Who is this statement attributed to and could you please mention the reference?

العلماء ثلاثة منهم عالم لنفسه ولغيره فذلك أفضلهم وخيرهم ومنهم عالم لنفسه فحسن ومنهم عالم لا لنفسه ولا لغيره فذلك شرهم



Imam Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah (rahimahullah) has recorded this as the statement of Hasan Al Basri (rahimahullah).

(Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith: 36468)



Hasan Al Basri (rahimahullah) said: “There are three types of Scholars;

  1. The first type are those who are scholars for their benefit as well as the benefit of others [i.e They learn, practise and teach others], these are the best of the three
  2. The second type are those who are scholars for themselves only [i.e. They learn and practise on what they learnt], they are also good
  3. The third group are those scholars who don’t benefit themselves nor do they benefit others [i.e. They don’t practise on their knowledge nor do they teach others], these are the worst type.”


And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.


Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala


Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar


Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar