Peace be upon him) raised his hands when beginning Salah, and he never repeated again.”

(D) The two well known scholars of Hadith, Imam Tahawi and Imam Ibn Abi Shaybah (Allah’s mercy be upon them), related that Imam Mujahid (the disciple of Ibn Abbas; Allah be pleased with them) said: “I prayed many times behind Ibn Umar, but he raised his hands only once at the beginning.” (see Ja’al Haqq, pg. 55, by Mufti Ahmad Y. Khan)

These four narrations give strong evidence in favour of the Hanafi and Maliki views that Raful-Yadayn has been abrogated. So now ask yourselves, “Can the opinions of al-Albani be relied upon, if he does not base his opinions from the books of the Hanafi and Maliki Schools, plus the proofs used by them for not performing Raful-Yadayn?”

Now, I leave it to you to decipher for yourself, why certain Imams decided to perform Raful-Yadayn and others not to; but before I finish on this issue let me relate to you a famous incident that took place between the Imam’s Abu Hanifah and al-Awzai (Allah’s mercy be upon them) of Syria, when they met in Makkah. The purpose of the following debate is to show that even though the two great Imams had different narrations to prove their particular opinions, they did not abuse or despise each other in the derogatory way that some of us have become accustomed to! Insha’Allah, we should respect each others opinions, if it has a sound basis from the sources of the Shari’ah.

Imam al-Awzai said, “Why do you not raise your hands just before rukoo and after?” Imam Abu Hanifah replied, “There is no recorded word or action of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), to authenticate this (any longer).” “How so”, replied al-Awzai, “When al-Zuhri has reported this to me on the authority of Salim and that of his father (ibn Umar) who said that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to raise his hands at the beginning of the Salah and before and after rukoo?” Abu Hanifah also reported, “Hammad related to me through Ibrahim, through Alqamah, through al-Aswad, and through ibn Masood, that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), only raised his hands at the beginning of the Salah and did not repeat this action again.” Al-Awzai then suggested that his authorities were more reliable than those of Abu Hanifah, who countered, “Hammad was more knowledgeable than al-Zuhri, and Ibrahim was more knowledgeable than Salim. And if Ibn Umar is to be credited as a Companion of the Prophet, then al-Aswad has many merits. And the merits of Abdullah ibn Masood speak for themselves.” At this, al- Awzai remained silent. (Vide: ‘The Ethics of Disagreement in Islam’, pg. 59-60, by Taha Jabir al-Alwani; also see ‘Imam Abu Hanifah: Life and Work’ pg. 66-67, by Shibli Numani). This incident has also been recorded with slight variations by Hafiz Ibn al-Humam in his ‘Fath al-Qadir’, and Shah Waliullah Dehlawi’s ‘Hujjat Allah al-Baligha’.

Allah knows best.


27 Zil Hajj 1431 – 6 December 2010
The following is a verbatim reproduction of a letter which a concerned Muslim Sister sent to The Majlis.

“Assalamu alaikum
I hope this message finds Moulana in good health.
An Imaam from Saudi was hosted at the Jaami Masjid in Roshnee for Esha Salaah.
I was partially surprised to hear from my husband that Mohammed Wadee (employee of the Saudi embassy) was instrumental in bringing him over here despite it not being an arranged stop. Mohammed Wadee was described by Qari Naeem Choonara (he handles the events usually when a Saudi Imaam is involved at the Masjid) as a “dear friend”.
It seems the Saudi embassy is bringing these Imaams over to spread the message of ‘so-called’ unity. The advantage they have is that most, if not all, of our Masjid committees bow down to any of the embassy’s wishes. The message he propagated was “We call to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah only”; “We are one Ummah and should not let anything divide us”; “We should oppose anyone who tries to bring about divisions” etc.
I find this to be a trend as almost a dozen Saudi Imaams have been to Johannesburg in the past 12 to 14 months. Using the Imaams as a front, the embassy has managed to get into every single Masjid, Deobandi, Tableeghi etc. It seems the Saudis have now found a way to get their message into every single Masjid in the country. Mohammed Wadee was clearly described as a member of the religious attaché, hence it is clear that he has been tasked with the religious infiltration of South African Muslims.
This Saudi Imaam was hosted at the Newcastle Darul Uloom Jalsah where Mufti AK from CII was present and Moulana Shabbier Saloojee. Would this not signify tacit approval from some of South Africa’s leading Muftis as Mohammed Wadee and co. were “sub-guests” so to speak of the Mufti.
Whilst I am not implying the Imaam to be a salafi because I do not know anything about him, my husband heard these statements himself in the Masjid. His message had many Salafi tendencies and hidden Salafi messages.
I would really appreciate Moulana’s input on this situation as I feel this is leading to great problem. In Houghton, I have noticed that they are building a Masjid completely funded by the Saudis so I can only imagine to what end they are intent on building this large Saudi sentiment. Surely, there must be some devious plot to turn South African Muslims away from a protected Deobandi/true Islam mindset to a Salafi mindset.
Elsewhere, in Durban I had heard of Fatima Asmal and her plan to establish a Madressah for children to begin in the year 2011. The Madressah will be headed by Moulana Khalid Yacoob. The Madressah is aimed to digress from the “indoctrination” of the normal Madressah system and will teach children love instead of fear for Allah. According to Asmal, she says:
“The madrasah aims to be different in that:
* teachers will work towards instilling a love and consciousness of Allah into children as opposed to a fear of Jahannam
* teachers will work towards encouraging children to understand what Islam requires of them as citizens of South Africa – i.e. knowledge transmitted will be CONTEXT-BASED, and issues like respect for other race groups will be focused on
* teachers will teach children to respect differences of opinion and discourage them from becoming judgemental and self-righteous
* teachers will not insult secular education institutes, and will do their utmost to accommodate the schedules of children who attend such institutes wherein they are required to participate in extra-curricular activities”
The Madressah will be hosted around the corner from Jamiat KZN’s plush new offices. It is insulting that nobody is doing anything constructive to counter this issue. South Africa has such a large network of Aalims and Moulanas, most of whom are sleeping whilst these people are actively engaged in promoting their sadistic ideologies.”

