(Many people blame Allah for their misguidance and accuse that Allah guides only selected people. Some deviated sects among the Muslims also believe this. It is part of Aqeedah that the correct understanding of guidance is instilled in the hearts and minds. The entire concept of Guidance is explained in the Qur’an and it serves as a road to Istiqamah (steadfastness). This article explains Guidance and its connection with aqeedah.)

The Arabic term Hidayah means to guide. Another term means gift, which is also derived from the same root word. Therefore scholars have said that Hidayah means to guide out of affection and care. This word is mentioned no less than seventy-two times in the Qur’an.

All of Adam’s Progeny is Guided by the Instinct of Tawheed

When Allah created humans he took witness from each one of them that they would abide by their promise and accept Allah as their Lord.

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“And when your Lord brought forth from the children of Adam, from their backs, their descendants, and made them bear witness against their souls: Am I not your Lord?”  “They said: Yes! We bear witness. Lest you should say on the day of resurrection: Surely we were heedless of this.” [Surah Al Araf:172]

That is why each one of us is born on the instinct of Deen (religion), Deenul Fitrah. It is when a person absorbs the happenings of his surroundings that causes him to become a worshiper of someone other than Allah, thereby picking misguidance.

The Prophet (ﷺ), said, “No child is born but that he is upon instinct. His parents make him a Jew, a Christian, or a Magian. As an animal delivers a child with limbs intact, do you detect any flaws?” Then, Abu Huraira recited the verse, “The nature of Allah upon which he has set people,” [Surah Rum:30]. (Bukhari: 1358, Muslim 2658)

Allah has declared that He has informed every human of good and bad.

“And showed him the two ways, the paths of good and evil.” [Surah Al Balad: 10]

Adding to this, He also sent Messengers to each nation to remind them and redirect them to a straight path.

“And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], ‘Worship Allāh and avoid false gods.’” [Surah An-Nahl: 36]

When Allah sent down Adam and his wife to the earth, He accepted their repentance and declared that human beings will be receiving his Guidance regularly.

We said, “Descend all of you! Then when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows it, there will be no fear for them, nor will they grieve. But those who disbelieve and deny Our signs will be the residents of the Fire. They will be there forever.” [Surah Al Baqarah: 38-39]

Whom Does Allah Guide?

The first five verses of Surah Al Baqarah inform about the people who are guided by their Lord:

Alif, lam, meem. This is a Book without any doubt and a guide for those who are Muttuqoon. Those who believe in the unseen and those who establish the prayers spend in the way of Allah from what they are given. Those who believe in what is revealed upon the prophet Muhammed and the prophets before him. Those who believe in the day of judgment without any doubt. [Surah Al Baqarah: 1-5]

Allah Also Guides Those Who Seek Guidance from Him

Being guided is one thing, but seeking consistency in guidance is essential and so is the fear of being misguided.

“Guide us unto the way of those who are on the path of Istaqamah (consistency).” [Surah Al Fatiha: 5]

Also,

“O our Lord, do not let our hearts deviate after you have guided us.” [Surah Al e Imran: 8]

These two characteristics are the outstanding ones that fetch greater protection from Allah. It is because guidance and misguidance happen only by the will of Allah.

Guidance is Only in the Hands of Allah

Allah sent Prophets who showed the path of guidance through His Books. However, He did not give them the power to distribute guidance. Their duty was just to show the way to guidance and convey the message of guidance, while the rest was in the hands of Allah. Therefore, Allah informs His Prophet,

“You surely cannot guide whomever you like, but it is Allah Who guides whomever He wills, and He knows best who is fit to be guided.” [Surah Al-Qasas: 56]

Allah guides those whose hearts harbor goodness. This was told to the captives of Badr who lost their warriors, were arrested, and taken captives while fighting the Muslims.

“O Prophet! Say to those of the captives who are in your hands: If Allah knows anything good in your hearts, He will give to you better than that which has been taken away from you and will forgive you, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” [Surah Al Anfal: 70]

What Leads to Guidance and Misguidance?

When people refuse to accept the truth and are adamant about rejecting it, such leads to misguidance.

“Verily, proofs have come to you from your Lord, so whoever sees, will do so for (the good of) himself, and whosoever blinds himself, will do so against himself, and I am not a watcher over you.” [Surah Al An’am:104]

Allah has mentioned that He has sent all the proofs (basair) that can be seen. With basair Allah is referring to signs, evidence, and examples that He has mentioned in the Quran. Moreover, it was not the duty of the Prophet to be a watcher over the people, but his duty was to convey the message of Allah. Allah will not question him, but will question those who did not accept the truth.

