Those who have attained Guidance - Ramadan Reflections 19/30 - 1436/2015

Translated by Shaykh Saleem Bhimji and edited by Arifa Hudda, this work looks at 30 topics through the supplications taught by Prophet Muhammad, prayers of God be upon him and his family, to be recited in the Blessed Month of Ramadan. In this installment, the topic of "Those who have attained Guidance" is elucidated upon.

Allahumma waffir fihee hadhdhi min barakati, wa sahhil sabili ila khairati, wa la tahrimni qabula hasanatai, ya hadiyan ila al-haqq al-mubeen 'Oh Allah, on this day multiply for me it's blessings, and on this day ease my path towards its bounty's. And on this day, do not deprive me of the acceptance of its good deeds. Oh, the guide towards the clear truth'. [Dura for the 19th Day of Shahr Ramadan]

A'udhu billahi min al-Shaytan al-rajim, Bismillah, al-Rahman, al-Rahim. Wa assalamu alaykum, wa rahmatullahi, wa barakatuh. With 11 days or less remaining in this blessed month of Ramadan today being the nineteenth of the blessed month, our topic is on those who have attained guidance.

'And what an apt topic, because we know on the 19th of the month of Ramadan is when the commander of the faithful Imam Ali may God's peace and blessings be upon him, that he was struck on the head with a poison sword which led to his eventual martyrdom a few days later. And so, therefore, as we remember the martyrdom anniversary of the Commander of the faithfuls, let us reflect on what it means to attain guidance, because not only was he the leader of the pious, but he is the guide to those who are seeking true guidance to Allah, Subhanah wa Ta'ala.

The Qur'an talks about guidance on multiple levels, and our scholars of theology of philosophy have also spoken about this issue of 'Hidaya' of guidance at many different levels. At first let me look at this verse of the Qur'an, which is coming to us from chapter 20, Surah Ta Ha verse number 50. In this verse, Allah tells us the following at one level of guidance that he has provided. He said, 'Our Lord is he who gave to everything its creation. Then he guided it to its goal.' (20:50)

This is what our scholars refer to as ontological guidance, that there is a level of guidance which is given directly by Allah, a level a form of guidance which everything in creation has been given. Allah creates things and then he fashions it, and then he puts it into motion, so to speak. This is one particular level of guidance of Allah. The second, and perhaps more important is another level of guidance, which is found is in many parts of the Qur'an.

But in what we want to reflect upon in Surat Al-Insaan, also known as Al-Dahar Chapter 76. And this is from verse number 3, where Allah says the following. 'Surely we have shown him, the human being, the way. He may be thankful or he may be unthankful'.(76:3) So Allah shows us that guidance to the path of Islam, the path of salvation, the path towards Allah is not imposed upon an individual. If Allah willed, he would have forced everybody to submit to him to follow the true religion. But he has left it open to you and I that we can, we are given the message. We are showing the path. And either we can be, as the Qur'an says, thankful and to follow the path of guidance, or we can reject it so we can be unthankful and grateful for Allahs bounties of guidance and reject the messages of his prophets to attain that path of felicity.

Chapter sixty four Surat At Taghabun, verse number 11, also talks about the guidance which Allah has provided. And in this verse, Allah tells us the following 'That whoever has faith in Allah, he guides his heart' (64:11). So there is this understanding that guidance is not stagnant. It is not a stationary thing that we attain and then we are completed. No, we see in fact, in our daily prayers, "Ihdeena Sarat al-Mustaqeem" (1:06) guide us, or better yet, keep us on the Straight Path. And we say this a minimum of ten times a day within our daily prayers.

This shows us that it's not enough to only be on the Path. We have to continuously be on that Path, because it is always possible for us to slip and falter and be deviant and deviate from the Straight Path towards Allah. And so therefore this verse tells us so that when Allah, whoever has faith in Allah that Allah will guide that person's heart and this becomes a continuous perpetual action that as long as our faith is there, the guidance continues to come from Allah, the creator of the universe.

Also Allah tells us in Chapter 13 Surat Al-Raad verse number 27, He says the following: 'And He guides to himself those who turn penitently to him.'(13:27) So this also exists within our religion that asking forgiveness, turning back to Allah from our sins also would result in Allah's guidance being once again received by us. So when we understand this, we see that if we have committed sins, it is as if we have turned away from Allah. We have deviated from Allah's guidance. But when we repent, we are sincere in our repentance, then we come back to the path of Allah and Allah continues to guide us down His path again.

We end with a very important hadith, a very important saying from Prophet Muhammad, may God's peace and blessings be upon him, which all Muslims are unanimous in accepting, in which he has shown us the only true path to guidance and anything other than this Path is the path of misguidance, of deviance, of not following Islam as taught by the messenger of Allah. He says in this very lengthy Hadith, which we will just mentioned a portion of it, he says the following:

'Indeed I leave behind me for all of you to weighty things. If you take hold and follow both of these things, you will never go astray after me. The Book of Allah and my family, the Ahl al-Bayt. And indeed these two will never separate from one another, and they shall gather together with me at the fountain in Paradise. So then be aware of you.....So then be aware of how you deal with these two after me'.

This clearly shows us that Islam of the Qur'an on its own is incomplete and it is a unaccepted religion with Allah. The only religion acceptable to Allah is Islam, as taught and as exemplified in the Qur'an and Ahl al-Bayt, the family of the Prophet, those specific family members that have been mentioned directly in the Qur'an and the ahadith, and also indirectly. And when we follow those two sources of guidance, then we can see that we have attained true guidance in Islam.

We ask Allah to keep us on the path of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and that we can meet them at the pool of Kawthar on the day when we are thirsty for the spiritual guidance of RasulAllah.

Wa assalamu alaykum, wa Rahmatullahi, Wa barakatuh.

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