The un-Islamic Saudi regime, gasping in the throes of its impending demise, is desperately struggling to assert its hegemony over the global Muslim Ummah. The feverish activity of despatching PROs all over the world to whitewash the dark and sinister faces of the so-called custodians of the Holy Cities in a bid to garner support for its commissions of gross violations of the Shariah is doomed to failure, for the greater part of the Ummah is not blind to the fact that Saudi Arabia is a lackey and surrogate of the U.S.A. imperialist butcher.
It is American pressure which has constrained the Saudi regime to disfigure and mutilate its Founding Islamic Constitution with the objective of ultimate abrogation of the Shariah which until a couple of years ago was the Law of the country, albeit not correctly applied. The establishment of the kuffaar, immoral, co-ed university in Jiddah; the breaking down of the Gates of the Shariah to allow the women’s deluge into the public domain in emulation of the Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj who will break through the crumbling Barrier of Zul Qarnain (rahmatullah alayh); the clipping of the wings and the extraction of the teeth of the Department of Amr Bil Ma’roof Nahy Anil Munkar; the surreptitious opening up the Haram zone for the kuffaar; the physical destruction of the mountains and Cities of Makkah Mukarramah and Madinah Munawwarah; the destruction of the Holy Relics of Islam; the demolition of Auqaaf Musaajid; the transformation of the birthplaces of Islam into immoral holiday resorts which will soon vie with Paris and New York; the total commercialisation of the Hajj; in short the effacement of all signs of Divine Islam, are the stepping stones leading to the satanic objective of the evisceration of Islam of its Soul, and substituting original Islam with a docile, barren concept devoid of the teachings and spirit of the Islam which the Sahaabah had transmitted to the mankind from which had grown the true Ummah of Islam. The shaitaani conspiracy is to impose on the Ummah an American-spawned ‘islam’, – an illegitimate brainchild of the kufr interfaith movement of which Saudi Arabia has been placed in charge by its American master.
The fact that in the past 12 to 14 months about a dozen Saudi Imaams/Sheikhs had visited South Africa testifies for the Saudi agenda, namely, to establish its hegemony – to achieve the subservience of the Muslim community to Saudi dictates. Saudi Arabia is aware of the large scale dissatisfaction which the Muslims of the world in general harbour for the American sponsored Saudi regime. The regime is therefore despatching its ambassadors to all countries in the exercise of winning support for its tottering regime.
Dollars play an important role in this exercise. The dollars are securing the allegiance of even ulama and modernists. Payment and perks in different forms are the dangling baits which attract the Ulama-e-Soo’ who are prepared to betray Islam and the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
The Saudi exercise is not a pure Salafi crusade. Salafi’ism has split into two opposing camps. Those who adhere to the pure teachings of Islam despite subscribing to some corrupt beliefs, and the immoral, westernized, anti- Sunnah Saudis who are spearheading anti-Islamic movements such as the interfaith movement, the orientalist ‘Islamic’ studies departments of kuffaar universities and the anti-Jihad movements spawned by the U.S.A.
The Salafis of the Saudi regime are of the second group. They are thoroughly westernized and anti-Sunnah. They are anti-Math-hab in general and anti-Hanafi in particular. They are swiftly transforming the desert landscape into haunts of fisq and fujoor. However, political expediency and the realization of their impending doom have constrained them to adopt the Shiah doctrine of Taqiyah (Holy Hypocrisy). They now speak the tongue of the Shiahs. They call for ‘unity’, hypocritically asserting that ‘we are one Ummah’, yet they suppress and hate the non-Salafi Ummah. Today, tens of thousands of Saudis, including thousands of Ulama are languishing in the jails, dungeons and torture facilities of the Saudi regime. Their crime was only the proclamation of the Haqq of Islam. A member of a Muslim Human Rights organization states:
“Saudi Arabia proclaims that it is governed by the “Shariah”. It is estimated that currently Saudi Arabia has over 40,000 “security related” prisoners detained in their prisons. These are all Ulama and practicing Muslims imprisoned simply because they are perceived by the Kingdom as a “security threat.
Some of Saudi Arabia’s “security prisons” are also located within the boundaries of the Haramain. The detention facility in Madinah Al Munawwarah which holds approximately 1000 detainees is close enough from the Haram Sharif that the Adhan and Salah of Al Masjid Al Nabawi can be heard inside the prison. I have personally visited this facility.
I feel that it is important that Saudi Arabia’s imposturous use of the “Shariah” to disguise their un-Islamic actions is exposed. This is particularly so when their actions are in fact in sharp contrast with the Shariah by which they profess to govern.
The Ulama-e-Haq in the Arabian Peninsula who speak out are arrested, tortured and are imprisoned indefinitely or are disappeared forever. This has been happening for several decades and the Saudi rulers feel particularly secure due to the silence of our Ulama around the world. They are getting away with their crimes under the guise of being “Custodians of the Holy Mosques” and torch bearers of “Islam” and the “Shariah”.
I feel that until Scholars from outside Saudi Arabia condemn them for their injustices, these injustices in the name of Islam will continue to occur unabated. The innocent Ulama in Saudi jails will languish in prisons and more and more will be imprisoned. I feel that the silence of our Ulama against the injustices of Saudi Arabia is aiding the Saudi government to carry on with what they are doing and this is tantamount to complicity.”

The Ulama of South Africa, and in particular of the Madaaris, should hang their heads in shame for their disgusting conduct of flirtation with the Saudi regime. They have betrayed Allah, His Rasool, the Ummah and Islam. In the presence of Hajjaaj Bin Yusuf, the tyrant, Hadhrat Hasan Basri (rahmatullah alayh) declared:
“Verily, Allah has taken a pledge from the Ulama that most certainly they should declare the Haqq to the people, and not conceal it.”
All the Ulama who support the Saudi regime with their silence and flirtation are guilty of violating this sacred Pledge which is an integral constituent of the Office of Waraathat-e-Ambiya (the Office of being the Representatives of the Ambiya).
The Saudis should free all those Brothers who are being tortured in their dark , evil facilities. Only then will they have some justification to speak on the topic of unity. There can be no unity with American surrogates who execute the vile conspiracies of the evil kuffaar intent on destroying the Ummah or enslaving it in order to pirate away the natural resources of the lands of Islam.
The Madaaris in South Africa are rendering a terrible disservice to Islam and the Ummah by hosting and honouring the anti-Islam Saudis. It is indeed most disgusting for the Hanafi Madaaris to honour and host the modernist Saudi bid’atis despite being aware of the anti-Hanafi Math-hab stance of the Saudis. That Saudi Arabia is a surrogate of America is no secret. Every Muslim of intelligence is aware of this incontrovertible fact. Yet, the perks the Saudis offer have succeeded to secure the prostration of the Ulama of the Madaaris. These Ulama too have become active cogs in the evil conniving Saudi machinery of destroying true Islam.
Regarding the Sister’s comment, ‘the devious plot to turn South African Muslims away from a protected Deobandi/true Islam mindset’, the reality is that the new era Deobandi ulama themselves are diverting Muslims from the Sunnah which our Akaabir of Deoband had championed since the inception of Daarul Uloom Deoband. There remains extremely little of the original Deoband Mindset in the so-called Deobandi Madaaris of South Africa. They all have fallen prostrate in humiliation to lick the boots of westernism. The Saudis are merely providing additional impetus for this pernicious revolution initiated by the Ulama of the Madaaris.
The most disturbing aspect of this dismal scenario is the gross failure by the Madaaris Ulama of understanding the immense danger to the Deen of their obsequious flirtation with the ambassadors of the Saudi regime. The objective of the American inspired Saudis is to assign true and pristine Islam – the Islam of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) – to museum archives, and to fabricate a new-look ‘islam’ which will be islam in only name, but bereft of the Soul and Sunnah of that Islam in which the Ummah has hitherto believed.
The new-look ‘madrasah’ being contemplated in Durban is another shaitaani ploy of the American-orientalist inspired modernist zindeeqs, munaafiqs and murtadds to dig up the foundations of Qur’aanic Islam. The name ‘madrasah’ for the proposed institution of kufr is a massive deception of the devil. The contemplated institution is never a Madrasah. It will be an appendage of Shaitaan-in-Chief – Iblees, Laeen. Muslims should beware. Those who still have true Islam at heart should refrain from casting their children into this satanic snare which will divest them of their Imaan. The indoctrination by the shaitaani institution camouflaged in the hues of a ‘Madrasah’ will paralyze and ultimately eliminate the Imaan of the children entrapped in the snare of the Devil.
It is the Waajib obligation of the Ulama in Natal to take cognizance of this poison to be injected into the Imaan of pupils.
We commend the Sister for her insight and her correct appraisal of the Saudi menace. May Allah Ta’ala increase her in Firaasat.


All praise be to Allahu Ta’ala. Peace and blessings be on His final Messenger, Sayyidina Muhammad. Auspicious salutations be on his pure Ahl al-Bayt (people of the Prophet’s House) and on all his just and devoted Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all); and last but not least praise be upon the glorious pious predecessors (Salaf as-Salihin) and their successors who are the Ahl-as-Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah (People of the Sunnah and Community) of the four existing schools of Sacred Law (Fiqh).

O you who believe! What you are about to read is of dire importance to the believer who accepts the authority of the Noble Hadith, second only to the Holy Qur’an al-Karim. I here present to the open minded believer an exposition of the mistakes and contradictions of probably the foremost Hadith Shaykh of the ‘Salafiyya’ sect, by the name of Shaykh Muhammad Nasiruddeen al-Albani. I was asked by some brothers on the status and rank of al-Albani, and fearing the declaration of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him):

“He who is asked something he knows and conceals it will have a bridle of fire put on him on the Day of Resurrection” (Sunan Abu Dawood, 3/3650, English ed’n);

I decided to compile this short work. Let me stress at the outset, this work was primarily compiled to correct some notions held by al-Albani and secondarily the “Salafi” sect; hence the last part of this work has been entitled: “and Other Important issues.”

This short piece of work has been edited and abridged from the four volume set which emphatically and clearly outlines al-Albani’s mistakes, contradictions, slanders and even lies in the honourable and sacred Islamic Science of Hadith (Uloom al Hadith), by the well known scholar, Al-Shaykh Hasan ibn Ali al-Saqqaf (may Allah reward him for his effort) of Amman, Jordan; from his work entitled: “Tanaqadat al-Albani al-Wadihat” (The Clear Contradictions of al-Albani).

Shaykh Saqqaf is a contemporary Shafi’i scholar of Hadith and Fiqh. His Shaykh’s include Hashim Majdhub of Damascus in Shafi’i Fiqh, Muti’ Hammami in estate division, Muhammad Hulayyil of Amman in Arabic Grammar, and he has been given written authorization (Ijaza) in the field of Hadith from one of the greatest Hadith scholars of our time – Shaykh Abdullah Muhammad al-Ghimari (may the Mercy of Allah be upon him) of Tangiers, Morocco [born 1910 C.E; died Feb. 1413/1993 C.E]; an ex-Professor of Hadith at Al-Azhar University, author of nearly 150 works, his late brother: Ahmad ibn Muhammad (Allah’s mercy be upon him) was a great Hafiz of Hadith, (see later for the definition of Hafiz of Hadith). Shaykh Ghimari has declared in one of his published Fatwa’s that al-Albani is an innovator (mubtadi) in Islam, (al-Albani has criticised Shaykh Ghimari’s classifications of Hadith in some of his works; but then contradicted himself in others – see the quotes from Shaykh Saqqaf later). Shaykh Saqqaf presently teaches a circle of students in Amman and has published over forty five books and treatises on Hadith, tenets of faith (Aqeeda), Fiqh and heresiology.

So as to enlighten the reader who is unaware of al-Albani’s status, the following is a short biography as given in the inside back cover of the English translation of al-Albani’s booklet by the title ‘Adaab uz Zufaaf‘ (The Etiquettes of Marriage and Wedding) as published by his followers in England (viz.: “Jami’at Ihyaa Minhaj al Sunnah”) :-

  • Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albani was born in the city of Ashkodera, capital of Albania in 1914 CE. While he was young his parents migrated with him to Damascus, Syria. From an early age he became fascinated by the science of Hadith and thereafter spent his time devoted to seeking knowledge. In later life he was given Professorship of Hadith at the Islamic University of Madinah. He is well known to students and scholars for his knowledge and writings. He has many well known students and has visited places through out the Middle East and Europe. He was forced to migrate from Syria to Jordan. He has been of enormous service to the Prophetic Hadith, taking great pains to check and sort out the authentic from the weak and fabricated narrations. He has produced many pamphlets and books, some of them running into many volumes – on topics of great importance to the Muslims – and has fully checked many of the famous books of Hadith – the Sunan of Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, An-Nasai and Ibn Majah, along with Suyooti’s huge “Jami-us-Sagheer” and “Mishkat-ul Masabih”. He is the foremost scholar of Hadith and related sciences of this age.”

It is this last statement which is highly far-fetched, and it is the predominantly imaginary belief of his misguided followers in certain parts of the world. Since only Allah knows who is the “foremost scholar of Hadith and related sciences of this age.” I say this because there are others who may well be the ‘foremost scholar’. One thing that may be noticed from the above biography, is that al-Albani does not seem to have been given any authorization (ijaza) in Hadith from any recognised scholar of Hadith. I have read other biographies and asked some of his supporters in England to give me the name of al-Albani’s Hadith Shaykh; but to no avail. It seems that al-Albani “taught” himself the science of Hadith by spending many hours in the famous library of Damascus – al-Maktabatuz Zahiriyyah. In the biography written in the preface of the English edition of his work – “Sifah salah an-Nabee“, it was also stated that he was: “influenced by articles in ‘al-Manaar’ magazine.” The last named magazine was edited by the notorious freemason – Muhammad Rashid Ridah (d.1935 CE)!

Al-Albani has not made a handful of forgivable errors, but rather well over 1200, which are only forgivable if he himself admits and corrects his mistakes by repenting in front of the People of Knowledge, as well as the sincere believers who may have been relying on his ‘classifications of Hadith’. The selected contradictions from “Tanaqadat al-Albani al-Wadihat” have been derived for sake of brevity from volume’s one and two only, and whenever the symbol * is indicated, this corresponds to the original reference to the Arabic edition. The reader should also remember that whenever anything appears in brackets, then these are usually my words and not that of Shaykh Saqqaf. It should also be said that Volume 1 of the original contains 250 ahadith, in which al-Albani has said Sahih (an authentic Hadith) in one of his books and then contradicted himself by saying Daeef (a weak Hadith) in another of his books, or similar mistakes and contradictions. Volume 2 contains 652 Ahadith of the same description as the above, or similar contradictions in individual rijal (biography of a Hadith narrator) of the Sanad (the chain of transmission of a specific Hadith) of the Hadiths in question. In some instances (e.g. Vol.2, pp. 63-64), Shaykh Saqqaf shows how a Hadith narrator is ‘trustworthy’ when al-Albani wants to use a Hadith to prove something, but becomes ‘untrustworthy’ when in a Hadith used by the person al-Albani is arguing against; an extremely embarrassing mistake for anyone of any scholarly integrity. These books by Shaykh Saqqaf have already done much to pull the rug from under ‘Salafiyyism’ in Jordan and even in ‘Saudi’ Arabia, where the first volume alone has seen no less than SIX reprints in a single year alone! These books are extremely hot property that any ‘Salafi’ (or anti-Salafi) who reads Arabic will want to buy. I ask you, how many times does an inept student of Hadith like al-Albani have to contradict himself before he ceases to be of authority? Can you find even ten such contradictions in the works of the traditional memorizers of Hadith (Huffaz), those who had memorized at least 100,000 Ahadith with their sanad’s? The great scholars like Abu Hanifah, Malik, Shafi’i, Ibn Hanbal, Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja, al-Nasai, Daraqutni, Hakim, Asqalani and so on . . . . Allah’s mercy be upon them. The discerning believer should know that al-Albani has not in his memory anywhere near a 100,000 Ahadith in his memory, in fact as far as we know there is no one who is a Hafiz of Hadith today! If there is, we say please come forward and prove it, and only Allah knows best!

During the course of examining various Hadiths, Shaykh Saqqaf compared them to the written opinion of al-Albani. Eventually Shaykh Saqqaf began a compilation of al-Albani’s mistakes. He came across contradictions, supposition, inadequate research and the blatant perversion of sayings quoted from the great scholars of Islam. He was especially worried by the fact that many students and members of the youth who do not have enough or no knowledge are simply not bothering to investigate the Hadiths classified by al-Albani, are being misled into blind ignorance; even though these very people are the one’s calling staunchly and vociferously for the complete abandonment of taqleed (usually translated as “blind following” by the opponents, but in reality it is the following of qualified and verified scholarship of a Mujtahid Mutlaq [an absolutely independent scholar of the highest calibre] like the Imam’s Abu Hanifah, Malik, Shafi’i, Ibn Hanbal (Allah’s mercy be upon them) and the like, as well as the scholars who adhered to and promulgated a particular school of fiqh [Madhhab] for the greater part of Islam’s history; taqleed in simple language is the following of one of the four existing schools of fiqh). These people seem to contradict themselves, as well as displaying hypocrisy when they go around making it a priority to attack the followers of the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i or Hanbali schools of Sacred Law; even though they themselves are practising taqleed of an individual(s)!

Bearing in mind the Hadith reported by Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim):

  • Whoever sees an evil, he must prevent it with his hand, and if he has no power for this action, then he should prevent it with his tongue, and if he cannot do this, then he should at least consider it a vice in his heart, and this is a very low level of one’s Iman (faith).” [see Sahih Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Nasai – as recorded in Targheeb Wa’l-Tarheeb by Al-Hafiz Mundhiri, d. 1258 C.E; Rahimahumullah],

and even more explicitly from Imam al-Darimi (Rahimahullah) who reported Ziyad Ibn Hudair (Rahimahullah) saying:

  • Umar (Allah be pleased with him) said to me: Do you know what can destroy Islam?” I said: “No.” He said: “It is destroyed by the mistakes of scholars, the argument of the hypocrites about the book (of Allah), and the opinions of the misguided leaders.” (see Mishkatul Masabih, 1/269, Trans. A.H. Siddiqui).

We took the liberty to forewarn and guide the many sincere believers who are turning to their faith from blundering into miscomprehension and wrong by translating selectively from Shaykh Saqqaf’s books.

In order to safe keep today’s youth from falling into heresy, Shaykh Saqqaf has embarked upon a quest to expose such a person who considers himself to be among the great scholars of Hadith like, Imam’s al-Bukhari and Muslim (Rahimahumullah), to the extent that one of his deluded followers considered him to be in the rank of the Amir al-Mu’minin fil Hadith, Shaykh al-Islam al-Hafiz Ahmad Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (the Shafi’i Imam who authored the most famous commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari and many other books, d. 852/1449 C.E; Rahimahullah).

