On 31 August 2006, ostensibly due to a Yemeni Secret Police investigation over Yemeni Tribal issues, Awlaki was detained for questioning by the Yemeni authorities. According to reports, he was illegally detained at the behest of the USA and interrogated by the FBI. and as made clear in the following interview:
"Dear Brothers and Sisters, Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. Alhamdulillah I have been released on the 12th of December after spending almost a year and a half behind bars. The time I spend in detention was a great blessing from Allah. They were moments of contemplation and study which I was greatly in need of. Alhamdulillah, Allah has blessed me during that time of solitude with tranquility and peace to the extent that at most of the time I was preferring detention over freedom. Now that I am free I ask Allah to enable me to thank Him for his blessings. I am greatly moved to know that many of my brothers and sisters have been asking about my situation and praying for my release. I thank them all. May Allah reward all of you with Paradise."
Imam Anwar alAwlaki currently resides in Yemen, and runs a website and blog at http://www.anwar-alawlaki.com
In addition to an ijaza in Quran recitation according to the recitation of Hafs he has read and completed Sahih al Bukhari with Shaykh AbdulRahman Shumailah al Ahdal and has received ijazah to narrate Sahih al Bukhari, from Shaykh AbdulRahman, through three high isnaads, one of them being the highest existing isnaad in the world. The other two Shaykh AbdulRahman received from his shuyukh in Makkah.
Imam al-Awlaki has also read and completed Sahih Muslim and al Muwata by Imam Malik with Shaykh AbdulRahman and received ijazah on both books. He has studied al Minhaaj by Imaam Nawawi on Shafi fiqh with Shaykh AbdulRahman al Ahdal and Shaykh Hamud al Ahdal and received ijaza from both of them.
The above mentioned shuyukh have also given Imam al-Awlaki ijazah to narrate through their isnaad the six books of Hadith, al Adhkaar by Imaam Nawawi, al Shifa by Qadhi Iyaad, and some other books in Shafi fiqh.
Imam al-Awlaki has also studied, traveled and lived with Shaykh Hassan al Ahdal and it was through him that he was able to study with other scholars from this blessed family of scholars who are descendants of al Hussain bin Ali may Allah be pleased with them. They are based in al Marawa’ah in Tihama which is in the Western part of Yemen on the coast of the Red Sea and this is the land of the Sahabi Abu Musa al Ash’ari. Shaykh Hassan al Ahdal has given Imam al-Awlaki a general ijaza in the six books of hadith, Buloogh al Maraam by Ibn Hajjar al Asqalani, Umdat al Ahkaam by al Maqdisi, al Minhaaj by al Nawawi, al Ghaya wal Taqreeb by Abu Shuja, and al Waraqaat by al Juwaini. The Imam has also spent a short time with Shaykh Salman al Odah.
Al-Awlaki has mentioned that he has also benifitted considerably from the scholars he had met in the US during the 90’s, a time in which there was a great influx of islamic scholars in America.
Imam Anwar al-Awlaki has also studied with and continues to learn from Shaykh Hussein bin Mahfoodh. Whom he who says "is a friend whose relationship with me extends over the years. ...I have benefited and continue to benefit from the Shaykh whom I trust his deen and know him to be a scholar who does not fear in the sake of Allah and is willing to stand up for the truth... until this day, I consult with him on the various important aspects of Sharia that I am presented with and I have continued to benefit from his knowledge and wisdom over the years. I have accompanied him and traveled with him and consider him to be one of the best scholars that I have came[sic] to know."
In 2002 Imam Awlaki was given permission from the administration of the University of Eman in Yemen to attend any classes at any level whereupon he attended classes in Tafsir and Fiqh for a period of a few months. He also took knowledge from Shaykh Abdul Majid al Zindani the Rector of the University.
In addition to the ijaza’s mentioned above Imam al-Awlaki has a general ijaza in Quran, Sciences of Quran, Hadith, Sciences of Hadith, Tafsir , Fiqh, Usool Fiqh and Arabic from: Shaykh Hassan Maqbooli al Ahdal Shaykh Hussein bin Mahfoodh Shaykh AbdulRahman Shumailah al Ahdal Shaykh Hamud Shumailah al Ahdal
Lectures coming soon.........
Madina Period Vol 2
The crusaders and Al Andalus
Curent audio lectures......
Most of Unpublished Imam Awlaki's Lectures mentioned above can be downloaded for free of charge www.salaattime.com and click Audio.
You can contact Imam Anwar al Awlaki via his website and blog at http://www.anwar-alawlaki.com