Muhannah said: I said to [Imam] Ahmad: Tell us what is the best of deeds?

He said: Seeking Knowledge.

I said: For whom [is it the best of deeds]?

He said: For those who have done it with the correct intention.

I said: And what is it that corrects the intention?

He said: That he intends to humble himself in it, and to remove ignorance from himself.

Reference:

[1] Al-Adaab Al-Shar’iyah (2/72)

قَالَ مُهَنًّا : قُلْتُ لِأَحْمَدَ : حَدِّثْنَا مَا أَفْضَلُ الْأَعْمَالِ؟ قَالَ : طَلَبُ الْعِلْمِ. قُلْتُ : لِمَنْ؟ ، قَالَ : لِمَنْ صَحَّتْ نِيَّتُهُ. قُلْتُ : وَأَيُّ شَيْءٍ يُصَحِّحُ النِّيَّةَ؟ قَالَ: يَنْوِي أنْ يَتَوَاضَعُ فِيهِ, وَيَنْفِي عَنْهُ الْجَهْلَ

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