Revering the Scholars and Elders, Preferring them to others and raisingtheir Status

Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-Saliheen
Chapter 44
Revering the Scholars and Elders, Preferring them to others and raising their
Status

Allah, the Exalted, says:

“Say: `Are those who know equal to those who know not?’ It is only men of understanding who will remember (i.e., get a lesson from Allah’s Signs and Verses).” (39:9)

348. Abu Mas`ud `Uqbah bin `Amr Al-Badri Al-Ansari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The person who is best versed in the recitation of the Book of Allah, should lead the prayer; but if all those present are equally versed in it, then the one who has most knowledge of the Sunnah; if they are equal in that respect too, then the one who has emigrated (to Al-Madinah) first, if they are equal in this respect also, then the oldest of them. No man should lead another in prayer where the latter has authority, or sit in his house, without his permission”.
[Muslim].

 In another narration in Muslim: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “One who is senior most in accepting Islam, should lead the Salat (prayer)”.

Yet another narration is: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “A man who is well versed in the Book of Allah and can recite it better, should lead the Salat (prayer); if (all those present) are equal in this respect, then the man who is senior most in respect of emigration, if they are equal in that respect too, then the oldest of them should lead the prayer”.
[Muslim].

349. Abu Mas`ud Al-Ansari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) would place his hands upon our shoulders when we would form rows for As-Salat (the prayer) and say, “Stand in straight rows and do not differ among yourselves, or else your hearts will differ due to disaccord. Let those be nearest to me who are mature and endowed with understanding (of the religion), then those who are nearest to them in these respects and then those who are nearest to them”.
[Muslim].

350. `Abdullah bin Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Let those be nearest to me in Salat (prayer) who are mature and possess (religious) knowledge, then those who are nearest to them in these respects”. He repeated this three times and then added, “Beware of indulging in the loose talks of the markets (when you are in the mosque)”.
[Muslim].

351. Sahl bin Abu Hathmah Al-Ansari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: `Abdullah bin Sahl and Muhaiyisah bin Mas`ud ¨(May Allah be pleased with them) went to Khaibar during the period of the truce (after its conquest) and they separated to perform their duties. When Muhaiyisah returned to `Abdullah bin Sahl, he found him murdered, drenched in his blood. So he buried him and returned to Al-Madinah. Then `Abdur-Rahman bin Sahl, Huwaiyisah and Muhaiyisah, the two sons of Mas`ud went to Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and spoke about the case of their (murdered) friend. `Abdur-Rahman, who was the youngest of them all, started talking. Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Let those older than you speak first.” So he stopped talking and the (other two) spoke about the case of their (murdered) friend. Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Will you take an oath whereby you will have the right to receive the blood money of your murdered man?” And mentioned the rest of the Hadith.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

352. Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: After the battle of Uhud, the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) arranged the burial of two of the martyrs in one grave. In each case he would ask, “Which one of them had learnt more Qur’an by heart?” Whichever was thus pointed out to him, was placed by him first in the Lahd.
[Al-Bukhari].

353. `Abdullah bin `Umar (May Allah be pleased with tehm) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “It was shown to me in my dream that I was cleaning my teeth with a Miswak and two men came to me, one being older than the other. I gave the Miswak to the younger one, but I was asked to give it to the older, which I did”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

354. Abu Musa (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “It is out of reverence to Allah in respecting an aged Muslim, and the one who commits the Qur’an to memory and does not exaggerate pronouncing its letters nor forgets it after memorizing, and to respect the just ruler”.
[Abu Dawud]

355. `Amr bin Shu`aib (May Allah be pleased with him)on the authority of his father who heard it from his father reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said: “He is not one of us who shows no mercy to younger ones and does not acknowledge the honour due to our elders”.
[At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud].

356. Maimun bin Abu Shabib (May Allah had mercy upon him) reported: A begger asked `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) for charity and she gave him a piece of bread. Thereafter, one well-dressed person asked her for charity and she invited him to sit down and served him food. When she was asked about the reason for the difference in treatment, she said: “Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) instructed us: `Treat people according to their status”.
[Abu Dawud].

357. Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: `Uyainah bin Hisn came to Al-Madinah and stayed with his nephew Al-Hurr bin Qais who was among those who were close to `Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) and had access to his council. The scholarly persons, whether they were old or young, had the privilege of joining his council and he used to consult them. `Uyainah said to Al-Hurr: “My dear nephew, you have an access to the Leader of the Believers. Will you obtain permission for me to sit with him?” Al-Hurr asked `Umar and he accorded permission. When `Uyainah came into the presence of `Umar, he addressed him thus: “O son of Al-Khattab, you neither bestow much on us nor deal with us justly.” `Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) got angry and was about to beat him when Al-Hurr said: “O Leader of the Believers, Allah has said to his Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam): `Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish (i.e., don’t punish them), [i.e., `Uyainah] (7:199). This is one of the ignorant ones.” By Allah! When al-Hurr recited this, `Umar became quite motionless in his seat. He always adhered strictly to the Book of Allah.
[Al-Bukhari]

358. Abu Sa`id Samurah bin Jundub (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I was a boy during the lifetime of Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), and used to commit to my memory what he said, but I do not narrate what I preserved because there were among us people who were older than me.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

359. Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “If a young man honours an older person on account of his age, Allah appoints someone to show reverence to him in his old age”
[At-Tirmidhi].