How much do you value the truth? Have you ever asked yourself this question? I am not speaking to common people who may think this question is a waste of time, but people who are aware of the subject matter. Recalling the events of my life, I realized in a period of my life, my love of truth stained by the love of oneself. When I first started seeking knowledge, searching for answers to questions I used to have, I remember keeping the truth above anything or so it seemed to me. It’s when we love the truth for its own sake and allow that love to deepen in our hearts, we will begin to see that loving anything else takes away from love for the truth, and this is exactly what happened to me. I started to love things beside the truth. There was a period in my life when I gained a quite modest level of knowledge, where I used to find myself in debates with people, usually Muslims. In my debates, I cared that the truth shines on my side, that I speak the truth and not the other side even though I was aware of the verses of the Quran and the sayings of Prophet Mohammed (May peace and prayers be upon him). The reason for that was my ignorance of the growing pride and arrogance in my heart. As soon as I realized how I am drifting away from my original cause, in one of my periodical personal reflections, I told myself, love of truth must become dominant. Before my motivational fire extinguish I started burning the tree of pride, cutting its branches with everything I could. For this I punished myself well not punished but disciplined myself in a way to focus on the truth, the truth only, after all, Islam taught me clearly to exert whatever effort in order to obtain truth.
Muhammad Ibn Idris al-Shafi‘I, one of the greatest Islamic Scholar in history, had a beautiful attitude and manner, he used to swear that he don’t care whether he speaks the truth or the one he is debating, as long as reaching the truth, it’s more than enough for him. I admit, with all the disciplines, with how educated I seem to you guys, I am not even close to the level of this man in seeking the truth. Yes, I would love to find the truth, I would love to learn new things, but there is still something deep in my heart, that makes me little bit happy if I was the one who is speaking it but soon Insha’Allah this will be gone forever, many people have paid supreme prices for truth, sacrificing bits of happiness resulted from self-love is but a cheap price.
Some may think that Al-Shafi’I’s love for truth is unnecessary or impossible, but let’s give it a thought. Imagine you were traveling abroad, and your cute little child got lost, would you really care who will find your child? Or you would appreciate anyone finding your lost child? Of course you wouldn’t say something like this: “If I don’t find him, it’s better he stays lost”. I am sure most of you would appreciate and thank the one who found your lost child even if it was your enemy, not only that, but maybe your eyes will be filled with tears of gratitude for the person who found him. I personally think Al-Shafi’I’s love for the truth is comparable to the love of his children, I can assure you that or at least I understand his love, even though I didn’t reach his level, but my love for the truth far exceeds of common possessions of pleasures of people, food, resting or sleeping, relationships, etc... and I am sure out there, there are hundreds like me or even more. I don’t know how to describe it, it’s kinda like the thirst of the desert for the rain, It’s like finding a new piece of your soul, it’s like getting one step closer to the Absolute source of Love and Truth. There is this mystical beauty about the truth that can’t be described by the words. I don’t want to sound arrogant and I swear I don’t mean to belittling others, but it makes me sad some people do not even care enough to study to learn the truth. I think in every soul, there is this place that loves to know the truth, my advice to you all start searching in yourself, don’t let the shadows of this world hide this truth-love in you. I don’t want to make this even longer, all I wanted to say in very short terms: the love of Truth can’t be just one of the so many loves in your life. Love the truth and start searching for the truth.