Thursday, June 10, 2010

Guidance and Misguidance

This article is taken from the book Islamic Personality Volume 1  -written by Skh Taquiddin An-Nabhani

Linguistically Huda means rashaad (integrity of conduct) and dalaalah (showing the way). It is said, he guided him to the deen, i.e. led him to guidance; I showed him the way and the home meaning I informed. Dhalaal is the opposite of rashaad.

Hidaayah, according to the Shar'a, is to be guided to Islam and to believe in it. And dhalaal, according to the Shar'a is deviation from Islam.

Referring to this is the saying of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم: "Verily, Allah will not allow my Ummah to all agree on a dhalaalah." [Tirmidhi]

Allah سبحانه وتعالى has kept the Jannah (Paradise) for the muhtadeen (those who have hidaayah) and the Nar (Fire) for the Dhaalleen (those who are on dhalaal). In other words, Allah سبحانه وتعالى will reward the muhtadi (the one who has hidaayah) and punish the dhaall (the one who is on dhalaal). Attaching reward or punishment to huda and dhalaal indicates these (huda and dhalaal) are due to the actions of man and not from Allah سبحانه وتعالى. If they came from Allah سبحانه وتعالى He would not have rewarded people for having hidaayah and punished them for being on the dhalaal, this would lead man attributing injustice (Zulm) to Allah سبحانه وتعالى. For when He punishes someone whom He has caused to go astray, He has done an injustice to him. He is too High and Exalted to do such as thing.

Allah سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِلْعَبِيدِ
"And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves." [Fussilat, 41:46]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَمَا أَنَا بِظَلَّامٍ لِلْعَبِيدِ
"And I am not unjust (to the least) to the slaves." [Qaaf, 50:29]

However, there are aayaat that suggest hidaayah and dhalaal should be attributed to Allah سبحانه وتعالى and it could be understood that hidaayah and dhalaal do not emanate from man, but are from Allah سبحانه وتعالى. Other verses suggest that hidaayah, dhalaal and idhlaal (causing someone to go astray) should be ascribed to man, thus it could be understood that hidaayah and dhalaal are from man.

All these verses should be understood from a legislative aspect in the sense that one should understand the reality for which they have been legislated. It would appear that ascribing guidance and misguidance to Allah سبحانه وتعالى has a meaning other than the meaning of attributing guidance and misguidance to man. Each one focuses on a different aspect from the other, and this makes the legislative meaning clear. Indeed, the verses that ascribe misguidance and guidance to Allah سبحانه وتعالى are explicit in that it is Allah سبحانه وتعالى Who guides and it is He Who causes someone to go astray.

Allah سبحانه وتعالى said:
قُلْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُضِلُّ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي إِلَيْهِ مَنْ أَنَابَ
"Say: Verily, Allah sends astray whom He wills and guides unto Himself who turns to Him in repentance." [Ar-Ra'ad, 13:27]

He سبحانه وتعالى also said:
فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يُضِلُّ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ
"Verily, Allah sends astray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills." [Faatir, 35:8]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
فَيُضِلُّ اللَّهُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ
"Then Allah misleads whom He wills and guides whom He wills." [Ibrahim, 14:4]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَلَٰكِنْ يُضِلُّ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ
"But He sends astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills." [An-Nahl, 16:93]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
فَمَنْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَهْدِيَهُ يَشْرَحْ صَدْرَهُ لِلْإِسْلَامِ ۖ وَمَنْ يُرِدْ أَنْ يُضِلَّهُ يَجْعَلْ صَدْرَهُ ضَيِّقًا حَرَجًا كَأَنَّمَا يَصَّعَّدُ فِي السَّمَاءِ
"And whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam, and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his breast closed and constricted, as if he is climbing up to the sky." [Al-An'aam, 6:125]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:

مَنْ يَشَإِ اللَّهُ يُضْلِلْهُ وَمَنْ يَشَأْ يَجْعَلْهُ عَلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ
"Allah sends astray whom He wills and He guides on the Straight Path whom He wills." [Al-An'aam, 6:39]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
قُلِ اللَّهُ يَهْدِي لِلْحَقِّ
"Say: It is Allah Who guides to the truth." [Yunus, 10:35]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:

وَقَالُوا الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي هَدَانَا لِهَٰذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِنَهْتَدِيَ لَوْلَا أَنْ هَدَانَا اللَّهُ
"And they will say: All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has guided us to this, never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah guided us!" [Al-A'araaf, 7:43]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:

