A person always wishes to be known as a knowledgeable person. Attaining knowledge of Deen is obligatory for every believer. Gaining knowledge is one of the noble things a person can aim for in life. However, sometimes, certain hurdles may appear in one’s life and become the obstacles to gaining knowledge.
Here we will try our best to mention some of the main problems most people face whilst seeking knowledge in order to help us all avoid them.
The biggest hindrance to learning anything is shyness. It will prevent you from greatness. How many times have you wanted to ask your teacher some question but out of shyness you were not able to? You chose to stay there not raise your hand and learn. You feel like a dumb or stupid for standing up and asking.
The worst thing that will happen is that you remain ignorant and the best thing is that you will learn. You will gain knowledge. You will be benefited.
Think of the Sahaabah, how they asked very embarrassing questions at times (even female Sahaabiyaat) in order to benefit, even Jibreel asked the Prophet 'What is Islaam'! So please never feel shy when it comes to learning about your religion, whether it be how you pray, how you make Wudhoo' etc. People won’t turn around and say, 'What! You're twenty-two and you are asking me now!' I promise you it is all in your head. Some people are more than happy to help, to teach.
Arrogance is the sin Iblees himself.
If a person is arrogant, he thinks highly of himself and thinks he knows it all. He thinks that he doesn’t need anyone’s help. The person seems to think of themselves as a scholar, anything you tell them they wave off as, 'Oh yeah I knew that already' and this is a very bad trait.
This will lead a person to stop asking and assuming things. He will prefer not to communicate with other people in local classes or masjid. And if he does, he indulges and resorts to arguing and quarreling.
This type of attitude towards knowledge will never benefit the individual, rather it will only stop them and prevent them. What is the harm in studying one book twice? If anything you'll only increase your own knowledge, and if not even that, you will gain the tremendous reward of sitting in a gathering where Allaah is remembered.
So do not belittle any knowledge dear brothers and sisters.
3. Qeel wa Qaal - Busying yourself with hearsay
This is a BIG problem amongst students of knowledge, especially those who are new to seeking knowledge.
Instead of busying themselves with memorizing books and sitting with knowledgeable people, they fish around for the latest dirt as if Islaam was something from Hollywood where you get the latest gossip in tabloids.
And if you were to ask these very same individuals to recite Surah Al-Faatihah they might stutter, or if you ask them about Tahaarah they will tell you: 'Akhee (my brother) ask a Shaikh, I'm no Shaikh' yet when it comes to labeling individuals he/she is Shaikh-ul-Islaam himself!
4. Not prioritizing
By this, we mean that people are eager to learn new things but don’t know how or where to start. Some people begin big, start with complex Tafseer of Quran when in reality they are still not able to read Quran well. It certainly doesn’t mean that you must not but start from the right point, you will grow rather than getting bored and burdened after some time.
Let the people laugh if they see you walking around with a book teaching you the Arabic alphabet, don't pay attention to them if they happen to be carrying Tafsir Ibn Kathir. It was never about the people in the first place, so why bother? Know where you stand and work on your deen accordingly.
5. Riyaa' - Showing off
A serious problem in doing anything in life, even in attaining knowledge.
Allaah does not accept Riyaa' in any form it might take, and those who fall into Riyaa' will have their good deeds nullified. And since today is a student of knowledge has become the new fashion, this has become more dangerous than ever. So with all this, it becomes crucial that you seek knowledge for the sake of Allaah and Him alone. The punishment of not doing that is very severe, and the Ahaadeeth actually tell us that such individuals will be burnt in the hellfire before the Mushrikeen (those who commit Shirk)!
May Allah help us and prevent us from being such people.
6. Giving up
We, humans, are very impatient and the motivation of each person fluctuate now and then. We want everything right now, we do not take time and learn patiently, with the result we end up giving up.
We want to become Ahmad Ibn Hanbal overnight, Imaam al-Bukhaaree in a week and so on. And when this doesn't work out we look at ourselves and get disappointed. Yet the true scholars sought knowledge for 60 years if not more! How can you attain what they did within a year or two?
So do not overwhelm yourselves, take it one step at a time, it is a very long road ahead, and it is not as glamorous as you might think it is. Many nights will be spent reading and memorizing and fighting with one's own intentions.
May Allah help us all in attaining knowledge.