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andywelik
12-20-2013, 05:32 PM
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, (2) The Beneficent, the Merciful. (3) Owner of the Day of Judgment, (4) Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help. (5)Show us the straight path,

__________________________________________________ ____________

As a Christian I am curious to know how long does a Muslim have to keep on praying for number 5 item above that I have highlighted?

I ask that question because I, as a born again Christian, needed to pray that prayer to the Jehovah-God of the Holy Bible only once. Ever since I came to know the truth in my heart and soul, I stopped praying to be shown the true Way to Salvation from hell-fire. No true follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ will pray that he/she be shown the true way to heaven. Why? Because he/she knows the truth 100% while still living. Of course after death there is no learning because the brain shut down immediately at death.

If a person has to keep on praying until death that he/she be shown the right path to heaven, it means even on their death-beds breathing out their last breath, they have not been shown the right way to heaven. It means they have no way of knowing the way to heaven for ever and ever.

Am I right or wrong?
Reply

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Muhaba
12-20-2013, 06:42 PM
What you quoted is from the first chapter of the Holy Quran, called Al-Fatihah which means "The Opening." It is the "opening" to the Quran. It is a prayer that was revealed from God and in it we humans ask to be shown the Straight Path. the answer to this prayer is the whole Quran. The whole Quran is given for the guidance of mankind. We only need to study the Quran with an inquisitive mind, seeking truth and knowledge to be guided.

Your christain faith is based on the bible, a book containing many errors and contradictions which prove that it is not the original word of God anymore but has been tampered with. As such, you don't know what statement in the bible is true and what is false. It makes no difference what your bible says about Jesus or anything else. You can never know it is true or not.

The Quran on the other hand is the original unchanged Word of God. Everything in it can be trusted to be correct because it is from God. In over 1400 years, there have been no changes in the Quran. Every Arabic Quran is exactly identical to every other. There are no errors or contradictions in the Quran. The Quran gives some information which is also present in the bible. As such, you can use the Quran to differentiate the true statements in the bible from the incorrect statements. Where the bible contains many different versions of a story or incorrect stories, you can also know the correct version of the story from the Quran. thus, the Quran is a Judge over the previous books. It preserves the information that was originally revealed in the holy books and it verifies correct information.
Reply

Insaanah
12-20-2013, 09:01 PM
Originally Posted by andywelik
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, (2) The Beneficent, the Merciful. (3) Owner of the Day of Judgment, (4) Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help. (5)Show us the straight path,

__________________________________________________ ____________

As a Christian I am curious to know how long does a Muslim have to keep on praying for number 5 item above that I have highlighted?

I ask that question because I, as a born again Christian, needed to pray that prayer to the Jehovah-God of the Holy Bible only once. Ever since I came to know the truth in my heart and soul, I stopped praying to be shown the true Way to Salvation from hell-fire. No true follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ will pray that he/she be shown the true way to heaven. Why? Because he/she knows the truth 100% while still living. Of course after death there is no learning because the brain shut down immediately at death.

If a person has to keep on praying until death that he/she be shown the right path to heaven, it means even on their death-beds breathing out their last breath, they have not been shown the right way to heaven. It means they have no way of knowing the way to heaven for ever and ever.

Am I right or wrong?
Wrong.

The Arabic word used, ihdinaa, translates more specifically, as "guide us" to the straight path.

We constantly seek and want the guidance of God in all aspects of our lives. The part surah you have posted above is from Surah al-Fatiha, the very first surah of the Qur'an , and it's opening, which Muslims will recite and pray at least 20 times a day. We never tire from reading it. We do not feel we need to talk to God only once in our lives. We constantly pray, request, praise, glorify, magnify, give thanks, seek forgiveness, ask to be guided and for mercy and blessings bestowed on us etc. And, God willing will do so until we die.

This does not mean that we are asking to be guided to the straight path because we have no idea what the straight path is, or because we feel that we have thus far not been guided to it. On the contrary, the very next chapter, just four verses on from the one you mentioned, begins:

"This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah" (2:2)

The whole Qur'an is laid before us in answer to our prayer for guidance.

In addition to this, also see the following quote from Tafsir ibn Kathir:

The Faithful ask for and abide by Guidance

If someone asks, "Why does the believer ask Allah for guidance during every prayer and at other times, while he is already properly guided? Has he not already acquired guidance?''

The answer to these questions is that if it were not a fact that the believer needs to keep asking for guidance day and night, Allah would not have directed him to invoke Him to acquire the guidance. The servant needs Allah the Exalted every hour of his life to help him remain firm on the path of guidance and to make him even more firm and persistent on it. The servant does not have the power to benefit or harm himself, except by Allah's permission. Therefore, Allah directed the servant to invoke Him constantly, so that He provides him with His aid and with firmness and success. Indeed, the happy person is he whom Allah guides to ask of Him. This is especially the case if a person urgently needs Allah's help day or night. Allah said,

﴿يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ءَامِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَـبِ الَّذِى نَزَّلَ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَـبِ الَّذِى أَنَزلَ مِن قَبْلُ﴾

(O you who believe! Believe in Allah, and His Messenger (Muhammad ), and the Book (the Qur'an) which He has sent down to His Messenger, and the Scripture which He sent down to those before (him)) (4:16).

Therefore, in this Ayah Allah commanded the believers to believe, and this command is not redundant since what is sought here is firmness and continuity of performing the deeds that help one remain on the path of faith. Also, Allah commanded His believing servants to proclaim,

﴿رَبَّنَا لاَ تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ ﴾

(Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.) (3:8). Hence,

﴿اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ ﴾

(Guide us to the straight way) means, "Make us firm on the path of guidance and do not allow us to deviate from it.''
Source: http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?opt...d=63&Itemid=35

The Qur'an begins "In the name of Allah.." This is followed by praise of God, acknowledgement of His Mercy and Lordship, affirmation that only He is worthy of being worshipped and asked for help, and a prayer to ask for guidance to the right path. The rest of the book contains the guidance asked for, as in the second sentence of the very next Surah.

In the Surah, we ask Allah to guide us to the path of those he favoured:

And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger - those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favour, of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions. (4:69)

Those were the ones upon whom Allah bestowed favour from among the prophets of the descendants of Adam and of those We carried [in the ship] with Noah, and of the descendants of Abraham and Israel, and of those whom We guided and chose. When the verses of the Most Merciful were recited to them, they fell in prostration and weeping. (19:58)

The path of Abraham (peace be upon him):

[He was] grateful for His favors. Allah chose him and guided him to a straight path. (16:121)

The path of Moses and Aaron (peace be upon them):

And We guided them both on the straight path. (37:118)

The path Jesus (peace be upon him) called to:

"Indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is the straight path." (3:51 , 19:36 and 43:64)

and the guidance given to, and path of, the following:

And We gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - all [of them] We guided. And Noah, We guided before; and among his descendants, David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward the doers of good.
And Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias - and all were of the righteous.
And Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot - and all [of them] We preferred over the worlds.
And [some] among their fathers and their descendants and their brothers - and We chose them and We guided them to a straight path.
That is the guidance of Allah by which He guides whomever He wills of His servants. But if they had associated others with Allah , then worthless for them would be whatever they were doing
Those are the ones to whom We gave the Scripture and authority and prophethood. But if the disbelievers deny it, then We have entrusted it to a people who are not therein disbelievers.
Those are the ones whom Allah has guided, so from their guidance take an example. Say, "I ask of you for this message no payment. It is not but a reminder for the worlds."(6:84-90)

The last word in the passage is significant, that it is a reminder for all the worlds, from, if we look at Surah al-Faatihah, the Lord of all the worlds.

The path we are seeking, is not just a path specific to Prophet Muhammad (peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon him), because that was not a different path from the others. The path has always been the same, but the other prophets teachings got distorted/corrupted/forgotten. Islam is the culmination of the same Ultimate Universal Truth that all the Prophets, peace be upon them, preached; the same message they all brought, from the same God. To worship God alone, without any associates or partners in His Divinity, be those partners in the form of a son, an incarnation of God, or otherwise. Islam is not a new or different religion, but what has always been since the time of Adam (peace be upon him), the only one unchanged, thus the only straight path.

We seek to join all the Prophets mentioned, and their righteous ancestors, descendants and brethren in the guidance given to them. This large company of believers, whom we seek to join in Surah al-Faatihah, is reinforced at the end of the salaat: "Peace be to us and the righteous servants of Allah".

The singularity of God and His Lordship is emphasised throughout, while the supplication or request is made in the plural, even for a Muslim reciting it on his own, showing that he sees himself as part of a brotherhood of believers, and his supplication is not just for him, but for all who seek such a way, namely, the straight path.

