The Quran as a Guidance
September 13, 2014
In various verses of the Quran, Allah ﷻ refers to His book as Huda, or a source of guidance.
What is a guide?
A guide is something or someone who “Directs the course; determines the direction of travelling, someone who shows the way by leading or advising.”
If a person intends to traverse an unknown path, the most sensible thing for him to do is find a guide. The Quran is that very guide which directs us through the pathways of this life.
Two primary sources of guidance:
- The Quran and
- The Sunnah of Rasulullah صلى الله عليه و سلم
What is the purpose of the guidance of Quran?
The Quran contains concise guidance on all aspects pertaining to this life as well as how to achieve success in the afterlife.
One of the purposes of revealing this “Book of Guidance” is mentioned in the opening verse of Surah Ibraheem. Allah ﷻ addressing Muhammed صلى الله عليه و سلم says,
الر ۚ كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ لِتُخْرِجَ النَّاسَ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ
“Alif Laam Raa’, A book which we have revealed to you (Oh Muhammed صلى الله عليه و سلم), so that you may lead the people from the darkness into the light by the permission of their Lord, to the path of The All-Mighty, The praiseworthy.”
The powerful effect of the guidance that the Qur’an brought with it was evident in the lives of the Sahabah رضي الله عنهم. The Holy Qur’an changed the Arabian Peninsula from its worst to better and changed countless of lives. A poet comments:
“Descending from Hira to a sleeping Nation
An exquisite gem with Him he brought,
Whether a bolt of lightning or an iron hand
It shook all of Arabia in its wake.”
What sort of guidance is found in the Quran?
The glorious book of Allah is a caller to truth. Allah ﷻ says in Surah Al-Isra:
إِنَّ هَـٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ يَهْدِي لِلَّتِي هِيَ أَقْوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَبِيرًا
“Indeed this Qur’an guides to that which is most just and right and gives glad tidings to the believers who work righteous deeds, that they shall have a great reward.” (17:9)
The Qur’an wasn’t revealed merely for recitation or translation. The effect of each verse must be felt in our hearts, it’s meaning should weigh down on us. The Sahaba رضي الله عنهم knew the Arabic language, but this was not enough for them to understand the Qur’an. One of Rasulullah’s صلى الله عليه و سلم missions was to teach them the deeper meanings and guidance of the Qur’an.
The Qur’an contains different levels of Guidance:
- The first is where Allah ﷻ says:
‘هدى للناس’ – A guidance for mankind.
This guidance includes just the basics of Quran and can be understood by any layman.
- The second level of guidance that can be attained from Quran is more profound and needs much more effort to understand. ‘هدى للمتقين’ – A guide for those who are immersed in Taqwa* (Allah-Consciousness). Such guidance cannot be attained by simply reading a translation of the Qur’an, but has to be learnt at the hands of such Mufassireen (commentators of Quran) who themselves are Muttaqi. To truly appreciate this level, a person will be required to dedicate many years of their lives immersed in the in-depth studies of the Qur’an from reliable teachers under expert guidance.
As we ponder over the different levels of guidance, we understand that, whilst many of us may know the translation of the Qur’an, we fail to truly appreciate these verses as we recite them during Salaah and out of Salaah.
If we aren’t moved by the verses of the Qur’an, which is one of the purposes of revelation, this will merely be ‘intellectual knowledge’.
There are three aspects that must be noted if we want the true guidance: They are:
- The wording of Quran
- The meaning of Quran
- The effect of the Qur’an on our lives
The Holy Quran was revealed to honour and raise nations, and Allah will honour us if we read it and most importantly allow it to have an effect on us and implement it in our lives.
May Allah who is Al-Haadi, The Ultimate Guide, guide us by means of His Kalaam.
In Sha Allah, in our final post of this series, we shall discuss the Quran as ‘Rahmah’ (Mercy for the Believers)
*قال علي كرم الله وجهه: التقوى هي الخوف من الجليل و العمل بالتنزيل و الرضا بالقليل و الإستعداد ليوم الرحيل
Sayyiduna ‘Ali ارضي الله عنه said, “Taqwa comprises of; the fear of Allah, acting upon the Qur’an, being satisfied with less and preparing for the day of depature i.e death.”
Characteristics of the Qur’an Series:
Introduction – The Reality
Part 1 – The Qur’an as Advice
Part 2 – The Qur’an as a Cure
Part 3 – The Qur’an as a Guidance
Part 4 – The Qur’an as a Mercy