Shaykh Al-Albaani's status among scholars of Hadeeth
Fatwa No: 137786

Question

Please inform me that which primary books of hadiths are commented for authenticity by Sheikh Albani apart from kutub al-sitta, Targeeb by Mundari, Adab by Bukhari and Mishkat. Does his book called Silsila As-Sahiha captures all the sahih hadiths collected from every single book of hadith present today? Is there any Hadith Scholar who collected all the sahih and hasan hadiths in one book ? which other hadith Scholars have written books like Silsila As-Sahiha? Do you think that the criteria of Sheikh Albani to authenticate the hadiths as sahih or Hassan is sound and correct as per kibar jarah-wa-ta’deel scholars like Dhahabi, Asqalani, Mizzi etc. What is the reason that some chains for Mudallas ravis are graded as sahih or hasan by Albani. For example hadith of Abdulla bin Masood for cancelling the rafa al-yadain before and after ruku. This chain has Sufyan which is mudallas ravi yet Sheikh Albani said it Hassan. Salam

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

First of all, this question is a big and complex question which can not be answered in a Fatwa. However, in general, we may say that Shaykh Naasir Ad-Deen Al-Albaani,  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him is considered among the unique contemporary scholars, particularly in the field of the science of Hadeeth, and he has his efforts in this regard for which he should be thanked. Indeed, we have already issued Fataawa 86175 and 86276 clarifying his status and excellence.

In general, Shaykh Al-Albaani,  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him follows the rules of Al-Jarh Wat-Ta’deel (Jarh means declaring someone's unreliability and Ta'deel means affirming someone's reliability) that are determined by the Muslim scholars and he did not innovate anything in this regard. However, when the Muslim scholars differed in opinion in regard to some of these rules, in addition to their difference in regard to the application of some of them, then Shaykh Al-Albaani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him made his own Ijtihaad (i.e. exerting his personal judgment) in which he may differ with others.

There is no doubt that Shaykh Al-Albaani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him edited a great encyclopedia that includes many Saheeh [authentic] Ahaadeeth and which he entitled "Silsilat Al-Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah". Indeed, we do not know any contemporary Muslim scholar other than him who gathered such Ahaadeeth like him. However, Shaykh Al-Albaani,  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him did not include in that book all the Saheeh Ahaadeeth.

As regards the Hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood,  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him about raising the hands in the prayer, then Shaykh Al-Albaani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him did not only classify it as Hasan; rather, he classified it as Saheeh. Indeed, he said in "Saheeh Abu Daawood": I said: The chain of narrators of this Hadeeth is Saheeh according to the condition of Muslim.” However, Abu Daawood who reported this Hadeeth considered it as Dha’eef [weak], and many scholars agreed with him about this as we will clarify. However, they do not have strong arguments about considering this Hadeeth as Dha’eef. Therefore, the truth is that this Hadeeth is Saheeh [authentic] as stated by Ibn Hazm in "Al-Muhalla" (4/88) and At-Tirmithi classified it as Hasan, as we will clarify.”

As regards Tadlees (i.e. a narrator reporting a narration from someone as if he heard it directly while in reality he did not), then Mudallisoon (the  narrators who did Tadlees) are not all in the same category; there are many categories of Mudallisoon which Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him had stated in his book "Categories of Mudallisoon". He described the Mudallisoon of the second category as follows: “People who might have done Tadlees, nevertheless the Imaams of Hadeeth have accepted their narrations and reported them in the books of the Saheeh Hadeeth because those Mudallisoon are great scholars who rarely did Tadlees such as Imaam Sufyaan Ath-Thawri  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him or because those Mudallisoon are like Sufyaan ibn 'Oyaynah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him who would never have done Tadlees except from a Thiqah (trustworthy) narrator, i.e. they never did Tadlees to cover up weak or rejected narrators." [End of quote]

Thus, a narrator being a Mudallis does not necessarily mean that the Hadeeth that he narrates is Dha’eef. In addition to this, Sufyaan Ath-Thawri  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him is not the only one who reported this Hadeeth from ‘Aasim Ibn Kulayb; rather, many other narrators reported it from him.

Allaah knows best.

 

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