The fifth point worth considering is the fact that the effects of the changes of the times is upon everything. How can the Ulema escape these same effects? The further we proceed from the era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) the more will mischief and evil be on the increase. Now, while we are prepared to admit every kind of weakness and decline within ourselves, we expect that the Ulema should still be faithful to the same old scene of the calibre of the Ulema of long ago. For them that is still the yard stick. When the discussion is on physical strength and endurance, everyone cries: “Alas, where are those erstwhile physical powers to be found today?” But when the spiritual faculties and yeomen struggles for knowledge come under discussion, everyone expects and desires to see the attributes and qualities of Junayd, Shibli, Gazzali and Bukhari. We should at least remember that this decline in knowledge has been prophecised by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
“No year or day will dawn upon you except that which follows will be worse for you until you shall meet your Lord.”
The sixth point that is worth consideration is that the Ulema are men born from among us. They are not some creatures born and bred elsewhere. Hence the people among whom they are born and the enviromnent will have its influence on them. As the iron, so the sword. As the clay, so the utensil. As the copper so will be its gilt.
Shaykhul Hadith Mawlana Zakariyya (rh), p 138-139 ]