In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Brothers and sisters! Who are evil and misguided scholars? Here is a rule by Imam Ash-Shatibi who said:
“Evil and misguided scholars are those who are dangerous to mankind. They are a disease to mankind, and they are those who do not act on their knowledge.”
In his book Al-Fawa’id, Ibnul Qayyim gave a parable. He said:
“Evil and misguided scholars are like people sitting on the gates of Paradise (Jannah) and calling people to come on in. With their tongues they are saying come on in, come on in, but their actions are saying do not come in. The more they talk to people and tell people to come in, the more their actions say do not listen to us, because if we were indeed truthful then we would have been the first to apply it…”
Those Ulama As-Su’ (Evil and misguided scholars) appear as though they are guides but they are bandits, may Allah save us and give us refuge from that. Those who do not apply what they learn are like bandits. It is like you are in your car and you are asking someone for directions, and he gives you a detour so he can rob you. That is how evil scholars are. The Qur’an gives us parables and examples to learn from. Some of the worst parables and examples in the Qur’an to learn from are pertaining to those who do not apply their knowledge:
“And recite (O Muhammad) to them the story of him to whom We gave Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc), but he threw them away, so shaytan, iblis (satan) followed him up, and he became of those who went astray. And had We willed, We would surely have elevated him therewith but he clung to the earth and followed his own vain desire. So his description is the description of a dog: If you drive him away, he lolls his tongue out, or if you leave him alone, he (still) lolls his tongue out. Such is the description of the people who reject Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc). So relate the stories, perhaps they may reflect.” (Surah Al A’raf,7:175 -176)
Brothers and sisters! A scholar, an Alim who acts different from that which he knows, Allah gave a parable that he is like a dog. Allah says had We willed, We surely would have elevated him. He is like a dog but We would have elevated him, but he clung on to this earth and followed his vain desires. He did not follow what he knows. The parable is the parable of a dog. If you drive him away, he lolls his tongue out. If you leave him, he lolls his tongue out. Whatever you do and whatever status he is on, he lolls his tongue out.
When Ibnul Qayyim talks about this, he mentions how the parable of a dog is to evil scholars and then mentions ten points under that. I do not really have time to go through them now. Allah gives this example and it is not of any dog, but a panting and lolling dog. He pants all the time and that is the worst of all dogs. Whether he is resting, tired, thirsty, with his thirst quenched or whatever status he is in, he is panting and lolling. If you tell the evil Shaykh speak the truth, he is panting and lolling. If you leave him (the evil scholar) to not apply what he knows and what he knows he should apply, he is lolling. If you shun him, he is panting. If you just ignore him, he is panting. If he speaks, he is panting. He did not use what he knows, so Allah gives him a parable of a panting dog.
And Allah the Almighty said:
“The likeness of those who were entrusted with the Tawrah (Torah), but who subsequently failed in those (obligations, did not carry it), is as the likeness of a donkey who carries huge burdens of books. How bad is the example (or the likeness) of people who deny the Ayat (Verses) of Allah. And Allah guides not the people who are Zalimun (wrongdoers).” (Surah Al-Jumu’ah, 62:5)
The likeness of those who were entrusted with the Tawrah (Torah), and likewise the Qur’an. The verse does not say the Qur’an, but likewise the Qur’an. After they were entrusted with the Qur’an and they failed those obligations, they are like a donkey which carries huge burdens of books. Does he understand anything out of them? That is the example of the people who deny the Ayat (Verses) of Allah. The first one was a parable of a knowledgeable person to a dog and here it is a parable to a donkey.
“They did not carry it.”
What that means is that they did not apply it. What usage does a donkey get out of the Asfar (Plenty Books)? The word in Arabic is Asfar, the plural of Sifr, which are the big books or tablets that they used to write upon. If you put them on a donkey, what does a donkey get out of carrying those Asfar (Books)? What does a donkey get out of it on its back but the weight? One who carries the Qur’an, Bukhari, Muslim, Al-Mughni, Usul Ath-Thalathah or other books, if he knows it but he does not apply it then what does he get but the burden of carrying it? You get nothing but the burden of the weight, just like the donkey.
“Entrusted with the Tawrah (Torah).”
