Ah! There’s something I’ve been so amazed about and been wanting to share with everyone I know, just don’t know how to put it!
You know how we get used to making the dua ‘May Allah grant them hidayah’. Ever thought what hidaya meant? Guidance, yes. But subhanAllah I haven’t been able to bring my head around its actual and true meaning, after my tafseer teacher taught it!
So, Hidayah هداية comes from the root word ه د ي (haa daal yaa), and hidayah means ‘to guide someone in such a way that you make them reach their destination. To show the way, make them walk the path and make sure they reach the destination‘
Imagine this scenario: You drive along the streets looking for a famous restaurant you’ve heard of. But you’re lost at the streets and you’ve been going round the same corner, it’s so close you know, but you can’t find it. You stop someone walking in the streets and ask them to guide you. They could tell you ‘Oh go straight, take a turn to your left on the second left and you’ll see it to your right’ and let you go. You’d sure go forth with their points and yes sometimes you’ll find the way, or else, you’d have to stop someone else and ask for the directions again. Now this person tells you, ‘Ohhh! thats my fav restaurant as well. I have some time, come follow me, I’ll show you the way’ and takes you there making sure you’ve reached the restaurant. See the difference here?
In surah Fatihah, we learn that we need to seek help from Allah SWT (iyyaka nasta’een)…And that we do that in the form of asking dua. Wait for it…
What is the first dua we are made to ask? ‘اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ’! “Guide us to the straight path” [اهْدِنَا , is a type of verb (Fi’l amr) coming from haa daal ya, masdr: hidayah]
And we pray asking this, for every single rakah of every single prayer of every single day of our lives (because otherwise our prayers aren’t valid). Just imagine!
Every situation we face, every moment of our lives, we are constantly, making a decision, doing a deed, consciously or subconsciously. In every hour of our lives, we need His guidance, to make it through in the right path, the path without branches, the only straight path…to eternal success. And for this, we continuously ask Allah SWT for guidance. I hope this part of the Surah stops you in prayer, after you’ve read this, and make you think about what a huge thing you’ve been asking for all this while, and that it is HE who made you ask thus. Then pray. 🙂
Because when you ask for this, during your prayer, Allah SWT says ‘This is for My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he asks for’ [Sahih Muslim – MUST read this hadith!!!]
For then, He’ll continue to take us through the path, thru all that we go thru and all that we encounter, thru the straight path, to our final destination, to Jannah.