We sometimes forget in our enthusiasm to quench our thirst for knowledge that:
الأدب قبل الطّلب
Etiquettes come before seeking knowledge.
One of the most important struggles any intelligent person should undertake is to acquire excellent etiquette in one’s character. Both the Law of Islām and sound reason testifies to its high importance and academics and experts alike are vocal in congratulating those who possess good manners.
Ibn Sīrīn رحمه الله said, “They [the scholars] would study and learn guidance in manners as they would study knowledge.”
Al-Haṣan رحمه الله said, “A man would have to spend years and then more years to refine his character.”
Sufyān ibn ʿUyaynah رحمه الله said, “The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ, with his manners, his life and his guidance, is the greatest template with which all things are compared. Whatever conforms to it is a most definitely the truth and whatever opposes it is void.”
A scholar said to his son, ‘O my son! It is better, in my opinion, for you to learn one aspect of manners than to learn seventy chapters of knowledge.’
Imām ash-Shāfiʿī رحمه الله was asked, ‘How much do you desire good manners?’ The Imām replied, ‘When I hear a single letter of good manners that I have not heard before, every part of my body craves to hear it again and again to enjoy it.’ Imām was then asked, ‘How do you seek good manners?’ The Imām replied, ‘As a mother seeks her only child who is lost.’
An excerpt from Etiquette of the Learner, Imām Badr Ad-Dīn Ibn Jamāʿah Al-Kinānī