The issue of Tawassul

From, posted by Sidi Faqir

Asalamu alaykum

Please read the enclosed Word document – a translation into English of one of the late Shaikh’s works.

A short excerpt from the attached document follows [for notes and a very useful introduction please click on attachment below] – the views expressed in the article are of the author and I do not necessarily agree with all that he has mentioned therein :

By [the grace of] the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate, [I begin].5

All praise is Allah’s , the Lord of the Worlds. The last word will be for those who fear Allah. Enmity is only for those who transgress. I seek blessings and peace on our master, Muhammad [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] , and on his noble house. May Allah be pleased with his Companions and their Followers.

To get to the point, I declare that Shaikh Al-Albani, may Allah forgive him, is a man who is motivated by ulterior purposes and desire. If he sees a hadith 6 or a report ( athar7 ) that does not accord with his persuasion8 he straightway proceeds to foist it off as weak (da‘if) . By using guile and deception he prevails upon his readers that he is right; whereas, he is wrong. Rather, he is a sinner and a hoodwinker. By such duplicity he has succeeded in misguiding his followers who trust him and think that he is right. One of those who has been deceived by him is Hamdi al-Salafi9who edited al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir 10. He had the impudence to declare a rigorously authentic hadith weak (da‘if / 11) because it did not go along with his sectarian dogmas just as it did not concur with the persuasion of his teacher (Shaikh) . The proof of that is that what he says about the hadiths being weak is just what his Shaikh says.12

This being the case, I wished to present the real truth of the matter and to expose the falsity of the claims of both the deceiver [Al-Albani] and the deceived [Hamdi al-Salafi] .

I declare that I depend on none but Allah; He is my support and to Him do I consign myself.

Al-Tabarani 13 reported in his al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir 14

From Ibn Wahb from Shabib from Rauh ibn al-Qàsim from Abu Ja‘far al-Khatami al-Madani from Abu Umamah ibn Sahl ibn Hunaif: ‘Uthmàn ibn Hunaif

A man was going to ‘Uthmàn ibn ‘Affàn 15 trying to get something done for himself.

However, ‘Uthman didn’t pay any attention to him, nor did he look after his need. That man went to ‘Uthmàn ibn Hunaif and complained about that to him. ‘Uthmàn ibn Hunaif said to him, “Go and perform ablution (wudu), then go to the mosque and pray two cycles (rak‘ah) of prayer, then say: ‘O Allah, I ask You and I approach You through your Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy. O Muhammad, I approach my Lord through you that my need be fulfilled,’ then mention your need. Thereafter come to me that I might go with you.”

Then the man went away and did what he was told. After that he went to the door of ‘Uthmàn ibn ‘Affàn; whereupon the doorkeeper took him by the hand and ushered him into ‘Uthmàn ibn ‘Affàn who sat him down beside him on his mat and said to him, “What can I do for you?” He told him what he needed and ‘Uthmàn had that done for him and then he said to him, “I didn’t remember your problem until now. Whenever you need anything come to me.” Thereupon the man left him and went to ‘Uthmàn ibn Hunaif and said, “May Allah bless you, ‘Uthmàn wouldn’t look after me, nor even pay attention to me until you spoke to him about me.” ‘Uthmàn ibn Hunaif replied, “I swear by Allah that I didn’t speak to him.

Actually, I saw a blind man come to the Messenger of Allah [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] and complain to him about losing his sight. The Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] said to him, “Wouldn’t you rather show patience?” He replied, “O Messenger of Allah, I don’t have a guide and the matter has become an ordeal for me.” The Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] saidto him, “Go and make ablution (wudu), then pray two cycles (rak‘ah) of prayer, then make this supplication (du‘a’) . I swear by Allah, we hadn’t gone away, nor had we remained long time talk when the man returned as if he had never suffered any affliction.

