The Dignity of Ulama
Imam as-Sadiq (A.S.) has said, "The kings are rulers of the people and the 'Ulama are the rulers of the kings". (Meezan al-Hikmah)
There is no doubt that the true and the virtuous 'Ulama have always enjoyed greater status then all the kings and rulers put together. History has shown that the kings and the rulers of the world have always bowed down in respect before the 'Ulama or they have used ways and means to either isolate them from the society or eliminate them because they considered them as threats.
"Say (O Muhammad): Can those who know and those who do not know be equal? Verily only the men of understanding take the heed". (39:9)
It is related that:
[ There was a great Shia'h Scholar in the days of our 10th Imam (A.S.). Once a Nasibi (a person who curses the Ahlul-Bayt) had a debate with this scholar and the scholar defeated him through Quranic verses and Prophetic traditions. One day this scholar came into a gathering, which consisted mostly of Shias and people of Banu Hashim; and Imam Al-Hadi (A.S.) was also present. In the centre of that gathering, Imam (A.S.) was seated and there was a huge pillow placed at that spot. As soon as the Imam (A.S.) saw this scholar, he (A.S.) rose from his place and asked the scholar to come forward until the Imam (A.S.) made him sit next to him and offered him the pillow to relax. One old man from Banu Hashim did not like this, so he complained saying, "O Son of the Prophet! How can you give preference to an ordinary person over a Sayyid who belongs to the progeny of Abu Talib and Abbas?" When our Imam (A.S.) heard this, he (A.S.) was extremely furious with the old man and started quoting verses from the Holy Quran to prove the supremacy of a scholar over everyone else.
Imam (A.S.) asked the people present there: "Do you believe the commands of Allah in the Quran?" They all said, "Yes!" Then the Imam (A.S.) said, "Hasn't Allah (SWT) said: "Allah will raise those who have faith and those who have been given knowledge in rank…" (58:11). Then know that just as Allah loves a Mumin over a non-Mumin, similarly, He loves a Mumin with knowledge over a Mumin without knowledge. (Now tell me) Hasn't Allah (SWT) also said, "Say (O Muhammad): Can those who know and those who do not know be equal? Verily only the men of understanding take the heed". (39:9) Then why are you people trying to stop me from giving preference to one who has been preferred by Allah (SWT)?? This Scholar has utilized his knowledge, which Allah (SWT) has blessed him and defeated our enemy with it. This act is better than any family ties and relation in my eyes". ] (Al-Ihtijaaj)