The Scholars are the Inheritors of the Prophets
Abud-Dardaa (radya-llaahu ‘anhu) reported: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu
‘alayhi wa sallam) say:‘Whoever treads a path due to which he seeks knowledge, Allaah will make him tread one of the paths towards Paradise. And the angels lower their wings out of contentment for the seeker of knowledge. And verily all those in the heavens and in the earth, even the fish in the depths of the sea ask forgiveness for the scholar. And verily, the virtue of the scholar over the worshipper is like the virtue of the moon on the night of Al-Badr over all of the stars. Indeed, the scholars are the inheritors of the prophets, for the prophets do not leave behind a dinar or a dirham for inheritance, but rather, they leave behind knowledge. So whoever takes hold of it, has acquired a large share (i.e. of inheritance).’” (Sahih abi Dawood)
Abu Haatim Ibn Hibbaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “There is a clear explanation in this hadeeth that the scholars, who possess the virtue we mentioned before, are the ones who teach the people the knowledge of the Prophet, apart from all of the other types of knowledge. Did you not see him say: ‘The scholars are the inheritors of the prophets?’ The prophets do not leave behind any inheritance except knowledge, and the knowledge of our Prophet r is his Sunnah. So whoever is deprived of learning it is not from the inheritors of the prophets.” (Al-Ihsaan bi-Taqreeb Saheeh Ibn Hibbaan: (1/295, under no. 88)
This foundation necessitates the implementation of several things, which include:
1. One must have good manners with the scholars
He should not debate with his teacher
He should not ask his teacher too many questions
He should not cause commotions in his gathering
He should praise him when speaking to him and while mentioning him in his absence
He should hold good thoughts for him and his knowledge
He should behave while in his gathering
He should show respect for him in his daily transactions.
This does not mean that the student should not contradict his teacher when a proof that deserves to be followed becomes established to him. It has been narrated from Abu Ayyoob As-Sakhtiyaanee, may Allaah have mercy on him, that he said: “If you want to know the errors of your teacher, then sit with someone else (i.e. another teacher).”
2. Taking knowledge from the shuyookh (teachers) is the basis with regard to seeking knowledge. By doing this, the student takes knowledge from them face to face, and grasps from their manners and behavior. This only applies if the student is a contemporary of those teachers and around during their lifetime! Or he can take from their books and writings, thus reading from them in order to learn and understand, while of course, having good thoughts (for them)!