Al-Tabarani declared this report to be rigorously authentic (sahih / 16 ) ; whereas,

Hamdi al-Salafi contradicted him saying:


Originally Posted by Hamdi al-Salafi

There is no doubt about the authenticity of that part of the hadith [concerning the story of the blind man]17; the doubt concerns the [first part of] the story [concerning ‘Uthman ibn Hunaif’s instructions to the man who sought the help of ‘Uthmàn ibn ‘Affan] which heretics (mubtadi‘ah) adduce attempting to prove the legitimacy of their heretical practice of calling the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] for his intercession. [That part of the story is in doubt for the reasons which we will explain.]

Firstly, as al-Tabarani mentioned, Shabib [who is one of the narrators mentioned in the report’s chain of narration (sanad) is alone in reporting this hadith.

Then, Shabib’s narrations are not bad (la ba’sa bihi) on two conditions: first, that

his son Ahmad be the one who narrates from him; second, that Shabib’s narration be from Yunus ibn Yazid. However, in the present case, Shabib’s narration is reported by [three persons]: Ibn Wahb, and Shabib’s two sons Ismà‘il and Ahmad.

As for Ibn Wahb, extremely reliable narrators (al-thiqah) criticized Ibn Wahb’s narrations from Shabib, as they criticized Shabib himself. And as for Shabib’s son, Isma‘il, he is unknown.

Although Ahmad also reports this hadith from Shabib, it is not Shabib’s report from Yunus ibn Yazid [which (as Hamdu pretends) is what the experts in narration stipulated as the condition for the correctness of Shabib’s narrations].

Furthermore, the experts in narration (al-muhaddithun) are at variance concerning the text of this hadith which they narrate from Ahmad [ibn Shabib].

Ibn al-Sunni reported the hadith in his ‘Amal al-Yaumwa ’l-Lailah and al-Hakim reported it with three different chains of narration (sanad) neither of them mentioning the story [of ‘Uthman ibn Hunaif and the man who wanted to see ‘Uthmàn].

Al-Hakim reported the hadith by way ‘Aun ibn ‘Amàrah al- Basri from Rauh ibn al-Qasim.

My teacher (Shaikh) Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani:

“Even though ‘Aun is weak (da‘if), still his version of the hadith (riwàyah) [without the story of ‘Uthmàn ibn Hunaif] is preferable to Shabib’s since Rauh’s narration agrees

with the narrations of Shu‘bah and Hamàd ibn Salamah through Abu Ja‘f`ar al-Khatmi

[without the story of ‘Uthmàn ibn Hunaif].

The foregoing discussion18 is misleading and distorted in several ways.

First Point

The story [of ‘Uthman ibn Hunaif and the man who wanted to see ‘Uthman] was reported by al-Bayhaqi in Dalà ’ilu’l-Nubuwah19 by way of:

Ya‘qub ibn Sufyan who said that Ahmad ibn Shabib ibn Sa‘id reported to me that his father reported to him from Rauh ibn al-Qàsim from Abu Ja‘far al-Khatami from Abu Usamah ibn Sahl ibn Hunaif that a man was going to ‘Uthmàn ibn ‘Affàn and he mentioned the story in its entirety.

Ya‘qub ibn Sufyàn is [Abu Yusuf] al-Fasawi (d. 177 h) 20, the Hàfiz,21 the Imàm,22 the utterly reliable transmitter (al-thiqah) 23rather, he is better than utterly reliable (thiqah) .

The chain of narration (sanad) of this hadith is utterly reliable (sahih /24)Thus the story [about ‘Uthmàn ibn Hunaif] is quite authentic. Other [specialists in the science of hadith and its narrators] also proclaimed the hadith to be rigorously authentic (sahih) . Hàfiz al- Mundhiri25 mentioned in his al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib: p. 606, vol. 2;26 and Hafiz al-Haithami27 mentioned it in his Majma‘ al-Zawà’id: p. 179, vol. 2.28

Second Point

Ahmad ibn Shabib is one of the narrators that al-Bukhari29 depended on; al-Bukhàri reported hadith from Ahmad ibn Shabib both in his Sahih and in his al-Adab al-Mufrad. Abu Hàtim al-Ràzi30 also declared him to be utterly reliable (thiqah) , and both he and Abu Zur‘ah wrote down his hadith.31 Ibn ‘Adi32 mentioned that the people of Basrah [that is, the experts in the science of hadith and criticism] considered him to be utterly reliable (thiqah) and ‘Ali al-Madini33 wrote down his hadith.

