Men are Known by Way of the Truth – The Understanding of this Statement


الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين، أما بعد


Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (rahimahullaah) said:

“Indeed we are – by the praise of Allaah, The Most High, supporters of the truth, and are triumphant by way of it, and are perceptive in it, and contend with it (in disputes), and unto it appeal in judgment.

It is our canopy to which we take refuge, and it is our precept which we depend upon, and we clear ourselves to Allaah from anything other than it, and we seek refuge with Allaah that we should aid except it. We are not of those that know the truth by way of men, but rather of those who know men by way of the truth, and we are not of those who subject the truth to the notions of the creation – thus whatever agrees with it from it is accepted and whatever opposes it is rejected.

Rather we are of those that subject the notions of men and their statements to evidence.[1] So whatever agrees with it from it – is taken into account and is accepted, and whatever opposes it is incompatible with it.”[2]


Shaikh Rabee’ bin Haadi (hafidhahullaah) said:

“So O youth of Islaam; the ship of salvation is to appoint judgment to Allaah, and the ship of salvation is to turn to the obedience of Allaah and obedience to the Messenger of Allaah:

فَفِرُّوا إِلَى اللَّهِ

((So flee to Allaah)) (Adh-Dhaariyaat: 50)


To have recourse to Allaah and to His judgments in the matters of difference, in order for us to determine who it is that is upon the truth and so that we can take his saying – not because he is such and such, but because he has proof with him and because he has the truth with him and because he has the statement of Allaah with him as well as the statement of the Messenger of Allaah (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam). So we leave whoever opposes it – whoever it may be, however much his feet became deeply rooted in knowledge and in worship and in the religion and in piety.

There is some speech which the scholars state, it is possible for us to call it a principle, and it is: ‘Men are known by way of the truth, and the truth is not known by way of men.’

‘Men are known by way of the truth’ meaning: we do not say that they are upon the truth except if we find that the truth supports them and the texts of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah support them.

‘And the truth is not known by way of men’ meaning: that you make a man as your sole channel, and you cause him to be a scale and a measurement of criterion for the truth, thus whatever he says is the truth and whatever he does not say is falsehood and whatever he rejects is falsehood – whilst it may be the truth, and whatever he accepts is the truth – whilst it may be in opposition to the affair and hence false.

Therefore we do not know the truth by way of men, rather we know men by way of the truth, so the Messenger (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) laid down the way out when the matters of differing burn with intensity between the Muslims and the disputes between them become plentiful and so many from the people remain in a state of confusion as to; where is the truth? I do not know where the truth is?

The Messenger of Allaah (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) directed us to the right way in that we should seek out his guidance and the guidance of his rightly guided Caliphs, and that we should hold onto it and bite onto it with the molar teeth. Indeed the Arabs stated regarding something if you are ardent over it to take hold of it with your hand, so if you are debilitated then bite onto it with the molar teeth, this is the habit of the person with regard to something that is valuable, that he takes hold of it with his hand, so if he fears over it then he supports his hands by biting onto that thing which is valuable with his molar teeth, so that it should not slip away from him.

So the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) it is essential that it should be dear and valuable with us, his guidance (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) is better than the world and that which is upon it, and the most precious thing in existence is his guidance (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) and his methodology and his white path and his clear way which he left us upon, its night is like its day, no one deviates from it except one who is destroyed.”[3]


In conclusion; Shaikh Muhammad Naasir ud Deen al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) said:

“So be ardent O Muslim, upon knowing your Islaam from the Book of your Lord and the Sunnah of your Prophet, and do not say: ‘so and so said.’

For indeed the truth is not known by way of men, rather – know the truth;[4] you will come to know men.”[5]




[1] Ash-Shaatibee (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed nations have commit error due to turning away from proof and dependence upon men, so because of that they seceded from the path of the companions and the Taabi’een and followed their desires – void of knowledge, and so they strayed from the right path.” (Al-I’tisaam vol 2 p.347)

[2] Al-Furusiyyah al-Muhammadiyyah p.167-168

[3] Audio lecture entitled: Sharh Hadeeth al-‘Irbaad bin Saariyah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu)

[4] The truth is distinct, manifest to any one that comes across it, as Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “So the truth is known by everyone, for indeed the truth which Allaah sent the Messengers with is not dubious with other than it upon the acquainted one, just as pure gold is not dubious upon the proficient analyst with that which is adulterated. Allaah, The Most High, has made clear the evidence and made the way manifest with Muhammad – the seal of the Prophets and the best of the Prophets.” (Majmu’ Fataawa vol 27 p.315-316)

[5] Silsilah al-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah vol 1p.193

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