His Name and Lineage:
He was Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Ibn Nooh Ibn Aadam Najaatee, al-Albaani by birth, Ad-Dimashqee by residence and Al-Urdunee (from Jordan) due to his migration and place of death. He was born in Ashkodera, the capital of Albania, in the year 1332H (1914 C.E.) and it is to this country that he ascribes himself.
He was a Muhaddith (scholar of hadeeth), a Faqeeh (scholar of Fiqh), a caller to the Book and the Sunnah with the understanding of the Salaf As-Saalih (righteous predecessors). And he was a proficient writer and an expert scholar.
His father was Al-Hajj Nooh, from the major Hanafee scholars of his land. During the doomed secularist, Ahmad Zogu’s  reign of Albania there was severe oppression for the Muslims of that land. Because of this, Al-Hajj Nooh migrated with all of his children, which included Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen, fleeing for the sake of his religion to the land of Shaam. He traveled to Shaam due to what was reported in the prophetic ahaadeeth about its virtues and merits. And it is there that he and his family took residence. Fifty years later, the Shaykh (al-Albaani) migrated from here to ‘Amaan, the capital of Jordan. And it is in this city that he remained for the rest of his life as a scholar and teacher and a Faqeeh and educator.
His Educational Background and Teachers:
He received his education in a school, which was part of a relief shelter in Damascus, the capital of Syria. This school served as a place of refuge for seekers of knowledge for many previous generations. He benefited and learned from a number of Shuyookh and people of knowledge the likes of his father Al-Hajj Nooh, Sa’eed al-Burhaanee  and others.
Allaah made the science of the Prophetic Hadeeth beloved to him during the prime of his life and the early part of his youth. This was during the time when he would review articles written by Shaykh Muhammad Rasheed Ridaa in the magazine Al-Manaar, in which he would criticize weak narrations that Abu Haamid al-Ghazaalee mentioned in his book Ihyaa ‘Uloom-ud-Deen.
Shaykh Muhammad Raaghib aAt-Tabbaakh, the historian and Muhaddith of Halab (Aleppo), authorized him with an Ijaazah (certification) to teach his collection of narrations on trustworthy reporters, called “Al-Anwaar Al-Jaliyyah fee Mukhtasar Al-Athbaat Al-Halabiyyah.” This happened when he saw the Shaykh’s intelligence and extraordinary abilities and his brightness in comprehending and understanding,  as well as his strong desire to learn the Islaamic sciences and the knowledge of Hadeeth.
His Early Role in Da’wah and Effects on the Ummah:
He began writing and authoring books during the first stages of the second part of his life (i.e. after reaching middle age). One of the first books he wrote on Fiqh, which was based on knowing the evidences and using comparative Fiqh, was his book: “Tahdheer-us-Saajid min Ittikhaadh al-Quboor Masaajid” (Warning the Worshipper against taking Graves as a Place of Worship). This book was printed many times. And from his first books in which he referenced and checked hadeeth, was his book “Ar-Rawd-un-Nadeer fee Tarteeb wa Takhreej Mu’jam At-Tabaraanee As-Sagheer” (Blossoming Gardens: Arrangement and Referencing of the book Mu’jam As-Sagheer of At-Tabaraanee). This book is still in manuscript form and not printed.
The Shaykh was called and invited by many Islaamic universities and Muslim organizations around the world to take high positions with them, but he turned down most of them by making excuses due to his many preoccupations with regard to (acquiring and teaching) knowledge.
He was put in charge of teaching the subject of Prophetic Hadeeth in the Islaamic University of Madeenah at the time of its inception for the length of three years, beginning from the year 1381H. Because of him, this move had a great influence in bringing about a scientific and comprehensive revival of the subject of Hadeeth throughout the entire world – on all fronts. As for the official front, then this was by all the universities having a strong concern for that subject, such that they produced a hundred university treatises, which deal specifically with the Science of Hadeeth. As for the general nationwide front, then this was such that a large number of students of knowledge applied for studies in the Science of Hadeeth and specialization in that field. And this goes as well for all the other things that came as a result afterwards. So it became one of the Shaykh’s many effects.
One of the greatest proofs for this is the large amount of Hadeeth books, with checked and authenticated chains of narration, and written indexes for Hadeeth that exist today, a majority of which were not known in previous years. No one can deny this effect due to its clear and obvious nature – not even those who opposed the Shaykh and fought against his methodology.
The Scholars’ Praise for Him:
The senior scholars and Imaams of this time praised him and they would ask him questions, go to visit him, seek religious verdicts from him and exchange letters with him. And if they, may Allaah preserve those of them who are living and have mercy on those who have died, were to be counted, all of them would not be able to be accounted for.
At the head of them was the noble Shaykh and great scholar, ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn ‘Abdillaah Ibn Baaz,  for he had great esteem and profound respect for him. May Allaah have mercy on them both. 
Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez al-Hudda said:
“The Shaykh, the great scholar, the ocean (of knowledge), Muhammad Al-Ameen Ash-Shanqeetee (rahimahullaah) – the one whom no one’s knowledge of the Science of Tafseer and the Arabic Language was comparable to his during his lifetime – used to respect Shaykh al-Albaani so remarkably to the point that when he would see him passing by, and he was giving his class in the masjid of Madeenah, he would stop his class to stand and give Salaam to him out of respect for him.”
The great scholar, the teacher, Muhibb-ud-Deen al-Khateeb said:
“And from the callers to the Sunnah who devoted their lives to reviving it was our brother Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Nooh Najaatee al-Albaani.”
The great scholar Muhammad Haamid al-Fiqee (rahimahullaah) said:
“…the brother, the Salafee, the Scholar, Shaykh Naasir-ud-Deen.”
The former Muftee of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Ibraheem Aali Shaykh (rahimahullaah) said:
“And he is the upholder of the Sunnah, a supporter of the truth and an opposition to the people of falsehood.”
During his lifetime, the father, the Shaykh, ‘Abdul-’Azeez Ibn Baaz (rahimahullaah) said:
“I have not seen under the surface of the sky a person knowledgeable of the Hadeeth in our current time the likes of the great scholar, Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen al-Albaani.”
And he (rahimahullaah) was asked about the hadeeth of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam):
“Indeed Allaah raises up from this ummah at the beginning of every century someone who will revive it for them (i.e. a mujaddid).”
So he was asked who is the mujaddid of this century? He replied:
“Shaykh Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen al-Albaani. He is the mujaddid in my opinion and Allaah knows best.”
Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said:
“From what I came to know of the Shaykh through my gatherings with him – and they were few – was that he was very serious about acting upon the Sunnah and fighting against the innovations. And this was regardless of whether it was about the Belief or about actions. As for through my readings of his written works, then I have come to know that about him, and also that he possesses a vast amount of knowledge of Hadeeth, in terms of reporting them and investigating them. And Allaah has benefited many people through what he has written such as about knowledge, aspects of the Manhaj, and concern for the science of Hadeeth. And he has had an enormous influence on the Muslims, all praise be to Allaah.”
The great scholar, Shaykh Zayd Ibn Fayaad (rahimahullaah) said about him:
“Indeed, Shaykh Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen al-Albaani is from the most prominent and distinguished personalities of this era. He had great concern for the Hadeeth – its paths of transmission, its reporters and its levels of authenticity or weakness. This is an honorable task from the best things in which hours can be spent and efforts can be made. And he was like any other of the scholars – those who are correct in some matters and err in other matters. However, his devotion to this great science (i.e. of Hadeeth) is from that which requires that his prestige be acknowledged and his endeavors in it be appreciated.”
Shaykh Muqbil Ibn Haadee al-Waadi’ee (rahimahullaah) said:
“Indeed, there cannot be found an equal in terms of the knowledge of Hadeeth like that of Shaykh Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen al-Albaani. Allaah has given benefit through his knowledge and his books numerous times more than what has been accomplished by those zealots for Islaam who act upon ignorance – those who organize reformation and revolutionary movements. And that which I sincerely believe and am convinced about is that the Shaykh Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen al-Albaani is from the mujaddideen (reformers/revivers) whom the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) spoke the truth of when he said:
’Indeed Allaah raises up from this ummah at the beginning of every century someone who will revive it for them (i.e. a mujaddid).’ Reported by Abu Daawood and authenticated by Al-‘Iraaqee and others.”
The Basis of His Da’wah:
The students of the Shaykh – those who learned from him through the university or through his private gatherings of knowledge or through his written works – are many and widespread throughout all parts of the world, all praise be to Allaah. They are spreading the authentic knowledge and calling the people to the pure methodology with strength and firmness.
The Shaykh spent all of his life calling to Allaah upon sound proofs and evidences, basing his call on the methodology of Tasfiyah and Tarbiyah, which is based on knowledge and self-purification. So he was a noble instructor and a truthful educator (enforcing Tarbiyah).  By Allaah, we were brought up and raised tremendously by his methodology (manhaj), his agreeable countenance, his good manners, his high morals, his elevated character and his soft heart.
The Shaykh, may Allaah have mercy on him, had many praiseworthy characteristics. Among the most clear, manifest and highest of them was his profound precision with regard to knowledge, his diligence, perseverance, his tolerance (with others), his firmness upon the truth, his quickness to return to correctness,  his patience with the hardships of knowledge and Da’wah, and his taking of insults and harms for the sake of the Da’wah, bearing that with patience and consideration.
One of the greatest things that distinguished the Shaykh from many of his (Muslim) brothers amongst the people of knowledge was his strong support for the Sunnah and its adherents,  his firmness upon the methodology of the Salaf As-Saalih, his love for those who called to it, and his refutation against the deviants from all levels and various positions, with an extreme clearness and a rare clarity.
The Shaykh, rahimahullaah, received a tremendous acceptance from the righteous Muslims all over the world. He gained wide and vast fame and notoriety in all of the different regions of the world, even though he did not seek after it nor strive for it. On the contrary, he would run away and flee from it. And he would always repeat these words: “Love for fame will break one’s back.” May Allaah have mercy on him.
No one amongst mankind had a blessing or bounty over him in any of the worldly affairs. His knowledge was his mediator and his patience was his guide.  He was persistent (in his efforts), perseverant, patient, always struggling, earnest and hard working.
The Last Part of His Life:
The Shaykh, rahimahullaah, did not cease to be devoted to the knowledge, persistent in authoring works, diligent in teaching and educating until he reached the age of eighty-six. He did not stop authoring books, writing letters and doing referencing and checking of ahaadeeth – because of his heart’s attachment to that – until the last two months of his life, when he grew very weak. This was until Allaah took his soul in death right before sunset (Maghrib) on Saturday when eight days remained for the end of the month Jumaadaa al-Aakhira of the year 1420H (10/2/1999).
His Death and Its Effect on the Ummah:
The Shaykh’s Janaazah (funeral) prayer was performed on the evening of the same day that he died. Scores of people, whose number exceeded that of five thousand persons, prayed over him in a musalla (place of prayer). Despite the fact that his body was prepared, he was prayed over and then buried, his burial was completed at the earliest time possible, in compliance with his final Will, in which he encouraged that the prophetic Sunnah be adhered to and acted upon.
The scholars, students of knowledge and common people were all affected by his loss. When the news of his death was conveyed, he was remembered and praised by the high and respected people of knowledge, such as Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn ‘Abdillaah Aali Shaykh, Chief Muftee of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen, Shaykh ‘Abdullaah Ibn Jibreen, Shaykh Saalih Ibn ‘Abdil-‘Azeez Ibn Muhammad Aali Shaykh and others.
 I heard our Shaykh say many times, when mentioning this man’s name: ‘The one whom Allaah has caused his heart to go astray.’ You can find a biography of Ahmad Zogu in the book Al-Mawsoo’at-ul-‘Arabiyyah Al-Muyassarah (1/733).
 This is a refutation against those who claim that: ‘al-Albaani had no teachers (i.e. Shuyookh)’ or that ‘He studied the knowledge on his own!’
 In spite of this, there are some evil mischievous people today, who are guided by their desires and say about our Shaykh: ‘He was dumb and not able to understand.’ So what transgression do we find from these small ignoramuses and foolish people!
 The brother, Dr. Muhammad Lutfee As-Sabaagh, may Allaah grant him success, related to us that he heard Shaykh Ibn Baaz, rahimahullaah, say about our Shaykh: ‘I don’t know of anyone under the surface of the sky with more knowledge of the Hadeeth of Allaah’s Messenger than Shaykh Naasir.’ [See Ad-Dustoor Newspaper of Jordan (10/8/1999)]
 Translator’s Note: This section of the scholars’ sayings about al-Albaani was added from Al-Asaalah Magazine Issue 23, pg. 76-77.
 As for what some people relate from him that he, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: ‘I taught and I did not educate (using Tarbiyah)’, then he only said this out of humbleness and to suppress his soul. And even if this is not so, then I ask, is there anything besides knowledge that will purify and cultivate (Tarbiyah)? Is it only words and expressions?! Or is it purely passions and emotions?!
 There is no contradiction between these last two characteristics, as is made quite clear with the least bit of reflection. By Allaah, how many times have we seen the humility of our Shaykh while he listened to those lower than him in his gatherings In fact, he even asked some of his youngest students and sought explanations from them for aspects of knowledge that he had trouble with. And he would accept peoples’ arguments with open-mindedness. So he had no pride or haughtiness. We ask you, O Allaah, to rectify our hearts and to grant us refuge from the evils of our souls.
 The Shaykh handed me his introduction – written with his own hand – to the book Madaarik An-Nadhr fee As-Siyaasah of the brother, the Shaykh ‘Abdul-Maalik Ramadaanee – so that I can give it to him. In this introduction is found the Shaykh’s support for the book, according to the correct manner, and his aid for what clear truth is found in it. But in spite of this, we hear from some people that they have doubts about the Shaykh’s introduction (!) or they say that he wrote it before the book was put in order! So then what was it?! That book was the book itself, without any doubt about it! As for what was supplemented to it, then that was only to aid and support its original status – they were not additions that changed the books main ideas. So based on this, warning against this book and belittling its status is an injustice that is contrary to what is correct and it is in opposition to what our senior scholars and Shaykhs are upon.
 So what some people say to themselves or that which some of them whisper to others – that they share credit in the Shaykh’s fame or that they are responsible for people knowing him (!), then these are words, which the present situation and current conditions contradict and oppose.
The Scholar’s Praise of Al-Albaani
Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab
What They Said
“The Allaamah, the Shaikh, the Faqih, Abdul-Aziz ibn Baaz, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on him, said about Shaikh al-Albaani, ‘I have not seen under the surface of the sky a scholar of hadith in this time of ours like the Allaamah, Muhammad Naaasirud-Deen al-Albaani.’
