All praise is due and belongs to Allâh. We praise Him, seek His help and forgiveness and repent to Him. We seek refuge with Allâh from the evils of ourselves and from the wickedness of our own deeds. Whomever that Allâh guides, none can mislead him, and whomever He sends astray, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allâh alone with no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ )
(O you who believe, fear Allâh as he should be feared and die not unless you are Muslims) [Al-Imran: 102]
( يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاء وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا )
(O people fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul. From it, He created its spouse, and from both of them scattered many men and women. Fear Allâh, by whom you ask one another, and (fear) the wombs (lest you sever its relationship). Allâh is ever watching over you). [An-Nisa: 1].
( يا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا * يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا )
(O you, who believe, fear Allâh and say sound statements. He will mend your deeds for you and forgive your sins. Whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger shall win a great victory) [Al-Ahzab: 70-71].
Slaves of Allâh! Man’s happiness in this life and the hereafter is by the grace of Allâh, the most High, and His love and honor for him, where He has chosen him to be among those He has honoured, dignified and elevated their position. The greatest grace granted to the slave of Allâh, the most blessed honor to him, and the greatest thing by which he is elevated, is for Allâh, the most Purified and Exalted, to guide him to worship Him, to inspire him to do good deeds and various acts of worship, guide and help him to do what pleases Him, grant him insight on what is not beneficial to him, distract him from it, and keep him away from loss and disappointment represented in the path of error. Our Lord Almighty said:
( مَن يَہۡدِ ٱللَّهُ فَهُوَ ٱلۡمُهۡتَدِىۖ وَمَن يُضۡلِلۡ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرُونَ )
Whomsoever Allâh guides, he is the guided one, and whomsoever He sends astray, then those are the losers (178) [Al-A’raf: 178].
Moreover, He may also grant him self-purity that will bring him success and prosperity. Allâh the most Purified said,
( قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ مَن زَكَّٮٰهَا *وَقَدۡ خَابَ مَن دَسَّٮٰهَا)
And indeed he fails who corrupts his own self (i.e. disobeys what Allâh has ordered by rejecting the true Faith of Islâmic Monotheism or by following polytheism or by doing every kind of evil wicked deeds) (10) [Ash-Shams: 9-10].
Therefore, the guidance of the slave of Allâh is the utmost benefit, which can be attained by his soul. Allâh the Almighty said:
( مَّنِ ٱهۡتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَہۡتَدِى لِنَفۡسِهِۦۖ وَمَن ضَلَّ فَإِنَّمَا يَضِلُّ عَلَيۡها)
Whoever goes right, then he goes right only for the benefit of his own self. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray to his own loss [Al-Isra: 15].
The essence of the guidance of Allâh desired by the slave is for Allâh to help him, put him through, facilitate his affairs, and help him to accomplish the reasons that will lead him to attaining all kinds of goodness.
The antithesis of guidance is misguidance. It is utmost disappointment and ultimate loss for one to be deprived of success to guidance in order to tread the right path of Allâh. Furthermore, guidance is not granted to everyone, but to those whom Allâh knows their fitness for that. Anyone who is not qualified for such goodness, he will not find way to the guidance of Allâh nor can he attain the pleasure of his Lord, even though he spends all that is in the earth. Hence, Allâh knows who is qualified for that, and all the hearts are vessels in His hand. He is more knowledgeable to determine which vessels are better fit for goodness and are likely to be closer to His guidance. So, whoever Allâh sends astray, he will never find any guide or helper besides Him. Allâh the most High said,
( إِنَّكَ لَا تَہۡدِى مَنۡ أَحۡبَبۡتَ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَہۡدِى مَن يَشَآءُۚ وَهُوَ أَعۡلَمُ بِٱلۡمُهۡتَدِينَ )
Verily! You (O Muhammad) guide not whom you like, but Allâh guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided [Al-Qasa: 56].
