Islam attaches such great importance to learning that the Quran has this to say:
“It is the men of knowledge who can truly realise God.” (35:28)
Scholars are considered to be like angels (3:18), in view of their potential for discovering the oneness and the glory of the Creator. To inculcate this importance of knowledge in the minds of the believers, the Prophet once observed that the worship of a learned man is a thousand times better than that of the ignorant worshipper (Mustadrak Al-Hakim). By way of encouraging reflection on the universe and nature in order to explore divine glories, the Prophet is reported to have said: “An hour of reflection is better than a hundred years of worship without reflection.” (Al-Bayhaqi).
It was this interrelatedness of knowledge and worship that made the early Muslims seek and impart knowledge wholeheartedly and religiously.
But knowledge for the sake of knowledge as such may not be an acceptable notion according to Islamic ideology. Instead, a Muslim is supposed to seek knowledge for the pleasure of his Lord on the one hand and for the rendering of better services to the welfare of humankind on the other. In other words, the motto of education in Islam would be knowledge for the sake of serving God and His creatures. That is why from the very beginning almost equal attention has been paid to the learning of both the religious sciences and the worldly or secular sciences.