The ulama are the heirs of the Prophets
Abdallah bin Bayyah Abdal Hakim Murad Abdul Karim Yahya Abdullah Adhami Abdur Rahman as Shanketi Aishah Elinor Holland Habib 'Ali Al-Jifri Habib 'Umar bin Hafiz Sayyid Ibrahim Ahmad bin ‘Ali Baa ‘Alawi Faraz Rabbani Hamza Yusuf Hanson Jamal Zahabi Muhammad al-Ya'qoubi Muhammad al Yazdani Muhammad Fouad al Barazi Umar Faruq Abd-Allah Wymann-Landgraf Zaid Shakir Zain al Aqtab Siddiqi The Prohets of Allah did not leave behind wealth or possessions, but they left behind knowledge. Just like the person who dies leave heirs, i.e. sons, daughters, wives, etc. As for the Prophets, their heirs are the people of knowledge. And their shares are in accordance with their following of the teachings of the Prophets. As is the case with the heirs of a deceased person - those who stand in closer relation to such person inherit a greater share. Similar is the case with the `Ulama: those who follows more stringently and loves the Prophet more dearly will earn a greater share of the inheritance. In other hadiths it is clarified that this inheritance does not refer to possessions but rather to Knowledge - the Quran, the Sunna and Akhlaaq. It includes everything that is part of the Shariah.
Abu Hurayrah (ra), known as the 'hafidh of the Sahabah', narrated that he once visited the market-place where he found people engaged in the usual trading. He then told them, "You are here trading while people are distributing the inheritance of the Prophet (saw).
"Where is this happening," they asked excitedly as they were eager to acquire a relic of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for themselves.
"In the masjid," Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) replied. So all of them rushed to the masjid but found none of the Prophet's (s) possessions there. They asked the companion, "Why do you say the inheritance is being distributed when none is to be found ?"
"What did you find there?" Abu Hurayrah (r) asked. "We found people in circles studying Quran and Hadith," they said. "That is the inheritance," Abu Hurayrah (r) replied.
Narrated by Sayyid Muhammad ibn Alawi al Maliki, during a radio interview, South Africa, 1997.