Members of the Advisory Council of 'Umar, radiallahu 'anhu, the second Caliph of Islam, were always the 'Ulama (the learned in religion) whether they are old or of young age.
Abu Hurayrah, radiallahu 'anhu, reported that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, said, "Anyone who is most versed in Allah's Book should act as an Imam for the people; but if they are equally versed in reciting it, then the one who has most knowledge regarding the Sunnah; if they are equal regarding the Sunnah, then the earliest of them to emigrate; if they emigrated at the same time, then the oldest of them."
In another version it is reported, "No man must lead another in prayer where the latter has authority, or sit in his place of honour in his house, without his permission." Muslim transmitted it.
Jabir radiallahu 'anhu said that Allah's Messenger, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, had each pair of those killed at the ghazwah of 'Uhud wrapped in a single garment and asked which of them knew more of the Holy Qur'an. When one of them was pointed out to him, he had him put first in the side of the grave. Bukhari transmitted it.
Abu Musa al-Ash'ari radiallahu 'anhu reported Allah's Messenger, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, as saying, "The respect of a Muslim who is of an old age and a follower of the Qur'an leads to the pleasure of Allah provided the follower of the Qur'an is not a transgressor and unfaithful to the Holy Qur'an."
(s) The Excellent Qualities of the Qur'an
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