Five Points and Statements of Benefit
1 – The Shortcomings of the Scholars in Regards to Worldly Knowledge
al-Imam al-Qurafi said:
“…and how many scholars and judges have had the truth hidden from them in many issues because of their ignorance regarding mathematics, medicine, engineering, etc.? So, it is a must for those who have high ambitions that they do not abandon the effort to attain this knowledge as long as it is within their reach, as I do not consider any fault in the people to be as bad as the shortcomings of those who are able to attain perfection.”
2 – The Tolerance of the Companions and Those After Them And Their Distance From Harshness and Extremism
‘Umayr bin Ishaq said:
“I saw from the Companions of the Messenger of Allah more than I had not seen of them, and I have never seen people greater in softness than them, and I have never seen people less in harshness than them.”
[Narrated by ad-Darimi in his ‘Sunan’ (1/63), Ibn Abi Shaybah in his ‘Musannaf’ (7/228), and Ibn Sa’d in ‘at-Tabaqat’ (7/220)]
Ibn Mas’ud said: “The one who makes forbidden what Allah has made permissible is like the one who makes permissible what Allah has made forbidden.”
[Narrated by at-Tabarani in ‘al-Mu’jam al-Kabir,’ and it is authentic]
3 – The Permissibility of Not Writing Out the Peace and Blessings After Mentioning the Prophet
al-Khatib al-Baghdadi said:
“I saw the handwriting of Abu ‘Abdullah Ahmad bin Hambal of many ahadith in which the Prophet was mentioned, and he would not write ‘sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam’ after his name. I was informed that he used to invoke peace and blessings upon the Prophet by his tongue and not in writing.”
[‘al-Jami’ li-Akhlaq ar-Rawi wa Adab as-Sami”; 1/271]
4 – Do Not Burden People With More Than They Can Handle of the Rulings of Islam
‘Abd al-Malik, the son of ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, said to his father: “O father, why are you not forthcoming in people’s affairs? By Allah, I do not care about anything else when it comes to implementing the truth, even if everyone were to despise us for it.” So, ‘Umar said to him: “O son, do not be hasty! For Allah – the Exalted – discouraged the consumption of alcohol in the Qur’an twice, and finally forbade it the third time, and I am afraid that I would burden the people with all of the truth at once, causing them to reject it, and this would be a trial for them.”‘
5 – The Preoccupation of Some Scholars With The Worldly Life and Their Amazament At Their Own Knowledge
Ibn al-Jawzi said:
“I saw most of the scholars preoccuppied with the outer appearance of knowledge, rather than the understanding of its reality. For example:
a) The recitor of the Qur’an is busy with the different modes of recitation, eager to learn the strange and rare ones. They do this thinking that the purpose of the Qur’an is to simply recite it, forgetting about the Greatness of the One whose Speech it is, and the warnings and threats contained in it. Sometimes, they might even think that mere memorization of the Qur’an will protect them from these warnings, so, you see such people being lax in regards to certain sins! If they truly understood, they would know that the proof against him is greater than it is against the one who has not recited as much as him!
b) The scholar of Hadith gathers the narrations and memorizes the chains without reflecting on the intended message of the narration, and he assumes that he has therefore preserved the Sunnah for the people, so he becomes lax in making mistakes, assuming that his supposed service of the Shari’ah will protect him.
c) The scholar of Fiqh thinks that with what he knows of the arguements that strengthen his position, or the issues that he knows of a particular school of thought, that he has acquired that which will raise his status and erase his sins. So, he might be bold in falling into sin, thinking that he will be protected from punishment. He might even put aside memorization of the Qur’an and knowledge of Hadith, while these forbid him from these sins with admonishment and softness. In addition to this, he acquires love and desire for leadership and being seen in arguement, which increases his heart in hardness.
…and most people are like this, thinking that knowledge is like a production factory! These people do not understand the meaning of knowledge. Knowledge is not simply the outer appearance and speech. Rather, what is desired by it is to understand the intended meanings contained therein. This is what implants submissiveness and fear!”
[‘Sayd al-Khatir’; p. 384]