The Scholars of Evil: Who They Are, How They Are, Where They Are...?

04 May 2011

By Abu Hassan al-Hadrami

There are only two types of scholars and no other: Scholars of the Hereafter and scholars of Evil. He who is not one of the scholars of the Hereafter is among the scholars of wickedness, enamored of the vanities of this world and heedless of the Hereafter and its felicities.

The scholar of evil: He is the scholar who conceals the truth and cloaks it in falsehood. He dissuades (people) from the Deen of Allh. If he is included in the name of scholar at all, then it is not permissible to call him by the appellation of Alim unless it is said that he is a scholar of wickedness or misguided.

They are scholars in appearance, but Allh does not render their knowledge of any benefit to them, because they sought knowledge in order to obtain worldly possessions, dine with the wealthy, and associate with kings and the sons of kings. They ascribe themselves to the party of the scholars, but their morality is the morality of the people of ignorance and harshness. They tempt the infatuated. Their tongue is the tongue of a scholar and their deeds are the deeds of the foolhardy.

Abu Umar al-Saif, may Allh accept him, said: "There is no significance in memorizing texts or studying knowledge, rather the important thing for knowledge to be beneficial is purity and piety of the one receiving the knowledge. If the heart is pure, then knowledge is beneficial and, Allh permitting, Muslims will benefit from this knowledge.

"But if the heart receiving this knowledge is hypocritical or sick then its owner will perforce suppress the truth, slander Allh with lies and dissuade (people) from the cause of Allh. His words and fatwas become a cover for lackey governments to cover their crimes against Islam and the Muslims."

Ibn Qayyim, may Allh have mercy on him, said: All among the people of knowledge who prefer and desire the world must undoubtedly speak untruths about Allh in their fatwas and judgments , in their decisions and edicts. Because the judgments of the Lord Almighty often are at odds with the desires of the people, especially those in power. Those who follow their longings cannot attain their desires except by often violating and repudiating the truth. The scholar or the ruler who loves power and follows his desires will not achieve either except by resisting the truth that opposes him, especially if a shubhah (doubtful area) was established for him. The shubhah and the desire will be in agreement and passion will be stirred up. What is proper will be hidden and the face of truth will be obliterated. If the truth is obvious and there is no hiding it and no ambiguity about it, he purposely violates it, saying: "I have a way out through repentance." About them and those like them, the Almighty said, {Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Salt (the prayers) [ie. made their Salt (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times] and have followed lusts...} [Srah19. Maryam (Mary) Ayt. 59]

Of them the Almighty also said, {Then after them succeeded an (evil) generation which inherited the Book, but they chose (for themselves) the goods of this low life (evil pleasures of this world) saying (as an excuse): "(Everything) will be forgiven us." And if (again) the offer of the like (evil pleasures of this world) came their way, they would (again) seize them (would commit those sins). Was not the covenant of the Book taken from them that they would not say about Allh anything but the truth? And they have studied what is in it (the Book). And the home of the hereafter is better for those who are Al-Muttaqn (the pious, righteous etc.) Will not you then understand?} [Srah 7. Al-'A`rāf (The Heights or The Wall with Elevations) Ayt. 169].

The Almighty explains that they took the lowliest goal although they knew this was forbidden to them, while saying "this will be forgiven us". When they were given another chance (to pursue this desire) they took it, because they were insistent upon that and this prompted them to speak falsehoods of Allh. So they said "this is His judgment, His law and His religion", although they knew that His judgment, His law and His religion were contrary to that. Or did they not know this was His judgment, His law and His religion? Sometimes they spoke against Allh without knowing and sometimes they spoke against him words they knew were false.

Those undoubtedly innovate in religion while conducting immoral acts and these two things combine within them. Following desires makes the eyes of the heart blind, so that they do not distinguish between tradition and innovation, or they turn matters upside down so that they see tradition as innovation and innovation as tradition.

This is the plague of the scholars, when they prefer this world and pursue power and desires. The verses apply to them, {And recite (O Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) to them the story of him to whom We gave Our Ayt (proof, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), but he threw them away; so Shaitn (Satan) followed him up, and he became of those who went astray. And had We willed, We would surely have elevated him therewith, but he clung to the earth and followed his own vain desire. So his parable is the parable of a dog: if you drive him away, he lolls his tongue out, or if you leave him alone, he (still) lolls his tongue out.} [Srah 7. Al-'A`rāf (The Heights or The Wall with Elevations) Ayt.175-176]

Contemplate the censure (of the scholar) contained in these verses, for the following reasons:

First: He strayed after (acquiring) knowledge, and chose infidelity purposely and not out of ignorance.

Second: He has irreversibly separated himself from belief, for he has abandoned Allh's Signs, like a snake shedding its skin. If anything of it had remained with him, he would not have abandoned it.

Third: Satan pursued him, caught him, possessed and ravished him. On this He said, {Shaitn (Satan) followed him up}. He did not just say "followed him". The meaning is followed him up, pursued and caught him. And this is more serious is word and meaning than "followed him".

Fourth: He went astray after receiving guidance. And the verb "go astray" means erring in knowledge and intention, specifically pertaining to corruption in intention and deed. Likewise, "erring" means corruption of knowledge and belief. If one is mentioned alone it implies the other but if they are mentioned together then the difference is as mentioned above.

Fifth: The Almighty did not wish to elevate (such a scholar) with his knowledge, so it was the cause of his destruction. Because he was not elevated by it, it became a curse to him. If he had not become a scholar, it would have been better and less a punishment for him.

Sixth: The Almighty exposed the vileness of (the scholar's) intentions and that he has chosen lowliness over honor.

Seventh: His choice of lowliness was not intentional or cheerfully expected, but he was disposed towards the earth and wholly inclined to what is there. And "disposed" (means) a persistent clinging. As if it is said: he persisted in clinging to the earth. From here it is said: So-and-so was inclined to such a place, if he clung to abiding there. He expressed his inclination to the world through his disposition towards the earth. Because the world is the earth and what pleasure and adornment may be derived from it.

Eighth: He spurned (Divine) guidance and followed his desires. Thus he placed his whims before him as a leader, was guided by them and followed them.

Ninth: He is likened to dogs which are the basest of animals in desire, of the meanest spirit, the stingiest; most rabid. He is thus named a dog.

Tenth: His panting after the world, his impatience for it, anxiety about losing it and eagerness to obtain it is like the panting of a dog who pants whether left along or is driven away. If he is left alone, he pants after the earth. If he is lectured or admonished, he is still like that. His panting is no different from the panting of a dog.

Ibn Qutaybah said: "Everything pants sometimes, whether from fatigue or thirst, except for the dog which always pants, whether fatigued or resting, hydrated or thirsty. Allh has afflicted him like the infidel and said: If you advised him, he strayed. If you leave him, he strayed. If you leave him, he strayed like a dog. If you kick him out, he pants like a dog, if you leave him be, he pants like a dog. This example does not apply to all dogs, just the panting dog, which is the basest and vilest of creatures. This is like the scholar who prefers this world over the Hereafter". End abridged quote.

Imam al-Zahabi[1], explaining the state of one of the scholars of wickedness who supported the Ubaydi state, whose situation is similar to that of contemporary rulers, said: "The heretic scholar, Qadi of the Ubaydi state Abu Hunaifa, al-Nu'man bin Muhammad bin Mansour al-Maghrebi, was a Maliki who reverted to the school of al-Batiniyah. He compiled his book 'Uss al-Dawah' and cast Religion behind him. He wrote about (human) virtues and flaws. He refuted the Imams of Religion and abandoned Islam. To hell with him! He dissembled for the state and then even agreed with them. He was a partisan of al-Mu'iz Abu Tamim, the founder of Cairo. He was influential in the sciences, jurisprudence and disputation and devoted to research. But his knowledge was a curse to him in the end. He wrote books, refuting Abu Hunaifa in jurisprudence, as well as Malik and Shafa'i. He stood up for the juristic creed of the Ahl al-Bayt, and wrote a book about the differences of the scholars. He was revered and respected. Among his sons were judges and eminent men."

