Download PDF: [S] Respect for the ‘Ulama
It is mentioned that once the famous leader of the Muslims, Khalifah Harun Rashid, invited the eminent scholar and Muhaddith, Abu Mu’awiyah Mohammed bin Dareer – may Allah be pleased with him – to his court. Abu Mu’awiyah Mohammed bin Dareer – may Allah be pleased with him – was also blind.
When the moment came for his hands to be washed, the Khalifah immediately stepped forward and took the container in his hands and continued to wash the hands of the Islamic scholar. He then mentioned to the eminent scholar, “O Abu Mu’awiyah! Are you aware of who is pouring water on your hands?”
He replied that he was not aware of who it was.
The Khalifah replied, “It is Harun Rashid.”
When the eminent scholar heard this, he declared, “As you have shown respect to knowledge, may the Allah Almighty also bestow respect upon you.”
When Harun Rashid heard this, he replied, “O Abu Mu’awiyah! I only did this so that I can attain your blessing and Du’a.”
The eminent scholar of the Arabic language, Mohammed bin Ibaad, was considered as among the giants of his era. Mohammed bin Ibaad was not one of the most handsome people of his era. However, when he approached the court of Harun Rashid, he was shown tremendous respect and decorum. As a matter of fact, the Khalifah even took the opportunity of tying the turban of this eminent scholar.
One of the female servants of the Khalifah began to smile when she saw this and the Khalifah asked her the reason for this. Before she could reply, the eminent scholar replied, “O Ameerul Mo’mineen! I will reveal the reason why she is laughing. The reason is that she is laughing at my ugliness and your immense show of respect.”
The Khalifah replied, “O stupid female! Do not be surprised, you are unaware that below this turban what is hidden. A poet has said, ‘If there was no beauty on the countenance of a young man, what would be the benefit of looking at this young man. However, this beauty is of no value to this young man because even an unclean piece of steel with cleaning can become a Yemeni sword.’”
When the subjects in the court heard this reply, they immediately became quiet and even the female slave was clearly embarrassed. (Mustaraf, 116)
This incident clearly shows us that at the time when Islam was at its greatest power and its might was at its zenith, besides the ordinary people, even the rulers of the day showed immense reverence, respect and decorum for the learned scholars of Islam. They considered serving the ‘Ulama as one of their greatest services to Islam. It was also through the Du’as of these eminent scholars that ordinary leaders became mighty scholars.
But, today the complete opposite is shown whether one is at home, the shop or among the public. They also show scorn and disdain to the ‘Ulama, hence the state of Islam and the Muslims that we see today. As a matter of fact, insulting the ‘Ulama have become one of the greatest past time of people and this is the reason that in general no one even takes the Muslim nation seriously any longer.
A rich person is only called a rich person because he has some wealth or owns some fancy house. Interest and alcohol is openly consumed as if there was no tomorrow. Such is the state in which the ‘Ulama are held in the present age that a person would actually consider it below his dignity to allow an eminent scholar to sit on his chair. It does not even include the manner of how they would treat this poor Islamic scholar.
Yet, these same idiotic people, who have mostly earned their wealth in Haraam ways, would consider it like a Me’raj if they happen to meet some corrupt politician or film actor tomorrow. This clearly proves that the love and respect which Muslims used to possess for Islam and the Muslims are no longer found. If people actually had love and respect for Islam and the religion of Islam, they would clearly understand the status of the ‘Ulama and those who possess Islamic knowledge. In the Hadith Shareef, it is clearly mentioned that he who shows respect for an Islamic scholar, Allah Almighty would also grace him with respect and awe. As for those who show scorn and no respect at all for a true Islamic scholar, very soon they will see the disgrace that will befall them. Yet, sadly, the Muslims do not think of either their glorious past not do they care about their future. (Ruhaani Hikaayat)