Sifaat (characteristics) of the scholars - by shaykh al-Ghudayan (Rahimuhullah)
Their memorisation of the Quran and the sunnah. They have the fiqh (understanding) of the sahaba (radiAllahu anhum) and have ilm of the texts. They follow the Quran and Sunnah and recognise the status of the sahaba (radiAllahu anhum). They stop wherever the evidence stops so they leave their own opinions. They arent hasty in giving fatawaa and they would rather let another shaykh give it. They convey the ilm and teach it. They practise the ilm that they know. If they dont know an answer to a ruling then they keep quiet. They have concern for the ilm of the Quran wa sunnah. They stand in defense of the deen. They are constantly learning the deen.
Sticking to the scholars [dars by Abu Owais (rahimahullah)]
The shaykh is the one who is elder, he has ilm and maturity.( being elder is normally the case but its not a condition though). Abdullah ibn masood (radiAllahu anhu) said: people will always be in good if they take ilm from the elders or who are the trustworthy but if they took it from the youth, they will be destroyed. The elderly are more experienced and dont rush into issues. They look at the harms and benefits and desires doesnt overtake the ilm. Imaam Ibn sireen (rahimahullah) who was from the earlier salaf said: this ilm is a matter of the deen so look to where u take ur ilm from. We should take ilm from the alim who is chaste and has good akhlaq (manners). Imaam ibn rajab (rahimahullah) who was also from the earlier salaf said: we have been tested with ignorant people, they think that if u talk alot, they think they are more knowledgable than the fuqahaa. Look at Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu), he had fewer narrations of ahadith than the other sahaba, yet he was the most knowledgable out of the sahaba (radiAllahu anhum). Abdullah ibn masood (radiAllahu anhu) said: those whose ilm is alot and his speech is little, then he is praiseworthy and those who are opposite are blameworthy. The scholars are known for- Allah said, His messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) said, sahaba said. The salaf have words that are few but have alot of meaning. If the older scholars give the younger scholars tazkiyah (approval) then its ok to take ilm from the younger mashayikh too inshaAllah. The scholars know the differences that were between the first 3 generations. The scholars have statements of the salaf us salih (pious predecessors) and know their differences. (differences here means in some fiqh issues and not in aqeedah and manhaj (methodology) coz they were all upon 1 aqeedah and 1 manhaj). Many of the shabab (youth) dont connect the people to the true mashayikh (scholars). Allah said: those who truly fear Allah are the scholars