The renowned scholar of hadeeth, ‘Abdullaah ibn al Mubaarak (died 181 AH) rahimahullaah said:
“The beginning of al ‘ilm (knowledge) is the intention,
then listening carefully,
And he rahimahullaah also said:
“There is nothing more excellent than seeking knowledge for the sake of Allaah.
And there is nothing more hateful to Allaah than seeking knowledge for other than Allaah.”
Quoted in ‘Awaa-iq ut talab of ‘Abdus Salaam ibn Burjiss rahimahullaah pages 11 to 12, translated by Nasser ibn Najam