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 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 Ahmed (rahimahullaah) said: “The foundation of knowledge is the fear of Allah, the Most High.” So adhere to fearing Allaah openly and in secret, for the best of all people are those who are fearful of Allaah, 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.
Al-Khateeb 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 Asaad ibn al-Layth ibn Sulayman ibn al-Aswad ibn Sufyaan ibn Zayd ibn Ukaynah ibn ‘Abdillah at-Tamimi, 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 ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib say: “Knowledge calls for action, so either the call is answered or (knowledge) will take off,” (al-Jaami’ by al Khateeb, and Dham man laa Ya’malu bi ‘Ilmihi – narration number 15 – (Denouncing the One who does not Implement His Knowledge) by Ibn Asaakir. And check the chain (of narrators) in Lisaan al Meezan (4/26-27) by al Haafidh ibn Hajaar) and it was narrated that Sufyaan ath-Thauri said something (similar) to this in meaning.
- Transcribed from: The Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge | Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd