Among that which indicates the preference of seeking knowledge over voluntary worship is the fact that knowledge combines the virtues of all other acts of worship. Knowledge is the best form of dhikr, as has been explained. lt is also the best form of jihad. It is related from Abdullah ibn Amr and Numan ibn Bashir directly from the Prophet, "The scholar's ink will be weighted against the martyr's blood and the scholar's ink will prove weightier. " Tirmidhi relates from Anas ibn Malik that the Prophet said, "Whoever treads the path of knowledge, he is in the way of Allah until he rerurns."
Another hadith relates, "lf death comes to the student he is a martyr."
Muadh ibn Jabal relates:
Acquire knowledge because doing so is good. Seeking it is worship. Reviewing it is glorifying Allah. Researching it is jihad. Teaching it to the ignorant is charity. Serving the scholars is a way of drawing near to Allah because knowledge is the path of ascension to the stations of Paradise. It is a companion in isolation and a comrade in distant lands. It speaks to you in solitude. It is a guide to prosperity and a shield against adversity. It beautifies one among friends and is a weapon against enemies. With it Allah elevates people and makes them guides and bellwethers of good. The scholars are people whose words are sought and whose actions are imitated. The angels long for the scholars' company and comfort them with their wings. Everything, the fish of the sea, the beasts of the earth, the predators of the land and sea, and the cattle pray that blessings come upon them. This is because knowledge enlivens the heart against ignorance, illuminates the eyes against darkness, and strengthens the body. It transports the servant to the mansions of the select and the righteous and to the highest ranks in the world and in the Hereafter. Contemplating it is equivalent to fasting, and reviewing it is equivalent to the Night Prayer vigil. With it, kinship is united and the lawful is distinguished from the unlawful. knowledge is an imam which leads to righteous actions. lt is craved by the people destined for Paradise and shunned by people destined for Hell.
This hadith has also been related by Abu Hurayrah from the Prophet.
Travelling for Sacred Knowledge
Paths Leading to Sacred Knowledge
Knowledge of the Tongue and the Heart
Categories of Scholars
The Harm and Enmity of Corrupt Scholars
The Deception of Satan
Examples of Virtuous Scholars
Grazing the Gardens
All of Creation Assisting the Scholar
Scholars and Worshippers
Virtue of Knowledge
The Virtue of Adam over the Angels
The Scholars Truly Fear Allah
Heirs of the Prophets
Abstinence Of The Early Scholars
About Fudayl Ibn Iyad
About Hasan Al-Basri
About Sufyan Al-Thawri
About Imam Ahmad Ibn Al-Hanbal
About Imam Yahya Ibn Abi Kathir
About Imam Muhammad Ibn Aslam Al-Tusi
About Imam Al-Awzai