Ibn Abbas said Hummilu (entrusted with) meaning they were ordered to act upon it. They were given it in order to act upon it. Ibn Kathir said this parable is for those who do not know what is in the books. They are given the books to learn but they do not want to learn what is in the books of knowledge. It is also for those who know what is in the books, they memorise it but they do not comprehend it and they do not act upon it. And it is also for those who know it and tamper and play around with it. They are worse than a donkey because at least a donkey has no intelligence to comprehend. They have the intelligence but do not use their intelligence, so they are indeed worse than a donkey.
In the book I’lam Al-Muwaqqi’in, Ibnul Qayyim said even though this was directed to the Jews, it also applies to the people (Muslims) who were given the Qur’an and do not act upon that which is in the Qur’an. Wallahi, it is a grizzly parable of a donkey. Allah comparing one to a donkey and to a dog is something to warn you, so one applies that which he learns, seeks knowledge and applies knowledge. These are reminders for those who have a heart or give an ear while they are truly heedful.
“Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful.” (Surah Qaf, 50:37)
Allah tells Prophet Yahya:
“O Yahya! Hold fast the Scripture (the Torah).” (Surah Maryam, 19:12)
Imam Mujahid and Zayd Ibn al-Aslam said:
“Bi Quwwah (hold fast)” means take knowledge, and apply and act on your knowledge.
Brothers and sisters! Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi started to gather the Muslims near the Holy Land, and they planned to defend themselves from the attacks of the Crusaders. Ground ‘realities’ suggested waging a war against the Roman Empire was suicidal. Nevertheless, Salahuddin did gather an army, and many scholars prepared themselves to join it, but when they saw the huge number of the Crusaders, some of them turned their backs away. (Ibn Kathir has mentioned this incident in his Book, al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah).
Allah says in the Noble Qur’an:
“…Those of His servants only who are possessed of knowledge fear Allah; surely Allah is Mighty, Forgiving.” (Surah al-Fatir, 35:28)
But, those ‘scholars’ feared death more than they feared Allah. Hence, as per the Noble Qur’an, they are not to be counted amongst the people of knowledge. What good is knowledge if it doesn’t benefit you? For that very reason, Allah’s Messenger taught us to seek refuge from ilm (knowledge) that doesn’t benefit.
My respected people! Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) had prophesied the corruption of the Ummah. It’s amazing that we often hear sermons, lectures and preachings on the corruption of the general population, but we seldom hear the corruption amongst those whom people count as ‘scholars’. Both of them were prophesied and both of them exist. Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh), not only prophesied the scarcity of knowledge, but he also mentioned how it would take place.
Narrated Anas that: Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh) said:
“From among the portents of the Hour are (the following):
1. Religious knowledge will be taken away by the death of sincere Religious learned men.
2. Religious ignorance will prevail.
3. Drinking alcoholic drinks will be very common.
4. There will be prevalence of open illegal sexual intercourse.”
And narrated Abu Hurairah that: The Prophet said:
“Religious knowledge will be taken away, ignorance (in religion) and afflictions will appear; and Harj will increase.” It was asked, “What is Harj, O Allah’s Messenger?” He replied by beckoning with his hand, indicating “killing.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
And narrated Abu Hurairah that: The Prophet said:
“The Hour (Last Day) will not be established until (religious) knowledge will be taken away, earthquakes will be very frequent, time will pass quickly, afflictions will appear, murders will increase and money will overflow amongst you.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
And another Hadith makes it clear that the disappearance of knowledge would not be because of less libraries or encyclopedias, but it would be as a result of the scarcity of sincere scholars:
Narrated Abdullah bin Amr that: I heard the Prophet saying:
“Allah will not deprive you of knowledge after he has given it to you, but it will be taken away through the death of the religious learned men with their knowledge. Then there will remain ignorant people who, when consulted, will give verdicts according to their opinions whereby they will mislead others and go astray.” (Agreed Upon)
Brothers and sisters! We are often told that are we living in the time of Harj, we are living in times when alcohol drinking and rapes are common, we are living in the era when time passes quickly, and earthquakes are frequent, but we are not told that we are living in an era where true and sincere knowledge is scarce.
