In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy

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Imaam As-Sadi [rahimahullaah] said: They [i.e. the upright scholars and teachers] are the mediators between the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] and his Ummah with regards to propagation of his religion and clarification of his Sharee’ah. Had it not been for these ones, the people would have been like cattle.

They are the ones who guide the Ummah in the fundamental and subsidiary affairs of their Religion. They return them to the rulings pertaining to the rights and dealings that are incumbent upon a person to fulfil, just as they return them to the affairs related to acts of worship.

Through them, the Book and the Sunnah are established; truth is distinguished from falsehood, guidance is distinguished from misguidance, the lawful is distinguished from the unlawful, good is distinguished from evil, and [sound] rectification is distinguished from corruption.

They are of varying ranks, in accordance with what they establish of knowledge, teaching and benefit- great or small. They have great rights [to be fulfilled] by the ummah and are possessors of a lofty status.

Therefore, the people must have love and respect for them. They must recognise their excellence and virtue, and thank them greatly. They are to supplicate for them in private and public, and seek nearness to Allaah by having love for them and praising them.

They are to proclaim their excellence; guard the hearts [from harbouring evil against them] and [prevent] the tongues [from] insulting them, for this would tarnish their excellence. [Source: An Excerpt From ‘Noorul Basaa-ir Wal Albaab Fee Ahkaamil Ibaadaat Wal-Mu-aamalaat Wal Huqooq Wal Aadaab, page: 57-58. Slightly paraphrased]

Shaikh Muhammad Baazmool [hafidhahullaah] said: The scholar intended in this lecture and a clarification of the rights he is [owed], is that one who has knowledge of the Book of Allaah [The Most High] and the Sunnah of His Messenger [sallal -laahu-alayhi-wasallam] And from the most important characteristics of this scholar is that he is submissive [to Allaah] and humbles himself to the command of Allaah, which is a characteristic of those who possess knowledge. Allaah [The Blessed and Exalted] said:

قُلۡ ءَامِنُواْ بِهِۦۤ أَوۡ لَا تُؤۡمِنُوٓاْ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡعِلۡمَ مِن قَبۡلِهِۦۤ إِذَا يُتۡلَىٰ عَلَيۡہِمۡ يَخِرُّونَ لِلۡأَذۡقَانِ سُجَّدً۬ا

وَيَقُولُونَ سُبۡحَـٰنَ رَبِّنَآ إِن كَانَ وَعۡدُ رَبِّنَا لَمَفۡعُولاً۬

وَيَخِرُّونَ لِلۡأَذۡقَانِ يَبۡكُونَ وَيَزِيدُهُمۡ خُشُوعً۬ا

Say (O Muhammad to them): “Believe in it (the Qur’an) or do not believe (in it). Verily! Those who were given knowledge before it (the Jews and the Christians like ‘Abdullah bin Salam and Salman Al-Fraise), when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration.” And they say: “Glory be to our Lord! Truly, the Promise of our Lord must be fulfilled.” And they fall down on their faces weeping and it adds to their humility. [Surah Al-Israa’ Aayaat 107-109]

Allaah [The Blessed and Exalted] said:

وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ وَٱلدَّوَآبِّ وَٱلۡأَنۡعَـٰمِ مُخۡتَلِفٌ أَلۡوَٲنُهُ ۥ كَذَٲلِكَۗ إِنَّمَا يَخۡشَى ٱللَّهَ مِنۡ عِبَادِهِ ٱلۡعُلَمَـٰٓؤُاْۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ غَفُورٌ

And of men and AdDawab (moving living creatures, beasts, etc.), and cattle, in like manner of various colours. It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Mighty, Oft-Forgiving. [Surah Faatir’ Aayah 28]

He [i.e. this scholar] is Zaahid [i.e. his heart is not attached to the worldly life in a blameworthy manner], suffices himself with little and urges his people to be on guard regarding this affair. [Allaah stated that those who were given knowledge amongst Bani Israa’eel said to their people when they became amazed with Qaaroon’s wealth]:

وَقَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡعِلۡمَ وَيۡلَڪُمۡ ثَوَابُ ٱللَّهِ خَيۡرٌ۬ لِّمَنۡ ءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـٰلِحً۬ا وَلَا يُلَقَّٮٰهَآ إِلَّا ٱلصَّـٰبِرُونَ

But those who had been given (religious) knowledge said: “Woe to you! The Reward of Allah (in the Hereafter) is better for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and this none shall attain except those who are patient (in following the truth). [Surah Al-Aqsa’s’ Aayah 80]

