Shaykh Ahmad An-Najjar wrote, “Of the greatest forms of falsehood is: applying divinely legislated titles and lofty positions to those who are not deserving of them, titles such as: ‘Aalim’, ‘Al-’Allaamah’, ‘Al-Mujaddid’, ‘Shaykh ul-Islaam’ and the likes.
You will find that the deceived ones adding these titles to [the beginning of the names of] those whom they extol, yet upon inspection you find that some of those they describe with such descriptions are of those who extremely distant from such titles.
Rather, you hear that they apply these titles to people [who the most] you can say about them is that they are students of knowledge even if they have obtained doctorates.
[Applying these titles to those not deserving them] is a dangerous illness which has to be brought to [the] attention [of all the Salafis] and assessed due to it’s serious harms which come about as a result of it, such as:
- the fitnah to the one who is being described with these titles, as he could be afflicted with self-amazement, deception and belittlement of others as we clearly see today during these times. Referring major issues and immense newly-arisen matters to him, as he thinks that he is appropriate to address them. How can this not be the case when he is ‘al-’Allaamah’?!
- people becoming deceived by him and having allegiance and disassociation based on him. Allaahu Musta’aan.
I also say out of advice to those apply these titles on those whom they glorify while they are not suitable for them: the title ‘scholar’ is not applied except for one who is meticulous in the sciences of the sound aqeedah, fiqh, usool (i.e. usool al-fiqh, usool al-hadeeth and usool al-tafseer) and the likes.
In regards to this Ishaaq Bin Rahawayh (rahimahullaah) said, “If a scholar does not know the saheeh (authentic) from the saqeem (weak and inauthentic), the naasikh (abrogating) from the mansookh (abrogated) from the (sciences of) hadeeth – then he is not to be deemed as a ‘scholar’.”
So by Allaah, put everyone in their due place with no extravagation and negligence.
Also do not be an example of whoever agrees with you in your stances then he is to be deemed as a ‘Aalim’, ‘al-’Allaamah’, or ‘Shaykh ul-Islaam’, while whoever does not agree with you then he is to be deemed as a ‘jaahil’, a ‘Muta’aalim’ (one who pretends to have knowledge)…”
Ref: brixtonmasjid.co.uk via alngar.com
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie