Responsibility of the Ulema
In Surah Fatir Allah says:
إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ غَفُورٌ
It is only those who have knowledge among His servants that fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Almighty, Oft-Forgiving.
The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: «اَلْعُلَمَاءُ وَرَثَةُ الأَنْبِيَاءِ»
"The ulama are the inheritors of the Prophets"
The ulama are the inheritors of the Prophets, for they were the ones who delivered the message of Islam to the human beings so that Allah’s blessing spreads to all of the world, so it would be the main duty of the ulama to continue this work after the Prophets have passed on.
In the tafsir of Qurtabi of the verse on surah Fatir:
ۗ إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ غَفُورٌ
(It is only those who have knowledge among His servants that fear Allah.)
وَقَالَ مُجَاهِد : إِنَّمَا الْعَالِم مَنْ خَشِيَ اللَّه عَزَّ وَجَلَّ .
Mujahid said: The alim is the one who fears Allah Azza wa Jalla.
قَالَ الرَّبِيع بْن أَنَس مَنْ لَمْ يَخْشَ اللَّه تَعَالَى فَلَيْسَ بِعَالِمٍ .
Ar-Rabee’ bin Anas said: Whoever does not fear Allah is not an Alim.
وَقِيلَ لِسَعْدِ بْن إِبْرَاهِيم : مَنْ أَفْقَهُ أَهْلِ الْمَدِينَة ؟ قَالَ أَتْقَاهُمْ لِرَبِّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ .
Saeed bin Ibrahim was asked: Who is the most knowledgeable? He said: The most fearing of his Lord, azza wa Jalla.
وَعَنْ عَلِيّ رَضِيَ اللَّه عَنْهُ قَالَ : إِنَّ الْفَقِيه حَقَّ الْفَقِيه مَنْ لَمْ يُقَنِّط النَّاس مِنْ رَحْمَة اللَّه , وَلَمْ يُرَخِّص لَهُمْ فِي مَعَاصِي اللَّه تَعَالَى , وَلَمْ يُؤَمِّنهُمْ مِنْ عَذَاب اللَّه , وَلَمْ يَدَع الْقُرْآن رَغْبَة عَنْهُ إِلَى غَيْره ; إِنَّهُ لَا خَيْر فِي عِبَادَة لَا عِلْم فِيهَا , وَلَا عِلْم لَا فِقْه فِيهِ , وَلَا قِرَاءَة لَا تَدَبُّر فِيهَا .
Ali said: "The true, the real faqih is he who does not push people to despair from Allah's mercy, nor lulls them into a false sense of safety from His Punishment, nor gives them licenses to disobey Allah, nor leaves the Qur'an for something else. there is no good in Ibadah in which there is no knowledge, and there is no knowledge in which there is no understanding, and there is no qira’ah in which there is no reflection in it.”
قَالَ رَسُول اللَّه صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : إِنَّ فَضْل الْعَالِم عَلَى الْعَابِد كَفَضْلِي عَلَى أَدْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ تَلَا هَذِهِ الْآيَة إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ . إِنَّ اللَّه وَمَلَائِكَته وَأَهْل سَمَوَاته وَأَهْل أَرَضِيه وَالنُّون فِي الْبَحْر يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يُعَلِّمُونَ النَّاس الْخَيْر
The messenger of Allah صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ said: “The superiority of an Alim over a the rest of the worshippers is like my superiority over the lowest of you”, then he read the ayah “It is only those who have knowledge among His servants that fear Allah” Allah, His Angels, the inhabitants of His heaven, the inhabitants of His earth and the whales of the sea, all yusalloona (pray for and praise) over those who teach the people the good.”
In the tafsir of ibn Kathir of the above verse came the following:
Ibn `Abbas said, "The one among His servants who knows about Ar-Rahman, is the one who does not associate anything in worship with Him; the one who accepts as lawful that which He has permitted and accepts as unlawful that which He has prohibited. He obeys His commands and is certain that he will meet Him and be brought to account for his deeds.
Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "Fear is what stands between you and disobeying Allah, may He be glorified.''
Sufyan Ath-Thawri narrated "It used to be said that the knowledgeable are of three types: (first) one who knows Allah and the command of Allah, (second) one who knows Allah but does not know the command of Allah, and (third) one who knows the command of Allah but does not know Allah. The one who knows Allah and the command of Allah is the one who fears Allah and knows the limits (Hudud) and the obligatory duties (Fara'id). The one who knows Allah but does not know the command of Allah is the one who fears Allah but does not know the limits (Hudud) and the obligatory duties (Fara'id). The one who knows the command of Allah but does not know Allah is the one who knows the limits (Hudud) and the obligatory duties (Fara'id) but does not fear Allah.''
The critical role of the ulema today is to save this ummah from death. As the colonialists are striving to encourage us to abandon our deen, by re-interpreting it to conform to their own colonialist thoughts, they are using Muslims to do this dirty work for them. Our own brothers who have studied the details of Islamic Shariah are now being tempted to make statements that please the kuffar, but can only draw Allah’s anger, as instead of submitting to Allah’s pure Shariah, they rather debase themselves by calling to Western thoughts, wholly in contradiction with Islam.
The Prophet of Allah صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ said: “There are 2 types of people if they become good then the Ummah will be good and if they become bad then the Ummah will be bad: the scholars and the rulers” and “Do not ask me about the bad but ask me about the good” The Prophet صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ repeated this three times then said, “indeed the worst of the worst are the bad scholars and the best of the good are the good scholars”
Therefore, the ulama have an important position in the effort to revive the ummah which leads to the reestablishment of the pride of Islam and the Muslims. It is not their role to reform or reinterpret Islam to suit the dominant Western colonialists, rather their role is to study then explain the shariah to the Muslims, such that they are strengthened by it and desire to cling on to it even tighter.
However, we now hear ‘scholars’ proposing that there is no opposition to changing the Shariah to fit the new places and times.
لا ينكر تغير الاحكام بتغير الزمان و المكان
They have put this idea forward as a shariah principle and is now studied in many of the universities as if it was a vital Islamic idea. The colonialists, however, have exploited it. They have used it to justify accepting the occupation of Palestine by Israel, the cancelling of Jihad, the cancelling of all Islamic rules relating to foreign policy, with the excuse that the times have changed, and the places are not the same as they were at the time of revelation. Also, it is used to accept kufr ideas such as democracy, or to convince the Muslims to participate in the kufr ruling systems.
It is justified chiefly with the claim that Imam Shafii changed his fiqh when he moved to Egypt.
However, when he travelled there he met ulema who gave him new hadith, so he changed as a result.
In his new fiqh, he did not mention this principle of changing ahkam due to changes in time and place, yet, he is the first and most clear of all of the imams to write and explain his usul. So why is it not there?
He did not even mention one issue built upon this reasoning. He actually said: “It is not for anyone to say this is Halal or this is Haram except from the side of knowledge. The side of knowledge is what is in the text of the Quran, the Sunnah, the ijmaa’ of Sahaba or Qiyas.
This principle contradicts the Qatii evidences of the Qur’an:
قُلْ إِنِّي عَلَىٰ بَيِّنَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّي وَكَذَّبْتُمْ بِهِ ۚ مَا عِنْدِي مَا تَسْتَعْجِلُونَ بِهِ ۚ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ ۖ يَقُصُّ الْحَقَّ ۖ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْفَاصِلِينَ
Say "I am on clear proof from my Lord, but you deny it. I have not gotten what you are asking for impatiently. The decision is only for Allâh, He declares the truth, and He is the Best of judges." [al-an’am 57]
وَمَا اخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِيهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فَحُكْمُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبِّي عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَإِلَيْهِ أُنِيبُ
And in whatsoever you differ, the decision thereof is with Allâh. Such is Allâh, my Lord in Whom I put my trust, and to Him I turn in repentance. [ash-shura 10]
فَإِنْ تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ
And if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allâh and His Messenger, if you believe in Allâh and in the Last Day. [an-nisaa 59]
These Aayaat give definite proof that the one who has the right to give a judgement whether an action or this is good or bad is Allah, not people, nor the times, nor the prevailing trends or whatever.
If we said this is good or bad from our minds or based upon benefits, then we would not need Allah’s judgements, and He would no be our Lord in this. How could our minds know what will be rewarded or punished in the next life?
The Prophet Muhammad صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ said:
الحلال بين والحرام بين
The Halal is clear, and the Haram is clear
Such a principle was certainly not prevalent during the time of the earliest generations. Omar bin abdul Aziz said:
يا أيها الناس إن الله لم يبعث بعد نبيكم نبياً ولم ينزل بعد هذا الكتاب الذي انزله عليه كتاباً ، فما احل الله على لسان نبيه فهو حلال إلى يوم القيامة ، وما حرم على لسان نبيه فهو حرام إلى يوم القيامة
O people, Allah did not send a prophet after your Prophet, and did not send down a book after this book sent down to him صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, So what was made Halal by the tongue of His Prophet is Halal until the day of judgement, what was made Haram by the tongue of His Prophet is Haram until the day of judgement.
Who other than the scholar is better to carry out the noble duty to work to resume the Islamic way of life, by establishing the khilafah after it was destroyed? Truly, a devout and sincere scholar is more entitled to this matter, and his place is to be at the forefront of this work. For that, we not only want to say to you "Support us, help us", but we want to say more than that. "Work with us, and share with us this great honour!" Truly, we are confident and believe in the help of Allah, and the rising again of the dawn of a new Khilafah. Indeed, the glory of Islam and Muslims, with the permission of Allah, is not far away. Allah SWT has promised to the Saleheen of His servants.
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
Allâh has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practice their religion, that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islâm). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me. But whoever disbelieved after this, they are the Fâsiqûn (rebellious, disobedient to Allâh).
The Prophet Muhammad صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ said:
من جاءه الموت وهو يطلب العلم ليحيى به الإسلام فبينه وبين النبيين درجة واحدة في الجنة
Whoever has death come to him while he is seeking knowledge in order to revive Islam with it, will have only one level between him and the Prophets in Jannah.
إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ ۚ أَمَرَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
The command is for none but Allâh. He has commanded that you worship none but; that is the straight deen, but most men know not.