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"Then High above all be Allaah, the True King. And be not in haste (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) with the Qur'aan before its revelation is completed to you, and say: 'My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.'" (Soorah Taa Haa, 20:114)
Qataadah رحمه الله mentioned: "Shaytaan does not spare anyone until he approaches them from every direction. He even approaches them through the doors of knowledge, saying, 'What are you going to do with pursuing knowledge? If only you would first practise everything you have already heard.' If anyone would have sufficed [with the knowledge they had], Moosaa عليه السلام would have sufficed. Instead he requested [Khadir عليه السلام when he met him], 'May I follow you so that you teach me the guidance you have been taught?'" (Sooratul Kahf, 18:66) 
Hence, so long as a person has every intention to apply the knowledge they have acquired into their lives, they should constantly remain in the pursuit of knowledge, and ask Allaah سبحانه و تعالى to grant them more.
Imaam 'Ayni رحمه الله has written, "With the exception of knowledge, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has never instructed His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم to pursue more of anything." 
According to Imaam Ibn Hajar رحمه الله, this verse clearly displays the virtue of Islamic knowledge. This is because Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has never ordered His Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم to pursue more of anything except knowledge. The knowledge that is being referred to here is knowledge of:
1) Sharee'ah, through which a person learns of their religious duties, such as ritual worship and personal dealings.
2) Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and His Attributes, through which a person can realise the importance of carrying out Allaah's instructions سبحانه و تعالى, and consider Him سبحانه و تعالى to be above all deficiencies.
Knowledge of these factors is encompassed in the fields of tafseer, hadeeth and fiqh.  
 Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhaari, 1:136
 'Umdah al-Qaari, 2:5
 Fath al-Baari, 1:187
 Shaykh Omar Subedar حفظه الله, Commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 2, pp. 22-23
Three Categories of People Regarding Knowledge and Deeds
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan حفظه الله said,
"People are divided into three categories regarding knowledge and deeds:
The first category is represented in those who combine useful knowledge along with righteous deeds. Those are the ones whom Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has guided to the straight path; the path of those upon whom Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has bestowed favour, of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous, and excellent indeed are these as companions.
The second category is represented in those who learn useful knowledge but do not act accordingly. Those are the ones who have evoked Allaah's سبحانه و تعالى anger, like the Jews and whoever follows their footsteps.
The third category is represented in those who act without having knowledge. Those are the ones who are astray, namely the Christians and their likes.
These three categories are mentioned in Sooratul-Faatihah (the Opening Chapter of the Qur'aan), which we recite in every rak'ah (unit of prayer) of our prayers:
'Guide us to the straight path - the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favour, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.' (Sooratul-Faatihah, 1:6-7)
In his interpretation of the aforesaid verses of Sooratul-Faatihah, Shaykhul-Islaam Muhammad Ibn 'Abdil-Wahhaab رحمه الله stated: 'The scholars meant in the verse that reads, "those who have evoked (Allaah's) anger" are those who do not act in accordance with their knowledge, and "...those who are astray," are the ones who act without knowledge. The former is the quality of the Jews, while the latter is that of the Christians. Some ignorant people mistakenly believe that those two qualities are restricted to the Jews and the Christians, forgetting that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى commands them to recite the above-mentioned Qur'anic invocation seeking refuge with Him from being one of the people of these two qualities. Glory be to Allaah! How do those ignorant people think that they are safe from these qualities, though they are taught and commanded by Allaah سبحانه و تعالى to keep on invoking Him (through the aforesaid verses) seeking His refuge against them?! Are they not aware that they thus assume evil about Allaah?!' 
This shows the wisdom behind the obligation of reciting this great Soorah (i.e., Al-Faatihah) in every rak'ah of our prayers (whether obligatory or supererogatory). It is because this Soorah contains many great secrets, among them is the great Qur'anic invocation that reads,
'Guide us to the straight path - the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favour, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.' (Sooratul-Faatihah, 1:6-7) Through this invocation, we ask Allaah سبحانه و تعالى to guide us to follow the conduct and the way of the people who have useful knowledge and perform righteous deeds, which is the way to salvation in both this world and the Hereafter. We also invoke Him to safeguard us from the pathway of the ones astray, who have neglected either the righteous deeds or the useful knowledge." 
