How to find a good Teacher - Part 9 (Finale): Signs of the learned men of the hereafter

>> Monday, September 29, 2008

This is the last sign of the learned men and the last part of this series. I hope it helped you all in determining who is knowledgeable and who you want to study under.

In The Words of Imam Ghazzali

(12) Twelfth sign. Another sign of the learned man of the next world is that he saves himself from innovations even though the people are unanimous on innovations and novelties. He is rather diligent in studying the conditions of the companions, their conduct and character and their deeds. They spent their lives in jihad, meditation, avoidance of major and minor sins, observation of their outer conduct and inner self. But the great object of thought of the learned men of the present time is to teach, compose books, to make argumentation, to give Fatwa, to become mutawalli of Waqf estates, enjoy the properties, of orphans, frequent the rulers and enjoy their company.

Hazrat Ali said: The best of us is one who follows this religion. In short if you follow the companions of the Apostle of God, no blame will attach you even if you act in opposition to the people of this age. Hazrat Hasan Basri said: Two innovators have appeared in Islam, a man of bad judgment who holds that paradise is for those whose judgment is like mine, and a rich man who loves this world and searches it. Reject these two. God saved the learned man of the next world from these two kinds of persons. The Prophet said: Word and guidance act two matters. The best word is the word of God and the best guidance is the guidance of the Prophet. Beware of innovation, because it is the worst thing. Every innovation is heresy and every heresy is sin. Beware don't think that the end will be delayed. Your hearts may become hard. Whatever is ordained is impending. Beware, what has passed will not return. The Prophet said in a sermon: Blessed is he whose concern for his own faults keeps him away of finding faults of others, who spends out of his lawful earning, keeps company with theologians and the wise and spurns the sinners and the wicked people. Blessed is he who humbles himself, makes his conduct refined, heart good and does not do harm to the people. Blessed is he who acts up to his knowledge, spends his surplus wealth, abstains from superfluous talks, follows sunned and does not introduce innovations.

lbn Masud said: In latter days, good guidance will be better than many actions. He also said: You are now in an age when the best of you is one who is quick in doing good deeds, but soon there will come an age when the best of you will be one who will be firm in faith and remain silent toward doubt. Hazrat Huzaifa said a more wonderful saying : your good deeds of this age are the evil deeds of the past age and the evil deeds of this age will be considered as good deeds of the next age. You will be in good deeds till you know the truth. The learned man among you will not conceal truth. He said the truth, because most of the good deeds of this age were reprehensible at the time of the companions. The good deeds of our age is the embellishment of mosques, excess in ablution and bath, huge expenses in the construction of buildings for mosques, spreading of soft and fine rugs in mosques etc. The early Muslims seldom placed anything for their prayer. Hazrat Ibn Mas'ud truly said: You are living in an age when passion is harnessed by knowledge, but soon there will come over you a time wherein passion will have priority over knowledge. Imam Ahmad-b-Hanbal used to say: People have discarded knowledge and followed strange things. How little is their learning. God is our helper. Imam Malik said: In past times people were not in the habit of questioning as they do nowadays and their learned men did never say that such a thing is lawful and such a thing is unlawful and the question of unlawfulness never arose, as their condemnation of unlawful thing was open.

Abu Sulaiman Darani said: Nobody who gets any inspiration for something good should attempt to do it unless it is confirmed by a tradition. Let him then praise God for he has got what was in his mind. When the Caliph Marwan introduced the custom of a pulpit in the 'Id prayer, Hazrat Abu Sayeed Khudri said to him: 0 Marwan, is it not innovation? He said: It is not innovation. It is better than what you know. Many people assemble here. I wish that my sound should reach them. He said: By God, you don't know better than what I know. By God, I will not pray today behind you. He declined to pray behind him saying that he Prophet used to stand with a stick in his hand at the time of 'Id prayer and deliver sermon.

There is a well known Hadis: Whoever introduces such an innovation in our religion which is not there is an evil man. There is in another Hadis: The curse of God, angels and all people is upon one who deceives our people. He was asked: 0 Prophet of God, what is the deception of your people? He said: God has an angel who proclaims every day saying: He who oppresses the religion by introducing an innovation in opposition to the usages of Prophet in relation to one who commits it, is like a man who changes the reign of a king in relation to one who opposes his particular order. The latter crime can be forgiven but there is no pardon of one who changes the regime. A certain learned man said: Truth is heavy. He who increases it transgresses and he who decreases it fails and he who keeps attached to it is satisfied. The Prophet said: Adopt the middle course. He who goes in advance retards it and he who remains behind advances. God says: Avoid those who make their religion a sport and pastime (6 : 69). God says: Have you seen one who considers his evil as good and it appears to him alright? What has been introduced as innovation after the companions and what is unnecessary appertain to sport and pastime.

These are the twelve signs of the learned men of the next world any every quality was found in the learned men of early ages. Be therefore one of the two. Either be imbued with these attributes or he repentant after admitting your sins and faults. But never be the third one, as in that case doubt will arise in your mind. If you take the weapons of the world in lieu of religion, follow the conduct of the transgressors and if you take to ignorance, and refusal of faith, you will reside with those who are doomed to destruction and despair.