Shaykh Ahmad an-Najjār
WHEN IS A PERSON DEEMED A ‘SCHOLAR’
This expression (i.e. a ‘scholar’) has become shamed in these times and has been applied to those who are not scholars. This has led to people becoming attached to people who are not actually scholars and to people issuing rulings based on the claim that a person is ‘a scholar’, leading to tribulations and so forth as the person is not actually a scholar. As a result, it is binding to understand who is indeed a ‘scholar’ so that the term can be applied to its due people. My beloved brothers a ‘scholar’ is the one who has ascertained the following characteristics:
One: that he follows the Book and Sunnah
Two: that his accuracies are more than his errors
Three: that his knowledge encompasses evidences, Dalālāt ul-Alfādh [textual indications], the Nāsikh and Mansūkh, the Saheeh and the Da’eef, the Maqāsid, the Qawā’id and so forth.
Four: that he is well-versed on issues related to Ijmā’ and Khilāf.
Al-Hākim an-Naysabūrī stated:
Ahmad bin Hanbal and Ishāq bin Rahawayh said: if a scholar does not know the saheeh [i.e. the accurate and sound] from the saqeem [i.e. the inaccurate and inauthentic], the Nāsikh [abrogating] from the Mansūkh [abrogated] from the hadeeth, then the person is not to be deemed as a ‘scholar’.
Ibn ’AbdulBarr (rahimahullāh) relayed from Sa’eed bin Abī ’Urūbah that he said: “Whoever has not heard Ikhtilāf is not to be deemed as a scholar.”
Ahmad Muhammad as-Sādiq an-Najjār
courtousy of Brixtonmasjid.co.uk
 Dated 25 July 2015/10th Shawwāl 1436 AH.