The Servant’s Extreme Need for Guidance

The servant is in need of guidance, [1] at every moment and in every breath, in everything that happens to him and passes him by, for he is in the midst of many matters from which he cannot separate himself:

(1) Matters in which he found himself because of ignorance, rather than guidance, so he is in need of seeking guidance to the truth with respect to these.

(2) Matters in which he knows the guidance, but did not act upon it in the proper manner, so he is in need of repenting from them.

(3) There are matters concerning which he did not know the aspect of guidance in them, neither in terms of knowledge nor action. Thus guidance to both knowledge and acquaintance with them, the desire for them and acting upon them has passed him by.

(4) There are matters in which he has been guided in one aspect but not in others, so he is in need of perfect and complete guidance with respect to them. Or matters for which he has been guided to their foundations but not -to their particular details, so he is need of a specific guidance (to those particular details).

(5) There are matters to which he has been guided but he is in need of further guidance with respect to them since guidance to the path is one thing, but guidance upon the path is something else. Do we not see that a man knows the path to a certain city, that the path is such and such? However, he is not capable of traversing this path because traversing it requires specific guidance in the journey itself, such as travelling at a certain time as opposed to another, taking a certain amount of water in such and such a desert, resting at this place as opposed to that one. All of this is guidance upon the journey. The one who (merely) knows that this is the path neglects 4 all of this, perishes and is cut off from the desired goal. [2]

(6) Likewise there are matters for which he is in need of guidance in the future, similar to (the guidance) that he obtained in the past.

(7) Matters for which he does not have belief concerning their truthfulness or falsehood and thus he is need of guidance as to what is correct regarding them.

(8) Matters with respect to which he believes he is upon guidance but, in reality, is upon misguidance and does not realize. He is in need of being taken away from that (false) belief by guidance from Allaah.

(9) Matters which he has acted upon due to guidance so that he is in need of guiding others towards them, directing them and advising them. His neglect of this causes a similar level of (his own) guidance to be lost.


[1] Ibn al Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said,

Guidance (hidaayah) is:

a) Elucidation (bayaan) and Indication (dalaalah) (to the path), then
b) Success (tawfeeq) and Inspiration (ilhaarn) (in following the path), and this comes after (the guidance of) elucidation and indication. There is no way to elucidation and indication except by means of the Messengers. So when elucidation, indication and acquaintance (of the path) has been obtained, there will occur, as a result of this the guidance of success (in following the path), the placing of faith (eemaan) in the heart and its beautification and endearment to it, making it (the heart) prefer eemaan, be pleased with it and aspire for it.

There are two independent and distinct (types of) guidance. Success and prosperity cannot be gained except by them. They both contain the knowledge and acquaintance of that which we do not know of the truth, in both a general and specific sense, as well as our being inspired to the truth and being made to desire following it inwardly and outwardly. Then (they contain) the creation of the capability for us (by Allaah) to perform the requirements of this guidance with respect to speech, action and firm resolution. (Then after all of this), being made to remain firm and established upon it until death. It is from the above that this extreme need of the servant for making this supplication is above every other need.” [Madaarijus Saalikeen, p.32]

[2] The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Indeed the Children of Israa’eel split up into seventy-one sects and my Ummah ill split up into seventy-three, all of them are in the Fire except one. ”It was said, What is the one?‘ He said, “That which I and my Companions are upon.“[Reported by at-Tirmidhee (no. 2792), al-Haakim (1/128~129), al-Laalikaa’ee (no. 147) and others from ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (radhiAllaahu ‘anhu)]

Abul-‘Aaliyah (d. 90H) said,  “Allaah has bestowed upon me two favours, I do not know which of them is more superior. That He guided me to Islaam or that He did not make me a Harooree (one of the sects of innovation).”  [Reported by al- Laalikaa’ee (no. 230)]

And Yoosuf ibn Asbaat said, “My father used to be a Qadaree and my (maternal) uncles used to Raafidees-then Allaah saved me through Sufyaan.”  [Al-Laalikaa’ee in Sharh Usoolul-I’tiqaad (no. 32)]

Author: Islamic Treasure

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