Allaah [The Blessed and Exalted] said:

وَمَا كَانَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ لِيَنفِرُواْ ڪَآفَّةً۬‌ۚ فَلَوۡلَا نَفَرَ مِن كُلِّ فِرۡقَةٍ۬ مِّنۡہُمۡ طَآٮِٕفَةٌ۬ لِّيَتَفَقَّهُواْ فِى ٱلدِّينِ وَلِيُنذِرُواْ قَوۡمَهُمۡ إِذَا رَجَعُوٓاْ إِلَيۡہِمۡ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَحۡذَرُونَ

And it is not (proper) for the believers to go out to fight (Jihad) all together. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may get instructions in (Islamic) religion, and that they may warn their people when they return to them, so that they may beware (of evil). [Surah At-Taw bah’ Aayah 122]

A [true] scholar sees that [the basis, means and source of all] truth and guidance [is found] in that which Allaah [The Most High] has revealed. Allaah [The Blessed and Exalted] said:

وَيَرَى ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡعِلۡمَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ هُوَ ٱلۡحَقَّ وَيَهۡدِىٓ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطِ ٱلۡعَزِيزِ ٱلۡحَمِيدِ

And those who have been given knowledge see that what is revealed to you (O Muhammad) from your Lord is the truth, and guides to the Path of the Exalted in Might, Owner of all praise. [Surah Saba’ Aayah 6]

The [true] scholar understands the similitudes Allaah has put forward for mankind in the noble Qur’aan. Allaah [The Blessed and Exalted] said: [وَتِلۡكَ ٱلۡأَمۡثَـٰلُ نَضۡرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ‌ۖ وَمَا يَعۡقِلُهَآ إِلَّا ٱلۡعَـٰلِمُونَ – And these similitudes We put forward for mankind, but none will understand them except those who have knowledge (of Allah and His Signs, etc.) [Surah Al-Ankabut’ Aayah 43]

The [true] scholar is that one who possesses sound understanding and can derive sound rulings from the texts [of the Qur’aan and Sunnah]. Allaah [The Blessed and Exalted] said:

وَإِذَا جَآءَهُمۡ أَمۡرٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَمۡنِ أَوِ ٱلۡخَوۡفِ أَذَاعُواْ بِهِۦ‌ۖ وَلَوۡ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى ٱلرَّسُولِ وَإِلَىٰٓ أُوْلِى ٱلۡأَمۡرِ مِنۡہُمۡ لَعَلِمَهُ ٱلَّذِينَ يَسۡتَنۢبِطُونَهُ ۥ مِنۡہُمۡ‌ۗ وَلَوۡلَا فَضۡلُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ وَرَحۡمَتُهُ ۥ لَٱتَّبَعۡتُمُ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنَ إِلَّا قَلِيلاً۬

When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people), if only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly). Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah upon you, you would have followed Shaitan (Satan), save a few of you. [Surah An-Nisaa’ Aayah 83]

This is the scholar we intend to talk about, the danger of violating his rights and behaving badly towards him. The scholars have rights, and whoever does not acknowledge [or give them those rights] is not from us. Abdullaah Ibn Amr [radiyallaahu-anhu] said that the Prophet [sallal-laahu alayhi wasallam] said:

من لم يرحم صغيرنا، ويعرف حق كبيرنا، فليس منا

He is not one of us who does not show mercy to our younger ones [and does not] acknowledge the rights of our elders. [Hadeeth in Abu Daawud Number 4943. Sh Albaani graded it to be authentic in his checking of Sunan Abee Daawud]

It is from the rights of knowledge that one recognises the rights of a [true] scholar, recognise that Allaah has raised his status and granted him knowledge. Allaah [The Most High] said:

يَرۡفَعِ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنكُمۡ وَٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡعِلۡمَ دَرَجَـٰتٍ۬‌ۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ۬

Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do. [Surah Al-Mujaadilah’ Aayah 11]

Therefore, his status is acknowledged because Allaah raised his status by way of the knowledge he is given.

