ALLAH (SWT) GUIDES WHOM HE WILLS
Tafseer for Qur’an 28:56-57
Concerning Allah’s Words: “Verily, you guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are guided. And they say: ‘if we follow the guidance with you, we would be snatched away from our land.’ Have We not established for them a secure sanctuary, to which are brought fruits of all kinds – a provision from Ourselves, but most of them know not.” (Qur’an 28: 56-57)
Ibn Katheer says: Allah (SWT) , says to His Messenger: “O Muhammad! you guide not whom you like.”
That is, that is not for you to decide, you are merely charged with delivering the Message, and it is Allah (SWT) , Who guides whom He wills, for His is the most eloquent Wisdom and the most irrefutable evidence, as Allah (SWT) says: “It is not for you [O Prophet!] to guide them to the right path, but Allah guides whom He wills to the right path.” (Qur’an 2: 272)
“And most of the people will not believe even though you [O Messenger!] may desire it.” (Qur’an 12: 103)
And this verse (in Surat Al-Qasas is more precise than this), for Allah (SWT) says here: “Verily, you guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are guided.”
That is, He (SWT) knows best those who are deserving of guidance from those who deserve to go astray, and it is authentically reported in the Saheehain that this verse was revealed concerning Abu Talib, the paternal uncle of the Messenger of Allah , for he used to protect and help him (SAW) and take his side, and he loved him very much – that is, naturally (as a blood relative), not in accordance with the Law (as a brother in faith).
So when death approached him, and his time was near, Allah’s Messenger (SAW) called him to believe [in Allah (SWT) Alone, without partners] and to enter into the fold of Islam, but what had been ordained for him overtook him, and he was plucked from his hand, remaining (until the end) one of the disbelievers – and the most complete Wisdom belongs to Allah (SWT).
It is reported on the authority of Sa’eed Ibn Al-Masayyib that he heard from his father that he said: “When death approached Abu Talib, Allah’s Messenger (SAW) and he found, Abu Jahl Abdullah Ibn Abi Umayyah Ibn Al-Mugheerah with him, and so he (SAW) said: ‘O uncle! Say, La ilaha IllaAllah, a testimony by which I will intercede Allah on your behalf.’ But Abu jahl and Abdullah Ibn Abi Umayyah said: ‘O Abu Talib! Will you reject the religion of ‘Abdul Muttalib?’
Allah’s Messenger (SAW) continued to urge him upon it [to declare that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah (SAW)], while they repeated their question, until his final words, which were that he remained upon the religion of ‘Abdul Muttalib, and he refused to say: La ilaha IllaAllah. And so the Prophet (SAW) said: ‘By Allah I will continue to ask for forgiveness for you until I am forbidden to do so.’
So Allah revealed: “It is not for the Prophet nor those who believed with him to seek forgiveness for the polytheists, even though they may be kin (to them).” (Qur’an 9: 113)
And He (SAW) revealed concerning Abu Talib: Verily, you guide not whom you like, but Allah, guides whom He wills.” (Narrated by Az-Zuhri)
CAUSES OF GUIDANCE
By Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin Al-Qaasim
11, Rajab 1425 (27, August 2004)
Source: Islaamic Propagation & Education Committee, Al-Madeenah Al-Munawwarah (Sermons of the two Holy Mosques)
All praise is due to Allaah Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings of Allaah be upon the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam), his household and companions.
Fellow Muslims! Allaah showered great blessings upon of His servants and the greatest of these blessings is guidance to this religion. It is by the grace of Allaah that the rightly guided found guidance and it is by His justice that others went astray. Allaah says, “A group, He has guided, and a group deserved to be in error.” (Al-A’raaf 7:30)
Guidance is a gift from Allaah. It does no come to just anybody and it is not attained through wishes. It might even be delayed though its means are available. Allaah says, “Nay, but Allaah has conferred a favor upon you that He has guided you to the Faith.” (Al-Hujuraat 49:17)
There is no salvation from punishment and there is no way to happiness except through this guidance. It is the greatest blessings of Allaah upon which the servant must show gratitude. Allaah says, “And remember Him (by invoking Allaah for all good.) as He has guided you, and verily, you were, before, of those who were astray.” (Al-Baqarah 2:198)
Supplicating for steadfastness upon guidance is one of the special invocations of the righteous. Allaah says, “(They say): “Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.” (Aal ‘Imraan 3:8)
There is no way to Paradise except through the guidance of Islaam. Allaah says, “And they will say: “All the praises and thanks be to Allaah, Who has guided us to this, and never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allaah had guided us!” (Al-A’raaf 7:43)
The greatest invocation is to ask for guidance, for it is the source of a servant’s well-being in this world and in the Hereafter. The Muslim is commanded to call upon his Lord for guidance in every prayer. Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said, “The most useful and the greatest and most comprehensive invocation is the one in Soorah Al-Faatihah: ‘Guide to the right path’. This is because; man’s need for guidance is greater than his need for food and drink.”
The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) would command his companions to ask Allaah for guidance. ‘Alee narrated that the Prophet commanded his to say, “O Allaah! Guide me and provide me with appropriateness.” And he told Mu’aawiyah, “Say: ‘O Allaah! Guide me, make me rightly guided and guide others through me.'”
Among the supplication of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) is, “O Allaah! Guide me and make guidance easy for me.” (At-Tirmidhee)
It is because of the importance of guidance that there was no nation who had not had a guide, a warner and a caller to guidance. Allaah says, “And you are only a warner, and to every people there is a guide.” (Ar-Ra’d 13:7)
It is only Allaah Who opens the hearts for guidance. The creature has no hand in that except by providing means of guidance. Allaah says, “Verily you (O Muhammad (peace be upon him)) guide not whom you like, but Allaah guides whom He wills.” (Al-Qasas 28:56)
He also says, “Say, (O Muhammad (peace be upon him)) “To Allaah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to the Straight Way .” (Al-Baqarah 2:142)
The righteous companion is good help in attaining guidance. He reminds you of Allaah when you forgets and assists you when you are oblivious. You hear nothing from him but good word and you see nothing in him but good deeds. Good companion is an act of worship mixed with enjoyment. It increases one in faith and the reality of sincere admonition is that it makes the Muslims like one body in which there are many hearts. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) said, “The believers are like a single man.” (Muslim) The companion has an influence over one’s religion, conduct and manners. In fact, man’s character is known through his companions. The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) said, “Man is upon the religion of his friend. So let each of you consider the person he is going to befriend.” (Aboo Daawood) Bad friend calls you to abandon acts of obedience to Allaah. He makes sins fair seeming to you. He is with you when you are in ease, keeps away from you when you are in difficulty and he harms you in many ways. Islaam warns against keeping his company for he will not elevate you to high position or guard you against lowly behaviors. That is why the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) likened him to the bellow blower who bothers you in all cases. The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) said, “The example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one, is like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows (or furnace); from the first you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows would either burn your clothes, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) Fellow Muslims! Bad companions are a loss in this world and regret in the Hereafter. Allaah says, “And (remember) the Day when the Z alim (wrong-doer, oppressor, polytheist) will bite at his hands, he will say: “Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger ( Muhammad (peace be upon him)) “Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a Khalil (an intimate friend)! “He indeed led me astray from the Reminder (this Qur’aan) after it had come to me. And Satan is to man ever deserter in the hour of need.” (Al-Furqaan 25:27-29)
Attending the lessons of the scholars is a way of attaining guidance through their knowledge. Learning from them increases one in eemaan, for their cases indicate their piety and their actions indicate their inner purity. They remind you of the righteous predecessors and they encourage you to aspire for the abode of the Hereafter. There are many blessings in being in their company. So be the nearest person to them. Maymoon ibn Mahraan said, “I found the righteousness of my heart in sitting down in the company of the scholars.”
Purification of the hearts from all filths of lust and ambiguities is also a means of attaining guidance. For, when an ambiguity enters a heart, its removal becomes difficult and it prevents the affected person from moving closer to Allaah.
Also, perpetrating sins and following one’s lusts by watching and listening to obscene things darken the heart. The person who follows ambiguous things and lust and at the same time seeks reform of his soul is seeking for something unachievable.
During the period that the Qur’aan was still been revealed and the companions were still with the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam), he still feared for them trials and he would prohibit them from coming close to trials.
The soul is avaricious if you make it so and it is curbed if you curb it. So rein in your soul with the bridle of commandments and prohibitions and keep away from causes of trials and calamities. For, coming close to calamity is in itself a calamity from the concerned person will find it difficult to remove himself.
Conquering the lusts is a crown upon the head and preventing ambiguities elevates the soul and guarding the body against sins strengthens one upon guidance by the grace of Allaah. Succumbing to desire and free time are entrances of Satan. The prosperous is the one who races towards righteousness and keeps his soul away from all that could harm it and follows the admonition of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) that says, “Be keen over what can benefit you and seek the help from Allaah and do no relent.” (Ibn Maajah)
Dear brethren! Spending the time in being dutiful to parents, being kind to the kith and the kin and meeting the needs of the Muslims is an act of worship. What you lose of the benefits of this world and the Hereafter through sins you commit are multiple of whatever enjoyment you attain through sins. Performing much acts of worship is also a means of attaining strength in faith and attaining Allaah’s protection. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) said, “Be always conscious of Allaah, Allaah will protect you.” (At-Tirmidhee) The best among the human race are the model in acts of worship. Allaah says about Ibraaheem, “Verily, Ibraaheem (Abraham) was an Ummah (a leader having all the good righteous qualities), or a nation, obedient to Allaah, Hanif (i.e. to worship none but Allaah), and he was not one of those who were Al-Mushrikin (polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah, and those who joined partners with Allaah).” (An-Nahl 16:120)
The righteous predecessors of this Ummah used to worship Allaah much. Ibn Katheer said of Ibn Al-Qayyim, “I do not know any scholar in this age that performed acts of worship more than him. He had of performing prayer whereby he would prolong it so much and he would prolong the bowing and prostration as well. Many of his friends would sometimes censor him for that but he would not desist from what he was doing.”
Dear brethren! The Book of our Lord is the source of guidance and uprightness. Allaah says, “Verily, this Qur’aan guides to that which is most just and right and gives glad tidings to the believers (in the Oneness of Allaah and His Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him)) who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a great reward (Paradise).” (Al-Israa 17:9)
Reciting the Qur’aan frequently is a protection against evils, calamities, ambiguities and lusts, by the grace of Allaah.
Visiting graveyards for admonition and lesson is an established Sunnah that reminds of the Hereafter and helps in remaining upright upon the commandment of Allaah. It also keeps one away from sins and prevents one from being deluded by this world. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) said, “Visit graves, for it reminds you of the Hereafter.” (At-Tirmidhee) And he who always remembers death will remain upright.
The hearts are between two of the Fingers of Allaah, He twists them as He likes. There is no means by which one can attain one’s goal better and more useful than supplication. So supplicate to your Lord every day and night to count you among His righteous servants.
If you see that the sinners are in majority, do not let that prevent you from holding fast to your religion. For, it is known in the Sunnah of Allaah that the sinners are always greater in number than those who obey Allaah. Allaah says, “And truly, most of men are F asiqi n (rebellious and disobedient to Allaah).” (Al-Ma’idah 5:49). Only look at the truth and do not look at the number of those who follow it or who fail to follow it. Allaah describes Ibraaheem alone as a nation though he is just one man. Allaah says, “Verily, Ibraaheem (Abraham) was an Ummah (a leader having all the good righteous qualities), or a nation, obedient to Allaah, Hanï¿½f (i.e. to worship none but Allaah)” (An-Nahl 16:120). Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaadh said, “do not feel lonely in following the truth because of the fewness of those who follow it and do not be deluded by the falsehood because of the multitude of those who [follow it and] are going to perish. Allaah’s favor upon you by making you righteous at a time that many people are astray should increases you in guidance and encourage you to call others to the straight path.”
Fellow Muslims! It is the Sunnah of Allaah in this life that He puts those who holds fast unto this religion to trial so that those who are sincere in their uprightness might be distinguished. Allaah says, “And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test).” (Al-‘Ankaboot 29:3)
Allaah also says, “And indeed (many) Messengers were mocked before you, but their scoffers were surrounded by the very thing that they used to mock at.” (Al-An’aam 6:10)
Every Messenger that was sent was accused with magic and insanity. Allaah says, “Likewise, no Messenger came to those before them but they said: “A sorcerer or a madman!” (Adh-Dhaariyaat 51:52)
The companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) were mocked by the hypocrites. “And, whenever they passed by them, they used to wink one to another (in mockery).” (Al-Muttaffifeen 83:30). So if anyone mocks your religious uprightness, that is a virtue for you, for the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayihi wa sallam) was treated in the like manner. It is also an indication of the sincerity of your uprightness. Do not be sad, for the mocker was propelled by desire or ignorance. Allaah says, “And they belied them (those verses) wrongfully and arrogantly, though their own selves were convinced thereof (i.e. those (Aya t) are from Allaah, and Mo sa (Moses) is the Messenger of Allaah in truth, but they disliked to obey Mo sa (Moses), and hated to believe in his Message of Monotheism).” (An-Naml 27:14). The one who mocks you wishes, in the depth of his heart, to follow guidance be he could not. Allaah says about who go astray, “How much will those who disbelieved desire that they were Muslims.” (Al-Hijr 15:2). If anyone mocks you bear that with patience as the Prophets had done. Do not destroy your deeds by relenting. Overlook and show deliberateness and turn away from those who harmed you. Allaah says, “Therefore be patient (O Muhammad (peace be upon him)) as did the Messengers of strong will.” (Al-Ahqaaf 46:35)
The successful is the one who follows the light of guidance, call the sinner to repentance and humbles himself for the one who is afflicted with sins by calling him to the right path with wisdom and gentleness. Allaah says, “Say: “O you mankind! Now truth (i.e. the Qur’aan and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)) has come to you from your Lord. 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, and I am not (set) over you as a Waki l (disposer of affairs to oblige you for guidance).” (Yoonus 10:103)
Fellow Muslims! The most prosperous ones are the rightly guided. The beginning of guidance is goodness and its end is mercy and Allaah’s pleasure. The one who knows the truth and follows it has been guided to the right path. And the one who is rightly guided will attain prosperity, provision and happiness. Allaah will help to perform righteous deeds and abstain from sins. He will not be afflicted with evil in this world and the Hereafter. And the one who holds unto the light of guidance, Allaah will increase him in light. “And Allaah increases in guidance those who walk aright.” (Maryam 19:76)
Your place in the Hereafter is based upon these moments in which you live. “And that man can have nothing but what he does (good or bad).” (An-Najm 53:39)
The prosperous is the one who put forward for himself righteous deeds.