In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadee Al-Madkhalee [may Allaah preserve him] said, “And (with regards to) the person with the proofs, it is obligatory to take his speech (on the grounds) of following Allaah’s Legislation and Proofs, and not (due to) the personality of that person”. [Source: (See Majmoo 9/40) 3rd paragraph]
Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadee Al-Madkhalee [may Allaah preserve him] also said, “The seeker of truth is not diverted from the truth, fairness and justice due to admiration of the big personalities and being amazed by them, for indeed the truth is more worthy to be followed. It is not permissible to drop the proofs for the sake of this or that great man. The principle [rule] of the Muslim – the unbiased one, the seeker of truth – is always: [قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ -Say, ‘Bring forth your proofs if you are truthful'”]. [Surah An-Nahl. Aayah 64] [Source: Al-Mulakh-khasul Jameel Fee Bayaani Manhaji Ash-Shaikh Rabee Fid-Da’wati Wal-Jarhi Wat-Ta’deel. Page 87]
Question to Shaikh Saaleh al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him]: What is the meaning of the principle: The truth is not known by way of men, rather men are known by way of the truth?
Answer: Its meaning is that we do not merely blindly follow anyone, for it may be that one is blindly followed based on error; it may be that the Mujtahid is mistaken and the one who makes [a statement or holds an opinion] is mistaken, so we do not take [his statement, opinion etc] and say, “This is the statement of such as such; this is truth, because such and such is good, he is a scholar; such and such is Taqiy [i.e. one who fears Allaah]”. We do not say this because he is not infallible and he can make a mistake; so we know men by way of the truth – those who know; those who take [or adhere to] the proofs and indeed they are known to be scholars. As for those who do not give concern [or importance] to the proofs, they are not scholars; they are not people of [sound] understanding and they are not people of knowledge, so their statement is never taken straight away. It is imperative that the proof is presented, so if the proof is established as witness to [what he says or holds etc], then it is the truth; but if he opposes the proof, then indeed [his statement or opinion] is rejected; however if he is a Mujtahid and he is mistaken, he is rewarded [once] due to his Ijtihaad; but if he deliberately holds on to error, he has sinned. [Paraphrased. Refer to video here: https://video.link/w/9famb ] [Read here: https://salaficentre.com/2012/06/the-permissible-and-prohibited-forms-of-taqleed-salafipublications-com-article-id-mnj060005/ ]
Read: The Correct Stance Towards Differing of the Scholars Concerning Jarh and Tadeel- By Al-Allaamah Ubayd Bin Abdillaah Al-Jaabiri [may Allaah preserve him]: