|My Meeting with Shaykh Al-Albany|
Nabil Abu Gharbieh
In the Name of Allâh, the All-Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise be to Allah, and may His prayers and blessings be upon our Messenger Muhammad.
As-salâmu alaykum wa rahmutullâhi wa barakatu,
I pray Allâh blesses my intentions and accepts from me efforts and I pray that others may benefit from this e-mail.
Getting to the point, a week ago I just came back from a 3-month visit to Jordan. I can say that Allâh has blessed me in many ways with this trip. Once I was at Shaykh Ali at-Timimi's house for dinner and he advised me to travel. Brother Ali told me that scholars agree that travelling to different parts of the world really matures a human being and that he felt it was something I needed to do at my stage in life. I took it as sincere advise (nasîhah) but wasn't really serious about doing it. It turned out that Allâh has blessed me with the opportunity to go to Jordan as well as Saudi and Palestine. I can now honestly say for these three short months I have benefited in my life in many ways. I learned what I wanted in life, how serious of a Muslim I was or wasn't, how SINCERE I was or wasn't, and much much more.
But since this is not about me, this is the 2 cents I wanted to put in, in hopes others may benefit as well.
The part I really wanted to talk about is that I was blessed to meet Shaykh Nasruddîn al-Albânî. I had heard about him plenty of times before I meet him and had a general idea of who he was. I even had a physical characteristic in mind of how he might look. The brother, may Allâh preserve him, is over 90 years old. When I went to go meet him, I meet his sons and grandsons at the mosque (masjid) and they took me to their house. When I walked in the room he was in my heart pounded because in front of me was a full-blown scholar of Prophetic narrations (ahadîth), and I was in the same room. He put his pen down and looked up at me and it was like pure light (nûr) (my uncle said the same thing). He is medium height man with a white complexion and had blue eyes and a long greying (more white than anything) beard. He was skinny and didn't really look like he was sick as brothers told me he was. After he talked for a while you can tell that he was getting very tired however, and that's when it began to show.
It took me a second to stop saying to myself, "Wow, that's Shaykh al-Albânî," and start focusing on what he said. He sat in a desk kind of like in High School where the desk is attached to the chair and the desk is tilted a little, except this was a little bigger. Around him were many books at hand reach.
I was given only a five-minute appointment with him, as he doesn't take students of knowledge anymore. He focuses on finishing off as many books as possible before he dies, may Allâh preserve him and accept his deeds, amîn. The appointment went out to about 20 minutes from the mercy of Allâh.
He called his son to bring us water and we drank it. It was Zam-Zam water. The first thing I told him was that I loved him for the sake of Allâh and who I was. I told him that Shaykh Ja'far Idris and brother Ali al-Timimi had led me to him and that they loved him for the sake of Allâh, and he recognised both and returned his love and made supplication (du'â) for them both. (I think it was through these brothers that I was able to have an appointment with him). I then mentioned Dr. Salah as-Saawai and he did the same for him as well.
I told him the situation in America (from the Islamic perspective) as that communities were growing and he was pleased and made du'â for all the Muslims who were involved in it's work. He made du'â that Allâh will accept our sitting and that we all benefit (or something to that extent). He then said that the reason for this was because of a narration (hadîth) that Muhammad, peace be upon him, said "This affair (i.e., al-Islâm) will reach wherever night and day reaches."
He then said that there is another hadîth that says when people apply Islamic Law (ash-Sharî'ah), Muslims will conquer and when Muslims let go of ash-Sharî'ah the non-Muslims will conquer Muslims.
I asked him what is the easiest path to start gaining knowledge. He said that one should pick a particular school of thought (madhhab) and learn it's rulings. If you do not have access to that knowledge then pick the sunnah (as in pick up any book of ahadîth or any access to ahadîth and apply what you can).
Then he advised me to move back to a Muslim country and leave a non-Muslim ruled country. He said for one to go to America or any non-Muslim country for propagating Islâm (da'wah) he should posess the following:
And when one does this he should have the intention of leaving as soon as it is possible or when his task or project is completed. One should not have the intention of residing or investing on living there for many years to come or for the rest of their lives. These points are important because you don't want to go to a non-Muslim society to give da'wah and it is you and your family that now needs the da'wah.
Then he asked if the Muslims were all on the sunnah or were they deviated sects. I told that a lot of the sunni were there but there is a number of the sufiyyah, shi'ah, and others. He didn't comment but I asked him what should a person do to deal with the sects and he said, don't pay attention to them - they have a - a big propaganda to calling to their way. He said to refute them you need knowledge ('ilm) and a big tongue because they only argue a lot. So he said just leave it to the scholars and knowledgeable brothers to deal with. hujjah
We then closed off with some small topics and then he made du'â and said this is all I know and Allâh knows best. His sons and grandsons stood up and I took that as it's time to go. I kissed him on the head and made du'â for him and left.
There is so much I wish I could share as far as other experiences I even had the chance to meet some of his students all over Jordan. These brothers were on point. When we prayed an out loud prayer, nobody said "amîn" out loud until they heard the Shaykh say "amîn". In other words the Imâm would say al-Fâtihahwa la'd-dâllîn," nobody said anything for two seconds, then the Imâm would say amîn and the rest would follow. This shows how detailed and organized they were in their Islâm. But I think this is what I feel was important to get out to the brothers and sisters. So I'll just end here. and when he got to "
I pray Allâh blesses the Shaykh with the highest ranks of Paradise (Jannat ul-Firdous). I pray Allâh accepts what I have wrote, and that he forgives me and lets others by his Mercy benefit, and allows us to apply what we have learned. I pray Allâh perseveres and increases Shaykh Ja'far, Ali al-Timimi, Dr. Salah as-Saawai and other brothers who are helping teach the Muslims of America, and ANYTHING I have said that is wrong or not-beneficial is from the Devil (ash-Shaytân) and anything beneficial, and beautiful is from the All-Merciful, the Compassionate, the one who never dies.
And Allâh knows best.
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