By The Muhaddith, Shaykh, Allamaa’
Muhammad Nasiruddeen al-Albaani
Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya
The following is a summary of what the Shaykh al-Albaani (d. 1420 A.H.) said in the introduction to a book entitled ‘Bidaytus – Sooli Fee Tafdeel Rasool -salAllaahu ‘alaihi wassalam as-Sharraffa wa Karrama’:
‘Indeed I firmly believe that it is upon every Muslim who is sincere in his Islaam, to familiarize himself abundantly with a good amount of manners, which Allaah has honoured His Prophet with, in addition to the virtues that Allaah placed upon the Prophet in order for him to excel above all the worlds, from the Jinn and all of mankind altogether, rather even above those Angels who are close to Allaah Ta’ala.
This familiarization can be attained through the established evidences from the Book and the Sunnah, researching them and having the correct understanding of them, because indeed that is what will, – without any doubt – increase the Muslim in Eemaan, and sincere love for the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.
This Love for the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam which is a primary principle that becomes firm in the heart of the believer is also connected to the love of AllaahTa’ala, Who out of His Excellence sent us His Messenger, and blessed us – and Allaah Posses all blessings – with the Messenger.
Allaah Tabarak wa Ta’ala said:
<< He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger from among themselves, reciting to them His Verses, purifying them, and teaching them the Book and Al-Hikmah (As-Sunnah). And verily, they had been before in manifest error >>
And this is why the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said:
‘There are three characteristics, whoever has them finds the sweetness of Eemaan: that Allaah and His Messenger are more beloved to him than other than them; that when he loves a person he loves him only for Allaah’s sake and that he hates to return to disbelief after Allaah has saved him from it just as he hates to be thrown into the Hell-Fire.’
And this love continues to rise in his heart until the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, becomes more beloved to him, more beloved than every respected person he knows.
As the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said:
‘None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his son, his father and all mankind.’
Know O brother Muslim, that it is not possible for anyone to rise to this level of love for Allaah and His Messenger except with the Tawheed of Allaah Ta’ala in His worship Alone [rather than to any other than Him]. And singling out the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, by following him from amongst Allaah’s slaves, due to the saying of Allaah Ta’ala:
<< He who obeys the Messenger, has indeed obeyed Allaah >>
and His saying:
<< Say: ‘If you (really) love Allaah then follow me, Allaah will love you>>
The Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, said:
‘No, by Him in Whose Hand is my soul, even if Moosa was alive today he would have no recourse except to follow me.’
I (Albaani) say: so if it is not granted even for the likes of Moosa whom Allaah spoke to, to follow other than the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, then would it be granted for anyone other than Moosa?
This is from the unequivocal/absolute proofs of the obligation of singularly following the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam. It is from the necessities of the testimony of ‘Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah.’ And this is why Allaah Tabarak wa Ta’alastated it in the preceding Ayah, that following the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- alone is a proof of Allaah loving a person. And there is no doubt that whoever is loved by Allaah, then Allaah will be with him in all that he does, as is mentioned in the authentic hadeeth al–Qudsi:
‘And My slave does not come closer to Me except with that which is more beloved to Me than what I have made obligatory upon him, My slave continues to come closer to Me with the optional deeds until I love him, if I love him I will be his hearing with which he hears, and the sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips and the leg with which he walks, and if he asks Me I will definitely give it, and if he seeks refuge then I will definitely give him sanctuary . . .. ’
If this is the divine concern that Allaah has for his beloved slave, then it is obligatory upon every Muslim to take those means which make him more beloved to Allaah. And this is done by no other way than singularly following the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– as opposed to anyone else. Only by doing this alone will one be granted the special concern from ones Master [Allaah] – Tabaarak wa Ta’ala –do you not see that there is no path to knowing that which is obligatory and distinguishing that from optional worship except by following the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- alone?
There is no doubt, that when a Muslim becomes more knowledgeable about the biography of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, and knows more of his beautiful qualities and his excellence, then his love for the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– would be more, and thus his following of him -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- would be more extensive and more comprehensive.
What drove me to research and distribute this blessed booklet was for me to help my Muslim brothers.
In reality my only goal in this life, after fulfilling the obligatory rights that Allaah has upon me, is to familiarize the Muslims through educating, lecturing and writing about the authentic Seerah of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, from all its different angles according to my capability. And to encourage them to take the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- as the only example to be followed, just as Allaah Ta’alaencouraged them in doing so, in His saying:
<< Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allaah and the Last Day and remembers Allaah much. >>
and therein lies their happiness in the Dunyaa and the Hereafter.
The last piece of work that I worked on was about a year ago (1401 A.H.) when I summarized the book ‘Shammail al-Muhammadeeyah’ by Imam Tirmidhi. I distinguished between the hadeeth being Saheeh and Da’eef by commenting upon them, this was while I was staying in my new place of migration ‘Amman’ [capital of Jordan], during a time of afflictions that interrupted me, simultaneously I was preoccupied with buying land and building my home. After staying there for a few months, an event caused disruption resulting in my leaving my home and my family and travelling to the first place I migrated to: ‘Damascus’ where I went back and stayed for two days, and then from there to Lebanon in spite of a lot of turmoil and chaos making it a difficult place to reach.’
