This is what is clarified by Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former president of ISNA, in the following (in his Khutbah delivered at the 36th Annual Convention of ISNA): “In the Qur’an, Allah says, “Praise be to Allah, Who guided us to this: never could we have found guidance, had it not been for the guidance of Allah: indeed it was the truth that the Messengers of our Lord brought unto us.” (Al-A`raf: 43)
We thank Allah for His guidance. We thank Allah for the blessings of Islam. Islam is Allah’s guidance; it is He who has guided us to this way. Guidance is one of the most important themes of the Qur’an. It is called Hidayah in the Qur’an. Hidayah means: “to lead and to guide.” From it also comes the word Hadiyyah which means, “present.” Hidayah is the gift of Allah to His creation. Hidayah, according to the famous lexicographer of the Qur’an, Imam Raghib Al-Isfahani, means: showing the way or leading to the goal in a gentle and kind way. It means both explanation and direction; and it also means helping and supporting a person to reach to his goal.
Hadi is one of the Beautiful Names of Allah.
Allah is the Guide:
The Qur’an tells us that Allah created everything and He has guided everything: “Our Lord is He Who gave to each (created) thing its form, and further, He gave (it) guidance.” (Taha: 50) “Glorify the name of your Lord, Most High, Who created, then shaped in proper proportion; and he determined the way, then He granted guidance.” (Al-A`la: 1-3)
Allah has guided everything by fixing its nature and ability. To human beings He also granted moral and spiritual guidance through His Prophets and Messengers.
Islamic guidance is for all humanity:
Allah’s guidance is for all people, in all places and at all times. Islam is the way to which Allah guided all human beings. This religion did not begin with Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Islamic guidance is the same that came with the first couple of humanity when they arrived on this earth. When Allah sent Adam and Eve to this earth He told them: “We said: ‘Get down you all from here: and if, as is sure, there comes to you guidance from Me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.'” (Al-Baqarah: 38)
Messengers and Prophets of Allah at different times and in different parts of the world received this guidance. This same guidance came to Nuh, to Ibrahim, to Musa and to `Isa, and then finally it came to Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them all. Allah says: “That was the reasoning about Us, which We gave to Ibrahim (to use) against his people: We raise whom We will, degree after degree: for your Lord is full of wisdom and knowledge. We gave him Ishaq and Ya`qub: all (three) We guided: and before him, We guided Nuh, and among his progeny, Dawud, Sulayman, Ayub, Yusuf, Musa and Harun: thus do We reward those who do good: And Zakariyah and Yahya, and `Isa and Eliyas: all in the ranks of the Righteous: And Isma`il and Elyas`a, and Yunus, and Lut: and to all We gave favor above the nations: (To them) and to their fathers, and progeny and brethren: We chose them, and We gui
ded them to a straight Way. This is the Guidance of Allah: He gives that guidance to whom He pleases of His servants. If they were to join other gods with Him, all that they did would be vain for them. These were those whom We gave the Book, and Authority, and Prophethood: if these (their descendants) reject them, behold! We shall entrust their charge to a new People who reject them not. Those were the (prophets) who received Allah’s guidance: follow the guidance they received; say: ‘No reward for this do I ask of you: this is not but a reminder for the worlds.’”
(Al-An`am: 83-90)
Allah gave many sources of guidance:
Allah has given us many sources for guidance:
– Five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch: All these guide us in our life and help us a great deal.
– Reason: It is a gift of Allah. He gave human beings reason and made the `Aql (reason) as a condition for all responsibilities. Reason and intellect help us in finding the right direction.
– Intuition: Sometime we know things and are guided by our instincts without using senses or reason.
– Revelation: This is the supreme and perfect source of guidance. It is a special gift of Allah that He gave to humanity through His selected few people who were the Prophets of Allah.
In Islam all these sources are recognized and respected. We thank Allah for our senses and consider them Allah’s gifts. We thank Allah for our mind and intellect. Islam is not against reason. Reason and revelation are not mutually contradictory in Islam. Science and religion are also not incompatible in Islam. Islam does not say that you must leave reason or science in order to become a good believer. However, Islam emphasizes that our senses, our reason, and our intuitions or instincts are not suff
icient sources to guide us. We need divine revelation. We need Prophetic guidance. Reason by itself, without the aid of revelation, is prone to commit errors. Reason, senses or intuitions cannot guide us in all matters. They cannot be fully relied upon in matters that are metaphysical and they cannot be fully trusted in giving us guidance about moral and spiritual values.