And his eminence was asked about the saying of the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, “Indeed, for this nation, at the beginning of every one hundred years, Allaah sends someone who will renew its religion for it.” [Abu Dawud, Shaikh Al-Abaani declared it to be authentic]. So he asked, “Who is the reviver [mujaddid] of this century?” So he, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said, “Shaikh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, he is the reviver of this time in my opinion, and Allaah knows best.”
And he said in his Fatwas (25/71), “Shaikh Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani is from our very special and trustworthy brothers, well-known for his knowledge, excellence, and his care in checking the noble hadiths to see which are authentic and weak.”
And he said, “Shaikh Al-Albaani is well-known as being from the Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah and from the helpers of the Sunnah, and from the callers to the Sunnah, and from those who strive greatly [mujaahids] in the path of preserving the Sunnah.”
And he said about him in a letter which he wrote and sent on 2/5/1377ah [24/11/1957ce] to Shaikh Abdul-Fattaah al-Imaam, “I’d like that you pass on my greeting of salaam to those around you from the eminent Shaikhs and brothers, and I specifically mention from them our noble brother, and the one we love for the sake of Allaah, the Shaikh, the Allaamah, Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani.”
And he said, “The Shaikh is well-known with us for having sound creed [aqidah] and [a sound] biography, and for his continuation in calling to Allaah, the One free of all defects, along with the commendable efforts which he expends in [giving] care and attention to the noble hadiths, clarifying the authentic from the weak and fabricated, and all that he has written concerning that in his wide ranging works; [all of this] is work which is laudable and beneficial to the Muslims. We ask Allaah that He multiples his reward and aids him to continue progressing on this path, and that he couples his efforts with success from Him and prosperity.”
And he said, “And Shaikh al-Albaani, may Allaah grant him success, is well-known with us for having a sound creed and good biography, and aiding the madhhab of the Pious Predecessors and embracing it.”
And he said, “From our trustworthy, well-known brothers, from our good brothers, our companion and our brother, the Allaamah, the Shaikh, Muhammad Naasirud-Deen–and he is from the revivers [mujaddideen].”
And Shaikh Ibn Baaz along with his brothers, the Shaikhs from the The Standing Committee for Scholarly Research and Issuing Religious Verdicts, and they are the eminent shaikhs: Abdullaah ibn Qu’ood, Abdullaah ibn Ghudayaan, Abdur-Razzaaq al-Afeefi, said, “The man is well-known with us for knowledge, excellence, venerating the Sunnah and serving it, aiding the madhhab of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah in warning against bigotry and blind following, and his books are beneficial.” This occurs in the 12th volume from the Fatwas of The Standing Committee for Scholarly Research and Issuing Religious Verdicts, p. 224.
The Standing Committee for Scholarly Research and Issuing Religious Verdicts said, “As for the book Silsilah al-Ahadith ad-Da’eefah wal-Mawdoo’ah, then its author [i.e., Shaikh Albaani] is well-versed/read in hadith, strong in its critique and in passing judgement concerning its authenticity or weakness, and at times he has mistakes.”
And in one of Shaikh Ibn Baaz’s lessons, Shaikh al-Albaani’s checking of a hadith from his book Irwaa ul-Ghaleel was read to him, so when the person who was reading it out aloud finished, Shaikh Ibn Baaz, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, “If hadith checking [takhrij] is not like this, then there is none.”
The Allaamah, the one having expansive and abundant knowledge [al-bahr], the Shaikh, Muhammad al-Ameen ash-Shanqeetee, may Allaah have mercy upon him, the one who had no comparison in his time in the field of tafseer and language–used to honour and revere Shaikh al-Albaani to a very great extent such that as soon as he would see Shaikh al-Albaani passing by while he was giving his lesson in the Prophet’s Mosque in Medinah, Shaikh ash-Shanqeetee would cut off his lesson and get up and give salaam to the Shaikh, out of respect for him.
The Allaamah, the Shaikh, Muhibbud-Deen al-Khateeb, may Allaah have mercy on him, said about Shaikh al-Albaani, “From the callers to the Sunnah and those who gave their life working to revive it, and he is our distant brother, the Shaikh, Abu Abdur-Rahmaan Muhammad Naasirud-Deen Nooh Najaati al-Albaani.”
The Allaamah, the Shaikh, Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim Aal ash-Shaikh [the Mufti of Saudi Arabia before Shaikh Ibn Baaz] may Allaah have mercy on him, said, “And he is a companion of the Sunnah, an advocate for the truth, battling against the people of falsehood.”
The Allaamah, the Faqeeh, the Shaikh, Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said, “That which I know about the Shaikh through the times I met him, and they were few, is that he was extremely eager to act upon the Sunnah, and to fight innovations, whether they were in matters of creed or action.”
He also said, “I came to know this about him through what I read from his works, and that he has a copious amount of knowledge in hadith, their chains of narrations and the understanding taken from them, and that Allaah has benefitted many people through what he has written, as regards knowledge, methodology and turning to the science of hadith, and this is a great benefit for the Muslims, and all praise is due to Allaah.”