Some Important Rights of The Scholars

One should consider himself [deficient, lacking etc] compared to the understanding, piety and the fear of Allaah possessed by the scholars. Neither should he regard himself to be more virtuous than them nor regard his understanding to be distinguished [in superiority] over theirs. I fear for the one who sees himself as having virtue over the scholars that there might be some characteristics of pride in him. Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood [radiyallaahu-anhu] reported that the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] said: “No one will enter Paradise in whose heart is an atom’s weight of arrogance.” A man said: What if a man likes his clothes to look nice and his shoes to look nice? He said: “Verily Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty; arrogance means rejecting the truth and looking down on people.” [saheeh Muslim hadeeth number 91]

Rejecting the truth means: repelling, rebutting and denying it. And looking down on the people means: belittling them, humiliating them and being arrogant towards them. And when it is the case that this is [tantamount] to pride [when dealing with the] people, then how about this [behaviour of yours towards] the scholars.

One should be respectful and polite towards [them when dealing with those rulings of theirs that are based on ijtihaad], even when it becomes manifest that it [i.e. the ijtihaad] is wrong, for indeed they are still not deprived of reward. They are either rewarded twice or rewarded once and forgiven. Amr Ibnul Aas [radiyallaahu-anhu] said that he heard the Messenger of Allaah [sallal-laahu alayhi-wasallam] saying, “If a judge gives a verdict according to the best of his knowledge and hi verdict is correct [i.e. agrees with Allaah and His Messenger’s verdict, he will receive a double reward; and if he gives a verdict according to the best of his knowledge and his verdict is wrong [i.e. against that of Allaah and His Messenger], even then he will get a reward.” [Al-Bukhaari Number 7352]

One should contemplate on their statements and their Ijtihaad [i.e. those verdicts they give after striving- to the best of their knowledge-to reach the truth]. One should not rush to refute it [i.e. their statements and verdicts], for how many statements of a scholar is criticised by some people, whilst the evil of the criticiser [i.e. the evil he causes for himself and others] was due to an unsound understanding of the statements of the scholar or [scholars].

Important Reminders

Read article to remind you about the manner in which we should deal with the scholars when they err.

One does not seek to diminish their status by saying that they do not possess knowledge of a worldly craft. So, it should not be said about a scholar [i.e. whilst seeking to diminish his status], “He does not possess knowledge of medicine or engineering.’’ And likewise, some people seek to discredit the scholars by saying that they are lacking in their knowledge of current affairs, even though the Miskeen – [i.e. this one who seek to discredit the scholars through this false claim is one greatly lacking in understanding, wisdom, insight, experience]- does know which ‘Knowledge of current affairs’ is to be given consideration [or importance]! He does not know that there is- in the Islamic legislation- that which suffices the one who wants true knowledge and comprehension.

Therefore, it is obligated on a Muslim to restrain his tongue from [uttering] that which is impermissible [or unbefitting], and he should not speak except based on clear-sightedness. One requires knowledge to say that such and such person does not possess understanding of the ‘knowledge of current affairs’.

Therefore, none should say this except one who possesses knowledge to enable him to make a judgement that such and such person does not possess knowledge of current affairs. As for saying so haphazardly [or randomly] and making a judgement based on one’s view without proof, then that is great evil and it is not permissible. It requires proof to say that a (particular) Saahib Al-Fatwaa – i.e. a scholar who is qualified to give Fatwaa – does not understand knowledge of current affairs, and none is able to do so except the scholars.

One should keep close companionship with them, gather around them, acquire knowledge from them, keep away from splitting and blameworthy differing. And one must know that the danger of being distanced from the scholars is great indeed, for indeed a wolf preys on the lonely sheep. [On the other hand], by gathering and uniting around the scholars, and keeping close companionship with them, one is safeguarded from falling into bidah – the traps of desires and lust. And in this also [i.e. keeping close companionship with the scholars] is exaltation of the religion, knowledge and the scholars, and it strikes fear in the hearts of the disobedient people and wicked sinners.

It is forbidden to speak ill of them and violate their honour, for when it is the case that a Muslim is forbidden from shedding the blood, violating the wealth and honour of other Muslims, then how about violating the honour of the scholars – the most distinguished personalities – [i.e. due to their knowledge, piety, wisdom] – amongst the Muslims?! It is then no wonder that the flesh of the scholars is poisonous and Allaah’s way of dealing with those who diminish their worth is well known. Ibn Asaakir [rahimahullaah] said: Know O my brother! May Allaah grant us and you His Pleasure and make us from those who have awe and fear of Him as He should be feared. Indeed, the flesh of the scholars is poisonous and Allaah’s way of disclosing the hidden affairs of those who diminish their worth is well known. [Tabyeen Kadhib Al-Muftaree Fee Maa Nusiba Ilal-Imaam Abil Hasan Al-Ash’aree: page 29]

One should neither bypass them nor preceded them [i.e. precede them in speech regarding rulings in the religion], rather they are to be consulted during a Naazilah [i.e. matters related to public safety or fear] so that they can issue its appropriate ruling from the Sharee’ah. [This (i.e. consulting the scholars during a Naazilah) is done] in obedience to the statement of Allaah:

وَإِذَا جَآءَهُمۡ أَمۡرٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَمۡنِ أَوِ ٱلۡخَوۡفِ أَذَاعُواْ بِهِۦ‌ۖ وَلَوۡ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى ٱلرَّسُولِ وَإِلَىٰٓ أُوْلِى ٱلۡأَمۡرِ مِنۡہُمۡ لَعَلِمَهُ ٱلَّذِينَ يَسۡتَنۢبِطُونَهُ ۥ مِنۡہُمۡ‌ۗ وَلَوۡلَا فَضۡلُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ وَرَحۡمَتُهُ ۥ لَٱتَّبَعۡتُمُ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنَ إِلَّا قَلِيلاً۬

When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people), if only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly). Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah upon you, you would have followed Shaitan (Satan), save a few of you. [Surah An-Nisaa’ Aayah 83]

Therefore, they [i.e. the scholars] are not to be bypassed when public clarifications and speeches are to be made during events related to public safety or fear, rather [we] must return to them because this is a right of theirs. Imaam As-Sadi [rahimahullaah] said about this Aayaah [i.e. An-Nisaa 83]:

This is a moral conduct [commanded by Allaah] to His slaves – that they do not do this [i.e. hasten to spread news]. And it is obligated on them that when there comes to them an affair from the important affairs – matters related to a universal benefit for the people, public safety and those affairs on which depends the sorrow or happiness of the believers, or an affair of public fear which may bring about calamity upon them- that they should verify the [news of that affair] and not to be hasty in spreading it; rather they should refer it back to the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] and to those in authority- the people of sound opinions, the people of knowledge; those who can give sound advice, the people of intelligence and those who approach affairs with calmness, and they are those who know what is of overriding benefit and that which is in opposition to it [i.e. the scholars].  So, if they see that disseminating such news will bring about an overriding benefit for the Muslims, strengthen them, bring about happiness and make them vigilant over their enemies, then they would disseminate such news; but if they see that there is no overriding benefit in disseminating such news, or that there is benefit in it, but there is more harm in doing so; then they would not circulate such news.

That is why Allaah stated:

[ وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَىٰ أُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ  – If only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly)]– Meaning: They would have derived from it [the proper cause of action] through contemplation and through their correct opinions and rightly guided sciences.

Therefore, in this there is proof regarding a principle related to a moral conduct, that when an [important affair] from the [important affairs] suddenly appears, it is obligatory to refer it to those who are competent in the affair and one should not put himself forward before them, for that is closer to correctness and [safer] in preventing mistakes. And in this, there is a prohibition against being hasty in circulating news [that is related important affairs of public safety or fear] and a command to contemplate before speaking- to look into the affair, as to whether it is an affair of overriding benefit to be dealt with, or whether it should be avoided if it does not carry an [overriding benefit].

[وَلَوۡلَا فَضۡلُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ وَرَحۡمَتُهُ – Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah upon you]- Meaning: [Had Allaah not] granted you the ability to act upon righteousness, instructed you with moral conducts and taught you that which you never knew, then [لَٱتَّبَعۡتُمُ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنَ إِلَّا قَلِيلاً۬  – you would have followed Shaitan (Satan), save a few of you].

One should not be a partisan of their statements without proof. There is a difference between exalting the scholars, honouring them and acknowledging their rights as opposed to being a partisan of their statements when they oppose the proofs. Indeed, [blind] partisanship is blameworthy and it is [attributed] to ignorance [ref 1]; but showing respect to a scholar and honouring him is among the virtues of knowledge. And abandoning those statements of the scholars that are in opposition to the proofs is not tantamount to nullifying their statements and a violation of their rights, rather it is adherence to the path of the infallible one [i.e. the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam)] and a protection of the rights of the scholars.