Ahmad’s father, Shabib ibn Sa‘id al-Tamimi al-Habati al-Basri34 is also one of

the narrators whom al-Bukhari depended on in both his Sahih and his al-Adab al-Mufrad.

Those who considered Shabib to be thiqah include: Abu Zur‘ah, Abu Hatim, al-Nisà’i, al-Dhuhali, al-Dàraqutni , and al-Tabarani35.

Abu Hatim related that Shabib had in his keeping the books of Yunus ibnYazid, and he said that Shabib was reliable (salih) in hadith and that there was nothing wrong with him (là ba’sa bihi / 36 ) .

Ibn ‘Adi said: “Shabib had a copy of the book37 of al-Zuhri. He had in his keeping sound hadith which Yunus related from al-Zuhri. ” 38

[‘Ali] ibn al-Madini said about Shabib: “He was utterly reliable (thiqah). He used to go to Egypt for trade. His book was authentic (sahih). ” 39

The foregoing relates to the authentication (ta‘dil) of Shabib.40

As you notice there is no stipulation that his narration be from Yunus ibn Yazid in order to be authentic (sahih) .

Rather, Ibn al-Madini affirms that his book was authentic,41 while Ibn ‘Adi confined himself to commenting about Shabib’s copy of al-Zuhri’s book not intending to intimate anything about the rest of Shabib’s narrations. So what Al-Albàni claims [namely, that Shabib’s narrations are authentic on the condition that he narrate from Yunus ibn Yazid] is deception and a breach of academic and religious trust.

What I have said [about Shabib’s unconditional reliability] is further corroborated by the fact that [another hadith which Shabib related; namely] the hadith about the blind man [who came to the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam]to plead him to pray for him] was declared to be authentic by the hadith experts (huffaz /42) although Shabib did not narrate this hadith from Yunus by way of al-Zuhri. Rather, he related it from Rauh ibn al-Qàsim.

Furthermore, al-Albani claims that since some narrators whose hadith are mentioned by Ibn al-Sunni and al-Hakim did not mention the story [about ‘Uthmàn ibn Hunaif], the story is doubtful (da‘if ) . This is another example of Al-Albàni’s trickery. People who have some knowledge about the principles of the science of hadith know that some narrators report a given hadith in its entirety, while others may choose to abridge it according to their purpose at hand.

Al-Bukhari, for example, does that routinely in his Sahih where he often mentions a hadith in abridged form while it is given by someone else in complete form.

Moreover, the person who has related the story [about ‘Uthmàn ibn Hunaif] in al-Bayhaqi’s report is an extraordinary Imàm: Ya‘qub ibn Sufyàn. Abu Zur‘ah al-Dimashqi says about him: “Two men from the noblest of mankind came to us; one of them, Ya‘qub ibn Sufyàn the most widely-traveled of the two, defies the people of Iraq to produce a single man who can narrate [as well] as he does. ”

Al-Albàni ’s declaring the narration of ‘Aun, which in fact is weak, to be better than the narration of those who narrated the story [of ‘Uthmàn ibn Hunaif] is a third aspect of Al-Albani’s duplicity and fraud because when al-Hakim related the hadith of the blind man in an abridged form by way of ‘Aun, he remarked :

Shabib ibn Sa‘id al-Habati has given the same hadith by way of Rauh ibn al-Qàsim with some additions to the text (matn ) and the chain of narrators (isnàd) . The decision in the matter is Shabib’s since he is utterly reliable (thiqah) and trustworthy (ma’mun) .

What al-Hakim says emphasizes a precept which is universally recognized by the experts in the science of hadith (al-muhaddithun) and the principles of the holy law (usul al-fiqh) ; namely, that additional wording related by a narrator who is utterly reliable (thiqah) is acceptable (maqbulah ) , and, furthermore, someone who remembered something is a proof against someone who didn’t remember it.

Third Point

Al-Albani saw al-Hakim’s statement but he didn’t like it, so he ignored it, and obstinately and dishonestly insisted on the superiority of ‘Aun’s weak narration.

It has been made clear that the story [about ‘Uthmàn ibn Hunaif] is rigorously authentic (sahih) in spite of Al-Albàni’s [and Ibn Taimiyah’s] deceitful attempts to discredit it. The story shows that seeking the Prophet’s [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam]intercession after his passing away is permissible since the Companion43 who reported the hadith understood that it was permissible and the understanding of the narrator is significant in the view of the holy law (shari‘ah) , for it has its weight in the field of deducing (istinbat ) the detailed rules of the holy law (shari‘ah) .

We say according to the understanding of the narrator for the sake of argument; otherwise, in actuality, ‘Uthmàn ibn Hunaif’s instructing the man to seek the intercession of the Prophet was according to what he had heard from the Prophet as the hadith of the blind man [which ‘Uthmàn ibn Hunaif himself related] establishes.

Ibn Abi Khaithamah stated in his Tàrikh [which is a genre of writing which deals with the history and reputation of narrators of hadith] :

Muslim ibn Ibràhim related to me that Hammàd ibn Salamah said: Abu Ja‘far al-Khatami related to me from ‘Amarah ibn Khuzaimah from ‘Uthmàn ibn Hunaif :

A blind man came to the Prophetand said: “I have lost my sight. Pray to Allah for me.”

He answered: “Go and make ablution and then pray two cycles (rak‘ah) of prayer, and then say: ‘O Allah, I ask You and I approach you through my Prophet Muĥammad, The Prophet of Mercy. O Muhammad, I seek your intercession with Allah that my sight should be restored. O Allah, accept my intercession for myself and accept the intercession of my Prophet for the restoration of my sight.’ If ever you have any need do like that. ”

The chain of narration (isnàd) of this hadith is rigorously authentic (sahih). The last clause of the hadith constitutes the express permission of the Prophet to seek his intercession whenever there occurred any need.

Not withstanding, Ibn Taimiyah objected on feeble grounds that this last clause comprehended some covert technical defect (‘illah) [which prejudices the authenticity of the hadith or at least its last clause]. I have demonstrated the invalidity of those grounds elsewhere.44 Indeed, Ibn Taimiyah is characteristically audacious in rejecting hadith which do not conform with his purpose at hand even if those hadith are rigorously authentic (sahih) .

A good example of that is the following case: Al-Bukhari reported in his sahih:

“Allah existed and there was nothing other than Him.”

This hadith is in agreement with the [clear-cut] evidence of the Qur`an, the sunnah, reason, and certain consensus (al-ijmà‘ al-mutayaqqan). However, since it conflicts with his belief in the eternity of the world,45 he turned to another version of this hadith which al-Bukhàri also reported: “Allah existed and their was nothing before Him.” And he rejected the first version in favor of the second on the grounds that the second conforms with another hadith: “You are the first; there is nothing before You.” [He held that the implication was that created things always existed along with Allah] .

Hafiz Ibn Hajr remarked concerning the correct manner of reconciling the apparent contradiction in the above-mentioned hadiths:

“In fact the way to reconcile the two versions of the hadith is to understand the second in light of the first, and not the other way around. Moreover, there is consensus on the principle that reconciliation of two apparently contradictory versions of a text (nass) takes precedence over endorsing one version at the expense of revoking the other. ” 46

Actually, Ibn Taimáyah’s prejudice blinded him from understanding the two versions of the hadith which, in fact, are not mutually contradictory. That is because the version “Allah existed and there was nothing before Him.” has the meaning which is contained in His name the First; whereas, the version “Allah existed and there was nothing other than Him.” has the meaning contained in His name the One. The proof of this is still another version of the hadith with the wording “Allah existed before everything. ” 47

Another example of Ibn Taimiyah’s audacity in rejecting hadith is the case of the hadith:

