Islam, November 1990

The Undisputable Superiority of the Islamic Scholar

Halil Necatioglu

The supreme and most honorable rank in the Islamic Society is that of the devout scholars who are pious and act in accordance with their knowledge among which are noble descendents of the Prophet, magnificent shaikhs and illustrious awliyaullah. May Allah not separate us from the path and pursuit of the awliyaullah. May he resurrect us with that blessed group. Sultans, commanders, ministers, officials, government employees, workers, the people--all are following them and under their orders and guidance.

These true scholars of Islam are the guides and enlighteners of the rulers and the people. They raised the honor of Islam; they put forth the the subtle facts of the Shariah and expounded them to the people; and they protected and saved Islam from degeneration.

When the Shariah was fully implemented, they bravely opposed rulers who deviated from Sharia even as much as a hair; they taught those who had strayed their limits and protected the good-intentioned from falling into error. Even when the people bowed before brute force, the savants stood straight and did not give into bullying. During the times of occupation, catastrophe and hardship, they helped people overcome the suffering and oppression. Gathering the people together, they struggled for freedom and independence, and they became legends.

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In reality, they carry the noble banner of Islam; they are the spiritual sultans. They spoke the truth to oppressors without hesitation. They questioned the wrong actions of the rulers on the spot and spoke about the responsibility for sinful actions, reminding all that we will be judged and punished for our sins. Many were imprisoned for that. Many times they even made the oppressors cry. Among those scholars were Abu Hanifa, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Imam Rabbani, Shaikh Shamil and thousands of other famous scholars, spiritual guides, shaikhs, teachers, preachers and dervishes.

They gave advice to the rulers, refrained from visiting them, and refused their gifts, offer of position and their visits. Living free and independently, they were bound only to God. They did not become servants to men nor vehicles for the desires of those in high positions.

Despite the possibility of losing their lives, they strove against deviated rulers. they took no heed of those who criticized them and did not give up even when imprisoned. They turned the prisons into schools and places of worship and spread their knowledge there.

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During wartimes they encouraged the armies, gave morale to the sultans; holding the reigns of the horsed, they prevented desertion from the battlefields. Together with their students and disciples, they fought in the front lines, won victories.

These scholars are the heirs and representatives of the prophets, their caliphs and trustees of the believers, the true masters, princes and commanders.

In an Islamic society, the heads and rulers in all fields should be scholars. If persons other than scholars are elected as rulers and leaders, then the trust will be broken and the earthly and the religious order will be subverted. The corruption of the people stems from the corruption of the leaders, and the corruption of the leaders derives from the corruption of scholars. The savants must inspect and supervise all of the society. It is the duty given to them by God.

If the a savant obeys a politician, it will be disastrous for him.

"How good are those rulers who are at the doors of the scholars; how bad are those scholars who are at the doors of the rulers."

Oh, Lord! Protect the Ummah of Muhammad from the evil, ignorant and depraved politicians and rulers. Bring wise, virtuous, perfected, righteous, God-fearing, true scholars who will rule according to Your Laws and bring peace and happiness to society.

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