Those Who Put Themselves Forward to Teach
By Shaykh Ahmad Bazmoul (may Allah preserve him)
Based on Ibn Sireen’s words, “ Look at whom you learn your religion from.”, we learn that people who put themselves forward to teach aren’t all on the same level in knowledge and information.
Ibn Abdul Bar said: Only the scholars are Ahul Athar . They understand the religion. The scholars excel by perfecting their knowledge, character and their understanding.
Accordingly, everyone who puts himself forward to teach isn’t worthy to be called a scholar. There are levels for people who appoint themselves as teachers or involve themselves in Dawah. The levels are as follow:
1. Scholars who are Mujtahid. They are legists who can formulate independent decisions in legal matters based interpretation and application of the Usul in all subjects of the deen. This is the category of scholars the people ask for verdicts about their affairs.
2. Scholars who are Mujtahid. However they haven’t quite reached the level to form independent decisions in all areas of the religion.
3. Students of knowledge who aren’t scholars.
4. The general people who learn a few things. After learning these few issues they put themselves forward to speak and give Daw’ah.
5. People who knowledge can never be gained from.
People are required to be familiar with these five categories of teachers; and distinguish between them. Additionally we- the Muslim community should be aware that everybody who teaches isn’t suitable for issuing our fatawa.
Imam As-Shaf’i said : The only person it’s permissible for to give verdicts about Islamic issues is someone well grounded in the Quran. He must know the abrogated and verses that abrogate , and the Muhkam and Mutashabih verses of the Quran. Its essential that the person must know the difference between the Meccan and Madeenan verses. Moreover he must know why these verses were revealed and their intended meaning.
After he has all met all those conditions he must knowledgeable in Hadeeth the same way he is about the Quran. He must be an expert in Arabic, poetry, and everything else related to Quranic and Islamic sciences. He uses all this knowledge with fairness and refrains himself from being too talkative.
Once the scholar’s done this he looks and reviews the different issues throughout the major cities in the world. Now he has the genius. And when he has reached this level, he can now issues verdicts about what’s Haraam and Halal. Otherwise he doesn’t issue religious rulings and he only speaks about the issues he knows.
Sufyan Ath-Thawree said, : Take the rulings about what’s halal and haraam from scholars famous for their knowledge, or from the mashaykah (person of higher learning).
Malik said,” A man told me that he visited Rab’eeah and asked him why was he crying?”. The man told Rab’eeh that his crying frightened him, so he asked has a calamity befallen you?” Rab’eeah said, “ No, but religious verdicts are sought from people who haven’t any knowledge. And this is a burning issue within Islam.
Abu Usamah said, “ If you find a man who diligently seeks knowledge and sits with the people of knowledge, then record what he says.”
Shaykh Al-Fawzan said, “It’s not possible for a person to be caller to Allah’s religion until he has knowledge. If he’s ignorant he doesn’t have the ability to call to Islam. And if he involves himself in Dawah, he will err more times than he’s correct.
The conditions for a caller to Islam-Da’ee:
He must have knowledge before he begins to call others to Islam and teach. Allah says, “This is my way; I invite unto Allah (i.e. to the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge “ [ Yusef 108]
Nonetheless, there are some things that the layman can teach. i.e. how to pray, prevent others from abandoning the congregation, teach his family, and order his children to pray. The layman and student know these issues. Furthermore there are other issues which require understanding. Issues like; Halal and Haram and Tawheed and Shirk. These kinds of issues require knowledge.
TN: This is some benefit from the book “ Explanation of Ibn Sireen’s statement, “ This knowledge is Deen” by Shaykh Ahmed Bazmoul (may Allah reward him)
Translated by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle
Doha, Qatar 1/25/ 1432 ©