Pious scholar has some obvious signs: he will not seek this world by his teachings.
It has several other signs as well: his word will not oppose his acts.
Whatever he teaches he will be the first to do it, whatever he forbid it he will be the first to avoid it.
He will be always careful of knowledge that inspires him to the obedience of Allah, and would be far away from knowledge that make him hold fast to this world.
Preventing himself from engaging in the knowledge that spreads gossips and disputes which are shown beautified to him.
He will avoid the luxury in food, beauty in accommodation and adornment in the cloth. He always inclines towards conviction and slightness.
He will keep himself away from the king, it means he should not visit king except for giving advice, restoring people's right, interceding for the sick people; in these cases he can enter in to the king's palace.
He will not be quick in issuing fatwa (religious decree), instead he will say 'ask the qualified people'.
His goal by the knowledge would be to attain the great final happiness. He will give more importance to the knowledge of moral ethics (tasawwuf) by which he will do his homework in training and monitoring his heart(himself). His expectation is that the 'hereafter knowledge' will be revealed upon him through mujahada
The emphasized signs of scholars are:
1. The scholar will not ask any worldly gains, meaning he will be honest and sincere in his teaching.
2. He does whatever he preaches. His word will not contradict with his teaching.
3. He will first do a good action and then ask people to do it. He give advice to keep away from a sin if he really not committing that sin
4. He will be very interested in seeking the knowledge that lead him to the obedience of Allah. He will never learn how to deviate from true path.
5. His interest is to study that benefits him directly. He won't study such knowledge that makes him successful in unnecessary arguments and debates.
6. Simplicity is his trademark. He never wish for luxurious food, accommodation or dress.
7. He will not influence kings and ministers to get personal benefits. But he influences them to lead them in the right direction. He can go to king's palace to give advice, defend one's right, speak on behalf of weak and sick people.
8. He won't issue fatwa in hurry. His fatwa is based on concrete proofs. If he does'nt know he will say 'ask the learned people'.
9. Knowledge is – according to him – source of final happiness. He seeks it for getting succeeded in the hereafter. So his concentration is towards tasawwuf(moral spiritual knowledge). He will also study how to control his mind. He expects that true knowledge will be revealed upon him according to his accomplishments in mujaahada.
10. His knowledge is based on Sharia. He imitates it with his in-depth knowledge and insight.
It is recommended to practice what one enjoins. Prophet(S.A.S)'s life itself was a role model and it is open to read. From the day one he appeared in the public life he was never seen saying anything that is against his speech.
There is a saying :
فعل رجل لألف رجل أبلغ من قول ألف رجل لرجل"
"An action of one man in front of one thousand men is more effective than the saying of a thousand men to one man."
A prophetic saying reported as follows:
مروا بالمعروف وان لم تفعلوه وانهوا عن المنكر وان لم تجتنبوه كله
enjoin what is good even if you didn't do it, forbid the evil even if you didn't avoid it all".
Avoiding all sins is not a pre-condition to be qualified to enjoin a good. If it were a pre-condition, there would be not a single man who can deserve to do it; because 'to err is human'.