In this couplet, the author has condensed a proposition of intrinsic importance to all seekers of truth. He postulates that, in all things, the truth exists per se. He next postulates that such truth is capable of perception. He proceeds to postulate that such truth is capable of perception through the exercise of ʿaql and, lastly, that this process of perception is for a discerning observer.

The statement that the truth exists per se in all things, being incontrovertible, requires no explanation. We then come to perception, which in the context, does not mean the mere act of seeing with the eye or mind, but implies that perception must be preceded by a spirit of honest inquiry, the will to reflect and the desire to probe dispassionately and with discrimination. In other words perception is directed towards finding the truth that already exists in a thing (and not merely seeing the object or thing itself), recognising it, there-after accepting it, and most important of all, profiting by it.

The reader must also consider the significance and importance of the phrase ‘discerning observer’. It refers to a genuine seeker of truth, who has, in advance, carefully determined what he wishes to know, his reasons for knowing it, and his awareness that of the several views possible one and one alone is tenable. The seeker, having thus got ready and provided himself with the wherewithal, has now to exercise his ʿaql to comprehend. Such comprehension results only through the intervention of the light from a higher luminous stage. This aspect of the argument is dealt with and illustrated by the author in succeeding verses. But it may be noted that the word ‘discerning’ has within it, inherent, the notion of the need for light. The choice of the phrase used here viz. ‘discerning observer’ reveals the author’s mastery of the Arabic vocabulary and its masterful application.

It is therefore, after prior preparation and the intervention of the light from outside, that man is able to know the one and only truth which is profitable to him, as it enables him to correct himself and to regulate his life, thought and action to the extent that he receives the best out of life. He so moves a step forward towards the stage of the highest perfection.

The reader will note that the Arabic word used here is ‘to see’. This word is used with a purpose and has a connecting link with what follows later. Here, vision through the use of the mind is referred to, and vision through the use of the eyes follows hereafter.