• defining • who • is • knowledgeable •

The salaf have said the person with knowledge is not known by how much he/she has memorized, but rather how much he/she acts upon. So if the knowledge given to people doesn’t show in their actions (piety, humility, etc), then in reality they have no knowledge.

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Sufyaan bin Uyaynah said, “The scholar is not the one that knows the Halaal and the Haraam. The scholar is the one who knows what is Halaal and acts on it, and knows what is Haraam and stays away from it.”

Abdul-A’laa At-Taymi said, “Whoever is given knowledge that he does not use has not been given beneficial knowledge.”

Sufyaan Ath-Thawri said, “If I act with what I know then I’m the most knowledgeable of people. If I don’t act with what I know then I’m the most ignorant of people.”

Abud-Dardaa’ said, “You will not be a scholar until you act with what you know and benefit from it.”

Also, the Prophet used to seek refuge from knowledge that has no benefit “Allaahumma inni a’udhu bika min ‘ilmin laa yanfa’.” The scholars have noted that this meant he sought refuge from knowledge with no benefit and knowledge he would not act upon.

So the reality of knowledge is that it leads us to having Khashyah before Allah, and that it leads a person to what will benefit him/her. We should not call those who don’t act on the tons they have memorized knowledgeable, even if in the eyes of many they are considered shuyookh and ‘alaamahs.

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