From the very beginnings of Islam, the search for knowledge has been central to our cultures. I think of the words of Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib, the first hereditary Imam of the Shia Muslims, and the last of the four rightly-guided Caliphs after the passing away of the Prophet (may peace be upon Him). In his teachings, Hazrat Ali emphasized that “No honour is like knowledge.” And then he added that “No belief is like modesty and patience, no attainment is like humility, no power is like forbearance, and no support is more reliable than consultation.”
— Mawlana Hazar Imam – Commencement Ceremony of the American University
in Cairo June 15, 2006
“The tradition of the search for knowledge of all types in the Shia Ismaili Muslim interpretation, ranging from rationally acquired knowledge to the transcendental knowledge of the divine, reveals a history that goes back to the very beginnings of Islam.”
Read about it in this blog post:
The Uninterrupted Thread of the Search for Knowledge in the Shia Ismaili Muslim Tradition; Quotes of Aga Khan IV and Hazrat Ali.