The Scholar, the Ignorant, the Heedless and the Fool

It is reported that Al-Khalīl b. Aḥmad said:

Men are of four types: There is the man who knows and he knows that he knows. He is knowledgeable, so follow him and ask him. And there is the man who does not know, and he knows that he does not know. He is ignorant, so teach him. And there is the man who knows, but he does not know that he knows. He is heedless, so remind him. And then there is the man who does not know, but he does not know that he does not know (he thinks he knows). This is the fool (idiot), so beware of him.

Ibn ˁAbd Al-Barr, Jāmiˁ Bayān Al-ˁilm wa Faḍlihī article 1538.

Who Can Feel Secure From Trial?

It is reported that Jubayr b. Nufayr said:

I entered upon Abū Al-Dardāʾ – Allāh be pleased with him – at his home in Ḥims and found him standing in prayer at his place of prayer. When he sat for tashahhud he started to seek protection with Allāh from al-nifāq (hypocrisy). So when he had finished praying, I said “May Allāh forgive you o Abū Al-Dardāʾ, what have you got to do with nifāq?” He said, “O Allāh forgive!”, three times, and replied, “Who can feel secure from trial, who can feel secure from trial? By Allāh, a man can be tested with fitnah in a single hour and turn away from his religion.”

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān 1:857.

Beware the Sinful Scholar

It is reported that Harim b. Ḥayyān – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

“Beware of the sinful scholar (al-ʿālim al-fāsiq).” This reached ʿUmar, so he wrote to him in fear, “Who is the sinful scholar?” He wrote back, “I did not intend but good; this is when there is an imām (leader, taken as an example) who speaks knowledge, but practices sins, confusing the people, and thus they go astray.”

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar ʾAʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 4:49.

Imam Ahmad on Boycotting the Khawarij

Al-Khallāl records that Imām Aḥmad – may Allāh have mercy on him – said about the Khawārij:

Do not sell food or clothes to them, and do not buy from them. And he said, The Khawārij are renegades, an evil people.

Al-Khallāl, Al-Sunnah 1:155

Sermon of Uthman on Guidance before Death

It is reported that ʿUthmān b. ʿAffān – Allāh be pleased with him – once addressed the people in a sermon. He praised Allāh, then said:

O people! Fear Allāh and obey Him, for piety is a valuable prize. Verily the most intelligent person is he who takes account of himself and works for what comes after death, and acquires through the light (guidance) of Allāh a light for the darkness of the grave.

The servant of Allāh should fear lest Allāh the Mighty and Sublime resurrects him blind though he used to see. A few comprehensive words can be enough for a wise man, whereas the deaf (who does not listen to guidance) is being called from afar.

And know that whoever Allāh the Mighty and Sublime is with has nothing to fear; but whoever Allāh the Mighty and Sublime is against, then in whom can he hope after Allāh?!

Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-ʿIlm 4:116,117.

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