Imaam adh-Dhahabee, rahmatullahi alay, mentions in his exhaustive work as-Siyaar ‘Alaam al-Nubalaa a very interesting comment. The comment is in reference to the necessary conditions that it would take for a person to be considered as a “Scholar in Islam”. Note, that there is a difference between a scholar and a scholar of Islam. He goes on to mention these conditions by saying
ان يكون تقيا ذكيا نحويا لغويا زكيا حييا سلفيا
So lets break this down.
He mentions that
- That upon him is to be Taqiyan: This means that the person who traverses the path of knowledge and to have become competent in knowledge, then he is to be characterized with the attribute of having “taqwa”. To be in a state of being God-conscience. This is contrary to going about your business haphazardly in the absence of Allah Subhaanahu in your hearts peripherals. This is to the point that some of the Zaahid Imaams have commented that having your mind to be absent (meaning not thinking about) Allah for even a moment is destruction at the very least.
- Dhakiyan: To have competence in intelligence which is contrary to dull-mindedness and not really taking into consideration the full scope of any given scenario.
- Nahwiyan: To be firm in Arabic grammar
- Lughwiyan: To be firm in Arabic language
- Zakiyan: To be embodied with the attribute of constantly purifying your action and/or intentions.
- Hayiyan: To have enough humility and shyness about your being. In other words he has care about what is perceived of him in term of ethics.
- Salafiyan: The last and probably the most overriding factor of them all is to embody yourself with the methodology of following the way of the Salafus-Saalih
So, it is not enough to simply be salafi and lack the rest of the attributes necessary in the wake of scholar-dome. Likewise it is not enough to have good command of Arabic and its sciences and lack the attributes of taqwa, zakiyyah, or following the salafi manhaj. It is not enough to adorn yourself with the attribute of purification and shyness while not being grounded in Arabic or the manhaj as-Salafi. Deficiency in any one of these areas will ipso facto form a deficiency in the extent of knowledge intrinsic to the person in question and will cripple the extent of that knowledge being disseminated from such an individual as a result.
May Allah guide us towards His pleasure wa-Salamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah