Imam al-Albāni [d. 1999 CE] – Affirmation Of The Authenticity Of The Narration Is Not Limited To It Being Reported Within The Work Of A Known Scholar. Verification Of The Isnād Is Imperative.

Imam al-Albāni [d. 1999 CE] – “This is the method employed by our scholars who are proficient in the science of Ḥadith. That they report the narrations with the corresponding Isnād [chain of narrators] so that one may determine the authenticity of the narration, and thus, discern the Saḥiḥ narration from the Da’eef, by utilising knowledge of Istilāh and the biographies of the narrators [mentioned in the chains].”

“This [knowledge of hadith] is the only verifiable means for a scholar to substantiate what the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said from what he ﷺ did not say. And since the vast majority, except for a few, do not know [of the intricacies of this subject] – and from them [who do know] are those who are not adept in their utilisation of these means [of verifying and determining] and benefiting from it to discern [the ruling] – it, without a doubt, impelled those who are proficient in this subject [the scholars] to clarify to the laymen, thereby sincerely advising them in their religious affairs.”

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“[one practice that] does not suffice – [is] a practice that you find many a commentator and editor [who do takhrij of ḥadith, and relate their findings in the footnotes], both classical and contemporary, fall prey to – except whom Allaah ﷻ protected [from this particular insufficient practice] – and that is to simply suffice with statements like: “Imam so and so related it from the hadith of so and so” [in the footnotes], without clarifying the condition of the Isnād, and perhaps from the narrators mentioned in the Isnād are those who are weakened, and those who are rejected, and liars and fabricators. This type of inadequate takhrij [citation of a hadith] does not benefit the layman.”

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“Rather, it will only mistakenly cause them to infer that the ḥadith is authentic, because – in their ignorance – they will surmise the ḥadith is saḥiḥ simply because [the commentator] cites that it was reportedly related by “Imam at-Tabarāni”, for instance, and this will lead the layman reader to presume that this sufficiently proves the ḥadith is saḥiḥ.”

[note: Imam at-Tabarāni compiled a compendium of aḥadith in which he relates the narrations he encountered for future citations and revision; he did not simply include the narrations he ascertained were authentic.]

“[and the report cited from the work of Imam at-Tabarāni] could very well include a liar or a fabricator in the Isnād, and this report could simply be of benefit to those who specialise in this field [not the layman], those who rely on takhrij and return to the cited reference and study the corresponding Isnād of the ḥadith. But the citations [at the bottom of the page] are not placed there for these specialists, rather they are for the layman. It is for this reason – through the blessing and favour of Allaah ﷻ alone – that, in all my works, I clarify the condition of the Isnād; the authentic and saḥiḥ from that which is not saḥiḥ, because I believe concealing this is not permissible.”

→ “Kitāb al-Imaan” – Pg. 6 – 7 | Imam Ibn Abi Shaybah (d. 235 AH) [Editor: Imam al-Albāni] | [Published: al-Maktab al-Islami; 1983 CE] | Translated by: Abu Dawūd [Mustafa b. Saalih] al-Ḥushayshi

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