*Who are the scholars and from whom should knowledge be taken?*
by *Shaykh Ahmed Muhammed Al-Munayee حفظه الله*
on Sunday, June 18, 2006

*Mujtahid al-Muqayyid* – Those restricted in their *ijtihaad*.
We have the second group which is below the first. It is the level of
the *mujtahid
al-muqayyid* i.e. one who is *limited* in his *ijtihaad*. He benefits from
the different opinions that we have, and also perhaps from his madhab, from
the principles of Islaamic Jurisprudence and the discussions in the other
branches of learning. He uses these to draw analogies to help him deal with
different circumstances. He does not necessarily have a lot of evidences and
he is not just blindly-following an individual. His ability is limited. This
person normally invites to *his* madhab (words unclear) and they are of
different levels.
For this reason the madhaahib (schools of thought) that we have legally,
although they have different deductions in terms of law, they are all taken
from the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and also there is the
ijmaa’ of the People of Knowledge which is used in terms of evidences.

*Mujtahid *
There is a third level – the *mujtahid* who is actually *following a
specific imaam*. At this level the individual usually takes from a
particular scholar and normally does not go beyond the imaam that he takes

*Other than them*
We have another level and this is for those individuals who attribute
themselves to knowledge generally, but they have not attained a level of
those previously discussed. They are *Students of Knowledge* they go out and
they seek knowledge but their status or the level that they have attained,
is not the level of *ijtihaad*.
Then there is another level – those taking from different aspects of
learning. There are some students of knowledge who are seasoned in their
development of Islaamic learning. There are those who are intermediate and
those who are beginners. Those are two different levels also. There are also
some of the People of Knowledge who specialize in one area of learning as
opposed to another area of Islaamic learning e.g. hadith, tafsir or *Fiqh*.

*Characteristics of the Scholars*

The scholars that *should be followed* have certain qualities and
characteristics that *set them apart* from others. These qualities are as

   - Memorization of the Qur’aan – from the heart.

   - Memorization of the pure Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم -
   They have knowledge and understanding from the *Fiqh* of the companions
   of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and the textual evidences from the Book
   and the Sunnah. They have knowledge of the understanding of the Sahaabah
   which the Sahaabah took from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.

   - In spite of these scholars having understanding of the Qur’aan and the
   Sunnah they take the *Fiqh* of the Sahaabah and utilize it.

   - They honour the knowledge of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah of the Prophet
   صلى الله عليه و سلم, holding it in high esteem. They also honour the
   Sahaabah and recognize their station; and they honour those that preceded
   them in knowledge from amongst the Salaf and considered their opinion also.

   - They stop wherever the evidence stops. Once there is evidence they
   leave aside their own opinions and statements and they adhere to the truth,
   whatever it may be. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah رحمه الله points out:
   *“This group is stationery wherever the daleel (evidence) is stationery
   and they move with the daleel wherever the daleel moves. Once there is
   evidence they adhere to it and take it and they go to it collectively and
   individually.” *
   The textual evidences are more magnificent in their hearts than the
   statements of anyone else. They do not put any analogy or opinion before the
   textual evidence.

Masjid Ahlul-Quraan wa As-Sunnah of New york

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