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ROLE OF STUDENTS OF KNOWLEDGE IN TIME OF FITNAH

 


By

Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori


There are many reasons why it is dangerous to attempt to fight for anyone. The person you are fighting for may become your enemy and the one you are fighting may later become your friend. This is a constant lifetime arithmetic. We must be very careful. Partisanship in dealing with scholars is a real fitnah in our time. 


To me, all scholars must be respected because it is not easy to be one. The fact that a scholar makes a mistake or says something we do not agree with doesn't mean he should be torn apart. The most important thing is to correct the error perceived and move on. The danger of ridiculing the people of knowledge is grave. It is like ridiculing the Deen itself because the scholars are the custodians of the sharī'ah. When you puncture a scholar, you have punctured his knowledge and his da'wah becomes questionable. 


The fact that a scholar is not in good term with my own teacher is not a license for me to ridicule him, because we are not into politics. His own students too may have to retaliate, and the ugly trend would continue like that. Even in politics, the wise politician doesn't fight blindly. He knows anything can change at anytime. He knows when to speed and when to march the break. As for me, my students that I taught and my juniors deserve my respect, let alone my peers or those who are even above me in age and knowledge. This is my school of thought.


Long ago, I had heard from one of our indegenous scholars here saying hasad (envy) is a very common disease among scholars. Since then, I have been very careful not to ever fight blindly for any of my favourite teachers. Even if someone is not in good relationship with your parent, don't fight for your parent. An ideal parent will not even like it. Experience has shown that this is not the best. When we were in the midst of our teachers with whom we learned the Qur'an, some crises occurred between them then that nearly consumed the love that was hitherto within us. I never regretted applying this principle. I never regretted my neutrality. No one should feel immuned from hasad (envy) and its consequences. No one is free from the antics of shaytān.


By Allāh, if we focus more attention on learning and applying what we learn sincerely, refutations will be minimal. Now, we have succeeded in allowing refutations to distract us from learning and application. Although refutation is part of learning, but can refutations ever take the place of learning? 


In fact, my observation that I communicated to Ustadh Sa'd Sarumi حفظه الله on Saturday after our Fortnight Halqah was: a lot of scholars have been warned against. Now, many students of knowledge are confused on what to do. They are weak mentally and priorities are misplaced. One of the resultant effects of this fitnah is that places of learning are scanty merely on suspicious ground. Do we think Allāh will not ask all of us the role we play in all of these?


When matters arise like this, students of knowledge must be very cautious. No scholar should be followed or fought for blindly. Let us know what we are doing. Our dealings with scholars should not be politicised. If the definition of loyalty is for me to attack or ridicule directly or indirectly scholars who are not in good term with my favourite scholars, then I will never be loyal in Sha Allāh. Our loyalty should ultimately be to the Words of Allāh, the Sunnah and the path of our Salaf.


Students of knowledge ought not to be seeing fuelling fitnah. They should rather be calm, composed and ensure that peace reigns. Is it not better to meet Allāh with a clean heart that holds no grudge against fellow believers? Let us reflect on this verse:إَ

وَإِن طَاۤىِٕفَتَانِ مِنَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِینَ ٱقۡتَتَلُوا۟ فَأَصۡلِحُوا۟ بَیۡنَهُمَاۖ فَإِنۢ بَغَتۡ إِحۡدَىٰهُمَا عَلَى ٱلۡأُخۡرَىٰ فَقَـٰتِلُوا۟ ٱلَّتِی تَبۡغِی حَتَّىٰ تَفِیۤءَ إِلَىٰۤ أَمۡرِ ٱللَّهِۚ فَإِن فَاۤءَتۡ فَأَصۡلِحُوا۟ بَیۡنَهُمَا بِٱلۡعَدۡلِ وَأَقۡسِطُوۤا۟ۖ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ یُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُقۡسِطِینَ

[Surah Al-Hujurat 9]

[Surah Al-Hujurat 9]


May Allāh guide us aright.

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