Muḥaddithūn of Albania

Throughout Islāmic history, scholars of different sciences within the religion emerged from various regions & many of their works remain with us & continue to be studied today. In regards to Ḥadīth, majority of the Muḥaddithūn were either from Irān or of Persian ancestry. Herein, we’ll be looking into the three great scholars of Ḥadīth who were neither Persian or even Arab, but were rather from Albania or possessed Albanian ancestry.

Map of Albania & Albanian populated areas (Credit: DW)

Muḥammad Nāṣir ad-Dīn al-Albānī (d. 1420 AH/1999 CE): from Shkodër, Albania — Known as simply Shaykh al-Albānī, he was a prominent & very influential Muḥaddith, Muḥaqqiq, & Faqīh, usually regarded as one of the greatest scholars within the field of Ḥadīth in our era; leading him to be called by some the Mujaddid (Reviver of Islām) of our time.¹ He was known & sometimes referred to as “The Muḥaddith of Albania.“ His father was the scholar, Ḥanafī Faqīh, & Grand Muftī of Albania, Shaykh Nūḥ Najjātī al-Albānī. Shaykh al-Albānī & his family moved to Damascus, Syria where he learned Arabic, al-Qurʾān, Ḥanafī Fiqh under the tutelage of his father, & Ḥadīth, in which he excelled the most. He lived the rest of his life and passed away in Jordan.

A few of his works are:

  1. Ṣifah Ṣalāh an-Nabī (صفة صلاة النبي)
  2. Silsilah al-Aḥādīth aṣ-Ṣaḥīḥah (سلسلة الأحاديث الصحيحة)
  3. Silsilah al-Aḥādīth aḍ-Ḍaʻīfah (سلسلة الأحاديث الضعيفة)
  4. Irwā’ al-Ghalīl (إرواء الغليل)
  5. Ṣaḥīḥ al-Jāmiʿ (صحيح الجامع)

ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Arnā’ūṭ² (d. 1425 AH/2004 CE): from Istog, Kosovo³ — From the major scholars of Kosovo with Albanian descent was the renowned Muḥaddith & Muḥaqqiq, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Arnā’ūṭ. Well known by his contemporaries, he was a close companion of Shaykh al-Albānī whom he shared Taḥqīq with on the book Mishkāt al-Maṣābīḥ by Imām at-Tabrīzī. He also emigrated to Damascus, Syria at the age of just 3 years old where he grew up learning Arabic & Islāmic sciences, in which the science of Ḥadīth captured his heart. He lived the rest of his life and passed away in Damascus.

A few works he’s done Taḥqīq on are: 

  1. Mishkāt al-Maṣābīḥ (مشكاة المصابيح) by Imām at-Tabrīzī
  2. Jāmiʿ al-Uṣūl fī Aḥādīth ar-Rasūl (جامع الأصول في أحاديث الرسول) by ibn al-Athīr
  3. Zād al-Maʾād (زاد المعاد) by ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyyah
  4. al-Adhkār (الأذكار) by Imām an-Nawawī
  5. al-Kāfī (الكافي) by ibn Qudāmah al-Maqdisī

Shu’ayb ibn Muḥarram al-Albānī al-Arnā’ūṭī (d. 1438 AH/2016 CE): from Damascus, Syria — One of the foremost Muḥaqqiqūn in recent years, most known for his famous 52 volume Taḥqīq of Imām Aḥmad’s Musnad. From a family of Albanian descent, he was born in Damascus, Syria where he likewise grew up learning the Arabic language & sciences of Islām, in which he gave most of his time towards Arabic & al-Qurʾān. He was inspired to pursue Muṣṭalaḥ al-Ḥadīth & Taḥqīq after noticing poor referencing within books & the shortcomings of others in differentiating the authentic Ḥadīth from the weak, so he left off his profession of teaching Arabic to achieve his goal. As many scholars were emerging from Damascus during his time, he eventually led to becoming close companions with both Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Arnā’ūṭ & Shaykh al-Albānī. He lived the rest of his life and passed away in Jordan.

A few works he’s done Taḥqīq on are: 

  1. Musnad Aḥmad (مسند أحمد) by Imām Aḥmad
  2. Fatḥ al-Bārī (فتح الباري) by al-Ḥāfiẓ ibn Ḥajar al-‘Asqalānī
  3. Ṣaḥīḥ ibn Ḥibbān (صحيح ابن حبان) by Imām ibn Ḥibbān
  4. Sunan ibn Mājah (سُنن ابن ماجه) by Imām ibn Mājah
  5. Sunan ad-Dāraquṭnī (سنن الدارقطني) by Imām ad-Dāraquṭnī
  6. Riyāḍ aṣ-Ṣāliḥīn (رياض الصالحين) by Imām an-Nawawi

May Allāh have mercy upon these great Muḥaddithūn for their large contributions to the religion of Islām & allow them all to enter Jannah behind The Prophet ﷺ together.

All praise is due to Allāh, may His peace & blessings be upon our final Prophet Muḥammad, his family, his companions, & all those who follow him in guidance.

Footnotes:
[1] See article: Scholars praise of Shaykh al-Albānī.
[2] al-Arnā’ūṭī is the Nisbah (toponymic) used for a native or inhabitant of Albania & it’s neighboring regions.
[3] Kosovo is an independent sovereign state within Southeast Europe. In the past, it used to be considered a part of Albania.
[4] Muaqqiq: A scholar of verifying & checking sources of books.
[5] Taḥqīq: Verification & checking of sources.

Ṣafīullāh Labīb ibn Salīm ʿAbd al-Malik
23rd of Ṣafar 1444 – 19th of September 2022

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