Shaykh Ali Hasan al-Halabi on The Crisis in Dammaj
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Shaykh ‘Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee (hafidhahullah) on the Crisis in Dammaaj, Yemen
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Shaykh ‘Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee (hafidhahullah) on the Crisis in Dammaaj, Yemen
Source: Tarjamah Abee ‘Abdir-Rahmaan (pg. 16-29, with minor abridgement) [2nd Edition; 1999]
I come from Waadi’ah, which is a place to the east of the city of Sa’adah from the valley of Dammaaj. My name is Muqbil bin Haadee bin Muqbil bin Qaa’idah al-Hamdaanee al-Waadi’ee al-Khallaalee, from the tribe of Aali Raashid. 
All praise due to Allaah, most of the people of Waadi’ah, who neighbor Sa’adah defend me and the Da’wah. Some of them wish to defend the Religion while others defend their tribal devotion. If it were not for Allaah first, then them, the enemies of the (Salafi) Da’wah, particularly the Shee’ah of Sa’adah, would not have left behind any signs or traces of us.
I will mention some examples of them for which I ask Allaah to reward them, one of which was when I faced severe opposition in the Haadee Mosque because I turned people away from the (Shiite) Da’wah there. So some men from Waadi’ah and others stood by me to the point that Allaah saved me through their hands. The Shiites desired to rule against me. This was at the time of Ibraaheem Al-Hamdee. And evil people amongst the Communists and Shiites raised their heads and imprisoned me for a period of eleven days during Ramadaan. About fifty of the youth from Waad’iah would come to visit me in prison during some of the nights, while another hundred and fifty of their men would also go to the prison caretakers during these nights, so much so that the caretakers got fed up and released me from jail, all praise be to Allaah.
Another example is that the enemies of the Da’wah would sometimes come to Dammaaj with their weapons, so the people of Dammaaj would drive them away and they would be forced to leave in humiliation.
Another example is during our journeys. When I would say: “We wish to travel”, they would compete with one other, may Allaah preserve them, to see who would accompany and guard me. So sometimes we would go out on some of our travels in about 15 cars!
During these days, the Da’wah was progressing in a superb manner because, all praise be to Allaah, I had grown older. Perhaps at this point I have reached about 62 years of age. So it was the calamities and the advice from those who love the Da’wah that drove me to have kindness and to not keep up with the enemies, who don’t have anything but insults and abuses.
Also, due to my teaching, writing and giving Da’wah, I was not able to find time to keep up with those enemies. So let them say what they want for my sins are many, and perhaps because of their slander, my sins will be lightened for me and instead fall upon their shoulders.
My Studies and Teachers:
I studied at school until I completed the school’s curriculum. Then a long time passed without me seeking knowledge since there was no one who would encourage me or assist me in seeking knowledge. And I used to love seeking knowledge. So I sought knowledge from the Al-Haadee Mosque but I was not assisted in that.
After some time, I left my homeland (of Yemen) and went to the sacred lands (Makkah/Madeenah) and Najd. I would listen to the speakers and be fascinated by their sermons. So I sought the advice of some of the speakers on what beneficial books I should buy? They advised me to get Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree, Buloogh al-Maraam, Riyaadh as-Saaliheen, and Fath-ul-Majeed, the explanation of Kitaab at-Tawheed. And they gave me copies of the textbooks from the Tawheed courses.
At that time, I used to work as a security guard in a building in Makkah, and so I would cling tightly to those books, and the material would stick to my head because what the people in our country did was the opposite of what was in these books, especially Fath-ul-Majeed. After some time had passed, I returned to my country and began to rebuke everything I saw that contradicted what was in those books, such as offering sacrifices to other than Allaah, building shrines over the graves, and calling unto the deceased. So news of this reached the Shiites and they began to censure what I was upon. One of them would say (the hadeeth): “Whoever changes his religion, then kill him.” Another one sent a letter to my relatives saying: “If you don’t prevent him, we will imprison him!” But after that, they agreed to let me enter the Haadee Mosque in order to study with them, so that they may (perhaps) remove the misconceptions that had clung to my heart.