The subject matter of Taqleed and Ittibaa starts from page 68:   Also see- [a brief acquaintance] – articles about the etiquettes of differing in issues of Ijtihaad amongst the scholars:

If it is the case that knowledge vanishes when the scholars pass away; and if it is the case that violating the rights of a scholar will stop [others to benefit from] his knowledge, then indeed violating the rights of a scholar is like the disappearance of his knowledge when he passes away. It [i.e. violating the rights of the scholars] is in fact a reason behind the disappearance of the rulings derived from knowledge. Abdullaah Bin Amr ibn Al-Aas said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] saying, ‘’Allaah does not take away the knowledge by taking it away from (the hearts of) the people, but takes it away by the death of the religious learned men till when none of the scholars remains, people will take as their leaders ignorant persons who when consulted will give their verdict without knowledge. So, they will go astray and will lead the people astray.’’ [Al- Bukhaari. Number 100]

Imaam Al-Bukhaari placed a chapter in his Saheeh, in kitaab Al-Ilm: Chapter: How will knowledge be taken away? And Umar bin Abdul Azeez wrote to Abu Bakr Bin Hazm, [saying]: “Look for the Hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam]  and get it written, for indeed I am afraid that religious knowledge will vanish and the scholars will pass away. Do not accept anything except the hadeeth of the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam]. Spread knowledge and teach until the one who does not know comes to know; for indeed knowledge does not vanish except when it becomes concealed.’’ [Al-Bukhaari. Chapter 34]

The statement of Umar bin Abdul Azeez: “For indeed knowledge does not vanish except when it becomes concealed” -Meaning: Hidden. knowledge will become something concealed. This [concealment of knowledge] will inevitably occur when the rights of the scholars are violated, because if the rights of a scholar are violated, the people will keep away from his knowledge and thus it becomes hidden. Knowledge is no longer known except as something hidden [to some people] due to the [majority of the people] being overwhelmed by ignorance. Therefore, the people must know the scholar and the scholar must teach the people, and the people must benefit from his knowledge. [And knowledge must be spread so that the one who does not know comes to know, for indeed knowledge does not vanish until it becomes concealed].

If it is said, “How is death of the scholars – in reality -connected to the disappearance of Knowledge when it is the case that the Magnificent Qur’aan and the Sunnah are present, and the Books of knowledge are present, compiled and categorised?!

The answer to this is: A scholar exalts the religion and the Islamic law, so he urges the people and calls them to act upon the obligatory and recommended deeds. There are many Sunan that are compiled and written down, but were manifested through a scholar, who called the people to it, taught them [about it] and urged them to revive it, and this cannot be accomplished merely due to the presence of books.

An [upright] scholar-amongst the people- is a righteous example to follow. People see the practical implementation of the religion from him, and being a [righteous] example is one of the greatest means through which people are nurtured and taught. The Sunnah is an [uptight] scholar’s distinguishing characteristic, so when a scholar dies, the image of the religion – which he carried amongst the people – departs, and this [i.e.  practical example and manifestation of the Sunnah] cannot be accomplished merely through books.

The scholar possesses knowledge and precise understanding to aid him derive [sound] ruling [from the texts of the Sharee’ah]. So, when a Naazilah [i.e. an affair related to public safety or fear] occurs, he is able to quickly derive a ruling, teach the people, disseminate the ruling and explain the Sharee’ah ruling related to that [particular] Naazilah. The ability [to do this] is not acquired by merely reading books when a Naazilah occurs, without the oral skills, knowledge and prolonged experience possessed by the scholars.

An [upright] scholar has precise understanding of the Qur’aan, the Sunnah and the various sciences related to the religion. He has knowledge and wisdom related to nurturing and teaching others, and he has experience. He has [good] awareness of the different circumstances of the people, their daily pursuits and general affairs, which is not found in books. And if a person wanted to acquaint himself with all these affairs, he would need a long time [or many years] to do so; but the scholar came across these affairs during his lifetime- from the very beginning of his path in pursuit of knowledge; so how can all of this be merely acquired by [reading] books?!

Violating the rights of the [upright] scholars will make the common people unaware of the station of Ahlul Ilm [i.e. the people who possess correct understanding of the religion], nor will they preserve their status, so the clear authority to consult in their lives becomes non-existent and thus they wander about in the darkness of ignorance, and social order is destabilised; for indeed the scholars are the ones who guide [and rectify] the people, the land and the kings.