( مَن يَہۡدِ ٱللَّهُ فَهُوَ ٱلۡمُهۡتَدِۖ وَمَن يُضۡلِلۡ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ ۥ وَلِيًّ۬ا مُّرۡشِدً۬ا )
He whom Allâh guides, is rightly guided; but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no Walî (guiding friend) to lead him (to the right Path) [Al-Kahf: 17].
O believers! The path to guidance is easy for whom Allâh the Most High, has made it so. He should seek to attain it honestly and desirably, with recourse to Allâh the most High, while adopting the required legal means, and avoiding falling guilty of the contraindications of guidance. Below are some of the reasons that make one to be guided to the right path:
- Having faith in Allâh, the Almighty, making that firm in one’s heart, sensing the need of man for the favour of his Lord, and venerating that in his heart. Allâh says,
( وَمَن يُؤۡمِنۢ بِٱللَّهِ يَہۡدِ قَلۡبَهُ ۥۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ عَلِيمٌ۬ )
and whosoever believes in Allâh, He guides his heart (to the true Faith with certainty)[ At-Taghabun: 11]
Allâh again said:
( ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَلَمۡ يَلۡبِسُوٓاْ إِيمَـٰنَهُم بِظُلۡمٍ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ لَهُمُ ٱلۡأَمۡنُ وَهُم مُّهۡتَدُونَ )
It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong i.e. by worshipping others besides Allâh), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided [Al-An’am: 82].
- Seeking the truth and applying self-restraint in order to access it, is the indication of Man’s credibility and his desire in that with his Lord. It is the way to achieve one’s good hopes and desires as Allâh said,
( وَٱلَّذِينَ جَـٰهَدُواْ فِينَا لَنَہۡدِيَنَّہُمۡ سُبُلَنَاۚ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَمَعَ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ)
As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i.e. Allâh’s religion – Islâmic Monotheism). And verily, Allâh is with the Muhsinûn (good doers) [Al-Ankabout: 69].
- Obedience to Allâh and His Messenger, and responding to the command of Allâh and His Messenger, is an indication of human sincerity in the will to attain the guidance of Allâh, the Almighty and the desire of that with Him. Allâh, the most Purified, says,
( وَإِن تُطِيعُوهُ تَهۡتَدُواْۚ وَمَا عَلَى ٱلرَّسُولِ إِلَّا ٱلۡبَلَـٰغُ ٱلۡمُبِينُ )
If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance. The Messenger’s duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way (i.e. to preach in a plain way) [An-Nur: 54].
The Almighty also said:
( وَلَوۡ أَنَّہُمۡ فَعَلُواْ مَا يُوعَظُونَ بِهِۦ لَكَانَ خَيۡرً۬ا لَّهُمۡ وَأَشَدَّ تَثۡبِيتً۬ا * وَإِذً۬ا لَّأَتَيۡنَـٰهُم مِّن لَّدُنَّآ أَجۡرًا عَظِيمً۬ا * وَلَهَدَيۡنَـٰهُمۡ صِرَٲطً۬ا مُّسۡتَقِيمً۬ا)
But if they had done what they were told, it would have been better for them, and would have strengthened their (Faith); (66) And indeed We should then have bestowed upon them a great reward from Ourselves (67) And indeed We should have guided them to a Straight Way [An-Nisa: 66.68]
- Holding fast to the cord of Allâh, the Almighty, turning unto Him, putting trust in Him, having hope in His munificence by achieving the ways to guidance, and being optimistic in all the best Allâh gives to whosoever seeks refuge with Him. Holding fast to His cord, recognizing that there is no guidance but with Allâh, the most Glorified and Exalted, that there is no success except by His grace, and that there is no ease without His permission. Such is the reason for the slave to attain Allâh’s guidance and direction to the good of this world and the hereafter, as Allâh the most Purified said,
( وَمَن يَعۡتَصِم بِٱللَّهِ فَقَدۡ هُدِىَ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطٍ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ۬ )
And whoever holds firmly to Allâh, (i.e. follows Islâm — Allâh’s Religion, and obeys all that Allâh has ordered, practically), then he is indeed guided to a Right Path [Al-Imran: 101].
