What are the characteristics that are befitting for the student of knowledge and the caller to Allaah in the west -in specific and worldwide in general- to adorn himself with when teaching the people and calling them to Allaah?
Of course the characteristic that are required from the individual to adorn oneself with are many and it's not possible to mentioning all of them here in this sitting. Also they have been mentioned in the books regarding the seeking of knowledge. Like the book "Jaam'i Bayna'-'Ilm wa Fadlih" by Ibn Abdil-Barr (rahimahullah). Likewise, "Al- Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqeh" by Khateeb al-Bagdaadee (rahimahullah). Also Before them two there's the book "Akhlaaqul-'Ulamaa" by al-Aajurree (rahimahullah) and the likes of these which have been authored regarding this topic. However, I will mention that which I see in my view to be the most distinguished of these characteristics:
The first matter (that is befitting to adorn oneself with) is sincerity, the student of knowledge having sincerity for Allaah in this noble action of calling (others to Allaah). Indeed if we were to contemplate over the state of many of the people, they have only fallen into that which they have fallen into from the Fitan due to them intending other than the face of Allaah. They did not intend the face of Allaah ‘Azza wa Jall. They have been put to trial due to the wealth. They have been put to trial due to positions and status. They also have been put to trial by the people gathering around them. They have been put to trial by the affairs of the worldly life.
If the caller to Allaah is sincerely (calling) for the sake of Allaah ‘Azza wa Jall, seeking the reward from Allaah ‘Azza wa Jall, indeed he will not make a move except for the sake of Allaah ‘Azza wa Jall. Indeed the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) didn't get angry (for his personal self), rather he used to become angry when the sanctuaries of Allaah were violated. He didn't go seeking revenge for himself. This is from the signs of sincerity.
As for today, we find many of the callers, many of the students of knowledge, -except those whom Allaah has had mercy upon- they seek revenge for themselves like lions or other predatorily animals if any anyone transgressed against them the amount of a hair. As for if the sanctity of the Sahaabah was violated, or the sanctity of the Sunnah was violated, or that of knowledge or the religion, they do not move one bit. If the Sahaabah were described as being scum, or if the Sahaabah were described with being rubbish, or such and such, they make excuses for this type of speech as if it was something insignificant. However, if the slightest thing was said about the individual, Judgment is established and he authors books (in defense of himself). This is an evidence for the absence of sincerity.
Sincerity is an important matter. The 'Ulamaa constantly focus on the matter of sincerity however it's a few who understand this matter. It's a few who implement this matter. By Allaah if the many of these people of Fitan were only sincere for Allaah, they wouldn't have fallen into that which they have fallen into. Indeed the matter of sincerity is a matter of salvation by the permission of Allaah ‘Azza wa Jall along with holding fast to the Sunnah.
The second matter which I advise them with and I advise myself with, after the sincerity there's the following of the Sunnah and no innovating (in the religion). The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) was sent by Allaah to be obeyed and followed in that which he has commanded. He was sent in order that things he forbade are kept away from. Having eagerness over the Sunnah, by way of knowledge, learning, and implementation, it is the call of the Salafis-Saalah (radi Allahu ‘anhum). I advise myself and my brothers with holding fast to the Sunnah, implementing it and giving precedence to it over the views and statements. Also as preceded, I advise them with holding on to the Sunnah and not becoming deviated by way of the newly invented matters of desires and views. Also they should NOT be followers of everyone who shouts out (with a call). The people are of three types:
- The scholar.
- The one who is learning.
- And the one who is ignorant.
So be a scholar or one who is learning, and do not be the third. For the result of that is that you will become destroyed. Therefore, holding on to the Sunnah and to the guidance of the Salafis-Saalih (radi Allahu ‘anhum), along with sincerity, by the permission of Allaah the one who possesses these matter will be given the success to attain the following matter.
- The first matter: He will be far away from Fitan.
- The second matter: If he was to fall into it he will come out of it by the permission of Allaah ‘Azza wa Jall.
- The third matter: He will be an example to be followed.
- The fourth matter: He will be one who teaches the people good.
- The fifth matter: Allaah will give him success in his religious life, his worldly life and in all of his affairs.
Indeed the one who is with Allaah, it is as the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam ) mentioned in the narration of Ibn Abbaas (radi Allahu ‘anhum) in his great advice to him:
Oh young boy, I will teach you some words. Be mindful of Allaah and Allaah will preserve you. Be mindful of Allaah and you will find Him in front of you. Know Allaah in times of ease and He will know you in times of hardship.
Be mindful of Allaah and He will preserve you. There's no doubt that the one who is sincere, follows the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) upon the guidance of the Salafis-Saalih, he is one who has indeed been mindful of Allaah. So it is as the Messenger of Allaah has stated in his response, "...Allaah will preserve you."
Allaah will preserve you in your religion, your worldly affairs and in yourself. In the story of Moosaa when he was along with Khidr, regarding the wall, Allaah said about it:
وَأَمَّا الْجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلَامَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحْتَهُ كَنْزٌ لَهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَنْ يَبْلُغَا أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسْتَخْرِجَا كَنْزَهُمَا رَحْمَةً مِنْ رَبِّكَ ۚ وَمَا فَعَلْتُهُ عَنْ أَمْرِي ۚ ذَٰلِكَ تَأْوِيلُ مَا لَمْ تَسْطِعْ عَلَيْهِ صَبْرًا[Al-Kahf:82]
"And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man..." (Soorah al-Kahf: 82)
Also from the characteristics that we are in need of in these days and times which I advise myself and my brothers, the students of knowledge with, is returning back to the 'Ulamaa, the 'Ulamaa of the Sunnah, the 'Ulamaa that are known for the truth, those who are known for having soundness in the Manhaj of the creed. Not the people of desires and personal agendas. Take all caution from the one who blows himself up, claiming that he is a scholar intending to magnify himself. Indeed the Manhaj of the Salaf and the way of the Salaf regarding the likes of those who magnify themselves, calling to themselves, seek revenge for themselves, and they are not pleased that anyone speaks about them, is that they would wash their hands of them because they know that they have become destroyed. From their statements (about the likes of these individuals),
Love for being known breaks the backbone.
Those who magnify themselves are not 'Ulamaa, rather they are ignorant. The likes of these individuals are similar to the hunters who seize the opportunity. They seize the opportunity with the students of knowledge and puff themselves and magnify themselves amongst them. The (following of) the Sunnah is what magnifies the person. The following of the truth is what magnifies the person. His statement being in agreement with the statement of Allaah ‘Azza wa Jall magnifies him. Not that the person magnifies himself.
The one who magnifies himself has fallen (from grace).
As for the one who the Sunnah has magnified and the following of the truth has magnified -this is the one we hope for by the permission of Allaah- that he will be in a high status.
Also from the characteristics that I advise myself with and my brothers, is to be far away from differing. Be far away from evil and if we differ regarding a matter that we do not indulge one another in debating. Rather, when the truth becomes apparent to us, we return back to it and we hold on to it. This is in order that the matter of differing doesn't become prevalent amongst us and in order that separation doesn't take place amongst the Salafiyyeen. Indeed many of the differing that takes place amongst some of the Salafiyyeen, the possibility of bringing a solution (to the problem) is easy. However, sadly, due to many of the students of knowledge being far away from having a bond, connection and love for one another for the sake of Allaah, it puts them into this affair (of differing).