1) Six Ettiquettes of Learning 
Ibn al-Qayyim - rahimahullaah- said: "There are six stages to knowledge: Firstly: Asking questions in a good manner. Secondly: Remaining quiet and listening attentively. Thirdly: Understanding well. Fourthly: Memorising. Fifthly: Teaching. Sixthly- and it is its fruit: Acting upon the knowledge and keeping to its limits." 
2) Fruits of Humility
Ibn al-Qayyim - rahimahullaah - said:  One of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors) said: "Indeed a servant commits a sin by which he enters Paradise; and another does a good deed by which he enters the Fire." It was asked: How is that? So he replied: "The one who committed the sin, constantly thinks about it; which causes him to fear it, regret it, weep over it and feel ashamed in front of his Lord - the Most High - due to it. He stands before Allaah, broken-hearted and with his head lowered in humility. So this sin is more beneficial to him than doing many acts of obedience, since it caused him to have humility and humbleness - which leads to the servant's happiness and success - to the extent that this sin becomes the cause for him entering Paradise. As for the doer of good, then he does not consider this good a favour from his Lord Upon him. Rather, he becomes arrogant and amazed with himself, saying: I have achieved such and such, and such and such . So this further increases him in self adulation, pride and arrogance - such that this becomes the cause for his destruction."
3) Purifying the Heart
Ibn al-Qayyim - rahimahullaah- said: "There is no doubt that the heart becomes covered with rust, just as metal dishes - silver, and their like - become rusty. So the rust of the heart is polished with dhikr (remembrance of Allaah), for dhikr polishes the heart until it becomes like a shiny mirror. However, when dhikr is abandoned, the rust returns; and when it commences then the heart again begins to be cleansed. Thus the heart becoming rusty is due to two matters: sins and ahafah ( neglecting remembrance of Allaah ). Likewise, it is cleansed and polished by two things : istighfaar (seeking Allaah's forgiveness) and dhikr." 
4) Jihaad Against the Self
Jihaad (striving) against the soul has four stages:
Firstly: To strive in learning guidance and the religion of truth, without which there will be no success. Indeed, there can be no true happiness, nor any delight in this world and in the Hereafter, except through it.
Secondly: Striving to act upon what has been learnt, since knowledge without action will not benefit, rather it will cause harm.
Thirdly: Striving to invite others towards it and to teach those who do not know, otherwise he may be considered from those who hide what Allaah has revealed of guidance and clear explanation. Such knowledge will neither benefit, nor save a person from the punishment of Allaah.
Fourthly: Striving to be patient and persevering against those who oppose this da'wah (call) to Allaah and those who seek to cause harm - patiently bearing all these hardships for the sake of Allaah.
When these four stages are completed then such a person is considered to be amongst the Rabbaaniyyoon. The Salaf were agreed that a Scholar does not deserve the title of Rabbaanee until he recognises and knows the truth, acts upon it, and teaches it to others. So whosoever has knowledge, acts upon it, and teaches this knowledge to others, is considered from the Rabbaaniyyoon."
5) Trials of the Heart
Ibn al-Qayyim said, whilst commenting upon the following hadeeth: "Trials and tribulations will be presented to hearts, as a reed mat is interwoven stick by stick. Any heart which absorbs these trials will have a black mark put in it. However, any heart that rejects them will have a white mark put in it. The result is that hearts will be of two kinds: one white like a white stone, which will not be harmed by trials as long as the heavens and earth endure; and the other dark and rusty, like an over-turned vessel; not able to recognise the good, nor reject evil, but rather being absorbed with its desires."
"The fitan (trials) which are presented to the hearts - and which are the cause of its weakness - are: [i] the trials relating to shahwah (false desire) and (ii) the trials relating to shubhah (doubt)... so the first causes intentions and desires to be corrupted, whilst the second causes knowledge and beliefs to be corrupted".  Speaking about such trials, he - rahimahullaah - said: "Hearts - when exposed to such fitan (trials) - are of two types:
[The first type]: a heart, which, when exposed to such trials, absorbs it like a sponge that soaks-up water, leaving in it a black stain. Such a heart continues to soak-up the various trials that are presented to it, until it becomes dark and corrupted - which is what is meant by "an over-turned vessel. "So when this occurs, two dangerous and deadly diseases take hold of it and plunge it into destruction: