A believer must always keep in mind that Adam was acknowledged as being superior to the angels when they realized that he was blessed with something that they did not have, and that was knowledge. Allah says about the knowledge He gave to Adam the following:
And He taught Adam the names of everything. (2:31)
Allah then made it known that knowledge makes one superior to others, as He told Adam to tell them their names. He said:
O Adam, Inform them of their names. And when he had informed them of their names, He (Allah) said: Did I not tell you that I know the unseen in the skies and the earth, and I know what you reveal and what you have been concealing? (2:33)
Knowledge can help a believer to:
Develop a respectful attitude towards Truth,
Know more about himself
Become aware of the things that can cause him to be punished.
Knowledge can come:
Through pondering: Those who ponder about the creation of the skies and the earth. (3:191)
Through reading and writing: Read and your Lord is Most Gracious; Who has taught by the Pen. (96:3-4)
Through Zikr and Meditation: So did Allah reveal to His servant what He wanted to reveal; his heart in no way falsified what he saw. (53:10-11)
The best of knowledge is the one that enables us to know about our Lord and our relationship with Him. He says: Allah bears witness that there is no god but He, and the angels and men endued with knowledge. (3:18)
Knowledge is so precious and valuable that it has no comparison. Here are some of the Traditions regarding the status of the learned.
Ibn Abbas said:
The learned men rank seven hundred grades above the believers; between each two is a distance of five hundred years.
Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said:
When Allah loves a person He gives him knowledge of Religion, and guides him into the Straight Path. (Bukhari)
The learned men are the heirs of the Prophet (pboh).
The passing away of a whole tribe is more tolerable than the passing away of one learned person.
Imam Shafi said:
One of the noble things about knowledge is that he who is given a portion of it, no matter how small, rejoices; while he is deprived of it grieves.
Perhaps it is because of the importance given to the acquisition of knowledge and the status that a knowledgeable person will ultimately have that the first revelation that Allah give to the believers though the Prophet (pboh) was to lean to read and write.