seven signs of true scholars

Seven Signs of True Islamic Scholars

Question:

Honourable Sheikh, How do I know the truly knowledgeable and practicing scholars from the fake scholars who mislead people with their verdicts (fatawa)?

Answer[1]:

Through some things which I’ll summarise.

The first thing:

Their concern for tawheed and (their) adherence to it

The second thing:

Their call to the Book of Allaah (Exalted and Sublime is He) and the way of His messenger (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him).

The third thing:

Their practical use of that (the book of Allaah and sunnah of His messenger commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him) in their deeds.

The fourth thing:

Steadfastness in times of confusion; they do not switch despite the changes in situations, days and time. Rather you see that their stand (opinion) remains as it was in every issue that is presented to them. And that is subjecting them (i.e. the issues that arise) to the book of Allaah (Exalted and Sublime is He) and the way of His messenger (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him) according to the way of the Salaf salih (pious predecessors) and extracting answers from them.

Also, from their signs is clarity:

That is they do not hide. They do not gather people in hidden fields, pits and tunnels. Because the religion is clear, there’s nothing hidden in it.

As Sufyaan said:

If you see those who are having secret discussion about their religion excluding the public then know that they are inventing a misguidance[2]

Another thing that is part of their signs is:

They are not concerned about calling to their personality. They do not care about calling to their personality. Whoever amongst them is appointed in the vanguard, he is perfectly satisfied with his post of guarding, and if he is appointed in the rear guard, he accepts his post with satisfaction[3]

Another of their sign is that

 They love for their brothers what they love for themselves. And their goal is to guide people to what is good.

That Allaah guides a man through you is better for you than red camels.[4]

These are some of the signs of the truly knowledgeable and practicing scholars that it is obligatory upon us to follow their path.


Translator’s Note

[1] Answered by his eminence, Sheikh Solih As-Suhaymee

[2] In all the results of my search I only found it reported from Umar bn AbdilAzeez (not Ibnul Khattaab). So, it is not impossible that the sheikh’s memory betrayed him as they say: the memory is a betrayer. Allaah knows best.

Some sources I references I found for the report are: Jaami’ bayaanil ‘ilm(1774), Also, Imam Laalaka’ee reported it in Sharh Usool I‘tiqaad (251),  Also, Qawaamus-Sunnah in At-targheeb wat-tarheeb (968). To mention a few.

[3] The sheikh extracted this sentence from a hadith in saheeh Al-Bukhaare (2887). In the hadith the prophet (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him) described the person who does jihad for the sake of worldly things and the one who does jihad for the sake of the hereafter. One of the attributes of the one who does jihad for the sake of the hereafter is that he doesn’t care about the position he is asked to hold in the battlefield, rather he holds his post well and carries out his responsibilities dutifully.

The same way about the true scholar, he doesn’t care whether he is made Imam of the mosque, mufti of his community, or not. He continues to do call to the Quran and Sunnah according to the understanding of the pious predecessors in every situation he finds himself. That is because his aim to call to Allaah not to himself or his group. And Allaah knows best.


Here is the full text of the hadith:

Narrated AbU Hurairah (may Allaah be pleased with him) The Prophet (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him) said:

 “Perished is the slave of Dinãr, Dirham (gold and silver currencies), and Khameesah (a type of designed shirt), as he is pleased if these things are given to him, and if not (given), he is displeased. May he perish and elapse, and if he is pierced with a thorn, let him not find anyone to take it out for him.

 Tuba (all kinds of happiness or a tree in Paradise) is for him who holds the reins of his horse to fight in Allah’s Cause, with his hair unkempt and feet covered with dust: if he is appointed in the vanguard, he is perfectly satisfied with his post of guarding, and if he is appointed in the rear guard, he accepts his post with satisfaction; (he is so simple and unambitious that) if he asks for permission, he is not permitted, and if he intercedes (for a person before another person), his intercession is not accepted.

[4] This is a popular part of a long hadith that was also compiled by Imam Bukharee in his saheeh (3009):

Narrated Sahl (may Allaah be pleased with him): On the day (of the battle) of Khaibar, the Prophet (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him) said, “Tomorrow I will give the flag to somebody who will be given victory (by Allaah) and who loves Allaah and His Messenger (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him), and is loved by Allah and His Messenger.”

 The people wondered all that night as to who would receive the flag, and in the morning everyone hoped that he would be that person. (When it was morning) Allah’s Messenger (commedations and peace of Allaah be upon him), asked, “Where is ‘All?” He was told that ‘Ali was suffering from eye-trouble. Then the Prophet spat (saliva) in his eyes and invoked Allah to cure him. All, at once, got cured as if he had no ailment. The Prophet gave him the flag. ‘All asked, “Should I fight them till they become like us (i.e. Muslim)?” The Prophet said, “Go to them patiently and calmly till you enter the land. Then, invite them to Islam, and inform them what is enjoined upon them, for, by Allah, if Allah gives guidance to somebody through you, it is better for you than possessing red camels.

Leave a Comment