The Inheritance Of The Prophets, By Ibn Al-Qayyim
The Prophet (saw) said:
“… Indeed the scholars are the inheritors of the prophets, for the prophets do not leave behind a deenaar or a dirham for inheritance, but rather they leave behind knowledge. So whoever takes hold of it has acquired a large share (of inheritance).” [Ahmad, Aboo Daawood and others]
Ibn Al-Qayyim said concerning this hadeeth:
“This is from the greatest virtues of the scholars, since the Prophets are the best of Allaah’s creation. So this means that their inheritors are the best of creation after them. (This is proven by the fact that) everyone that leaves behind inheritance has his property transfered over to his heirs, since they are the ones who will take his place after him. There is no one that will take the place of the messengers, in spreading what they were sent with after them, except the scholars. Therefore they are the ones who have the most right to receive their inheritance.
This indicates that the scholars are the closest people to the prophets, since inheritance is only passed down to those closest to the one leaving behind inheritance. So just as this is established when talking about monetary inheritance, likewise it applies to the prophetic inheritance…
[Additional benefit From The Hadeeth]
This hadeeth also contains guidance for the Ummah to obey them, respect them, have esteem for them, and honor them, since they are inheritors and successors of those who possess these rights over the Ummah (i.e. the prophets).
This hadeeth also indicates that loving them is from the religion, while hating them contradicts the religion, as is the case with those whom they are inheriting from (i.e. the prophets).
Likewise, holding enmity for them and waging war against them is the same as holding enmity and waging war against them is the same as enmity and waging war with Allaah, as is the case with those whom they are inheriting from (i.e. the prophets).
‘Alee said, ‘Loving the scholars is the religion one worships Allaah with.‘
The Prophet (saw) reported from his Lord, that He said: “Whoever makes enmity with a friend of Mine, then he has declared war against Me.” The inheritors of the prophets are the most noble and foremost of Allaah’s friends (i.e. allies). [Bukhaaree] “
[Miftaah Daar As-Sa’aadah, 1/261-262]