Therefore, the passing away of the scholars- in reality- leads to corruption of the [upright] world order – the people will not have an [upright] authority to refer to during Nawaazil [i.e. events related to public safety and fear] and thus they fall into great confusion and disorder, except that which Allaah wills not to happen [or except those whom Allaah wills that they will not be affected by this confusion and disorder]. This is what has been reported in a Hadeeth by Abu Hurairah [radiyallaahu-anhu] who said that the Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, ‘’ The hour [Last Day] will not be established until [uncorrupted religious] knowledge will be taken away by the [death of upright scholars], earthquakes will be very frequent, time will pass quickly, Al-Fitan [trials and afflictions] will appear, murders will increase, and money will overflow amongst you.’’ [Saheeh Al-Bukhaari Number 1036] So, look at how these signs have occurred one after the other?

The absence of an [upright] knowledge-based authority will create a void in the souls [or hearts] of the people, which cannot be prevented unless they find someone to fill this void. The people will then take ignorant ones as their leaders and thus the following harm will occur:

Taking ignorant ones as leaders occurs as result of the absence of an [upright] authority to consult. A person needs someone to ask and consult, but if he cannot find [upright] scholars because their characteristics are unclear to him and he does not consider them to be scholars, he will look for someone else who portrays himself as a scholar and consult him.

[Also] when the rights of the [upright] scholars are violated, the people will agree with ahlul bidah wal ahawaa [the people of religious innovation and evil desires] and imitate them, because among the ways of ahlul bidah wal ahwaa is that they belittle the [upright] scholars.

Examine any sect or group – those who contradict that which was revealed to the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] and the path that was followed by the Sahaabah- and you’ll see this behaviour from them [i.e. they belittle the upright scholars]. The affair of the Shee’ah is well-known; the state of the affairs of the khawaarij in relation to this behaviour [i.e. belittling upright scholars] is something that has been mentioned [and is well remembered], and the affair of the Mutazilah [in relation to this affair] is well-known. As for the Soofiyyah, their turning away from the [upright] scholars is evident.

You will not find a sect, group or party that opposes the straight path and exits the path of the Sahaabah, except that they speak against the [upright] scholars, seek to diminish their worth, violate their rights and follow ignorant leaders.

Imaam Ash-Shaatibee [rahimahullaah] said that one of the proponents of bidah amongst  the people of bidah used to seek to give philosophical rhetoric virtue over Fiqh, so he used to say, ‘’The entirety of Ash-Shaafi’ee’s and Abu Haneefah’s knowledge does not go beyond the menstrual towels of the women – meaning: The rulings on menstruation and post-natal bleeding.’’ This is the statement of these deviated ones [i.e. this person and his ilk]. May Allaah destroy them. [Al-I’tisaam 2/239]

One of the harms of violating the rights of the [upright] scholars is that it brings about humiliation and disgrace upon the Ummah. The clarification of this affair is found in a hadeeth reported by Ibn Umar[radiyallaahu-anhumaa], who said that he heard the Messenger of Allaah [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] saying, ‘’If you deal in interest, and hold on to the tails of cows and are content with agriculture, and abandon Jihaad [ref 1], Allah will place upon you a humiliation, and will not lift it until you return to your religion. [ref 2]

There is no path towards a return to the [upright] religion except through the [upright] scholars; so, if the rights of the [upright] scholars are violated, the people will not recognise them. They will keep away from the [upright scholars] and take ignorant ones as leaders, then how can they be returned to the [upright] religion.

If the upright scholars are dropped [or removed from their rightful status] and the people take ignorant ones as their leaders, then who will return the people to their [upright] religion?! How will they be removed from that state of humiliation and disgrace without the [presence and guidance] of the [upright] scholars?!

Ref 1:

Ref 2: Abu Dawud Number 3462 & declared authentic by Sh Albaani [rahimahullaah] in As-Saheehah no. 11

Some Etiquettes [of the student] When Present at The Lesson of a Scholar And When Sitting With a Scholar In a Gathering

-One should be eager for the lesson and carry on learning [listening, being attentive etc].

-One should [strive] to understand the scholar’s expressions and indications.

-One should face the scholar [during the lesson].

-One should not busy himself with anything – whilst he is in the scholar’s presence- other than listening to him.

-One should be eager to listen attentively and ask questions properly with good manners and not out of arrogance or obstinacy. Elaboration on point number: The purpose behind asking questions is to acquire understanding and know the ruling behind something, or to receive clarification of something that is unclear to you. This is why Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] said, ‘’When you sit with a scholar, ask to understand but not out of obstinacy – Meaning: ask to understand that which is difficult for you to understand – to remove ignorance from yourself and so that you can worship Allaah based on clear-sightedness, but not with arrogance and bad manners.’’ [Excerpt from a lesson of Shaikh Abdullaah Al-Bukhaari: ]

-One should sit close as much as he is able. Elaboration on point number 6: see link  

-One should not move too much, except when required.

-One should abandon saying in too many words what may be said in few words during the lesson, even if he is given permission to make a comment.

-One should abandon asking questions during the lesson and should only do so after the lesson.

-If one hears the answer of a scholar [to a question], he should ponder upon it and strive to understand before asking a second time.

-The student should not raise his voice in the presence of his Shaikh.

 -The student should hasten to carry out the request of his Shaikh.

-The student should not put himself forward before his Shaikh, but should be at his service.

-The student should address his Shaikh honourably.

-The student should not insist [that his Shaikh does something for him] when the Shaikh is either tired or pre-occupied.

-The student should not persist in asking something which he knows the scholar does not want to talk about.

And in general, the student should be eager -whilst accompanying the scholar- to fulfil those rights- in particular- which Allaah has given the Shaikh, and he should remind himself of Allaah’s [The Blessed and Exalted] statement:

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمۡ تَفَسَّحُواْ فِى ٱلۡمَجَـٰلِسِ فَٱفۡسَحُواْ يَفۡسَحِ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمۡ‌ۖ وَإِذَا قِيلَ ٱنشُزُواْ فَٱنشُزُواْ يَرۡفَعِ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنكُمۡ وَٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡعِلۡمَ دَرَجَـٰتٍ۬‌ۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ۬

O you who believe! When you are told to make room in the assemblies, [spread out and] make room. Allaah will give you [ample] room [from His Mercy]. And when you are told to rise up [for prayers, Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s Cause), or for any other good deed (ref 1)], rise up. Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do. [Surah Al-Mujaadilah’ Aayah 11] Ref 1: Jihaad in our times:

-One should be under the authority of the scholar, whilst sitting in the gathering.

-One should not sit very far from the scholar nor very close when in the sitting in the gathering. [Ref 1]

-One should make room for other students who want to sit.

-One should not desire to speak, neither should he argue nor debate.

-One should not start speaking until the scholar begins [and gives him permission].

-One should not impose what is to be spoken about in the sitting without the permission of the Shaikh.

-One should not speak after the Shaikh has spoken, unless given permission by the Shaikh.

-One should not backbite anyone in the presence of the Shaikh.[ref 2] 

-One should not make the Shaikh perceive that he is tired [bore] or displeased.

-One should not sit whilst not [desiring] an increase [in knowledge] or whilst having little concern for the sitting.

-One should exercise patience when he experiences something defective from the Shaikh’s character or experiences harshness from him, because the Shaikh is [nothing else] but a human being [i.e. he is not perfect].

Ref 1: Sitting close or far away from the Shaikh…see link:

Ref 2: About backbiting:

The Danger of Telling Lies About The Scholars

Shaikh Uthaymeen [rahimahullaah] was asked about those people [may Allaah guide them] who say, “I have heard some of the scholars saying such and such, or given a Fatwa”; then he [i.e. the one who attributes such a statement to a scholar or scholars] uses this as a basis for his statement or action.

Shaikh Uthaymeen [rahimahullaah] replied: Lying about the scholars in affairs related to the Sharee’ah is a great danger. And because of this, it has been reported in a hadeeth that he [i.e. The Messenger of Allaah (Alayhis- Salaatu- Was-Salaam)] said, “Whoever tells a lie against me [intentionally] then let him occupy his seat in Hell-fire.’’ [Bukhaari 107]

Therefore, telling lies against the scholars in affairs related to the Sharee’ah [i.e. falsely saying that they said this or that, or gave a Fatwa about this or that] is a great danger, because it is tantamount to lying against the Sharee’ah. [There are] some people – may Allaah guide them – [who] when his soul finds something suitable [for himself] and he knows that people will not accept [what he will say or do], he chooses a scholar whom the people trust and then forges a false statement concerning the scholar [i.e. that the scholar says such and such]- whether he is right [i.e regarding the statement or deed he wants the people to accept and for which he sought to transmit a forged statement] or upon falsehood. [End of quote] [Ref 1]

Additional Benefit

Lying -as we know- in general is Haraam

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] stated above that one should beware of kadhib (lying), for indeed it corrupts one’s ability to illustrate information based on what it should be in reality. It corrupts one’s ability to illustrate information and his ability to teach the people.