Peace.
Reply

Ahmad H
12-20-2013, 09:30 PM
Originally Posted by andywelik
If a person has to keep on praying until death that he/she be shown the right path to heaven, it means even on their death-beds breathing out their last breath, they have not been shown the right way to heaven. It means they have no way of knowing the way to heaven for ever and ever.
The words, "Guide us to the straight path" does not mean that we are praying for Allah to guide us on the right path because we are not on it. The English translation of the Qur'an is never exact about the meaning of a verse. This is why we should always resort to what the commentaries say.

Without saying too much, in Ibn Abbas' commentary on this verse, he says, "guide us to the established Religion that You are pleased with, i.e. Islam. It is also said that this means: make us firm in holding fast to it. It is also said that the straight path refers to Allah's Book, and guidance to this means guidance to that which it prescribes as lawful or unlawful and to the exposition of its content."

I hope that answers your question. It doesn't require a long answer, since the best interpretation is from the most knowledgeable people on the Qur'an. The Holy Qur'an highlights how Muslims can be guided by explaining the guidance. This Surah offers a prayer that we Muslims be guided on that path. These seven verses of Al-Fatihah are, in its content, and scope, covers the entire Qur'an.
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sister herb
12-20-2013, 10:24 PM
Originally Posted by andywelik
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, (2) The Beneficent, the Merciful. (3) Owner of the Day of Judgment, (4) Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help. (5)Show us the straight path,

__________________________________________________ ____________

As a Christian I am curious to know how long does a Muslim have to keep on praying for number 5 item above that I have highlighted?

I ask that question because I, as a born again Christian, needed to pray that prayer to the Jehovah-God of the Holy Bible only once. Ever since I came to know the truth in my heart and soul, I stopped praying to be shown the true Way to Salvation from hell-fire. No true follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ will pray that he/she be shown the true way to heaven. Why? Because he/she knows the truth 100% while still living. Of course after death there is no learning because the brain shut down immediately at death.

If a person has to keep on praying until death that he/she be shown the right path to heaven, it means even on their death-beds breathing out their last breath, they have not been shown the right way to heaven. It means they have no way of knowing the way to heaven for ever and ever.

Am I right or wrong?
Peace with you

I havenĀ“t any clue what kind of Christianity you follow as you mentioned Jehovah-God. Never mind about it.

We muslims pray and praise the God all day to the last breath, not only to ask that He will show us the right or straight path but to thank Him that He accepted we as muslims.

It is blessing and we are thankfull about it.

Sorry my English might be quite simple but hopely you understood my basic meaning.

:embarrass
Reply

Signor
12-21-2013, 07:43 AM
Hello Andy

Matthews Chapter Seven starts with:

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you


You made a mistake by pointing out our fallacies,I wish you had a look at your own bible before jumping over us

Originally Posted by andywelik
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, (2) The Beneficent, the Merciful. (3) Owner of the Day of Judgment, (4) Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help. (5)Show us the straight path,
Originally Posted by andywelik
As a Christian I am curious to know how long does a Muslim have to keep on praying for number 5 item above that I have highlighted?
Originally Posted by andywelik
I stopped praying to be shown the true Way to Salvation from hell-fire.
Do you know The Lord's Prayer,sure you do.In my observation,Born Again Christians are the most zealous followers from rest.

Matthew 6:9–13 (ESV)

"Pray then like this: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.'"

and From Psalm 25:4-5 ESV

(Note:Psalm Of David(peace and blessings be upon him),Its not Jesus(peace and blessings be upon him) who said those words,Hence Lord here means The GOD)

Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Originally Posted by andywelik
Ever since I came to know the truth in my heart and soul, I stopped praying to be shown the true Way to Salvation from hell-fire. No true follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ will pray that he/she be shown the true way to heaven. Why? Because he/she knows the truth 100% while still living.
Originally Posted by andywelik
If a person has to keep on praying until death that he/she be shown the right path to heaven, it means even on their death-beds breathing out their last breath, they have not been shown the right way to heaven. It means they have no way of knowing the way to heaven for ever and ever.
Shall We Begin?

Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Matthew 7:21-27 ESV

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

and after this

Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

What is the hope for every day sinner who is NOT "Born Again"?

Show us the straight path

BIG DEAL,HUH?

Coming back to ayah in question which is also taken out of context since last verse is

"The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.",

Ibn Taymiyyah wrote in His Book "Diseases of the Hearts & Their Cures":

Some of them say concerning His saying, اهدِنَــــا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيمَ ‘Guide us to the Straight Path’ saying: ‘Allaah has already guided the believer, so what benefit is there in seeking guidance?’ Then some of them reply by saying that the meaning is ‘keep us firm upon guidance’, as the Arab would say to the one who is asleep, ‘sleep until I come to you.’ Others from amongst them say that the meaning is, ‘keep our hearts firm upon the guidance’ and that the request for firmness has been omitted. Yet others from amongst them say that it means, ‘increase me in guidance’.

This question really occurs due to the absence of their contemplating upon the Straight Path to which the servant seeks guidance to, for the meaning (of the verse) is (seeking guidance to) act according to what Allaah ordered, and leave what He forbade in all matters.

This is because the person, even if he has believed that Muhammad salAllaahu alayhi wasallam is the Messenger of Allaah and that the Qur’aan is the Truth in a general way, is commonly in need of knowledge of that which would benefit him and harm him, and he is in need of knowledge of what he has been commanded to do and forbidden from doing in the finer aspects of matters and in those areas of which he has no knowledge – and that which he does have knowledge of, he does not put the greater part of it into practice! Assuming that all of the commands and prohibitions contained in the Qur’aan and Sunnah have reached him, then the Qur’aan and Sunnah contain laws that are general and universal and it is not possible to specify these to each individual. Due to this, each individual person has been commanded to ask for guidance to the Straight Path. Guidance to the Straight Path includes all of the following matters: cognizance of what the Messenger salAllaahu alayhi wasallam came with in detail, cognizance of what comes under his general orders and concern for acting according to one’s knowledge, for indeed just having knowledge is not a cause for attaining guidance if one does not act according to his knowledge. This is why He said to His Prophet after the treaty of Hudaybiyyah,

إِنَّا فَتَحْنَا لَكَ فَتْحًا مُّبِينًا

لِيَغْفِرَ لَكَ اللَّهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِن ذَنبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ وَيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكَ وَيَهْدِيَكَ صِرَاطًا مُّسْتَقِيمًا

Indeed We have given you a manifest victory. That Allaah may forgive you your sins of the past and future, and complete His Favour upon you, and guided you on the Straight Path. (Soorah al-Fath (48): 1-2)

He said with respect to Moosaa and Haroon,

وَآتَيْنَاهُمَا الْكِتَابَ الْمُسْتَبِينَ

وَهَدَيْنَاهُمَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

And We gave them the clear Scripture, and guided them to the Right Path.(Soorah as-Safaat (37): 117-118)

The Muslims have differed in opinion as to what Allaah has Willed in textual sources – matters of knowledge, belief and action while all of them are agreed that Muhammad salAllaahu alayhi wasallam is the truth and the Qur’aan is the truth, and if all of them were to attain guidance to the Straight Path in its totality then they would never have differed. The majority of those who know what Allaah has ordered, disobey Him and do not follow His Way, and if they were guided to the Straight Path in these matters then they certainly would have performed what they had been commanded to do, and left what they had been forbidden. And there are those whom Allaah guided from amongst this nation until they became the God-Fearing friends of Allaah. The greatest reason for this was their supplicating to Allaah with the supplication اهدِنَــــا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيمَ (Guide us to the Straight Path) in every prayer along with their knowledge of their continuous need of Allaah to guide them towards the Straight Path. So due to their continually reciting this supplication and their acknowledging their continuous need of Him they became God-Fearing Friends of Allaah. Sahl bin ‘Abdullaah at-Tustoree said, ‘There is not a route between a servant and Allaah closer to Him than need.’

The one who has attained guidance in the past is in need of guidance in the future; this is the real meaning behind the saying of those who say it means: Establish us and guide us to being firm upon the Straight Path. The opinion of those who say that it means: ‘Increase us in guidance’ includes what has preceded. But all that has been stated refers to His guidance to the Straight Path that is to be granted in the future, for indeed action in the future is upon knowledge that is not yet attained. The person is not considered to be one who is guided until he acts according to his knowledge in the future, but it is possible that this knowledge may not be there in the future, rather it could be removed from the heart , and if it is still present it is also possible that it is not acted upon. Therefore, all of mankind is in dire need of this supplication, this is why Allaah made it obligatory upon them in every prayer and they are not in need of any other supplication more than this one. When guidance is obtained to the Straight Path then help, provision and all of the happiness that the soul seeks are obtained (from Allaah). Allaah knows best.

