Throughout our lives we seek guidance on matters relating to it. From our youth, when our parents and elders are a source of guidance, to later on in life when we seek guidance from our teachers, our mentors and our seniors.
There is a need to have guidance and we often seek it from them who have superior experience over us, people who possess the knowledge we don’t have and people who are there to help us in our journey.
However, many people go through life without acknowledging the primary guide and that is from Allah SWT.
The imam reminded us of Sura An-nur, ayat 55 in which Allah SWT speaks of this topic. It is translated to say:
Allah has promised those of you who believe and do good that He will certainly make them successors in the land, as He did with those before them; and will surely establish for them their faith which He has chosen for them; and will indeed change their fear into security—˹provided that˺ they worship Me, associating nothing with Me. But whoever disbelieves after this ˹promise˺, it is they who will be the rebellious.
Dear brothers and sisters, in this ayat we are both being told of the guidance He provides to bring us success and also the conditions of that guidance, namely we are to worship Him and associate no partners with Him.
And so, we should ask ourselves, are we fulfilling both parts of this contract that He states in this ayat. For example, if we are stuck in our family life, we can seek help from others in the form of advice, maybe even seek counselling – but are we seeking the guidance from Allah SWT as well; and do we even know how to do this?
And as Allah SWT states in ayat 9 of Sura As-Saf which is translated to say:
He is the One Who has sent His Messenger with ˹true˺ guidance and the religion of truth, making it prevail over all others, even to the dismay of the polytheists.
He is the one who sends true guidance. Guidance that has no hidden agenda, guidance that is not diminished in it being from a fellow creation of His and guidance that is perfectly tailored for us, then surely we should have Allah SWT as the primary go-to for guidance in all the uncertainties we face in this life.
Dear brothers and sisters, guidance from Allah SWT is the only guidance that we seek in this life. Advice and opinion from learned people, our elders and our loved ones has it’s place but we should all have Allah SWTs guidance at the forefront of our decision making when navigating life.
And so, if we are to accept that the successful are those who worship Allah SWT and seek guidance from Him then how does one achieve this?
The reminder concludes with two practical points in relation to this.
- We need to worship Allah SWT first and foremost to receive the guidance. This means that the prayers that we pray need to be perfected and performed as if it is the prerequisite to that guidance.
If we are to go to our boss for guidance on the work we are doing. We are likely to respect the time they have set aside to help us, i.e. turn up on time. We are likely to dress smart, we are likely to listen to what they have to say and play our part so that we get their guidance.
Equally so, when we are submitting ourselves in worship, e.g. prayer, then we should perform our ablution with care, make sure we pray on time, with focus and meaning, we should then take our time at the end of the prayer to raise our hands up in dua and ask Him for guidance with specific dua and help. After all, we declare in every rakat that we come to Him alone for worship and help and so we should fulfil this promise by performing salat correctly and with the right etiquette.
- We need to remember that Allah SWT has blessed us with guidance through the Quran. A miracle in this life that exists unlike anything else. Besides the blessing of recitation, of listening and of understanding, the Quran is unique in that it is also a means to seek true guidance.
For those of us who are new to this concept, the advice here is to make the Quran a frequent source of guidance. Open the Quran randomly and begin reciting. For those who don’t understand Arabic, use a copy that has a translation alongside it and focus on what is being said in the ayats that you are reading. Learn to ponder over these words and seek guidance from them. More often than not, the miracle of the Quran is that, what may seem like a random ayat being recited is directly related in some way to the guidance that you are seeking. Open your mind to the idea that the answer lies in what is being read at that given time and watch how life is transformed over time to one that is being guided by Allah SWT.
Two key points to remember with this method are that first of all, the guidance being offered may sometimes contradict what the heart desires. As Muslims, we accept we are slaves to Allah SWT and to His word. If the guidance we are feeling goes against what we wanted then we can’t pick and choose what to follow, this is faith and we need to accept this point if we are to receive true guidance.
Secondly, when we are reading the Quran, especially the translation. Any confusion comes from our limited understanding of the Quran. We don’t read the Quran in order to critique it. This is an important point because it’s the only time we must stop ourselves doing this. Everything else in life we judge and we critique. This must be the exception as Quran is perfect but our understanding is not.
Dear brothers and sisters, as Muslims we have with us the perfect guidance for life. We just need to educate ourselves and others to make the most of the guidance we can potentially have so that we are amongst those who are rightly guided to the path of Allah SWT.