As for Shaykh Saqqaf, the respected reader may get the impression that he has an uncompromising demeanour in some of his comments made straight after he exposes an error of al-Albani. I make no apology for his style of exposition, since many Allah fearing scholars have been uncompromising in the past when it comes to enjoining the Good and Forbidding the Evil as has been prescribed in the Qur’an and Sunnah (e.g. in the refutations against the heretical sects like the Khawarij, Mu’tazila, Shi’ah . . . . ), so long as it forewarns the general masses from accepting the falsities of the heretics and other like minded “scholars”. May be Shaykh Saqqaf considers al-Albani to be an innovator, just as his late teacher – Shaykh Ghimari (Rahimahullah) considered him to be. There are many Hadith which command us to detest the Heretics. For example, Ibrahim ibn Maisara reported Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) as saying:

  • He who showed respect to an innovator he in fact aided in the demolishing of Islam.” (Bayhaqi – see Mishkatul Masabih, 1/189, English ed’n).

I hope the esteemed reader will read this short piece of work with vigilance and an open mind, especially those who have been loyal readers and supporters of al-Albani’s books and decrees. I sincerely hope that this work will be of great benefit to all who read it and pray that Allah accept it as a good deed done purely for His pleasure. I would also like to thank all those brothers who assisted me in the compilation of this work, especially to the brother who supplied me with Shaykh Saqqaf’s books.

May Allah forgive us for any shortcomings and errors. Amin.


Al-Albani has said in “Sharh al-Aqeedah at-Tahaweeah, pg. 27-28″ (8th edition, Maktab al-Islami) by Shaykh Ibn Abi al-Izz al-Hanafi (Rahimahullah), that any Hadith coming from the Sahih collections of al-Bukhari and Muslim is Sahih, not because they were narrated by Bukhari and Muslim, but because the Ahadith are in fact correct. But he clearly contradicts himself, since he has weakened Ahadith from Bukhari and Muslim himself! Now let us consider this information in the light of elaboration :-


No 1: (*Pg. 10 no. 1 )

Hadith: The Prophet (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) said: “Allah says I will be an opponent to 3 persons on the day of resurrection: (a) One who makes a covenant in my Name but he proves treacherous, (b) One who sells a free person (as a slave) and eats the price (c) And one who employs a laborer and gets the full work done by him, but doesn’t pay him his wages.” [Bukhari no 2114-Arabic version, or see the English version 3/430 pg 236].

Al-Albani said that this Hadith was DAEEF in “Daeef al-Jami wa Ziyadatuh, 4/111 no. 4054″. Little does he know that this Hadith has been narrated by Ahmad and Bukhari from Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him)!!

No 2: (*Pg. 10 no. 2 )

Hadith: “Sacrifice only a grown up cow unless it is difficult for you, in which case sacrifice a ram.” [Muslim no. 1963-Arabic edition, or see the English version 3/4836 pg. 1086].

Al-Albani said that this Hadith was DAEEF in “Daeef al-Jami wa Ziyadatuh, 6/64 no. 6222.” Although this Hadith has been narrated by Imam’s Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Nisai and Ibn Majah from Jaabir (Allah be pleased with him)!!

No 3: (*Pg. 10 no. 3 )

Hadith: “Amongst the worst people in Allah’s sight on the Day of Judgement will be the man who makes love to his wife and she to him, and he divulges her secret.” [Muslim no. 1437- Arabic edition].

Al-Albani claims that this Hadith is DAEEF in “Daeef al-Jami wa Ziyadatuh, 2/197 no. 2005.” Although it has been narrated by Muslim from Abi Sayyed (Allah be pleased with him)!!

No 4: (*Pg. 10 no. 4 )

Hadith: “If someone woke up at night (for prayers) let him begin his prayers with 2 light rak’ats.” [Muslim no. 768]. Al-Albani stated that this Hadith was DAEEF in “Daeef al-Jami wa Ziyadatuh, 1/213 no. 718.” Although it is narrated by Muslim and Ahmad from Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him)!!

No 5: (*Pg. 11 no. 5 )

Hadith: “You will rise with shining foreheads and shining hands and feet on the Day of Judgement by completing Wudhu properly. . . . . . . .” [Muslim no. 246].

Al-Albani claims it is DAEEF in “Daeef al-Jami wa Ziyadatuh, 2/14 no. 1425.” Although it has been narrated by Muslim from Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him)!!

No 6: (*Pg. 11 no. 6 )

Hadith: “The greatest trust in the sight of Allah on the Day of Judgement is the man who doesn’t divulge the secrets between him and his wife.” [Muslim no’s 124 and 1437]

Al-Albani claims it is DAEEF in “Daeef al-Jami wa Ziyadatuh, 2/192 no. 1986.” Although it has been narrated by Muslim, Ahmad and Abu Dawood from Abi Sayyed (Allah be pleased with him)!!

No 7: (*Pg. 11 no. 7 )

Hadith: “If anyone READS the last ten verses of Surah al-Kahf he will be saved from the mischief of the Dajjal.” [Muslim no. 809].

Al-Albani said that this Hadith was DAEEF in “Daeef al-Jami wa Ziyadatuh, 5/233 no. 5772.” NB- The word used by Muslim is MEMORIZED and not READ as al-Albani claimed; what an awful mistake! This Hadith has been narrated by Muslim, Ahmad and Nisai from Abi Darda (Allah be pleased with him)!! (Also recorded by Imam Nawawi in “Riyadh us-Saliheen, 2/1021″ of the English ed’n).

No 8: (*Pg. 11 no. 8 )

Hadith: “The Prophet (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) had a horse called al-Laheef.” [Bukhari, see Fath al-Bari of Hafiz Ibn Hajar 6/58 no. 2855]. But Al-Albani said that this Hadith was DAEEF in “Daeef al-Jami wa Ziyadatuh, 4/208 no. 4489.” Although it has been narrated by Bukhari from Sahl ibn Sa’ad (Allah be pleased with him)!!!

Shaykh Saqqaf said: “This is only anger from anguish, little from a lot and if it wasn’t for the fear of lengthening and boring the reader, I would have mentioned many other examples from al-Albani’s books whilst reading them. Imagine what I would have found if I had traced everything he wrote?”


Shaykh Saqqaf said: “The strange and amazing thing is that Shaykh al-Albani misquoted many great Hadith scholars and disregards them by his lack of knowledge, either directly or indirectly! He crowns himself as an unbeatable source and even tries to imitate the great scholars by using such terms like “Lam aqif ala sanadih“, which means “I could not find the chain of narration”, or using similar phrases! He also accuses some of the best memorizers of Hadith for lack of attention, even though he is the one best described by that!” Now for some examples to prove our point:

No 9 : (* Pg. 20 no. 1 )

Al-Albani said in “Irwa al-Ghalil, 6/251 no. 1847″ (in connection to a narration from Ali): “I could not find the sanad.”

Shaykh Saqqaf said: “Ridiculous! If this al-Albani was any scholar of Islam, then he would have known that this Hadith can be found in “Sunan al-Bayhaqi, 7/121″ :- Narrated by Abu Sayyed ibn Abi Amarah, who said that Abu al-Abbas Muhammad ibn Yaqoob who said to us that Ahmad ibn Abdal Hamid said that Abu Usama from Sufyan from Salma ibn Kahil from Mu’awiya ibn Soayd who said, ‘I found this in my fathers book from Ali (Allah be pleased with him).’”

No 10 : (* Pg. 21 no. 2 )

Al-Albani said in ‘Irwa al-Ghalil, 3/283′: Hadith of Ibn Umar ‘Kisses are usury,’ I could not find the sanad.”

Shaykh Saqqaf said: “This is outrageously wrong for surely this is mentioned in ‘Fatawa al-Shaykh ibn Taymiyya al-Misriyah (3/295)’: ‘Harb said Obaidullah ibn Mu’az said to us, my father said to me that Soayd from Jiballa who heard Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) as saying: Kisses are usury.’ And these narrators are all authentic according to Ibn Taymiyya!”

No 11 : (* Pg. 21 no. 3 )

Hadith of Ibn Masood (Allah be pleased with him): “The Qur’an was sent down in 7 dialects. Everyone of its verses has an explicit and implicit meaning and every interdiction is clearly defined.” Al-Albani stated in his checking of “Mishkat ul-Masabih, 1/80 no. 238″ that the author of Mishkat concluded many Ahadith with the words “Narrated in Sharh us-Sunnah,” but when he examined the chapter on Ilm and in Fadail al-Qur’an he could not find it!

Shaykh Saqqaf said: “The great scholar has spoken! Wrongly as usual. I wish to say to this fraud that if he is seriously interested in finding this Hadith we suggest he looks in the chapter entitled ‘Al-Khusama fi al-Qur’an’ from Sharh-us-Sunnah (1/262), and narrated by Ibn Hibban in his Sahih (no. 74), Abu Ya’ala in his Musnad (no.5403), Tahawi in Sharh al-Mushkil al-Athar (4/172), Bazzar (3/90 Kashf al-Asrar) and Haythami has mentioned it in Majmoo’a al-Zawaid (7/152) and he has ascribed it to Bazzar, Abu Ya’ala and Tabarani in al-Awsat who said that the narrators are trustworthy.”

