Category Archives: Hadith

al-Haythami and al-Haytami

People often confuse these 2 great Shafi’i ‘ulama from Egypt. Who were they? Some short biographical info.

1.) ‘Ali b. Abu Bakr b. Sulayman al-Haythami (d. 807 AH / 1404 CE)

In Arabic: الهيثمي

He was a muhaddith and student of the great imam Zayn ud-Din al-‘Iraqi.

He was THE expert on zawa’id literature in hadith and compiled many works in this field. His most famous work is a great encyclopedia of hadith: Majma’ az-Zawa’id wa manba’ al-Fawa’id.

2.) Ibn Hajar al-Haytami al-Makki [not to be confused in his turn with Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani] (d. 973/974 AH)

In Arabic: الهيتمي

He was a muhaddith but also a great faqih, a student of imam Zakariya al-Ansari and Shihab ad-Din al-Ramli. He was ONE the 3 main authorities in the maddhab.

Famous for his Fatawa al-Haytamiyyah, sharh on the 40 hadith of an-Nawawi and the sharh of the Minhaj by an-Nawawi

As we can see they lived in different centuries. People often mistake them and in transcribing their names (t and th) they makes mistakes as well, just like Ibn al-Jawzi and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah. They had their own specialities in hadith and fiqh.

May Allah have mercy on them.


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Shaykh al-Albani: give credit where credit is due

I’m not writing this as a fan/follower of him. Nor do I agree with him on every issue. I just write this to inform people about the man and what other people said about him to restore some justice and fairness.

Credit needs to be given where credit is due, no matter who it is. We need to be balanced and not  biased. Especially if you do reserch and read. I don’t like madhhab partisanism because the truth can’t be contained within one madhhab. You may dislike or disagree with someone but you should also be able to acknowledge facts and take an objective stance. With regards to shaykh al-Albani rahimahullah I’d like to state that I feel certain brethren amongst us are not fair in their judgment and they don’t give him any credit just because he doesn’t follow their madhhab or because he is not a traditional scholar in the sense he was mainly an autodidact and apparently has no ijazat, at least that is what they claim. He did have teachers and he did have ijazat, although few. Most of the ‘attacks’ on him are ad hominem (on his person) and not on his methodology in hadith, which was in conformity with previous hadith scholars. As for his fiqh: he did ijtihad and some of his works prove he was a faqih indeed I think. If we speak about his knowledge on hadith I dare to state he was a muhaddith. He was not the only one who was an autodidact in the field of hadith: shaykh Shu’ayb al-Arna’ut rahimahullah was also an autodidact and he was respected throughout so why the focus on al-Albani?  Everybody makes mistakes and no book/work is perfect except Allah’s book. Shaykh Muhammad b. Hasan al-Didu said he corrected them afterwards as we can read in the article below.

Here I just want to refer to some well known contemporary authors/scholars who gave credit to shaykh al-Albani:

Shaykh Mustafa M. ‘Azami:

In his great work “Studies in Early Hadith Literature” he refers to him as: “Shaikh Nasir al-Din al-Albani, who placed his extensive knowledge of rare manuscripts at my disposal.” (See: Acknowledgments)

This makes clear he (shaykh M.M. ) respects the shaykh for his extensive knowledge of manuscripts since he worked for a long time in the Zahiriyyah library of Damascus and knew all manuscripts there. This is well known.

shaykh Yusuf al-Qardawi said:

“Sheikh Al-Albani is one of the great erudite scholars of the 20th century. He verified a number of books on Hadith and compiled many. Some are listed: Silslat Al-Ahadith Ad-Da`ifah, Silslat Al-Ahadith As-Sahihah, Sahih Al-Jami` As-Saghir wa Ziyadatuhu, Da`if Al-Jami` As-Saghir wa Ziyadatuhu, Sahih Abi Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, Sahih At-Targhib wat-Tarhib (though not fully published, it might be on manuscript), Irwa’ Al-Ghalil fi Takhrij Ahadith Manar As-Sabil, Mukhtasar Sahih Muslim, Mishkat Al-Masabih, As-Sunnah li Ibn Abi `Asim, and other books.” One could read this in an article on the (now not existing anymore) website

shaykh Mohammed Daniel:

He once said in one of his lessons that if people can appreciate al-Zamakhshari rahimahullah then why not al-Albani?

