بسم الله الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله
Shaykh Salih al-Fawzan حفظه الله تعالى was asked:
Question: Is it sufficient for those who want to teach Islam to people, to have a degree from a university; or must he have a tazkiyah from a scholar as well?
Answer: “He must have knowledge. Everyone who graduates with a degree doesn’t become a person of knowledge. What’s required is to have knowledge and understanding of Allah’s religion. Degrees don’t prove that a person has knowledge. Sometimes the most ignorant of people possess degrees. And at other times there are people without degrees, who are the most knowledgeable of people.
Did Shaykh ibn Baz, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraheem or Shaykh ibn Humayd have degrees? Despite the fact they didn’t have degrees they were among the most knowledgeable people of their era. The issue is based on the fact that a person has knowledge and understanding of Islam, not his degree or his tazkiyah. The reality of a person’s affair can become known when an issue, problem or calamity arises. When such events take place it becomes clear who is a person on knowledge, a person posing to have knowledge or an ignorant person.”
Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen رحمه الله تعالى said in his comments on Ibn Taymiyyah’s book, “Siyasat ash-Shar’iyyah” – in the second chapter regarding the Ameer appointing the most qualified (for a specific task) then those who follow him in qualification:
“So if he (the Ameer) employs a person who has the qualification of a Ph.D; for example he had a Ph.D in fiqh and then he appointed him as a judge and it becomes clear that he does not have the fiqh that qualifies him for this position, then we say: this level of qualification he has, which he may have even gotten through cheating and deceit does not justify that he stay in the position of judging amongst the people at all. Rather, he should be removed.
Furthermore, the positions obtained because of present day degrees are not the only thing in which we judge an individual. How many of the people do not have this degree, and if they are compared to the one who has a degree, (the one with the degree) could not fill his shoes. And the carrier of this degree would be incapable to match the one who does not have a degree. However, he (the one without the degree) is very good in fiqh and this is something witnessed. So all in all, it is obligatory that we give positions to those who are capable with its true meaning, not just by having worldly degrees.”
[Refer to “At-Ta’leeq ‘ala Siyasat ash-Shar’iyyah“, p. 40 – of Ibn al-‘Uthaymeen]
And Allaah knows best.