In particular the seeking thereof
From amongst the most noble of deeds a human being can do then knowledge is at the top, in particular the seeking thereof.
It is through seeking knowledge one comes to know how to worship his Lord and fulfill the obligations placed upon him.
Yet before one sets out seeking knowledge it is of great importance that they learn manners.
Allah the Most High says:
إِنِّي أَنَا رَبُّكَ فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ إِنَّكَ بِالْوَادِ الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًى
Verily, I am thy Lord! Take off, then, thy sandals! Behold, thou art in the blessed valley of Tuwa!
So Allah the All-Mighty taught His Messenger manners [i.e that of removing sandals in a blessed area] before He taught him knowledge itself.
Shaykh Hamad bin al-Ibraaheem al-‘Uthmaani states in his book al-Nubad fee aadaab Talib al-‘ilm:
One of the students of Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal said:
I was in the company of Aboo ‘Abdillaah [Imaam Ahmad] and learnt from him knowledge and manners.
And Ibn Wahb said:
We benefited more from Imaam Maalik’s manners then his knowledge.
A student of knowledge is in more need to learn manners in the beginning of his studies and this is of great importance. Due to this fact the Imaams talked about manners in great detail.
This is Imaam Maalik [when he] said to a young boy from Quraish [i.e Imaam Shaafi’ee]:
O nephew, learn manners before you learn knowledge.
And Yusuf bin al-Hussain said:
Through manners knowledge is understood.
And Aboo ‘Abdullaah al-Balkhee said:
Manners regarding knowledge is even more vast then knowledge itself.
Laith bin Sa’ad said whilst supervising over a group of students of hadith and seeing something [that he became displeased with]:
You are in more need of a little amount of manners then you are in need of great amounts of knowledge!
[al-Nubad fee aadaab Talib al-‘ilm, page. 8]