Download PDF: [S] The Respect for the ‘Ulama
It is mentioned that Hadrat Sayyiduna Nadr bin Shameel – may Allah be pleased with him – was a master in Hadith, Fiqh and Arabic grammar. He passed away in 203 A.H.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Nadr bin Shameel – may Allah be pleased with him – was also an expert in many other faculties as well. He was also considered an authority on these faculties. He was also extremely simple in his outlook.
One day, wearing these same old and tattered clothes, Hadrat Sayyiduna Nadr bin Shameel – may Allah be pleased with him – arrived in the court of Mamun Rashid. At first Mamun scolded him about his old and tattered clothing but then decided to question him and about a few Ahadith taking advantage if his presence.
Mamun then mentioned the sanad of a certain Hadith Shareef but instead of pronouncing the name of one narrator as “Siddaad”, he pronounced it as “Saddaad”. To correct the Khalifa, Hadrat Sayyiduna Nasr bin Shameel – may Allah be pleased with him – recited the sanad in a proper manner. Mamun immediately sat up and asked him whether the name “Siddaad” was incorrect and whether it was incorrect to recite this with the zabar.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Nadr bin Shameel – may Allah be pleased with him – explained that yes, this was incorrect and his teacher Haythem had taught him incorrectly.
Mamun then wanted to know what was the difference between “Siddaad” and “Saddaad”.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Nadr bin Shameel – may Allah be pleased with him – replied, “The meaning of ‘Saddaad’ with a zabar implies walking on a straight path and ‘Siddaad’ with a Zer implies something which is an obstacle.”
Mamun then asked him to prove his point. Hadrat Sayyiduna Nadr bin Shameel – may Allah be pleased with him – immediately recited an Arabic couplet to prove his point. He explain that in this couplet, the word “siddaad” had appeared and it was used in reference to something which is an obstacle at the border of any country.
When Mamun heard this, he mentioned that indeed that person was unfortunate who was unaware of Arabic Adab. After that Mamun questioned him about a few other poems and when he was leaving, Mamun wrote a note to his special adviser, Fadl in Sahl, that he should give Hadrat Sayyiduna Nadr bin Shameel – may Allah be pleased with him – a gift of fifty thousand Dirhams.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Nadr bin Shameel – may Allah be pleased with him – brought this note to Fadl, he asked the great scholar, “You proved the Khalifah incorrect.”
However, Hadrat Sayyiduna Nadr bin Shameel – may Allah be pleased with him – replied that the mistake was actually the mistake of Haythem, and therefore, no blame can be placed on the Khalifah. After he heard this, Fadl then added another thirty thousand Dirhams to this money and handed him eighty thousand Dirhams. In this manner, by merely pointing out a single mistake, he was rewarded with eighty thousand Dirhams. (Taarikh Al Khulafah)
This was the behaviour of the pious scholars of the past. They did not hesitate to either scold or rectify any person no matter how powerful that person was. There is no doubt that this behaviour of the ‘Ulama and Awliyah is something which is written in gold in Islamic history. They did not fear any consequence or result and the minute they heard a mistake, they immediately rectified those who had made a mistake. At the same time, we can see from this incident that even those who were corrected still displayed immense respect for the ‘Ulama unlike the Jaahils of today.
This should certainly be a lesson to those rich and powerful people who consider the ‘Ulama with disdain and do not even take their advice and words seriously. In fact, these rich and powerful people consider looking down upon the ‘Ulama as a great thing. We make Du’a that these people are guided to the right path and begin to understand the actual status of the Sunni ‘Ulama.
To respect the rightly guided ‘Ulama is to respect knowledge and to respect knowledge is to show respect to Allah Almighty and His beloved – may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him. However, it is very sad that in their lust for wealth and riches and in their lust for political greatness, they seemed to have completely lost the plot.