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Khalilallah

Do We Have An Alim?

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Do we have a single Alim in the world today?

 

Ulema are the heirs of Prophets but we don't have anyone who has inherited the knowledge of the Prophets among us.

 

There is the Imam Mahdi who is the only Alim but other than him do we have a single Alim?

 

Can the "Ulema" say they are the heirs of the prophet's knowledge?

 

We know the knowledge of the people today are no where close to the knowledge of the Prophets, so how can we say Fulan is an Alim when he himself would deny having knowledge equal to the Prophets' knowledge?

 

It also depends on how we measure ilm. If I compare myself to Sayed Sistani then clearly he is more learned but can we call him an Alim, one who is learned? Can we call him an inheritor of the prophet's knowledge when his knowledge is not even close to the amount of the prophet's knowledge?

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Bismillah.

 

Salaam.

 

Of course we can title them as ʻĀlim and even ourselves because all are in the path of learning. It is clear that our knowledge is incomparable with Imams’ but all are called “knowledge” and this is why all Muslims – not only Mu’minīn – have been ordered to seek knowledge that shows the great status of knowledge – not important its level – and there is a great emphasis upon that by the Noble Qur’an and narrations; Imām al-Sādiq (p) narrated from the Prophet (p) that he said:

 

طَلَبُ‏ الْعِلْمِ‏ فَرِيضَةٌ عَلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ وَ مُسْلِمَة

 

“Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim man and woman”

 

(Misbāh al-Shariʻah, p.13)

 

I can tell you many thing in this regard from different aspects and approaches. I recommend you to look at these links:

 

http://www.islamquest.net/en/archive/question/fa6155

 

http://www.islamquest.net/en/archive/question/en16690

 

http://www.islamquest.net/en/archive/question/fa3667

 

With Duas.

 

Narsis.

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Do we have a single Alim in the world today?

 

Ulema are the heirs of Prophets but we don't have anyone who has inherited the knowledge of the Prophets among us.

 

There is the Imam Mahdi who is the only Alim but other than him do we have a single Alim?

 

Can the "Ulema" say they are the heirs of the prophet's knowledge?

 

We know the knowledge of the people today are no where close to the knowledge of the Prophets, so how can we say Fulan is an Alim when he himself would deny having knowledge equal to the Prophets' knowledge?

 

It also depends on how we measure ilm. If I compare myself to Sayed Sistani then clearly he is more learned but can we call him an Alim, one who is learned? Can we call him an inheritor of the prophet's knowledge when his knowledge is not even close to the amount of the prophet's knowledge?

(Bismillah)

(Salam)

Inshallah you are doing well brother,

I find your question interesting. I would like to first ask you how can knowledge be "inherited" in the first place?

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It is not black and white

It is a matter of different degrees

And no, information (what can be learned) is different than knowledge

I think knowledge is something like correct information with correct analysis

And then comes taqwa, the activation and application of such knowledge. Taqwa needs basira, specially in this time which is filled with different fitna

So, to be a heir of the Prophets (as) you need both, knowledge and taqwa; al-'alim al-rabbani, the one who is better than shahid (martyr)

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(bismillah)

(salam)

Inshallah you are doing well brother,

I find your question interesting. I would like to first ask you how can knowledge be "inherited" in the first place?

There are many Hadith which say that Ulema are the heirs of Prophets, Heirs are inheritors so I would like to know which "Alim" is able to call himself the Heir of the Prophet.

 

Except Imam Mahdi, Who is the only Alim by this measure.

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salam alaykum

Dealing with the issue and looking at it the way you face it, we will never have an alim.

Even prophets and Imams will not be regarded as Alim! 

 

That is because their knowledge is limited since they are not transcendent.

For sure they are the most knowledgeable people on the Earth but yet They are God's servants and therefore they are limited.

It is not possible for them to have an infinite and limitless knowledge.

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Here is what Imam Ali (as) said:

 

Kumayl bin Ziyad Al-Nakha'i said that Imam Ali once told him:

 

"Oh Kumayl, Hearts are containers of knowledge and wisdom, and the best container is the one which can hold the most and what it holds it preserves and protects in the best way possible.Therefore Kumayl, remember what I am about to tell you carefully.

 

Remember that there are three kinds of people: One are those learned people who are highly versed in the ethics of truth and philosophy of religion. Second are those who are acquiring the above knowledge, and third are those who are uneducated. They follow every pretender and accept every slogan. They have neither acquired knowledge nor have they secured any rational convictions.

 

Remember, Kumayl, knowledge is better than wealth because it protects you while you have to guard wealth. Money decreases as you spend it but the more you share knowledge, the more it increases. What you get through wealth disappears as soon as wealth disappears but what you achieve through knowledge will remain even after you.

