“Guide us to the straight path (sirat al-mustaqeem).”
The path that is best for us…
Guidance is the enabling of the realization that leads to one’s innermost essential reality. It is to gracefully lead one to that which is best for them from within their own essence.
The most general definition of guidance is the easing of the path that leads each form of creation to that which is best for it via the name Latif…
Indeed, everyone has been determined a purpose to which they will reach though guidance, for that is what has been made easy for them.
Take myself, for example… I write these books as this is what has been determined for me, perhaps many who read it are not even going to duly evaluate and benefit from them… Perhaps many are going to read and say, “Nice books, interesting points…” Yet continue to live in their accustomed ways rather than applying these truths to their lives.
And perhaps some are going to claim, “This is nothing but nonsense and absurdity!” and toss it aside…
Yet maybe some are going to read it and, with the guidance endowed to them, recognize this as another aspect of the truth and begin evaluating the Quran from this perspective, understanding the universal system the Quran explains, the place and nature of man within this system and how man should prepare for his life in the future...
But there are some people who have come from closed societies, limited to the conservative conditionings of their environment and thus confined to a cocooned existence at an early age. So much so that even the practices they engage in later on in their lives cannot free them from their cocoons, forcing them to see everything from a very narrow perspective.
They travel abroad, see the world, study internationally and yet can’t break free from the seemingly genuine, yet extremely limited, identity imposed upon them by their home environment.
They still think the Quran was miraculously sent from the sky to Muhammad (saw) in Mecca in order to teach good morals – first to the Arabs then to the rest of the world – commanding that none should be deified and worshipped other than Allah, and comprising lists of good and bad, right and wrong, etc.
According to them, the Quran is devoid of a system; it is absurd to look for clues of scientific truths in the Quran; neither medicine nor astronomy, physics, chemistry, etc., can be learnt from the Quran! The Quran is only a book that explains why and how the god in space has to be deified and worshipped and which rules the people need to abide by…
If Allah does not endow guidance to such a person, it is near impossible for him to break free from the cocoon formed during his early years.
To think in light of modern findings, freely and objectively, and especially to be open and cocoon-free in terms of the future, is infinite freedom.
Put my books aside, the number of people who actually ‘read’ the Quran is no more than a few! Beyond those who read the Quran ‘to be rewarded with paradise’ or to ‘offer comfort to the dead,’ how many actually read the Quran?
How many do you think read the Quran to contemplate on and discern the magnificent system, the qualities and makeup of those who are subject to that system, and the infinite manifestations of Allah’s knowledge and power it explains; how many recognize this and experience awe before it?
The lecturers, preachers and sermonizers who have plenty to say when it comes to talking, yet not enough intellectual evidence when it comes to carrying their argument through, can do nothing more than address another’s cocoon from their own cocoons:
“Beware! Do not heed books that invite you to think, to look with a wider perspective, to break out of your cocoon and fly! Ignore the modern blessings of Allah and keep thinking like those from a thousand years ago – that the Earth is the center of the universe and everything revolves around it! The Quran isn’t a book of knowledge! It is not right to interpret it in the light of science! Let go of these new ideas lest you commit blasphemy and become misguided!”
Why is this so?
The primary reason is because the guidance that has come to them ordains it to be so! The divine will has decreed it so!
The seeming reason, however, is that even though their bodies have travelled the world, their intellects have not gone beyond the narrow mindset with which they’ve been conditioned by their environments, i.e. their cocoons!
In religious terms, one can say such people have not been ‘given the ease’ of considering views outside their cocoon worlds.
Those who haven’t been brought up with freedom of thought, who’ve been confined to their conditioned beliefs, cannot see the truth even when it is in plain sight.
Indeed, that which is eased for a person has much to do with the path that the ‘Guider’ has determined for him!
Hadhrat Ali (ra) narrates:
One time we were at a funeral, the Rasul of Allah (saw) came and sat by our side. We gathered around him. He was holding a staff. He put his head down and in a reflective way he started drawing lines in the dirt with the staff, then said, “Every single one of you without exception has been determined his place in either paradise or hell! It has been definitely determined whether you are of the fortunate or the unfortunate ones!” One of us asked, “O Rasul of Allah (saw), shall we then abandon our deeds and go by whatever has been written?” The Rasul of Allah (saw) answered, “The fortunate ones will engage in the deeds of the fortunate ones… The unfortunate ones will commit the deeds of the unfortunate ones… So, keep up your deeds, for it has already been eased for you! If you are of the fortunate ones, then your deeds will be eased for you, if you are of the unfortunate ones, then the deeds of the unfortunate will be eased for you!”
Another narration in relation to this one is by Omar’s (ra) son, Abdullah:
Omar (ra) asks, “O Rasul of Allah (saw), are the things we are currently doing formed now or had they already been formed and completed?”
The Rasul (saw) answered, “O Son of Hattab, everything has been predetermined! Everyone is prepared for what has already been determined for him: the fortunate ones will work for their fortune and the unfortunate ones will work for their misfortune!”