- Resorting to Allâh through invocation, which is one of the greatest reasons, if not the greatest. This is why in every rak’ah of every prayer we recite in Surah Al-Fatihah, the words of Allâh the Almighty:
( ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٲطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ * صِرَٲطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ )
Guide us to the Straight Way. (6) The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace [Al-Fatihah: 6-7].
It is stated in the hadith that the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), said in what he narrated from his Lord, the most Exalted and Dignified, ” My slaves, all of you are liable to err except one whom I guide on the right path, so seek right guidance from Me so that I should direct you to the right path ” (Muslim).
Ibn Masood, may Allâh be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), used to invoke Allâh saying, ” Allâhumma inni as’alukal-huda wat- tuqa wal-‘afafa wal-ghina (O Allâh! I ask You for guidance, piety, chastity and self- sufficiency ” (Muslim).
It was reported from Al-Hasan, may Allâh be pleased with him, that he said, ” The Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), taught me some words to say in witr in Qunut: Allâhumma ihdini fiman hadayta (O Allâh, guide me among those whom You have guided) ” (Ahmad).
- Reading the noble Qur’an, living with it, preoccupation with it, and surrendering to it besides any other things is one of the greatest reasons for the guidance and assistance to achieve the happiness of this world and the Hereafter. Allâh, the most High, said:
( إِنَّ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡقُرۡءَانَ يَہۡدِى لِلَّتِى هِىَ أَقۡوَمُ )
Verily, this Qur’ân guides to that which is most just and right [Al-Isra: 9].
The Almighty also said,
( قُلۡ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ هُدً۬ى وَشِفَآءٌ۬ۖ )
Say: “It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing. [Fussilat: 44].
- Perusing stories of the former Prophets and others, as Allâh said addressing His prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him),
( وَكُلاًّ۬ نَّقُصُّ عَلَيۡكَ مِنۡ أَنۢبَآءِ ٱلرُّسُلِ مَا نُثَبِّتُ بِهِۦ فُؤَادَكَ )
And all that We relate to you (O Muhammad) of the news of the Messengers is in order that We may make strong and firm your heart thereby [Hud: 120].
So, knowing the stories of the righteous and the hardships that happened in the lives of people and their life experiences with tribulations, changes, victory and triumph over the enemy, all that is considered a beacon that shines upon the path of man to goodness. Allâh, the most High, said,
( لَقَدۡ كَانَ فِى قَصَصِہِمۡ عِبۡرَةٌ۬ لِّأُوْلِى ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ )
Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding [Yusuf: 111].
May Allâh bless me and you in the Glorious Qur’an and benefit me and you with the verses and the Wise Reminder it contains and make me and you among those that act upon it.
This is what I say and I ask forgiveness from Allâh, for you and me from every sin. Hence, seek for His forgiveness for He is the All-Forgiving, the All-Merciful.
All praise is due and belongs to Allâh alone. May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon the final Prophet.
Slaves of Allâh! Just as there are ways to achieve guidance; there are contraindications and impediments that distract one from guidance to the good, successfulness to obedience and righteousness, and attainment of the degrees of happiness in this world and the hereafter. Some of the most important of these are as follows:
- Obeying one’s desires, because it obscures and distracts one from the ways of guidance. Allâh the most High said,
( أَفَرَءَيۡتَ مَنِ ٱتَّخَذَ إِلَـٰهَهُ ۥ هَوَٮٰهُ وَأَضَلَّهُ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ عِلۡمٍ۬ وَخَتَمَ عَلَىٰ سَمۡعِهِۦ وَقَلۡبِهِۦ وَجَعَلَ عَلَىٰ بَصَرِهِۦ غِشَـٰوَةً۬ فَمَن يَہۡدِيهِ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ ٱللَّهِۚ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ )
Have you seen him who takes his own lust (vain desires) as his ilâh (god)? and Allâh knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a cover on his sight. Who then will guide him after Allâh? Will you not then remember? [Al-Jaathiyah: 23].
- Arrogance and hatred. These prevent one from seeing the good, as Allâh the most High, says:
( سَأَصۡرِفُ عَنۡ ءَايَـٰتِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَتَكَبَّرُونَ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ بِغَيۡرِ ٱلۡحَقِّ وَإِن يَرَوۡاْ ڪُلَّ ءَايَةٍ۬ لَّا يُؤۡمِنُواْ بِہَا وَإِن يَرَوۡاْ سَبِيلَ ٱلرُّشۡدِ لَا يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلاً۬ وَإِن يَرَوۡاْ سَبِيلَ ٱلۡغَىِّ يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلاً۬ۚ)
I shall turn away from My Ayât (verses of the Qur’ân) those who behave arrogantly on the earth, without a right, and (even) if they see all the Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), they will not believe in them. And if they see the way of righteousness (monotheism, piety, and good deeds), they will not adopt it as the Way, but if they see the way of error (polytheism, crimes and evil deeds), they will adopt that way [Al-A’raf: 146].
He, the Almighty, also said,
( ٱلَّذِينَ ءَاتَيۡنَـٰهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ يَعۡرِفُونَهُ ۥ كَمَا يَعۡرِفُونَ أَبۡنَآءَهُمۡۖ وَإِنَّ فَرِيقً۬ا مِّنۡهُمۡ لَيَكۡتُمُونَ ٱلۡحَقَّ وَهُمۡ يَعۡلَمُونَ )
Those to whom We gave the Scripture (Jews and Christians) recognise him (Muhammad or the Ka’bah at Makkah) as they recongise their sons. But verily, a party of them conceal the truth while they know it [Al-Baqarah: 146].
- Disqualification of one for the guidance of Allâh the most High, due to the absence of desire to turn towards good, and show self-indulgence for that at the sight of Allâh, the Almighty, regarding the dignity He has prepared for His believing slaves. This is a proof that guidance needs acceptability and desire to reach that stage of success, and perseverance in adopting the legal means that lead to it. Allâh the most Purified said,
( وَلَوۡ عَلِمَ ٱللَّهُ فِيہِمۡ خَيۡرً۬ا لَّأَسۡمَعَهُمۡۖ وَلَوۡ أَسۡمَعَهُمۡ لَتَوَلَّواْ وَّهُم مُّعۡرِضُونَ )
Had Allâh known of any good in them, He would indeed have made them listen; and even if He had made them listen, they would but have turned away with aversion (to the truth) [Al-Anfal: 23].
- Not to surrender or respond to the order of Allâh, nor to be docile and committed to His commandments. Allâh the most Purified said,
( وَلَوۡ أَنَّہُمۡ فَعَلُواْ مَا يُوعَظُونَ بِهِۦ لَكَانَ خَيۡرً۬ا لَّهُمۡ وَأَشَدَّ تَثۡبِيتً۬ا * وَإِذً۬ا لَّأَتَيۡنَـٰهُم مِّن لَّدُنَّآ أَجۡرًا عَظِيمً۬ا * وَلَهَدَيۡنَـٰهُمۡ صِرَٲطً۬ا مُّسۡتَقِيمً۬ا )
But if they had done what they were told, it would have been better for them, and would have strengthened their (Faith); (66) And indeed We should then have bestowed upon them a great reward from Ourselves (67) And indeed We should have guided them to a Straight Way [An-Nisa: 66-68].
Regarding these verses, Ibn Jarir, May Allâh bestow mercy upon him, said, “The meaning of the Arabic words “Wa La Hadainahum” is We would have guided them to the Straight Way.”