“The Messenger of Allah [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam]ordered the doors which opened on the mosque from the street to be sealed, but he left ‘Ali’s door [open].” This hadith is rigorously authentic (sahih). Ibn al-Jauzi 48 was mistaken by mentioning it in his collection of forged hadiths, al-Maudu‘àt. Hafiz [Ibn Hajr] corrected him in his al-Qaul al-Musaddad: “Ibn Taimiyah because of his well-known bias against ‘Ali was not content with Ibn al-Jauzi’s declaration that the hadith was forged, but took the initiative to add from his own bag [of fraud] thepretence that the hadith experts (al-muhaddithun) are agreed that the hadith is forged. Ibn Taimiyah has rejected so many hadith simply because they are irreconcilable with his opinions that it is hard to keep track of the instances.49

Fourth Point

In order to conciliate al-Albàni, let us suppose that the story [about ‘Uthmàn ibn Hunaif] is weak, and that the Ibn Abi Khaithamah’s version of the hadith [with the addition: Wheneveryou have any need do like that.] is defective (mu‘allal) as Ibn Taimiyah would have it; still the hadith of the blind man is quite enough to prove the permissibility of seeking the intercession of the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam]since the fact that the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam]taught the blind man to seek his intercession on that occasion shows the propriety of seeking it in all circumstances.

Moreover, it is not allowable to refer to such intercession as a heretical departure (bid‘ah ), nor is it allowable to arbitrarily restrict such intercession to the lifetime of the Prophet .

Indeed, whoever restricts it to his lifetime is really a heretic50 because he has disqualified a rigorously authentic hadith and precluded its implementation, and that is unlawful (haram).

Al-Albàni, may Allah forgive him, is bold to claim conditionality an abrogation simply because a text prejudices his preconceived opinions and persuasion. If the hadith of the blind man was a special dispensation for him, the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam]would have made that clear as he made it clear to Abu Burdah that the sacrifice of a two year old goat would fulfill his duty; whereas, it would not suffice for others. Furthermore, it is not admissible to suppose that the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] might have delayed explaining a matter in detail when his followers needed that knowledge at that time.

A Subterfuge and its Preclusion

Suppose somebody says that the reason we have to restrict the application of this hadith to the lifetime of the Prophet is that it involves calling (nidà’) the Prophet[whereas, it is not possible to call him after his death.] We reply that this objection is to be rejected because there are numerous reports (mutawatir) from the Prophet concerning his instruction about what one should recite during the tashahhud 51of prayer, and that contains the greeting of peace (salàm) for him with mention of him in the vocative form: Peace be upon you, OProphet! 52 That is the very formula which Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, Ibn Zubair, and Mu‘àwiyah taught the people from the mimbar53. Thereafter, it became an issue on which there was consensus (ijmà‘) as Ibn Hazm 54 and Ibn Taimiyah affirmed.

Al-Albàni, because he is prone to schism (ibtidà‘ ), violated the consensus and insisted on following an opinion reported of Ibn Mas‘ud: “Then when he died we said: Peace be on the Prophet (al-salàmu ‘alà al-nabiyu).” Indeed, violating the hadith and consensus isthe essence of heresy (ibtidà‘ )

Furthermore, there are authentic reports from the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam]which inform us that our deeds are presented to the Prophet [in his blessed grave] as are our supplications for his peace (al-salàm ) and honor (al-salah / 55 ) . There are also authentic reports about angels which travel about the earth in order to convey to the Prophet any greetings of peace and honor that anyone of his people might happen to make for him. Also definitive texts (tawàtur / 56 and consensus ( ‘ijmà’ ) establish that the Prophet is alive in his grave, and that his blessed body does not decay. After all that, how can anybody dare to claim that it is not allowable to call the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam]in seeking his intercession? After all, is that in any different than calling him in tashahhud?

Unfortunately, Al-Albàni is perversely obstinate and opinionated, as are the Albani’ites, [that is, his blind, fanatic followers].

So much for my rebuttal of Al-Albàni. As for the person called Hamdi al-Salafi, there’s no need to refute him separately because he merely echoes Al-Albàni.

