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THE PATH TO GUIDANCE – Book Sample
BLESSING LIES IN GIVING ADVICE AND TEACHING
- “Allaah is the üne I ask and for Whose reply I hope: that He is benevolent to the brother in this life and the hereafter, that He brings about benefit by him and makes him blessed wherever he may be. Verily the blessing of a man lies in his teaching of goodness wherever he may be and his giving of advice to everyone he meets. Allaah, the Exalted said, informing about al-Maseeh (i.e., Jesus) ():
And He made me blessed wherever I may be. [Soorah Maryam (19):31].
Meaning, ‘A teacher of goodness, a caller to Allaah, one who reminds (others) of Him and who exhorts them to His obedience.’ So this is from the blessing of a man.
- Whoever is devoid of these (characteristics) is devoid of
blessing and so the blessing of meeting such a person and spending time with him is removed. in fact, the blessing of the one who meets him and spends time with him will also be removed if he should waste time in merely talking about occurrences and events, thus corrupting the heart. [refer to the chapter one: The Sound Heart]
- Every harm that enters upon a servant, is caused by the heart’s corruption. The corruption of the heart in turn brings about the removal of the heart’s right upon Allaah, the Exalted, and a diminution of its degree and rank in the sight of Allaah. For this reason, some of the shaikhs advised with their saying, “Be cautious of (the) mixing with a person which will cause wastage of time and corruption of the heart. For verily, when time is wasted and the heart is corrupted, all of the affairs of the servant will become ruined,1 ‘and he will be of those about whom Allaah, the Exalted, said:
And obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our Remembrance, one who follows his own lusts and whose affair has been lost and wasted. [Soorah al-Kahf (18):28].
THE PUNISHMENT FOR HEEDLESSNESS
- Whoever reflects upon the nature and the state of creation will find that, excepting a very small number, all of them are of those whose hearts are unmindful of the remembrance of Allaah, the Exalted; those who have followed their desires and whose affairs and well-being have become a ruin. This means that they have neglected what will benefit them and bring about their well-being. They occupy themselves with what does not benefit them – rather, with what brings harm upon them in this life and the next.
- it is such people that Allaah, free from all imperfection, ordered His Messenger not to obey. Obedience to the Messenger cannot be perfected unless obedience is denied to such people, because they call only to that which causes difficulties and hardships, such as following desires and being heedless of Allaah’s remembrance. When unmindfulness of Allaah’s remembrance and the home of the Hereafter is coupled with following of desires, then every evil is produced thereby and very frequently one of them is found combined with the other.
- Whoever contemplates the corruption of the world, both the general and the specific, will find that it emanates from these two principles.
- Heedlessness comes between a servant and his conceiving the truth, becoming acquainted with it and having knowledge of it. Therefore, because of this he becomes of those who are astray (daalleen).
- Following of desires prevents him from seeking the truth, desiring it and following it. Therefore he becomes of those with whom Allaah is angry (maghdoobi ‘alaihim).
- As for those who have been favoured (by Allaah), they are the ones to whom Allaah has been bountiful by granting them the realisation of the truth in terms of knowledge,2 in complying with it and preferring it as a mode of conduct over whatever is besides it. These are the ones who are upon the path of safety and those besides them are upon the path of destruction.
- For this reason Allaah, free from all imperfection, has ordered that we say numerous times, in the day and night:
Guide us upon the Straight Way. The Way of those on whom Vou have bestowed Vour Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Vour Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians). [Soorah al-Faatihah (1):7].
- The servant is in the greatest need of being knowledgeable of what will benefit him in this life and the hereafter, that he prefers and chooses what benefits him and avoids what harms him. By both of these things he is guided to the Straight Way.
- If the knowledge of this passes him by he will be treading the path of those who are astray. If his desiring it (i.e., the truth) and following it is lost, he will be treading the path of those upon whom is (Allaah’s) anger.
- By this (explanation) you will realise the extent and scope of this mighty supplication, the intense need for it and the dependence of the happiness of this life and the hereafter upon it.
THE SERVANT’S EXTREME NEED FOR GUIDANCE
- The servant is in need of guidance,3 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- There are matters concerning which he did not know the aspect of guidance in them, neither in terms of knowledge nor action. guidance to both knowledge and acquaintance with them, the desire for them and acting upon them has passed him by.
(iv) 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).
(v) 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 all of this, perishes and is cut off from the desired goal.⁴
(vi) 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.
(vii) 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.
(viii) Matters with respect to which he believes he is upon guidance but, in reality, is upon misguidance and does not realise.
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