Allaah created man and provided him with the tools for acquiring knowledge, namely hearing, sight and wisdom. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And Allâh has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you know nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts that you might give thanks (to Allâh)
Islam is the religion of knowledge. The first aayah of the Qur’aan to be revealed enjoined reading which is the key to knowledge. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists).
He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood).
Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.
Who has taught (the writing) by the pen.
He has taught man that which he knew not”
In Islam, knowledge comes before action; there can be no action without knowledge, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So know (O Muhammad) that Laa ilaaha ill-Allâh (none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh), and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sin of) believing men and believing women”
Allaah warns every Muslim against speaking without knowledge, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And follow not (O man, i.e., say not, or do not, or witness not) that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned (by Allâh)”
Emphasizing the status of knowledge and the scholars, Allaah calls upon the scholars to bear witness to His Oneness, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allâh bears witness that Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He always) maintains His creation in justice. Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the All‑Mighty, the All-Wise”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:18]
Knowledge and fear of Allaah may be attained by knowing His signs and creation. The knowledgeable are those who know that, hence Allaah praises them by saying (interpretation of the meaning):
“It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allâh”
The scholars occupy a noble status in Islam, and which is higher than the position of others in this world and in the Hereafter. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allâh will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge”
Because of the importance of knowledge, Allaah commanded His Messenger to seek more of it. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“and say: ‘My Lord! Increase me in knowledge’”
Allaah praises the scholars, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say: ‘Are those who know equal to those who know not?’ It is only men of understanding who will remember (i.e. get a lesson from Allâh’s Signs and Verses)”
Those who have knowledge are the quickest of people to understand the truth and believe in it:
“And that those who have been given knowledge may know that it (this Qur’aan) is the truth from your Lord, so that they may believe therein, and their hearts may submit to it with humility