by Shaykh Ali bin Hasan Al-Halabi Al-Atharee
Translated by Feroz Abdul Rahman
Imam Ibnul Qayyim mentioned splendid meanings of this verse in his amazing book: “Key to the
home of happiness” and drew excellent conclusions from it, the revision and continual reading of which would be very
Those mentioned in the noble verse with the characteristic “and those with knowledge”
are the scholars and those who have justice: “And the Word of your Lord is perfected with Truth and Justice” because
of the burden of the trust of knowledge that they carry around their necks and the reality of justice.
And we are still learning, as we have been for the past 20 odd years all praises be to the Lord
of the Worlds, from our truthful scholars and our trustworthy elders, the love of the knowledge, the veneration of the people
of knowledge and the respect for those who carry this knowledge.
Until we have said, and for Allaah is all Grace, a saying which we have repeated and a rule which
we have established, which we have filled the hearing of people with and we have reported in the pages of every publication
and that is our saying, with success from our Lord, “For the major issues, there is no one but the major scholars”.
And surely we affirm, confirm and establish this principle, for it is not hidden to us, and all
Praises are for Allaah, the subtle difference between “Respect” and “Sanctifying”.
Respect for our scholars and teachers are unquestionably an obligation and are a mandatory requirement
from which we can neither separate ourselves from nor distance ourselves from. This respect spurs from disciplined and knowledge-based
methodology which is a union of knowledge and forbearance, proof and evidence.
As for sanctification, then it is reserved for the perfect and infallible sources which are the
Book of Allaah the Most High and the Sunnah of our Prophet (sa) for they are the great foundations in whom there are no defects
and no dishonour can befall them.
So the respect for the scholars is based upon the awe of knowledge and the great value that we assign
to it and sanctification of the truth is based upon the great influence that it has and the loftiness of its sources.
Mixing up of credentials and confusing the priorities causes chaos and increases the problems.
Based on what we have mentioned, it is an obligation on every Muslim who testifies to the Oneness
of Allaah to uphold the rights of those scholars in authority that the Shariah has placed upon you. So you have to respect
them, venerate them, give them their due station, hold back from causing injury to their honour, stop slandering them, stay
away from trying to sow doubts in their intentions and their fairness and stop abusing them while they try to carry out their
affairs of preaching and giving religious rulings against those who spread evil, stop fishing for their faults and sticking
false accusations to them, stop degrading their standing, stop being vulgar about them for this is the biggest means of destruction,
the source of sin and the splitting of the Muslim nation and the weakening of the religious leadership.
And the above actions can be likened to pricking to cause trouble and they are nothing but maligning
without due process and this is a stance that pleases those in whose hearts is a defect and in whose religion there is a burden
and humiliation; those from the people of Innovation and desires and others. So do not be a helper of the criminals by betraying
the scholars of the Sunnah and pushing people away from them by your actions and pushing people away from their lessons their
gatherings and their achievements and you hand them over as an easy prey to the “scholars” of evil and innovation
or you leave them preoccupied and they are caught by the groups and the parties.
This negative effect is exactly what we are sensing, seeing, feeling and living nowadays.
It is very rare to find from these groups who criticise the scholars, or those who support these
critics, those who raise the scholars because of their due right or spread their knowledge for the simple fact that it is
the truth or lead people to them in defence of the Sunnah or raising the flag of the Sunnah; if they do the above, or some
of it, it is to take advantage of a stand, or to exploit an opinion towards which they have an inclination or to use as a
tool against someone whom they oppose. If that’s not the case, then where are the verdicts of our knowledgeable and
nurturing scholars against the partisans, agitators and the demagogues (those who play on people’s emotions)? What is
their stand towards them? How do they deal with them? You will not find the verdicts of the major scholars, the great ones,
in the hands of these minor ones, the infants, except being suppressed, concealed, withheld and forgotten.
This is how they make the foundation puzzled and this is what comes from their actions and this
is what these people move towards; a purely selective and subjective path which neither springs from the truth nor is led
by guidance. It is merely desire which plunges its owner into the hole of partisanship and bigotry trying to wind with them
the scholars. They pass what they are aiming at because of their partisanship of the destructive desires.
By Allaah! How can you turn the laws of the Shariah into a method of revenge and allow it to be
damaged by falsehood and sins! But know that it is a way which has been seen in the past and it has been done by those who
have minds which are slaves to their desires! It has been reported from Ali Ibn Abi Taalib that he said: “There are
‘Qaham’ for quarrels and Satan attends quarrels”.
The Qaham is for great matters. Then can you imagine what will happen when the argument is over
a matter not based in truth. 1
And it is obligatory for these youth to respect the scholars. His Eminence Shaykh Bakr Abu Zaid,
may Allaah keep him on the straight path, said in his article entitled “A rebuttal of the one who opposes” pg.
“And with this, it is an obligation on the youth to respect the scholars and to be around
them. Conversely, it is an obligation on the active scholars to nurture the youth, keep them involved and to strengthen their
hearts by making them closely tied to knowledge and belief. By this these youth will become “a society of knowledge
seeking/adhering youth” where you will find the “model scholar” and the “knowledgeable leadership”
for the nation of Islam, and factories which produce the men [and women] of the future because of whom the nation will rise.
And from the obligations of the scholars on the youth are: having a good attitude towards them which
involves subtlety, wisdom and insight. They should pay attention to their needs, sit with them in lectures and for advice.
They should listen to their opinions and be ready to accept these from them. They should write and author books and give verdicts;
all this according to what he is capable of, so that the scholars attend to the needs of the youth in terms of the creed and
mannerisms in a way that will protect them from deviating in thought and action.
So will this integration and completeness be
achieved righteously, truthfully and justly?
And will this agreeability be
achieved in reality, as a trust and with loyalty?
This is what I hope and what every sincere
person hopes so that knowledge can continue to remain lofty and justice can continue in its exaltedness and brilliance.
1. Ar-Radood (p. 341): Shaykh Bakr Abu Zaid – may Allaah keep him on the straight path and keep him well in all