مَنْ يَهْدِ اللَّهُ فَهُوَ الْمُهْتَدِ ۖ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَنْ تَجِدَ لَهُ وَلِيًّا مُرْشِدًا
"He whom Allah guides, is rightly guided; but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no wali (guiding friend) to lead him (to the right Path)." [Kahf, 18:17]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
إِنَّكَ لَا تَهْدِي مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ
"Verily! You (O Muhammad) guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills." [Al-Qasas, 28:56]

In these verses there is a clear indication that the one who does the guiding and misguiding is Allah سبحانه وتعالى and not the servant. This means the servant does not find guidance by himself, rather he is guided when Allah سبحانه وتعالى guides him. When Allah سبحانه وتعالى sends him astray he goes astray. This meaning comes with indications (qara'in) which change the meaning from considering that the initiation of guidance and misguidance is from Allah سبحانه وتعالى to another meaning, i.e. reconsidering that the creation of guidance and misguidance comes from Allah سبحانه وتعالى, but the one who practices the guidance and misguidance is the servant himself. As for these indications (qara'in) they are shar'ai and rational indications.

As for the shar'ai indications many aayaat were revealed attributing guidance, misguidance and idhlaal to the servant.

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
فَمَنِ اهْتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ ضَلَّ فَإِنَّمَا يَضِلُّ عَلَيْهَا
"So whosoever receives guidance, he does so for the good of his own self, and whosoever goes astray, he does so to his own loss." [Yunus, 10:108]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ مَنْ ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ
"If you follow the right guidance no hurt can come to you from those who are in error." [Al-Maaida, 5:105]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
فَمَنِ اهْتَدَىٰ فَلِنَفْسِهِ
"So whosoever accepts the guidance, it is only for his own self." [Zumar, 39:41]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ
"And it is they who are guided." [Al-Baqara, 2:157]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا رَبَّنَا أَرِنَا اللَّذَيْنِ أَضَلَّانَا مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنْسِ
"And those who disbelieve will say: Our Lord! Show us those among jinns and men who led us astray." [Fussilat, 41:29]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
قُلْ إِنْ ضَلَلْتُ فَإِنَّمَا أَضِلُّ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِي
"Say: If (even) I go astray, I shall stray only to my own loss." [Saba, 34:50]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:

فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا لِيُضِلَّ النَّاسَ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ
"Then who does more wrong than one who invents a lie against Allah to lead mankind astray without knowledge." [Al-An'aam, 6:144]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:

رَبَّنَا لِيُضِلُّوا عَنْ سَبِيلِكَ
"Our Lord! That they may lead men astray from Your Path." [Yunus, 10:88]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَمَا أَضَلَّنَا إِلَّا الْمُجْرِمُونَ
"And none has brought us into error except the Mujrimun." [Ash-Shur'araa, 26:99]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَأَضَلَّهُمُ السَّامِرِيُّ
"As-Samiri has led them astray." [Ta Ha, 20:85]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
رَبَّنَا هَٰؤُلَاءِ أَضَلُّونَا
"Our Lord! These misled us." [Al-A'araaf, 7:38]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:

وَدَّتْ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ لَوْ يُضِلُّونَكُمْ وَمَا يُضِلُّونَ إِلَّا أَنْفُسَهُمْ
"A party of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish to lead you astray. But they shall not lead astray anyone except themselves." [Al-Imran, 3:69]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
إِنَّكَ إِنْ تَذَرْهُمْ يُضِلُّوا عِبَادَكَ
"If You leave them, they will mislead Your slaves." [Nuh, 71:27]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
فَأَنَّهُ يُضِلُّهُ وَيَهْدِيهِ إِلَىٰ عَذَابِ السَّعِيرِ
"Whosoever follows him, he will mislead him to the torment of the Fire." [Al-Hajj, 22:4]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:

وَيُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَنْ يُضِلَّهُمْ ضَلَالًا بَعِيدًا
"But Shaytan wishes to lead them astray." [An-Nisaa', 4:60]