Deobandi ‘ulama:

As a home of hadith scholars shaykh al-Albani’s work is appreciated and respected by  many of them according to shaykh Mohammed Daniel, who is a visitor of the madrassa and acquainted with many of the ‘ulama who teach there and have studied there.

shaykh Hassan al-Kittani:

Anyone who took knowledge from shaykh Hassan knows he frequently refers to shaykh al-Albani in his lessons. This is sufficient proof for the respect he has for him.

shaykh Muhammad b. Hassan al-Didu said:

“Indeed, Sheikh Albānī (ra) was from those who revived the art of examining and criticizing hadīth during these times. Indeed, due to him, many people became interested in the study of the Sunna (way of the Prophet (sa) and the science of examining reports, investigating reporters of hadīth and the extraction of sound narrations. In fact, we can safely say that he was the most famous person in this age regarding this important science and it is well known the he exercised a great amount of effort towards this field.”

This is sufficient actually. Read the whole article here (it is very balanced and respectful):

shaykh Muhammad al-Ghazali:

In his book “The Sunna of the Prophet” he said: “Nasir al-Albani, one of the most knowledgeable scholars of hadith in our time.”  (pag. 100)

Prof. Jonathan Brown:

He is actually the cause for me writing this post. In two of his books:

1.) The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim

If one reads pages 321 – 334 one can get a sense of appreciation by him for what shaykh al-Albani did and what he stood for.

2.) Hadith

He wrote: “I must admit my inestimable debt to (..) Muhammad Nasir al-Albani.” (Acknowledgments)

Mohammad Hashim Kamali:

In his “A Textbook of Hadith Studies” he counts him among “prominent contemporary ‘ulama (pag. 153) and he calls him “the renowned scholar of hadith” (pag. 206) and among the “modern experts on hadith” (pag. 216)

PhD dissertation of Moyeed-ul-Zafar about al-Albani:

Here you can see the amount of work the shaykh did on mansucripts in Chapter II specifically and you will be amazed.


Shaykh al-Albani I’m told verified more than 40.000 ahadith in his lifetime, this is something not many people did in his time and after him. The ummah owes him respect.

May Allah reward shaykh al-Albani for the work he did and may He forgive him and us for our mistakes.

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Search for a hadith online

There are several websites to do this, this is one of the best in my humble opinion:

It also has the explanations / shurooh which is something many other sites don’t have.

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Sadl in salat prohibited? Misunderstandings explained

Classical example of misreading and misunderstanding a hadith or taking your (own) understanding directly from the texts of the Sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.)

In a hadith in the Sunan of imam Tirmidhi we can read the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) prohibited sadl in salat. There you have proof the Malikis who pray with sadl got it all wrong! The Prophet s.a.w.s. clearly said it and the word is there litterally in the hadith (we can imagine someone saying). What clearer proof do you want?  Brother/sister, can you go wrong reading this single hadith! How you might wonder?

1.) There are more ahadith on this subject, reading these will clarify to you what the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) meant exactly. See here:  Always look at a hadith in perspective of other relevant ahadith on the same subject. Rulings are not established on a single hadith. Making up rulings after reading a hadith is wrong.

2.) Check an Arabic dictionary for the meaning of sadl, like the one of Hans Wehr for example, where we can read the verb sadala (or saddala) refers to letting something hang down, fall down, drop or to lower something. A sidl or a sudl is a veil or a curtain.

Knowing some Arabic is fundamental for understanding what you read.

