The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:
"The guidance and knowledge Allah sent me with is like abundant rain which falls on the earth. Some land is fertile and accepts the rain and then grass and many plants grow these. Some is barren but holds the rainwater, and so people benefit from it and drink and water their animals. Some of the rain falls on land which neither holds the water nor gives rise to grass and other plants."
So the Messenger of Allah likens people to the earth and divides them into three groups:
The first category, are those who adopt guidance and benefit from it and then give what they have to others and so benefit them. They are like the fertile earth which is watered and then produces crops.
The second category, are those who know the way but do not act by it, and yet convey it other people, Allah Almighty says about these: “You who believe, why do you say - what you do not do? It is deeply abhorrent to Allah that you should say what you do not do" (Surah As-Saff, 61:2-3)
These people are like land which retains water, so that people can drink from it, but does not benefit from it itself whereas others do.
When Muslims are like this, their knowledge should be taken but their actions ignored. They should not be exposed but should be left to Allah. Perhaps He will guide them and expand their hearts to act by the knowledge they possess. Exposing them will end up by diminishing their knowledge of the deen rather than revealing their wrong actions.
We read in a hadith "lf anyone veils a Muslim's faults, Allah will veil his faults in this world and the Next."
So anyone who knows something about a person should not disgrace them. There is no human being who is unblemished except for the Prophets and Messengers, and so every human being slips up. So if you see one of the scholars make a mistake, conceal it so that people may benefit from his knowledge, because if you make it public and people leave him, they will not take from his knowledge what will have possible benefit for them in this world and the Next World.
A poet said in the past:
Take my knowledge but do not rely on my actions.
Leave the sticks for the fire.
The third category consists of those who do not benefit from the Path of Allah Almighty, and from whom people do not benefit either.
So the Path of Allah Almighty is like the rain which descends from the sky. Sometimes it falls on land which benefits from it and from which people benefit as well; sometimes on land that gives people benefit but does not benefit land itself; and sometimes on land which does not benefit from it and nor does anyone else.
 Part of a hadith transmitted by Muslim (2699), at-Tirmidhi (1325), Abu-Dawud (1455), Ibn-Majah (225), and Ahmad in the Musnad (7118); from Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him.
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