"So know that there is no god save Allah, ask forgiveness for your sins and for the believing men and the believing women. Allah knows well your moving and your place of rest."
(Qur'an, Muhammad 47:19)
This verse shows the importance of knowledge and the virtues that Allah has given to it. It also shows that knowledge comes before deeds, since Allah instructed His Prophet to know that He is One and the only One worthy of worship. After that, He commanded him to ask forgiveness for himself, his family and for his Ummah.
If Muslims truly realise the importance Islam places on knowledge and its virtues, they will definitely be keen to learn and teach others. They would start with themselves and their families; then their neighbours and the community at large. Once Mu'awiyah Ibn Abi Sufyan (may Allah be pleased with her) gave a sermon in which he said, "I heard Allah's Messenger saying, "If Allah wants to do good to a person, he makes him very knowledgeable in the Deen." (Related by Bukhari and Muslim)
This is because knowledge is the basis of all good; it generates actions that are based on the commandments of Allah and the instructions of the Prophet . Hence, every Muslim must instil in his mind a desire to seek knowledge. Allah (Most Exalted is He) instructed His Prophet -- and thus all Muslims -- to ask Allah to increase him in knowledge. He said:
"And say: My Lord increase me in knowledge."
(Qur'an, Ta-Ha 20:114)
Though, initially, all Muslims are equal in the sight of Allah, those who believe, have taqwah (fear of Allah and righteousness), and have been granted knowledge move up to higher ranks. Allah says about those who have taqwah:
"Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is he who has most taqwah."
(Qur'an, Al-Hujurat 49:13)
And He said about those who believed and acquired knowledge.