In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Seeking knowledge is a great affair, which Allaah – in the Qur’aan – exhorted [us to seek] and [likewise] Allaah’s Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] has exhorted [us to seek it]. Allaah informed [us] that Moosaa [alayhis salaatu wassalaam] travelled to seek knowledge, saying:
وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِفَتَاهُ لَا أَبْرَحُ حَتَّىٰ أَبْلُغَ مَجْمَعَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ أَوْ أَمْضِيَ حُقُبًا
And (remember) when Musa (Moses) said to his boy-servant: “I will not give up (travelling) until I reach the junction of the two seas or (until) I spend years and years in travelling.” [Surah Al-Kahf. Aayah 60]
Once he [Moosaa (salayhis-salaam)] was in one of the gatherings of Banee Israa’eel, so a man asked him, “Is there anyone more knowledgeable than you?” He said, “No.” So, Allaah revealed to him, saying: “Certainly, my slave Khidr” [i.e. he is more knowledgeable than you in some affairs]. Allaah narrated this story in the Qur’aan and likewise Allaah’s Messenger [i.e. in the Sunnah]. He [i.e. Moosaa (alayhis salaam)] was spoken to directly by Allaah and revealed the Tawraat to him, which contained Hudaa [i.e. that which guides a person to Eemaan, truth and protects one from misguidance] and Noor [i.e. a guiding light in the midst of the darkness of ignorance, confusion, doubts, beliefs and deeds that appear to be truth but are falsehood in reality and evil desires], but when he knew that another person possessed knowledge of that which he does not possess, [Allaah informed us he (Moosaa) said]:
لَا أَبْرَحُ حَتَّىٰ أَبْلُغَ مَجْمَعَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ أَوْ أَمْضِيَ حُقُبًا
I will not give up (travelling) until I reach the junction of the two seas or (until) I spend years and years in travelling.”
[Surah Al-Kahf. Aayah 60]
He went on foot – neither had a car nor a riding beast, nor a horse; [rather] he travelled on foot. Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] said about him: [قَالَ ذَٲلِكَ مَا كُنَّا نَبۡغِۚ فَٱرۡتَدَّا عَلَىٰٓ ءَاثَارِهِمَا قَصَصً۬ا – Musa (Moses) said: “That is what we have been seeking.” So, they went back retracing their footsteps]. [Surah Al-Kahf. Aayah 64].
[They did this (i.e. Moosaa and his boy servant went back to find Khidr)] for the sake of knowledge, for indeed none knows virtue except the one given virtue. None knows the virtue of knowledge, except those who are virtuous. If one humbles himself due to knowledge, this is honour. Do not lower yourself – even in the presence of the greatest person- for the sake of the Dunyaa, [rather] humble yourself, be well mannered and lower yourself for the sake of knowledge, because it is the loftiest thing, and by way of it, you will be raised in the sight of Allaah and the people. If you lower yourself to acquire knowledge, this can never be [considered] humiliation; [rather] it is humility, a proof of good manners, truthfulness in the path of seeking after knowledge and the truth.
Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm. Page 248. Slightly paraphrased