The Shaykh continues:
‘Indeed I then preceded to complete this book [‘Bidaytus – Sooli Fee Tafdeel Rasool -salAllaahu ‘alaihi wassalam as-Sharraffa wa Karrama’] despite great problems during this work, and with very upsetting news which caused me much pain, namely the death of my elder brother Muhammad Naajee Abu Ahmad during the season of Hajj, I continued completing this book whilst seeking mercy for my brother, being patient upon this affliction, due to his death. He was the best of my brothers and was the most sincere towards me, and the strongest from amongst them in response to my Dawa’ and he held a great concern for it. He was enthusiastic in calling to the Dawa’ may Allaah Ta’ala bestow his abundant mercy upon him. We were patient, my brothers and his children and his grandchildren and his in-laws with this affliction. May Allaah grant them someone good as he was a good predecessor for them, may Allaah gather us all with him under the banner of the master/leader of the son of Adam, Muhammad -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- <<The Day when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children But only one who comes to Allah with a sound heart.>> [26:88-89] and indeed we belong to Allaah and indeed to him is our return. O Allaah reward me for my affliction and compensate it for me with better than that. O Allaah forgive Abu Ahmad and raise his rank amongst those who were guided to Islaam to the best of creation (the Prophet), and place someone to look after those still alive after him, and forgive us and him O Lord of all the worlds, and make his grave spacious for him, and make light in there for him.
Indeed I have digressed a lot from what we were dealing with. Everything that happens to humans is protection under the Will of Allaah and His Compassion, so we return to what we were discussing, so I say:
If you can comprehend that which has preceded in that Allaah’s Love cannot be attained except by following His Prophet, you should therefore be concerned with following his Sunnah, and one should spend in that cause, strive with oneself completely. He should not be deceived by that which some of the deceived, misguided people are upon, from amongst the Soofeeyah and frivolous people, those who have taken their religion to be play and amusement, with an–Nasheed (songs) and tunes. By which they claim that they please Muhammad -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallamwith that which they call ‘religious an–Nasheed’ and they play them constantly for theirDhikr (meetings for remembrance of Allaah) and in their gatherings, which they organize on innovated Eids like the Eid of Mawlid (celebrating the Prophet’s birth) etc.
Indeed they are –and I swear by Allaah– clearly misguided, and are deviated from the truth. How can they not be in clear misguidance since they have mixed up the Deenwith false amusements, and they have blindly copied shameless singers, with their rhythmical musical tunes, and they adhere to this in their Soofi paths which kill the hearts, and divert them from the remembrance of Allaah and the recitation of the Qur’aan. The Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said:
‘He is not from us who does not recite the Qur’aan in a beautiful way.’
And this is especially because they add singing to musical instruments and clapping thus completing the resemblance between the two different groups. That is then broadcasted by some foreign radio stations, not only the Arab radio stations. Trying to please the people in the name of Dhikr (remembrance of Allaah) or religious an–Nasheed! And regretfully some of the religious radio stations have began to follow their footsteps for which Allaah’s aid is sought.
It has even reached me that some of the visual broadcasters (Television) have presented some of these Dhikr (remembrances of Allaah) or religious an–Nasheed, as if it is from Islaam, and that it is from the characteristics of sincerity in which Muslims call to.
I will never forget, once a long time ago I visited a centre from some of the Islaamic organizations, and I was shocked to hear the sound of the Adhaan chanted with musical instruments! So I questioned them regarding it? It was said: ‘It is some Muslim youth from some Arab countries who have come as guests to this organization, and one of them lets them hear the Adhaan with a musical chant,’ and now this is what we hear from many of the Islaamic radio stations.
It was finally brought to the attention of some Muslim youth, concerning that which those an-Nasheed contain of evil and deviancy opposing the Islaamic Sharia’, so they modified it to a different type of an–Nasheed which talked about enthusiasm, strength and reminders of Islaamic heroism, and they would also adhere to some musical chanting and some of them have even added some musical instruments like the Duff(Arabic drum) etc. to it.
Indeed, I heard it, with my own ears in some music stores, something of the like, so I spoke with them, due to that which is obligatory in the Deen by way of advising them and reminding them that it is not allowed, especially since many of them have begun listening to an–Nasheed as a habit, and it has busied them from reciting Qur’aan or listening to it.
All of this is from the evil of the deviancy of keeping away from the Salaf, indeed I am certain that this was not from their practice, even though they used to sometimes recite poetry in wars and battles. This practice is one thing and taking that and applying to it a musical chant and making it a habit and resembling the practice of the people of evil and mere amusements, then that is something else, and it is not hidden from the people of knowledge and insight. May Allaah have mercy upon the one who said:
Every good is in the following of the Salaf * and every evil is in the innovations of the Khalaf
In summary: Indeed I advise everyone who reads this book, that they do not suffice with the knowledge in it but follow that up with hopeful consequences which is to sincerely follow this great Messenger, which necessitates the love of Allaah, and His Forgiveness for ones sin, <<and this is the great success>>
‘We ask Allaah Ta’ala that He makes us from them.’
[Taken from: A summary from the introduction to ‘Bidaytus – Sooli Fee Tafdeel Rasool –salAllaahu ‘alaihi wassalam as-Sharraffa wa Karrama’ p.4 -12]