In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Abu Hurairah [may Allaah be pleased with him] narrated that the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “Hasten towards good deeds, because there will be trials which would be like a part of a dark night, wherein a man wakes up as a believer and becomes a disbeliever by night or he begins the night as a believer and wakes up as a disbeliever, and a man would sell his religion for a portion of the worldly life”. [Saheeh Muslim Kitaab Al-Imaan number: 118]
“And a man would sell his religion for a portion of the worldly life”.
Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “Sells his religion (of Islam) for some things of the worldly life”. This is proof (to show that) the worldly life is one of the trials- the Zahratud Dunyaa (adornments of the worldly life) and Zinaatud Dunya (things of the worldly life such as food, drinks, transportation, mansions, castles, status etc)- and thus a person abandons his religion (of Islam). A person might be captured by desire and love of the worldly things and thus he abandons his religion of (Islam) due to it. Allaah warned us against the worldly life, its adornment and being deceived by it, rather we take from the worldly life that which is sufficient in obedience to Allaah. As for just going along (or being preoccupied with it) and being forgetful of the Afterlife, this is destruction itself”. (1)
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: A believer hastens towards (good) deeds. He is cautious because he might be afflicted with sudden death and an illness that destroys his strength, and thus he is unable to perform good deeds. He might be afflicted by infirm old age and other things. Therefore, it is obligated on a person to make good use of his life, health and mind through righteous deeds before he is prevented from doing that – sometimes due to sickness and other than it; sometimes due to covetousness, love of the worldly things and preferring it to the Hereafter, and its beautification by the enemies of Allaah, the callers to unbelief and misguidance. (2)
Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadi [may Allaah protect him] stated: O brothers! I warn you against harbouring intentions of seeking after the Dunyah, its status and authority in the affair of learning and seeking knowledge, because indeed (knowledge of the religion) is worship – amongst the best types of worship; rather the religion, acts of worship, Jihaad and a (successful) life cannot be established except by way of this knowledge. However, it is obligated on us to purify our intentions in this worship. “Whoever seeks knowledge by which the pleasure of Allah is sought, but he only acquires it for worldly gain, he will not smell the fragrance of Paradise”. [Abu Daawud’ Hadeerh Number 3664]
This is a very important point and a great affair which the students of knowledge must be notified, for indeed many of them are heedless of it. And it may be that a person seeks knowledge for the sake of worldly gain or other goals that are not beloved to Allaah -neither legislated nor permitted by Allaah, and thus they fall into destruction. This affair enters into the rebuke directed at the Yahood. [Allaah (The Most High) said]:
مَثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ حُمِّلُواْ ٱلتَّوۡرَٮٰةَ ثُمَّ لَمۡ يَحۡمِلُوهَا كَمَثَلِ ٱلۡحِمَارِ يَحۡمِلُ أَسۡفَارَۢاۚ بِئۡسَ مَثَلُ ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِۚ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَہۡدِى ٱلۡقَوۡمَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
The likeness of those who were entrusted with the (obligation of the) Taurat (Torah) (i.e. to obey its commandments and to practise its legal laws), but who subsequently failed in those (obligations), is as the likeness of a donkey who carries huge burdens of books (but understands nothing from them). How bad is the example (or the likeness) of people who deny the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah. And Allah guides not the people who are Zalimun (polytheists, wrong-doers, disbelievers, etc.).
I seek the protection [of Allaah] for myself and [ask Allaah to protect] you from these blameworthy traits – a person possesses knowledge and does not act upon it, so he is either included [amongst those mentioned in this] Aayah or some of it applies to him. May Allaah protect us and you, for indeed the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] has informed us about the destination of those who perform acts of worship only to be seen, whether it is a student of knowledge, a scholar, a Mujaahid or one who spends his wealth [in charity etc].
