Al-Imâm Khateeb Al-Baghdadi’s Points on Intention in Learning

The Imâm, Ahmad bn ‘Alee bn Thâbit bn Ahmad bn Mahdee, may Allaah bestow mercy on him, wrote in his popular book, Al-Jaami Li’akhlaaq ar-Râwee wa Adaab as-Saami’, pp. 81-91, Maktabah Ma’aarif Edition, as a summary:

It is imperative on the learner to purify his intention while seeking knowledge; his motive must be to seek the Face of Allaah.

He should be wary of making the learning (or knowledge acquisition) as the means to worldly pursuits, or the path to attaining monetary gains (while teaching people).

He should be wary of pride and vainglory with his knowledge. He should not learn with the motive of becoming the head, or to gather followers, or to set up sittings. These have always been bane of the scholars.

He should be concerned with guarding the knowledge with action not mere narration. Of course, there are many narrators here and there but those who put knowledge into actions are few.

He should be aware that Allaah the Mighty shall question him about his acts, where has he expended his energy, so also his knowledge what he did with it.

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