 Ibn Ghannaam رحمه الله, Taareekh Najd.
 Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan حفظه الله, A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence (Al-Maiman Publishing House), vol. 1, pp. 3-4.
"The principle of all principles mentioned in this book, as well as the principle of every required action is in your understanding that knowledge is worship. Some scholars said, 'Knowledge is a secretive prayer and the worship of the heart.' Therefore the condition of worship is:
Firstly: Sincerity of intention for Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, due to His saying:
'And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allaah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him), and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat: and that is the right religion.' (Sooratul-Bayyinah, 98:5)
Also [we find] in the famous hadeeth, which was narrated through only one chain upon the authority of the Commander of the Believers ’Umar ibn al-Khattaab رضي الله عنه, that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: 'Actions are but by intentions...'
So if knowledge is devoid of sincere intention then it is transformed from being amongst the most noble acts of worship to being one of the lowest forms of violation, and there is nothing that destroys [the blessing of] knowledge as much as riyaa' (showing off), be it riyaa' of shirk or riyaa' of ikhlaas and also tasmee’ (showing off with the intent of being heard of); an example of such is the musmi' (the person carrying out this action) saying: 'I know [such and such],' or, 'I have memorized such and such,' etc.
Therefore, adhere to freeing yourself from everything that blemishes your intention of seeking [knowledge] such as love of standing out, and rising above your colleagues and turning them into objects of achieving [hidden] objectives and attaining [worldly] pleasures; such as [seeking] wealth, glory, fame (by way of hearsay), praiseworthiness, or intending to turn people’s faces in your direction; for these, and other similar things that are such that if they blemish one’s intention they will corrupt it, and the blessing from knowledge will be lost. For this reason it is incumbent upon you to protect your intention from all the traces of seeking with your knowledge the pleasure of others besides Allaah, the Most High, yet it is incumbent to beware of the things which lead to these [evil qualities].
There are a number of sayings and occurrences that I mentioned at the beginning of the first chapter of my book at-Ta’aalum, and , I would also like to add to the previous list: the prohibition of the scholars on the issue of at-tubooliyaat meaning the [controversial] issues which are mentioned in order to achieve fame. It used to be said: 'the drums are struck for the mistake of a scholar,' and it was narrated that Sufyaan (ath-Thawree) رحمه الله said: 'I was blessed with the understanding of the Qur'aan, and when I upturned the money purse, it - i.e., understanding - was taken away from me.'
So hold fast - may Allaah shower His mercy upon you - to the most trustworthy handhold (sincerity) that will save you from these fatal blemishes, by becoming - along with exerting yourself in becoming sincere - very fearful of anything that nullifies it (sincerity), and displaying great poverty to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, along with turning to Him sincerely. It was narrated that Sufyaan ibn Sa’eed ath-Thawree رحمه الله said: 'I did not treat anything more difficult than my sincerity.' It was narrated that ’Umar ibn Dharr رحمه الله said to his father رحمه الله: 'O, my father! Why is it when you preach to people they are taken by their weeping, and when others preach to them they do not cry?' So he replied: 'O, my son! The bereaved woman who cries is not the same as the woman who is hired to cry [over the dead].' May Allaah grant you prosperity in achieving the right guidance.
Secondly: The comprehensive quality that guarantees the goodness of this world and the hereafter is the love of Allaah, the Most High, and the love of His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم and realising them by genuine following, and pursuing the tracks of the infallible (i.e. the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم).
Allaah, the Most High, said:
'Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to mankind): "If you (really) love Allaah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur'aan and the Sunnah), Allaah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."' (Soorah Aali 'Imraan, 3:31)
Generally; this principle [is also considered] as the basis of this book, and its position is that of a crown to [mere] clothes.
