With regards to the importance of the student of knowledge gaining knowledge in the correct stepwise manner, `Abdus Salaam ibn Burjis (d.1425AH) rahimahullaah comments:
So the first (stage) of knowledge is: memorization of the Book of Allaah, the Majestic and Mighty, and working to gain understanding of it.
And everything that helps in understanding it, then it is is waajib (obligatory) to seek after that.
And I am not saying that memorizing all of it is fard but rather I do say that indeed that is obligatory, binding upon who loves to become an ‘aalim (scholar), but not by way of being fard (on every Muslim).
So whoever memorises it before his reaching maturity, then devotes himself to that which he will use to help him understand it – from the Arabic language, then that will be an enormous help for him in that which he wants from it – and from the sunnahs of the Messenger of Allaah sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
Then he looks to the abrogating (aayaat) of the Qur-aan and its (aayaat) which are abrogated and its rulings; and he stops at the differing of the scholars and their agreement in that; and it is a matter which is easily understood for the one whom Allaah grants ease in understanding it to.
Then he looks to the Sunnahs which are authentically transmitted from the Messenger of Allaah sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. So through these, the student arrives at that which Allaah, the Majestic and Mighty, intended in His Book. And these will open up for him the rulings of the Qur-aan.
And in the life of the Messenger of Allaah sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam there is information which draws attention to many of the abrogating and abrogated issues in the Sunnah.
Quoted in ‘Awaa-iq ut talab of ‘Abdus Salaam ibn Burjiss rahimahullaah pages 30-31, translated by Nasser ibn Najam