بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
We are living in a terribly wretched time. We are living in a time wherein people with no knowledge of Qur'aan and Sunnah are speaking on Deen. We are living in a time when a person will not open a surgery if he is not a doctor; he will not open a pharmacy if he is not a pharmacist; he will not try to get hired as a lawyer, attorney or advocate if he has not studied law (in fact, he will not even speak in the field); let alone those fields, he will not even argue with a plumber in the field of plumbing, if he hasn't studied it and isn't a plumber! Yet, everyone feels he or she is entitled to speak in Deen and dish out Fataawaa like Santa Claus is said to give out gifts on Christmas.
What sickness is this? People have respect for every field except Deen? They have too much respect for the field of medicine to speak in that field without knowledge. They will not argue with doctors and specialists in the medical field about medicine, but they will argue in Deen! And the people arguing, many times cannot even recite Qur'aan! Yet they feel they are entitled to "have an opinion" in Deen! Our Deen is based on Qur'aan and Sunnah, not the "opinions" of people! Even an "`Aalim" must speak only based on Qur'aan and Sunnah and cannot give out his own "opinions" if they are in conflict with the Sharee`ah! Moreover, a person has to have studied Deen to a certain extent before he can speak on it.
In this thread, I would like to show what the `Ulamaa have said a person has to have studied and know in order to be a "Taalib-ul-`Ilm" (Student of Deeni Knowledge). After you read this, In Shaa Allaah you will realise how ridiculous people are in thinking every Tom, Dick and Harry has the right to speak on Deen. You will also realise that many of those who go around touting titles like "Shaykh", "Maulana" and "Mufti" know nothing at all.
The senior `Ulamaa have said that in order to be a Taalib-ul-`Ilm, a person must know the following:
1) He must be a Haafiz of the Qur'aan (memorised the entire Qur'aan, cover to cover).
2) He must be fluent in Arabic. He must have studied all of the various fields within Arabic itself, such as Nahw
3) He must have studied all of the laws of Usool-ul-Fiqh
(Principles of Islaamic Jurisprudence).
4) He must have a comprehensive knowledge of the Taareekh (history) of Islaam, which includes: the history of the 25 Ambiyaa mentioned in the Qur'aan, the Seerah of Rasoolullaah صلى الله عليه وسلم
, the history of Sahaabah, Taabi`een, Atbaa`-ut-Taabi`een (the entire Salaf era), and at least a basic knowledge of the events which have taken place in Islaam until the present time, such as the various Khilaafats which have existed, the different dynasties such as the Umayyads, Abbasids, Mamlooks, Uthmaanis, Faatimids, Seljuks, the Dan Fodio dynasty, etc.
5) He must have studied how to extract Furoo` (the branch laws) from the Usool (roots).
6) He must know the Tafseer of each and every Aayah of the Qur'aan; the Sabab-un-Nuzool
(reason for revelation of that Aayah); the Naasikh
(which Aayaat are abrogators and which were abrogated); al-Muqaaranah baynas Suwar wal-Muqaaranah baynal Aayaat
(the link between the Soorahs and the link between the Aayaat, thus knowing the context of each Aayah and how it is connected to the Aayaat before it and the Aayaat after it). Thus, the person would need to have perfected at least one from the reliable, classical Kutub of Tafseer, such as Tafseer ibn Katheer.
7) Have read and memorised at least the meanings (if not the words) of the eight most famous Kutub of Hadeeth (Bukhaari, Muslim, Abu Daawud, Tirmidhee, Nasaa'i, Ibn Maajah, Muwatta' Imaam Maalik, Musnad Imaam Ahmad.)
8) Know all of the events which took place in the life of Rasoolullaah صلى الله عليه وسلم
9) Have a knowledge of Arabic poetry.
10) Have studied the correct `Aqeedah
11) Have studied Usool-ut-Tafseer
(The Principles of Tafseer).
12) Have studied all of the laws of `Ilm-ul-Faraa'idh
13) Have studied all of the laws of at least one from the four Madhaahib (be it Hanafi, Maaliki, Shaafi`ee or Hanbali), as well as the evidences behind each of those laws.
14) Have studied al-Qawaa`id al-Fiqhiyyah
15) Have studied Maqaasid ash-Sharee`ah
16) Have studied Mustalah al-Hadeeth
17) Have studied the `Ilm of Jarh wat-Ta`deel
Once a person knows all this, he is still not an "`Aalim". He is only a "Taalib-ul-`Ilm
" (Student of Deeni Knowledge).
A person asked Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, "Is a person a Faqeeh if he has memorised 100,000 Ahaadeeth (with their chains of narrators)?" He said, "No." The person asked, "If he memorised 200,000?" He said, "No." The person asked, "If he memorised 300,000?" He said, "No." The person asked, "If he memorised 400,000?" Imaam Ahmad gestured with his hand (meaning, "maybe
" such a person can be considered a Faqeeh. Maybe!
Therefore, fear Allaah and do not speak in things which you have no knowledge of. Sahaabah used to avoid issuing Fataawaa when there was someone else who could do it instead, out of their Taqwaa of Allaah Ta`aalaa. Only when they had no choice would they issue a Fatwaa. If they were not absolutely certain about a Mas'alah, they would say "I don't know."
The `Ulamaa say that if you see a person saying he's an `Aalim, know that he's a Jaahil. "Whoever says he's `Aalim, then he's Jaahil."
`Ilm is an ocean the depths of which we cannot even comprehend. What we know is only a drop from that ocean.
Even Sahaabah would try to avoid giving Fataawaa and feared to narrate from Rasoolullaah صلى الله عليه وسلم
if they were not absolutely certain about what he had said, yet people today - who have not studied even how to read Qur'aan correctly - are so bold as to feel they are Mujtahideen and can subject the Qur'aan and Sunnah to their own warped and puny understanding! As if the Qur'aan and Sunnah mean what they "feel" it means!
...فإلى الله المشتكى
There is a famous line of poetry from Qatr-un-Nadaa
زعمتني شيخاً ولست بشيخ *** إنما الشيخ من يدبّ دبيباً
رب زدني علماً
اللهم لا علم لنا إلا ما علّمتنا, إنك أنت العليم الحكيم
والله تعالى أعلم وعلمه أتم وأحكم