The Excellence of the Scholars

 

Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says in the Noble Qur'aan: 

"Allaah bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped but He, and the angels, and those having knowledge (Oolul-11m) (also bear witness to this; (He is always) maintaining His creation in justice. None has the right to be worshipped but He, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise ." Soorah Aal- Imraan (3): 18.

This verse shows the superiority of knowledge ('ilm) and its people; the following points can be inferred from this verse:

1 . Allaah chose the people of knowledge (Oolul 'ilm) to bear witness to His Oneness (Tawheed) over and above the rest of His creation.

2. Allaah honoured the people of knowledge by mentioning their testimony along with His testimony.

3. He raised high the status of the scholars by associating their testimony with the testimony of the angels.

4. This verse bears witness to the superiority of those who possess knowledge. Allaah does not make any of His creation bear witness except the upright amongst them. Their is a well known narration from the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), who said:  "The upright in every generation will carry this knowledge, rejecting the distortions of the extremists, the false claims of the liars, and the (false) interpretations of the ignorant." (Declared hasan by Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaalee).

5. Allaah, the One free from all defects, Himself bears witness to His Oneness, and He is the greatest of witnesses. Then He chose   from   His   creation   the   angels   and   the   scholars - this   is

sufficient to show their excellence.

6. Allaah made the scholars bear witness with the greatest and the most excellent testimony and that is, "None has the right to be worshipped but Allaah." Allaah, the One free of all defects and the Most High, does not bear witness except to matters of great   importance  and only the greatest from Allaah's creation bear witness to this.

7.   Allaah   made   the   testimony   of   the   people   of   knowledge   a proof   against   the   rejecters.   Thus   they   are   its   proofs   and   its signs, indicating His Oneness (Tawheed).

8.   Allaah,   the   Most   High,   used   a   single   verb   to   refer   to   His testimony and the testimony of the angels and the scholars. He did   not   use   an   additional   verb   for   their testimony;   thus   he connected   their   testimony   to   His.   This   shows   the   strong   link between       their    testimony      and    Allaah's    testimony,       as   if  He himself   bore   witness to   His   Oneness   upon   their   tongues   and made them utter this testimony.

9. Allaah, the One free from all defects, made the scholars fulfil His  right   (that   none  has  the  right to be worshipped but Him) through      this   testimony      and    if  they   fulfil  it  then they   have fulfilled and established this right of Allaah upon them. Then it is   obligatory   upon   mankind   to   accept   this   testimony   which   is the   means   to   reach   happiness   in   this   life and   in   their   final return   (to   Allaah).   Whosoever   takes   this   guidance   from   the scholars and excepts this truth because of their testimony, then for   the   scholars   there   is   a   reward   equal   to   them.   And   none knows the value of this reward but Allaah.

 

Adapted from Miftaahi Daaris Sa'aadah of Imaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, rahimahullaah (d.751 H).

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