So, in the wording (mantuq) of these verses there is clear indication that man is the one who performs the actions of guidance and misguidance, thus he will go astray and he will lead others astray; and the Shaytan also leads people astray. So guidance and misguidance has come to be attributed to man and Shaytan and that man can guide himself and send himself astray. This is an indication (qarinah) that attributing guidance and misguidance to Allah سبحانه وتعالى is not one of practice (mubasharah) but one of creation. If the aayaat are placed together and understood in a legislative manner, then the departure of the meaning of one verse from the direction of the other becomes clear. Thus the ayah says:
قُلِ اللَّهُ يَهْدِي لِلْحَقِّ
"Say: It is Allah Who guides to the truth," [Yunus, 10:35]
and the other ayah says:

فَمَنِ اهْتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ
"So whosoever receives guidance, he does so for the good of his own self." [Yunus, 10:108]

The first indicates that Allah سبحانه وتعالى is the one who guides and the second verse indicates that man is the one who guides himself. The guidance of Allah سبحانه وتعالى in the first verse is one of creating the guidance in man, thus creating the capacity for guidance. The second ayah indicates that man is the one who practices/takes up what Allah سبحانه وتعالى has created in terms of the capacity for guidance and so he guides himself. That is why He سبحانه وتعالى says in the other ayah:
وَهَدَيْنَاهُ النَّجْدَيْنِ
"And (have We not) shown him the two ways (good and evil)." [al-Balad, 90:10]
meaning the path of good and the path of evil.

In other words Allah سبحانه وتعالى has given man the ability to get guidance and has left man to practice his own guidance. So these aayaat which attribute guidance and misguidance to man are a shara'i indication (qarina shar'iyyah) showing that the practice of guidance should be diverted from Allah سبحانه وتعالى to the servant.

As for the rational indication (qarinah aqliyyah), Allah سبحانه وتعالى takes people to account, rewarding the guided one and punishing the misguided one and He سبحانه وتعالى has prepared the reckoning according to the actions of human beings.

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ أَسَاءَ فَعَلَيْهَا ۗ وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِلْعَبِيدِ
"Whoever does the righteous good deeds it is for (the benefit of) his own self, and whoever does evil, it is against his own self, and your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves." [Fussilat, 41:46]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
فَمَنْ يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ
وَمَنْ يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ
"So whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it. And whoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it." [Az-Zalzala, 99:7-8]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَمَنْ يَعْمَلْ مِنَ الصَّالِحَاتِ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَا يَخَافُ ظُلْمًا وَلَا هَضْمًا
"And he who works deeds of righteousness while he is a believer, then he will have no fear of injustice, nor any curtailment (of his reward)." [Ta Ha, 20:112]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
مَنْ يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ
"Whoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof." [an-Nisaa, 4:123]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتِ وَالْكُفَّارَ نَارَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۚ هِيَ حَسْبُهُمْ
"Allah has promised the hypocrites; men and women, and the disbelievers the Fire of Hell, therein they shall abide." [at-Tawba, 9:68]

For if the meaning of ascribing guidance and misguidance to Allah سبحانه وتعالى is that He سبحانه وتعالى practices it, then His punishment of the kafir, munafiq and sinful is injustice. And Allah سبحانه وتعالى is High Exalted above that; then we are obliged to change the meaning to something other than practice, which is the creation of guidance from nothing and aiding man towards it. Thus the one who practices guidance and misguidance is the servant, and therefore he is accounted for it.

This concerns those aayaat in which guidance and misguidance is ascribed to Allah سبحانه وتعالى. As regards those in which guidance and misguidance is linked to His wish (mashee'a):
فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يُضِلُّ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ
"Verily, Allah sends astray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills." [Faatir, 35:8]

The meaning of mashee'a here is iraadah (will). The meaning of these verses is that no one forcibly guides himself against Allah سبحانه وتعالى's will nor does he forcibly go astray against His will. Rather the one who finds guidance is the one who guides himself by the wish and will of Allah سبحانه وتعالى; and the one who goes astray does so by the wish and will of Allah سبحانه وتعالى.

Still remaining are those aayaat from which one might understand that there are people who will never be guided. Such as His سبحانه وتعالى saying:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا سَوَاءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَأَنْذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنْذِرْهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ
خَتَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِمْ ۖ وَعَلَىٰ أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ
"Verily, those who disbelieve, it is the same to them whether you (O Muhammad) warn them or do not warn them, they will still not believe. Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearings, (they are closed from accepting Allah's guidance), and on their eyes there is a covering." [Al-Baqara, 2:6-7]

And His سبحانه وتعالى saying:
كَلَّا ۖ بَلْ ۜ رَانَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ مَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ
"Nay! But on their hearts is the Ran (covering of sins and evil deeds)." [Mutaffifin, 83:14]

He سبحانه وتعالى said:

وَأُوحِيَ إِلَىٰ نُوحٍ أَنَّهُ لَنْ يُؤْمِنَ مِنْ قَوْمِكَ إِلَّا مَنْ قَدْ آمَنَ فَلَا تَبْتَئِسْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ
"And it was inspired to Nuh: None of your people will believe except those who have believed already, therefore do not grieve at what they do." [Hud, 11:36]

These verses are information from Allah سبحانه وتعالى to His Prophets about certain peoples that they will not believe, so this comes under the Knowledge ('ilm) of Allah سبحانه وتعالى. The information does not mean there is a group which will believe and a group which will not believe. Rather, every human being has the capacity to acquire iman. The Messenger and the da'wah carriers who come after him are ordered to invite all peoples to iman. It is not allowed for the Muslim to despair about anyone's iman.

Concerning the prior Knowledge of Allah that a man will not believe, Allah سبحانه وتعالى knows it because His Knowledge includes everything. For what Allah سبحانه وتعالى has not informed us about what He knows, we cannot pass judgement on this. The Prophets did not pass judgement or make a decision that someone will not believe except after Allah سبحانه وتعالى had informed them about this.

For His سبحانه وتعالى saying:
وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ
"And Allah guides not the people who are Fasiqun (the rebellious and disobedient)." [al-Maaida, 5:108]

And His سبحانه وتعالى saying:
وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
"And Allah guides not the people who are Zalimun (wrong-doers)." [Al-Imran, 3:86]

And His سبحانه وتعالى saying:
وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ
"And Allah guides not the people who are Kafirun (disbelievers)." [al-Baqara, 2:264]

And His سبحانه وتعالى saying:

إِنْ تَحْرِصْ عَلَىٰ هُدَاهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي مَنْ يُضِلُّ
"If you (O Muhammad) covet for their guidance, then verily Allah guides not those whom He makes to go astray." [an-Nahl, 16:37]

And His سبحانه وتعالى saying:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي مَنْ هُوَ مُسْرِفٌ كَذَّابٌ
"Verily, Allah guides not one who is a musrif (a polytheist, those who commit great sins), a liar! (kazzab)" [al-Ghaafir, 40:28]

These verses mean that Allah سبحانه وتعالى did not grant them guidance since the granting of guidance comes from Allah سبحانه وتعالى. The fasiq, zalim, kafir, daal, musrif and kazzab, are all characterised by attributes inconsistent with guidance, and Allah سبحانه وتعالى will not help for guidance those who have such attributes. This is because helping in guidance is to provide its causes for the human being; and the one who is characterised with these attributes the means of guidance will not be available for him, rather the causes of misguidance. Similar to this is His سبحانه وتعالى saying:
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
"Guide us to the Straight Way." [Al-Fatiha, 1:6]

And His saying:

وَاهْدِنَا إِلَىٰ سَوَاءِ الصِّرَاطِ
"And guide us to the Right Way." [Saad, 38:22]
meaning help us so that we may be guided i.e. facilitate for us the causes of this guidance.

2 comments:

Zahrah said...

This is because helping in guidance is to provide its causes for the human being; and the one who is characterised with these attributes the means of guidance will not be available for him, rather the causes of misguidance.
I wish there were example given for above..If a man does not pray does it mean he is not guided ?When exactly we can claim that we have been guided or misguided..Many people say after giving dawa may allah(swt) Guide him/her ...Please clarify

Anonymous said...

Based on my experience, It is the sudden or gradual realization of the truth, which is called Hidayah, like when it has been dawned on someone compeletly that Allah is the creator, We're here to please him and to him do we all return. First of all, I really think that someone who has "realized" this, will try his best to pray...and even if they do not, atleast they'll feel bad in their heart and would want to offer qaza prayers. Satan is always there to misguide us, and ofcourse there will be times when we'll say like ah c'mon I don't really feel like leaving the bed and using cold water for ablution in winter but learing to fight against your nafs is what we're really here for, that is called struggle or "Jihad" in arabic...you'll still be lured towards your nafs even if you are a scholar, but the inner desire to fight against it to please Allah, is what I call hidayah, and when you have it trust me you'll feel like doing against your nafs..Thankyou