Question: May Allaah treat you well and may He bless you.  The questioner says: Our condolences as it relates to the ‘Allaamah Shaykh Zayd ibn Muhammad ibn Haadee Al-Madkhalee, may Allaah have mercy upon him. We would like from you an advice regarding the stance of the student of knowledge as it relates to the death of the scholars; i.e., the scholars of the Sunnah, may Allaah preserve you.

Answer: Firstly, we say: All the praise is for Allaah for His Decree and Preordainment; to Him belongs that which He gives and that which He takes away. For just as the Entire Dominion belongs to Him—the Glorified and High—the entire command belongs to Him as well.

Secondly: It is not a strange thing that the scholars die in every time and place. This is because, firstly, the greatest calamity with which the Muslims were afflicted was the death of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam); then the departing of his companions after him; then the departing of the Imaams. Secondly, because the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) informed about this in that which was authentically narrated from his Hadeeth; from the Hadeeth of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr, may Allaah be pleased with him:

“Indeed Allaah does not seize the knowledge by snatching it away. Rather, He seizes it by taking away the scholars, until there does not remain a scholar and the people will take the ignorant as leaders. They will be asked and they will give verdicts without knowledge. They will go astray and lead others astray.”

This Hadeeth, from another perspective, makes it obligatory to turn to and cling to those who remain from the scholars upon the Sunnah and to take from them, to revere and respect them. It likewise makes obligatory to supplicate for those who passed away upon the Sunnah that Allaah forgives them, has mercy upon them and rewards them on behalf of Islaam and the Sunnah, with the most abundant reward.

Question: May Allaah treat you well, and may Allaah bless you. The statement of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam):

“Indeed Allaah does not seize the knowledge by snatching it away from the servants. Rather, He seizes it by taking away the scholars, until there does not remain a scholar…(to the end of the Hadeeth)

And his (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) statement:

“There will not cease to be a group from my Ummah victorious upon the truth. They will not be harms by those who oppose them nor by those who forsake them, until the command of Allaah comes while they are upon that.”

Is the meaning of this, may Allaah preserve you, that this group will have no scholars amongst them?

Answer: They will have knowledge. They will have knowledge. Those who remain; the group which remains—which is the victorious and eminent group—its explanation bears two interpretations. It is interpreted to be that they are the scholars with which the proof is established; until the command of Allaah, the Blessed and High, comes as the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) informed. As it relates to this “command of Allaah,” it is authentically narrated from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) that it is a wind which will blow from the east its feeling is like that of silk and its scent is like that of musk. It will not leave a believing man or woman except that it will take their soul.

It is also interpreted that they will have enough knowledge with which they establish the proof of Allaah against the creation, even if there are no scholars; meaning scholars who reached the level of those who are firmly grounded (in knowledge). Such as the Imaams of the Taabi’een and those after them. Perhaps they will have some knowledge and some has missed them. But they have enough expertise to establish the proof of Allaah against the creation. By way of this, you know that there is no contradiction between the two Hadeeths.

Translated by Raha ibn Donald Batts     

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