What you are about to read does not necessarily present the absolute truth, but is based on my humble knowledge as a born Muslim, through knowledge about Islam I acquired by going to Jumaa prayers, reading, watching sheikhs on tv programs etc...
Unless I'm very confident of my answer, I wouldn't dare post it, for I fear misguiding people, but given I'm a human being still makes me prone to errors and mistakes. Allah Knows best.
Knowledge is split into 2 categories:
- Deen Knowledge: Hadis, Quran, Sunnah, sharia, etc...
- World Knowledge: Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Marketing, etc...
The main purpose of life, in Islam, is to praise Allah, to pray and obey Allah, to make Ibadah for Allah (subhanahu w taala). Deen knowledge greatly contributes to achieving this ultimate purpose.
On the other hand, Allah and his prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned several forms of Ibadah, including but not limited to:
- Working: Working to provide to your family, or even to yourself
- Building the earth: scientific advancements made people live in concrete buildings and towers instead of mud huts, for example.
- Thinking about the creations of Allah: When you look at a brain, you praise the lord for how a small entity contains such intelligence, but when you study it (biologically), and realize how super complex it is, how humans would need a city as big as New York to be filled with super computers to simulate a human brain... that knowledge itself is Ibadah.
All of these are forms of ibadah requiring worldly knowledge, and we are rewarded for earning this knowledge. Many people nowadays are reverting to Islam thanks to the scientific accuracy of the holy Quran. Without this worldly knowledge, we would've failed to understand some verses of the Quran, for example.
The story of Dr. Maurice Bucaille is a famous example of how worldly knowledge leads to Islam, and enhances faith. Last but not least, check out this verse of the holy Quran: Faatir 28 (Malik's translation)
...In fact, only those among His servants who possess knowledge fear Allah;