Talking about the honor of the scholars

What is your advice to us about dealing with those who talk ill of scholars, especially because this mischief is prevalent?

It is not permitted to backbite scholars. Rather, it is prohibited. Backbiting is a major sin. Ibn Daqeeq Al-‘Eed (may Allaah’s Mercy be upon him) says, ‘The honor of Muslims is a pit-hole of the Fire. Two groups of people will stand at the precipice of this. Those who talk about them and those who talk about the rulers.’ People regard the flesh of scholars and backbiting them as a light issue. The same applies to rulers. It is not allowed. If backbiting ordinary Muslims is unlawful based on one point which is to preserve their rights, then backbiting scholars is unlawful from many points, such as they are not like ordinary Muslims. This is because talking ill about a scholar and trying to discredit him creates a sense of confusion in people and makes him appear untrustworthy. This will make people not want to take knowledge or rulings of him. People will be at a loss if scholars are lost. It will make people not want to follow them and take advice and instructions from them. If a country or a place does not have scholars to follow, then the lay Muslim will be lost, and Allaah knows best.