3.) Sadl is specifically an issue in Maliki fiqh and thus the word also has a fiqhi or technical meaning instead of the linguistical meaning, although they are related. If you are not familiar with this issue you have a lot to learn still.

4.) In the hadith we read in the Sunan of imam Tirmidhi it refers to a prohibition of trailing the garments (like for a example the ‘abbayah or jalabiyyah) in prayer and not to the position of the arms in prayer as is known from Maliki fiqh texts like al-Murshid al-Mu’in. In that text it has been stated explicitly it is mandub (recommended) to let your arms hang down your sides in prayer. This is called sadl.

5.) Read the hadith with a teacher who will explain it to you or ask a teacher after you have read a hadith about the meaning.

6.) Taking your ‘knowledge’ directly from the sources without a teacher is not the way to learn and study. You will misread and misunderstand the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

To conclude: So to let your garments trail in the prayer (not the ‘imamah though!) is prohibited but not to let your arms hang down in the prayer.

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Etiquettes of war / jihad

In hadith nr. 390 of the work by shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghaffar Hasan “The Way of the Prophet” we read: On the authority of Anas b. Malik (r.) that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said: ‘Go forth [in jihad against the enemy] with the Name of Allah, by [the capability and support of] Allah and [remain steadfast] upon the way of the Messenger of Allah. Do not kill the frail, old man, the small child or the woman. Do not steal from the war booty. Gather your gains and behave with righteousness and excellence, for truly, Allah loves those who show excellence.’ Abu Dawud (Mishkat, Chapter on Fighting during jihad, hadith nr. 3956)

In the commentary it is said: Islam has explained the fundamental etiquette of war, that one should only fight enemy combatants. One must not target innocent children, women or decrepit, elderly people.

Other etiquettes of war from this hadith:

  • jihad (only) in the name of Allah
  • rely on Allah’s help and assistance
  • folllow the sunna of the Prophet s.a.w.s.
  • don’t steal from the booty / spoils of war
  • gather the gains
  • behave with righteousness (islah) and excellence (ihsan)

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The meaning of at-tahlukah in aya 2:195 of the Qur’an

In hadith nr. 1316 of Bulugh ul-Maram by imam Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani rahimahullah we can read the following: Abu Ayyub (al-Ansari) -may Allah be pleased with him- narrated that this verse (Q. 2:195) was revealed concerning us (al-Ansar). He was referring to the verse “And don’t throw yourselves into destruction (at-tahlukah)“. Abu Ayyub said that to answer those who disapproved of the action of those who attacked ar-Rum (Byzantines) till they were amidst their army. Related by the three imams. At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban and al-Hakim graded it as sahih.

In the accompanying footnote it is said: When the Muslims confronted the Rum at Constantinopel, a Muslim fighter attacked the lines of the Rum until he was in their midst, and then returned. People then cried: ‘He is throwing himself into destruction.’ Abu Ayyub then told them that they are misinterpreting the verse which was revealed concerning the Ansar, when Allah granted them victory they said to themselves secretly: our property was lost, so why don’t we stay here to take care of our property and regain what we have lost (and leave jihad in the cause of Allah). Allah the Almighty then revealed this verse to show them that the real destruction occurs by staying back in their dwellings and not spending their wealth in the cause of Allah.

Shaykh dr. ‘Abd ul-‘Azim Badawi -in his work Al-Wajiz fi Fiqh as-Sunnah wa’l-Kitab al-‘Aziz (English translation, pp. 651, 652) mentions this as well and refers to the tafsir of Ibn Kathir where this story has been mentioned.

This aya and hadith are proofs for the permissibility of inghimas / taghrir bi’l-nafs in a jihad.

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Sahih al-Bukhari Online Maqra’ah live from South Africa


Cordoba Academy organises a reading of the complete Sahih of al-Bukhari in South-Africa from September 28 till October 8 2012 with some top hadith-scholars from around the world. You can listen to it online! For more info and registration, look here:


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