Being Obsessed with Materialistic Love Leads to Misguidance

There are eleven types of love, out of which eight are materialistic love which diverts us from the three types of love that are constitutional love and part of Imaan. If any of the materialistic love supersedes the love that is required by the Shariah, the person is deprived of guidance.

“Say, ‘If your parents and children and siblings and spouses and extended family and the wealth you have acquired and the trade you fear will decline and the homes you cherish, are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and struggling in His Way, then wait until Allah brings about His Will. Allah does not guide the rebellious people.’” [Surah Tawbah: 24]

Being with Deviated Friends and Groups Can Deprive You of Guidance

Shaykh Rabee Al-Madkhali said, “A bad companion is bound to harm you in your religion and cause you harm in your deen and intellect, while a good companion gives you good, and you only find goodness from him.” (Ad-Dhariyat, 3/424)

Even the son of Prophet Nuh, who chose to be with disbelieving friends, succumbed to deviation and got destroyed. Allah puts his example in the Quran to indicate that even the sons of the Prophets will not be guided if they choose misguidance on their own.

Nuh called out to his son, who stood apart,

“O my dear son! Come aboard with us and do not be with the disbelievers.” [Surah Hud: 42]

The wives of Prophet Nuh and Prophet Lut also chose to be with the deviated people, and betrayed their husbands by passing on information about their husbands to the disbelieving enemies. The duo rejected their husbands’ religion and got doomed.

“Allah sets an example for those who disbelieve, the wife of Nuh and the wife of Lut. They were under our two righteous servants but they both betrayed them.” [Surah Tahrim: 10]

People Who Raise Unnecessary Objections about Revelations will be Misguided

To be guided, one has to accept the divine revelations without objection, so that the Quran remains a blessing for them.

“And if We had sent this as a Quran in a foreign language, they would have said, ‘Why are its verses not explained in detail? What! Not in Arabic nor an Arab?’ Say, ‘It is for those who believe, a guide and a cure. And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness in their ears, and it is blindness for them. They are called from a place far away.’” [Surah Fussilat: 44]

Due to their misguidance, Allah sealed their hearts and made them deaf and blind. Therefore, Allah declares,

“Allah has set a seal on their hearts and their hearing, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be a great torment ” [Surah Al-Baqarah:7]

People who Reject and Mock Guidance Will Not be Guided

Allah declares that He sent His guidance, but the wicked people chose misguidance instead. Allah says that such people have bartered and exchanged guidance for misguidance.

“When they meet the believers they say, ‘We believe.’ But when alone with their evil associates they say, ‘We are definitely with you; we were only mocking.’ They are the ones who trade guidance for misguidance. But this trade is profitless, and they are not rightly˺ guided.” [Surah Al Baqarah: 16]

Submission of hearts Leads to Guidance

Those who accept the proof and sign that Allah has revealed they are the one whom Allah guides as their hearts were opened and they believed in the truth. Thus who humbly submit to the truth Allah says-

“And those who have been given knowledge may know that it (this Qur’an) is the truth from your Lord, so that they may believe therein, and their hearts may submit to it with humility. And verily, Allah is the Guide of those who believe, to the straight path” [Surah Al-Hajj:53]

Conclusion- You will be guided by Allah if you favourably believe in His evidence that He had revealed. Adhering to religious duties will be a prime factor in remaining on guidance.

“Thus Allah leads astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And none can know the hosts of your Lord but He. And this is nothing but a reminder to mankind” [Surah Al-Muzzammil:34]

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Nisaar Nadiadwala

Previously a visiting university faculty member in both Malaysia and Tanzania, Nisaar Nadiadwala is presently based in the UAE as a trainer in Public Speaking and Communication Skills. As a consultant and a coach in the field of Public Speaking, panel discussions, news debates, and in anchoring Radio-TV-Podcast shows, he has helped people to build their careers through polishing their skills in making presentations. Besides being an award-winning speech maker, he has received the honorable title of Top Writer on Quora in 2018 and continues to retain that position: https://www.quora.com/search?q=Nisaar+Nadiadwala In regard to his socio-religious contributions, Nisaar focuses on family issues from an Islamic perspective, trying to cover every segment of the family. His special attention remains the tarbiyah of teenagers, for which he is invited to many Islamic Schools as a consultant and as a speaker on the teenage period of life. He relates his work to the grooming of adolescents, motivating them to adopt the Islamic way of life through his TV series, articles and workshops in community schools. His latest release is an E-book Teen's Deen - a collection of short stories for teenagers - published by www.themuslimfamily.net He has hosted his Pre-Marriage Preparatory Workshop in many cities of India and abroad. His book, I want to marry, but …, is the talk of the community in the desi crowd. Mr. Nadiadwala trains both online and in person through his course packages. He can be contacted at: Nisaar Nadiadwala [mnisaar@gmail.com].

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