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The proper methodology of acquiring the Knowledge and the proper way of mastering it

Knowledge has a high status in the religion. Allah ta^ala praised the status of knowledge in the religion, the prophet also mentioned the high status that knowledge has in many ahadith and the scholars highlighted the precious status of the religious knowledge. Among the verses of Qur’an that indicate that the knowledge has a high status are:
Allah said in Surat al-Mujadilah, Ayah 11:

which means: [Allah raises the ranks of those among you who believe and those who were granted the knowledge.] Also, Allah said in Surat az-Zumar, Ayah 9:

which means: [Those who know are not equal to those who do not know.] In Surat Fatir, Ayah 28, Allah said:

which means: [Those who have the knowledge fear Allah the most.] The Prophet, who is the best of the creation, in his hadith related by at-Tirmidhiyy, said:
The Prophet, who is the best of the creation, in his hadith related by at-Tirmidhiyy, said:

which means: <<The merit of the true scholar over the true worshipper is like the difference in merit between my status and the status of the lowest Muslim.>>

The Prophet peace be upon him said:
"من خرج في طلب العلم فهو في سبيل الله حتى يرجع"
Man kharaja fi talabil ^ilmi fahuwa fi sabeelillahi hatta yarji^, (related by at-Tirmidhy)

which teaches us that the one who goes out seeking the knowledge of the religion, he will have a similar reward as the one who fights for the sake of Allah until he returns.

The Prophet peace be upon him also said:
إن الملائكة لتضع أجنحتها لطالب العلم رضى بما يصنع
Innal mala’ikata latada^u ajnihataha litalibil ^ilmi ridan bima yasna^.

This hadith means that the student of knowledge who seeks the knowledge of the religion, the angles put their wings down / bow their wings as a sign of their acceptance of what he is doing. This emphasizes the high status of the knowledge in the religion and the high rewardability of seeking and acquiring that knowledge.

Imam ^Aliyy Ibn AbiTalib, the fourth caliph, said: "Knowledge is better than money because knowledge protects you whereas you protect money." Knowledge rules over things, whereas money is ruled over. Money diminishes as you spend it, whereas spending the knowledge by teaching it to others increases your reward.

There is a specific way in which the knowledge of the religion needs to be acquired, and that is from a credible teacher who learned the knowledge from a credible teacher and so on all the way back to the prophet.

We know that his is the way we must acquire the knowledge because this is how the prophet taught his companions, and this is how the companions taught the knowledge, and this is how their followers taught the knowledge. Furthermore, the scholars said it is not enough for the person to open a book and read it to consider that he acquired the knowledge through the proper channels because the book itself could have a misprint in it that the reader could be unaware of; also, the intellectual capabilities of the reader could be weak. It is possible that the reader could misunderstand what is written in the book. It is necessary to learn from a credible teacher because it is the teacher who will be able to explain to the student the texts and the knowledge of the religion and be able to correct misunderstandings.

Then, the person should acquire the knowledge in steps. One should seek the foundations first, and one he has mastered the foundations, he should go back and seek the details of the foundation. This is so because if the person attempts to learn everything there is to know about a particular subject all at once, he will most likely not succeed that.

Imam az-Zuhriy, who is one of the scholars and a follower of the companions, said:

من طلب الحديث جملة فاته جملة
man talabal haditha jumlatan fatahu jumlah,

Which means, the one who seeks the knowledge of al-hadith in its entirety, he will miss it in its entirety.

Then the student should write down the knowledge, proof read it with the teacher, study it with a circle mate until it sinks in, review it on regular basis .