 

O Kumayl ! Knowledge is power and it can command obedience. A man of knowledge during his lifetime can make people obey and follow him and he is praised and venerated after his departure. Remember that knowledge is a ruler and wealth is its subject. O Kumayl !

 

O Kumayl ! Those who amass wealth, though alive, are in fact dead to the realities of life While those who achieve knowledge will remain alive through their knowledge and wisdom long after they are gone. Their faces may disappear, but their ideas will remain in the minds of people".

 

Then the Imam (as) pointed towards his chest and said:

"Look Kumayl! Here I hold stores and treasures of knowledge. I wish I could find somebody to share it with me. Yes, I found a few but one type although quite intelligent, was untrustworthy, he would sell his salvation to get hold of the world and its pleasures, he would make religion a pretence to grasp worldly power and wealth, he would make this Blessing of Allah (knowledge) serve him to get supremacy and control over friends of Allah and he would use this knowledge to exploit and suppress other human beings.

The other type was such that he apparently obeyed truth and knowledge, yet his mind had not achieved the true light of religion, at the slightest ambiguity or doubt he would get suspicious of truth, mistrust religion and would rush towards skepticism. Neither type is capable of acquiring the superior knowledge that I can impart.

 

Besides these two, I found other types: One, is a slave of the self and own desires, so he can be easily dragged away from the path of religion, while the other is a greedy and thus would risk his life to grasp hold of wealth. None of these will be of any use to religion or mankind. Both resemble beasts having insatiable appetite for food.

 

If sensible trustees of knowledge and wisdom disappeared from society then both would suffer severely, may bring harm to society and may even die out. But this earth will never be without those who will prove the universality of the truth as disclosed by Allah. They may be well-known, openly and fearlessly declaring the things revealed to them or they may, under fear of harm, injury or death hide themselves from public and carry their mission in private so that the proof of truth as revealed by Allah and demonstrated by His prophet may never disappear.

 

How many are they and where could they be found? I swear by Allah that they are very few in number but their worth and their ranks before Allah are very high. Through them, Allah preserves His Guidance so that, while departing, they may hand over these truths to others like themselves. The knowledge they have acquired has made them see and visualize the true reality and has instilled into them the spirit of faith and trust.

 

The duties which are decreed hard and unbearable by others are easy and pleasurable for them. They feel happy in the company and association of things which frighten the ignorant and uneducated. They live in this world like everybody else but their souls soar to the heights of Divine Eminence. They are Media of Allah on this earth and they tirelessly invite people towards Him.

 

How I would love to meet them O Kumayl !

 

I have told you all I had to say in this matter, you may go back to your place whenever you wish".

 

God >

www.heliwave.com

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As far as I know, according to the Islamic rulings, an heir doesn't inherit, in most cases, all of the properties of the mayyit (deceased). They only get a part of the inheritance and they are legally considered heirs!!

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In addition to what brother "sadegh" said:

Not all of someone's heirs, inherit equally. Some of them get more, and some of them get very little and end up fighting for a bigger share!!!

 

Humor aside, I think what we need to do here is to see what this metaphor (Ulama being heirs) could mean.

It could mean that they are the people who follow the footsteps of the prophets.

It could mean that they inherit their responsibilities and will get their rewards.

It could mean that they inherit some of their knowledge (brother "sadegh") .

 

Any of these meanings could help you understand that Sayyid Sistani for example is an 'Alim. Imam Zaman is also an 'Alim, and you are an 'Alim, too. But each of you reside at different levels of Alim-hood :)

This means that being 'Alim is gradual, with God and His absolute knowledge of everything at one end, and us at the other end. (Similar to what brother "mesbah" said)

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Salaam all brothers. It was a pleasure reading your answers and i found them very educating especially the following answer of the brother

 

Here is what Imam Ali (as) said:

 

Kumayl bin Ziyad Al-Nakha'i said that Imam Ali once told him:

 

"Oh Kumayl, Hearts are containers of knowledge and wisdom, and the best container is the one which can hold the most and what it holds it preserves and protects in the best way possible.Therefore Kumayl, remember what I am about to tell you carefully.

 

Remember that there are three kinds of people: One are those learned people who are highly versed in the ethics of truth and philosophy of religion. Second are those who are acquiring the above knowledge, and third are those who are uneducated. They follow every pretender and accept every slogan. They have neither acquired knowledge nor have they secured any rational convictions.

 

Remember, Kumayl, knowledge is better than wealth because it protects you while you have to guard wealth. Money decreases as you spend it but the more you share knowledge, the more it increases. What you get through wealth disappears as soon as wealth disappears but what you achieve through knowledge will remain even after you.

 

O Kumayl ! Knowledge is power and it can command obedience. A man of knowledge during his lifetime can make people obey and follow him and he is praised and venerated after his departure. Remember that knowledge is a ruler and wealth is its subject. O Kumayl !

