ANY RESPECT FOR SCHOLARS?
Sanni Kay. Yusuf
I am constrained to air my worries as regards the above topic, as it is envisaged that the intent may be misconstrued – premeditatedly or unintendedly. But the reoccurrence of the phenomenon, especially on social media is a propellant that can not be overlooked. I therefore, appeal to readers to do a sincere perusal of the piece and overlook the author’s shortcoming(s).
Elders, irrespective of religion, are to be accorded utmost respect. Allah, as delivered through the mouth of the holy Prophet, wants elders held in high esteem. “He is not of us he who is not respectful to the elderly and is not merciful to the young,” so was it authentically reported of our role model.
If Islam could enjoin respect for elders of other religions, how much more those who are practitioners of Islam? They deserve full-percent honour – as humans, elders and most significantly, as Muslims.
If Islam could emphatically emphasize respect for Muslim elders, how much more Muslim scholars who are said to be heirs of the Prophets? These are apparently the custodians of knowledge – those from whom people ceaselessly benefit – sip from their reservoir.
But it perturbs to see Muslim youths talk of scholars in a manner they are even disallowed to talk of fellow youths. Some make writeups about scholars as though they have no inch of worth any longer. This worrying fitnah is largely demonstrated on WhatsApp, Tweeter, and most especially on Facebook.
Our scholars are not without mortal blunders. They aren’t without human errors. They are never infallible. They aren’t prophets, after all, neither are they angels who are divinely characterized by flawlessness. The mistake(s) of a scholar isn’t a licence to his ouster from scholarship. It is no reason to lash and fire him. It is no reason to reduce him to nothing. We will not follow his mistake(s), and we will not saucily talk about him. We will make frantic efforts to correct him, and we will pray for him.
Caution! Don’t get this piece wrong. By scholar, I meant scholar: a well-loaded Muslim whose wealth of knowledge is driven by Kitaabu wa Sunnah, as exemplified by the Salaf – the Sahaabah. Age may be less significant here, as there are youths whose knowledge qualifies them as scholars. This message is inclusive of them. Such prided and celebrated brains may be our friends or cronnies. We may wine in the same plates and dine in the same cups, they remain our scholars, and they deserve our utmost respect.
That a scholar holds a view contrary to one’s, or that is most unpopular, or that is considered weak by one isn’t enough a factor to grow wings of insolence where one’s tongue or pen is garrulously explored. That would make no positive change than escalate the unwanted. What have you gained so far? Chao! Pandemonium! Schism! Hullabaloo! Brouhaha! Faceoff! Could you please have a rethink?
Naturally, one’s love for all scholars cannot be on the same pedestal, just as love for one’s children can never be the same. Expectedly however, no scholar should be hated. Why would a Muslim be overridden by such a shaytanic emotion – nursing hatred for a scholar? Even those who know little or nothing, and who may never attain scholarship until after years, equally take to the social media to speak ill of scholars. Laughable, indeed!
This is just a call for caution. Let’s keep it neat with our scholars, young and old, home and abroad, for they remain the heirs of the Prophets.