And he said, “As for verifying and checking, then how excellent he is [for you to recourse to].”
And one time he saw a cassette on which was written, “By the Muhaddith of Syria Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani.” So he said, “Rather the muhaddith of this age.”
And Shaikh Abdus-Samad Sharafud-Deen, one of the major scholars of India and the Shaikh of the Ahlul-Hadith there, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on him, said in a letter he wrote to him, “… and an inquiry has reached Shaikh Ubaidullaah ar-Rahmaani, the Shaikh of the Islamic University, i.e., the Salafi University in Banaras [India], from the Scientific Research and Religious Edicts committee [Daar Al-Iftaa] in Riyaad from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, about a hadith unusual in its wording and meaning, having a close connection to this age of ours–so the opinion of those present here from the scholars was united that the greatest scholar of the prophetic sayings in this time be referred to, and indeed that is Shaikh al-Albaani, the learned scholar [rabbaani, i.e., pious scholars who practice what they preach].”
The Allaamah, the Muhaddith, Hammaad al-Ansaaree, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on him described him as, “… possessing expansive knowledge in the science of hadith.” And in the year 1400ah [1979ce] the King Faisal Foundation wrote to Hammaad al-Ansaaree asking him who he nominates for the King Faisal Award for the Science of Hadith and its fields. So Shaikh Hammaad wrote to them saying that he nominates the Shaikh, the Allaamah, Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani. His son, Abdul-Awwal, mentioned this in Al-Majmoo fee tarjumah Waalidihi (2/598), and in it there also occurs, “My father said, ‘Al-Albaani used to be a hanafi, then he entered in to the [study of] the science of hadith until he reached its peak …”
And he said, “Shaikh al-Albaani studied knowledge fully.”
The Allaamah, the Shaikh, the Specialist [in many fields], Bakr Abu Zaid, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on him said in At-Tahdheer min Mukhtasaraat as-Saabooni fit-Tafsir, p. 41, “The manifestation of the knowledge of al-Albaani in the eyes of the people of knowledge, his aiding the Sunnah and the creed of the Pious Predecessors is an affair which none except an ignorant enemy disputes.”
And one time Shaikh Ahmad Shaakir and Shaikh al-Albaani were mentioned so he said about them, “The two venerable Shaikhs.”
And Shaikh Zaid ibn Abdul-Aziz al-Fayyaad, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, “Shaikh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani is from the distinguished, eminent authorities of this time, who devoted his attention to the sayings of the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم [hadith], and their paths of narration and narrators, and their grading in terms of authenticity or weakness–and this is lofty work, from the best of what hours are spent on and effort expended for. And he is like the other scholars in that they are correct and [also] make mistakes, but it is befitting that his excellence be known due to his devotion to this great [branch of] knowledge, and that he be thanked for his concern and care for it, and I ask Allaah to grant us and him success, and [to also grant it] to the scholars of the Muslims and [all the] Muslims in general.”
The Allaamah, the Muhaddith, our Shaikh Abdul-Muhsin al-Abbaad, may Allaah, the Most High, protect him and allow us to enjoy his company [his knowledge etc., by giving him a long life], said, “And al-Albaani is a magnificent scholar who served the Sunnah, and his creed [aqidah] is good and defaming him is not allowed.”
And he said, “Indeed he is the one all will miss, the great, famous scholar, the Shaikh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, may Allaah have mercy on him and forgive him. He has colossal efforts in serving the Sunnah, and in giving attention to the sayings of the Prophet of Allaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, clarifying the sources of those sayings and the books they are mentioned in, [also] clarifying their grade as to whether they are authentic or weak. His service to the Sunnah is well-known and he defended the creed of the Pious Predecessors and their methodology vigorously, no student of knowledge can suffice himself without referring back to his books and written works, for indeed they contain ample good, and in them is abundant knowledge, his written works are numerous and great, and most libraries will not be devoid of his books, or will at least have some of them, and he paid great attention to researching, writing, and referring back to the speech of the scholars and benefitting from them, and the passing away of scholars such as this is, in all reality, [the cause of] a great deficiency in the Muslims, and a calamity and a breach in the [affairs of the] religion.”
And he said, “Indeed these two scholars, i.e., Ibn Baaz and al-Albaani, are from the great scholars, [both] experts and verifiers, who paid exceptional care [to the affairs of religion] and who had very high aims. Each one of them had major efforts in aqidah, great good came about at their hands, and great benefit came to Islaam and the Muslims because of them, so may Allaah reward them with the best of rewards, and forgive them both, and overlook their faults.”
And he said, “So indeed he, in truth, is from the unrivalled scholars of this time, and [is from those] who expended great efforts in serving the Sunnah of al-Mustafaa, صلى الله عليه وسلم.”
