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Respecting religious scholars

Afaq Khan

The writer is a journalist and social activist.

The Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) stated “Scholars are the inheritors of the prophets.” (Narrated by Tirmidhi et al). Today, despite the innumerable problems around the world and immense difficulties faced by the Muslim Ummah, attempts are being made to ridicule and criticize our esteemed religious scholars.

Hazrat Abu Darda (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated: “Whoever travels a path in search of knowledge, Allah will make easy for him the path to Paradise. Verily, the angels lower their wings for the seeker of knowledge. The inhabitants of the heavens and earth, even the fish in the depths of the water, seek forgiveness for the scholar. The virtue of the scholar over the worshiper is like the superiority of the moon over the stars. The scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets. They do not leave behind gold or silver coins, but rather they leave behind knowledge. Whoever has taken hold of it has been given an abundant share.” (Source Sunan Abī Dāwud).

The knowledge possessed by these scholars is the knowledge deemed beneficial by Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). They have taught us brotherhood, humility and gratitude and told us to respect each other without any discrimination. The Muslim Ummah is in complete disarray, yet conspiracies are being made against Islam by targeting scholars who taught us our religion and brought us on the path of steadfastness and truth.

Recently there was talk in town regarding a wedding attended by renowned scholar religious Maulana Tariq Jamil who solemnized the Nikkah ceremony. Maulana Tariq Jamil is considered one of the most well-known and influential personalities in Pakistan. People look up to him with respect and desire that their wedding is solemnized by him. He has attended the weddings of thousands of couples even in impoverished areas. But unfortunately, a mischievous campaign has been launched against him. There is a section in our society that considers it their right to engage in slander and ridicule religious scholars. 

It is unworthy to mock or ridicule religious scholars on flimsy reasons. They are busy propagating the message of Islam and bringing people closer to Allah.

According to media reports, billions were spent at the lavish wedding of the Master Tiles family and that Maulana Tariq Jamil received one million rupees for solemnizing the marriage. There were accusations that Maulana Tariq Jamil’s lectures on simplicity in Islam were contrary to the wedding ceremony. Maulana Tariq Jamil belongs to a wealthy land-owning family and rather than living a luxurious life, he still chose the path of simplicity and spread the message of Islam. He has himself denied receiving any remuneration for the wedding nor is there any harm even if he collected any fees.

The role of a marriage registrar is vital in any sect or religion to solemnize a wedding as per religious injunctions and laws to bring a couple together. Yet in our society people don’t consider it worthy to pay those rendering this service. They believe that a roof and two square meals are enough for them and do not realize that they have other needs like us. It is our duty that any genuine requirements of our esteemed religious scholars are fulfilled.

Any incident doing rounds on social media pertains to Mufti Tariq Masood who uttered a sentence in jest and propaganda has started that he endorsed child marriage. The video has taken out of context and many are unaware that Mufti Tariq Masood has supported marrying widows and divorcees to maintain balance in society and many young men have embraced his teachings. It is unworthy to mock or ridicule religious scholars on flimsy reasons. They are busy propagating the message of Islam and bringing people closer to Allah. It is shameful to target their personal life and character. We should investigate the matter before criticizing a learned scholar and give them the respect they truly deserve.