It all depends on the definition of "knowledge". Prayer is not knowledge.in one of the hadiths it's sounds like this
(96:1-5) AL-HADITH: Acquire knowledge, it enables those who possess it to distinguish right from wrong; it lights the way to heaven; most learned of men is the one who gathers knowledge from others on his own; the most worthy of men is the most knowing and the meanest is the most ignorant.
The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him seeking knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim, for every creature prays for their wellbeings even whales in the sea (as narrated in Ibn Abdul Rahman hadith)
Whales don't pray, yet they do learn things they need to know.
And there you have it!! Around the 13th century Islamic leaders decided it was time to shut out knowledge that they thought "does not benefit". What they called "pseudo-science" was often legitimate science that the West used profitably.It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him said: For those who travel for the sake of knowledge, God will ease the path for them to Paradise. "(As narrated in Muslim hadith)
Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grove (As narrated in Muslim hadith)
For those who want to prosper in the world they have to have knowledge and for those who want heaven they also have to have knowledge and for those who want bth, they also have to have knowledge (as narrated in Thabrani hadith)
I seek refuge in You [Allah] from the knowledge which does not benefit…’(as narrated in Muslim hadith)
(i believe it consists of pseudo sciences or the lores prevalent in the Jahiliyyah)
so i dont know what this 'clamp down' is about as Islam encourages the believers to learn and seek knowledge
Islamic leaders of that time (and since) denied Muslims permission to focus on that, telling them in effect that all the knowledge they will ever need is to be found in Holy Scripture alone. Such rulings crippled Islamic advancement and adjustment to a changing world. They still do.
Those leaders felt threatened by secular enquiry, fearing that it would expose the climate of superstition dominating Islam to undermine its power.