Hedaya, or guidance is help and advice about how to do something or about how to deal with problems connected with your work, education, or personal relationships. The root word is Ha, Dal and Ya. From Arabic dictionary it means to guide, direct, lead, show the way (to), conduct, pilot, usher. This is the du’a that we make the most – in Sura Fatiha in every raka’ah that we pray we ask Allah to guide us,

“Guide us to the straight path” -Sura Al-Fatihah 1:6

Guidance is towards the straight path, which is the path towards Allah (SWT), and this is the only path that has been shown to us by our beloved Prophet (PBUH).

“And We would have guided them to a straight path.” Sura An-Nisa 4:68

“And [some] among their fathers and their descendants and their brothers – and We chose them and We guided them to a straight path.” Sura Al An’Am 6:87

When Adam (AS) was expelled from Jannah Allah (SWT) said,

“We said, “Go down from it, all of you. And when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance – there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” Sura Al Baqarah 2:38

The Qur’an is the ultimate guidance for Humanity. Allah guides whom He wills, and those who are not guided are left in darkness. The opposite of Hedaya is dalalah. Literal meaning of which is to mislead, lead astray, misguide, misdirect, pervert. P. 713

It was narrated from Ibn `Abbas that: The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Al-hamdu lillahi nahmadhu wa nasta`inuhu wa na`udhu billahi min shururi anfusina wa min sayi’ati a`malina, man yahdihillahu fala mudilla lahu, wa man yudlil fala hadiya lahu. Wa ashadu an la ilaha illallahu wahduhu la sharika lahu, wa anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa rasuluhu. Amma ba`d. (Praise is to Allah, we praise Him and we seek His help. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds, Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray; and whomsoever is led astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah, alone with no partner or associate, and that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger. To proceed).” Reference: Sunan Ibn Majah 1893

On the authority of Abu Dharr al-Ghifaree (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from his Lord, that He said:

O My servants! I have forbidden dhulm (oppression) for Myself, and I have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another. O My servants, all of you are astray except those whom I have guided, so seek guidance from Me and I shall guide you. O My servants, all of you are hungry except those whom I have fed, so seek food from Me and I shall feed you. O My servants, all of you are naked except those whom I have clothed, so seek clothing from Me and I shall clothe you. O My servants, you commit sins by day and by night, and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness from Me and I shall forgive you. O My servants, you will not attain harming Me so as to harm Me, and you will not attain benefiting Me so as to benefit Me. O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and the jinn of you, were all as pious as the most pious heart of any individual amongst you, then this would not increase My Kingdom an iota. O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and the jinn of you, were all as wicked as the most wicked heart of any individual amongst you, then this would not decrease My Kingdom an iota. O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and the jinn of you, were all to stand together in one place and ask of Me, and I were to give everyone what he requested, then that would not decrease what I Possess, except what is decreased of the ocean when a needle is dipped into it. O My servants, it is but your deeds that I account for you, and then recompense you for. So he who finds good, let him praise Allah, and he who finds other than that, let him blame no one but himself. [Muslim] Reference: Hadith 24, 40 Hadith an-Nawawi

Therefore, Hedaya comes from Allah (SWT) and Him alone, and any other path will lead us to destruction and eventually Hellfire. Allah says in Sura Al’ An Am

Say, “Shall we invoke instead of Allāh that which neither benefits us nor harms us and be turned back on our heels after Allāh has guided us? [We would then be] like one whom the devils enticed [to wander] upon the earth confused, [while] he has companions inviting him to guidance, [calling], ‘Come to us.'”2 Say, “Indeed, the guidance of Allāh is the [only] guidance; and we have been commanded to submit to the Lord of the worlds.Sura Al-An’am 6:71

Hadi is one of the names of Allah meaning the one who guides. AL-HADI MEANING: The Guide, The Way. Allah (SWT) is Al Haadi (in Arabic: ٱلْهَادِي), The One who gives guidance to His believers. His Guidance is beneficial and protects them from whatever may be harmful. He is The One who sent prophets (may peace be upon them) as the deliverers of His message to ensure mankind is guided on the right path.

Hedaya is of two types – one is to be shown that path and the other is to be given the ability to follow the path.

Allah gives you faculty – you are shown the way. Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an in Sura Fussilat

“And as for Thamūd, We guided them, but they preferred blindness over guidance, so the thunderbolt of humiliating punishment seized them for what they used to earn.” Sura Fussilat 41:17

Allah shows the way but we have to walk ourselves. It is our duty to continuously seek for Hedaya so we can be firm upon the path.

