Throughout history, Prophets and reformers were repeatedly accused of being liars or insane. Similarly, everyone who brought novel ideas that were in conflict with those of wider society would be accused of betrayal or disloyalty; for no reason other than their contradiction with their predecessors.
إِنَّا وَجَدْنَا آبَاءَنَا عَلَىٰ أُمَّةٍ وَإِنَّا عَلَىٰ آثَارِهِم مُّقْتَدُونَ
Indeed, we found our forefathers on a path, and upon their traces shall we [ourselves] follow.
This is the method employed by falsehood over the centuries; it crushes any voice that fails to empower its ideas and applaud its mission.
Firoun, Dhu Nuwas, and Namrud all employed the same strategy before, but truth remained triumphant in the end. It prevails when people free themselves from servitude to other people and embark on the quest for the truth by themselves. The Prophets did not call people to believe them without evidence, nor did they ask them to follow them without reflection. Instead, they appealed to people to use their own intellects to reach objective reality.
قُلْ سِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَانظُرُوا كَيْفَ بَدَأَ الْخَلْقَ ۚ ثُمَّ اللَّهُ يُنشِئُ النَّشْأَةَ الْآخِرَةَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Say, “Travel through the earth and observe how He originated all creation. Thereafter Allah will bring about the subsequent existence. Allah has power over all things.”
وَهُوَ الَّذِي مَدَّ الْأَرْضَ وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَأَنْهَارًا ۖ وَمِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ جَعَلَ فِيهَا زَوْجَيْنِ اثْنَيْنِ ۖ يُغْشِي اللَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
It is He who stretched the earth and made therein anchoring mountains and rivers; and from every fruit he made two pairs. He covers the day with the night. Indeed, in these there are sure signs for people who reason.
The unfortunate reality is that truth has now become associated with personalities; so when a person of prominence posits something it is deemed the truth regardless of the veracity of his statement or the existence of any evidence supporting it.
If we are to aspire for an accurate perspective on the issues we discuss, then we must remember the saying of Imam ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam: “Truth is not simply known because of men. Rather, recognize the truth for what it is and you shall recognize its people.”
Marco Korbus, a Christian scholar who later converted to Islam, once said, “Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala mentions a man who would hear the verses of Allah being recited to him, only to turn his back on them without pondering over the reality of what he had heard. This entails that the human, one way or the other, is sinful for failing to verify the truth or falsehood of something he happens to hear.”
Thus, if we happen to find any statement that respects rational enquiry, concurs with the book of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, and the guidance of his Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then we accept it and follow it; and if this is not the case, then we discard the statement entirely, regardless of who said it.
 Surah al Zukhruf: 23.
 Surah al ‘Ankabut: 20.
 Surah al Ra’d: 3.
 Al Majlisi: Bihar al Anwar, 40/126.
 Al Kulayni: Al Kafi, 8/167.Back to top