Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani is the arch-innovator of the Wahhabi propagandists in our time. A watch repairman by trade, al-Albani is a self-taught claimant to hadith scholarship who has no known teacher in any of the formal Islamic Sciences and has admitted not to have memorized the Quran nor any book of ahadith, fiqh, ‘aqidah, usul, or grammar. He achieved fame by attacking the great scholars of the Ahlus-Sunnah w'al-Jama'ah and reviling the science of fiqh with special malice towards the school of his father who was a Hanafi jurist.
A rabid reviler of the Friends of Allah and the Sufi sheikhs, he was expelled from Syria, then Saudi Arabia and lived in Amman, Jordan, under house arrest until his death in 1999. He remains the Qibla of the People of Innovation, self-styled reformers of Islam, and other Wahhabi sympathizers, and the preferred author of book merchants and many uneducated Muslims. Most of the contemporary Sunni scholars warned of his heresy and many of them wrote articles or full-length works against him such as:
- The Indian ahadith scholar, Habib ‘Abdur-Rahman al-A`azami who wrote
- al-Albani Shudhudhuh wa Akhta'uh, al-Albani's Aberrations and Errors, in four volumes
- The Syrian scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Sa`id Ramadhan al-Buti who wrote the two classics,
- al-Lamadhhabiyya Akhtaru Bid`atin Tuhaddidu ash-Shari`a al-Islamiyya;
Not Following A School of Jurisprudence is the Most Dangerous Innovation Threatening Islamic Sacred Law
- as-Salafiyya Marhalatun Zamaniyyatun Mubaraka la Madhhabun Islami;
Way of the Early Muslims was a Blessed Historical Epoch, Not an Islamic School of Thought
- The Moroccan ahadith scholar, Sheikh ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn as-Siddiq al-Ghumari who wrote
- Irgham al-Mubtadi’ al-Ghabi bi Jawaz at-Tawassul bi an-Nabi fi ar-Radd
`ala al-Albani al-Wabi;
The Coercion of the Unintelligent Innovator with the Licitness of Using the Prophet as an Intermediary in Refutation of al-Albani the Baneful
- al-Qawl al-Muqni` fi ar-Radd `ala al-Albani al-Mubtadi`;
The Persuasive Discourse in Refutation of al-Albani the Innovator
- Itqan as-Sun`a fi Tahqiq Ma`na al-Bid`ah;
Precise Handiwork in Ascertaining the Meaning of Innovation
- The Moroccan ahadith scholar, Sheikh ‘Abdul-`Aziz ibn Muhammad ibn as-Siddiq al-Ghumari who wrote
- Bayan Nakth an-Nakith al-Mu`tadi;
The Exposition of the Treachery of the Rebel
- The Syrian ahadith scholar, Sheikh ‘Abdul-Fattah Abu Ghudda who wrote
- Radd `ala Abatil wa Iftira'at Nasir al-Albani wa Sahibihi
Sabiqan Zuhayr ash-Shawish wa Mu'adhirihima;
Refutation of the Falsehoods and Fabrications of Nasir al-Albani and his Former Friend Zuhayr ash-Shawish and their Supporters
- The Egyptian ahadith scholar, Sheikh Muhammad `Awwama who wrote
- Adab al-Ikhtilaf;
The Proper Manners of Expressing Difference of Opinion
- The Egyptian ahadith scholar, Sheikh Mahmud Sa`id Mamduh who wrote
- Wusul at-Tahani bi Ithbat Sunniyyat as-Subha w'ar-Radd `ala al-Albani;
The Alighting of Mutual Benefit and Confirmation that
the Beads are a Sunna in Refutation of al-Albani
- Tanbih al-Muslim ila Ta`adhdhi al-Albani `ala Sahih Muslim;
Warning to the Muslim Concerning al-Albani's Attack on Sahih Muslim
- The Saudi ahadith scholar Isma`il ibn Muhammad al-Ansar who wrote
- Ta`aqqubat `ala Silsilat al-Ahadith adh-Dha`ifa w'al-Mawdhu`a li al-Albani;
Critique of al-Albani's Book on Weak and Forged Ahadith
- Tashih Salat at-Tarawih `Ishrina Rak`atan w'ar-Radd `ala al-Albani fi Tadh`ifih;
Establishing as Correct the Tarawih Salah in Twenty Rak`at and
the Refutation of Its Weakening by al-Albani
- Ibahat at-Tahalli bi adh-Dhahab al-Muhallaq li an-Nisa' w'ar-Radd `ala al-Albani fi Tahrimih;
The Licitness of Wearing Gold Jewelry for Women Contrary to al-Albani's Prohibition of it
- The Syrian scholar, Sheikh Badruddin Hasan Diab who wrote
- Anwar al-Masabih `ala Zhulumat al-Albani fi Salat at-Tarawih;
Illuminating the Darkness of al-Albani over the Tarawih Prayer
- Director of Religious Endowments in Dubai, Sheikh `Isa ibn `Abdullah ibn Mani` al-Himyari who wrote
- al-‘Ilam bi Istihbab Shadd ar-Rihal li Ziyarati Qabri Khayr al-Anam;
The Notification Concerning the Recommendation of Travelling to Visit
the Grave of the Best of Creation
- al-Bid`ah al-Hasanah Aslun min Usul at-Tashri`;
The Excellent Innovation is One of the Sources of Islamic Legislation
- Minister of Islamic Affairs and Religious Endowments in the joint nation of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khazraji who wrote the article
- al-Albani Tatarrufatuh;
al-Albani's Extremist Positions
- The Syrian scholar Sheikh Firas Muhammad Walid Wais in his edition of
- Imam ibn al-Mulaqqin's Sunniyyat al-Jumu`ah al-Qabliyya;
The Sunnah Prayers That Must Precede Salah al-Jumu`ah
- The Syrian scholar, Sheikh Samir Islambuli who wrote
- al-Ahad, al-Ijma`, an-Naskh
- The Jordanian scholar, Sheikh As`ad Salim Tayyim who wrote
- Bayan Awham al-Albani fi Tahqiqihi li Kitab Fadhl as-Salat `ala an-Nabi;
False Declarations of al-Albani in His Investigations into the Book of Obligatory Prayers upon the Prophet.
- The Jordanian scholar, Sheikh Hasan `Ali as-Saqqaf who wrote
- Tanaqudhat al-Albani al-Wadhiha fi ma Waqa`a fi Tashih al-Ahadith wa Tad`ifiha min Akhta' wa Ghaltat;
Albani's Patent Self-Contradictions in the Mistakes and Blunders He Committed While Declaring Ahadith to be Sound or Weak
- Ihtijaj al-Kha'ib bi `Ibarat man Idda`a al-Ijma` fa Huwa Kadhib;
The Loser's Recourse to the Phrase: `Whoever Claims Consensus Is a Liar!’,
- al-Qawl ath-Tabtu fi Siyami Yawm as-Sabt;
The Firm Discourse Concerning Fasting on Saturdays
- al-Lajif al-Dhu`af li al-Mutala`ib bi Ahkam al-‘Itikaf;
The Lethal Strike Against Him Who Toys with the Rulings of ‘Itikaf
- Sahih Sifat Salat an-Nabi;
The Correct Description of the Prophet's Prayer
- ‘Ilam al-Kha'id bi Tahrim al-Qur'an `ala al-Junub wa al-Ha'idh;
The Appraisal of the Meddler in the Interdiction of the Qur'an to those
in a State of Major Defilement and Menstruating Women
- Talqih al-Fuhum al-`Aliya;
The Inculcation of Lofty Discernment
- Sahih Sharh al-`Aqida at-Tahawiyya;
The Correct Explanation of at-Tahawi's Statement of Doctrine.
al-Albani's innovations in the religion were many. Below are some of them:
- In his book, Adab al-Zafaf, he prohibits women from wearing gold jewelry, despite the ijma’ permitting it.
- He claims that Zakat is not due on money obtained from commerce, the main activity whereby money circulates among Muslims.
- He absolutely prohibits fasting on Saturdays.
- He prohibits ‘itikaf in any but the Three Mosques.
- He claims that it is lawful to eat in Ramadhan before maghrib as defined by the shari’ah, and similarly after the true dawn.
- He compares Hanafi works of fiqh to the Gospel in his commentary of Imam al-Mundhiri's book Mukhtaswar Sahih Muslim, 3rd Edition (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1977, p. 548).
This phrase was removed from later editions.
- He calls people to imitate him rather than the a’immah of the salaf such as the founders of the four madhahib, and his followers invalidate the ahadith that contradict his views.
- He prohibits the makeup performance of prayers missed intentionally.
- He claims that it is permissible for menstruating women and those in a state of major defilement, junub, to recite, touch, and carry the Qur'an.
- He claims over and over that among the innovations in religion existent in Medina is the existence of the Prophet's grave in Masjid an-Nawabi.
