Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Identifying True Scholars Of Islam

Allah Ta'ala says in the Noble Qur'an:

"Verily those that fear Allah from among his slaves are the Ulama."

True Ulama are those who have true knowledge of the Shari'ah and by virtue of their knowledge attain a colour of the fear of Allah in them.

They endeavour to accomplish the orders of Allah in every walk of their life, domestic, social and political. In order to achieve the ultimate spirit of knowledge, the obedience to Allah and His Rasulullah SAW one need to examine the lives of the preceding Allah-fearing Ulama and the knowledge they acquired in order to imbibe in them such outstanding qualities.

Among the torch bearers of true knowledge and guidance after the illustrious Sahabah RA were the four famous Imams of Fiqh who possessed deep understanding of the Shari'ah. They extracted the fundamental rules and principles of Shari'ah in the light of the Qur'an and Hadith and thereby extracted many Shar'ee rulings.

The fundamental rules and principles are known as Usul-ul-Fiqh and the laws extracted therefrom are known as Fiqh. In brief, a true Aalim (scholar) should be well acquainted with the Qur'an and its principles of commentary as well as its actual commentary (Usul-ul-Tafsir and Tafsir), he should be well acquainted with the sciences of commentary of Hadith and Ahaadith (Usul-ul-Hadith and Ahaadith).

Obviously, since the Qur 'an and Ahaadith are in Arabic, one has to study Arabic and have profound knowledge of Arabic language as well. In traditional Islamic institutions of Academic Islamic studies, the above subjects are offered over a period of approximately eight years.

Thereafter, one may spend another two years to study a specialist course in Qur'an, Hadith or Fiqh. Furthermore, in traditional institutes much emphasis on good character, conduct and fear of Allah.

Commonly, true scholars are those who have gone through the above.

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