Our need for guidance - I

Our need for guidance - I
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All praise be to Allah Who guides whomever He Wills to the Straight Path. Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon the Messenger of Allah, who calls for the pleasure of his Lord and guides to the best way.

Now coming to the point: People's need for guidance is greater than their need for food and water because food and water are needed so that man would lead this short evanescent life; however, guidance is the basis of the everlasting and continuous life.

Shaykh Al-Islam Ahmad Ibn Taymiyah  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said: A servant is always in need that Allah would guide him to the Straight Path. Accordingly, he is forced to fulfil the exact meaning of this Duaa’ (invocation), because there is neither salvation from torment nor reaching happiness without this guidance. So, whoever misses guidance shall be either from those upon whom Allah has evoked His Anger or those who are astray, and this guidance can only happen through the Guidance of Allah.

Ibn Taymiyah,  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him also said: Allah, the Exalted said to His Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, after Al-Hudaybiyah Peace Treaty and Ar-Ridwan Pledge of Allegiance (which means): {Indeed, We have given you, [O Muhammad], a clear conquest. That Allah may forgive for you what preceded of your sin and what will follow and complete His favor upon you and guide you to a straight path} [Quran 48:1-2]

So, if that was the Prophet’s  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) state at the end of his life or close to it, how would be the state of others?

Ibn Taymiyah,  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him also said: The servant's need for seeking guidance is necessary to achieve happiness, salvation [from punishment], and success unlike his need for sustenance and victory, as Allah provides him with sustenance, and when his sustenance ends, he would die. Death is inevitable so if the servant was of the people of guidance, he would be happy before and after death, and death will be a means to eternal happiness. Victory is likewise if it is predestined for him to be killed after a defeat, he dies as a martyr, and then killing would be a perfect grace. Hence, it becomes evident that the need for guidance is greater than the need for victory and sustenance; rather, there is no comparison between them, because if he is guided, he shall be of the pious people. Allah Says (what means): {And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect.} [Quran 65:2-3] He would be of those who support Allah and His Messenger, and whoever supports Allah then Allah would support him and he would be counted from the soldiers of Allah, who are always victorious; therefore, this Duaa (invocation) is needed. The Duaa also includes sustenance and victory, because if a person is guided, and then guides others whether by words, actions or vision, then complete guidance would be the greatest cause to bring about sustenance and victory. So, it becomes clear that this Duaais comprehensive for every needed matter. This also shows that soorah (chapter) Al-Fatiha is incomparable and its virtue over other speech is greater than the virtue of Rukooa (bowing down) and Sujood (prostration) over other acts of submission.

Therefore, it would be better for a Muslim to persist in invoking Allah for guidance, because asking for guidance from Allah, the Exalted, and seeking help from Him to reach guidance makes a person follow the path of pleasing Allah and Paradise. If a person is guided, he still needs day and night to invoke his Lord for guidance and for making him firm on it and increasing in it, and continuing to sticking to it while he is in dire need in every moment for this invocation to be answered.

Hence, a Muslim should frequently ask Allah for guidance while he supplicates Him in all his Prayers, obligatory or supererogatory, several times a day.

Ibn Al Qayyim,  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “Since invoking Allah for guidance to the Straight Path was the most sublime requests, to obtain the most honorable graces, Allah, the Exalted taught His slave how to invoke Him and commanded them to begin their invocations to Him by thanking Him, praising Him, and Glorifying Him, then mentioning their worship to Him and singling Him out with monotheism, as these are two means to meet their needs:

1- Invoking Allah the Exalted with His Names and Attributes

2- Invoking Allah the Exalted with worshipping and seeking help from Him

Those two means can hardly make invocations unaccepted.

The first half of soorah Al-Fatiha included those two types of invocation, then invocation came at the second half with asking Allah, the Exalted for guidance and following the Path of those whom Allah granted straightness and happiness in this worldly life and the hereafter.

Allah, the Exalted Commands us to ask Him for guidance as was reported in a Qudsi hadeeth: O My slave, all of you are astray except those whom I have guided, so ask Me for guidance and I shall guide you.”

One of the great bounties which Allah, the Exalted granted to His Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is what Allah Says in the Quran (what means): {And He found you lost and guided [you]} [Quran 93:7]

The meaning is that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was not aware of this revelation before Allah The Exalted revealed it to him, as Allah, the Exalted Says (what means): {[And thus We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command. You did not know what is the Book or [what is] faith.} [Quran 42:52]

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