Respect the Truth
Another way of saying ‘Respect the truth’ is ‘Do not believe everything you are told without verification’. Truth was established by Allah and has been lauded by Him, truth is the foundation of heavens and earth, truth is the language of the Prophet. Yet adhering to truth is difficult for men as they are prone to sin and distort it. Therefore you may often come across lies disguising to be truth and this is when you must show your respect for truth and unmask the lies you are being fobbed off with. By showing respect for the truth you show respect for the Creator of truth, the Lord Almighty, Allah the Exalted, and for His Messenger Prophet Muhammad who was a steadfast perpetrator of Truth.
Islam’s position on truth is firm and clear. In fact, one of Allah’s Names is Al-Haq (The Truth), which means that truth is one of the pillars upon which our faith rests. In our times, when the media are full of information of questionable origin and quality, verifying it before accepting is one of the most important tasks of a true Muslim. The Holy Quran urges us to investigate any piece of information that we receive before accepting it and drawing conclusions. “O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.” (49:6) This investigation is a divine directive which can help us avoid making gross mistakes.
Elsewhere in the Holy Quran the divine directive to get to the bottom of any matter receives a further edge of great prominence when lack of respect for the truth may lead to dire consequence comparable with such grave sins as unlawful taking of a life. “O you who have believed, when you go forth to fight in the cause of Allah, investigate; and do not say to one who gives you a greeting of peace ‘You are not a believer,’ aspiring for the goods of worldly life; for with Allah are many acquisitions. You yourselves were like that before; then Allah conferred His favour upon you, so investigate. Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.” (4:94)
This is a clear instruction from the Lord for the processing of any information that we receive. In the above quote, what would be easier than to trust the sweet words of the greeting and its statement of peaceful intentions and to open up one’s arms to embrace the friend? Or to distrust it forthwith, brush it aside as lies and go on and kill the enemy? Both would be wrong for both would demonstrate total lack of respect for the truth. Truth is about investigating the matter, arriving at the truth and acting upon it. This is what Allah wants us to understand.
There are several important considerations to bear in mind when investigating the truth. For starters, look at the source of the information which you receive, is it credible? Can it be trusted? Second, you should double-check such reports against the sum of your knowledge of a particular matter and decide for yourself whether what you just heard was true. Do not let lies fool you. Investigate. Respect the Truth.