Hadith_Scholars are like Stars



“The Scholars are like Stars”

“Verily, the scholars are like stars in the sky used by people to guide them in land and sea in the darkness of the night. When these stars fall or go out, you will fall into misguidance.”[1]

إن مثل العلماء في الأرض كمثل النجوم في السماء يهتدى بها في ظلمات البر والبحر، فإذا انطمست النجوم أوشك أن تضل الهداة


  • “Scholars on the earth are like stars in the sky…”: Stars twinkle, shine and guide. > Similarly, the scholars stand out, shine for Islam in knowledge and example and are guiding lights for the people.
  • A comparative chart may be illustrative:




Shine and light up the sky

Shine and light up the earth with Islamic teachings.


People need the stars to guide themselves in the land and sea.

People need scholars to guide themselves in the dunya (to know what is right and wrong in the Shari`a).


When the stars go out, there is darkness in the sky.

When the `ulama’ are taken away, darkness fills the earth and people will become misguided and lose their way


  • The hadith has some weakness in it due to an unknown transmitter Abu Hafs[2] and a transmitter (Rushdayn b. Sa`d) whose reliability is differed over.[3]

[1] From Anas b. Malik (ra). See al-Mundhiri, al-Targhib wa’l-Tarhib, vol.1, p.80. There is a version in Bayhaqi’s al-Madkhal fi Sunan al-Kubra, vol.1, p.354 from al-Hasan:

“Verily the Scholars on the earth are like stars in the sky. When people see them they are guided by them and when they are hidden from them they become lost and perplexed…”

إنما مثل العلماء في الأرض مثل النجوم في السماء إذا رآها الناس اقتدوا بها وإذا عميت عليهم تحيروا

[2] The companion of Anas b. Malik.

[3] See al-Haythami, Majma` al-Zawa’id, vol.1, p.126.


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