It is obvious that Islam and man’s collective responsibility demands that every individual should be serious in facing what is going on all around him. He must also prepare himself courageously for reforming the society he lives in. It should not be so that if now he become inactive and retire from public life.
Yes, every Muslim is a responsible for defending the Islamic way of life. He must try his best for spreading justice. He should remove all the hindrances from the path leading to Islamic aims and objects.
Obviously all of us are responsible regarding one another. If we see that somebody has strayed away from law and order we must try to guide him. In case we are not able to change his wrongful course we should keep ourselves away from him and make the matter known to the society so that society may not be drawn into corruption. The following narrations explain the individuals duty:
1 – Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: When you notice that a learned man Aalim has indulged in the material worlds consider him a criminal against religion and do not trust or rely on him because every lover goes round the thing he loves.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: God Almighty revealed to Dawood (a.s.): Do not make a worldly scholar a mediator between Me and you; that he may prevent you from loving Me because they are robbers lurking on My path. The least that I do about them is that I take back the sweetness of prayers from their hearts.
2 – It is reported from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.): So long as they are not inclined toward the material world, the religious scholars and jurisprudents are trustees of the Prophet. Being asked what inclination towards world meant, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied, Obedience to a ruler. So beware of them in the matter of your religion when they begin to obey a ruler.
These traditions do not even contradict the narrations like Al Hikmat…??? or Al Hikmatu…… because the intention of these sayings is that man must take up good words even if the sayer is a hypocrite. But the former tradition tells us that we must not trust the Ulama who are undeserving and hence they must not be made out leaders or teachers in spiritual matters.
It is for the same reason that the Imam (a.s.), concerning the verse Falyanzur…??? says: Man must see what he eats, that is, from whom he is learning.
Some other narration says: See from whom you are getting your knowledge.
The serious danger of issuing Fatwa without knowledge
One of the duties of the wise and the learned is that he should not give an opinion regarding something he is ignorant of and must not make himself guilty of issuing a Fatwa without knowledge. If he does, the following narrations will apply to him:
1 -The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: The angels on the earth and in the sky curse the one who issues Fatwa or opinion without knowledge.
2 -Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: Verily it is the meaning of faith that you must hold truth above untruth even if it harms you and that your words should not exceed your knowledge.
3- Imam Sadiq (a.s.) also said: One who rushes to reply all the queries is a mad man.
That is, it is not possible for an individual to reply every question in every respect. Doing so shows that he has no wisdom.
4 -Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) says: When a learned man is asked about a thing which he does not know he must not feel ashamed to say that he doesn’t know.
Despite all these traditions it is observed that some people are so proud that they try to answer every question. They give opinion about everything. Often they are not satisfied about its correctness. Sometimes they even rush to speak in the gatherings of experts who are well versed in given matters.
It must be mentioned here that our religious leaders were not like that. Not only that, they even refrained from giving verdicts and were not prepared to make their neck a stepping stone for people.
They were true followers of this saying of Imam Sadiq (a.s.): And flee from issuing verdicts just as you run away from a tiger and do not make your head a ladder for people.