No 12 : (* Pg. 22 no. 4 )

Al-Albani stated in his “Sahihah, 1/230″ while he was commenting on Hadith no. 149: “The believer is the one who does not fill his stomach. . . . The Hadith from Aisha as mentioned by Al-Mundhiri (3/237) and by Al-Hakim from Ibn Abbas, I (Albani) could not find it in Mustadrak al-Hakim after checking it in his ‘Thoughts’ section.”

Shaykh Saqqaf said: “Please don’t encourage the public to fall into the void of ignorance which you have tumbled into! If you check Mustadrak al-Hakim (2/12) you will find it! This proves that you are unskilled at using book indexes and the memorization of Hadith!”

No 13 : (* Pg. 23 )

Another ridiculous assumption is made by al-Albani in his “Sahihah, 2/476″ where he claims that the Hadith: “Abu Bakr is from me, holding the position of (my) hearing” is not in the book ‘Hilya’.

We suggest you look in the book “Hilya , 4/73!”

No 14 : (*Pg. 23 no. 5 )

Al-Albani said in his “Sahihah, 1/638 no. 365, 4th edition”: “Yahya ibn Malik has been ignored by the 6 main scholars of Hadith, for he was not mentioned in the books of Tahdhib, Taqreeb or Tadhhib.”

Shaykh Saqqaf: “That is what you say! It is not like that, for surely he is mentioned in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib of Hafiz ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (12/19 Dar al-Fikr edition) by the nickname Abu Ayoob al-Maraagi!!

So beware!


No 15 : (* Pg. 7 )

Al-Albani has criticized the Imam al-Muhaddith Abu’l Fadl Abdullah ibn al-Siddiq al-Ghimari (Rahimahullah) for mentioning in his book “al-Kanz al-Thameen” a Hadith from Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) with reference to the narrator Abu Maymoona: “Spread salaam, feed the poor. . . .”

Al-Albani said in “Silsilah al-Daeefa, 3/492″, after referring this Hadith to Imam Ahmad (2/295) and others: “I say this is a weak sanad, Daraqutni has said ‘Qatada from Abu Maymoona from Abu Hurayra: Unknown, and it is to be discarded.’” Al-Albani then said on the same page: “Notice, a slapdash has happened with Suyuti and Munawi when they came across this Hadith, and I have also shown in a previous reference, no. 571, that al-Ghimari was also wrong for mentioning it in al-Kanz.”

But in reality it is al-Albani who has become slapdashed, because he has made a big contradiction by using this same sanad in “Irwa al-Ghalil, 3/238″ where he says, “Classified by Ahmad (2/295), al-Hakim . . . from Qatada from Abu Maymoona, and he is trusted as in the book ‘al-Taqreeb’, and Hakim said: ‘A Sahih sanad‘, and al-Dhahabi agreed with Hakim!

So, by Allah glance at this mistake! Who do you think is wrong, the Muhaddith al-Ghimari (also Suyuti and Munawi) or al-Albani?

No 16 : (* Pg. 27 no. 3 )

Al-Albani wanted to weaken a Hadith which allowed women to wear golden jewellery, and in the sanad for that Hadith there is Muhammad ibn Imara. Al-Albani claimed that Abu Haatim said that this narrator was: “Not that strong,” see the book “Hayat al-Albani wa-Atharu. . . part 1, pg. 207.”

The truth is that Abu Haatim al-Razi said in the book ‘al-Jarh wa-Taadeel, 8/45′: “A good narrator but not that strong. . .” So note that al-Albani has removed the phrase “A good narrator !”

NB-(al-Albani has made many of the Hadith which forbid Gold to women to be Sahih, in fact other scholars have declared these Hadith to be daeef and abrogated by other Sahih Hadith which allow the wearing of gold by women. One of the well known Shaykh’s of the “Salafiyya” – Yusuf al-Qardawi said in his book: ‘Islamic awakening between rejection and extremism, pg. 85: “In our own times, Shaykh Nasir al-Din al-Albani has come out with an opinion, different from the consensus on permitting women to adorn themselves with gold, which has been accepted by all madhahib for the last fourteen centuries. He not only believes that the isnad of these Ahadith is authentic, but that they have not been revoked. So, he believes, the Ahadith prohibit gold rings and earrings.”

So who is the one who violates the ijma of the Ummah with his extreme opinions?!)

No 17 : (* Pg. 37 no. 1 )

Hadith: Mahmood ibn Lubayd said, “Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) was informed about a man who had divorced his wife 3 times (in one sitting), so he stood up angrily and said: ‘Is he playing with Allah’s book whilst I am still amongst you?’ Which made a man stand up and say, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, shall I not kill him?’” (al-Nisai).

Al-Albani declared this Hadith to be Daeef in his checking of “Mishkat al-Masabih, 2/981, 3rd edition, Beirut, 1405 A.H; Maktab al-Islami”, where he says: “This man (the narrator) is reliable, but the isnad is broken or incomplete for he did not hear it directly from his father.”

Al-Albani then contradicts himself in the book “Ghayatul Maram Takhreej Ahadith al-Halal wal Haram, no. 261, pg. 164, 3rd Edn, Maktab al-Islami, 1405 A.H”; by saying it is SAHIH!!!

No 18 : (* Pg. 37 no. 2)

Hadith: “If one of you was sleeping under the sun, and the shadow covering him shrank, and part of him was in the shadow and the other part of him was in the sun, he should rise up.” Al-Albani declared this Hadith to be SAHIH in “Sahih al-Jami al-Sagheer wa Ziyadatuh (1/266/761)”, but then contradicts himself by saying it is DAEEF in his checking of “Mishkat ul-Masabih, 3/1337 no. 4725, 3rd Ed” and he has referred it to the Sunan of Abu Dawood!”

No 19 : (* Pg. 38 no. 3 )

Hadith: “The Friday prayer is obligatory on every Muslim.” Al-Albani rated this Hadith to be DAEEF in his checking of “Mishkat al-Masabih, 1/434″, and said: “Its narrators are reliable but it is discontinuous as is indicated by Abu Dawood”. He then contradicts himself in “Irwa al-Ghalil, 3/54 no. 592″, and says it is SAHIH!!!

So beware o wise men!

No 20 : (* Pg. 38 no. 4 )

Al-Albani has made another contradiction. He has trusted Al-Muharrar ibn Abu Hurayra in one place and then weakened him in another. Al-Albani certifies in “Irwa al-Ghalil, 4/301″ that Muharrar is a trustee with Allah’s help, and Hafiz (Ibn Hajar) saying about him “accepted”, is not accepted, and therefore the sanad is Sahih.

He then contradicts himself in “Sahihah 4/156″ where he makes the sanad DAEEF by saying: “The narrators in the sanad are all Bukhari’s (i.e.; used by Imam al-Bukhari) men, except for al-Muharrar who is one of the men of Nisai and Ibn Majah only. He was not trusted accept by Ibn Hibban, and that’s why al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar did not trust him, Instead he only said ‘accepted!’”

So beware of this fraud!

No 21 : (* Pg. 39 no. 5 )

Hadith: Abdallah ibn Amr (Allah be pleased with him): “The Friday prayer is incumbent on whoever heard the call” (Abu Dawood). Al-Albani stated that this Hadith was HASAN in “Irwa al-Ghalil 3/58″, he then contradicts himself by saying it is DAEEF in “Mishkatul Masabih 1/434 no 1375″!!!

No 22 : (* Pg. 39 no. 6 )

Hadith: Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) used to say : “Do not be hard on yourself, otherwise Allah will be hard on you. When a people were hard on themselves, then Allah was hard on them.” (Abu Dawood)

Al-Albani stated that this Hadith was DAEEF in his checking of “Mishkat, 1/64″, but he then contradicts himself by saying that this Hadith is HASAN in “Ghayatul Maram, pg. 141″!!

No 23: (* Pg. 40 no. 7 )

Hadith of Sayyida Aisha (Allah be pleased with her): “Whoever tells you that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to urinate while standing, do not believe him. He never urinated unless he was sitting.” (Ahmad, Nisai and Tirmidhi )

Al-Albani said that this sanad was DAEEF in “Mishkat 1/117.” He then contradicts himself by saying it is SAHIH in “Silsilat al-Ahadith al-Sahihah 1/345 no. 201″!!!