There is a saying of Prophet:saws: telling us What is The Straight Path

Ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, drew a line with his hand and said, “This is the straight path of Allah.” Then the Prophet drew lines to the right and left, and he said, “These are other paths and there is not another path except that a devil is upon it calling to it.” Then the Prophet recited the verse, “Verily, this is the straight path so follow it and do not follow other paths.” (6:153)

Musnad Ahmad 4423

For a better understanding of the verse Show us the straight path (In Arabic it will be read as:Ihdina assirata almustaqeem) and what Guidance means in Islam,see the article below:

‘Guide us’ (Ihdina)

In Arabic the word hidaya doesn’t simply mean guidance, it means to guide gently. The word for gift (hadiyya) in Arabic also comes from the same root letters as the word for guidance (hidaya). Religious guidance is the greatest gift that a person can possess. It is also something that we do not control or own, but rather it is bestowed upon us in an act of infinite mercy and grace by Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He).

Notice how it is in the plural—not ‘guide me’ but ‘guide us.’ This instils in us a sense of brotherhood by making this request on behalf of fellow Muslims, especially as we stand in prayer as a group.

Types of hidaya (guidance) mentioned in the Qur’an


There are four types of hidaya mentioned in the Qur’an.

General hidaya that is given to all creation. This type of guidance and knowledge is given by Allah (swt) to all created things. By this guidance, animals, plants and even inanimate objects fulfil the purpose for which they were created. This also includes the general intellect, wits, and inherent intuitive knowledge given to all responsible beings regardless of their faith. This is referred to in the following verse:

He said, “Our Lord is He who gave each thing its form and then guided [it].” (Qur’an 20:50)

Hidaya that is in the form of explanation and education by way of defining the two paths of good and evil. It is when someone guides you by explaining that which is good and warns you from that which is evil according to Islam. This is the type of hidaya referred to in this verse:

And indeed, [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path. (Qur’an 42:52)

Hidaya that is tawfiq (a specific type of divine guidance) and inspiration (ilham) from Allah (swt) to be guided to the truth of iman (faith), islam (submission), etc. The following verses refer to this type.

“…Thus does Allah leave astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. (Qur’an 74:31)

No disaster strikes except by permission of Allah. And whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things. (Qur’an 64:11)

Hidaya that is in the next life, by which one shall be guided to Paradise.

And We will have removed whatever is within their breasts of resentment, [while] flowing beneath them are rivers. And they will say, “Praise to Allah, who has guided us to this; (Quran 7:43)

Each one of the above types of hidaya has a sequential connection and relationship. Without the first level of guidance you will not have the capacity to attain the second and without the second you cannot attain the third and fourth levels.

We have absolutely no power to guide anyone using any of the above types of guidance except for the second type of hidaya that is explanation and education. This type of guidance is what is referred to in the following verses.

And indeed, [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path. (Qur’an 42:52)

You are only a warner, and for every people is a guide. (Qur’an 13:7)

The remaining types of guidance, particularly the third type of guidance which is tawfiq from Allah (swt) to have iman, are what are referred to in the following verse of the Qur’an, again addressing the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him):

Indeed, [O Muhammad], you do not guide whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He is most knowing of the [rightly] guided. (Qur’an 28:56)

In other words even the Prophets, much less others, cannot guide whom they choose to become believers in the sense of actually putting faith in a person’s heart. They can only guide in terms of explanation, exhortation, clarification and instruction regarding the truth.

The first lesson here is that we should seek guidance in every matter with Allah (swt) first and foremost before turning to others. Secondly it should humble those of us who are inviting or ‘guiding’ others to Islam to acknowledge and internalize the fact that we have no real power over this matter, and that true guidance is the sole dominion of Allah (swt), the ‘turner of the hearts.’ However on the other hand, that should not make us despair of the work we do, for which our reward is with Allah (swt). But rather it should increase our confidence in inviting others knowing that the result is not dependent on ‘my da`wah’ or speech, which is full of weakness and defects, but is in the hands of Allah (swt) who can instantly change the hearts of the most wicked and tyrannical into the most pure and righteous.

The Ten Levels of Guidance

A Muslim may question why he or she has to ask for guidance at least seventeen times a day whilst they have already been guided to Islam. Scholars have explained that it is because firstly we ask for constancy (thabat) on guidance and secondly because there are so many levels and aspects of guidance that we are in need of in every detail of our daily lives that it becomes imperative to seek it.