Wallahi, wallahi, wallahi! Today, we are living in a weird time, when ilm (knowledge) of a person is calculated on the basis of his fame or on what position he is given in an Islamic organisation, group or sect. The ‘Grand Mufti’ appointed by the government, for example, or appointed by the people in organisation, group or sect, is thought to be the most learned by the general public. Members of Fatwa Council of governments, groups, organisations or sects, are thought to be the present day luminaries. The views of scholars prevalent amongst the public are those which governments, groups, organisations or sects wish to spread. And views that don’t coincide with the view of official fatawa committees are deemed as blasphemous. Which Hadith binds us to follow the ‘famous’ scholars? Which Hadith binds us to accept the views of Grand Muftis? Is there any Hadith ordering us to follow the views of a majority of scholars? When Allah’s Messenger himself prophesied that ignorance will prevail, how can he order us to accept the generally accepted views?
Allah’s Messenger also told us we’ll make the same mistakes that the Children of Israel did:
Abdullah ibn Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh) said:
“The same things will be faced by my ummah as the Bani Israel faced as a shoe compares with (its pairing) shoe, to the extent that if there was anyone of them to have approached his mother (for sexual intercourse) then there will be in my ummah who would do that. And the Bani Israel divided into seventy-two sects and my ummah will divide into seventy-three sects, all of whom will go into the Fire except one sect (millah).
“The Sahabah (May Allah be pleased with them) asked (him), “Who are they, O Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)”. He said: “(Who follow) what I am on and my companions (are on).” (Sunan Tirmidhi and Imam al-Albani graded it as Hasan)
My people! As per the Prophecy of Allah’s Messenger, scholars of our Ummah will make the same mistakes, which the scholars amongst children of Israel did. Noble Qu’ran informs us of the mistakes of the scholars of Bani Israel as follows:
1. Leaving, stopping or abandoning the work of commanding good and forbidding Evil in the societies
Allah the Most High said:
“Why do not the learned men and the doctors of law prohibit them from their speaking of what is sinful and their eating of what is unlawfully acquired? Certainly evil is that which they work.” (Surah al Ma’ida, 5:63)
2. Hoarding money for themselves in the name of religion and taking People away from the ‘path of Allah’
Allah the Almighty said:
“O you who believe! Most surely many of the rabbis and the monks eat away the property of men falsely, and turn (them) from Allah’s way; and (as for) those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in Allah’s way, announce to them a painful chastisement.” (Surah at-Tawbah, 9:34)
Mawdudi said in the tafsir of this verse:
“These religious leaders are guilty of two sins. First, they devour the wealth of the common people by selling false decrees, and by taking bribes, gifts and presents on different pretexts. They invent religious regulations and rituals and tempt people to buy their salvations and fortunes in life from them and make deaths and marriages dependent on the payment of due ‘price’ to these “monopolists” of Paradise. To add to this another sin, they debar the people from the Way of Allah by involving them into different sorts of deviations and by obstructing the way of every Righteous Mission with the obstacles of ‘learned’ doubts and ‘pious’ suspicions. Furthermore, the wording ‘Most Surely many rabbis and monks…’ elaborates that majority of their ‘scholars’ were astray. And it also shows, even in that time, there were few scholars who were still on truth.”
3. People believed in them blindly and they did not stop people from it
Allah the Most High said:
“They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for Lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah (Jesus/Isa) son of Maryam (Mary) and they were enjoined that they should serve one Allah only, there is no god but He; far from His glory be what they set up (with Him).” (Surah at-Tawbah, 9:31)
Also, authentic report is transmitted by Imam Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi and at-Tabari on the authority of Adiy ibn Hatim at-Ta’i that:
“The Prophet was reading this verse: ‘They make of their rabbis and their monks…lords besides Allah.’ He said: ‘they have not worshipped them.’ The Prophet said: ‘Yes, indeed they did. They followed them when they forbade them what was lawful and permitted them what was forbidden. That is how they worshipped them.”