And the Shaikh, the Allaamah, the Aider of the Sunnah, Humood ibn Abdullaah at-Tuwaijiri, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on him, said, “Al-Albaani now is an eminent authority on the Sunnah, slandering him is helping to slander the Sunnah.”
And when the King Faisal Award for Service to Islaam was mentioned to Shaikh Humood, he said, “Indeed Shaikh Naasir is the most deserving of those who receive it, due to his service for the Sunnah.”
And the Shaikh, the Allaamah, Abdul-Aziz Aal ash-Shaikh, the Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, may Allaah protect him, described him saying, “He aided the Sunnah in this age.” Shaikh Saalih ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan described him in the same way.
And the noble Shaikh, the Allaamah, Saalih ibn Abdul-Aziz Aal ash-Shaikh, may Allaah protect him said, “There is no doubt that the loss of the Allaamah Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani is a calamity, for he was one of the eminent authorities of the Ummah, and one of its hadith scholars [muhaddith], and through them, Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, protects this religion and spreads the Sunnah.”
And he also said, “Indeed the late Shaikh has huge achievements in aiding the Salafi creed and the methodology of the people of hadith, along with major, numerous works in serving the Sunnah, distinguishing the authentic sayings of the Prophet from the weak, صلى الله عليه وسلم. And his effect on the Islamic world has been enormous and he is regarded as one of the scholars of the Ummah due to his great and illustrious achievements.”
The Allaamah, the Muhaddith, the Shaikh, Ahmad Mu’abbad Abdul-Kareem, may Allaah the Most High protect him: I [i.e., Shaikh Mashhoor] heard him saying in the house of Shaikh Faalih as-Sagheer in Riyad after midday prayer on Monday 13/11/1327 which corresponds to 4/12/2007, “When I was in secondary school in 1958 I used to follow what the Shaikh, the Allaamah, al-Albaani would say about weak hadith in Al-Wa’ee al-Islaami al-Kuwaytiyyah. And at that time no one else had raised their head with this knowledge except for al-Albaani and Ahmad Shaakir.” And on the same day but in another sitting he said, “When I went to Jordan with Shaikh Mahmood al-Meerah we wanted to meet [Shaikh al-Albaani], in fact we requested that we visit Shaikh al-Albaani, but we were prevented from doing so.” And he said, “I was waiting for Shaikh al-Albaani to come to Riyad to get some treatment. So that I would get to meet the Shaikh, I was in constant contact with Shaikh Waleed ar-Rashoodee, the one who obtained the order for Shaikh al-Albaani to be allowed to receive treatment. But [in the end] the Shaikh never came!”
And the noble Shaikh Abdullaah ibn Abdur-Rahmaan al-Bassaam, a teacher at the Haram Mosque in Makkah and a member of the Committee of Major Scholars, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, “Today he is from the Imaams of this time. He exerted himself, his efforts and [spent] his wealth in service of the Sunnah.”
And the Shaikh of the Hanbalees, the Allaamah, Abdullaah ibn Abdul-Aziz ibn Aqeel said in Fathul-Jaleel, pp. 155-156, about Shaikh al-Albaani, “Al-Albaani is our Shaikh and teacher …”
And he was asked which books of today’s scholars should be read, so he mentioned a group of them and said, “And the books of Shaikh al-Albaani, and we hold that he is from the Imaams of the Sunnah, and from the major scholars of hadith [muhaddith], and he served hadith in a major way through his [written] works.” And then he was asked, “Some of them say, ‘Hadith can be taken from him but not fiqh.’” So he said, “It does not harm Shaikh al-Albaani if they say this, [it does not harm him if] one, two, ten or a hundred [people say this]. Shaikh al-Albaani is a scholar and his legacy is present and printed, mistakes do not harm him, is there anyone who doesn’t make a mistake? Is there anyone who doesn’t have mistakes and faults or errors? Perfection is for Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, and the just one is he who takes the good deeds of a person and the bad into consideration. How many books did he author? They come to a hundred.”
And when I [i.e., Shaikh Mashhoor] met Shaikh Ibn Aqeel in Ramadaan in 1428ah [September 2007ce] in Makkah al-Mukarramah I asked him about those who accuse Shaikh al-Albaani of having Irjaa, so he emphatically rejected that and said, “These people have no source and nothing to rely upon for what they say.” And in another sitting he said, “What is wrong with them that they accuse Shaikh al-Albaani of having Irjaa, here he is openly declaring that actions are part of eemaan!”
And Shaikh Andullaah ibn Sulaimaan al-Manee, the head of the Court of Cassation in Makkah and a member of the Committee of Major Scholars said, “The Muslims have been stricken with the loss of a great scholar from the Salafees, who played a strong role fighting innovations and misguidance and refuting its people with the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger. Let alone the prudent checkings and verifications his excellence had [written] in the path of purifying the Sunnah and making clear its authentic from its weak.”
And the noble Muhaddith, the explainer of Sunan an-Nisaa’ee, Shaikh Muhammad Ali Aadam, the Ethiopian [who is in Makkah now] said about al-Albaani, “And he has great authority in being acquainted with hadiths, the authentic from the weak, as his priceless books bear witness to, few are the ones who can come close to him in this time, [a time] in which ignorance about this noble branch of knowledge has become predominant.”
