Sayyid Muhammad ibn Alawi al Maliki

on the Hadith :

"The Ulema are the heirs of the Prophets "

( From a radio interview during his visit to South Africa in 1997.)



What this hadith means is that the Prohets of Allah did not leave behind wealth or possessions , but they left

behind Knowledge. Just like the person who dies leave heirs i.e. sons , daughters , wives , etc.


As for the Prophets , their heirs are the Ahlil Ilm - the people of Knowledge. And their shares are in accordance

with their following of the teachings of the Prophets. As is the case with the heirs of a deceased person - those

who stand in closer relation to such person inherit a greater share. Similar is the case with the Ulema : those

who follows more stringently and loves the Prophet more dearly will earn a greater share of the



In other hadiths it is clarified that this inheritance does not refer to possessions but rather to Knowledge - the

Quran , the Sunna and Ahlaaq. It includes everything that is part of the Shariah.


Abu Hurayrah ( may Allah be pleased with him ) , known as the ‘hafith of the Sahabah’ , narrated that he once

visited the market-place where he found people engaged in the usual trading.

He then told them : " You are here trading while people are distributing the inheritance of the Prophet (peace be

upon him ). " Where is this happening ? " they asked excitedly as they were eager to acquire a relic of the

Prophet ( s.a.w.) for themselves. " In the masjid ." Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) replied.


So all of them rushed to the masjid but found none of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) possessions there.

They asked the companion " Why do you say the inheritance is being distributed when none is to be found ?"

" What did you find there ? " Abu Hurayrah (r.a) asked . " We found people in circles studying Quran and

Hadith. "

" That is the inheritance ." Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) replied.


And Allah knows best.


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