Fatwa No : 86175
Sheikh al-Albani's classification of Hadith
Fatwa Date : Rajab 13, 1424 / 9-9-2003
Can we regard the classification of Hadith (i.e., Saheeh, Hasan, Gareeb- weak) given by Sheikh Nasir-ud-deen al-Albani as final so far as the books checked by Sheikh al-Albani are concerned?
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. Grading a Hadith as sound, good, weak or fabricated is not considered a final word except if entire Muslim Ummah agree upon a ruling, because the consensus of Muslim Ummah could not be rejected. Likewise, if a Hadith is Mutawatir then surely it will be correct and cannot be rejected. Other than the above two categories of Ahadith other rulings issued by scholars are not considered as a final word that could not be discussed. Such rulings are issued based on the Ijtihad of the scholars. So, if some scholars give a grade to a certain Hadith the others may disagree with them in their given rulings. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: If a judge gives a verdict according to the best of his knowledge and his verdict is correct (i.e. agrees with Allah and His Apostle's verdict) he will receive a double reward, and if he gives a verdict according to the best of his knowledge and his verdict is wrong, (i.e. against that of Allah and His Apostle) even then he will get a reward . [Reported by Imam al-Bukhari ] Therefore, a Muqallid (person who is not knowledgeable in religious matters and as a result follows the Fatwa given to him by any scholar) can accept and follow the rulings of Sheikh al-Albani concerning the Ahadith because he is among the known and famous scholars in the field of Hadith. All scholars also are agreed upon his mastery in this field. His final ruling about a Hadith approved by him is considered his final decision based on his knowledge and Ijtihad. However, if a person is capable and knowledgeable and can disagree with him based on sound reasons then he is liable to do so. Allah knows best.