In the writings and lessons of the scholars of the past, one finds abundant citations from their respective teachers. They would not hold back in:
- Naming their source and teachers, in addition to:
- Praising them duly.
In fact, they would name their source even if it was someone junior to them. There are a host of books written on the topic of:
رواية الأكابر عن الأصاغر
Those seniors who reported from/cited their juniors.
Imam ibn Salah (rahimahullah) (643 A.H.) writes:
ويحسن بالمحدث الثناء على شيخه في حالة الرواية عنه بما هو أهل له، فقد فعل ذلك غير واحد من السلف والعلماء
‘It is recommended when one takes the name of his teacher, to praise him for what he is worthy, as many of the preceding scholars did so.
(Muqaddimah ibn Salah)
In fact, Khatib Baghdadi (rahimahullah) (463 A.H.) has a chapter dedicated to the topic:
من روى عن شيخ فأثنى عليه ومدحه وعظمه
‘Those who reported from their teachers and praised, lauded and respected them.’
(Al-Jami’u li Akhlaqir rawi)
The present state
Implementing the topic under discussion here with moderation, is actually in keeping with academic honesty. As a matter of fact, it illustrates the value that one has for his teacher/source.
Sadly however, currently there are two methods used by speakers, writers etc;
- Those who over applaud their source to an extent that isn’t acceptable.
- Those who are on the other extreme; and do not even cite their source or even their own teachers for that matter.
وكلا طرفي قصد الأمور ذميم
Both sides of moderation are reprehensible.
The attached article expounds more on this topic.
Read the full article here.
P.S. It should be noted that this article does not address those individuals who have ulterior motives in naming or praising their teachers, nor those who seek fame through their claim of scholarship under a senior teacher!