Our need for guidance
May 06 2022 12:02 AM
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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.
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-ul-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 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 ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), after Al-Hudaybiyah Peace Treaty and Ar-Ridwan Pledge of Allegiance: {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 favour upon you and guide you to a straight path} [Qur’an 48:1-2]
So, if that was the Prophet’s 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, 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.} [Qur’an 65:2-3] He would be of those who support Allah and His Messenger, and whoever supports Allah, Allah would support him and he would be counted from the soldiers of Allah, who are always victorious; therefore, this Du’aa’ (invocation) is needed. The Du’aa’ 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 Du’aa’ is comprehensive for every needed matter. This also shows that Surat Al-Faatihah is incomparable and its virtue over other speech is greater than the virtue of Rukoo’ (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 Slaves 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 Surat Al-Faatihah 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 the Qudsi Hadith: “O My Slaves 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 ‘alaihi wa sallam, is what Allah Says in the Qur’an (which means): {And He found you unaware and guided [you]} [Qur’an 93:7]
The meaning is that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, 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.} [Qur’an 42:52]


The Messenger Asks Allah for Guidance:
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, used to invoke Allah frequently for guidance: “Allahumma inni as-alukal-huda, wat-tuqa, wal-‘afafa, wal-ghina (O Allah! I beseech You for guidance, piety, chastity, and contentment).”
Imam Muslim reported in his Saheeh from the Hadith of ‘Aa’ishah (the Mother of the believers) (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said: “The Prophet of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, used to start his prayer when he got up at night with: Allahuma rabba jabra’ila wa mika’ila wa israfila fatiras-samawati wal-ardh, ‘alim al-ghaibi wash-shahadah, anta tahkumu baina ‘ibadika fima kanu feehi yakhtalifun, ihdini limakhtulifa fihi minal-haqqi bi-idhnika innaka tahdi man tashaa-u ila siratin mustaqeem. (O Allah, Lord of Jibra’il, Mika’il, and Israfil, Originator of the heavens and the earth, Knower of the unseen and the seen, You judge between Your slaves concerning that wherein they differ. Guide me concerning that wherein they differ of the truth by Your leave, for You guide whomsoever You will to a straight path.)” That was the introduction of night prayer in the middle of the night while his tongue was saying: “Guide me”.
An-Nasaa’i and others reported with an authentic chain of narration from the Hadeeth of Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, who said: When the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, started his prayer, he would say the Takbeer and then say: “Inna Salati wa nosoki wa mahyaya wa mamati Lillahi Rabbil `Alameen La Shareeka Lah, Wabidhalika Omerto Wa Ana Awwalul-Muslimeen. Allahumma Ihdeni Li ahsanil-A’mali wa ahsanil-Akhlaaqi La Yahdi Li ahsaneha iIla Ant” {Verily my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the worlds; There is no partner with Him and this is what I have been commanded (to profess and believe) and I am of the believers. O Allah, guide me to the righteous deeds and manners, for none would guide to them but You.”}
At-Tirmidhi reported on the authority of Ibn `Aabbas, may Allah be pleased with him, that he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, used to say between the two prostrations: “O Allah! Forgive me, bestow mercy on me, enrich me, guide me, and grant me sustenance.”
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated: “Whenever I prayed with the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, I heard him saying at the end of Salah: “Allahumma ighfir li Khata-i wa `amadi Allahumma ihdini Lisalihil A`maali wal-Akhlaaqi Innahu la Yahdi Lisalihiha wa la yasrifu Sayi’ha Illa Ant (O Allah, forgive my sins whether committed inadvertently and deliberately, O Allah, guide me to the righteous deeds and manners, for verily none but You guides to the best and none but You turn away its worst).”
He used to commend his companions, may Allah be pleased with them, and advise them to invoke Allah for guidance. ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said: The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said to me: “Say: O Allah, guide me, direct me to the right thing; and remember with guidance, guiding you to the Straight Path and with correctness, the correctness of shooting.”


Allah Is the True Guide:
Al-Khattaabi said: The Guide: is the One who grants guidance to whomever He wills of His Slaves and honors them with the light of Tawheed (monotheism) as Allah The Exalted says (what means): [And guides whom He wills to a straight path] [Qur’an 10:25]
He was the One who guided all creatures to their interests and inspired them as to how to ask for sustenance and how to guard themselves against harm and destruction as Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {He who gave each thing its form and then guided [it]} [Qur’an 20:50]
Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {And indeed is Allah the Guide of those who have believed to a straight path.} [Qur’an 22: 54]
Ibn Jareer, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “Verily, Allah is the Guide of those who believe in Allah and His Messenger to the intended truth and clear truth.”
Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {But sufficient is your Lord as a Guide.} [Qur’an 25:31]
Ibn Jareer, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “Allah The Exalted says to His Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam: O Muhammad, Your Lord is sufficient for you as a Guide to guide you to the truth, and enlighten you with the righteousness.”
As-Sa’di, may Allah have mercy upon him said: “The Guide: i.e., the One who guides His Slaves to all benefits and averts them from all harms, teach them what they do not know, guide them to the truth and correctness, inspire them with piety, make their hearts turning to Him and obedient to His Commands.”


