Hazrat Thanwi (rahimahullah) said:
” Visit two Alims. One who is mutaqqi (pious) and one who is simply an alim devoid of piety. I take oath and say that you will find the pious Alim to be very intelligent and wise. On the other hand the one lacking in piety will be extremely shallow (in his grasp) and devoid of understanding.
In fact, I further say that even an illiterate man who happens to be pious will have such intelligence and understanding which will not be found in an Alim lacking in piety. The majority of the Sahabah (radhiallahu anhum) could neither read nor write. However, when they addressed kings and emperors inviting them to Islam, they (kings) were astonished by their talks.
Once in the court of the emperor Heraclius, when the emperor addressing the Muslim delegation asked for a description of the character of the Khalifah Umar (radhiallahu anhu), an illiterate member of the delegation, dressed in simple garments, replied: “He neither deceives nor can be deceived.”
In a single statement did he sum up the character of the Khalifah. The emperor was left speechless and amazed. This was the barakat (blessing) of obedience.
By virtue of obedience, divine understanding was acquired. Allah Ta’ala was their supporter and helper. The emperor addressing his courtiers and noblemen said: “These two qualities in their Khalifah are such that the entire world cannot oppose a man in whom these exist. It is clear from the statement, “He does not deceive”, that he is a man of piety, and piety is the head of kingship. The statement, “He cannot deceived”, indicates that he is a man of great intelligence. A man in whom piety and intelligence unite, will dominate all.”
Extracted from Hakimul Ummat’s Malfoozat