O my brothers! Sincerity is a great affair. It is incumbent upon a Muslim to guard it and take himself to account at every moment of his life. One of the Salaf said: I used to hold that the hadeeth requires a Niyyah [i.e. sincere intention for seeking knowledge of hadeeth], but then I realised [or understood] that every hadeeth requires a [sincere] intention. Therefore, when you narrate or speak, do you desire praise from the people or do you desire the Face of Allaah [The Blessed and Exalted]? Do you desire that it is said, “He is a scholar; he is intelligent; he is a learned person of sound, precise and robust understanding;” or do you desire the Face of Allaah and to fulfil the responsibility you carry [i.e. knowledge of the religion]. (3) [End of Quote]
اللَّهُمَّ بِعِلْمِكَ الْغَيْبَ وَقُدْرَتِكَ عَلَى الْخَلْقِ أَحْيِنِي مَا عَلِمْتَ الْحَيَاةَ خَيْراً لِي وَتَوَفَّنِي إِذَا عَلِمْتَ الْوَفَاةَ خَيْراً لِي، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ خَشْيَتَكَ فِي الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ كَلِمَةَ الْحَقِّ فِي الرِّضَا وَالْغَضَبِ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ الْقَصْدَ فِي الْغِنَى وَالْفَقْرِ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ نَعِيماً لَا يَنْفَذُ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ قُرَّةَ عَيْنٍ لَا تَنْقَطِعُ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ الرِّضِا بَعْدَ الْقَضَاءِ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ بَرْدَ الْعَيْشِ بَعْدَ الْمَوْتِ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ لَذَّةَ النَّظَرِ إِلَى وَجْهِكَ وَالشَّوْقَ إِلَى لِقَائِكَ فِي غَيْرِ ضَرَّاءَ مُضِرَّةٍ وَلَا فِتْنَةٍ مُضِلَّةٍ، اللَّهُمَّ زَيِّنَّا بِزِينَةِ الْإِيمَانِ
وَاجْعَلْنَا هُدَاةً مُهْتَدِينَ
O Allah! By Your Knowledge of the unseen and by Your Power over creation, let me live if life is good for me, and let me die if death is good for me; O Allah! I ask You to grant me (the blessing of having) fear of You in private and public; And I ask you (to make me utter) a statement of truth in times of contentment and anger; And I ask You for moderation when in a state of wealth and poverty; And I ask you for blessings that never ceases; And I ask You for the coolness of my eye that never ends; And I ask You (to make me pleased) after (Your) decree; Aand I ask You for a life of (ease, comfort, tranquility etc) after death; I ask You for the delight of looking at Your Face (i.e. in the Hereafter) and yearning to meet You without any harm and misleading trials (coming upon me); O Allah! Adorn us with the adornment of Eemaan, and make us (from those who are) guided and guiding (others). (4)
اللَّهُمَّ أَصْلِحْ لِي دِينِي الَّذِي هُوَ عِصْمَةُ أَمْرِي
وَأَصْلِحْ لِي دُنْيَايَ الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَاشِي
وَأَصْلِحْ لِي آخِرَتِي الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَادِي
وَاجْعَلِ الْحَيَاةَ زِيَادَةً لِي فِي كُلِّ خَيْرٍ
وَاجْعَلِ الْمَوْتَ رَاحَةً لِي مِنْ كُلِّ شَرٍّ
O Allah! Rectify my religion for me, which is the safeguard of my affairs; rectify my worldly [affairs], wherein is my livelihood; and rectify my Afterlife to which is my return; and make life for me [as a means of] increase in every good and make death for me as a rest from every evil. (5)
[Ref 1: An Excerpt from Sharh Kitaab Al-Fitan Wal-Hawaadith Lil-Imaam Muhammad Bin Abdillaah Wahhaa. pages 11-12]
[Ref 2: Majmoo Al-Fataawaa. 25/107]
[Ref 3: An Excerpt from Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm’ pages 53-55. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 4: Sunan An-Nasaa’ee’ Number 1305 & declared Saheeh by Imaam Albaani (rahimahullaah) in As-Saheehah Number 1301]
[Ref 5: Saheeh Muslim Number: 2720]