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Underestimating People of Specialty

Author : Dr. Hassan Abu_Arqoub

Date Added : 10-05-2023

Underestimating People of Specialty


There is no doubt that every person can determine right from wrong in his/her field of specialty. Of course, this is based on a set of rules and foundations on which that specialty rests. He/she also have the competence to determine the experts and the non-experts of that field.

One stunning matter of this era is that some unspecialized and unqualified individuals judge people of specialty. This isn`t new since similar it also existed in past times. For example, some questioned the knowledge of Al-Ghazali and claimed that he wasn`t qualified as a jurist. When this news reached Imam Sayooti, he gave a full answer and it read as follows:

"The ignorant who said that Al-Ghazali wasn`t qualified to be a jurist deserves to be severely whipped and imprisoned for a long time to stop similar people from daring to criticize this great Imam of Islam. His saying as such about this eminent scholar emanates from extreme ignorance and lack of religiosity, so he is the most ignorant of the ignorant and the most evil of the evil sinners. During his time, Al-Ghazali was called Hujjat al-Islam (An honorific title meaning "authority on Islam" or "proof of Islam) and the Master of Jurists. He wrote valuable books on Fiqh and the Shafie Madhab rests on his works. Al-Ghazali revised and edited the Shafie Madhab where he removed irregular Fatwas and weak sayings and summarized it (Madhab) in the books: Al-Baseet, Al-Waseet, Al-Wajeez, and Al-Kholasah. Moreover, the books of the two Sheikhs are adopted from Al-Ghazali`s books.

Accordingly, the person who said the above about al-Ghazali was controlled by ignorance, stupidity and sin. It is safer to ignore what he said and leave his punishment in the Hands of Allah.

The above text indicates that transgression against the scholars existed in the past, still exists, will exist and isn`t something strange since Prophets and Messenger (PBUT) were subjected to worse that by the incompetent.

Al-Sayooti described such person as "Ignorant" and "Stupid", so he is considered as an evil sinner. Therefore, from an Islamic perspective such person has sinned and must make sincere repentance.

Al-Sayooti suggests a solution for such an audacity by disciplining this person and applying a discretionary punishment embodied in "Whipping" and "Imprisonment" to be an example for others and avoid transgressing against the scholars. This punishment is also meant to prevent the spread of such ill behavior amongst the members of society and prevent other ignorant individuals from undermining the people of knowledge and specialty. However, this disciplining and discretionary punishment is within the jurisdiction of the Muslim ruler or the authorities representing him. This clearly shows that it is the duty of government to defend the people of knowledge and specialty.

Finally, Al-Sayooti seized this opportunity to clarify the grace-virtue of Al-Ghazali and described him as "Hujjat al-Islam". Here, Al-Sayooti is teaching us to defend the people of grace-virtue and never accept undermining them in any form, and this is the duty of all the members of society.

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