In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever-Merciful…
A visitor recently asked about the translation of Shaykh Saalih as-Suhaymee’s advice to support and defend the honor of the scholars of Islaam (found here), saying:
Since these guys are contemporary men who are human and prone to error and sin like all of us, why would we defend them? Isn’t this a call to blind following? [abridged]
To be clear: We have certainly not promoted the blind following of these scholars, nor have we claimed they are perfect without flaws. Nor are we ever to defend any of them in falsehood.
However, dear questioner, may Allaah give you better than the corrupt manhaj (methodology) of Yasir Qadhi, Almaghrib Institute, and those upon their way, your ideas clearly seem to reflect the opinions they commonly lead people into – a total loss of any meaningful distinction between us and the scholars of Islaam, as it relates to the virtues of the scholars, their special status amongst us, and our need to refer to them to learn our Religion. The goal is to disconnect the people from their scholars, which facilitates the spread of deviation very easily.
May Allaah give you better – If Allaah has commanded us in His Quran (more than once) to ask the people of knowledge when we do not know [16:43, 21:7], don’t we need to know who they are?!
Dear questioner, may Allaah give you better! – Know that Allaah has established a very high status for the scholars of Islaam in his Glorious Book, saying:
إنما يخشى الله من عباده العلماء
“Those who truly fear Allaah among His servants are the scholars.” [35:28]
يرفع الله الذين آمنوا منكم والذين أوتوا العلم درجات
“Allaah raises those who have believed, and those who have been granted knowledge, many levels.” [58:11]
And His Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) was inspired by divine revelation to say (what means):
وفضل العالم على العابد كفضل القمر على سائر الكواكب، إن العلماء ورثة الأنبياء
“The virtue of a scholar over a worshipper is like the virtue of the moon over the rest of the heavenly bodies (at night). The scholars are the inheritors of the prophets…” [Tirmithee #2682]
May Allaah give you better – Be warned of the tricks of Shaytaan, your sworn enemy! He may come to you in the form of a bearded religious teacher who, through lengthy and magical speech, wishes to take you away from the clarity of the above texts. Seek refuge with your Lord alone, and beg Him to grant you love and honor in your heart for all people and things praised in the Quran. Don’t let anyone turn you away from this! It is essential in Islaam, something not to be compromised. May Allaah give us all success in actualizing it.
The people who have taught you to refer to senior scholars in Islaam as “these guys… contemporary men… prone to error and sin, like all of us…” are a bankrupt bunch, who would only lead you astray, so much so that you would become completely incapable of answering one of the most obviously self-answering questions that could be posed:
قل هل يستوي الذين يعلمون والذين لا يعلمون إنما يتذكر أولوا الألباب
“Say: Are those who have knowledge equal to those who do not have knowledge?! It is only the people of intellect who truly receive admonition.” [39:9]
Shun extremism (ghuluww), dear questioner, in all of its forms! Ordering the masses to blindly follow certain scholars or defend them in falsehood is clearly a form of unIslamic extremism, just as is trying to strip them of the distinction Allaah has given them – may Allaah give you better. Don’t let people mislead you into thinking that fleeing from a form of extremism means to embrace its opposite (the other extreme)!
And Allaah knows best.
Written by: Moosaa Richardson (on the eve of ‘Aashooraa’, 1435)