Shaykh Ahmad An-Najjar said, “O beloved brothers, I wanted to outline a bitter reality of…the arrogant person who pretends to have knowledge [i.e. a pseudo-scholar or pseudo-student of knowledge].
This is a reality which we have been suffering from and still suffer from and much corruption and causes of corruption stem from him [i.e. any individual who is an arrogant pseudo-scholar with no real knowledge compared to real scholars, or a pseudo-student of knowledge who has no real knowledge compared to real students of knowledge who have sat with Salafi mashaykh and went through books with them for some significant time].
Along [with this corruption comes] transgression of Allaah’s Rights and the peoples’ rights.
Unfortunately, as it is hidden and not comprehended by those who fall into it [being pseudo-scholars or pseudo-students of knowledge] and speaking about it is only out of relaying its occurrence and mentioning its descriptions.
There is nothing upon them except to look to see if they are tested with the characteristics which have been mentioned or the realities which have been relayed or not.
If a person finds that he has fallen into one of these characteristics he has to strive to retract from it and know the true estimation of his own self and not be deceived by the many people of ignorance who may praise him. This is the reality which I wanted to relay, and the descriptions that I wanted to mention are:
That some who seek knowledge intend to merely memorise the statements of whoever they extol and the evidences which they mention, his understanding does not surpass anything more than this yet he thinks that he has obtained all of knowledge or most of it. He imagines that he is able to differentiate between truth and falsehood and in doing so he causes much problems for people, as based on that he necessitates people to accept one view. [The reason he does this is] this fake student of knowledge does not know anything else.
Additionally allegiance and disassociation may also arise due to this, wherein anyone who has a contrary view is hated, boycotted and defamed – this is what occurs.
This miskeen [pseudo-scholar or pseudo-student of knowledge] does not realise that there are other views in the issue other than the view of his shaykh, just as he is unaware of the basis of the view, its juristic reason, its foundation, the objections to it and the answers to them, etc. He could know some of them yet not others, and thus transgresses based on what he does know and in reality his errors are more than his accuracies, and his perception of the issues and statements are only a partial-perception, that is even if it can be said to be perception [at all]. Due to his audacity and his delusion you will find that he sticks his nose into everything, thus causing more harm than he does benefit.
Furthermore the most dangerous thing to knowledge and its people is: the students of knowledge not maintaining justice if their position is transgressed against. This is an issue which we suffer from greatly, and if only a person sufficed with what he knows and knows the true estimation of his own self, corruption and causing corruption would not stem from him.
However, unfortunately they transgress the bounds, except for the ones to whom Allaah shows mercy. Many of them often go from opinion to opinion, and from view to view, and whoever was good yesterday has become bad today and vis-a-versa.
We seek refuge in Allaah from such betrayal.
Of them are:
- those who read to some of the people of knowledge however they are not grounded on the basic foundations properly;
2. of them are those who studied from tapes and books without taking directly from the scholars, this does not mean that all who did not take knowledge directly from the hands of the scholars are weak and ungrounded, but the lesson is in the manner of such reading and traversing the right path in seeking knowledge. Before all of that: is success from Allaah.
Of the reasons for such audacity and arrogance in regards to knowledge is:
1. Weak grounding along with the pseudo-student of knowledge arrogantly thinking in himself that he has attained a major level of knowledge.
2. The ignoramuses praising himself and raising himself above his level [of knowledge].
3. His audacity to speak on that which he has no knowledge.
The cure of that is: for a person to know the true estimation of his own self, not to be deluded by the praise of ignoramuses and for the strong students of knowledge to clarify to him his status in knowledge, and to traverse the path of exhortation and admonition [with good manners] in refuting him so that his actual level becomes known.
Finally, what motivated me [Shaykh Ahmad Najjar] to write this was to wake up those [types of people mentioned previously in the article] and to clarify that weighing up [a persons level of knowledge]…is not in the hands of the ignorant [laypeople or beginning students of knowledge] instead [it is in the hands of] the strong students of knowledge [and the scholars].
I also do not intend with this to apply it to a specific person, rather my intent is to clarify general characteristics [of pseudo-scholars and pseudo-students of knowledge] without applying them to a specific person.
I…mention testimonies and establish clarifications so that the students of knowledge know the reality of the claimant, and just how many a claimant there is, by whom the ignorant [masses] are deceived.
[Students of knowledge and laypeople should both know] many claim knowledge and to have achieved it, yet knowledge does not acknowledge that for him. Allaahu Musta’aan.
I ask Allaah to grant us success in all goodness and to make us guided.”
Ref: brixtonmasjid.co.uk and salafibayaan.com
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie