*"This is the Guidance of Allah with which He brings to the right path whomsoever He wills. As for the one whom Allah lets go astray, for him there is no one to guide." (Az-Zumar, 23)
*"Surely you (O Muhammad) cannot guide whomsoever you love, but it is Allah who guides whoever He wills."
*"Surely, this Quraan guides to something that is most straightforward, and gives glad tidings to the believers who do good deeds that ready for them there is a great reward." (An'aam, 9)
*" In similar way, We have revealed to you a Spirit from Our command. You did not know earlier what was the Book or what was Imaan (true faith), but We have made it (the Qur'aan) a light with which We guide whomsoever We will from among Our servants. And indeed you are guiding (people) to a straight path." (Ash-Shu'araa, 52)
If all the verses of the Noble Qur'aan that discuss Hidayah were to be enlisted, a small booklet would have to be compiled. And if we farther had to explain each of those verses, we'd end up with volumes.
The gist of it all is that Allah has the power to guide whomsoever He wills. And If Allah wished to, he could have guided every single person on to the straight path of Islam. However, in that case there would have been no point in sending us to this world. Allah has made the life of this world a test of our faith in Him. Therefore Allah Ta'aala clearly explained the straight path to us, leaving no room for doubts and confusion. Allah sent messengers and revealed divine scriptures for the guidance of mankind from Adam (AS) till the last man to walk on earth. The last and final Messenger, Muhammad (sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam) was sent with the Qur'aan that serves as a source of guidance till the end of time. The Qur'aan is replete with guidance and is perfect for every era and time, even though it was revealed 1400 years ago. The Last Sharee'ah of the prophet Muhammad (sallalahu alayhi wa sallam) encompasses laws and solutions for every situation in every era.
Now it is every human-being's choice, whether to take full advantage and benefit from the sources guidance at his disposal (The Qur'aan, The Sunnah, and the teachings of the pious predecessors), or to ignore it and forsake it for something else that will be of no avail to him in the hereafter.
Allah has taught us to seek guidance to the straight path from Allah, in every raka'ah of every salaah, when we recite Surah Fatihah. This fact is enough to highlight the importance of holding on to the true guidance of Allah without straying from the straight path. It also goes to show that without the help of Allah none of us can ensure that we do no stray.
"Guide us to the straight path; (al-Faatihah, 5)
Hidaayah (guidance) is divided into three categories. The first is the guidance Allaah gave to everything after creating it so that it functions appropriately and serves the purpose it was created for. As a result, the system of this world runs in a manner that boggles the mind. For example, Allaah guided the sun to give light during the day and secrete itself during the night. Thus, each day it rises at a specific time, and sets at a specific time, and never do we find that it has failed in it is duty. This type of guidance applies to all things, animate and inanimate. The second is the guidance Allaah sent for Man and Jinn (the creation that is blessed with sense of comprehension) in the form of Divine Scriptures and Prophets. Every individual has the choice to accept or reject it, and his choice will decide his outcome. In this regard, the Noble Quraan, and Prophets can be called bearers of guidance. The third is exclusive to the believing and Allaah-fearing ones from Man and Jinn, and is received directly from Allaah . It is when Allaah grants an internal ability to accept the guidance of the Quraan and the Prophet and act accordingly, another name for which is Tawfeeq. This guidance knows no bounds, for one can never do enough when it comes to pleasing Allaah . There is always room for improvement. It increases and decreases according to ones actions. Even the greatest prophet or saint is desirous of progressing in this field until his last breath.
From this we understand that guidance is something every existing thing has to a certain extent, but at the same time even the most superior of Allaahs servants is not dispensed from attaining its pinnacle. That is why asking Allaah for guidance has been rendered the most important supplication of the opening chapter of the Qur'aan, int which Allah instructs His bondsmen to ask Him to guide them in every aspect of life, towards the right way which is devoid of any misconception or misconduct, and does not lead to an evil outcome; a path that entails success and salvation. Where there are hundreds of deviated paths, based on self-pleasing innovations or logical explanations, may Allaah always keep us on the highway of Deen. It is possible that despite being on the straight path, one may unknowingly succumb to the deception of the Devil or the self (carnal desires), and thus is mislead, and follows his desires under the banner of Islam. He begins to think this is the proper Islam, when in the light of the Quraan and Sunnah it is nothing short of deviation. That is why it should be our constant plea to Allaah that He keeps us steadfast on the upright Deen. One cannot achieve success in the world or the hereafter without the straight path.
Even in worldly problems the recitation of this verse has proved to be distinctively effective. One of the women from the household of the famous cleric Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi was experiencing difficulty in making a middle parting in her hair. Maulana advised her to read this verse before attempting, and when she complied the task was accomplished.
The prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) used to frequently supplicate to Allah saying "O' Allah keep my heart steadfast on Your religion". When the Sahaabah (radhiallahu anhum heard this the inquired, "O' Rasulullah, do you fear (straying away)?" He replied, "Why should I not fear, when the heart is in between two fingers of Ar-Rahmaan, he turns it however he wills. If he wishes to guide it, he guides it, and if he wishes to let it go astray He lets it go astray."
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