 

O Kumayl ! Those who amass wealth, though alive, are in fact dead to the realities of life While those who achieve knowledge will remain alive through their knowledge and wisdom long after they are gone. Their faces may disappear, but their ideas will remain in the minds of people".

 

Then the Imam (as) pointed towards his chest and said:

"Look Kumayl! Here I hold stores and treasures of knowledge. I wish I could find somebody to share it with me. Yes, I found a few but one type although quite intelligent, was untrustworthy, he would sell his salvation to get hold of the world and its pleasures, he would make religion a pretence to grasp worldly power and wealth, he would make this Blessing of Allah (knowledge) serve him to get supremacy and control over friends of Allah and he would use this knowledge to exploit and suppress other human beings.

The other type was such that he apparently obeyed truth and knowledge, yet his mind had not achieved the true light of religion, at the slightest ambiguity or doubt he would get suspicious of truth, mistrust religion and would rush towards skepticism. Neither type is capable of acquiring the superior knowledge that I can impart.

 

Besides these two, I found other types: One, is a slave of the self and own desires, so he can be easily dragged away from the path of religion, while the other is a greedy and thus would risk his life to grasp hold of wealth. None of these will be of any use to religion or mankind. Both resemble beasts having insatiable appetite for food.

 

If sensible trustees of knowledge and wisdom disappeared from society then both would suffer severely, may bring harm to society and may even die out. But this earth will never be without those who will prove the universality of the truth as disclosed by Allah. They may be well-known, openly and fearlessly declaring the things revealed to them or they may, under fear of harm, injury or death hide themselves from public and carry their mission in private so that the proof of truth as revealed by Allah and demonstrated by His prophet may never disappear.

 

How many are they and where could they be found? I swear by Allah that they are very few in number but their worth and their ranks before Allah are very high. Through them, Allah preserves His Guidance so that, while departing, they may hand over these truths to others like themselves. The knowledge they have acquired has made them see and visualize the true reality and has instilled into them the spirit of faith and trust.

 

The duties which are decreed hard and unbearable by others are easy and pleasurable for them. They feel happy in the company and association of things which frighten the ignorant and uneducated. They live in this world like everybody else but their souls soar to the heights of Divine Eminence. They are Media of Allah on this earth and they tirelessly invite people towards Him.

 

How I would love to meet them O Kumayl !

 

I have told you all I had to say in this matter, you may go back to your place whenever you wish".

 

God >

www.heliwave.com

 

I would like to add that prophets came to this world to admonish people and guide them to the straight path, through their knowledge and excellence of character (putting that knowledge to practice themselves) and setting an example for the people.

When we say that Ulema are the inheritors of the prophets it is in this regard. They should aquire their knowledge and most importantly before admonishing anyone else they should put that knowledge to practice and set an example for the people.

 

Is every Alim an inheritor of the prophets? Certainly not. Only those who are themselves acting on their teachings and adhering to the rules set by Allah almighty. If they do this they are not only the inheritors of the prophets but they are the best of creation and according to ahadith attributed to the holy prophet ulema of his nation are like the prophets of bani israel (it must be noted here that we are not referring to the ool-ul-azm prophets (The holy prophet s.w., Hazrat Ibrahim, Hazrat Nuh, Hazrat Musa and Hazrat Isa in order of rank) and other great prophets of high rank.

 

Also there may be varying degrees of knowledge possessed by different ulema, it doesnot mean that those of the lower level of knowledge are excluded from this category, they still possess alot more knowledge than a normal person. When you see an Alim with an imamah and an aba and qaba you can rest assured that he couldnt have worn this attire if he didnot have sufficient knowledge of all aspects of religious life, so respect them and regard them as the inheritors of the prophet.

 

Wassalam


Also about mentioning Imam-e-Zamana in this regard, yes he is an alim and yes he is the inheritor of the knowledge of prophets but our Aimma-e-Athaar are greater in rank to the prophets except for the Holy prophet pbuh. They are the best of creation, nearest to god.

 

For our comparison it is enough to take Ayatullah Sistani or Ayatullah Wahid Khorasani as complete and proper examples for this Hadith. Although in my opinion we are nothing in comparison to even their knowledge. They are indeed men of knowledge, having spent all of their lives aquiring knowledge and imparting it. Let us take pride in our Ulema.

 

wassalam

 

peace :)

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There are some people who are guided in the journey to Allah. They have acquired the knowledge of "The names" like Adam did, and been imparted a beauty and glory through the hands of the Imam of their time.  They are inheritors of the Prophets.

 

This doesn't refer to people who just know Fiqh/philosophy/ethics but people who been imparted the wisdom and light of the beautiful names of God.

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