The Contibutions from Ulama
My most honourable congregation of Muslims,
There is only one God and Muhammad is His Messenger. So let us, my brothers, increase our Taqwa to Allah s.w.t. Let us obey Him. Let us avoid things that He has forbidden. Let us strengthen our faith in Him. Let us devote our lives to Him. Let us do all that we can to strengthen Islam. Let us do all that we can, to protect Islam. Let us do all that we can, to see to it, that Islam will stand strong. That we may all belong to the group of Believers who are successful in this world and in the akhirat.
My brothers all,
There are two kinds of Man - the leader and the one who is led. The Leader and the Follower. The leader has an important role to play. He has to make sure that he will bring his followers to success. The follower must also play a role. He has to be loyal to his leader. He has to obey his leader. He has to obey his leader, so long as his leader brings him towards goodness. So long as his leader leads to him to a direction that does not go against Islam.
There are several kinds of leaders. There are political leaders. There are organisational leaders. There are Religious Leaders. These leaders in religion are the ones who are called the Ulama or asatizah. They are required to lead the ummah to the path of Truth. They are to lead the ummah to the path of Allah. There are no other prophets or Messengers to come after our Messenger Muhammad s.a.w. There is no truer religion than Islam. Therefore, who then can ensure that Islam continues to be strong? Who then can ensure that the Muslims will continue to be guided to the Truth?
They are the Ulama.
This is why, the Prophet s.a.w. had characterised the Ulama as the inheritors of prophethood. They inherit the tasks of the prophets and Messengers. They ensure that mankind will continue to worship Allah s.w.t. And they ensure that Islam will continue to be practiced and that the faith in Islam is maintained and strengthened. The Messenger of Allah had said:
Meaning : The Ulama are the heirs of the prophets.
We are obliged to be loyal to our Ulama in matters of religion. In fact we are required to listen to them on matters of religion. Let us not let our own shallow understanding of religion blame the Ulama. Let us not let our own lack of knowledge of Islam accuse or wrongfully criticise the Ulama. Indeed, it is wrong to insult or belittle the Ulama. The ulama are the heirs of the Messenger. To insult or belittle them is like insulting or belittle the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
My dear blessed congregation,
To each person is his place. To each person is his area of responsibility. Let us imagine the world without a single asatizah or ulama. Who then can tell us what is halal and what is haram in Islam? When we have strayed far from Islam, who then is there to pull us back towards our religion? Who can then remind or correct us when we become to engrossed in the affairs of this world? Who else will ensure that the future generations will continue to read and understand the Quran?
Remember what Allah has determined for us. That - should there be no one person who fulfills the task of amar ma’ruf nahi munkar, then, for certain, the punishment of Allah will will fall upon that ummah.
To arrest disobedience and to promote goodness, the Muslim community need experts in the field of religion. Who are these experts? Not the doctors. Not the businessmen. Not the politicians. But the Ulamas. The Ulamas are the ones to save the faith of the Muslim community. They are the ones to save mankind.
And to produce an ulama is not an easy task. They cannot be produced instantly. They have to be instilled with Islamic education -intensively - whilst still a child. They need to be nurtured in an Islamic teaching environment from young. When we look at how the Ulamas were raised in the past, we will find that from as young as six or seven years old, they have already started to read and memorise the Quran. They have been exposed to the knowledge of Islam since they were children. This is because the best time to train and educate a person is when he is a child. What is taught and instilled in a child will remain with him till adulthood. There is an Arabic saying that goes like this:
“Learning when you are young is like engraving on stone. Learning when you are older is like writing on water.”
As such, Islam has always stressed the importance of beginning education at a young age. Its true that a person can also learn Islam and be an ulama if he starts learning when he is older. But is the one who has been exposed and instilled with Islamic knowledge from young different from that who has just learnt Islam when he is an adult? The percentage of persons who have studied Islam as an adult and have continued to become a religious leader is very rare and very few. The larger number of ulamas are those who have been trained from young.
It is compulsory that Muslims produce Ulamas. This is a command from Allah s.w.t. in surah At-Taubah, verse 122:
Meaning : And it is not compulsory for every Muslim to go to war. There has to be a group of them who devote themselves to study the religion so that they can remind those who return to be careful of committing sins.
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