Thursday, June 09, 2011

What does hidâyah mean?

Question: The Islamic scholars have translated the word hidâyah as the true path for 14 centuries. But hidâyah means reaching Allah in this world, doesn’t it?
It never does. By saying so, you are accusing all Islamic scholars of giving wrong meaning (never!) to hidâyah. However, Allahu ta’âlâ declares, “If you do not know, ask scholars.” Our master the Prophet states, “Scholars are my and the other prophets’ inheritors.”

Thus far, none of the Islamic scholars has declared the meaning of that word to be reaching Allah. Of the such scholars as the founders of four madhhabs (namely, Imâm-i A’zam, Imâm-i Mâlik, Imâm-i Shâfi’î, Imâm-i Ahmad), great scholars within madhhabs (such as Imâm-i Ghazâlî, Imâm-i Rabbânî, Imâm-i Abû Yûsuf, Imâm-i Muhammad, Imâm-i Nawawî) or other awliyâ’ with hundreds of wonders (such as Sayyid Abdul Qâdir Gailanî, Junayd al-Baghdâdî), which one said hidâyah meant to reach Allah? Which mufassir wrote in his tafsîr book that hidâyah was to reach Allah? Out of thousands of scholars, even one scholar cannot be put forth.
What is the reason for the animosity towards Islamic savants? Isn’t the reason for it that they explained hidâyah as Islam and that they conveyed the commandments and prohibitions of the religion exactly as our master Rasûlullah communicated? Why do they not refer to Islamic scholars instead of heretics?
Have the religion of Islam come incompletely until today? Some aberrant people say, “Islam had been incomplete until our master came. He completed it.” Has Islam come to us incompletely for 1,400 years? Or did Allahu ta’âlâ communicate it incompletely (never!)? Or did our master the Prophet communicate and explain it incompletely (never!)?
Hidâyah does not mean a path. That is, it does not mean a way, path or a bridge. Hidâyah means Islam. Islam, on the other hand, means the true path shown by Allahu ta’âlâ. Therefore, hidâyah is explained to be the true path. Its antonym is dalâlah, deviating.
Hidâyah is to see right as right and wrong as wrong and to enter the right path; to keep away from deviating and false path; to have îmân and to become a Muslim.
Hidâyah is the religion and the path that Allahu ta’âlâ wants.
Since the word path explains it well, all Islamic scholars declared hidâyah to be path. All the translations of the Qur’ân on the market, true and wrong ones alike, have given hidâyah the meaning of true path, that is, they have said that it is Islam. They have not fabricated such an odd meaning as “reaching.”
Hidâyah is to become a Muslim, to accept the religion of Islam. Islam itself is the true path. Then hidâyah means the true path. Two âyat-i karîmas purport:
(You cannot make whom you like reach hidâyah. But Allah gives hidâyah to whom He wills.) [Sûrat-ul-Qasas, 56]
(Whomever Allah wills to guide to hidâyah, He expands his breast for Islam.) [Sûrat-ul-An’âm, 125]
Two hadîth-i sharîfs purport:
(Allahu ta’âlâ has sent me as compassion and hidâyah for the worlds.) [Abû Nu’aym]
(It is not within my power to give hidâyah. Shaitan, on his part, shows what Allahu ta’âlâ has prohibited as being ornate and enticing. But it is not within his power to make one deviate, either.) [I. ‘Adiy]

The number of the fundamentals of îmân is not seven
Is it true to say, “It is îmân to have faith in a soul’s being reached Allah. The fundamentals of îmân are seven. Sharr (evil) is not from Allah but from nafs”?

Saying that evil is from nafs means that there are associates in Allah’s Attribute of Creativeness. Allahu ta’âlâ sends us afflictions owing to our sins, but we do not create the afflictions. We deserve them; as a result, Allahu ta’âlâ punishes us. Allah does not oppress His born slaves.
(If any good reaches them, they say, “This is from Allah,” but if any evil reaches them, they say, “This happened because of you.” Say: “Kullun min ‘Indillaah [All things are from Allah].” What is the matter with these people that they do not understand what they are told?) [Sûrat-un-Nisâ, 78]

Question: Isn’t there the expression “reaching Allah before death” at the end of the Arabic hadîth of îmân? Have the translators not added this part?

There has not been a lie of this kind. One cannot reach Allah before death.
The hadîth of îmân in Arabic is as follows:
(Âmantu bi’llâhi wa malâ’ikatihî wa kutubihî wa rusulihî wal-yawm-il-âkhiri wa bil-qadari khairihî wa sharrihî minallâhi ta’âlâ walba’thu ba’d-al-mawt haqqun ash-hadu an lâ ilâha illallâh wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ’abduhu wa Rasûluhu.) [Bukhârî, Muslim, Nasâî]
Sharrihî minallâhi ta’âlâ = Sharr is from Allah.
How can one deny this well-known hadîth?
Its English translation is the following:
(I have belief in Allah, in His angels, in His books, in His prophets, in the Last Day [that is, to have belief in Paradise, Hell, Judgement, Mîzân], in qadar and that good (khair) and evil (sharr) are from Allahu ta’âlâ, in death and Resur-rection. I bear witness that there is no ilâh except Allah and that Muhammad “alaihisslâm” is His born slave and Messenger.) [Bukhârî, Muslim, Nasâî]

Reaching Allah before death

Question: Wherever they see the word “hidâyah” in the Qur’ân, some people, somehow, say it means a soul’s reaching Allah before death. Actually, are there any âyât or hadîths that are in accordance with this definition? What is “reaching Allah”?

