All the Muslims should bear the responsibility of Islam. There are no clergymen in Islam and the State should prohibit any sign of their presence among the Muslims.
Although Mujtahids are scholars, however not every scholar is necessarily a Mujtahid since a scholar could either be a Mujtahid or a Muqallid (imitator). If the Muslim were to take the Shari’ah rule in order to act upon, then, it requires some consideration: if he took the rule from a Mujtahid, he in this case would be emulating the Mujtahid. If he took it from a non-Mujtahid, he would be learning that rule from the person he had taken it from, and he would not be emulating him. However, if the Muslim was to take the rule in order to learn it, he would be learning the rule irrespective of whether he took it from a Mujtahid or a non Mujtahid. Therefore, these scholars - whether Mujtahids or otherwise - are not clergymen since none of them has any right to legitimise or prohibit anything and they are just like any other Muslim regarding every single Shari’ah rule. None of them should distinguish himself from the rest of the Muslims in anything with regards to the Shari’ah rules regardless of how high his rank is in terms of knowledge, Ijtihad and respect. Hence, what is haram for others does not become allowed for the scholar and nor does the wajib upon others become mandub (recommended) for him. He is rather like any other individual Muslim. Therefore, the idea of clergymen held by Christians has no existence in Islam. The concept of clergymen is specific to Christians because a clergyman does legitimise and prohibit rules to them. Thus, attributing such a term to the Muslim scholar might give the impression of attributing the Christian concept to the Muslim scholars despite the fact that Muslim scholars do not allow and nor do they prohibit anything. Therefore, it is not fitting to attribute the term of clergyman to a Muslim scholar.
There are explicit narrations prohibiting the emulation of Christians and Jews. Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri narrated that the Messenger of Allah
shall follow the ways of those before you inch by inch and yard by yard; even
if they were to enter a lizard’s hole you would follow them. We said: O
Messenger of Allah, the Jews and the Christians? He (saw) said: Who else?” (Agreed upon with
the words from Muslim) This narration has been said within
the context of prohibition. Hence, the emulation of the Jews and the Christians
is - as it stands - prohibited, let alone if this emulation were to lead to the
generating of a Kufr concept among the Muslims. Considering the Muslim
scholar as a clergyman is an emulation of the Christians who regard their
scholars as clergymen and it also transfers the Christian concept of clergyman
to the Muslim scholar; therefore, it is strictly prohibited in terms of
emulation and it is classified as even more strictly prohibited in terms of
introducing the concept. Therefore, it would be wrong to refer to the Muslim
scholar as a clergyman and it is forbidden for the scholars to consider
themselves as clergymen according to the Christians’ concept of clergyman. If
someone was found claiming this according to the understanding mentioned, he
will be prohibited and punished since he will have committed a prohibited act.
In addition, the Prophet
did not differentiate from
the companions in terms of a specific dress or appearance. Al-Bukhari reported
in his Sahih from Anas Bin Malik who said: “While we were sitting
with the Prophet
in the mosque, a man entered upon a camel into
the mosque, then he tied it and said to them:
"Which one of you is Muhammad?" The Prophet
was leaning between us so we said: "this
white man who is leaning". And so the man said to him: "O Ibn ‘Abd
Al-Muttalib" Then, the Prophet
said to him: "I have answered you…"”
For these reasons,
this article has been drafted.