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It is also known that people attend the various universities or madaris and after studying for approximately 8 years or so, they graduate and are often given honouary. If all of them were understood to be scholars, it would degrade the station and rank of sacred knowledge achieved by the senior scholars who Allah has described in the Quran as
“Only those fear Allah, from among His servants, who have knowledge. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Forgiving.” (Surah Fatir:28)
The scholars of earlier times who were young in age continued to seek knowledge from other scholars and this continued until they died. The very same senior scholars testified to their rank in ilm. In our times after graduating from a university after 8 years, using the title of Shaikh for someone or anyone who has just reached the age of 30-35 is gross negligence of the sacred knowledge. This is opening the doors to major problems just for the sake of personalities.
We clearly find from this that a scholar, an Alim or the Ulama are recognized to be from amongst the Ulama when other Ulama of their time recgonise, acknowledge and testify to their knowledge. This overwhelmingly excludes the modern day celebs for whom the titles “Shaikhs/Shaykhs” are grossly used for; it most certaintly is a practice that has to be seriously abolished. This grand title only belongs to the real, major and established scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah.
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