High Status of Ulema in Islam 

1 Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) said: Allah The Sublime has termed casting a look at the houses of Ulema as "Ibadah". (Uddatud Da'ee)

2. Whenever you go to an Aalim (learned man) and there are people along side him. Say salam to all but specially to the aalim with respect. (Kafi)

3. Hazrat Imam Jafer sadiq (AS) said that an aalim (learned man) is supreme than one thousand worshippers and devotees. And an aalim from whose knowledge people get advantage is supreme than the worship of 70, 000 worshippers. (kalma e Tayyabah)

4. Hazrat Imam Jafer Sadiq (AS) said Allah would weigh the ink of the pen of ulema (learned man) with the blood of martyrs on the Day of Judgment. The ink of the pen of ulema will overcome the blood of martyrs. (kalma e Tayyabah)

5. Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) said that sitting of an aalim on his bed with his pillow and deliberation in ilm (knowledge) is better than 70-year worship of a worshipper. (kalma e Tayyabah)

6. Hazrat Imam Muhammad Baqir (AS) said that the example of an aalim is that of a candle, which light is beneficial for people and when a man sees this candle prays for it. Aalim removes darkness as candle does. So a man who gets salvation from darkness due to this light he is free of hell and Allah grants to that aalim in turn for that freed body reward which is supreme than 1,000 rakat prayer performed in Ka'aba. (Beharul Anwaar)

7. Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) said that supremacy of an aalim (learned man) over an aabid (worshipper) is like that of sun over stars. And supremacy of a worshipper over others is like that of moon over stars. (kalma e Tayyabah)

8. Aaimmah (AS) said that ziarat of ulema is favourite in the sight of Allah than 70 circumambulation of Holy Ka'aba and is better than 70 accepted hajj and umrah. Allah elevates 70 grades for him and showers his mercy upon him and angles give evidence that paradise is obligatory upon him. (Iddatud Da'ee)

9. Hazrat Imam Moosa Kazim (AS) said if it is not possible to visit our graves then visit virtuous momneen (ulma e Haqqa) - (it means he will have the same reward as if he visits Masumeen (AS)'s Holy graves).

10. Hazrat Ameerul Momeneen (Ali yibne Abi Talib (AS)) said to make a look at an aalim is dearer to Allah than one year of etakaf e Baitullah (retirement to Ka'aba for continued prayer). (Iddatud Da'ee)

11. It is reported from Hazrat Ameerul Momeneen (Ali yibne Abi Talib (AS)) that Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) said an Aalim (learned man) has such supremacy over an Abid (worshipper) as the moon of 14th night has over all stars. (Irshad, Sheikh Mofid)

12. Aimmah (AS) said a momin who sits close to an aalim for a moment, Allah says 'By my honour, dignity and glory I will surely seat him (momin) with aalim (learned man) in paradise'. (Amaali)

13. Hazrat Ameeral Momeneen (AS) said sitting with ulma (learned men) for a moment is dearer to Allah than the worship of 1,000 years. (Iddatud Da'ee)

14. The author of Kalma e Tayyabah says example of an aalim is that of a scent seller. At the time of meeting scent seller, a man's mind is scented with the fragrance of scent even if he does not buy it. Likewise meeting with an aalim gives benefit. Therefore a hadith says that to cast a look at an aalim's face is ibadat. (Kalma e Tayyabah)

15. Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) said to have a look at the face of an aalim (learned man) is dearer to Allah than 60 years of worship. (Jame ul Akhbar)

16. Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) said that if an aalim (learned man) and a student enter a village or city of Muslims and drink milk from there, Allah due to his blessing raises the torment from Ahle Qaboor (people in graves) of that village or city for 40 days. (Kalma e Tayyabah)

17. Hazrat Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS) said one rakat of an aalim faqih is supreme than 70,000 rakaat of a worshipper. (Kalma e Tayyabah)

18. Aimmah (AS) said the sleep of an aalim (learned man) is worship. (Jamalus Salehin)

19. Aimmah (AS) said angels love ulama, and pray for them, and all creatures (as well) even the fish in rivers and animals in deserts ask forgiveness for aalim (learned man). (Jamalus Salehin)

20. Hazrat Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS) said the status of an aalim is as higher than a worshipper as traveling of 500 years. (Kalma e Tayyabah)

21. Fazil Syyed Mohammad Baqir Bin Sharif Hussaini Isfahani who was from among ulama of the period of Nadir Shah, reports in Book Noor Al-Oyoon that an aalim went to Sultan Ameer Ismail Samani, Sultan of Khurasan, for some important matter. The sultan paid much respect to the aalim and he went with him for seven steps at the time of aalim's departure. In the night, the sultan saw Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) in his dream saying that you have respected one aalim from my ummah so I prayed from Allah Almighty to keep you honoured in the world. And you went with him for seven steps so this sultanate would remain in your progeny for seven generations. (Kalma e Tayyabah)

22. Imam (AS) says aalim (learned man) among ignorant is as alive among dead. (Kalma e Tayyabah)

23. Hazrat Imam Zainul Abidin (AS) said that presence of a discerning man in religion is tougher on Satan as compared to one thousand worshippers. (Kalma e Tayyabah)

24. Holy prophet (PBUH&HP) said the supremacy of an aalim is 70 steps high than a worshipper and among every step is the expanse of one year. Because Satan causes innovation in people while aalim removes it and the worshipper remains busy in his worship. (Maniyatul Morid Shahid Sani)

25. Holy prophet (PBUH&HP) said the supremacy of an aalim (learned man) over an abid (worshipper) is like mine over lowest man from among you. Allah, angels, residents of heavens and earth even ants in their holes and fish in rivers invoke blessings upon the man who teaches people aml e khair (good deed). (Kalma e Tayyabah)

26. Aimmah (AS) said Allah The Sublime revealed upon prophet Daniyal (AS) that the ignorant from among the persons who invited My (Allah) wrath is that who considers the right of learned men less and does not follow them. And that person is nearer to me from among dearest persons who is pious and seeker of thawab, and the follower of ulama. (Maniyatul Morid)

27. Aimmah (AS) said that to offer prayer after an aalim in some place other than mosque is equal to 1,000 rakat while to offer prayer after him in Jamia Mosque is equal to one lakh rakat. (Maniyatul Morid)

28. Aimmah (AS) said that aalim is he whose act certifies his words, and who does not act so he is not an aalim.

This hadith tells that an aalim cannot be with abundance of knowledge unless he acts upon it. Aalim is he who avoid sins and leads his life in piety, abstinence and obedience of Allah, and prefers hereafter upon this world, always says truth and avoids false. Lace himself with good qualities and off himself from evils. As much as knowledge he possesses more humbleness should be in him. Therefore, one day Hazrat Christ (AS) said to his Hawariyyin that he want from them something. They said O Ruhullah we accept what you want. So Hazrat Christ washed their feet and another hadith says that Hazrat Christ also kissed. Hawariyyin said that the act done by you was the act, which we must do. Hazrat Christ (AS) said only ulma e din deserve the service and entertainment, and what I did was an act to tell you that to what extent hospitality be shown. (Jamalus Salehin)

29. Aimmah (AS) said that when an aalim (learned man) dies, at that time angels, all those places where he worshipped and the doors of heavens where his deeds were sent, all cry for him and there a crack created in religion that no one has its remedy.

30. Aimmah (AS) said that 70 sins of ignorant are forgiven then Aalim (learned man)'s one sin is pardoned. (Jamalus Salehin)

31. Holy prophet (pbuh&hp) said that a man who sits with an aalim for a while a call is made to him from Allah that you sit to my beloved. By My honour I will enter you in paradise with him. (Amaali)

32. Holy prophet (pbuh&hp) said that sitting in the company of an Aalim is supreme than going with one thousand funerals, visiting one thousands patients, offering one thousand namaz e shab, keeping fasts for one thousand days, giving one thousand dirham in alms, performing one thousand hajj and one thousand jehad. (Rozatul waizeen)

33. Hazrat Ali (AS) said he who sits in the company of ulama (learned men), he will be honoured. (Darus Salam)

34 .The worth of the scholars during the occultation has been emphasized in a beautiful tradition that has reached us from the 10th Imam, Muhammad b. ‘Ali al-Hadi:

 لَوْ لاٌ مَنْ يَبْقى بَعْدَ غَيْبَةِ قَائِمِكُمْ مِنَ الْعُلَمَآءِ الدَّاعِـينَ إِلَيْهِ وَ الدَّالِّينَ عَلَيْهِ وَ الذَّابِّـينَ عَنْ دِيـنِهِ بِحُجَجِ اللٌّهِ وَ الْمُنْقِذِينَ لِضُعَفَاءِ عِبَادِ اللٌّهِ مِنْ شُبَّاكِ إِبْلِيسَ وَ مَرَدَتِهِ وَ مِنْ فَخَاخِ الْنَّوَاصِبِ لَمَا بَقِيَ أَحَدٌ إِلاٌّ ارْتَدَّ عَنْ دِينِ اللٌّهِ وَ لٌكِنَّهُمُ الَّذِينَ يُمْسِكُونَ أَزِمَّةَ قُـلُوبِ ضُعَفَاءِ الشِّيْعَةِ كَمَا يُمْسِكُ صَاحِبُ السَّفِينَةِ سُكَّانَهَا. أُوْلٌئِكَ هُمُ الأَفْضَلُونَ عِنْدَ اللٌّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ.

 “If there were not to remain after the occultation of your Qa’im from among the scholars, a person from among the proofs of Allah who would call (others) towards him (the Imam); represent him (the Imam); defend his (the Imam’s) religion; grant safety to the downtrodden servants of Allah from the evils of Iblis and the wickedness of the enemies (of the Ahlul Bayt), then there would not remain a single person (on Earth) except that he would have left the religion of Allah.  But rather, these people (the ‘Ulama) take it upon themselves to be the protectors of the hearts of our downtrodden Shi’a, just as the captain of a boat takes control of the lives and safety of those on his ship.  Thus, these (the ‘Ulama) are the people who are the best in the sight of Allah, the Noble and Great.”[1] 

[1]Biharul Anwar, Volume 2, Page 6, Section 8, hadith 12




Imam as-Sadiq (as) has said, "The kings are rulers of the people and the 'Ulama are the rulers of the kings". (Meezan al-Hikmah)


There is no doubt that the true and the virtuous 'Ulama have always enjoyed greater status then all the kings and rulers put together. History has shown that

the kings and the rulers of the world have always bowed down in respect before the 'Ulama Or they have used ways and means to either isolate them from the society or eliminate them because they considered them as threats.


