Criterion To Distinguish A True Scholar From An Imitator – Shaykh ibn Baaz
Bismillaah Al-Hamdulillaah wa salatu wa salaamu ‘ala rasulullaah
There are several individuals these days who claim to possess knowledge and, because of this, people have become very confused in their religion. Is there a criterion that a person can use to distinguish a true scholar from an imitator? Please benefit us, may Allaah grant you much good.
Answer by Shaykh ‘Abdul-Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah)
In the Name of Allaah, and all praise belongs to Him. The sign of a true scholar is clear; he is the individual who presents the Qur`an and the Sunnah as proofs.You become aware of his correctness by asking the people of knowledge who know him. Also, a person should investigate and ask the trustworthy people about him, in order to be safe that he is (actually) from the people of knowledge. The true scholar is furthermore known by his (correct) religion and uprightness, and his diligence in seeking verdicts, and by the proofs he presents.
He is also known by his actions in addition to the recommendations mentioned by those who know him. It is not befitting that a person takes this matter lightly and asks anybody; rather one should investigate, as it relates to his religion, and ask the trustworthy and reliable from amongst the people of knowledge in his country or in the country he travels to.
This should be done in order for him to be at ease, because he has asked the people of knowledge regarding this matter.
(Al Fatawa, pg. 118) Translated by : Abu Isma’eel Mustafa George
Source : Clear Advice For Benefiting From Islaamic Lectures [Seminars, Conferences], lectured by Shaykh Salih bin ‘Abdul-’Azeez Ala Shaykh (hafidhahullaah)
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