ANSWERNo, there is not such an âyat or a hadîth. Nor did any Islamic scholars say such a thing.
Hidâyah has these senses: the true path, the righteous path, Islam. Its opposite is dalâlah [going astray, deviating]. Hidâyah is to enter the right path after seeing right as right and wrong as wrong; it is to turn away from dalâlah and wrong path, to have îmân and to become a Muslim.
Al-Hâdî and al-Mahdî, two of the Beautiful Names of Allah, denote the One who provides hidâyah, who guides to the right path.
There is not such an expression as “reaching Allah,” but there is such an expression as “meeting Allah.” However, it does not mean “a soul’s reaching Allah before death.” The scholars of tafsîr explain “meeting Allah” as follows:
(Those who [deny the Resurrection] do not expect to meet Us [to be questioned], who are content with [as they are heedless of the Hereafter] and take comfort [preferring this world to the next] from worldly life, and who are unaware of Our âyât [proofs that show the existence of the Creator] will go to Hell because of what they have committed [because of their sins].) [Sûrat-u Yûnus, 7-8]
(To deny the meeting with Allah after death is to deny the Rising after death.)
The following are the purport of some verses that contain the word hidâyah:
(Inna hudallaahi huwal hudaa = Allah’s path of hidâyah [Islam] is the true path through and through.) The proper English translation of this âyat is: (The true path is only Allah’s path.) [Sûrat-ul-Baqara, 120]
(In-nalhudaa hudal-laahi = The true path is without doubt Allah’s path.) [Sûrat-u Âl-i ‘Imrân, 73]
(Ulaaikal-ladheena hadaahumul-laahu = Those are the ones whom Allah has guided to hidâyah [whom Allah has guided to the true path.) [Sûrat-uz-Zumar, 18]
(Wal-ladheena-h-tadaw zaadahum hudaa = Allah increases the hidâyah of those who have attained it [who have entered the true path].) [Sûrat-u Muhammad, 17]
(Wa man yu’min bil-laahi yahdi qalbahuu = Whoever believes in Allah, Allah guides his hearth towards hidâyah [truth].) [Sûrat-ut-Taghâbun, 11]
(Wa yazeedul-laahul-ladheena-h-tadaw hudaa = Allah increases the hidâyah of those who have attained it [who have attained îmân].) [Sûrat-u Maryam, 76]
(Wallaahu yahdee man yashaau ilaa siraatin mustaqeem = Allah provides hidâyah for whom He wills to the right path [makes him reach the right path].) [Sûrat-ul-Baqara, 213]
(Sayahdeehim = He makes them reach hidâyah [makes them reach the right path].) [Sûrat-u Muhammad, 5]
(Hadaanaa li haadhaa wa maa kunnaa li nahtadee = If Allah had not given us hidâyah, we could not have attained it on our own.) [Sûrat-ul-A’râf, 43]
(Ulaaikalladheena-sh-taraw-ud-dalaalata bil hudaa = Those are the ones who have bought aberration instead of truth.) [Sûrat-ul-Baqara, 175]
(Innaka laa tahdee man ahbabta wa laakin-nallaaha yahdee man yashaau = You cannot make whom you like reach hidâyah [you cannot make whom you like a Muslim]. But Allah gives hidâyah to whom He wills.) [Sûrat-ul-Qasas, 56]
(Wallaahu laa yahdil qawmaZZaalimeen = Allah does not guide the zâlimîn to the hidâyah.) [Sûrat-ut-Tawba, 19]
(Laysa ‘alayka hudaahum = It is not your duty to make them reach hidâyah.) [Sûrat-ul-Baqara, 272]
In addition to them, the purport of some hadîth-i sharîfs is as follow:
(Each of my Ashâb is like a star in the sky. If you follow any one of them, you will attain hidâyah [the true path].) [Dârimî, Bayhaqî, Ibni ‘Adiy, Munawî]
(My Lord revealed: “O My Messenger! Your Ashâb are like the celestial stars. Some of them are more luminous. He who follows any one of them is on hidâyah.) [Daylamî]
(He who causes a person to attain hidâyah [who causes a person to have îmân] goes to Paradise.) [Bukhârî]
(Join the suhba of those pious scholars who strive to make people attain hidâyah and keep them away from dalâlah.) [I. Mâwardî]