And I [i.e., Shaikh Mashhoor] heard Shaikh Fadl Ilaahi Dhaheer [Ihsaan Ilaahi Dhaheer’s brother] say in Riyad on the 13/11/1427ah [December 2006ce], “I saw light on the face of Shaikh al-Albaani.”
Shaikh Ahmad bin Yahyaa an-Najmee, said, “Shaikh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, the great hadith scholar [muhaddith], the famous scholar, author of beneficial works and valuable checkings, who settled in Syria, was Salafi in creed, and expended great efforts in checking and verifying [hadiths] which none can match, so may Allaah reward him with good.”
And Shaikh Muhammad ibn Lutfee as-Sabbaagh, may Allaah protect him said, “The Allaamah, the great scholar of hadith [muhaddith], the greatest scholar of hadith in this time, he devoted his life to serving the pure Sunnah, teaching, writing, checking and verifying.”
Shaikh Abdul-Kareem Zaidaan, may Allaah protect him said, “The muhaddith of this time, the Ustaadh, Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani.”
Shaikh Muhammad Haamid al-Faqee said, “The Salafi brother, the great researcher, the Shaikh, Naasirud-Deen.”
And Shaikh Muqbil ibn Haadi al-Waadi’ee said, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, “As for what follows: then I have been asked time and again about Shaikh Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, may Allaah protect him, so I say, as many of the Salaf would say when asked about someone who is greater in worth than the one asked, “I should not be asked about so and so! He should be asked about me …” Indeed no match can be found for Shaikh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, may Allaah the Most High, protect him, in [the field of] the science of hadith. And through his knowledge and books Allaah has [caused the Muslims to] benefit many, many times more than what those [people] zealous for Islaam have done upon [their] ignorance, the people of revolutions and [the people who want to] overthrow [governments]. And that which I believe and which I hold to be religion before Allaah is that the Shaikh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, may Allaah protect him, is from the revivers which the [following] saying of the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, applies to, “Indeed, for this nation, at the beginning of every one hundred years, Allaah sends someone who will renew its religion for it.” Reported by Abu Dawud and al-Iraaqi and others declared it to be authentic. [So] when you come to know that the Shaikh, may Allaah protect him, has no match in the knowledge of the Sunnah, what then do you think his rank is in understanding the texts? That which I know about him is that his understanding of the texts is like that of our major scholars of today, nevertheless I say as Imaam Maalik, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, “Everyone has their saying accepted and rejected, except for the companion of this grave,” i.e., the Prophet of Allaah, صلى الله عليه وسلم.”
Dr. Ameen al-Misree, may Allaah have mercy on him, past head of postgraduate studies at the Islamic University, said, “From the irritable things of this world is that the likes of us, those with doctorates, should be chosen to teach [the science of] hadith at the university when there is someone more worthy of that than us, someone whose students we are not even worthy of being in this knowledge, but [alas] such is the system and convention.” And Dr. Ameen al-Misree, may Allaah have mercy on him, used to always declare that Shaikh al-Albaani had more right and was more deserving of that position than him, and he would regard himself as a student of his.
And the Shaikh, the historian, the genealogist, Hamad al-Jaasir, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on him, said, “And I have come to know, in the city of Damascus, a number of great [people], those concerned with verifying the [Islamic] heritage … just as I knew Shaikh Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani through the many times I frequented the Dhaahiriyyah Library, for he was always there, and had written many of its indexes, and had excavated its rare manuscripts, and at the same time he used to work repairing watches, he had a small shop close to the door of the Amawi Mosque.”
And Shaikh Muhammad Tayyib Awkeej al-Yawsenri, teacher of tafseer, hadith and fiqh at the College of Theology at Ankara University in Turkey, and in the Higher Islamic Institute in the city of Konya , wrote a number of letters to the Shaikh in which he showed his admiration of the Shaikh and to ask him some questions. From them was a letter he wrote on the 7th Sha’baan , 1389ah [19th October 1969ce], saying, “His honourable eminence, the Allaamah, the great researcher, the eminent teacher, the respected Abu Abdur-Rahmaan Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, may Allaah protect him from all adversity, and benefit us with his knowledge, my esteemed teacher … I congratulate you on this great success of yours in the field of knowledge, may Allaah increase the likes of you in the Islamic world, I would love to be able to attain all of your priceless works, so if you could please ask your publishers to send them to me at my address, with thanks in advance.”
