God sent our holy Prophet Muhammad as a guide and a refuge for mankind from infidelity, corruption, ignorance and superstition. So the first revelation to the Holy Prophet clarifies the importance of reading as it instructed him to read in the name of God.
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
"Recite in the name of your Lord who created -
Created man from a clinging substance.
Recite, and your Lord is the most Generous -
Who taught by the pen -
Taught man that which he knew not." (96:1-5)
The Qur'an also encourages people towards scientific research:.
"And whoso brings the truth and believes therein such are the dutiful." (Quran, 39:33)
Every Muslim man's and every Muslim woman's prayer should be:
"My Lord! Enrich me with knowledge.." (Quran, 20:114)
It has been narrated that the Holy Prophet said the following:
Acquire knowledge, for surely it leads to fear of Allah. Seeking it is an act of worship ('ibadah); studying it is praising Allah; seeking it is jihad; teaching it to whomever doesn't know it is an act of charity (sadaqah); and giving it to its people draws one closer to them. Knowledge points to the permissible (Halaal) and the forbidden (haraam); and it is a shining light pointing the way to paradise It comforts the lonely, befriends the estranged, and talks to you in seclusion. It is a guide through prosperity and adversity; it is a weapon against enemies; and it is the best of friends. With knowledge, Alláh raises people to high stations, making them leaders in goodness, whose steps are traced. Their example is emulated, their opinion followed. The angels like to sit with the people of knowledge, surrounding their wings; and everything dry or wet, -fish of the sea and animals on land, - will ask Allah to forgive them. Knowledge gives life to the heart in the midst of ignorance, and illumines vision in the darkness. With knowledge, God's servants become the elite and reach the highest degrees in this life and in the hereafter.
The following traditions of the Prophet show us the important of seeking knowledge:
- Seek knowledge "even though it be in China."
- "The acquisition of knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim, whether male or female."
- "The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr."
- "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave."
- "God has revealed to me, 'Whoever walks in the pursuit of knowledge I facilitate for him the way to heaven.'
- "The best form of worship is the pursuit of knowledge."
Reality Of Islam