- He claims that whoever travels intending to visit the Prophet or to ask him for his intercession is a misguided innovator.
- He claims that whoever carries dhikr-beads in his hand to remember Allah is misguided and innovating.
- He invented a location to Allah above the Throne for which he innovated a new name al-makan al-`adamî, "the non-existent place."
- He claims in Tamam al-Minna that masturbation does not annul one's fast.
- He published "corrected" editions of Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, which he deceitfully called ‘abridgments,' mukhtasar, in violation of the integrity of these mother books.
- He published newly-styled self-altered editions of Imam al-Bukhari's al-Adab al-Mufrad,
Imam al-Mundhiri's at-Targhib w'at-Tarhib, and Imam as-Suyuti's al-Jami` as-Saghir, each of which he split into two works, respectively prefixed Sahih and Da`if in violation of the integrity of these mother books.
Sheikh Nasiruddin Albani said, among many things,
"Many of those who interpret figuratively [the Divine Attributes] are not heretics (zanadiqa), but they say what heretics say; figurative interpretation is the very same as nullification (at-ta'wil `ayn at-ta`til)."This is found in Fatawa (p. 522-523) and Mukhtaswar al-`Uluw (p. 23f.).
He suggests that Imam al-Bukhari is a disbeliever for interpreting the Divine Face as Dominion or Sovereignty (mulk) in the Verse:
...Everything will perish except His Face...
In the Book of Tafsir in his Sahih, Imam al-Bukhari wrote,
"Except His Wajh means except His Mulk, and it is also said:Albani blurts out,
Except whatever was for the sake of His Countenance."
"No true believer would say such a thing.[Fatawa p. 523]
We should consider al-Bukhari innocent of that statement."
In imitation of the Mu`tazila, he declared tawassul, istighatha and tashaffu` through the Prophet or one of the Awliya’ harâm and tantamount to shirk in his booklet at-Tawassul. His friends, Sheikh ibn Baz and those who obey them such as al-Qahtani in al-Wala' wa al-Bara' and others did so. This is in flat rejection of the numerous sound and explicit narrations to that effect, such as Imam al-Bukhari's narration of the Prophet from ibn `Umar:
"Truly the sun shall draw so near on the Day of Resurrection that sweat shall reach to the mid-ear, whereupon they shall ask (istaghathu) help from Adam, then from Moses, then from Muhammad who will intercede (fa yashfa`u)... and that Day, Allah shall raise him to an Exalted Station, so that all those who are standing [including the unbelievers] shall glorify him (yahmaduhu ahlu al-jam`i kulluhum)."
al-Albani denies that the name of the Archangel of Death is `Azrâ'îl and claims such a name has no basis other than Israelite reports, although Qadhi `Iyadh reports the ijma’ of the ummah on it in ash-Shifa'.
Akin to the rest of the Wahhabi innovators, he declares Ash`aris, Maturidis, and Sufis to be outside the fold of the Ahlus-Sunnah w'al-Jama'ah and even outside the fold of Islam, although Allah and His Prophet praised them.
O ye who believe! If any from among you turn back from his Faith, soon will Allah produce a people whom He will love as they will love Him ― humble with the Believers, mighty against the Rejecters, fighting in the Way of Allah, and never afraid of the reproaches of such as find fault.
That is the Grace of Allah, which He will Bestow on whom He pleases:
Allah encompasses all and He knows all things.
Upon the Revelation of the above Verse, the Prophet pointed to Abu Musa al-Ash`ari and said:
"They are that man's people."This is narrated from Qadhi `Iyadh by Imam ibn Abi Shaybah and al-Hakim who said it is sahih by Imam Muslim's criterion, and by Imam at-Tabarani with a sound chain as stated by al-Haythami.
Imam al-Qushayri, Imam ibn `Asakir, Imam al-Bayhaqi, Imam ibn as-Subki, and others said that the followers of Imam Abul-Hasan al-Ash`ari, who were mostly Sufis, are included among Abu Musa's people, for in every place that a people are affiliated to a Prophet, what is meant is the followers of that Prophet.
As for Maturidis, they are referred to in the narration of the Prophet from Sheikh Bishr al-Khath`ami or al-Ghanawi with a sahîh chain according to Imam al-Hakim, Imam adh-Dhahabi, Imam as-Suyuti, and Imam al-Haythami:
"Truly you shall conquer the city of Constantinople and truly what a wonderful leader will her leader be [Mehmet Fatih Sultan], and truly what a wonderful army will that army be!"Both the leader and his army were classic Hanafi Maturidis and it is known that Mehmet Fatih loved and respected Sufis, practiced tawassul and followed a sheikh. Moreover, enmity against Ash`aris, Maturidis, and Sufis, is nifaq and enmity against the Ummah of Islam as most of the ‘ulama of Islam are thus described.
In at least five of his books, Sheikh al-Albani calls for the demolition of the Green Dome of the Prophet's Mosque in al-Madina al-Munawwarah and for taking the Prophet's grave outside the Mosque. This is found in Ahkam al-Jana'iz wa Bida`uha, Talkhis Ahkam al-Jana'iz, Tahdhir as-Sajid, Hijjat an-Nabi, and Manasik al-Hajj w'al-`Umrah.
"I have found no evidence for the Prophet's hearing of the salaam of those who greet him at his grave. I do not know from where ibn Taymiyyah took his claim that he hears the salaam from someone near."This and the previous item are among his greater enormities and bear the unmistakable signature of innovation and deviation. Sheikh ibn Taymiyyah wrote such in Majmu`a al-Fatawa (27:384). This claim of al-Albani is found in his notes on Sheikh Nu`man al-Alusi's al-Ayat al-Bayyinat (p. 80) and his Silsila Da`ifa (#203).
He considers it an innovation to visit relatives, neighbors, or friends on the day of Eid and prohibits it. This is found in Fatawa (p. 61-63).
He gave the fatwa that Muslims should exit Palestine en masse and leave it to the Jews as it is part of, what he calls, the Abode of War, Darul-Harb. This is found in Fatawa (p. 18).
He advocates in his Salawat an-Nabi, the formula "Peace and blessings upon the Prophet" instead of the traditional "upon you, O Prophet" in the tashahhud in contradiction of the four madhahib, on the basis of a hadith of ibn Mas’ud whereby the companions used the indirect speech formula after the passing of the Prophet. However, the Prophet himself instructed them to pray exactly as he prayed saying "Peace and blessings upon you, O Prophet" without telling them to change it after his death, nor did the major companions whose sunnah we were ordered to imitate together with that of the Prophet, such as Abu Bakr and `Umar, teach the companions and successors otherwise.
He prohibits praying more than eleven rak`at in salatul tarawih on the grounds that the Prophet never did and in blatant rejection of his explicit command to follow the sunnah of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs after him.
He declares in Fatawa (p. 315-316) that adding more to eleven supererogatory rak`at in the tahajjud is an innovation rather than an act of obedience on the grounds that the Prophet "never ever prayed one hundred rak`at in his whole lifetime" although the ‘ulama agree that there is no prescribed limit to something which the Prophet commanded without specifically quantifying it, and he said in three authentic narrations:
- Narrated as part of a longer hadith from Thawban with sound chains by Imam ibn Majah and Ahmad. Imam Malik cites it in his al-Muwatta that the Prophet said,
"Know that the best of your good deeds is prayer."
- As part of a longer hadith narrated from Abu Malik al-Ash`ari and Ka`b ibn `Asim by Imam Muslim, Tirmidhi, an-Nasa'i, ibn Majah, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and ad-Darimi as either hasan or sahîh, the Prophet said, "Prayer is a light."
- Narrated from ibn `Umar in the Nine Books, the Prophet said, "The night prayer is in cycles of two and when one of you fears the rising of the dawn, let him pray a single one."
It is also established in many authentic narrations collected by Imam `Abdul-Hayy al-Laknawi in the second part of his Iqamat al-Hujja `ala Anna al-Ikthar min at-Ta`abbudi Laysa bi Bid`ah that the companions and salaf prayed hundreds if not thousands of rak`at in every twenty-four hours.
al-Albani considers it an innovation to pray four rak`at between the adhan of Jumu`ah and the adhan before salah, although it is authentically narrated that "the Prophet prayed four rak`at before Jumu`ah and four rak`at after it," with a fair chain from Imam ‘Ali and ibn `Abbas as stated by Imam al-‘Iraqi in Tarh at-Tathrib (3:42), Imam ibn Hajar in Talkhis al-Habir (2:74), and Imam at-Tahanawi in ‘Ila' as-Sunan (7:9).
He declares in Fatawa (p. 53), that it is haram and an innovation to lengthen the beard over a fistful's length although there is no proof for such a claim in the whole shari’ah and none of the ‘ulama ever said it before him.
He gives free rein to his propensity to insult and vilify the ‘ulama of the past as well as his contemporaries. As a result it is difficult to wade through his writings without being affected by the nefarious spirit that permeates them. For example, he considers previous editors and commentators, learned scholars, of Imam al-Bukhari's al-Adab al-Mufrad, Book of Manners "sinful," "unbearably ignorant," and even "liars" and "thieves." Of one he says:
"There are so many weak hadith [in his choice] that it is an anti-Islamic practice."Of another he says:
"It is ignorance which must not be tolerated."And of another he says:
"Forgery and an open lie... His edition is stolen [from a previous one]."All this from his Sahih al-Adab al-Mufrad (Introduction, p. 15, 20, 26). Such examples actually fill a book compiled by Sheikh Hasan `Ali as-Saqqaf and titled Qamus Shata'im al-Albani wa Alfazhihi al-Munkara al-Lati Yatluquha `ala `Ulama' al-Ummah, Dictionary of al-Albani's Insults and Heinous Words He Uses Against the Communal Scholars.
al-Albani revived Sheikh ibn Hazm's anti-madhhabî claim that differences can never be a mercy in any case but are always a curse on the basis of the verse:
Do they not ponder on the Qur'an? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy.In as-Silsila ad-Da`ifa (1:76 #57), Imam an-Nawawi had long since refuted this view in his commentary of the book Sahih Muslim where he said:
"If something is a Mercy, it is not necessary for its opposite to be the opposite of Mercy. No-one makes this binding and no-one even says this, except an ignoramus or one who affects ignorance."Similarly, Imam al-Munawi said in Faydh al-Qadir,
"This is a contrivance that showed up on the part of some of those who have sickness in their heart."
In his introduction to Imam as-San`ani's Raf` al-Astar (p. 24-25), al-Albani expresses hatred for those who read Imam al-Busiri's masterpiece, Qasida al-Burda, and calls them cretins, mahabil. This would encompass millions of Muslims past and present including the likes of Imam ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Imam as-Sakhawi and Imam as-Suyuti who all included it as required reading in the Islamic curriculum.
al-Albani perpetuates lies if they detract from Ash`ari’s, such as his remark that Imam Sayfuddin al-Amidi did not pray, in his notes to Imam Nu`man al-Alusi's al-Ayat al-Bayyinat (p. 88) although Dr. Hasan ash-Shafi`i in his massive biography entitled al-Amidi wa Ara'uhu al-Kalamiyya showed that the story that Imam al-Amidi did not pray was a forgery put into circulation during the campaign waged by Imam ibn as-Salahuddin al-Kurdi against him for teaching logic and philosophy in Damascus.
He perpetuates, in Mukhtaswar al-`Uluw (p. 277), the false claim first made by Munir Agha the founder of the Egyptian Salafiyya Press, that Imam Abu Muhammad al-Juwayni, the father of Imam al-Haramayn "repented" from Ash`ari doctrine and supposedly authored a tract titled Risala fi Ithbat al-Istiwa' wa al-Fawqiyyah, Epistle on the Assertion of Establishment and Aboveness. This spurious attribution continues to be promoted without verification, for obvious reasons, by modern-day Salafis who adduce it to forward the claim that Imam al-Juwayni embraced anthropomorphic concepts. The Risala in question is not mentioned in any of the bibliographical and biographical sources nor does Imam adh-Dhahabi cite it in his encyclopedia of anthropomorphic views entitled al-`Uluw. More conclusively, it is written in modern argumentative style reflecting contemporary anthropomorphic obsessions.
He derides the fuqaha of the ummah for accepting, in their massive majority, the hadith of Mu`adh ibn Jabal on ijtihad as authentic then rejects the definition of `ilm in Islam as pertaining to fiqh but claims that it pertains only to hadith, although the ‘ulama of the salaf explicitly said that a hadith master without knowledge of fiqh is a misguided innovator. This is found in his notes on Imam al-Qasimi's al-Mash `ala al-Jawrabayn (p. 38). And he defines the `alim in Tahrim Alat at-Tarab (p. 160) as "meaning, of course, the Salafi `alim, not the `Khalafi Ghazali'!"
Imam al-Qurtubi, in his Tafsir (7:191) said,
"One of the knowers of Allah said: A certain group that has not yet come up in our time, but shall show up at the End of Time, will curse the scholars and insult the jurists."
— Sheikh Dr. Gibril Fouad Haddad, transmitted via Terence Helikaon Nunis of A Muslim Convert Once More