The liar portrays what is non-existent as something present and what is present as something non-existent. He portrays truth as something false and falsehood as something true; he portrays good as evil and evil as good, so this corrupts his conception and knowledge, which then becomes a punishment upon him. Then he portrays what is not true to the one deceived by him – the one who is inclined towards him- so he corrupts his conception and knowledge. The soul of the liar turns away from the existing reality -inclined towards what is non-existent and gives preference to falsehood. And when his conception and knowledge is corrupted, which is the basis of every wilful chosen deed, his deeds become corrupt and marked by lies, so those deeds would emanate from him just as lies emanate from the tongue- he neither benefits from his tongue nor his deeds. This is why lying is the basis (or foundation) of immorality, just as the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said, “Indeed lies lead to immorality (or wickedness) and indeed immorality (or wickedness) leads to the fire. [Bukhaari 2606/2607]

Firstly lies emerges from the heart and then on the tongue, so it corrupts it; then it transfers to the limbs and corrupts its actions, just as it corrupts the statements of the tongue. Therefore, lying prevails over his statements, deeds and state of affairs; corruption becomes deeply rooted in him and its disease leads to destruction if Allaah does not grant him cure him with the medication of truthfulness, which uproots its (i.e. lying) from its original source. This is why the basis (or foundation) of all the deeds of the hearts is based on truthfulness; and the basis of their opposites – such as showing off, self-amazement, pride, being glad (with ungratefulness to Allaah’s Favours), conceitedness, boastfulness, insolence, weakness, laziness, cowardice,  disgrace and other than them- is lies. The origin of every righteous deed- whether carried out in private or public- is based on truthfulness. And the origin of every corrupt deed – whether carried out in private or public- is lies.

Allaah punishes the liar by preventing him from those affairs that will bring him well-being and benefit, and He rewards the truthful one by granting him the ability to attain the beneficial affairs related to the worldly life and afterlife. There is nothing similar to truthfulness with regards to the manner in which it bring about the affairs of wellbeing in this life and the next, and there is nothing similar to lying with regards to the manner in which it corrupts and harms one’s worldly affairs and the afterlife.

[Allaah (The Most High) said]:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ

O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds) [9:119]

هَٰذَا يَوْمُ يَنْفَعُ الصَّادِقِينَ صِدْقُهُمْ ۚ

This is a Day on which the truthful will profit from their truth. [5:119]

فَإِذَا عَزَمَ الْأَمْرُ فَلَوْ صَدَقُوا اللَّهَ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُمْ

And when the matter (preparation for Jihad) is resolved on, then if they had been true to Allah, it would have been better for them. [47:21]

وَجَاءَ الْمُعَذِّرُونَ مِنَ الْأَعْرَابِ لِيُؤْذَنَ لَهُمْ وَقَعَدَ الَّذِينَ كَذَبُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ

سَيُصِيبُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

And those who made excuses from the Bedouins came (to you, O Prophet) asking your permission to exempt them (from the battle), and those who had lied to Allah and His Messenger sat at home (without asking the permission for it); a painful torment will seize those of them who disbelieve. [9:90]  [End of quote from Al-Fawaa-id (Ref 2)]

Is Lying Permissible In Dawah?

Question to Sheikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan (hafidha-hullaah): Is lying permissible in calling to Allaah? And is ‘the goal justifies the means’ a maslahah (benefit) from the masaalih (beneficial affairs) of the Sharee’ah?

Answer: Lying is not permissible. It is a major sin from the major sins. It (lying) is not permissible except in three affairs which the prophet made an exception; lying during war, because war is deceit; lying in order to bring about peace between the people; and lying between married couples in order to bring about rectification to the family with regards to the relationship between (husband and the wife). These three affairs are that of maslahah, and in them is a greater good than evil; so (lying) is permissible (in this case).

As for calling to Allaah, it has no need for lies. It is not permissible to utilize lies in calling to Allaah. Calling to Allaah is to (be carried out) by way of truth, the Book, the sunnah, fine admonition and arguing in a way that is better and not by way of lies. [Ref 3]

[Ref 1: Sharh Hilyati Taalibil Ilm’ page 224. Abridged & slightly paraphrased]; [Ref 2: Paraphrased. Source: Al-Fawaa’id’ pages 202-203]; [Ref 3: source: al-ijaabatul muhimmah fee mashaakil al-mulimmah, page:271-272]

All Quotes from Shaikh Muhammad Baazmool can be found in: [ في قلب المحدث مقالات متنوعة – pages 35-59]

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