Be aware of the Obstacles
My dear beloved brothers and sisters, knowledge is very noble and the People of Knowledge and their students are the best of people in the Muslim community. We should know as well, that whenever one of you wants to climb high in seeking knowledge, the things that may take you away from knowledge will also become greater. This is because nothing becomes precious and expensive except that the things which will take you away from attaining it – the obstacles and the hardships, they become greater in numbers as well; so you have to pay attention to this.
Follow the Path of the Rightly Guided Predecessors
When seeking knowledge you must be upon the path of the rightly guided predecessors; the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad and whoever followed their path. You should know that the first thing that will face you, the first problem and difficulty that will face you along this long path of seeking knowledge is that you have to face the people of desires and opinions and fitan (trials), so therefore be extremely aware of them and their evil.
Avoid Hasad (Envy)
The Muslim in general and the one who is seeking knowledge should be aware of hasad (envy) i.e. having envy of his brothers and sisters. For example; if you see one of your brothers or sisters to whom Allah has given a great memory so he memorizes a lot, or understands the issues easily, you should praise Allah and ask Him for His bounty, and for Him to make you like that individual. Do not envy them and do not be jealous because of that which Allah has given them.
Do not be Arrogant
Also from the things that one should be aware of while on the path of seeking knowledge is to avoid being arrogant to your brothers and sisters because of that which Allah has given you. Do not be from those people who think that they are better than others, and do not be proud and look up at yourself. Rather, be modest regarding that which Allah has given you, and be modest around your brothers and sisters.
Do not be Hasty
Likewise do not be hasty, do not be from those people who are hasty. Rather, seek knowledge little by little, step by step, as one of the statements says: “Whoever was hasty and wants to learn everything at one time will be punished by not learning anything at all.” Rather, the Student of Knowledge has to choose from the easiest of the mutoon (texts) – whether in Fiqh or the like of this. Start with those which are easy, then go to those at the second level and choose from the text in Hadeeth, Fiqh, ‘Aqeedah and all the other fields of the Legislation; and don’t be hasty. Rather, what you have to be mindful of is that you understand what you read and what you are studying. Your main concern should not be that you finish the book in the shortest time.
by Shaykh Fahad Al Fuhayd