Ahmed Al-Ghumari on Al-Albani
There had been a long controversy between Ghumaris and Nasir Ud-Deen Al-Albani. Hence this process was started when Shaykh Al-Albani refuted Shaykh Ahmed bin Siddeeq Al-Ghumari on the topic of building over graves. But the actually heat started between Abdullah Al-Ghumari, younger brother of Ahmed Al-Ghumari, and Al-Albani. Hence, hence Abdullah Al-Ghumari wrote no less than three short books particularly in Al-Albani’s refutation. “Al-Qawl Al-Muqni’” and “Irgham Al-Mubtadi’ Al-Ghabiyy” were both written by Abdullah Al-Ghumari. The actual reason for writing “Al-Qawl Al-Muqni’” was that Abdullah Al-Ghumari had done tahqeeq and takhreej of “Bidayat As-Sool” by Ibn Abdussalaam in which he left out grading on several weak reports and declared some narrations to be authentic, which were fabricated or Munkar according to Al-Albani. Hence, Al-Albani pointed out these things in the Muqaddimah (pg. 24-28, Al-Maktab Al-Islaami) of his edition of the same book. The points on which Al-Albani criticized Al-Ghumari are as follows:
- Al-Ghumari didn’t mention the status of most of the narration in his takhreej.
- He depends on the Tahseen of Tirmidhi.
- His takhreej of some narrations present in Sahih of Bukhari and Muslim.
- He attributes narrations to books which are not famous, even though it is present in Sihaah or Sunan.
- His authentication of Hadith “creations are all the family of Allah” and weakening of “I am the Sayyid of Bani Adam and Ali is the Sayyid of Arab” even though it is fabricated according to Dhahabi.
To that Abdullah Al-Ghumari wrote “Al-Qawl Al-Muqni’ fi radd ‘ala Al-Albani Al-Mubtadi’” in which he insulted Al-Albani with very harsh comments and defended himself. Al-Ghumari replied to Al-Albani’s above criticism to which Al-Albani wrote a response in the Muqaddima of the third volume of “Adh-Dha’eefa” (3/8-43).
Here I am going to bring some sayings of Ahmed bin Siddeeq Al-Ghumari describing Al-Albani’s knowledge in Hadith. Like it is said:
والفضل ما شهدت به الأعداء
“Praise is that which come from enemies”
Ahmed Al-Ghumari states:
“And Nasirud-Deen Al-Albani, he came to Damascus and he did not know Arabic. So he studied it and then he turned toward the study of Hadith, hence he became very skilled in it. The Zahiriyya Library, which constitutes several valuable manuscripts, helped him, and he arranged it with his own hands. Such that when I visited (that Library) in previous years, he was the one who would provide me whatever I ask for and introduce to me what was in it. And were it not for his views and stubbornness, he would have been from the persons of their time (Afrad az-zamaan) with regards to the knowledge of Hadith. That is besides the fact that he runs his shop of watch repairing. We had debate with him whose story is long…” [Durr Al-Ghamam Ar-Rafeeq (pg.191) compiled by Abdullah At-Taleedi]
Some other time he said:
“As for Al-Albani then he was from the selected people in the knowledge (of Hadith), that is besides him being almost a normal (unfamous) person. But in stubbornness he even left behind Az-Zamzami (one of Ghumaris) and all the stubborns on the face of earth! He mentioned me in his book “Tahdheer As-Saajid fi ittikhadh Al-Qubur Masaajid”, where he said that he met me and he found me to be Sufi Khalafi, and this he consider to be lowest level of dispraise. The enemy of Allah has lied when he attributed me towards Khalafiyya, while I am their strict enemy. But because of his ignorance he thinks that everyone who is not a Taymiyy and Wahaabi is a Khalafi.” [Al-Jawab Al-Mufeed (60-61) compiled by Abul Fadhl Badr Al-‘Imrani]
This is quite clear statement attesting to the specialty of Al-Albani in the field of Hadith. As for the part in which he talks bad of Al-Albani then it is not something weird as Al-Ghumari was his opponent in knowledge. The language of Al-Ghumari was very insultive with regards to his opponents. Take for example, his book “Al-Mudawi” where he insulted Al-Munawi several times with very insultive statements and that is after it was edited, and several insults were removed by one of his brother. This praise for Al-Albani is coming from his opponent, as for his friends then some consider him the Majaddid of this era. Amazingly, Ghumari brothers and their followers were the main group who raised question on his scholarship. Hence, besides Ahmed and Abdullah, Abdul Aziz Al-Ghumari the younger of them also wrote a book in refutation of Al-Albani when he refuted him in his tawtheeq of the narrator Harith Al-A’awar. Then the writings of Hasan As-Saqqaf are quite famous. Among his tens of books there are only selected which are written on the issue other than refutation of Al-Albani. He specially wrote “Tanaqudhaat Al-Albani” in three volumes showing the contradiction of Al-Albani in his grading of Hadith. He was refuted by several scholars and students of knowledge like Amr Abdul Mun’im Saleem in “La Difa’ ‘anil Albani”, Ali Al-Halabi, Abdullah Al-Khaleefi in “At-Tawfeeq Ar-Rabbani” etc. Then there is Mahmud Sa’eed Mamduh, a student of Abdullah Al-Ghumari, another staunch opponent of Al-Albani. The difference between Hasan As-Saqqaf and him is that, As-Saqqaf is quite frank and open such that he didn’t left even Abul Hasan Al-Ash’ari, and Mahmud Sa’eed uses sweet language to deceive people such that a person would hardly doubt what he has to say. Besides that As-Saqqaaf is Kadhhaab while I am not aware of any lie from Mahmud Sa’eed except that he uses deceptive techniques to make his point. Mahmud Sa’eed has written several books in refutation of Al-Albani which include Tanbihul Muslim, Wusul At-Tahaani, At-Ta’reef. The first book talks about the narrations of Sahih Muslim which were declared weak by Shaykh Al-Albani. He gave a big list of narrations, while actually Shaykh Al-Albani declared only selected of them to be weak. Shaykh Tariq AwdhAllah has a book in refutation of this named “Rid’il Jaani” where he analyzed the whole book in a very beautiful manner. He also have “Talee’at Siyanat Al-Hadeeth wa Ahlih” and “Talee’at fiqh Al-Isnad” in refutation of “Rafa’ Al-Minarah” and “At-Ta’reef” respectively. Interestingly, Ghumaris, Al-Kawthari and As-Saqqaf were much more frequent in declaring narrations of Sahihayn to be weak and many a time fabricated but Mahmud Sa’eed couldn’t refute them because of their high status in the field of Hadith according to him. Another, interesting thing is that he used to be a fan of Shaykh Al-Albani. He had written letters to Shaykh expressing his regards for Shaykh Al-Albani. This letter was quoted by Al-Albani himself in the Muqaddima of “Adaab Az-Zufaaf” (pg. 51-52).
The thing caused these people to portray Al-Albani like an ignorant is that the Shaykh did not have Ijazah. Although Ijazah is a good thing but it is not some kind of litmus to test someone’s scholarship. The scholarship of Al-Albani was testified by several scholars. Scholars with long list of Ijaza refer to Al-Albani when it comes to Hadith. Ibn Baaz even considered him majaddid of his time. These testimonies are of much more significance than an Ijaza which are normally issued to a student without looking at his skills in knowledge. Besides that Al-Albani did have Ijaza from Shaykh Raghib At-Tabbakh. The only people who have problem with Al-Albani are his opponents, and most of these Jarh are based on difference in Usool and Furu’. This type of criticism is normally rejected.
 Al-Albani was not that famous at that time.