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What are the criteria for a real Alim?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

What are the criteria for a real Alim? What an ordinary Muslim should do in order to recognize which alim is alim-e-rabbani? I see many people who get deceived by the eloquence and the speeches of the scholars, although those scholars might go against shariah. They set the criteria that so and so alim is famous, his speeches are good or he looks very innocent. They forget that molana Ilyas was great scholar although he wasn?t eloquent. Plz provide a detailed answer.


Hadhrat Hasan al-Basri [ra] comments on this aayat that an Aalim is that person who fears Allah in secrecy and openness, he desires those things that Allah encourages and he dislikes those things that Allah dislikes.

Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Mas?ood [Radhiallaahu anhu] said, ?Ilm is not a lot of speech, but rather Ilm is a lot of fear of Allah.? The summary of this is the amount which he fears Allah, is the level of his Ilm.

Ahmad ibn Saalih al-Misri [ra] said, ?Plentiness of Ilm is not the means of recognising the fear but rather the following of the Qur’aan and Sunnah is the means of recognising Allah.?

Shaykh Shihabuddin [ra] said that ?The indication from this Aayat is that a person who does not have the fear of Allah in him, he is not an Aalim.?

Hadhrat Rabee ibn Anas [ra] said, ?Verily, the Aalim is that person who fears Allah.?

Sa?d ibn Ebrahim was asked, Who is the most learned person in Madina?? He replied, ?The one who has the most fear for his Lord.?

Hadhrat Ali [Radhiallahu anhu] also explained a Faqih in this manner, ?A complete Aalim is that person who does not make a person despondent of the mercy of Allah, nor does he give them leeway in their sins, nor does he give them security from the punishment of Allah, nor does he abandon the Qur’aan desiring some other objective.? And he also says, ?There is no good in any ibaadat in which there’s no Ilm and there’s no knowledge in which there’s no deep insight into it and there’s no recitation in which there’s no pondering into it.? (Ma?ariful Qur’aan vol.6 pg.336)

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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