Types of Guidance:
Al-Qurtubi, may Allah have mercy upon him said: “Guidance is of two types:
1- Guidance of showing the way: This is the type of guidance which the Messengers and their followers are capable of. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {And for every people is a guide.} [Qur’an 13:7] He also Says (what means): {And indeed, [O Muhammad] you guide to a straight path.} [Qur’an 42:52]
So, He (Allah) affirmed guidance to them which means guiding, calling, and warning.
2- Guidance of support and success: which comes directly and exclusively from Allah, as He Says to His Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, what means: {Indeed, [O Muhammad] you do not guide whom you like] [Qur’an 28: 56] Guidance according to this type means creating faith in the heart.
Al-Fayrooz Abaadi said: “Guidance of Allah to man is of four types:
First: Guidance which He granted to every Mukallaf (person capable of religious assignments and who is accountable for his deeds) in terms of reasoning, smartness, and necessary knowledge, and granted it to everything according to its capacity. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {Our Lord is He who gave each thing its form and then guided [it]} [Qur’an 20: 50]
Second: Guidance which was granted to people due to their invocations for Him as was reported on the tongues of Prophets and as reported in the Qur’an and the like which is intended with His Saying: {And We made them leaders guiding by Our command.} [Qur’an 21: 73]
Third type: Success that is granted to those who are guided which is intended by the Saying of Allah (which means): {And those who are guided - He increases them in guidance.} [Qur’an 47: 17] and His Saying (which means): {And whoever believes in Allah - He will guide his heart.} [Qur’an 64: 11]
Fourth type: Guidance in the Hereafter to Paradise, which is intended by the Saying of Allah (which means): {Praise to Allah, who has guided us to this.} [Qur’an 7:43]
These four types of guidance are correlated, so if a person is not guided by the first, he shall not have the second, but he is not legally competent. And whoever does not get the second type of guidance shall neither get the third nor the fourth type).
O Allah! Guide us and make guidance easy for us. Praise be to Allah the Lord of all the Worlds.


Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/


The crucial role of the heart
Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, informed us in a very famous narration, commonly quoted with reference to lawful and unlawful, about the important role of the heart.
He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Both lawful and unlawful matters are evident but in between them there are doubtful (suspicious) things and many people have no knowledge about them. So whoever saves himself from these suspicious matters (by staying away from them) saves his religion and his honour. And whoever indulges in these suspicious matters (will eventually) indulge in what is forbidden. This is like (the example of) a shepherd who grazes (his animals) near the Hima (private pasture) of someone else and at any moment he is liable to get in it. (O people!) Beware! Every king has a Hima and the Hima of Allah on the earth is His illegal (forbidden) matters. Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body, if it is reformed, the whole body becomes good, but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt; indeed it is the heart.” [Al-Bukhari]
He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said that after explaining that the lawful matters are clear and that the forbidden ones are clear and that between them are obscure areas, not known to many people. However, what protects a person from the forbidden matters and ensures that he remains in the lawful ones is knowledge; but beyond knowledge, it is the state of the heart. If the heart is good, then it makes use of the knowledge and it avoids what is prohibited. If the heart is corrupted, then the knowledge is of no benefit to it and it will indulge in what is prohibited. 
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, during the last (and only) pilgrimage, informed his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, and it was an instruction to the entire Muslim nation to come, that people are not favoured based on their race or colour, but rather based on piety and on how much they are Allah  fearful. After that, he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, clarified that the place of piety is in one’s heart.”
In these statements and other similar statements, we find stress being placed on the heart - that the heart is the part of the body, which Allah has favored over all other parts. It is the place of faith, and had there been in the body another part that was nearer to Allah, piety would have been placed there, because faith is the most valuable thing that a human possesses. It (faith) is the determination ultimately of those who have belief in Allah - those who have accepted the message and who have chosen Paradise over Hell. It is the distinction of those who have belief and those who have disbelief.
The value of faith is greater than the value of all the things of this world. This is why Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said that for Allah to guide by your hands a single person to Islam is worth more than anything in this world. For you to help someone to find faith is worth more than any of the things in this world. [Al-Bukhari]
The heart is the place in which the correctness of deeds is judged. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Deeds are judged according to the intention.” The place of the intention is not on the lips. It is in the heart.
‘Umar Ibn al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah , sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The reward of deeds depends upon the intention and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended…” [Al-Bukhari] 
Our deeds - what we do externally - are judged ultimately by the states of our hearts. Good deeds are in reference to those that we perceive to be a part and parcel of righteousness. Allah will inspect the hearts to determine whether they are truly acts of righteousness.
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, informed us that the first three people who would be cast into the Hell Fire are those who were involved in what everybody considers great acts of righteousness. They are the scholar who taught knowledge; the wealthy person who gave from his wealth in charity and the martyr who gave his life fighting in the path of Allah .
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, in an authentic narration, said that some people from among these types of people would be among the first groups of people thrown into Hell because the scholar, when he taught the knowledge that Allah gave him, did not do so for the sake of Allah. He taught so that people would praise him, saying what a great scholar he was and how knowledgeable he was. Allah will Say to him: “You received your praise, what you sought in that world. But there will be nothing for you in the Next.” So he will be drawn off on his face and thrown into Hell.
Similarly, the benefactor, who was generous with his wealth. He gave and people praised his generosity, but Allah will Say: “You did it for the praise and you were praised. You did it for people to appreciate you.” So that individual will be drawn off on his face and thrown into Hell. [Muslim]
The martyr - the one whom we all assumed had died in the Path of Allah. We would think that his place in Paradise is guaranteed. But Allah will Say: “You fought so people would say, ‘How brave this one is! How strong and courageous he was!’” People said it; they praised you, so he will be drawn off on his face and thrown into Hell.’
All is telling us that ultimately, even the highest of deeds can be of no avail if the hearts are sick; if the hearts are corrupt. So the place of the heart should, in our minds, occupy great attention. We have to spend much of our time observing, being aware of the state of our heart. 
So there is no other faculty in the human body and existence that a believer should be more concerned about. We have to make sure that this faculty is functioning as Allah wishes it to function. We should be greatly concerned about it. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, often used to supplicate, beginning with: “I seek refuge in You, O Allah , from knowledge that does not benefit, and from a heart which does not fear.” [At-Tirmithi, Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa’i and Ibn Maajah]


Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/




Making up missed days of fasting
It is from the mercy of Allah and the easiness of the religion that we are allowed to break the fast if there is any danger, hardship or difficulty in it. Allah Says (what means): “...He (Allah) has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty...” [Qur’an 22:7.8]
It is allowed for those who are (not chronically) ill and for travellers to break their fasts during Ramadan, but they must make up the days they missed. Allah Says (what mean): “[Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] - then an equal number of days [are to be made up]...” [Qur’an 2:184]
Mu’aath, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Verily, Allah made the fast obligatory upon the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), by revealing (what means): “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you ... and for those who can fast [but do not] there is a ‘ransom’ payment...” At that time, whoever wished to do so would fast and whoever wished not to do so would feed a poor person, and that was sufficient for them. After that, Allah revealed another verse (what means): “The month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was revealed … Whoever is resident among you during this month is to fast.” [By this verse,] fasting was established for those who were resident and healthy. A concession was made for the traveller and the sick, and the feeding of the poor by the elderly who could not fast was [left] confirmed.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawood and Al-Bayhaqi]
If fasting during travel is not difficult, then it is better to fast. If fasting would be difficult then breaking the fast is better. Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “We used to travel for war expeditions with the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, during Ramadan. Some of us would fast and some of us would not fast, and the fasting person would not find fault with the one who was not fasting, and the person who was not fasting would not find fault with the person who was fasting. Then they thought that the person who had the strength would fast and that was better. And they thought that the person who felt weak would not fast and that was better.” [Muslim]
If the person is ill during Ramadan, and is able to fast without difficulty, then he fasts. If he is unable then he breaks his fast.
If the ill person expects to recuperate from his illness, he waits until he recuperates and then he makes up for whatever days he did not fast. However, if he is not expected to recover, he breaks his fast and gives charity for each day that he does not fast. Allah Says (what means): “...And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] - a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]... “ [Qur’an 2:184]
As for the person who has reached an old age, at which he doesn’t have the strength to fast, he may break the fast and give charity for every day that he did not fast. Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “It was permitted for the very elderly man (or woman) to feed a poor person for every day (that he did not fast), and he did not have to make up for the days.” [Ad-Daraqutni and Al-Hakim]


Breaking the fast without a legitimate excuse:
Regarding the one who intentionally breaks the fast by having sexual intercourse with his wife during the daytime in Ramadan, then he has committed a great sin and violated the sacredness of this month, and must make up the fast for that day. In addition, he is required to free a slave if it is possible to do so, if not, he has to fast two consecutive months and if he is unable to do so, then he has to feed 60 poor and needy people. The same is required of the wife as is required of her husband, if she freely consented (to having sexual intercourse). However, if she was forced, then nothing is required of her according to the predominant opinion of the scholars may Allah have mercy upon them.
If one intentionally breaks his fast by eating or drinking without a legitimate excuse, then again he has committed a great sin and violated the sacredness of this month. Such a person has a severe threat awaiting him. Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Whoever breaks fasting of Ramadan without having a legitimate excuse or being ill, he cannot make up for that day, even if he undertakes a perpetual fast.” [Al-Bukhari] Imams Ahmad, Ash-Shafi’i, Sa’eed Ibn al-Musayyib and Al-Sha’bi and others - may Allah have mercy upon them - declared that one should sincerely repent and seek the forgiveness of Almighty Allah and make up the day later.
On the other hand, a group of Muslim scholars believe that expiation is required for breaking the fast of any day of Ramadan without a legal reason. They say, one should fast for two months consecutively or feed 60 poor people as well as to make up the day later with any of both forms of expiation.
Vomiting, if done deliberately, invalidates the fast, and necessitates making up for the fast. However, if vomit overcomes one and exits without one’s choosing, the fast is not nullified.


Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/



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