Who are the Top Ulama today ?
(Date written : 27 May 2015)
1) To answer this question actually is not only almost impossible but it is 100% impossible !
2) First - we dont have STANDARD criteria or measurement criteria in ISLAM to Judge whether a person is CERTIFIED to be Ulama.
A person who graduated from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Eqypt (or any other Islamic University in the world) and got the Certificate - Degree, Master or PhD - has always been specialized in different Course, for example Shari'ah, Arabic and Islamic studies, Islamic Theology, etc. There are other so-called Ulama or Scholars that are not graduated from all these Universities but learned in a lot from Madrasah or Mosques from every inch of the worlds and there is no IJAZA or Certificate given; except probably certain ritual when the Teacher will give IJAZA or Certificate to the student whenever the Teacher or the so called Ulama thinks that his students have learned from him what he knows.
But still, this person cannot be called ULAMA. But, can be called Scholars.
3) Secondly, A Scholar is a person who specializes in certain subject or studies.
An ULAMA however, means The Person Who Have Knowledge.
The definition is very different.
Allah mentions in the Quran the word ULAMA which means the person who has knowledge. It is very general term.
So, when general term is mentioned, how can we come out with the STANDARD MEASUREMENTS to certify whether a person is ULAMA or KNOWLEDGEABLE or not.
4) The belief that the so called ULAMA or scholars need to be OBEYED (AT°I`U) or even FOLLOWED (TABI') is WRONG :- because there is NO SINGLE verse of Al-Quran ask to Obey or Follow any ULAMA; not even in HADITH.
Why ? BECAUSE the ULAMA cannot OBEY himself!
5) Respect them yes, Learned from them yes, BUT it does not MEAN what they said ARE ALL CORRECT, because they made mistakes and WORST is when they induced OPINION about AQIDAH or SHARI'AH (Law of Islam). We must not learned from ONLY one so called ULAMA.
6) The thought or Perception that the old so called ULAMA is better than nowadays IS ALSO WRONG - if the REAL MEANING of ULAMA is known Or UNDERSTOOD. Again - ULAMA is KNOWLEDGEABLE about any KNOWLEDGE including Science, Mathematics, Engineering, etc, especially related to The Book of Revelation.
7) Furthermore, especially in the so called ISLAMIC Teaching, there are too many SECTS. This Ulama from this Sect says something while the other Ulama from other Sect says something else. Sometimes within the Same Sect there are sub-set and still the argument exists and who are the ones who argue A LOT ? Their FOLLOWERS. These are the ones who are The FOLLOWERS OF ASSUMPTIONS. Or The FOLLOWERS of The FOLLOWERS of ASSUMPTIONS.
8) Why are they called Assumptions ? Because TRUTH can never be beaten by ASSUMPTIONS. We should only ARGUE between the TRUTH and the ones who DENY the TRUTH - the KAZIBUN.
But, nowadays, we ARGUE about which ULAMA is better now vs which ULAMA is better then.. a lot of confusion.. lots and lots of confusion...so the ARGUMENT always happened between the NO KNOWLEDGE vs the NO KNOWLEDGE or between one ASSUMPTION to another ASSUMPTION.
Al-Hajj : 8
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يُجٰدِلُ فِى اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَلَا هُدًى وَلَا كِتٰبٍ مُّنِيرٍ
● And of the people is he who DISPUTES about Allah WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE or guidance or an enlightening book [from Him], ●
Aal-i-Imraan : 66
هٰٓأَنتُمْ هٰٓؤُلَآءِ حٰجَجْتُمْ فِيمَا لَكُم بِهِۦ عِلْمٌ فَلِمَ تُحَآجُّونَ فِيمَا لَيْسَ لَكُم بِهِۦ عِلْمٌ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
● Here you are - those who have argued about that of which you have [some] knowledge, but why do you ARGUE about that of which you have NO KNOWLEDGE ? And Allah knows, while you know not. ●
9) YES, it is due to ALLAH'S WILL That all these are happening and it is NOT without REASON :
Al-Baqara : 213
كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وٰحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ النَّبِيِّۦنَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ وَأَنزَلَ مَعَهُمُ الْكِتٰبَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِيمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ۚ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِنۢ بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنٰتُ بَغْيًۢا بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ فَهَدَى اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا لِمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ بِإِذْنِهِۦ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ إِلٰى صِرٰطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
● Mankind was [of] one religion [before their deviation]; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they DIFFERED. And none differed over the Scripture except those who were given it - after the clear proofs came to them - out of JEALOUS animosity among themselves. And Allah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path. ●
Aal-i-Imraan : 19
إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللَّهِ الْإِسْلٰمُ ۗ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتٰبَ إِلَّا مِنۢ بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ بَغْيًۢا بَيْنَهُمْ ۗ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِـَٔايٰتِ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ
● Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam. And those who were given the Scripture did not DIFFER EXCEPT AFTER KNOWLEDGE HAD COME TO THEM - out of JEALOUS animosity between themselves. And whoever disbelieves in the verses of Allah, then indeed, Allah is swift in [taking] account. ●
JEALOUSY creates SECTS in ISLAM.
