Vilification of Ulama is Self-Harm for the Ummah
A PUBLIC STATEMENT
Ulama are the inheritors of the Prophets alayhim-us-salaam. The legacy of the Prophets is that of knowledge. It is part of our outlook to hold Ulama in high esteem, in line with the knowledge they preserve and reproduce through its application, in guiding the Ummah.
Lately, the vile nature of attacks levelled at notable and respectable personalities among our Ulama, at home and abroad, has become abjectly manifest. It is no longer a matter of expressing differences of opinion, but a sustained campaign which invariably is tantamount to slander, character assassination and libel.
Throughout history, there have always been orchestrated and systematic attempts at destroying the relationship that exists between the Ummah and its illustrious Ulama. It is testimony that the enemies of Islam have recognised this relationship as key to the strength of the Ummah. It is therefore sad that others, by undermining and attacking Ulama, have positioned themselves in roles that are in stark contrast from the ways and methods of our pious predecessors.
Ulama whom the Ummah looks up to, become anchors of faith and a source of inspiration. They are our role models. To wantonly disparage, malign and vilify the person of an Aalim, and not apply civility in debates that are based on opinions, erodes the respect of the fraternity and has the potential of adversely affecting the confidence sections of the Ummah have for Ulama. As a matter of consequence, there are already signs that such respect is giving way to growing apathy towards Ulama.
Differences of opinion among scholars represent the blessings of ease in the Deen that the Almighty has given to the Ummah. Where Ulama give opinions, using their noble knowledge, under specific circumstances the Ummah finds itself in, they do not become ‘deviants’ leading droves out of the fold of Islam. Rather, they remain guard-rails on the boundaries of the domain within which the Ummah remains on the Straight Path. Even when or where they err in their rulings, Ulama earn a Divine reward for their sincere effort.
The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa rejects all attempts at defaming and ridiculing honourable and esteemed Ulama. We know nothing other than their good intentions and noble deeds. That is enough for a believer. Instilling doubts among the members of the Ummah about Ulama, in a manner that only invites indignities upon our communities, emboldens none other than those with Islamophobic schemes.
We appeal to the Ummah to continue honouring Ulama for the nobility of the knowledge they possess. May the Almighty help the Ummah to remain united behind the guidance of our Ulama, and not cause divisions that will only attract the hardship of misguidance. Aameen.
The Executive Committee
Jamiatul Ulama South Africa
23 Rabi al Thaani 1442/ 09 December 2020