Civilizations throughout history have flourished on knowledge. Today, countries regarded as developed in which there are better prospects for citizens are those who place high value on knowledge and thus enjoy advancement.
The first revealed verses were a command to read, with references to teaching, writing and the pen (Q96:1-5). This and many other verses talk about books, and Him being the source of all knowledge thus showing the great importance of knowledge. The Prophet always had scribes to record revelations, his narrations, political affairs and various treaties and agreements.
The companions and those who came after them spent their lives constantly gaining knowledge, with much sacrifice and going through great lengths of time and distance to do so. Gender and age were no barriers. It is how we have the Qur’an in written form, collections of Hadith and treatises on many other areas like medicine, genealogy, politics, algebra, astronomy, commerce, and other sciences and arts. Much of this is still relevant today. Try doing some research on the first university in the world, Al- Jabr, Al- Khawarzmi, the libraries of Baghdad and Damascus centuries ago. It is saddening how we have trivialized and even destroyed our own heritage.
It is not something to be slack about. We should not live our lives content with what we learnt as children or worse, the knowledge of our ancestors. We also need to stop giving excuses as the early Muslims had greater challenges. It is a lifelong duty.
We must always seek answers to our problems and learn more about our religion. Through that can we truly make our existence on earth a worthwhile one and be of benefit to others whether they share our beliefs or not. For it is a lack of correct knowledge that would make a person destroy innocent lives ostensibly to defend Allah, His Prophet and the religion. What they achieve instead is harming everyone regardless of creed.
Learn the aspects of Iman, how to perform Salah as the Prophet(peace be upon him) said, “Pray as you have seen me pray.” Learn the conditions of fasting, Zakat and Hajj. Learn about family life in Islam, treatment of relatives, neighbours, men , women and children. Learn the Qur’an, Hadith, stories of the Prophets. For we would find nought in this except goodness.
Learn whatever skills you have a flair for, are good at or are interested in and seek to be the best at it. Support and carry out research. Use this knowledge to benefit humanity. Just think where we would be in the absence of vaccines, aeroplanes, cars , trains, satellites, the Internet and countless other aspects of the modern world we take for granted.
If we do not know, we can not teach. The best thing we leave after we die is our body of knowledge.