10) The fact is, we are ORDERED by Allah not to FOLLOW or PURSUE something that we DONT HAVE KNOWLEDGE of - meaning FOLLOW ASSUMPTIONS of the so called Ulama or ourselves :
Al-Israa : 36
وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِۦ عِلْمٌ ۚ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولٰٓئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْـُٔولًا
● And do not PURSUE that of which you have NO KNOWLEDGE. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart - about all those [one] will be questioned. ●
Meaning we must USE REASON, ask for evidence if something to be qualified to be called KNOWLEDGE. Knowledge always has EVIDENCE. We need to REASONS with ourselves before INFORMATION that we read or hear from anyone or any writings
can be converted into something call Knowledge.
11) I really hope we MUSLIMS must be 'CLEARED' from this OLD PERCEPTION - that ULAMA need to be OBEYED or FOLLOWED.
They are not.
They are to be respected yes, but NOT TO BE DEFENDED if others have MORE EVIDENCES that they have TRUE KNOWLEDGE than the one that we defended. Our Teacher or the so called ULAMA that we learned - must not FEEL JEALOUS among them, as what we see knowadays in every Muslim COMMUNITY, this ULAMA argue with that ULAMA - disputing about almost everything about HALAL (allowable) vs HARAM (prohibited) in Shari'ah and also in AQIDAH. Is there any sign of FEAR ?
12) The definition of ULAMA in another DIMENSION :
Faatir : 28
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ وَالدَّوَآبِّ وَالْأَنْعٰمِ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوٰنُهُۥ كَذٰلِكَ ۗ إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمٰٓؤُا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ غَفُورٌ
● And among people and moving creatures and grazing livestock are various colors similarly. Only those fear Allah, from among His servants, [are the ones] who HAVE KNOWLEDGE. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Forgiving. ●
ONLY ULAMA fears ALLAH.
IF WE ARE NOT ULAMA - WE WILL NEVER ALLAH. THAT is what the verse actually MEANS.
Aal-i-Imraan : 18
شَهِدَ اللَّهُ أَنَّهُۥ لَآ إِلٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ وَالْمَلٰٓئِكَةُ وَأُولُوا الْعِلْمِ قَآئِمًۢا بِالْقِسْطِ ۚ لَآ إِلٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
● Allah WITNESSES that there is no God except Him, and [so do] the ANGELS and those of KNOWLEDGE ('ILMA) - STANDING CORRECTED / IN JUSTICE (BIL QIST°). There is no God except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise. ●
We say everyday in our prayer - ASY HADU ALLA ILAHA ILLALLAH.
I bear WITNESS that there is no God but Allah.
When do we WITNESS ? DO we really WITNESS ? Witness is NOT LOOKING or SEEING or OBSERVARTION.
The ones who can WITNESS 'There is NO GOD except Allah" are:
a) ALLAH HIMSELF.
b) The Angels
c) ULUL 'ILMA or ULAMA.
These are the REAL ULAMA who REALLY WITNESS or SYAHID that there is No God except Allah.
13) The conclusion is :
a) We are neither need to OBEY nor FOLLOW Ulama;
b) Simply BECAUSE we are ORDERED or INSTRUCTED to be ULAMA ourselves;
c) Simply because a lot of verses of Allah or AHSANAL HADITH mention about the FARD or THE MUST that every MUSLIM to learn KNOWLEDGE, and NOT to FOLLOW most people (so called ULAMA) blindly;
d) Simply BECAUSE, if we are not ULAMA or KNOWLEDGEABLE, we will never FEAR ALLAH; if we dont fear Allah, we will NEVER OBEY ALLAH.
e) Simply BECAUSE, if we are not ULAMA, our SYAHADAH is NOT VALID - just a recital that does not MEAN ANYTHING inside us.
Only ULAMA or ULUL 'ILMA - SYAHID or WITNESS that there is No God Except Allah; if we are not ULAMA, we will NEVER WITNESS that there is No God Except Allah.
'WE must be ULAMA or TOP ULAMA ourselves and there is no 2 ways about it'.
Asyhadu alla ilaha ILLALLAH.