Imam ibn AbdulBarr (rahimahullah) said,
“Seeking knowledge is in consecutive levels and ranks, it does not befit that they should be bypassed. Whoever bypasses them at once, then he has bypassed the path of the salaf. Whoever bypasses them intentionally will go astray and whoever bypasses them with sincere effort will fall into error.”
Sufyan Ath-Thawri (rahimahullah) said: “The excellence of knowledge is due only to the fact that it causes a person to fear and obey Allah, otherwise it is just like anything else.”
The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) narrated to us that, “The two feet of the servant will not cease (from standing before Allah) on the Day of Judgment until he is asked about four things: about his life and how he spent it; about his knowledge and what he did with it; about his wealth and where he earned it and how he spent it; and about his body and in what way he utilized it.” [Saheeh, reported by At-Tirmidhi] Shaykh Husayn Al-Awaa’ishah said in regards to this hadeeth, “Check yourself before you try to seek increase through reading and listening to lectures and convert the knowledge that you already have into actions that accompany you as you live.” Imam ibnul Jawzi (rahimahullah) stated, “And the miskeen (poor person), the true miskeen is the one who wasted his life learning what he does not practice, thus he loses the pleasures of the dunya and the goods of the aakhirah. (In addition to) coming forth bankrupt (on the Day of Judgment) with strong evidences against himself.”
This was hilarious though I have never seen it:
Even women are a huge fitnah for the aspiring student of knowledge. The respected males in western culture are the ones who get all the girls. For many of such aspiring ‘students’ the girl factor is definitely a big plus in the path of seeking knowledge. It doesn’t help, of course, to go to a conference, and have sisters sending up questions like “are you looking for a second wife?” in the Q/A portion of the talk to the Shaykh. Many think that by becoming a ‘student,’ marriage prospects will flow forth without end and they will somehow be forced to struggle to narrow themselves down to only 4 lucky women.