Another thing which I should establish here is that Al-Albàni is not to be depended on in his judgments about hadith authenticity, nor their weakness because he routinely employs a variety of tactics to mislead, and he does not disdain to betray his trust in transmitting the opinions of the ‘ulamà’ (religious scholars) distorting their words and meanings. Moreover, he has had the impudence to oppose the consensus and to claim the abrogation (naskh) of texts without proof. He commits such excesses because of his ignorance of the principles [of the science of fiqh] and the rules of inference and deduction (al-istinbat )

He claims he is struggling against heretical innovation (bid‘ah ) by forbidding the practice of intercession, and by forbidding people to use the epithet sayyidinà when mentioning the name of the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam], and by forbidding them to recite the Qur‘àn for the sake [of the souls] of the deceased. However, the fact of the matter is that by doing that he commits a real heresy (bid‘ah) by forbidding what Allah has permitted, and by verbally abusing the Asharites57 and the Sufis58.

In all this he is just like Ibn Taimiyah who denounced all kinds of people; some of them he declared to be unbelievers and others to be heretics; then, he went and committed two of the biggest heresies that one can commit. In the first instance, he maintained the eternity of the world [which means, in other words, that he maintained that the world has no beginning, but always existed along with Allah], and that is a heresy which constitutes categorical unbelief; we seek refuge in Allah from that. Then in the second instance he was prejudiced against ‘Ali [radiyallahu anhu]for which the ‘ulamà’ of his time accused him of hypocrisy. That is because the Prophet told ‘Ali:

“No one loves you but a believer, and no one hates you but a hypocrite.” 59

No doubt, Ibn Taimiyah’s dislike of ‘Ali is a punishment which Allah has given Ibn Taimiyah. Yet Al-Albàni insists on calling Ibn Taimiyah Shaikh al-Islam [which is traditionally a title reserved for the greatest scholar of the time]. It amazes me that he should give Ibn Taimiyah such a title when Ibn Taimiyah has un-Islamic beliefs.

I think; rather, I am sure that if Hafiz Ibn Nasir [al-Din al-Dimashqi] had some idea of Ibn Taimiyah’s execrable beliefs, he would never have defended him in his book al-Radd al-Wafir [from the scathing attack of ‘Alâ al-Din al-Bukhari60 who wrote a book called Man Qala Ibn Taimiyah Shaikh al-Islam fa huwa Kafir(Whoever says Ibn Taimiyah is Shaikh al-Islàm he is an unbeliever) ] .

No doubt, when Ibn Nàsir wrote his book, he was deceived by the praises he heard some people making of Ibn Taimiyah. Likewise, al-Alusi, the son of the celebrated commentator [Mahmud Shukri al-Alusi] wrote the voluminous commentary of the Qur’àn [Ruh al-Ma‘ani] would not have written his book Jalalal Ainain if he knew the reality of Ibn Taimáyah’s beliefs.

Al-Albàni’s outlandish and heterodox opinions, which are the result of his impious resort to free thought, his deceit, his dishonesty in pronouncing hadith to be authentic or weak according to what suits his persuasion [rather, than according to the dictates of the facts], his excoriations of the ‘ulamà’ and the illustrious personages of Islàm; all that is an affliction from Allah, yet he doesn’t realize it.

Indeed, he is one of those [to whom the Qur‘àn referred by its words:] who thinks they are doing good; however, how wrong is what they think.61

We ask Allah to preserve us from what He has afflicted Al-Albani with, and we seek refuge in Him from all evil. All praise is for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. May Allah bless Our Master Muhammad and all his noble people.


Intercession is allowed according to our law.

It is a matter by none disputed in all of Muslimdom,

Except those who folly wedded and paid their dowry with insolence.

Their hearts are stone, by Muslims scorned goons of the Wahhàbi mob,

They prohibited it and denounced it

Without any reason why.

The case of one Uthmàn ibn Hunaif is a valid precedent;

It’s our proof; its quite conclusive, and it brooks no controversy.

May Allah guide them to concede the verdict of documentation.

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