So, O you seekers [of knowledge]! Here you are sitting cross legged for the lesson and your souls are attached to the most precious of things (seeking knowledge), so I advise myself and yourselves to fear Allaah, the Most High, openly and in secret; for indeed it is the tool, and the landing place of all virtue, the level of praiseworthiness, the source of power, and the ascension of the highly aspirated, and the most secure binding for the heart from the fitan (tribulations) so do not become negligent of it."
 Fataawa Ibn Taymiyyah (10/11,12,14,15,19,49-54), (11/314), (20/77-78).
 Hilyatu Taalibil-'Ilm, translated into English by Abu ‘Abdillah Murad ibn Hilmi Ash-Shuweikh, and published by Al Hidaayah Publishing, UK, under the title: 'The Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge.'
 The difference between these two is that the first category is when a person embarks upon seeking knowledge or any act of worship initially for the sake of pleasing others, in order to show off. As for the second category it is a shirk lesser that the first one and occurs during the act of worship.
Adh-Adhakheerah by al-Qaraafee (1/45) and refer to a splendid piece written by at-Tabaree in Tahdheeb al-Aathar (2/121-122) published by as-Safa, Makkah.
 With the intent of appearing to be more knowledgeable than your brothers or sisters and belittling them. However if one is free from such evil intentions, then it is required from the seeker of knowledge to exert him/herself and to compete with his/her brethren.
 As-Sawarim wal as-Sinnah by Abee Madyan ash-Shinqeetee as-Salafee, may Allaah shower His mercy upon him, also see Sharh al-lhyaa and Kunuz al-Ajdad p.263.
 Tadhkirat as-Saami ’ wal Muta 'allim, p. 19.
 Al-’Aqd al-Fareed by Ibn ’Abd Rabbihi.
 Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd رحمه الله, The Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge (Al Hidaayah Publishing, UK), pp. 18-21.
"Beautify yourself by filling your outer and inner-self with the fear of Allaah, the Most High, by observing the apparent characteristics of Islaam, and manifesting the Sunnah and spreading it by implementing it and calling towards it, leading [the way] to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى with your knowledge, manners and actions, and adorning yourself with masculinity, lenience, and pious conduct.
The basis of all [the previous characteristics] is the fear of Allaah, the Most High, and for this Imaam Ahmad رحمه الله said: 'The foundation of knowledge is the fear of Allaah, the Most High.' So adhere to fearing Allaah سبحانه و تعالى openly and in secret, for the best of all people are those who are fearful of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, and no one [truly] fears Him except a knowledgeable person, therefore the best of all people is the scholar. Let it not slip your mind that the scholar cannot be considered a scholar unless he acts [upon his knowledge], and no scholar implements his knowledge unless it earns him the fear of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى.
Al-Khateeb رحمه الله narrated through a chain of narrators which has a subtle point due to it being narrated through nine forefathers, that Abul-Faraj ’Abdul-Wahhaab ibn ’ Abdil ’Azeez ibn al-Haarith ibn Asad ibn al-Layth ibn Sulayman ibn al-Aswad ibn Sufyaan ibn Zayd ibn Ukaynah ibn ’Abdillaah at-Tameemee رحمهم الله, who narrated from his memory that, his father narrated, that his father narrated, that his father narrated, that his father narrated, that his father narrated, that his father narrated, that his father narrated, that his father narrated, that his father narrated who said: I heard ’Alee ibn Abee Taalib رضي الله عنه say: 'Knowledge calls for action, so either the call is answered or [knowledge] will take off,'  and it was also narrated that Sufyaan ath-Thawree رحمه الله said something [similar] to this in meaning." 
 Al-Jaami' by al-Khateeb رحمه الله, and Dham man laa Ya'malu bi ’llmihi - narration number 15 - (Denouncing the One who does not Implement His Knowledge) by Ibn Asaakir رحمه الله. And check the chain [of narrators] in Lisaan al-Meezaan (4/26-27) by al-Haafidh ibn Hajar رحمه الله.
 Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd رحمه الله, The Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge (Al Hidaayah Publishing, UK), pp. 23-24.
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