The Three Types of Scholars and Judges!

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

The Three Types of Scholars

Shaikh Abdullah Al-Bukhaaree [may Allaah preserve him] stated:

Ibn Abee Shaybah [may allaah have mercy upon him] reported in Al-Musannaf and Abu Nu-aym [may Allaah have mercy upon him] in Al-Hilya [5/12] with an authentic chain from Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani [may Allaah have mercy upon him], who said, “The scholars are three types- a man who lives with his knowledge and the people live with it alongside him; a man who lives with his knowledge and none else lives with it alongside him, and as for the third man, the people live with his knowledge and it destroys him”. The intent behind this speech: Indeed the first (man) knows, acts and teaches. As for the second, he knows and acts, but does not teach. As for the third, he knows and teaches, but does not act! We ask Allaah for steadfastness and well-being. (1)
The Three Types of Judges

Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [rahimahullah] also said:

And when it is case that the true followers of the Prophets [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon them] are people of knowledge and justice, therefore the speech of the people of Islaam and the true adherents to the Prophetic Sunnah regarding the unbelievers and the proponents of religious innovations has to be based on knowledge and justice, and not conjecture and what the soul desires. And due to this the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “The judges are three: one will go to Paradise and two to Hell. A man who knows the truth and judges with it will enter paradise; a man who knows the truth but judges with the opposite of it will enter the fire, and a man who judges for the people based on ignorance will enter the fire”. [Reported by Imaam Abu Dawud 3573]

When it is the case that the person who adjudicates amongst the people in disputes over wealth, blood (such as murder cases, acts of physical violence, etc.), and honour is (threatened) with entry into hell if he is not a just scholar, then what about the one who makes judgements – without knowledge and justice – on creeds, religions, fundamentals of belief, divine knowledge, and general fundamental principles relating to many subject matters, as is the case with Ahlul Bidah Wal Ahwaa [the proponents of religious innovations and followers of vain desires] who follow ambiguous doubtful matters, abandon those explicitly clear texts that the Prophets have transmitted, cling to affairs that share an ambiguous similarity through mere analogy and opinions, and then present affairs whose differences cannot be reconciled or equated, just as is the case with the unbelievers and all the proponents of religious innovation and followers of desires, who liken the creation to the Creator [i.e. they give the creation the Perfect Attributes that only belong to the Creator], and liken the Creator to the creation [i.e. by describing the Creator with the imperfect attributes of the Creation], and then they put forward an evil similitude for Allaah by way of thoughtless and confusing speech. This is because the false religion of the Christians is an innovated [or concocted] religion- innovated after the departure of the Messiah [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] and altered the religion of the Messiah through it; so they deviated from the Messiah’s [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] path and remained upon that which they innovated. (2)

Amr Bin Al-Aas [may Allaah be pleased with him] narrated that he heard Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him]saying, “If a Mujtahid gives a verdict according to the best of his knowledge and his verdict is correct, he will receive a double reward, and if he gives a verdict according to the best of his knowledge and his verdict is wrong, even then he will get a reward”. [Bukhari Number 7352]

Few Points From This Hadeeth

[a] A Mujtahid is not deprived of reward. [b] The judgement of a non-Mujtahid is different from that of a Mujtahid. Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [rahimahullaah] said that the one who speaks about the religion without knowledge and out of ignorance [is guilty of] lying and sinning. The one who intentionally speaks to oppose the truth is threatened with entry into the fire of hell, as opposed to the affair of the one who speaks based on permissible Ijtihaad, for indeed he strives, fears Allaah as much as he is able, desires to seek knowledge as much as he was able, speaks for the sake of Allaah, knows the stronger proof and speaks based on that. This person is given two rewards if he is correct; but if he is mistaken, he receives one reward. [c] A Mujtahid can be correct or mistaken. (3)

Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadee [may Allaah preserve him] said:

We do not say that there are people of ijtihaad amongst ahlul bidah because they are followers of desires, and Allaah and His Messenger have testified to this. The misguided innovator stirs up discord and errs, and then says to you, ‘This is ijtihaad’. When Hikmatiyaar and the misguided parties [in Afghanistan] murdered Shaikh Jameel Ur-Rahmaan, they said: ‘This is ijtihaad.’ They [ahlul bidah] do not fall into an affair of misguidance or a calamity except that they say, “This is ijtihaad.” This is [tantamount] to diluting Islaam, falsehood, misguidance, bidah and confounding truth with falsehood, when the mistakes of the [true and qualified scholars of ijtihaad]- for which they are rewarded- are placed at the same level with innovation, about which the Messenger declared to be destined for the hell fire. (4)

[Ref 1: المقالات الشرعية– pages: 23-24]
[Ref 2: Al-Jawaabus Saheeh 1/26-30. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 3: Al-Arba’oona Hadeethaa Fee Usoolil Fiqh. pages 32-33. slightly paraphrased];
[Ref 4: An Excerpt from ‘Ajwibatul Allaamatush Shaikh Rabee Bin Haadee Al Madkhalee Alaa As-ilah Abee Rawaaha Al-Manhajiyyah page: 20]

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