The Status of Ulama
The Holy Prophet (saww) has said, "The superiority of a Scholar over others is like the superiority of a Prophet over his nation". (Kanzul-'Ummaal)
He (saww) has also said, "The –Religious- Scholars are the trustees of Allah upon His –entire- creation". (Kanzul-'Ummaal)
Our Duties towards Ulama
Our duties towards our 'Ulama are: We must accord them with maximum respect; Follow their guidance as required; Not to challenge them with our ignorance; Love them and never show hostility towards them
The Holy Prophet (saww) has said, "Beware! Never belie a Scholar, and do not come in confrontation against him, do not be hostile towards him and love him. For verily their love is the sign of sincerity and hostility to them is the sign of hypocrisy. Beware! Do not insult a Scholar. Whoever insults him insults me and whoever insults me insults Allah and whoever insults Allah then his path is to Hellfire. Whoever honours a Scholar, honours me. And whoever honours me, honours Allah. And whoever honours Allah then his path is towards Paradise ". (Gunahaane-e-Kabeera)
Imam Sadiq (A.S.) Honoring the Ulama
Imam Ja'ffar as-Sadiq (as) was the most knowledgeable person of his time. Despite this, the people who studied under him and became virtuous Scholars, Imam (as) accorded them with maxim respect and supported them in different ways.
Abu Hamza Thumali
Abu Hamza Thumali was a companion as well as a devotee of our Imam (as). Infact he had the honour of being with four Imams (as) during his lifetime. This companion was also regarded as a Scholar of a very high calibre. Imam Ja'ffar as-Sadiq (as) used to say: "I feel mental tranquillity on seeing him". Imam ar-Reza (as) said of him, "He was the Salman al-Farsi of his age".
Himraan bin Aayoon
Once a most learned Syrian scholar came to our Imam (as) and a controversy occurred in a matter. Imam (as) ordered Himraan to argue with the Syrian. He managed to do so with such skills that the Syrian was dumbfounded. It is also related that once our Imam (as) was in Hajj when Bukeer, the brother of Himraan came to our Imam (as) and conveyed his brother's salaams to him. Imam (as) said , "Himraan belongs to the people of Paradise and his faith is unshakeable".