So take a glance dear reader!

No 24 : (* Pg. 40 no. 8 )

Hadith “There are three which the angels will never approach: The corpse of a disbeliever, a man who wears ladies perfume, and one who has had sex until he performs ablution” (Abu Dawood).

Al-Albani corrected this Hadith in “Sahih al-Jami al-Sagheer wa Ziyadatuh, 3/71 no. 3056″ by saying it was HASAN in the checking of “Al-Targhib 1/91″ [Also said to be hasan in the English translation of ‘The Etiquettes of Marriage and Wedding, pg. 11]. He then makes an obvious contradiction by saying that the same Hadith was DAEEF in his checking of “Mishkatul-Masabih, 1/144 no. 464″ and says that the narrators are trustworthy but the chain is broken between al-hasan al-Basri and Ammar (Allah be pleased with him) as al-Mundhiri had said in al-Targhib (1/91)!!

No 25 : (* Pg. 42 no. 10 )

It reached Malik (Rahimahullah) that Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) used to shorten his prayer, in distances such as between Makkah and Ta’if or between Makkah and Usfan or between Makkah and Jeddah. . . .

Al-Albani has weakened it in “Mishkat, 1/426 no. 1351″, and then contradicts himself by saying it is SAHIH in “Irwa al-Ghalil, 3/14″!!

No 26 : (* Pg. 43 no. 12 )

Hadith: “Leave the Ethiopians as long as they leave you, because no one takes out the treasure of the Ka’ba except the one with the two weak legs from Ethiopia.” Al-Albani has weakened this Hadith in his checking of “Mishkat 3/1495 no. 5429″ by saying: “The sanad is DAEEF.” But then he contradicts himself as is his habit, by correcting it in “Sahihah, 2/415 no. 772.”

An example of al-Albani praising someone in one place and then disparaging him in another place in his books

No 27 : (* Pg. 32 )

He praises Shaykh Habib al-Rahman al-Azami in the book ‘Sahih al Targhib wa Tarhib, page 63′, where he says: “I want you to know one of the things that encouraged me to. . . . which has been commented by the famous and respected scholar Shaykh Habib al-Rahman al-Azami” . . . . And he also said on the same page, “And what made me more anxious for it, is that its checker, the respected Shaykh Habib al-Rahman al-Azami has announced. . . .”

Al-Albani thus praises Shaykh al-Azami in the above mentioned book; but then makes a contradiction in the introduction to ‘Adaab uz Zufaaf (The Etiquettes of Marriage and Wedding), new edition page 8′, where he said: “Al-Ansari has used in the end of his letter, one of the enemies of the Sunnah, Hadith and Tawhid, who is famous for that, is Shaykh Habib al-Rahman al-Azami. . . . . For his cowardliness and lack of scholarly deduction. . . . .”

NB – (The above quotation from Adaab uz Zufaaf is not found in the English translation by his supporters, which shows that they deliberately avoided translating certain parts of the whole work).

So have a glance at this!


No 28 : (* Pg. 143 no. 1 )

Hadith of Abi Barza (Allah be pleased with him): “By Allah, you will not find a man more just than me” (Sunan al-Nisai, 7/120 no. 4103).

Al-Albani said that this Hadith was SAHIH in “Sahih al-Jami wa Ziyadatuh, 6/105 no. 6978″, and then he astonishingly contradicts himself by saying it is DAEEF in “Daeef Sunan al-Nisai, pg. 164 no. 287.”

So beware of this mess!

No 29 : (* Pg. 144 no. 2 )

Hadith of Harmala ibn Amru al-Aslami from his Uncle: “Throw pebbles at the Jimar by putting the extremity of the thumb on the fore-finger.” (Sahih Ibn Khuzaima, 4/276-277 no. 2874)

Al-Albani acknowledged its weakness in “Sahih Ibn Khuzaima” by saying that the sanad was DAEEF, but then contradicts himself by saying it is SAHIH in “Sahih al-Jami wa Ziyadatuh, 1/312 no. 923!”

No 30 : (* Pg. 144 no. 3 )

Hadith of Sayyidina Jabir ibn Abdullah (Allah be pleased with him): “The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was asked about the sexually defiled [junubi]. . . can he eat, or sleep. . . He said :’Yes, when this person makes wudhu.’” (Ibn Khuzaima no. 217 and Ibn Majah no. 592).

Al-Albani has admitted its weakness in his comments on “Ibn Khuzaima, 1/108 no. 217″, but then contradicts himself by correcting the above Hadith in “Sahih Ibn Majah, 1/96 no. 482 “!!

No 31 : (* Pg. 145 no. 4 )

Hadith of Aisha (Allah be pleased with her): “A vessel as a vessel and food as food” (Nisai, 7/71 no. 3957).

Al-Albani said that it was SAHIH in “Sahih al-Jami wa Ziyadatuh, 2/13 no. 1462″, but then contradicts himself in “Daeef Sunan al-Nisai, no. 263 pg. 157″, by saying it is DAEEF!!!

No 32 : (* Pg. 145 no. 5 )

Hadith of Anas (Allah be pleased with him): “Let each one of you ask Allah for all his needs, even for his sandal thong if it gets cut.”

Al-Albani said that the above Hadith was HASAN in his checking of “Mishkat, 2/696 no. 2251 and 2252″, but then contradicts himself in “Daeef al-Jami wa Ziyadatuh, 5/69 no. 4947 and 4948″!!!

No 33 : (* Pg. 146 no. 6 )

Hadith of Abu Dharr (Allah be pleased with him): “If you want to fast, then fast in the white shining nights of the 13th, 14th and 15th.”

Al-Albani declared it to be DAEEF in “Daeef al-Nisai, pg. 84″ and in his comments on “Ibn Khuzaima, 3/302 no. 2127″, but then contradicts himself by calling it SAHIH in “Sahih al-Jami wa Ziyadatuh, 2/10 no. 1448″ and also corrected it in “Sahih al-Nisai, 3/902 no. 4021″!!

So what a big contradiction!

NB- (Al-Albani mentioned this Hadith in ‘Sahih al-Nisai’ and in ‘Daeef al-Nisai’, which proves that he is unaware of what he has and is classifying, how inept!)

No 34 : (* Pg. 147 no. 7 )

Hadith of Sayyida Maymoonah (Allah be pleased with her): “There is nobody who has taken a loan and it is in the knowledge of Allah. . . .” (Nisai, 7/315 and others).

Al-Albani said in “Daeef al-Nisai, pg 190″: “Sahih, except for the part al-Dunya.” Then he contradicts himself in “Sahih al-Jami wa Ziyadatuh, 5/156″, by saying that the whole Hadith is SAHIH, including the al-Dunya part. So what an amazing contradiction!

No 35 : (* Pg. 147 no. 8 )

Hadith of Burayda (Allah be pleased with him): “Why do I see you wearing the jewellery of the people of hell” (Meaning the Iron ring), [Nisai, 8/172 and others. . .]. Al-Albani has said that it was SAHIH in “Sahih al-Jami wa Ziyadatuh, 5/153 no. 5540″, but then contradicts himself by saying it is DAEEF in “Daeef al-Nisai, pg. 230″!!!

No 36 : (* Pg. 148 no. 9 )

Hadith of Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him): “Whoever buys a carpet to sit on, he has 3 days to keep it or return it with a cup of dates that are not brownish in colour” (Nisai 7/254 and others).

Al-Albani has weakened it with reference to the ’3 days’ part in “Daeef Sunan al-Nisai, pg. 186″, by saying: “Correct, except for 3 days.” But the ‘genius’ contradicts himself by correcting the Hadith and approving the ’3 days’ part in “Sahih al-Jami wa Ziyadatuh, 5/220 no. 5804″.

So wake up (al-Albani)!!

No 37 : (* Pg. 148 no. 10 )

Hadith of Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him): “Whoever catches a single rak’ah of the Friday prayer has caught (the whole prayer).” (Nisai 3/112, Ibn Majah 1/356 and others). Al-Albani has weakened it in “Daeef Sunan al-Nisai, no. 78 pg. 49″, where he said: “Abnormal (shadh), where Friday is mentioned.” He then contradicts himself by saying SAHIH, including the Friday part in “Irwa, 3/84 no. 622 .”

May Allah heal you!


No 38 : (* Pg 157 no 1 )

KANAAN IBN ABDULLAH AN-NAHMY :- Al-Albani said in his “Sahihah, 3/481″ : “Kanaan is considered hasan, for he is attested by Ibn Ma’een.” Al-Albani then contradicts himself by saying, “There is weakness in Kanaan” (see “Daeefah, 4/282″)!!