So after that, I was admitted to study with them in the Haadee Mosque. The head of education there was the Judge Mutahhir Hanash. I studied the book Al-‘Aqd-uth-Thameen and ath-Thalaatheen Mas’alah, along with its explanation by Haabis. From the teachers that taught me there was Muhammad bin Hasan al-Mutamayyiz. One time we were discussing the subject of seeing Allaah in the Hereafter, so he began to mock and ridicule Ibn Khuzaimah and other Imaams of Ahlus-Sunnah, but I used to conceal my creed. Despite that, I was too weak to put my right hand over my left hand during prayer, and I would pray with my hands by my side. We studied the text of al-Azhaar up to the section on Marriage.
I also studied an explanation of the Laws of Inheritance from a large book that was above the standard level, but I did not benefit from it. So I saw that the assigned books were not beneficial, except for Grammar, since I studied the books al-Aajroomiyyah and Qatar an-Nadaa with them. Then I asked the Judge, Qaasim bin Yahyaa ash-Shuwayl, to teach me Buloogh al-Maraam. So we started it, but then we were disapproved of, so we left it.
So when I saw that the assigned study books were of a Shiite and Mu’tazlite nature, I agreed to only take from the books of Grammar. So I studied Qatar an-Nadaa several times under Isma’eel al-Hatbah, may Allaah have mercy on him, in the masjid that I would live in and he would pray in. And he would give us a lot of time and attention. One time, Muhammad bin Hooriyyah came to the masjid and I advised him to abandon astrology (tanjeem). So he advised the people there to kick me out of the study program, but they interceded on my behalf and he kept quiet.
Some of the Shiites would pass by me while I was studying Qatar an-Nadaa and say something with the meaning that education would not have any effect on me. But I would just remain silent and benefit from the books on Grammar. I did this until the revolution started in Yemen, when we left our country and settled in Najraan. There I studied with Abul-Husayn Majd-ud-Deen al-Mu’eed and benefited from him particularly in the Arabic Language. I stayed in Najraan for the length of two years. Then when I became sure that the war between the Republic party and the King’s party (in Yemen) was all for the sake of worldly reasons, I resolved to travel to the sacred lands (Makkah/Madeenah) and to Najd. I lived in Najd for one and a half months in a school for Qur’aanic memorization, which was run by Shaikh Muhammad bin Sinaan Al-Hadaa’ee. He was very hospitable to me because he saw that I benefited from the knowledge. And he advised me to stay for a while until he could send me to the Islamic University (of Madeenah). But the environment in Riyaadh changed for me and I decided to travel to Makkah.
I used to work whenever I found work, and I would seek knowledge at night, attending the lessons of Shaikh Yahyaa bin ‘Uthmaan al-Paakistaanee on Tafseer Ibn Katheer, Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree and Saheeh Muslim.
I would go over several books and there I met two noble Shaikhs from the scholars of Yemen:
First: The Judge, Yahyaa al-Ashwal. I would study Subul-us-Salaam of as-San’aanee with him and he would teach me any subject that I asked him about.
Second: Shaikh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ash-Shaahidhee al-Muhwaytee. He would also teach me whatever I asked him about.
Then the educational institute in Makkah opened and I took the entrance exam with a group of students, and I passed, all praise be to Allaah.
The most distinguished of our teachers there was Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez as-Subayyal. I, along with a group of students from the institute, would also study with Shaikh ‘Abdullaah bin Muhammad bin Humayd, may Allaah have mercy on him, the book at-Tuhfah as-Saniyyah after ‘Ishaa at the Haram. He, may Allaah have mercy on him, would bring many points of benefit from Ibn ‘Aqeel and other scholars’ explanation. The lessons were above the level of my colleagues, so they began to slip away until he eventually stopped the class.
I also studied along with a group of students with Shaikh Muhammad as-Subayyal, may Allaah preserve him, the subject of the Laws of Inheritance.