We need divine guidance. Allah’s guidance is the real guidance:
In the Qur’an, we read: “Say: ‘The Guidance of Allah, that is the (true) Guidance.’ Were you to follow their desires after the knowledge which has reached you, then you would find neither Protector nor Helper against Allah.’” (Al-Baqarah: 120)
Every thing other than Huda (guidance) is Hawa (whims, personal wishes, or like air something wishy-washy).
The authentic guidance is in Islam:
Allah gave His guidance to humanity through many Prophets and Messengers, but unfortunately those who received the revelation in the past did not preserve it. They corrupted it, forgot it and lost it. The Qur’an is the most authentic guidance of Allah. The Prophet’s Sunnah also preserved its proper meaning and explanation.
Some basic characteristics of Islamic guidance:
Islam contains:
– The Divine guidance,
– The authentic guidance,
– The universal guidance,
– The comprehensive guidance,
– The most compatible and adaptable guidance for all times and places, and
– The most balanced guidance: balance between things spiritual and material, between this world and the hereafter, between the individual and the society, between freedom and responsibility.
Basic principles of Islam:
The principles of Islam are all universal. They are not limited to one race or one color or one nationality. Its Shari`ah is the most comprehensive and capable to solve the problems of human beings in any place and time. The basic principles of Islam are:
– Oneness of God,
– Oneness of humanity,
– Development of body and mind,
– Preservation of the rights of the individual, family and society,
– Cleanliness, modesty, justice, truth, equality, and
– Recognizing the rights of Allah, the rights of self, the rights of other human beings and the rights of all beings and things.
There is in no philosophy and no ideology or religion that is as capable as Islam is to solve the problems of human beings.
The humanity in need of this religion:
All human beings need Islam. They need Islam to live happily and successfully in this life and they need Islam to find salvation in the life to come. Islam is the religion of truth and it guides to all that it good. The Qur’an has mentioned in three places: “It is He Who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it).” (At-Tawbah: 33) See also Al-Fath: 28, and As-Saff: 9.
The truth is also called Al-`Ilm or knowledge which is the opposite of Az-Zann (the conjecture). Allah says that most people follow conjectures (Az-Zann): “Were you to follow the common run of those on earth, they will lead you away from the Way of Allah. They follow nothing but conjecture: they do nothing but surmise.” (Al-An`am: 116) “These are nothing but names which you have devised – you and your fathers – for which Allah has sent down no authority (whatever). They follow nothing but conjecture and what their own souls desire! And indeed there has already come to them Guidance from their Lord.” (An-Najm: 23) “But they have no knowledge about it. They follow nothing but conjecture; and conjecture avails nothing against Truth.” (An-Najm: 28)
When people do not follow Allah’s guidance, they end up in error and go astray. They wander. Today the humanity is in error. There is corruption every where. There are those who do not know what is wrong and there are those who know what is wrong but they do wrong things. There are those who know what is right and they do not do right things. The whole world is sick with godlessness, immorality, racism, violence, injustice and oppression. The humanity needs God’s guidance.
Our role as Muslims:
Who can give this guidance to the world? No more Prophets or Messengers will come. It is we who have to take up this task. We Muslims should be in the forefront of struggle to present the divine guidance to the world. But we cannot do it unless:
First, we must practice Islam in our own lives. We cannot be guides unless we are guided. We must take Islam seriously in our individual life as well as collective life. As we pray to Allah to seek His guidance all the time and keep away from the path of those who incurred His anger or who went astray, we must work to keep ourselves on the right path.
Second, we must pay attention to our families. Allah says: “O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from Fire. “ (Al-Tahrim: 6)
Third, we should be the role models of truth, justice, and righteousness in our personal lives, in our families, communities, in ou
r countries.
Fourth, we should be united and we should take care of our own people in Kashmir, Kosovo, Palestine, and wherever they are suffering. We must show kindness and courtesy to each other. We must observe the human rights of our own people.
Fifth, we should be in the forefront of movements of peace and justice in the whole world for all people. We must rescue the world from the grips of immorality, drugs, narcotics, hatred, violence, racism and all kinds of injustices.
Sixth, Da`wah (calling to Islam) is a must and every Muslim must invite people to the way of Allah. But this should be done with great care and wisdom. Our way of guidance should be a kind and gentle way of guidance. There is no need to be apologetic about Islam and there is no need to be aggressive when presenting the message of Allah. We must try to reach to the hearts and souls of the people to bring them closer to Allah and His blessed way of life.