Sufyaan al-Thawree (rahimahullaah) said:
Verily, knowledge (of the deen) is sought so that (a person has) taqwa (with respect to) Allaah by way of it. In here lies its excellence, and had it not been for that, then it would have been like all other things.
Tahdheeeb of al-Hilyah (2/362) through Hayat al-Salaf of Ahmad al-Tayyar.
Note: The knowledge of the deen is distinguished from all other types of knowledge in that it is sought specifically to attain taqwa of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. This is where its virtue and excellence lies. Thus, if a person's intent behind seeking it is not to maintain the taqwa of Allaah, then seeking this knowledge is just the same as seeking any other knowledge, such as engineering, mathematics, physics and so on and loses the virtue and excellence attached to it. Hence, taqwa gives meaning, significance, virtue and excellence to the knowledge that was sought and ultimately lead to it. This meaning is also found in the saying of Allah, "Only those fear Allaah, from among His servants, who have knowledge" Surah Fatir (35:28) - true knowledge brings about khashyah (awe) of Allaah, the Exalted.
Translated by Abu Iyaad (@abuiyaadsp)