And Shaikh Ahmad Madhhar, head of At-Tamuddan al-Islaami in Damascus, was impressed by Shaikh al-Albaani’s knowledge and opened up the avenue to spread many of his calm, critical, articles in the magazine, not caring about the desire of many people who were against that, and he said, “Damascus recognised its greatest scholar of hadith in the Allaamah Badarud-Deen al-Husaini, then when Allaah caused him to die, the land was left void of an Imaam to whom attention could be turned in the science of hadith–except for an Arnaa’ooti youth, raised upon knowledge and piety, and who [indeed] was true to his name [i.e., Naasirud-Deen, ‘Aider of the Religion’], the Ustaadh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, known among the youths for his service to hadith and its sciences, and they gathered around him and he became well-known among them, and through his eloquence and his Arabic tongue, and the charm of his speech and the quality of his debates, he was able to appropriate an elite group [of people] to take from him and study with him.”
And the Shaikh, the Faqeeh, Muhammad al-Ameen, BuKhubzah, al-Hasani, al-Maghribi, said, “… I bear witness with the utmost truth and impartiality, and Allaah is the witness to what I say, that I have not seen amongst those of the scholars who I have met, and they are many, and from whom I took, anyone like Shaikh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen ibn Nooh Najaati al-Albaani al-Arnaa’ooti, in terms of his knowledge, his sincerity, his research in the sciences of hadith and its intricate details, his fairness in his research and debates, in addition to his behaviour which is similar to that of the Pious Predecessors [Salaf as-Saalih], I say this and I do not ascribe piety to anyone over and above what Allaah knows [about his true reality].”
Shaikh Muhammad Amaan ibn Alee al-Jaamee, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, “I have mentioned a number of times that I love Shaikh Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani and I hold him in high esteem, and truly, I ask Allaah to bear witness and then I ask all of you who are present to bear witness that I love his eminence, Shaikh Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani and I hold him in great esteem, and [that I hold] that he is from the people of knowledge and from the major scholars of hadith. So it is obligatory that we love the people of hadith and the people of knowledge, the people of excellence, we love and respect them.”
And Shaikh Saalih ibn Abdullaah ibn Humayyid [Imaam of the Haram] wrote to him saying, “The venerable father, the Muhaddith of Syria, in fact, the Muhaddith of the world in his time …”
And Shaikh Abu Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Aqeel adh-Dhaahiri wrote to him saying, “Our father, the Shaikh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, the one who is revered due to his knowledge and his firmness …”
And Shaikh As-Sayyid Saabiq wrote to him saying, “The scholar, the one who acts upon his knowledge, the scholar of hadith [muhaddith], the teacher …”
Here is a scan of the certificate of the King Faisal International Prize awarded to Shaikh al-Albaani in 1999:
Compiled from Juhood al-Imaam al-Albaani, Naasirus-Sunnah wad-Deen, fee Biyaani Aqeedatis-Salaf as-Saaliheen fil-Eemaani billaahi Rabbil-Aalameen, of Ahmad Saalih Hussain al-Jabboori, with an introduction by Shaikh Mashhoor ibn Hasan Aal Salmaan, pp. 18-25, and Al-Imaam al-Albaani, Duroos, wa Mawaaqif, wa Ibar, of Abdul-Aziz ibn Muhammad Abdullaah as-Sadhaan, pp. 217-228.
And here is what Shaikh Rabee al-Madhkhalee said about Shaikh al-Albaani (Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya):
Questioner: Is Shaykh al-Albaani at the head of the ahl-ul-Hadeeth of this time?
The Answer of the ‘Allaama al-Muhadith Rabia’ bin Hadi ‘Umair al-Madhkhalee HafidhAllaah, and May Allaah raise his grade in both worlds, was:
‘I swear by Allaah that this is what Shaykh Ibn Baaz and Ibn ‘Uthaymeen submit to, as do the other scholars who have spent time in his company. They submit to the fact that there is none that can be compared with him in hadeeth, never can any one be compared with him, actually, for many centuries no one has reached to where Shaykh al-Albaani has reached.
I hold the opinion, that in study of books, neither Ibn Taymeeyah, nor Ibn Hajr reached him in the study of books. As for memorization, then they memorized more than him, but as for study and research and working extremely hard in research then there is none in comparison to him.
He has offered a library for Islaam. The Islaamic Countries and their institutions fall short in offering this amount. Anyone who now writes about hadeeth has to refer back to this man.
This man was oppressed, and the Arabs never knew his reality. Allaah took this man from the heart of Europe and placed him in the Dhahireeyah library, the best library in the east, where he spent sixty years, and he put forward this great work. What did he get in return from us?
With sadness, the virtue of a people is only known by those who posses it. As for the scholars, they knew his virtue and they acknowledged that, such as the likes of Ibn Baaz, Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, and the scholars of Islaam other than them. The scholars of India and Pakistan and the Western Arab Regions and of other places knew the status of this man, from what he placed forward for this Ummah, in ‘Aqeedah, Manhaj and the service to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah – alayhi as-Salaat wa Salaam -, may Allaah have mercy on him, and reward him with goodness for the Deen of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Prophet – alayhi as-Salaat wa Salaam -, the reward for those who do good actions, and for those who gave a service to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah and His Deen. Naaam!
Taken from a gathering in the blessed city of Madina an-Nabaweeyah on the 26/01/1426 A.H.