Before one sets out to seek knowledge, we must bear in mind there are etiquettes for seeking knowledge. Only when one attains knowledge according to them, will the knowledge gained be beneficial. If we have no respect for the knowledge that we gain, that knowledge will merely remain informational. Knowledge can only be beneficial for us if we gain it according to the following guidelines:
- Be patient – To gain knowledge is not easy and a lot of hard effort and sacrifice is required. For this reason, it is very important that one remains patient.
- Pure intention – Before the commencement of an act one must ensure that an analysis of one’s intention is undertaken. The conclusion of this analysis should be that one is performing this action to gain the pleasure of Allah Almighty and not for show. If the latter is the case, then one needs to rectify one’s intention in order to gain beneficial knowledge.
- Act upon the knowledge one gains – It is important that one acts upon what they know; only then is the knowledge that one has attained beneficial. By not acting upon what one knows, disrespect is being shown to the knowledge that has been obtained.
- Bear in mind Allah سبحانه و تعالى is watching – It is important that one keeps this in mind at all times as only then will one think twice before committing a wrong deed. By continuously remembering Allah سبحانه و تعالى, a person will always make supplication (Du’aa) and obtain closeness to Allah سبحانه و تعالى. Insha’Allah, any difficulties in attaining knowledge will then be removed.
- Utilize Time to the Best of One’s Ability – Knowledge does not come with ease. Therefore, it is vital that one uses their time well. When given the opportunity to obtain knowledge, one should not reject it as one does not know when they shall taste death. One must understand the struggle our pious Predecessors went through to gain knowledge and so one must not take for granted that which is so easily accessible today.
- To be very cautious – When beginning to attain knowledge one should not spend too much time arguing with others on topics and getting ones self confused. Rather one should spend maximum amount of time trying to fully understand individual topics in order to become fully competent in these topics.
- To be precise and certain – It is good to memories certain things. Before committing anything to memory one should ensure what is being learnt is correct by clarifying with ones teacher. Then one should memorize and go over what has been taught to ensure nothing is forgotten.
- Studying a variety of books – When one is confident in quite a few fields then one should study a variety of books on one topic to increase ones knowledge in a variety of ways on that particular topic.
- Good company – Pious company and friends should be kept so that one can attain their good qualities. It is also good to keep company with those who have a great zeal for knowledge instead of those who do not. This is so that one can never be put off wanting to learn more. The scholars state, that in order to gain good habits and to acquire beneficial knowledge, it is vital to stay in the presence of good and pious people. If one is not able to be in the company of the pious, then one should read the books written by these pious people.
- Respect and have good conduct with the teacher – One should ensure that respect is always shown towards the teacher. One cannot gain all knowledge from books without the guidance of a good teacher.