رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا
Rabbi zidni ‘ilma. (20:114)
My Lord, increase me in knowledge.
The knowledge referred to here is the revealed knowledge, the one that increases one’s consciousness of Allah. As a hadiith points out, this knowledge is the legacy of the prophets. This is the knowledge that guarantees success in this world and in the Hereafter, for it alone has the ability to answer the fundamental questions regarding the purpose of life and provide sure guidance.
The knowledge of the physical world, obtained through observation, experimentation, and reasoning, on the other hand, can be useful or harmful, depending upon the orientation and purpose of the person employing that knowledge. Thus science and technology have been used to serve the machinery of oppression and exploitation as well as to benefit humanity.
(Source: Khalid Baig’s commentary to du’aa #21 in the Accepted Whispers: Munajat-e-Maqbul)