No 39 : (* Pg. 158 no. 2 )

MAJA’A IBN AL-ZUBAIR :- Al-Albani has weakened Maja’a in “Irwa al-Ghalil, 3/242″, by saying, “This is a weak sanad because Ahmad has said: ‘There is nothing wrong with Maja’a’, and Daraqutni has weakened him. . .”

Al-Albani then made a contradiction in his “Sahihah, 1/613″ by saying: “His men (the narrators) are trusted except for Maja’a who is a good narrator of Hadith.”

An amazing contradiction!

No 40 : (* Pg. 158 no. 3 )

UTBA IBN HAMID AL-DHABI :- Al-Albani has weakened him in “Irwa al-Ghalil, 5/237″ by saying: “And this is a weak (Daeef) sanad which has three defects. . . . the second defect is the weakness of al-Dhabi, the Hafiz said: ‘A truthful narrator with hallucinations’”.

Al-Albani then makes an obvious contradiction in “Sahihah, 2/432″, where he said about a sanad which mentions Utba: “And this is a good (hasan) sanad, Utba ibn Hamid al-Dhabi is trustworthy but has hallucinations, and the rest of the narrators in the sanad are trusted.” !!

No 41 : (* Pg. 159 no. 4 )

HISHAM IBN SA’AD :- Al-Albani said in his “Sahihah, 1/325″: “Hisham ibn Sa’ad is a good narrator of Hadith.” He then contradicts himself in “Irwa al-Ghalil, 1/283″ by saying: “But this Hisham has a weakness in memorizing”

So what an amazement!!

No 42 : (* Pg. 160 no. 5 )

UMAR IBN ALI AL-MUQADDAMI :- Al-Albani has weakened him in “Sahihah, 1/371″, where he said: “He in himself is trusted but he used to be a very bad forger, which makes him undependable. . . .” Al-Albani then contradicts himself again in “Sahihah, 2/259″ by accepting him and describing him as being trustworthy from a sanad which mentions Umar ibn Ali. Al-Albani says: “Classified by Hakim, who said: ‘A Sahih Isnad (chain of transmission)’, and al-Dhahabi went along with it, and it is as they have said.”

So what an amazement !!!

No 43 : (* Pg. 160 no. 6 )

ALI IBN SA’EED AL-RAZI :- Al-Albani has weakened him in “Irwa, 7/13″, by saying: “They have said nothing good about al-Razi.” He then contradicts himself in another ‘fantastic’ book of his, “Sahihah, 4/25″, by saying: “This is a good (hasan) sanad and the narrators are all trustworthy.”

So beware !!!

No 44 : (* Pg. 165 no. 13 )

RISHDIN IBN SA’AD :- Al-Albani said in his “Sahihah, 3/79″ : “In it (the sanad) is Rishdin ibn Sa’ad, and he has been declared trustworthy.” But then he contradicts himself by declaring him to be DAEEF in “Daeefah, 4/53″; where he said: “And Rishdin ibn Sa’ad is also daeef.” So beware!!

No 45 : (* Pg. 161 no. 8 )

ASHAATH IBN ISHAQ IBN SA’AD :- What an amazing fellow this Shaykh!! Al-Albani!! Proves to be. He said in “Irwa al-Ghalil, 2/228″: “His status is unknown, and only Ibn Hibban trusted him.” But then he contradicts himself by his usual habit! Because he only transfers from books and nothing else, and he copies without knowledge; this is proven in “Sahihah, 1/450″, where he said about Ashaath: “Trustworthy”. So what an amazement!!!

No 46 : (* Pg. 162 no. 9 )

IBRAHIM IBN HAANI :- The honourable!! The genius!! The copier!! Has made Ibrahim ibn Haani trustworthy in one place and has then made him unknown in another. Al-Albani said in ‘Sahihah, 3/426′: “Ibrahim ibn Haani is trustworthy”, but then he contradicts himself in “Daeefah, 2/225″, by saying that he is unknown and his Ahadith are refused!!

No 47 : (* Pg. 163 no. 10 )

AL-IJLAA IBN ABDULLAH AL-KUFI :- Al-Albani has corrected a sanad by saying it is good in “Irwa, 8/7″, with the words: “And its sanad is good, the narrators are trustworthy, except for Ibn Abdullah al-Kufi who is truthful.” He then contradicts himself by weakening the sanad of a Hadith where al-Ijlaa is found and has made him the reason for declaring it DAEEF (see ‘Daeefah, 4/71′); where he said: “Ijlaa ibn Abdullah has a weakness.” Al-Albani then quoted Ibn al-Jawzi’s (Rahimahullah) words by saying: “Al-Ijlaa did not know what he was saying .”!!!

No 48 : (* Pg. 67-69 )

ABDULLAH IBN SALIH : KAATIB AL-LAYTH :- Al-Albani has criticised Al-Hafiz al-Haythami, Al-Hafiz al-Suyuti, Imam Munawi and the Muhaddith Abu’l-Fadl al-Ghimari (Allah’s mercy be upon them) in his book “Silsilah al-Daeefah, 4/302″, when checking a Hadith containing the narrator Abdullah ibn Salih. He says on page 300: “How could Ibn Salih be all right and his Hadith be good, even though he has got many mistakes and is of little awareness, which also made some fraudulent Hadiths enter his books, and he narrates them without knowing about them!” He has not mentioned that Abdullah ibn Salih is one of Imam al-Bukhari’s men (i.e. used by al-Bukhari), because it does not suit his mode, and he does not state that Ibn Ma’een and some of the leading critics of Hadith have trusted him. Al-Albani has contradicted himself in other places in his books by making Hadiths containing Abdullah ibn Salih to be good, and here they are :-

Al-Albani said in “Silsilah al-Sahihah, 3/229″ : “And so the sanad is good, because Rashid ibn Sa’ad is trustworthy by agreement, and who is less than him in the men of Sahih, and there is also Abdullah ibn Salih who has said things that are unharmful with Allah’s help!!” Al-Albani also said in “Sahihah, 2/406″ about a sanad which contained Ibn Salih: “a good sanad in continuity.” And again in “Sahihah, 4/647″: “He’s a proof with continuity.”

NB- (Shaykh Saqqaf then continued with some important advice, this has been left untranslated for brevity but one may refer to the Arabic for further elaboration).

By the grace of Allah, this is enough from the books of Shaykh Saqqaf to convince any seeker of the truth, let alone the common folk who have little knowledge of the science of Hadith. If anyone is interested for hundreds of other similar quotes from Shaykh Saqqaf, then I suggest you write to the following address to obtain his book Tanaqadat al-Albani al-Wadihat (The Clear Contradictions of al-Albani).

PO BOX 925393

[The cost for volume 1 is $4.00 US plus shipping and the cost for volume 2 is $7.00 plus shipping].

Allah knows best.


This has been just 48 selected contradictions from the works of al-Albani, as derived by Shaykh Saqqaf. During the course of my own research into al-Albani’s works which have been translated into English by his followers in England, I myself came across some startling errors. I was given some publications coming from his supporters in England [Jami’at Ihyaa Minhaaj al-Sunnah]; one by the title: “Daeef Ahadith of Abu Dawud’s Sunan (according to Shaikh al-Albaanee, No’s according to the English Translation of Professor Ahmad Hasan, published in 1411/1991 C.E.)”, and the other by the title: “Daeef Ahadith of an-Nawawi’s Riyaad-us-Saaliheen (according to the checking of Naasir ud-Deen Al-Albani, No’s according to the English Translation of S. M. Madni Abbasi)”.

I found some serious contradictions when I cross-referenced the above named publications; but I content myself by quoting just two of the contradictions, so that a round figure of fifty errors is achieved! Besides these errors there are others which will be displayed in the following pages, from the one who claims to be giving us the most ‘authentic’ Sunnah through his ‘classifications of Ahadith’! The main aim in carrying out the latter exercise is for the benefit of those believers who do not and can not read the Arabic works of al-Albani for one, and secondly to give the opportunity to any doubting “Thomas”; who may or may not be one of al-Albani’s supporters at the time of reading this short exposition, to actually go along and check the references I have quoted from (mainly in English). By doing this, Insha’Allah, all doubts about the authenticity of this exposition will be alleviated and the hearts of those who doubt may become content! Allah knows best.

No 49 :-

Hadith: Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported the Apostle of Allah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) as saying: “Allah and His Angels bless those who are on the right flanks of the rows (in prayer).” [See Sunan Abu Dawood, 1/676 pg. 175, English ed’n and Riyadh-us-Saliheen, 2/1094 pg. 548].

When I checked the authenticity of the above Hadith by using the list “Daeef Ahadith of Abu Dawud’s Sunan“, it was not counted amongst the daeef ones, which means to the user of this list that the above Hadith is SAHIH (or at least HASAN) according to the checking of al-Albani!

But, when I found the same Hadith in Riyadh-us-Saliheen, it was declared to be DAEEF by al-Albani. The actual words used by the author of “Daeef Ahaadith of an-Nawawi’s Riyadh-us-Saliheen“, was:- “Al-Albaanee brings a long note. . . . . . The wording (‘upon those on the right rows’) is Shaadh or Munkar – the correct narration being : (‘upon those who join the rows’) – see Mishkaat, no. 1096, ‘Daeef Abi Daud’, no.153. . .”!!!

NB- al-Imam Nawawi (Allah’s mercy be upon him) said that the above Hadith has been cited on the terms of Imam Muslim by Imam Abu Dawood (see the above reference in ‘Riyadh’).

No 50 :-

Hadith: Abu Umamah (Allah be pleased with him) says that the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “A person who did not take part in jihad or failed to equip a fighter, or did not look well after the family of a fighter, would be severely punished by Allah before the day of judgement.” ( Abu Dawood, 2/2497, pg. 693 and Riyadh-us- Saliheen, 2/1348, pg. 643)

When I checked the authenticity of the above Hadith by using the list ‘Daeef Ahadith of Abu Dawud’s Sunan’, it was not listed as being DAEEF, hence it has been declared to be SAHIH (or at least HASAN) in al-Albani’s checking of Abu Dawood! But when I found the above Hadith in Riyadh-us-Saliheen, al-Albani declared it to be DAEEF. The actual words used by the author of ‘Da’eef Ahaadith of An-Nawawi’s Riyaad-us-Saaliheen’ was: “Its isnad contains al-Waleed ibn Muslim-a-mudallis – and he has used ‘an’anah here (‘from. . .’). See ‘at-Ta’leeq-ur-Ragheeb’, 2/200.”

NB- Imam an-Nawawi said that the above Hadith has been related with a Sahih isnad, besides that, according to Shaykh Shu’ayb al-Arnaoot’s checking of the above Hadith in his edition of Riyadh-us-Saliheen, the above Hadith is not daeef (this information has been derived from another publication of ‘Jami’at Ihyaa Minhaaj al- Sunnah, by the title “List of daeef ahadiths in Riyaad-as-Saliheenaccording to Shuaib Arnaoutt,” but as for the lists authenticity, I say: it needs to be checked). I leave you to decide whose checking you will adopt.

Now that I have quoted you 50 mistakes of al-Albani in Hadith, I wish to delve into some rather important issues of fiqh, especially by comparing al-Albani’s declarations with the views of other authors! For the record let me say at the outset, that most of the opinions that I will be quoting from al-Albani are sound and acceptable to one school of fiqh or another. But if the reader may sometimes get the feeling that I have inclined too much towards one particular school, then I have only done so to defend other sound and acceptable views which have been and are still being practised by large sections of the Ummah, indifference to the views of al-Albani and others. To all of us, more than one view should be acceptable if a Mujtahid has used his personal reasoning to extract a ruling from the sources of the Shari’ah; since this was the attitude of the glorious Salaf as-Salihin (pious predecessors of the first three generations of Islam), may Allah be pleased with them all. But as for al-Albani and the generality of his supporters they have adopted the tactless way of ejecting/criticising all other ways ‘unacceptable’ to their deductions from the Qur’an and Sunnah as you shall see below.

Allah knows best.


Salafism and modernism are quickly gaining momentum in and around the Islamic world. Whilst many may agree that the views held by either group would be in direct contrast with each other, I beg to differ. A new brand of Salafism has emerged, showing us that the generic off-shoot combining salafi core principles with a modern ‘Islamic’ mix may well be a force to be reckoned with.

This generic mutant force has slowly crept into the world of the orthodox Muslim and is threatening the existence of the soon-to-be-extinct traditionalist follower. How, or why you ask? Well, my thinking is that this mutant force knows that the goal is ultimately what matters. It is no easy task to break down 1400 years worth of solid Islamic grounding and so the mutant force is keen on increasing its numbers rather than a total traditionalist-madhab-following mutiny.

Salafis have always maintained that their way is that of the ‘salaf’ (i.e. the pious predecessors) but I have noticed a re-branding of sorts, a change in direction if you must, of a salafi-modernist group intent on breaking down every little piece of Islam in the name of Islam and unity. The concept is catchy, I’ll give them that. It’s something like this:

Firstly, we break down the traditionalist core. The focus is no longer on smaller, meaningless issues. Whatever is in your control is a ‘small issue’. This would include: Islamic dressing, apparel, the hijab, the beard, music etc. Whatever is not in your direct control is an issue. For example: saving the people of Palestine, Islamic unity, peace and prosperity, gender equality etc.

Secondly, we unite and conquer. It does not matter whether our belief structure differs, if you give me a platform to spread my beliefs, I will align myself with you.

Thirdly, destroy all structured forms of belief. If you can read it and understand it yourself, you do not need to follow anybody. Moulanas/Muftis/Molvis/Mullahs who force you to follow a Madhab are evil. Madressahs finding their roots via a Deobandi framework are evil. Scholars from India who cannot speak English are uneducated, dumb or silly; in fact, anything remotely Indian is backward and oppressive, misogynistic and cruel.

Some would say overactive imaginations, arrogance perhaps or maybe a severe inferiority complex resulting from the chance that perhaps someone out there knows a whole lot more than you do and of course since you know how to Google, read a couple of translated works on an Islamic Science, this naturally would qualify you to become a scholar in your own right.

In this lies the danger of a true blindness. The traditionalists have fallen asleep only to wake up in a world where Muslims enjoy the integration of halaal and haraam, where everything is subject to debate and opinion and where anything goes. Naturally, all Muslims should be worried, right? The answer is no. There are very few Muslims who find this to be a problem. In any event, why would they?

The modern salafis are serving them guilt-free Islam on silver platters; and it’s working. The effect of labeling and judging has worked in reverse and those who call for the preservation of a true Islam MUST be labeled extremists or fundamentalists, crazy and oppressive. This is the modernist-salafi core. So where does modernism fit in? This aspect is a bit tricky to explain but I do hope you’ll bear with me.

A modernist thrives on a ‘non-judgmental’ and unified approach. Confrontation is a total no-no and moderation is key. Salafis have been able to implement these aspects quite effectively into their strategies. Basically, a Muslim is a Muslim is a Muslim so as far as the Salafis are concerned, there is no place for sectarianism or the following of Madhaahib in Islam. We are all Muslim and a Muslim does not judge.

Now that’s all well and good up until you come to a point where the stark reality smacks you in the face: There can be no Islam without judgment. Muslims are in a constant state of judgment. That is the purpose of our test in this world. We have to constantly re-evaluate our actions, perfect what is required of us as living and practising Muslims in the hope that we will pass the most important test we spend our whole lives preparing for. In order to pass the test, how can there not exist judgment? The Qur’aan judges, Allah Ta’ala judges, Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam passed judgment, the Shari’ah passes judgment, the Sahaabah radhiAllahu anhum passed judgment and the most noble and illustrious Scholars, Qaadhis and Jurists passed judgments.

But the notion of not being able to judge is a perfect shield for those who do not want to be judged.

The modern salafis also combine the non-judgmental approach in other areas of modern issues affecting Muslim. An apt example which comes to mind is the issue of Islamic apparel. Most modern Salafis belief that items such as a thaub are purely cultural and some even contest the validity of hijab. Other examples include religious entertainment such as the permissibility of musical instruments or the hosting of concerts/events attended by both males and females. Again, the main objective is to spread their word. These aspects tie in to modern salafi principles such as practicing moderation, keeping the ultimate goal in sight and increasing alliances.

Are we on a path to a new modern Islam? The answer is yes. The mutant salafi force emerging to break down the pillars of Islamic belief are creeping in from all angles and are picking away at the very foundations of Islam. They are emerging in their numbers and by branding the true followers of Islam as extremist fundamentalists, they serve as nothing more than a crusade against the vestiges of traditional Islamic beliefs.

May Allah guide us and protect us all

The Say What? column featured on Muslimality is meant to inspire, teach, engage debate or simply make you laugh. This column revolves around a variety of issues relating to Muslims in South Africa and Muslims around the world.

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