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In Defence of Islamic Scholars

In Defence of Islamic Scholars

Praise be to Allaah who has made the people of knowledge inheritors of the prophets. I beseech His commendations and peace upon the most knowledgeable of creations. I ask Allaah to extend His commendations and peace to the companions, household and all those who follow our messenger’s pristine legacy.

Introduction

This is a humble article I have written to explain some excuses put forward by some strange ideologists to dent the image of our scholars. I have written this article in defence of our scholars, the guardians and inheritors of our noble messenger’s legacy –commendations and peace of Allah be upon him. I hope this article will serve as an eye-opener and a retort for the ones who wish to throw our scholars’ efforts into the waste bin.

Ideologies and Ideologists

I have read about these strange ideologists and their ideologies in the past but it was a shocking experience to actually meet one of them in real life. To meet a Muslim who belittles the efforts of Islamic scholars and qualifies them and their works with loose expressions. The matter would have been less intense if these ideologists were lay Muslims but they are so-called students of (Islamic) knowledge who have an idea of what it takes to memorize a verse of the Quran or Hadith of the messenger –commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him- let alone the whole Quran, it’s fourteen ways of recitation, tens of thousands of hadith and the names and biographies of their narrators. Indeed to be a scholar is only by Allaah’s approval.

Virtue and Importance of Islamic Scholars

Abu Dardaa[1] said:

I heard the messenger of Allaah –commendations and peace of Allah be upon him- saying

Who are in heaven and who are on earth seek forgiveness for the scholar including the fish in the sea [2]

Another Report adds:

And surely, the virtue of a scholar over the worshipper is like the virtue of the moon over the stars. Surely, the scholars are the inheritors of the prophets. Surely, the prophets didn’t bequeath dirham or dinar rather they only bequeathed knowledge so whoever takes it has taken a full share.[3]

 

 

Baseless Claim one:

If you ask one of them for example: “why do you avoid the books of So-and-so scholar”? He replies: “He’s a mere contemporary”.  Undoubtedly this is a weak excuse and by Allaah’s permit we will try to clarify its weakness from two angles:

Way one

Every past scholar was also a contemporary in his time and no scholar ever said don’t read his books or take his words till a century or two passes after his death etc.

Way two

These ideologists –may Allaah rectify and us and them- promote and read books of contemporary writers who subscribe to their ideologies or in the least do not speak of the flaws and shortcomings of their methodology. This double standard clearly shows the insincerity behind their claim.

Baseless Claim Two:

Another doubt they try to brace their false ideology with is: “Sheikh So-and-so is a specialist in that field so his statement in this field should be neglected” This claim is also as flimsy as its predecessor and we will explain it in two ways too:

Way one:

Being a specialist in a field doesn’t imply being ignorant in another. On the contrary, the scholars of Islam are always grounded in every field of Islamic knowledge. Being a specialist only means a scholar is strong in one or more field than he is in other fields. This is the right understanding of specialisation and specialists in Islamic knowledge.

For instance when Sheikh Muhammad bn Solih Al-Uthaymeen was asked about Sheikh Muhammad Naasir Al-Albaanee, he replied; “he is a stronger scholar of hadith than fiqh[4]. this response is a typical example of scholastic precision in expression. Please ponder on it and compare with the previous paragraph you will increase in certainty in shaa Allaah.

Way two:

Another point to demolish the claim that ‘accept their words in their field of specialisation but reject it in others’ is that these scholars write books in Arabic language, despite the fact that many of them are non-native Arabs they don’t commit grammatical blunders in their writings. If truly all Sheikh So-and-so knows is a particular field he should also be ignorant of Arabic language and commit laughable blunders in his works.

Baseless Claim Three

Lastly but not the least, some of them say: “there’s nothing special about his works, scholars have done greater works in the past”

This is refuted thus:

Each scholar writes unconsciously or sub-consciously to suit the dictates and needs of his time and place. The scholars who wrote books in the past wrote those books to meet the needs of their time and society. Therefore there is a strong need for some people to study the works of past generations then present it for the present generation with expressions and examples that are familiar to them.

 

Conclusion

This is my humble effort and contribution to the defence of our noble scholars. The love of Islamic scholars is part of Eemaan because they are the guardians of Allaah’s religion and the inheritors of Allah’s messengers –commendations and peace of Allaah be upon them.

The messenger –commendations and peace of Allah be upon him- said:

The strongest handhold of Islam is to support for the sake of Allah, to be hostile for the sake of Allaah, to love for the sake of Allaah and to hate for the sake of Allaah[5]

I ask Allaah the Most High and Sublime to accept this humble effort as an act of worship and to purify my intentions by making it done solely for His Exalted sake, seeking no partner for Him. He is indeed the oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.


[1] ‘Uwaymir bn Maalik, Abu Dardaa: A noble companion, was a devoted worshipper. An Ansaar from the Khazraj clan precisely. Died 32AH.

[2] Ibn Majah: 239, graded Authentic by Imam Albany

 

[3] [Ibn Majah: 223 graded authentic by Imam Albany

 

[4] Al-As’ilah al-Qatariyyah (pg 17) by Sheikh Alee bn Hassan bn AbdilHameed Al-Halabee

 

[5] [Silsilah Soheeehah: 1728]

 

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