Shaking hands when meeting & parting

Abu Hurairah said that: “When the Prophet ﷺ used to see someone off, he would say:

أَسْتَوْدِعُ اللهَ دِينَكَ وَأَمَانَتَكَ وَخَوَاتِيمَ عَمَلِكَ
(I leave your religion, your trusts, and the last of your deeds in Allaah’s protection).”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“A number of benefits can be derived from this authentic narration. First: the lawfulness of seeing someone off with its statement:

أَسْتَوْدِعُ اللهَ دِينَكَ وَأَمَانَتَكَ وَخَوَاتِيمَ عَمَلِكَ

The traveler then responds to him by saying:

أَسْتَوْدِعُكُمُ اللهَ الَّذِي لا تَضِيعُ وَدَائِعُهُ
(I entrust you to Allaah whose trusts are never lost).[1]

Second: taking hold of one hand when shaking hands (al-musaafahah), which has been mentioned in many narrations. This is what its linguistic derivation indicates, as Lisaan al-`Arab states that: ‘Al-musaafahah is taking hold of the hand, the same as at-tasaafuh. A man shakes hands with another man if he places the safh of his hand in the safh of the other’s hand, safh meaning the front (palm). An example of this is the narration about al-musaafahah upon meeting, which is an interaction of joining one palm to another and turning face-to-face.’ I say: some of the afore-mentioned narrations report this meaning as well, like the marfoo` narration of Hudhaifah: ‘Indeed, if a believer meets another believer then greets him with the salaam and takes hold of his hand and shakes hands with him, their sins fall off as leaves of trees do.’[2] Al-Mundhiri (3/270) said: ‘At-Tabaraani reported it in al-Awsat, and I don’t know of anyone who was refuted among its narrators.’ I say: it has supporting narrations that raise it to the level of saheeh, such as the narration of Anas mentioned by ad-Dhiyaa al-Maqdisi in al-Mukhtaarah (240/2-1) which al-Mundhiri attributed to Ahmad and others. All these narrations show that the way of the Prophet in shaking hands is to take hold of one hand; hence handshaking with both hands which some of the shaikhs do is against the Sunnah, so let this be known.

Third: shaking hands is legislated at the time of parting as well, which is supported by the general meaning of his ﷺ statement: ‘Shaking hands is part of perfecting the greeting of salaam.’ This is a jayyid narration considering its chains of narration, and perhaps we will dedicate a special chapter to it if Allaah تعالى wills. Then I traced these chains of narration and it became clear to me that they are extremely weak, which cannot be used as supporting evidence to strengthen the narration. Hence, I reported it in as-Silsilah adh-Dha`eefah 1288. The basis for using it as evidence, rather supporting evidence, only becomes clear if one remembers the lawfulness of giving the salaam when parting as well due to his ﷺ statement: ‘If one of you enters a gathering then let him give the salaam, and if he goes to leave then let him give the salaam, as the former is not more deserving than the latter.’[3] Abu Daawood, at-Tirmidhi and others reported it with a hasan chain of narration. So what some people say –that shaking hands at the time of parting is an innovation– is baseless. Yes, whoever looks at the narrations about shaking hands upon meeting will find them to be more numerous and stronger than those about shaking hands when parting. A naturally intelligent person will conclude that the lawfulness of the second handshaking is not like the first one in rank. The first one is sunnah and the second one is mustahabb. As for the second one being an innovation, then no, due to the evidence that we mentioned. On the other hand, shaking hands immediately after the prayers is an innovation no doubt, unless it is between two people who had not met before that, in which case it would be sunnah as you learned.”

[1] Saheeh al-Kalim at-Tayyib 168
[2] As-Silsilah as-Saheehah 526
[3] Saheeh Abu Daawood 5208, Saheeh at-Tirmidhi 2706

[as-sisilah as-saheehah 16 /]


Morning & evening dhikr

Q: “When is the time for making the morning and evening adhkaar (pl. of dhikr)?”

Shaikh al-Albaani: “The morning adhkaar are said after Fajr and the evening adhkaar are said after `Asr.”

Q: “Okay, what is the proof for this O Shaikh? We heard in Afghanistan that you said the evening adhkaar are said after Maghrib?”

Shaikh: “No, it’s after `Asr.”

Q: “Okay, what is the proof for this?”

Shaikh: “Because evening linguistically starts after `Asr.”

[silsilat ul-hudaa wa nnoor 192/6 /]


Entering Paradise “for” your deeds

The Prophet ﷺ said: “‘None of you will enter Paradise for his deeds.’ They asked: ‘Not even you O Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ?’ He replied: ‘Not even me, unless Allaah covers me with His Favor and Mercy.’[1]

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“Know that this narration may be problematic to some people and they may presume that it contradicts Allaah’s تعالى statement: {This is the Paradise which you have been made to inherit for what you used to do}[2] and similar verses and narrations which point out that entering Paradise happens for one’s deeds. This has been addressed in several ways, the most correct answer being that: the preposition “for” in the narration means “for the price of,” and the “for” in the verse means “because of.” In other words, righteous deeds are a necessary means to entering Paradise, however they don’t amount to the price for entering Paradise and its everlasting bliss and ranks.”

[1] Saheeh Muslim 2816
[2] Surah Az-Zukhruf 43:72

[as-sisilah as-saheehah 2602 /]


The Kursi

Imaam at-Tahaawiyy said:

The `Arsh (Throne) and the Kursi (Footstool) are real.”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“Allaah تعالى said about the Kursi: {His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth}.[1] The Kursi is that which is in front of the `Arsh; and it has been authentically reported that Ibn `Abbaas said: ‘The Kursi is the place for the two Feet, and no one can tell how vast the `Arsh is except Allaah تعالى,’ as narrated in my book Mukhtasar Al-`Uluw lith-Thahabi no. 36.[2]

There isn’t any authentic report ascribable to the Prophet ﷺ regarding the Kursi besides his ﷺ statement: ‘The seven heavens in comparison to the Kursi are just like a ring thrown in a desert, and the greatness of the `Arsh over the Kursi is like the greatness of that desert over that ring.’ This is something which also invalidates interpreting the Kursi as ‘knowledge,’ and this interpretation is not an authentic report from Ibn `Abbaas as I clarified in As-Saheehah no. 109.”

