By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam
03 September 2020
The human mind is a mirror of reality. Everyone knows the function of a mirror: it reproduces anything that is placed in front of it. The image it produces corresponds exactly to the reflected object, leaving nothing out and adding nothing of its own. So, it is with the human mind. When reality is placed before this mirror, it is reproduced exactly. The image of truth which is reflected in the human mind is the same as that which stands before it. It recognizes the truth for what it is and accepts it as such.
This being the case, why is it that truth comes before many people, yet they fail to accept it? The answer to this question is that it is always personal attachments and commitments that prevent one from accepting the truth. There can be no sound reason for denying the truth; those that do so are motivated by their attachment to something else which prevents them from attaching themselves to the truth.
If a third object is placed in between a mirror and the thing that is meant to be reflected, then the image will be obscured. So, it is with truth and the human mind. If something else comes in between the two, then the image of truth that should be cast on to the mind becomes obscured. It is essential, therefore, that nothing should be allowed to come in between oneself and truth: there should be nothing to prevent one from accepting it. This is a basic precondition for realizing the truth, yet it is one that people are usually unable to fulfil. All too often they let something else come in between themselves and the reality that has been placed before the mirror of their minds.
Sometimes it is people to whom one is attached who come in the way of truth. Sometimes it is self-interest, or some other commitment. In every day and age people have let some unconnected thing come in between themselves and the truth, with the result that they remained bereft of what should have been lodged in their souls.
Abu Jahl was a major opponent of Prophet Muhammad. He failed to accept the truth due to concern for his own power and position. Taif was one of the places that the Prophet visited in his early days in Makkah. The people of Taif refused to accept the truth that he presented before them because he appeared to them to be an insignificant person. How, they thought, is truth being taught by one who does not rank high among the mighty of this world? The reason for them doing so was their superiority complex.
The Roman Emperor Heraclius showed clear signs of recognizing the truth. Yet he did not accept it, the reason being that he did not want to become isolated from his people: in each case the truth had been recognized. There was no sound reason for these people’s denial, only their blind commitments to something else which they could not break away from.
Truth only accepts one who has accepted it without any reservation, who has given himself entirely up to it. Those who are attached to something else which they cannot break away from can never find truth, for they cannot give it the attention it demands. The only ones who can succeed in the search for truth are those who forsake everything else and give themselves up to it entirely when it comes before them.
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