Seeking Knowledge –
Shaykh Rabee bin Haadee al-Madkhali said:
‘The Prophet ﷺ said, inciting the seeking of knowledge:
“Whoever treads a path, seeking in that path knowledge, Allah will make easy for him the path to paradise.”
[Collected by Muslim 3699]
This is a great promise for the one who seeks knowledge for the Face of Allah, only desiring by it His Face.
I warn you – O my brothers – from entering worldly intentions, its positions, ranks, and authority into the affair of learning and seeking knowledge.
Indeed (seeking) knowledge is worship (and) from the best of worship; rather the religion of Allah, acts of worship, striving, not even life can be established except by this knowledge. But what is binding upon us is to purify (the intentions) in this (act of) worship.
(As the Prophet said) “Whoever seeks knowledge by what the Face of Allah should be intended, but does so to attain a portion of the worldly life, will not smell the fragrance of paradise”
[Collected by Abu Dawud, authenticated by al-Albani in al-Jaami’ 6159]
This is a very important point and a great matter which we bring to the attention of the students of knowledge. Because many of them are heedless (of this) and possibly seek knowledge for the sake of the worldly life or some other reasons which Allah is not pleased with, or has not legislated nor has He permitted it, so by way of this they fall into being destroyed.
What enters into this [seeking knowledge for the sake of the worldly life] is the dispraise that Allah criticized the Jews for:
مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ حُمِّلُوا التَّوْرَاةَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَحْمِلُوهَا كَمَثَلِ الْحِمَارِ يَحْمِلُ أَسْفَارًا بِئْسَ مَثَلُ الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
“The likeness of those who were entrusted with the (obligation of the) Taurat (Torah) (i.e. to obey its commandments and to practise its legal laws), but who subsequently failed in those (obligations), is as the likeness of a donkey who carries huge burdens of books (but understands nothing from them). How bad is the example (or the likeness) of people who deny the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah. And Allah guides not the people who are (polytheists, wrong-doers,
Source: Welcome o Student of Knowledge by Shaykh Rabee bin Haadee al-Madkhali pg. 53-54
Translated by Abu Anas Atif Hasan