Who can know better about Islamic issues?

Details of the Question
Dear Sir, I am 32 years old student who loves to seek knowledge about islam and sufisiam, I have a muslim friend who thinks that he has more knowledge in Islam or in any other topic other than me everytime I try to discuss islamic topic with him he clams that I am just a learner and he is a graduate. Please guide me in the light of Quran and Sunnah
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Firstly, it is not permitted to dispute about Islamic issues. During disputes one needs to be silent. If your friend knows better than you, then you can trust his knowledge. Still, you should search and learn about these subjects either from our site or from other trustable Islamic sources.

Even if your friend is well-learned about many topics, of course it is not possible for him to know every topic to great details. One should especially be much cautious about giving information on religious subjects. It is a sign of the perfection of faith to remain silent about the topics we don't know for sure.

Ahmed b. Hanbel (death 241, of Hegira,/855 AD) says that for a person to be a 'mufti' (religious authority) he must possess the following five qualities:

a) having a benign intention and aiming only at Allah's acceptance. For malign intention also makes thinking malign,
b) possessing knowledge, prudence, dignity and seriousness,
c) being sure of oneself and one's knowledge,
d) getting the community to accept his authority,
e) knowing people as individuals and as a community.

As is understood by these conditions, the religious authority should take the psychological state of the one who asks for a religious decree into account, should be respectable in the eyes of the public, should be discreet, and should be capable of comprehending the effects of the religious decree that he gives on the individual and the public. (Muhammad Abu Zahra, Islam Hukuk Metodolojisi, Trans. Abdülkadir Şener, Ankara 1973, p.391 et al.)

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