After staying in the institute for some time, I left to go to my family in Najraan. Then I brought them to live with me in Makkah. We resided there together for the length of my studies in the institute and the Haram itself, which lasted six years.
The blessing of studying in the masaajid is well known. Do not ask about the friendly environment and relaxation we felt while in the masaajid. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) indeed spoke the truth when he said: “A group of people do not gather together in one of the Houses of Allaah, reciting the Book of Allaah and studying it amongst themselves, except that tranquility descends upon them, angels surround them, mercy engulfs them, and Allaah mentions them to those by Him.”
So I would spend the day studying in the institute, and all of the lessons would assist my Creed and Religion. Then from after ‘Asr till after the ‘Ishaa prayer, I would go to the Haram and drink from the Zamzam water, about which the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Verily, it is a drink that satiates and a cure for diseases.”
And we would listen to the speakers that came to Makkah from different lands to perform Hajj or ‘Umrah.
From the teachers that we learned from at the Haram between Maghrib and ‘Ishaa was Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Raashid an-Najdee, author of the book “Tayseer-ul-Wahyain fil-Iqtisaar ‘alal-Qur’aani was-Saheehain”, in which he has errors that we don’t agree with him on. He, may Allaah have mercy on him, used to say: “The authentic ahaadeeth that are not found in the two Saheeh Collections can be counted on one’s fingers.” This statement of his stuck to my mind since I had objections to it. This was all the way until I decided to write “As-Saheeh-ul-Musnad mimmaa laysa fis-Saheehain” after which I became more certain about the falsehood of his statement, Allaah have mercy on him.
However, he was a man of Tawheed, who had strong knowledge of the Science of Hadeeth and was able to distinguish the authentic from the weak and the defective from the pure with regard to hadeeth. What amazed me about him was that he would call people away from taqleed (blind-following), to the point that he wrote a treatise called “At-Tawaagheet-ul-Muqanna’” [Masked Deities of Falsehood]. So the government, and likewise some of the senior scholars, thought that he intended them by it. So the committee of senior scholars gathered together to debate with him. They said: “Did you intend us and the government with this book?” So he replied: “If you feel that you possess the characteristics that I mentioned in the book, then it includes you. And if you feel that you do not possess those characteristics that I mentioned in the book, then it doesn’t include you.” Thereafter, the book was banned from entering into the Kingdom. I was informed about this.
One night, he was asked to give a class, but it was as if to only test him. So he began his class with Allaah’s statement: “Follow that which has been revealed to you from your Lord and do not follow false gods besides Him. Little do you remember.” [Surah Al-A’raaf: 3] He followed that with numerous ayaat that prove the prohibition of taqleed (blind-following). After this, he was restricted from teaching at the Haram, and we ask Allaah’s aid.
And from my teachers at the Grand Mosque (Haram) of Makkah who I benefited from was Shaikh Muhammad bin ‘Abdillaah as-Sumaalee, for I attended his lessons for about seven or more months. And he was an ayah (manifest sign) in terms of knowledge of the narrators used by the two Shaikhs (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim). I benefited immensely from him in the Science of Hadeeth. All praise to my Lord, since I started seeking knowledge, I didn’t love anything except knowledge of the Book and the Sunnah.
After I completed the intermediate and secondary levels of the educational institute in Makkah, and after completing all of my religious lessons, I moved to Madeenah to go to the Islamic University there. Most of us transferred to the Faculty of Da’wah and Usool-ud-Deen. The most distinguished of those who taught us there were: Shaikh as-Sayyid Muhammad al-Hakeem and Shaikh Mahmood ‘Abdul-Wahhaab Faa’id, both from Egypt. When vacation time came, I feared that time would go by wasted so I joined the Faculty of Sharee’ah, due to two reasons, the first of which was to acquire knowledge:
This was since some of the classes there were successive while others were combined. So it was a like a repetition of what we had studied in the Faculty of Da’wah. I completed both Faculty courses, all praise be to Allaah, and I was given two degrees. However, all praise be to Allaah, I give no regard to certificates; what merits recognition in my opinion is knowledge.
