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ISLAMIC SCHOLARSHIP AND HUMILITY OF THE SALAF




By
Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

It is incumbent upon each and everyone of us to learn humility and decorum of the salaf as-Saalih (righteous predecessors). Our society is filled with false claim of piety and Islamic scholarship and a lot of Muslims are being deceived. You would see people calling themselves Waliyy, Gaozu, Kutubu and so on. In the first place, anyone who addresses himself as Mufti, Sheikh, Ustadh or Alfa in a way that suggests he claims to be an Islamic scholar has not practised the humily of the salaf. It is better if people see qualities of a scholar in you and they address you with those titles. Even when you are addressed with those titles, you should try to reject it just to let people know that knowledge is not something anyone can claim just like that. No matter how knowledge you might think you are, there are people who are more knowledgeable than you.

Some people find so much joy in people calling them Mufti, Sheikh, Ustaadh and so on, and if they are not addressed in that manner, they feel bad and hold it against people who fail to address them in that manner. Some people know deep down their mind that they do not deserve to be called a 'Muhaddith' or 'Sheikh al-Islam', yet they fail to reject them when they are addressed in that manner. Those who were given those titles among our salaf didn't name themselves, they worked for it. But today, a lot of people are merely interested in those titles, they are not ready work for it.

Well, the humility of our salaf is that they used to run away from giving fatwa (juristic advice) because of the danger in it. They used to do this in compliance with the provision of Suratu Nahl, Q16: 116. Today, people rush to give fatwa on matters they have little or no knowledge about. Our salaf were not interested in titles, they strive to please Allaah alone with their knowledge. It was reported that as-Sha'biyy رحمه الله was once told: أفتنا أيها العالم (give us juristic advice, o scholar), and he said to them:

((لا تقولوا لمثلي عالم, فإن العالم هو الذي تقطعت مفاصله من خشية الله))

"Do not call someone like me a scholar, because a scholar is one whose body joints have disconnected due to consciousness of Allaah" [See Min Akhlaaq as-Salaf, pg 55]

May Allaah have mercy on all our salaf among the Prophets, Companions and the Followers of the Companions.

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