'Ilm (Knowledge) and Hikma (Wisdom)
Allah grants wisdom to whom He pleases. And whoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good. (Bakarat 269)
Are those who know and who know not, alike? (Zumer 9)
Those of His servants who are possesed of knowledge, fear Allah. (Fatr 28)
Allah will exhalt those of you who believe and those who are given knowledge, to high ranks. (Al Mujadilla 11)
Say: My Lord, increase me in knowledge. (Ta Ha 114)
Seek knowledge even if you have to go to China.
Kasr bin Kays reports that Aba Darda r.a. said to a man who came from Medina to Demascus to visit him to inquire about the authenticity of a Hadith that he heard Resulallah s.a. say: “The one who travels far seeking knowledge Allah leads to Paradise. The angels spread their wings under his feet. All who are in the Heavens and Earth, even the fishes in the sea pray for his forgiveness. The man of knowledge is superior to the pious one as the sun is to the stars. Surely the man of knowledge are the inheritors of the prophets, for the prophets did not leave inheritance of gold and silver, they left knowledge as their legacy. And whoever gathers from that knowledge is truly rich.
Abdullah ibn Umar r.a. relates that Resulallah s.a. said: “The highest form of worship is to know what is good and what is harmful for one, and the best of devotion is to shy away from that which is doubtful.”
Abdullah ibn Umar r.a. relates that Resulallah s.a. said: “Even a little knowledge is better than a lot of prayer.”
Ibn Abbas r.a. relates that Resullah s.a. said: “If death comes upon a man seeking knowledge, he meats his Lord at a level higher than which is only the prophets.”
Sa’lebe r.a. relates that Resulallah s.a. said: “On the day of last judgement Allah most high will say to the men of knowledge: ‘I have given you knowledge because I intended to forgive you all your sins.”
Abu Ummame reports that Resulallah s.a. said: “On the day of last judgement the men of knowledge and the pious one will be brought to Allah most high. And He will say to the pious one: ‘Enter My Paradise.’ And to the man of knowledge He will say: ‘You stay here a while, for you are given the priviledge to interceed for the sinners.”
Abdullah ibn Umar r.a. reports that Resulallah s.a. said: “The man of knowledge is superior to the pious Muslim 70 fold. And the distance between each level is a distance that a fast horse would reach in 70 years.”
Abu Hurairah reports that Resulallah s.a. said: “In the opinion of Allah there is no greater worship than gathering knowledge in you religion. For a man who knows his religion has strength to oppose the accursed devil equal to the strength of a thousand pious men. Every thing stands on a pillar and the pillars of this religion are the men of knowledge.”
Abu Hurairah says: “I feel that I gain more in an hour of study than I gain in praying the whole night during the night of power.
Abu Ummame reports that someone asked Resulallah a.s.what was his opinion about a certain man of knowledge and another man who was very pious, and he answered: “The superiority of the man of knowledge above a pious Muslim is like mine above the worst of you. Surely Allah most high, His angels and all who inhabit the heavens and the earth until the ant in his hole and the fishes in the sea pray for the blessing and forgiveness for the man of knowledge who teaches others what is right and what is wrong.”
Osman ibn Affan r.a. relates that the Prophet a.s. said: “On the day of last judgement first the prophets then the men of knowledge then the martyrs will interceed for my people.”
Muawiya r.a. reports that the Prophet a.s. said: “Oh man, knowledge is only aquired by studying which helps men to understand their religion. If Allah wishes to bless someone He gives his knowledge. Amongst His servants those who fear and love Allah are the men of knowledge.”
Mu’az r.a. relates that the prophet of Allah s.a. said: “Learn. Because knowledge will make you love and fear Allah. To seek knowledge is worship. To compare your knowledge with the knowledge of others is like rememberance of Allah. To encourage people to learn is Jihad, to fight for Allah’s sake. To teach knowledge is the best of alms. Specially to share it with the ones who will act upon it brings you close to Allah.”
Aba Zar r.a. reports that Resulallah s.a. said to him: “Ya Aba Zar, to learn one verse, even if it takes you the whole night, is better than a hundred rekats of extra prayer. Or, if you spend your nights learning some science, even if you don’t use it, is equal to one thousand rekats of extra prayer.”
Imam Birgivi says; “Knowledge is that which differentiates the right from the wrong, the lawful from the unlawful. Knowledge is the light which illuminates the path to Paradise. It is a friend to the one who is lonely, a companion in our passage through this life, a colleague in your profession, a guide which will take you out of troubled times, a sword against you enemy, a finery which will beautify you amongst friends, a leader which will elevate you and your people, which will make others follow you, a solution to problems, which invites the angels to come upon you and caress you with their wings. All that is warm and dry or cold or wet in the animal kingdom and plants will pray for you. Knowledge gives life to dead hearts, gives light in darkness, leads you to salvation, raises you towards your Lord in this world and in the hereafter. To learn, to think, is equal to fasting. To study is equal to praying. Knowledge comes before good deeds, for good deeds depend upon it. It is an inspiration for the ones chosen by Allah and the lack of it is a punishment to those who are cursed by Allah.