In the same year that I finished the two College courses, an advanced studies program opened in the Islamic University, which they called the Masters program. So I went for the interview exam and passed, all praise be to Allaah. The advanced studies course was on the Science of Hadeeth. All praise be to Allaah, I studied the subject that I loved the most. The most prominent of those who taught us there was Shaikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Misree, may Allaah have mercy on him, Shaikh As-Sayyid Muhammad al-Hakeem al-Misree, and during the last part of my studies, Shaikh Hammaad bin Muhammad al-Ansaaree. On some nights, I would attend the classes of Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz in the Prophet’s Mosque (in Madeenah) on the subject of Saheeh Muslim. I would also attend the gatherings of Shaikh Al-Albaanee, which were specified to only the students of knowledge, in order to learn from him.
While I was in Makkah, I would teach some of the students of knowledge from the books Qatar-un-Nadaa and at-Tuhfah as-Saniyyah. And while I was in Madeenah, I would teach some of my brothers the book at-Tuhfah as-Saniyyah in the Prophet’s Mosque. Then I promised my Muslim brothers that I would hold classes on the Jaami’ (Sunan) of at-Tirmidhee, Qatar-un-Nadaa and Al-Baa’ith-ul-Hatheeth for them in my house after ‘Asr.
So a great wave of Da’wah spread from Madeenah, which filled the world in the time-span of six years. It was some righteous people who were ones who took on the task of financing it, while Muqbil bin Haadee and his Muslim brothers were the ones who took on the task of teaching their fellow brothers. As for traveling for the purpose of Calling to Allaah throughout all regions of the Kingdom, then this was shared between all of the brothers – the student of knowledge so that he can acquire knowledge and benefit others, and the common person so that he could learn. This was such that many of the common folk benefited and grew to love the (Salafi) Da’wah.
One of our Muslim brothers from amongst the students of knowledge was an Imam of a masjid in Riyadh. One time some people of knowledge rebuked him for using a sutrah. So he said: “We are unable to in front of you, but by Allaah, no one but a common person will get up to teach you the ahaadeeth of the Sutrah.” So he called a brother from the general folk who loved the Da’wah and had memorized the ahaadeeth of the Sutrah from “Al-Lu’lu wal-Marjaan feemataffaqa ‘alayhi ash-Shaikhaan.” So he got up and narrated these ahaadeeth, after which the opposers felt ashamed and stayed quiet.
After this, the blind followers and the scholars of evil began to set in motion, and the reason for this stirring of the blind-followers, who were considered scholars in the eyes of the people, was because whenever they would find a young student of knowledge amongst our students and they would use a hadeeth as proof, the student would say to them: “Who reported the hadeeth?” And this was something they were not accustomed to. Then he would say to them: “What is the status (i.e. grading) of the hadeeth?” This was something that they also weren’t accustomed to. So they would embarrass them in front of the people. And sometimes the student would say to them: “This is a weak hadeeth. There is so and so in its chain of narration and so and so declared him weak.” So upon hearing this, it is as if the earth would become constricted beneath these blind-followers. And they would then go about spreading lies that these students were Khawaarij, when in fact the brothers were not from the Khawaarij who make it lawful to shed a Muslim’s blood and who deem a Muslim a disbeliever on the count of sins.
However, there would occur some errors on the part of some of the new brothers, and this was because the beginner is almost always overwhelmed with excessive zeal. At that time, I was preparing my Master’s dissertation, when all of a sudden one night, before I knew what was happening, they arrested me and arrested almost one hundred and fifty others. Some people were able to escape, but the earth trembled between those who opposed and those who agreed with out arrest. We remained in prison for a month or a month and a half. After that we were set free, all praise be to Allaah.
Shortly after this, the treatises from Juhaymaan were released and a group of us were again arrested.  During the interrogation, they asked me: “Where you the one who wrote this?” What, Juhaymaan can’t write? So I denied this, and Allaah knows that I didn’t write it nor did I assist in any part of it. But after staying in jail for three months, an order was made for foreigners to be deported.
When I arrived at Yemen, I went back to my village and stayed there for a while teaching the children Qur’aan. Before I knew it, it seemed like the whole world was in an all-out battle against me. It was as if I had come out to destroy the country, the Religion and the rulership. At that time, I didn’t know any leader or tribal chief. So I would say: “Allaah is sufficient for me and the best of Guardians.” When things would get tight, I would go to San’aa or to Haashid or to Dhimmaar, and also to Ta’iz, Ibb and Hudaydah to give Da’wah and to visit the Muslims brothers.
After some days, some good-doers sent me my library from Madeenah. They sent the books to Sa’adah where the head of shipments there was malicious of the Sunnah. Some of our companions went to request the books from him, so he said: “Come back after Dhuhr, Allaah willing.” But he didn’t return after Dhuhr. Instead, some Shiites mobilized and requested the caretakers to confiscate the books because they were Wahaabbi books!
Do not ask about the monetary fees, hardships and injustice that occurred to me as a result of trying to get my books! Many of the brothers from the inhabitants of my country made great efforts to follow that up, including Shaikh ‘Abdullaah bin Husayn al-Ahmar, Shaikh Hazaa’ Dab’aan, the caretakers of the Guidance and Counseling Center, such as the Judge Yahyaa al-Fasayyal, may Allaah have mercy on him, and brother ‘Aa’id bin ‘Alee Mismaar. After a long difficulty, the people of Sa’adah sent a telegraph to the President ‘Alee bin ‘Abdillaah bin Saalih, so he assigned the case to the judge, ‘Alee as-Samaan. The judge sent me a letter and promised that he would turn over the library to me. And he said: “The people of Sa’adah are very strict. They call the scholars of San’aa disbelievers.” So I went to San’aa to get my books. Allaah decreed that my books arrive there while the judge ‘Alee Samaan was out of the country on a mission. So when some of the brothers went to ask for it, the head of the Ministry of Endowments told them: “These books need to be inspected.” So some of our Muslim brothers at the Center for Guidance and Counseling mobilized and went to request the books. So they said: “These books are under our jurisdiction. We must examine them, so whatever is upright, we will hand over to al-Waadi’ee and whatever violates the Religion, we will keep it with us.” So by doing this, they discovered that the books were in fact purely religious and turned the them over to me without inspecting them, so may Allaah reward them.
I brought the books into my country, all praise be to Allaah. And my close ones, may Allaah reward them, built a small library and a small masjid. And they said: “We will pray Jumu’ah here to avoid hardships and problems. Sometimes we would pray there with only six people present.
One time the governor Haadee al-Hasheeshi asked for me, so I went to Shaikh Qaa’id Majlee, may Allaah have mercy on him, who then called him and said: “What do you want from al-Waadi’ee?” He said: “Nothing, except to get to know him.” So he said: “We will look for him in his institute.”
In another instance, some other leader asked for me and so Husayn bin Qaa’id Majlee went with me to see him. He (Majlee) began to talk against the Shee’ah and explain to him that we call to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and that the Shee’ah hate us because of that because they fear that the truth will come out about them, so this leader said: “Indeed, the Shiites have tainted the history of Yemen, so as long as your Da’wah (call) is as you say it is, then call to it and we are with you.”
After this I spent some time with my library. Only a few days had passed when some Egyptian brothers came and we started classes on some of the books of Hadeeth and the Arabic Language. After this, students continued to come from Egypt, Kuwait, the Sacred Lands (Makkah and Madeenah), Najd, ‘Aden, Hadramaut, Algeria, Libya, Somalia, Belgium, and other Muslim and non-Muslim countries.