The following will help to clarify. For example there are a further ten levels of guidance that need to be attained for one to be truly guided.2 Therefore one should bear in mind when asking for guidance that one is asking Allah (swt) to:

  • Be granted guidance of knowledge and clarity, in order for one to know and reach the truth.
  • For the capacity to be guided
  • Make one desirous of guidance
  • Make one act upon the guidance
  • Make one remain steadfast on guidance
  • Remove all barriers and obstructions that impede guidance
  • Be granted a distinctive and detailed level of guidance on the path itself and its stations
  • Be granted sight of one’s ultimate goal along the path, to be alerted to it so that one can perceive it on the journey, catching sight of it without being blocked from seeing it.
  • Make one aware of one’s own destitution and desperate need for guidance (from Allah) over and above all other necessities.
  • Make one see the two misguided paths that veer off from the path of guidance; firstly the path of the people of wrath—those who intentionally, out of rebellion, turned away from following the truth; secondly the path of the people of misguidance—those who turned away out of ignorance and misguidance. One then sees the straight path upon which are all the prophets and messengers along with their followers from the truthful (siddiqeen), the martyrs and the righteous.

We are instructed by Allah (swt) to ask for guidance to the straight path (al-sirat al-mustaqim). What then is the nature of this path?

Description of the Straight Path (al-sirat al-mustaqim)

In the language of the Arabs a path (sirat) needs to possess five qualities for it to be called a sirat. ((Ibid)) The path needs to be:

  1. Straight
  2. Easy to travel upon
  3. A familiar well-trodden path
  4. Wide and spacious
  5. Lead one to the desired destination


Since the path that we are asking guidance to is Islam itself, notice and reflect on how these qualities apply to Islam. Islam is straight in that it is a correct and firmly established way, pure and protected from any crookedness or deviation from the truth. Allah (swt) describes those who want to block people on the path of Allah (swt): “…Who averted [people] from the way of Allah and sought to make it [seem] deviant while they were, concerning the Hereafter, disbelievers.” (Qur’an 7:45)

Islam is also easy as Allah (swt) has said, “Allah intends for you ease, and does not want to make things difficult for you,” (Qur’an 2:185); and as the Prophet ﷺ said, “The deen (Islam/religion) is easy…” [Bukhari]. Allah (swt) does not burden a soul beyond its capacity. There will be challenges, temptations and difficulties in living as a Muslim but they are things that we ultimately have the capacity to bear. Everything in shari`ah (Islamic law) benefits us or wards off harm for us in this world and/or the next.

Islam, which is submission to the commands of Allah (swt), is also a familiar and well-trodden path, the path of all the Prophets and their followers. As Allah (swt) says,

“And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favour of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions.” (Qur’an 4:69)

The final, universal revelation of Islam is wide and spacious and accommodates all, regardless of colour, race or social status. It is us with our parochial attitudes that restrict the vastness of this path to our favourite ‘saved’ group, tariqa, shaykh or a specific allegiance that excludes others that Islam hasn’t excluded. Ibn Majah records that the Prophet ﷺ said, “I have left you on a (wide, spacious) clear (white) path, its night is like its day whoever deviates from this after me will be destroyed….”

And indeed the path of Islam leads to the desired destination, which is Allah’s pleasure gained by obeying Him. Allah (swt) says:

“So those who believe in Allah and hold fast to Him – He will admit them to mercy from Himself and bounty and guide them to Himself on a straight path.( Quran 4:175)

You will also notice that the word al-sirat (path) in the surah (chapter) has the definite article al. The definite article is close to the meaning of ‘the’ which renders it ‘the straight path’ in English and has several possible meanings in Arabic. Here it is said that it denotes something definite which is in the mind as well as in reality. For example when students waiting for their teacher to arrive say ‘the teacher is late.’ The teacher they are referring to is known amongst them and in their minds they know exactly who they are referring to. In that sense, grammatically, ‘the teacher’ is a definite noun phrase and not an indefinite one. They wouldn’t say a teacher is late in this case.

Similarly, in this case, it is a specific and definite known path that we are seeking guidance to. It is the path that Allah (swt) has ordained for the people that He has favoured, the path that leads to His pleasure and His paradise, which is in fact His deen—besides which nothing is acceptable to Him. It is said that it is also the path that we intuitively know in the deepest core of our hearts that must exist because as human beings we already affirmed when we were created that Allah is our Rabb (Lord).
Why We Plead “Guide Us To The Straight Path”

Regards
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