Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr bin Al' As: I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "Allah does not take away the knowledge, by taking it away from (the hearts of) the people, but takes it away by the death of the religious learned men till when none of the (religious learned men) remains, people will take as their leaders ignorant persons who when consulted will give their verdict without knowledge. So they will go astray and will lead the people astray." (Book #3, Hadith #100)
This hadith was brought up in one of my classes a few weeks ago and I really can't stop thinking about it. It says so much about what is happening today. Many of our great scholars are getting older and dying and we are not getting so many great ones to replace them.
I am not going to name names, because that always gets me in trouble, but I find that the Ummah is starting to treat some of these 'scholars' of modern times like rock stars. Focusing on their method of delivery rather than the validity of the content. I've also seen people relying more and more on people who are not really scholars at all. These men have studied certain aspects of Islam, but are far from the level of the true scholars of the past and present. **I am editing this part out, because even though I didn't name names, it still got me in trouble. I'm sure we can all think of someone that fits this description.**
I always found it sad when a new revert to Islam is misguided by one of these people. May allah protect us all from that.