Example of the Ulama
إنما مثل العلماء في الأرض مثل النجوم في السماء إذا رآها الناس اقتدوا بها وإذا عميت عليهم تحيروا
Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani: “The example of the scholars on earth is that of the stars in the sky: when they appear, the people are guided (they navigate using the stars), but when they disappear, the people get confused and lost.”
[Al-Bayhaqi, Al-Madkhal ila Al-Sunan Al-Kubra]
Sayyiduna Anas (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Certainly the example of the ‘Ulama in the world is like the example of the stars through which guidance is obtained in the darkness of the land and sea. When the stars disappear, it is very likely that the rightly guided can be misled from the right path.”
Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration with a weak chain.
(Musnad Ahmad, vol. 3 pg. 157. Refer: Targhib, vol. 100/101 and Majma’uz Zawaid, vol. 1 pg. 121)