Thursday, May 19, 2022 AD / Shawwal 18, 1443 AH
Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani
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Question & Answer
 

How can we recognize the most knowledgeable among scholars in an era?

Knowing the most knowledgeable scholar depends on ultimate induction of all scholars and full understanding of their knowledge, which is not possible except for God and therefore, knowing the most knowledgeable scholar is possible only by referring to God or to someone who reports from God; as the children of Israel referred to their prophet, and he introduced Talut as the most knowledgeable and said: ﴿إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَاهُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَزَادَهُ بَسْطَةً فِي الْعِلْمِ وَالْجِسْمِ ۖ[1]; “Indeed God has selected him for you and has extended his knowledge and physical strength”; especially considering that the most knowledgeable person among the scholars is God’s Caliph on earth, and he is not recognized except by a text from the prophet or a sign from God, rather the most knowledgeable of scholars after him also will be recognized only with the same way. In the meanwhile, if someone is really the most knowledgeable, he would be distinguishable from other scholars to the extent that, commonly, it would not be hidden from the wise people, similar to the moon among the stars; to the extent that when they look at him, they will be certain that he is more knowledgeable than other scholars; because his difference with them is as bright as morning dawn in the darkness.

↑[1] . Al-Baqarah/ 247
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Appendices
Sub-questions & answers
Sub-question 1
Author: Masood Taheri
Date: 2015 November 13

Regarding your answer about knowing the most knowledge, I got a question that I would appreciate it if you, as always, explain to me with your explicit and reasoned statement, and that is which you said knowing the most knowledgeable is impossible for anyone other than God on one hand, and on the other hand, you said, it would not commonly be hidden from wise people. How these two are collectible?!

With thanks for the response of you honorable scholars

Answer to
sub-question 1
Date: 2015 November 13

Knowing the most knowledgeable, since it depends on ultimate induction of all scholars, is not possible for wise people, but because the most knowledgeable has a tangible difference with other scholars, then knowing him is commonly possible for them; meaning that they cannot census and compare all the scholars, but if , accidentally, they see the most knowledgeable, they can know him and observe him being the most knowledgeable; since there is a clear difference between his knowledge and other’s knowledge, and such difference is not commonly hidden for such people. Of course, the intention from wise people is the «أولوا الأبصار» who possess the blessing of common sense, not those who God has said about them: ﴿وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لَا يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا[1]; “They have eyes which they do not see with” and has said: ﴿وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْكَ ۚ أَفَأَنْتَ تَهْدِي الْعُمْيَ وَلَوْ كَانُوا لَا يُبْصِرُونَ[2]; “And among them are some who look at you, but can you guide the blind, even though they do not see?!”.

↑[1] . Al-A'raf/ 179
↑[2] . Yunus/ 43
The website for the office of Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani The section for answering questions
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