The number of students has now reached between six to seven hundred students, amongst which are a hundred and seventy families. And Allaah is the One who provides them with sustenance. And all of this is not because of our might or power, nor due to the amount of knowledge we have or because of our courage or eloquence in speech. Rather, this is something that Allaah willed to be. So He was the One, all praise to Allaah, that granted us this blessing.
[End of Translation of Shaikh Muqbil’s Autobiography]
Shaikh Muqbil bin Haadee Al-Waadi’ee passed away on the 2nd of Jumaadal-Oolaa, 1422H (7/21/2001) due to a liver disease that he was suffering from for a long time, and due to which he traveled to America, Germany and Saudi Arabia during the last part of his life to seek treatment for. He was around seventy years of age when he died in Jeddah. His funeral prayer was held in Makkah and he was buried in the Al-‘Adl Cemetery near the graves of Shaikhs Ibn Baaz and Ibn Al-‘Uthaimeen, may Allaah have mercy on all of them.
The Scholars’ Praise for him:
Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen said: “Tell him that I consider him to be a mujaddid.”
Shaikh Al-Albaanee said: “So degrading and belittling these two Shaikhs (Rabee’ and Muqbil), who call to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and what the Salaf As-Saalih were upon and who wage war against those who oppose this correct methodology. As is quite clear to everyone, it either comes from one of two types of people. Either it comes from someone who is ignorant or someone who follows his desires… If he is ignorant, then he can be taught. But if he is one who follows his desires, then we seek Allaah’s refuge from the evil of this person. And we ask Allaah, Mighty and Sublime, to either guide him or break his back.” [The Audio series Silsilah al-Hudaa wan-Noor: 1/851]
Shaikh Yahyaa al-Hajooree reported that Shaikh Rabee’ Al-Madkhalee said about him: “He is the mujaddid in the lands of Yemen” and that he said: “there can’t be found from the time of ‘Abdur-Razaaq as-San’aanee to this present day someone who established the Da’wah and revived it as the likes of Al-Waadi’ee.” 
 Translator’s Note: In her biographical account of her father, Umm ‘Abdillaah Al-Waadi’iyyah said: “His father died while he was young and he didn’t know him. So he grew up as an orphan and under the care of his mother for a period of time. She would ask him to work to make money and order him to look at the state of his community so that he could be like them. But he would turn away from this and say: ‘I will go out to study.’ So she would say: ‘May Allaah guide you.’ She would supplicate for him to be guided, as several women who were around at that time informed me. Perhaps her supplication coincided with the time when supplications are accepted since he became one of the guided, guiding others.” [Nubdhah Mukhtasarah: pg. 18]
 Translator’s Note: This refers to Juhaymaan bin Muhammad al-‘Utaybee, a deviant from Saudi Arabia who took over the Grand Mosque of Makkah with hundreds of followers in 1979, and held it for several days, after which the senior scholars allowed force to be used in the sacred site of the Ka’bah in order to regain it. The Saudi National Guard subdued them about two weeks later after much blood was shed and casualties were lost on the part of the rebels and the Saudi army. The remaining dissidents that were captured were later beheaded. Shaikh Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) mentioned this Juhaymaan in his book as-Saheehah (5/872), saying: “…And like the followers of the Saudi Juhaymaan, who caused the fitnah in the Grand Mosque in Makkah at the beginning of the 1400’s (Hijree). He claimed that the awaited Mahdee was with him and sought from those present in the Mosque to give him bay’ah (allegiance). Some of the simple-minded, heedless and evil people followed him. Then Allaah put an end to their fitnah after they had shed much of the Muslims’ blood.”
 Translator’s Note: It must be re-emphasized here that this statement comes from the second edition of his autobiography, which was printed in 1999. Since then these numbers have continued to increase, such that in present times, the Shaikh’s school, which is now taught and supervised by Shaikh Yahyaa Al-Hajooree has around 1000 students and 500 families, all praise be to Allaah.
 Translator’s Note: These quotes are from the book Nubdhah Mukhtasarah of Shaikh Muqbil’s daughter Umm ‘Abdillaah (pg. 46}