[1] Surah Al-Baqarah 2:255
[2] Abu Musa al-Ash`ari also said: “The Kursi is the place for the two Feet, and it creaks like a camel saddle does under heavy load” –Mukhtasar Al-`Uluw lith-Thahabi no. 85

[al-`aqeedah at-tahaawiyyah sharh wa ta`leeq 49 /]


Four rivers of Paradise

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said:

1. “Sayhaan, Jayhaan, Al-Furaat (i.e. the Euphrates) and An-Neel (i.e. the Nile) are all rivers of Paradise” – Saheeh, As-Saheehah no. 110.

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said:

2. “Four rivers are gushed forth from Paradise: Al-Furaat (i.e. the Euphrates), An-Neel (i.e. the Nile), As-Sayhaan and Jayhaan” – Hasan, As-Saheehah no. 111.

Anas bin Maalik narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said:

2. “(The tree) Sidratul-Muntahaa appeared before me in the seventh heaven; its fruits were (enormous) like jugs from (the town of) Hajar and its leaves were (enormous) like the ears of elephants. Two visible rivers and two hidden rivers were flowing out from its trunk. I said: ‘O Jibreel! What are these?’ He replied: ‘The hidden ones are in Paradise and the visible ones are the Nile and Euphrates.’” – Saheeh, As-Saheehah no. 112.

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“Furthermore, perhaps what is meant by these rivers being from Paradise is that they are originally from there, just like man is originally from Paradise; and such is indicated by the wording of the second hadeeth: ‘are gushed forth . . .’ So the hadeeth does not contradict the perceived phenomenon of these rivers emanating from their well-known springs on Earth.

If this, or something similar, isn’t the meaning, then the hadeeth is one of the matters of the unseen: it is obligatory to believe in them and submit to the one informing us of them. {But no, by your Lord, they will not have faith until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in whatever disputes occur between them, and then find within themselves no discomfort over what you have judged and submit completely} [4:65].”

[nudhum vol. 2 p. 460-1 /]


Being good to women

Al-Miqdaam bin Ma`dee Karib narrated that the Prophet ﷺ stood among the people (and gave a speech), praising Allaah then saying:

“Allaah commands you to be good to women, Allaah commands you to be good to women, for they are your mothers, your daughters, your maternal aunts. A man from the People of the Book marries a woman without any thread in her hands yet neither of them parts from the other [until they both pass away in old age].”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“His statement: without any thread in her hands’ alludes to her being young and poor. In An-Nihaayah: Al-Harbi said: i.e. due to her youth and lack of gentleness, so he would have patience with her until they would both pass away in old age. The intent was to urge his companions to follow the command regarding women and to have patience with them, i.e. the People of the Book would do that with their women.’

I say: They used to do so when they had good character and piety even with a changed religion. Today, on the other hand, they forbid divorce -which Allaah has allowed- and allow fornication and even homosexuality openly!”

[as-silsilah as-saheehah 2871/]


Women praying taraweeh at the mosque

Q: “Is it best for a woman to perform the night prayer in Ramadhaan (taraaweeh) in her house or at the mosque?”

Shaikh al-Albaani: “Particularly for the night prayer in Ramadhaan, the best thing is what the righteous believing women of the Righteous Predecessors (Salaf as-Saalih) used to do, which is performing it with the congregation of Muslims in the mosques, as opposed to the rest of the months in which case ‘Their houses are better for them’ as the Prophet ﷺ said.”

Q: “So it is recommended (mustahabb) for a woman, as you said, to go out to pray taraaweeh?”

Shaikh al-Albaani: “Didn’t you get the answer to this question already?

Q: “Yes but just to confirm.”

Shaikh al-Albaani: “Yes it is as you said. And it is even more recommended for the 27th night.”

[al-fataawaa al-muhimmah 431 /]


The difference between a Salafi and a Madhhabi

Q: “Some people claim that Salafis weaken ahaadeeth that are authentic according to the Four Imaams or some of them, and authenticate whatever suits their manhaj that opposes madhhabism. What is your opinion?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“I say: This is a false claim; and like it’s said: ‘If you do not have any clear proofs for claims, the claimers are people who ascribe to false lineages’ (i.e. these claims are false/rejected). The difference between Salafis and Madhhabis is that Salafis don’t show bigotry towards a particular Imaam of the Muslims – not in fiqh or hadeeth or anything else – but rather they follow the advice of the Imaams themselves who forbid blind-following them and said to their followers: take from where we took. So we try to take from where they took. For example, they took from the Companions, and the Companions took from Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ, but they did not restrict themselves to a specific Companion. Sometimes they took from Abu Bakr, sometimes from `Umar, and so on.

So as they followed this way with the best of the people (i.e. the Companions) after Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ , we also do as they did. We take from their madhhabs the things that agree with the Book and the authentic Sunnah, and we don’t show bigotry towards any of them. So sometimes we agree with all of them​, ​sometimes we oppose all of them​,​ because in this second situation​ we follow​ what other ​Imaams were upon, and so on.

So the claim that we oppose the Imaams or some of them in order to support our own madhhab is false. We do not have a particular madhhab; our madhhab is to go with the truth wherever it is, and this is what they commanded us to do.”

[su.aalaat 186-7 /]