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Respect your celebrity scholars but do not idolize them

Respect your celebrity scholars but do not idolize them
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Raashid Ul Nabi Khan

There is new concept prevailing now-a-days, that is ‘celebrity scholars’ but in Islam there does not exist the term celebrity. It is clearly an innovation. First of all let us see, how an ordinary Muslim can know who the scholars are?

The sign of the scholar and faqeeh who is qualified to issue fatwas is that he is able to use as evidence the verses of the Qur’an and the hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Another sign of the scholars is that they are very religiously committed and have a good attitude, and they are also keen to follow the example of the righteous of the early generations, namely the Sahaabah and Taabi‘een, and the leading scholars.

There are some leading scholars of all times whose sincerity was of par excellence, their dedication was absolutely wonderful which include Abu Bakr (RA), Umar (RA), Sufyaan (RA), Al-Awzaa‘I (RA), Abu Haneefah (RA), Maalik (RA), Ash-Shaafa‘I (RA), Ahmad, al-Ghazaali (RA), Al-‘Izz ibn (RA) ‘Abd as-Salaam (RA), An-Nawawi (RA), Ibn Taymiyah (RA), Ibn al-Qayyim (RA), Ibn Katheer (RA), Ibn Hajar (RA) and others. The real scholar always invites people towards Islamic Monotheism.

Now-a-days most of the people claime that they are scholars and issue fatwas against each other especially on social media like Facebook, twitter etc.

Ibn al-Salaah said: His sound character may be proven when two other scholars state that he is of good character, or because it is widely known. If a person is widely known to be of good character among the scholars of hadith or other scholars, and he was widely praised for his trustworthiness and honesty, there is no need for a statement from specific people testifying to his good character.

This is the correct view according to the Madhhab of ash-Shaafa‘i (may Allah have mercy on him), and it is the principle that is adopted in the field of Usool al-fiqh. Ibn as-Salaah (may Allah have mercy on him) further said:

The ordinary person (who follows a scholar) must definitely research matters in order to know whether the one he is asking is qualified to issue fatwas, if he does not have previous knowledge of that. It is not permissible for him to ask for fatwas anyone who claims to have knowledge, even if he is involved in teaching or preaching, or any other position of knowledge, just because he claims to have knowledge.

These days many so called scholars walk on the red carpet to give lectures on Islam for wealth and fame but they forget the life of Hazrat Umar (RA). I recall one incident from the life of Umar (RA), when Hazrat Umar was on his way to meet the King of Jerusalem, he was wearing his usual overly patched robe, and when Abu Ubaidah saw this, he expressed his fear. He feared that the people of the village would not treat the Caliph with honour because of how he was dressed.

At hearing this, Hazrat Umar (RA) remarked: “Oh Abu Ubaidah, we were the most humiliated people on earth and Allah gave us honour through Islam. If we ever seek honour through anything else, Allah will humiliate us again.

If we believe that we truly love and honor our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) then our ultimate love should be to his (pbuh) teachings not the celebrity speakers. We should be serious in seeking knowledge, we should seek knowledge in order to make our lives better, we should seek knowledge for the sake of Allah, seeking knowledge should not be an entertainment.

As our beloved Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever treads the path in search of knowledge, Allah will make the path to Paradise easy for him”. So always seek knowledge with seriousness.

In corporate Dawah, there are few issues firstly many celebrity speakers are generating huge amount of wealth through Dawah which is clearly forbidden in Islam. Remember in Dawah there should be soul’s sincerity, pure intention or Ikhlas to Allah.

My dear brothers and sisters respect your celebrity speakers but do not idolise them. I will end this write up with this Dua. Oh! Allah protect our scholars, Daees increase them in sincerity, understanding and goodness protect them from any fitnah. Ameen.

(Raashid Ul Nabi Khan is a Law Graduate. He has done his Masters in political science along with B.Ed. Presently teaches at Skylark Institute of Education, Pulwama. He is a member at JKIFTS Council of writers)

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