- The impact of a bad friend who distracts one from goodness, and encourages him to do what sets one away from the guidance of Allâh, the most High. Imam Al-Bukhari narrated that When Abu Talib was in his death bed, the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), went to him while Abu Jahl Ibn Hisham and Abdullah bin Umayyah bin Al-Mughirah were sitting beside him. The Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), said, “O my uncle! Say: La Ilaaha Illallaah, “None has the right to be worshipped except Allâh”, an expression I will defend your case with, before Allâh.” Abu Jahl and `Abdullah bin Umayyah said, “O Abu Talib! Will you leave the religion of `Abdul Muttalib?” So the messenger of Allâh kept on putting it before him but they kept on saying this to him so that the last statement he said to them (before he died) was: “I am on the religion of `Abdul Muttalib”.
Slaves of Allâh! He in whose hand is guidance is the only One that is eligible to be followed and obeyed, and avoid that which He has forbidden. As for he that people have taken as partner besides Allâh, he cannot do anything. Therefore it is wrong to accord him any respect or request him to bring forth benefit, or expect him to prevent some harm. Allâh the most High said,
( قُلۡ هَلۡ مِن شُرَكَآٮِٕكُم مَّن يَہۡدِىٓ إِلَى ٱلۡحَقِّۚ قُلِ ٱللَّهُ يَہۡدِى لِلۡحَقِّۗ أَفَمَن يَہۡدِىٓ إِلَى ٱلۡحَقِّ أَحَقُّ أَن يُتَّبَعَ أَمَّن لَّا يَہِدِّىٓ إِلَّآ أَن يُہۡدَىٰۖ فَمَا لَكُمۡ كَيۡفَ تَحۡكُمُونَ )
Say: “Is there of your (Allâh’s so-called) partners one that guides to the truth?” Say: “It is Allâh Who guides to the truth. Is then He, Who guides to the truth, more worthy to be followed, or he who finds not guidance (himself) unless he is guided? Then, what is the matter with you? How judge you?” [Yunus: 35].
Let us recourse to Allâh and worship Him always. We should do His remembrance, the Most Purified, night and day, so that we may be among those that aspire for His good and fear the punishment He has vowed to inflict upon those that disobey Him. Let us be among those who are optimistic about any success He grants to us; for He the most Purified, loves those that surrender their affairs to Him and show self-indulgence for that which lies in His Hands. As in the hadith narrated by the Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), from his Lord, that Allâh the Almighty said, “I am as My slave thinks of Me. So let him think of me as he wills” (Ahmad).
Moreover, our prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), used to like good omen” (Al-Bukhari).
The most important thing that a Muslim should ask his Lord is to guide him all the time, and decree for him steadfastness until death. Whoever, does so, perhaps he will be honoured with sincerity in prayer, and Allâh will accept him and will not disappoint him. Such is the grace that a lot of people wish to achieve. Hence, how honourable and graceful is it!
We indeed, pray to Allâh for guidance many times every day, as stated in the opening chapter of the Qur’an:
( ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٲطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ )
Guide us to the Straight Way [Al-Fatihah: 5].
This is among the core part of Allâh’s grace upon us, that He guided us to what is good for us in this world and the hereafter.
O Allâh, guide us to the Straight Path, lead us to all the best, and turn away from us all evils, and do not take our lives unless you are satisfied with us. O the kindest of those who show kindness, O the Most Merciful.
Invoke prayers and blessings of Allâh upon the leader of those who are pure, master of the righteous people and the intercessor on the Day of Judgement where Allâh the Most Exalted and Glorified has commanded you to do so when He said,
( إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا )
Allâh sends His Salah (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet (Muhammad) and also His angels too (ask Allâh to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salah on (ask Allâh to bless) him (Muhammad), and (you should) greet him with the Islamic way of greeting [Al-Ahzab: 56].