Related in al-Musnad and other sources, is the hadeeth of Abu ad-Dardaa, may Allah be pleased with him, in which he says, The Messenger of Allah – sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam – said:
“He who treads a path in search of knowledge Allah will direct him to tread a path from the paths of Paradise. The Angels lower their wings for the student of knowledge in approval of what he does. All in the heavens and earth and the fish in the depth of the water seek forgiveness for the scholar, and the superiority of the scholar over the worshipper is like the superiority of the full moon at night over the rest of the stars. Verily the scholars are the heirs to the Prophets. Verily, the Prophets did not bequeath dinars nor dirhams. All they left behind was knowledge, so whoever takes it, has indeed acquired a huge fortune.”
– Al-Musnad, 5/196. Also related by Aboo Daawood, 3/317; at-Tirmidhee 5/49; Ibn Maajah 1/81, ad-Daarimee, 1/98 and ibn Hibbaan, 1/152 (al-Ihsaan). It was declared saheeh by al-Albaanee; see Saheeh al-Jaami 5/302.