His knowledge and research did not benefit him when he stood in the rank of the enemies of Shari'ah. Rather his knowledge was a curse to him.

The disposition of a scholar as a scholar of evil is due to the following characteristics:

First: He does not act in accordance with his knowledge. If you add to that his work that is contrary to his knowledge, he becomes a source of great dissension and imminent evil because the masses will imitate the evil.

Second: Concealment of what Allh made a covenant to reveal. The Almighty said, {(And remember) when Allh took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) to make it (the news of the coming of Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam and the religious knowledge) known and clear to mankind, and not hide it, but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And indeed worst is that which they bought.} [Srah 3. Al-'Imran (The Family of Imran) Ayt.187]. There are other verses in this vein. Concealment takes the form of weakening an authentic Hadith and to eliminate advancing (an argument) by it. Concealment may also take the form of issuing fatwas based on deviant opinions or minority opinions on an issue without reference to the majority opinion among scholars. Concealment may also take the form of misquoting the words from one scholar, and this is a wide category, which includes advancing an argument in general while concealing its particulars. Or vindicating the absolutes while concealing what motivates it and advancing an argument wholesale while concealing what it reveals.

Third: Twisting the Shari'ah texts. The Almighty said, {...There are some who displace words from (their) right places...} [Srah 4. An-Nisa' (The Woman) Ayt. 46]. This is what happens most: The misleading (scholar) must cite legal evidence to spread his words among the people. Therefore his false words are called "shubhah" because they resemble truth by the evidence they cite. The perversion may be a perversion of evidence from its meaning through an unjustified and deviant interpretation or a corrupted extraction from it or the like. This is cloaking falsehood with truth, as mentioned in the words of the Almighty, {And mix not truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth [i.e. Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam is Allh's Messenger and his qualities are written in your Scriptures, the Taurt (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] while you know (the truth).} [Al-Baqarah: 24].

Fourth: Playing the hypocrite with the sultans and entering into association with them by playing with words for the sake of satisfying them. This is done by being proficient in listing specious arguments (shubahat), slips of the tongue and errors. They even slander against Allh and His Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa sallam We beseech Allh for well being and safety (from them)!

Huzayfah, may Allh be pleased with him, said: "Keep away from positions of temptation". It was asked, "What are they?" He said, "The gates of princes. One of you may associate with a prince, tell lies in the guise of truth or flatter him (with dispositions) that are not found in him."

Said bin Yaqub said, "Ahmad bin Hanbal wrote to me: In the name of Allh, the Compassionate, the Merciful. From Ahmed bin Hanbal to Said bin Yaqub, thereafter: Worldly pleasures are a disease, power is a disease and the scholar is a doctor. If you see a physician bringing upon himself a disease, beware of him."

As for the scholars of wickedness today, look for them in the doorways of the sultans and the panel discussions for fighting terrorism and jihad on the satellite networks and the halls of the tyrants!

These are the scholars of wickedness, one of whom issued a ruling after the occupation of Iraq in 2003 that the fighting between Mujahideen and the Americans was fitnah and that the killer and the slain will both be in hell-fire!!

Among them is one whom Allh led astray despite his learning who said that the Allawi government is a legal government and must be obeyed. When he was asked by a questioner, "But America is the one that appointed it and imposed it", he answered, "Even if the infidels appoint a leader for a country of Muslims, he is the legal leader and must be obeyed."

Additionally, there are fatwas which legalize usurious interests by banks, interfaith dialogue and so forth. To Allh we appeal!

Like Ibn Ba'ura whose ~ example is given in the Quran

He sought the dunya and collected his destruction ~ he abandoned the Signs and faith

His is a like a dog always panting ~ if attacked or left alone

These are the qualities of a scholar of wickedness ~ grasping and eager for ephemeral vanities

How many scholars of our age ~ are like the lowly and disgraceful Bal'am

[1] Seer Alam al-Nubula' (16/150)

Translated From Sada al-Malahim Magazine Issue #14



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