Now, what we have at the moment is – we have no fuqaha’! It is as simple as that. What do I mean by that? I mean we have ‘ulama’, but they are castrated, metaphorically speaking. They are impotised, they are unmanned, politically speaking. Why? Because they have assembled a vast body of knowledge – no one will argue it. They can quote you hadith from morning to night. They can make commentary on Qur’an from morning to night. How many will make prayer from night to morning is not our business. But these men cannot impinge on the social process.
I was visited by a man from Qatar, who presented himself as this Islamic authority and an Islamic leader. He said, “Kitab wa Sunna”. I said, “How can you say, ‘Kitab wa Sunna’, if you work for this Amir, when this and this, and more that you know that I do not know is haram and should be punished and is unacceptable?” He said, “Oh, he is a very nice man, he is a very charming man, but he is rather stupid and he does not understand these things so we do not discuss them with him.” He was prepared to accept the complete surrender of that political and legal authority for the tenure and the salary of a silent ‘alim, who would underwrite every haram act of that government.
So what we find is we have ‘ulama’ and no fuqaha’.
[Shaykh Abdalqadir al-Murabit, Root Islamic Education, Madinah Press, Second Edition, London, 1993, pp. 13-14]