Allah enables you – He makes it easy for you. This means that our Qalb is guided towards Allah (SWT). This is a blessing from Allah (SWT) and we all ask Allah (SWT) to be among those.

Allah guides whom He wills

“Indeed, [O Muḥammad], you do not guide whom you like, but Allāh guides whom He wills. And He is most knowing of the [rightly] guided.” Sura Al Qasas 56

“Not upon you, [O Muḥammad], is [responsibility for] their guidance, but Allāh guides whom He wills. And whatever good you [believers] spend is for yourselves, and you do not spend except seeking the face [i.e., approval] of Allāh. And whatever you spend of good1 – it will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.” Sura Al Baqarah 2:272

Al Qur’an is the Hedaya for Mutaqqin

“This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allāh.” Sura Al Baqarah 2:2

Hedaya is for those who don’t commit shirk

“They who believe and do not mix their belief with injustice – those will have security, and they are [rightly] guided.” Sura Al An’Am 82

There are certain categories of people who are deprived of Hedaya – these include Kafir, Fasiq, Zaliumun, Khainoon, Kazib Kaffar.

“Have you not considered the one who argued with Abraham about his Lord [merely] because Allāh had given him kingship? When Abraham said, “My Lord is the one who gives life and causes death,” he said, “I give life and cause death.” Abraham said, “Indeed, Allāh brings up the sun from the east, so bring it up from the west.” So the disbeliever was overwhelmed [by astonishment], and Allāh does not guide the wrongdoing people.” Sura Al Baqarah 258

“How shall Allāh guide a people who disbelieved after their belief and had witnessed that the Messenger is true and clear signs had come to them? And Allāh does not guide the wrongdoing people.” Sura Ali ‘Imran 3:86

Hedaya is not fixed but continuous, and increases until one reaches Jannah

“It is We who relate to you, [O Muḥammad], their story in truth. Indeed, they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.” Sura Al-Kahf 18:13

When the servant believes in the Scripture and acquires guidance through the wholeness of it and wholeheartedly accepts its commandments and believes in the information contained therein, this becomes the cause of another state of guidance that he ultimately acquires. Guidance has no end regardless of how well guided the servant is, for as he continues to fear his Lord, he is promoted to a higher rank. Allah says, “Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – their Lord will guide them because of their faith. Beneath them rivers will flow in the Gardens of Pleasure.” Sura Yunus 9, thus, He first guided them to faith, then after they became faithful, He guided them to another state, guidance after guidance. A similar saying is His saying, “And Allāh increases those who were guided, in guidance, and the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord1 for reward and better for recourse.” Sura Maryam 19:76 and “O you who have believed, if you fear Allāh, He will grant you a criterion1 and will remove from you your misdeeds and forgive you. And Allāh is the possessor of great bounty.” Sura Al Anfal 8:29. The criterion includes the light that He gives them with which they can distinguish between truth and falsehood, and the help and might with which they can uphold truth and break falsehood. The Sayings of Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah p. 93

Hedaya leads to Jannah

Until the final destination is reached due to this guidance:

“And We will have removed whatever is within their breasts of resentment, [while] flowing beneath them are rivers. And they will say, “Praise to Allāh, who has guided us to this; and we would never have been guided if Allāh had not guided us. Certainly the messengers of our Lord had come with the truth.” And they will be called, “This is Paradise, which you have been made to inherit for what you used to do.” Sura Al-A’raf 7:43

Continuous du’a is needed to stay upon Hedaya

We need to constantly make du’a to be firm upon guidance. In Sura Ali ‘Imran Allah says, “[Who say], “Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower.” Sura Ali ‘Imran 8

May Allah keep us firm on Deen and keep us among those who are guided.

‘O Allah guide me among those You have guided, pardon me among those You have pardoned, befriend me among those You have befriended, bless me in what You have granted, and save me from the evil that You decreed. Indeed You decree, and none can pass decree, and none can pass decree upon You, indeed he is not humiliated whom You have befriended, blessed are You our Lord and Exalted.'” At-Tirmidhi: 464, Abu Dawud: 1425

(Allahummahdini fiman hadait, wa a’fini fiman afait, wa tawallani fiman tawallait, wa barik Li fima atait, wa qini sharra ma qadait, fa Innaka taqdi wa la yuqda Alaik, wa innahu la yadhillu man walait, tabarakta Rabbana wa ta’alait.)

And Allah knows best.

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