In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful
Signs of harmful knowledge and its people
By al-Haafidh ibn Rajab al-Hanbali al-Baghdaadi may Allah have mercy on him
The Imaam, who died 795 AH, collects in his book, “The superiority of knowledge of the Salaf over knowledge of the Khalaf” under the chapter “Sign’s of Harmful Knowledge and its People”. He says:
“As for whoever learns knowledge which is not beneficial and he is busy with being haughty over the people, showing his virtue, attributing ignorance, and abusing them in order that his status is raised above them, then this is from the ugliest of characteristics. Perhaps he may attribute to the scholars before him ignorance, heedlessness, and forgetfulness.
So it is inevitable that he will become fond of himself, and he loves to make (people think that) he is perfect while causing others to think bad of those who have come before.
The people of beneficial knowledge would think bad of themselves and have excellent thoughts of those who came before them from amongst the scholars. They affirmed in their heart and souls the virtue of those who came before them. They recognized their inability to reach, attain, and even come close to those who came before them.
How perfect was the statement of Abu Haneefa when he was asked who was more virtuous ‘Alqama or al-Aswad! So he said,
والله ما نحن بأهل أن نذكرهم فكيف نفضل بينهم
“By Allah! We are not worthy to be amongst the people mentioned along with them, so how can we decide who was better between them?”
And Ibn Mubaarak made a poem mentioning the mannerisms of those who came before him. (He said),
لا تعرضن لذكرنا في ذكرهم … ليس الصحيح اذا مشى كالمقعد
“Do not mention us whilst mentioning them, the fit and healthy when he walks is not like the decrepit”
To be continued…
Translated by: Michael AbdusSalaam Deonarain
الفقير الى الله