4. Innovating ‘extreme’ paths
Allah the Almighty said:
“Then We made Our Messengers to follow in their footsteps, and We sent Isa, son of Mary (Maryam), afterwards, and We gave him the Injil (The Gospel), and We put in the hearts of those who followed him kindness and mercy; and (as for) monkery (monasticism), they innovated it– We did not prescribe it to them – only to seek Allah’s pleasure, but they did not observe it with its due observance; so We gave to those of them who believed their reward, and most of them are transgressors.” (Surah al-Hadid, 57:27)
5. Not doing what they ask others to do
“What! Do you enjoin people to be good and neglect your own souls while you read the Book; have you then no sense?” (Surah al Baqarah, 2:44)
Brothers and sisters! Allah has mentioned the corruption of learned men in the previous nations, so that we can clearly identify when similar happens in our Ummah. In striking similarity to monasticism, we have ‘scholars’ who preach modes of life, which over-emphasise a particular ritual of Islam, and take away importance from struggle in spreading the religion of Allah. We have scholars who warn people to read the sources themselves, and want people to follow them blindly. We have scholars who don’t speak on the evident evils in the society, and only tell people what they want to hear. We have scholars who don’t speak against the evident dangerous political systems; rather, they ask people to submit to them.
Other signs of Evil scholars given in the Hadiths are:
6. Hiding the Knowledge
Many Hadiths have been related which severely forbid hiding knowledge. The famous Hadith from Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) is as follows:
“Whoever is asked about knowledge (that he knows about) and hides it will be bridled on the Day of Judgment by a bridle of fire.” (Reported by Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi (who graded it hasan), Ibn Majah and authenticated by al-Hakim according to the conditions of the two Shaykhs)
7. Associating with confirmed bad Leaders and unjust politicians who are oppressive or who do not follow the law or not following due process in doing things
Imam Jalaluddin as-Suyuti (Rahimahullah) has authored a book on the subject and named it, What the Luminaries Have Narrated About Not Going To the Unjust and Oppressive Rulers
I have laid emphasis on this characteristic, because it is the most widely spread corruption amongst present day scholars. How can one remain neutral and give fatwa or rulings according to the law of Allah, when he is a part of the fatwa committee of an unjust and insincere politician, leader, or a corrupt system? They have joined hands with leaders who don’t follow the law, whereas Allah’s Messenger warned against aiding them in any way.
Narrated Abu Sa’id and Abu Hurairah that: The Prophet (Pbuh) said:
“Mentally deficient leaders will appear to you, and they will make the most evil and worst people near to them, and they delay the prayer (not pray it at the fixed time). Every one of you, who realises that, must not be policeman, not a corporal, not a collector and not a treasurer with them.” (Reported by Ibn Hibban and Shaykh Shu’aib Arna’ut classified it to be weak, because he said AbdurRahman bin Mas’ud is ‘majhul’, but other scholars like Ibn Hajr Asqalani have classified him to be trustworthy, al-Hakim considered him to be authentic as well, and Ad Dhahabi agreed with him in his talkhis. Abu Ya’ala, authenticated by Hasan Salim, and he said AbdurRahman bin Mas’ud is trsuthworthy. Tabarani in Majma’ Saghir. Majma’ Zawa’id, Haythami said narrators are sahih and trustworthy. Classified as Sahih by al-Albani in Silsilah As-Sahiha Hadith no. 360, and he deemed the narrator to be Abdur Rahman bin Abdullah. Al-Albani said that it had other chains too. In Sahih at-Targhib al-Albani classified it to be Hasan lighairihi. The same wording is also quoted in a ‘mawquf’ hadith from Abdullah bin Mas’ud in M’ujam al-Kabir and Musannaf of AbdurRazzaq. The above wording is of Musnad Abu Ya’ala)
And Ka’ab ibn Ujrah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that:
“Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh) came to us and we were nine people made up of five and four either of the two numbers representing Arabs and non-Arabs. He said, “Listen! Have you heard that there will be after me, some bad leaders? If anyone goes to them and, despite their falsehood and insincerity, vouches for their truth and, despite their tyranny, helps them over their oppression, then he does not belong to me and I am not his and he will not make it to my pond. And as for him, who does not go to them and does not aid them in their oppression and does not vouch their lies to be true, he is of me and I belong to him and he will come to me at the pond.” (Sunan at-Tirmidhi, Sahih at-Targhib wat Tarhib, Sunan an-Nasa’i, Sahih ibn Hibban, Mustadrak of al-Hakim, Mu’jam al-Kabir, Sunan al-Baihiqi al-Kubra. The Hadith authenticated by Imam al-Albani in Sahih Jami’ Tirmidhi and Sahih at-Targhib wat Tarhib and his grading of Sunan an-Nasa’i, Shaykh Shu’aib Arna’ut classified it as Sahih in his classification of Sahih ibn Hibban. Ibn Hibban also quotes it from the father of Abdullah bin Khabab, Classified as Hasan by Sh’uaib Arna’ut)
Same hadith is narrated by Imam Ahmad with some addition, it starts as:
“Verily, there will be leaders after me, who will lie and be oppressive…” (to the end of hadith) (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal reported it, Shaykh Shu’aib Arna’ut says that its chain is ‘Sahih’.
Another narration in Mustadrak of al-Hakim starts as:
“There will be leaders after me, who will not take guidance from what I’ve brought, and not act according to my Sunnah (way)….” (to the end of the hadith)
Another narration quoted by Tabarani in al-awsat and al-kabir, which is found in Musnad At-Tayalisi as well, starts as:
“There will be leaders after me, who will act without the fear of Allah…” (To the end of hadith)
Also Ibn Abbas from the Prophet who said:
“Whoever lives in the desert becomes harsh, whoever preoccupies himself with following hunting becomes heedless and whoever goes to the doors of the bad and insincere leaders is tested.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, Sunan an-Nasa’i, al-Baihaqi in Shu’ub ul-Iman and also Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal. Al-Albani has graded it as Sahih in his classification of at-Tirmidhi)
Abi al-Awar as-Silmi (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said:
“Beware of the doors of the bad and unjust leaders for they have indeed become a source of trouble and humiliation.” (As-Sahihah, Hadith no. 1253)
“Whoever lives in the desert becomes harsh, whoever preoccupies himself with following hunting becomes heedless and whoever goes to the doors of the unjust and oppressive leaders is tested. A slave (of Allah) does not increase his closeness to the unjust leader except that he increases his distance from Allah.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, al-Baihaqi. And Dr. Abu Ali Taha Busarih says in the classification of “What the luminaries have narrated about not going to the unjust leaders”, by Imam as-Suyuti: the Hadith of Abu Hurairah along with what has preceded from Ibn Abbas, and along with what will follow in another Hadith from him also, may make it authentic. Al-Albani classified it to be Hasan in Silsilah as-Sahiha. The narration of al-Baihaqi has the word ﻗﺮﺑﺎ instead of ﺩﻧﻮﺍ)
Yusuf bin Asbat narrates that Sufyan Thawri said to him:
“Whenever you see an Islamic scholar entering into the presence of the unjust and oppressive leaders, then know that he is a thief.” (Shu’ub al Iman of al-Baihaqi, authenticated by Ad-Dhahabi in Siyar A’lam Nubala Vol. 13 Page 586, and also authenticated by Salim Hilali in the book The Manners of the Islamic Scholars and Student of knowledge on Page 14. Similar is narrated in a Marfu’ narration from Abu Hurairah, but al-Albani has graded it as weak)
Imam Ibn al-Jawziy said in Talbis Iblis Page 121-122) that:
“And from the deceptions of Iblis upon the scholars is their mixing with the confirmed unjust leaders and the confirmed oppressive kings, their flattering them and failure to correct them when they are able to do so. May be they make allowances for them where there is no allowance for them, in order to attain some worldly benefit. So this produces corruption from three angles: First, the leader is corrupted by that. He will say: “If I were not upon what is correct, the scholar would correct me. And how can I not be correct when he is eating from my wealth!” Secondly, the common man, because he will say: “There is no harm in this leader, nor in his wealth, nor in his actions, because such and such scholar, does not criticize him.” Thirdly, the scholar (himself) is corrupted by that. Because he corrupts his religion through this practice, and Iblis (Satan) has deceived them into entering upon the corrupt politicians and unjust leaders by saying to them, “You will just enter to intercede for the benefit of a Muslim.”
Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said in his book, Sharh Hadithidh-Dhi’ban (i.e. The commentary on the Hadith about two hungry wolves):
“Many of the Salaf (Pious predecessors) used to forbid entry upon the unjust and oppressive leaders even for those who wanted to go to command them with good and to forbid them from evil. From those who forbade this were Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz, Ibn al-Mubarak, ath-Thawri and others.”
Ibn al-Mubarak said:
“The one who commands and forbids them in our view is not the one who enters upon them and commands and forbids them. Rather the one who commands and forbids them is the one that keeps away from them.”
Salamah bin Dinar said:
“In the past if the unjust leaders sent someone to fetch the Ulama, the Ulama would not go to them, or if the leaders asked the Ulama, the Ulama would not make any concessions for them. The leaders would go to the Ulama at their houses and ask them there and within this was rectification for both the leaders and the Ulama.”
Sufyan ath-Thawri said:
“Knowledge will remain honoured until it is carried to the gates of the unjust kings who take it for a small price, then Allah will remove the sweetness of knowledge from their hearts.”
Imam Abu Muhammad bin Hazm said when he advised the Alim (Scholar) in his treatise Maratibul Ulum:
“To be afflicted by associating with the unjust leader is to be afflicted by a great calamity and it is presenting oneself to a vile danger in which one’s religion and self will depart. The scholar is not to associate with him (i.e. the unjust leader) whatsoever as this will lead to ruin.” (See Dr. Ihsan Abbas, Majma’ ar-Rasa’il Ibn Hazm al-Andalus, Vol. 4, Page 76)
Prophecies Regarding Hypocrites and Evil Scholars
The clear cut warnings of Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh):
Abdullah bin Amr narrates that Prophet (Pbuh) said:
“Most of the hypocrites of my Ummah will be its Qurra’ (i.e. evil scholars).” (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal and Shaykh Shu’aib Arna’ut classified it as ‘Hasan’)
* The word Qurra’ was used for scholars at that time, because the one well versed in Qur’an was the scholar. Nowadays, reciters fall in a different category and scholars in a different field. This wasn’t the case at that time.
The Prophet (Pbuh) said:
“There is something more I fear for my Ummah more than the Dajjal: “Misguided scholars.” (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal and Shaykh Shu’aib Arna’ut graded it as Sahih)
* The Arabic word used is ‘ﺍﺋﻤﻪ ’ which can be translated as both: political leaders (kings and rulers) or religious leaders (scholars). In the times of Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh), he was both the political leader and the religious leader, and a similar trend was there in times of Rightly Guided Caliphs. We are used to understanding them as separate entities, and as we follow both the religious and political leaders, both will fall under ﺍﺋﻤﻪ.
Ziyad said that Umar bin al-Khattab said to him:
“Three destroy the religion, the evil scholar, the arguing of a hypocrite regarding the Qur’an and misguided leaders.” (Sunan Ad-Darimi and Hasan Salim classified it to be authentic, also authenticated by al-Albani)
Anas bin Malik narrates that Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh) said:
“May Allah keep him fresh (and radiant) who hears a hadith from me, remembers it and conveys it to others from me, for, many a scholar of fiqh is not himself a faqih (jurist) and many a bearer of fiqh may carry it to one more learned than him in fiqh.” (at-Tirmdhi, Sunan Abu Dawud, Sunan ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban and Sunan ad-Darimi. Authenticated by al-Albani and Shaykh Shu’aib Arna’ut. Also narrated by Zaid bin Thabit, Jabir bin Mut’im from his father, May Allah be pleased with them all)
Brothers and Sisters! Wallahi we are living in an age of deception. Next time, you hear a fatwa from some committee, from some sect, from some group, from some organisation etc; don’t trust the fatwa just because it is coming from that source. As an intelligent Muslim, you should take the warnings of Allah’s Messenger seriously, and identify the true scholars from the false ones. And always try to listen to the Muslim leaders and scholars, under the able leadership of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and the President General of both NSCIA and JNI, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, or any sincere Islamic scholar you know. Forget about the different or individual fatwas coming from the groups, sects or any organizations. It will confuse you greatly.
Do not be fooled any more. Allah’s Messenger said:
“The greatest fear that I have for my Ummah is regarding a hypocrite who is a good speaker.” (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal and Authenticated by Shaykh Shu’aib Arna’ut and Imam al-Albani, narrated by Umar bin al-Khattab)
Brothers and sisters! Not every well bulleted, well documented fatwa is truth. Cross check the views and opinions especially, of those evil and misguided scholars, in light of Qur’an and Sunnah, especially when it comes to matters regarding your entire life. And don’t forget, there are still good and sincere scholars, the scholars of Rahman (The Merciful Allah) out there; find them. They are spreading the truth, and are acting on what they say. Qur’an is a manual of revolution that was revealed in parallel with the greatest revolution this world has ever seen. How can Qur’an be understood by those who are residing in the comforts of their homes, serving the corrupt politicians and unjust and oppressive leaders?
“It should be remembered, nevertheless, that full appreciation of the spirit of the Qur’an demands practical involvement with the struggle to fulfill its mission. The Qur’an is neither a book of abstract theories and cold doctrines, which the reader can grasp while seated in a cozy armchair, nor it is merely a religious book like other religious books, the secrets of which can be grasped in seminaries and oratories. On the contrary, it is the blueprint and guidebook of a message, of a mission, of a movement. As soon as this Book was revealed, it drove a quiet, kind-hearted man from his isolation and seclusion, and placed him upon the battlefield of life to challenge a world that had gone astray. It inspired him to raise his voice against falsehood, against extremism and pitted him in grim struggle against the standard-bearers of unbelief, of disobedience of Allah, of waywardness and error.” (See Mawdudi, Introduction to the study of the Qur’an)
Brothers and sisters! Imam Ghazali said in his Book ‘Ihya Ulumuddin’:
“What I mean by the scholar of Dunya, evil and misguided scholar or the scholar of falsehood is that his object of learning Islam is that so he can live in ease and comforts, and to get honour and prestige from people. They are slaves to evil habits. The devil is powerful over the majority among them and various kinds of sins misguide them. Almost every one among them is engrossed in the luxuries of this world and its comforts and enjoyments.
For this reason, the majority of them consider good as bad and bad as good. They duped the people to believe that there is no other science than that of fiqh or munazara (debates). Prophet (Pbuh), had called them the most wicked among the people. You must beware of being deceived by the ambiguities of these scholars of falsehood.
Their evil influence upon religion is greater than Satan, because it is through these fake scholars aid that satan arrives at removing religion from the hearts of men. Prophet (Pbuh) stated in a hadith:
“At the end of time there will be ignorant worshipers and corrupt scholars.” (al-Hakim )
You can identify them by many of their typical traits among them:
1. They create an environment of fanaticism for the truth and regard with contempt and scorn all non-conformists (i . e. Those who disagrees with him).
This they do for the lust of glory and fame. For prestige requires a following and nothing attracts a following better than bigotry, cursing and vilifying of opponents. They have adopted fanaticism as their rule of conduct and their method of approach.
They call this defense of religion and a protection for the Muslims, while in fact it results in nothing but destruction of all people and in the firm establishment of innovation in their minds.
2. They involve themselves in polemics and wrangling to gain repute and prestige…
They feign that they are striving after the principles of religion without making the slightest effort towards the science of religion.
The wicked scholar is like a boulder that has fallen into the source of a stream. It neither absolves any water itself, nor permits it to flow out and reach the plants.
The wicked scholar is also like aqueducts which flow to a garden, yet they release a putrid smell, as it has [as it’s source] a cesspool of rotting corpses. Its outer part is cultivated but its inner part is full of dead men’s bones. You need not fear the Devil as much as men who have relieved the Devil of the task of tempting and misleading people.
They might have a reputation of a Scholar among laymen – but these “scholars ” could not even distinguish true knowledge from falsehood. This is because of their unawareness of the acts of the Companions (Sahaba).
3. Their tongues are sweeter than honey, but their hearts are darker than night.
They will urge people to abandon this world while they themselves do not renounce it.
They place fear of Allah in the hearts of men while they themselves have no fear of Him.
They forbid men to seek the favour of those in leadership while they themselves carry favour with them.
Prophet (Pbuh) stated:
“The worst ulama (evil and misguided scholars) visits the house of unjust and oppressive leaders while the best leaders visits the houses of ulama.” (Ibn Majah)
Sa’id Ibn ul Musayyib said:
“If you see ulama visits the houses of oppressive leaders, beware of him because verily he is a thief.”
Sufyan Ath-Thawri said:
“If you see a scholar who has many friends – you may be certain he is charlatan and fake. Because if he would speak the truth, those friends would hate him.“
They engage themselves in learning argumentation and debate to achieve fame and glory and leave that for which Allah has sent the Prophets. One sage said:
“I have seen [the true] scholars, and they only used to teach one another piety.”
4. They prefer this world to the Hereafter.
Umar ibn Khattab (RA) said:
“If you see a scholar cherishing this world, then don’t entrust your religion into his hands because everyone is captivated by what he loves.”
And Allah Knows Best.
Written by your brother:
Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through: +2348038289761.