Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
What is the criteria for a Muslim to be called an 'alim? Is it possible to call someone an 'alim if there is public munkar and they do not enjoin ma'roof and forbid munkar? What should be the attitude of Muslims to those ulema who are employed by or have close relationships with governments and give fatawa which legitimize the killing of Muslims, alliance with the kuffar or the ruling by non- Islam?
1. A scholar is someone other recognized scholars accept as being a scholar because of their learning, and acting on this knowledge.
2. There are situations where one may remain silent to certain evils because of given circumstances. [See Related Q & A]
3. Throughout history, the righteous scholars of the Sunni way have cautioned against becoming too close with unrighteous rulers. At the same time, sometimes the greater good entails that some scholars deal with even unjust or oppressive rulers in order to lessen their injustice or oppression, if only in limited ways. It is a question of lessening harm to the extent possible and trying to achieve any limited benefits for Muslims and society at large.
4. How do we know which scholars are in the right? We should ask our teachers and reliable scholars.
And Allah alone gives success.
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