"Say (O Muhammad): Can those who know and those who do not know be equal? Verily only the men of understanding take the heed". (39:9)




It is related that:

[ There was a great Shia'h Scholar in the days of our 10th Imam (as). Once a Nasibi (a person who curses the Ahlul-Bayt) had a debate with this scholar and the scholar defeated him through Quranic verses and Prophetic traditions. One day this scholar came into a gathering, which consisted mostly of Alavids and people of Banu Hashim; and Imam Al-Hadi (as) was also present. In the centre of that gathering, Imam (as) was seated and there was a huge pillow placed at that spot. As soon as the Imam (as) saw this scholar, he (as) rose from his place and asked the scholar to come forward until the Imam (as) made him sit next to him and offered him the pillow to relax. One old man from Banu Hashim did not like this, so he complained saying, "O Son of the Prophet! How can you give preference to an ordinary person over a Sayyid who belongs to the progeny of Abu Talib and Abbas?" When our Imam (as) heard this, he (as) was extremely furious with the old man and started quoting verses from the Holy Quran to prove the supremacy of a scholar over everyone else.


Imam (as) asked the people present there: "Do you believe the commands of Allah in the Quran?" They all said, "Yes!" Then the Imam (as) said, "Hasn't Allah (SWT) said: "Allah will raise those who have faith and those who have been given knowledge in rank…" (58:11). Then know that just as Allah loves a Mumin over a non-Mumin, similarly, He loves a Mumin with knowledge over a Mumin without knowledge. (Now tell me) Hasn't Allah (SWT) also said, "Say (O Muhammad): Can those who know and those who do not know be equal? Verily only the men of understanding take the heed". (39:9) Then why are you people trying to stop me from giving preference to one who has been preferred by Allah (SWT)?? This Scholar has utilized his knowledge, which Allah (SWT) has blessed him and defeated our enemy with it. This act is better than any family ties and relation in my eyes". ] (Al-Ihtijaaj)


The Holy Prophet (saww) has said, "The superiority of a Scholar over others is like the superiority of a Prophet over his nation". (Kanzul-'Ummaal)


He (saww) has also said, "The –Religious- Scholars are the trustees of Allah upon His –entire- creation". (Kanzul-'Ummaal)





Our duties towards our 'Ulama are: We must accord them with maximum respect; Follow their guidance as required; Not to challenge them with our ignorance; Love them and never show hostility towards them


The Holy Prophet (saww) has said, "Beware! Never belie a Scholar, and do not come in confrontation against him, do not be hostile towards him and love him. For verily their love is the sign of sincerity and hostility to them is the sign of hypocrisy. Beware! Do not insult a Scholar. Whoever insults him insults me and whoever insults me insults Allah and whoever insults Allah then his path is to Hellfire. Whoever honours a Scholar, honours me. And whoever honours me, honours Allah. And whoever honours Allah then his path is towards Paradise ". (Gunahaane-e-Kabeera)




Imam Ja'ffar as-Sadiq (as) was the most knowledgeable person of his time. Despite this, the people who studied under him and became virtuous Scholars, Imam (as) accorded them with maxim respect and supported them in different ways.


Abu Hamza Thumali was a companion as well as a devotee of our Imam (as). Infact he had the honour of being with 4 Imams (as) during his lifetime. This companion was also regarded as a Scholar of a very high calibre. Imam Ja'ffar as-Sadiq (as) used to say: "I feel mental tranquillity on seeing him". Imam ar-Ridha (as) said of him, "He was the Salman al-Farsi of his age". (Status of Imam as-Sadiq)


Himraan bin Aayoon. Once a most learned Syrian scholar came to our Imam (as) and a controversy occurred in a matter. Imam (as) ordered Himraan to argue with the Syrian. He managed to do so with such skills that the Syrian was dumbfounded. It is also related that once our Imam (as) was in Hajj when Bukeer, the brother of Himraan came to our Imam (as) and conveyed his brother's salaams to him. Imam (as) said , "Himraan belongs to the people of Paradise and his faith is unshakeable". (Status of Imam as-Sadiq)

Imām Ali ibn Husayn (A.S.) said:

“If only people knew how much reward there is for seeking knowledge, they would have sought it even if they would have had to shed their blood for it or dive in large waves. Allāh the Blessed and Most High revealed to Daniel saying, ‘The most hated among my creatures are the ignorant ones who disrespect the scholars and do not follow them. The Most beloved to Me in My servants are the pious ones who work hard to become entitled for greater rewards, who always stay close to the scholars, follow the fore-bearing people and accept (the advise of) people of wisdom."

 [Reference:  Al Kafi - The Book on Virtue of Knowledge, H 61, Ch. 4, h 5]