Topic: Discussion: The Meaning of "Ihdinas-Siraatal-Mustaqeem"

Moosaa    -- 08-09-2009 @ 7:29 PM
  As-salaamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullaah

If I could get a few new Muslims (or relatively new Muslims) to reply, this could be a very interesting and beneficial discussion, in shaa' Allaah.

I pose a question:

What exactly are we asking for when we say "IH-DINAS-SIRAATAL-MUSTAQEEM" in Soorah al-Faatihah?

You could answer by quoting some different translations of it.

Or you could answer from another angle.

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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Mohammad77    -- 12-09-2009 @ 2:10 PM
  asalamu alaikum wa rahmatula wa barakatu

i hope this text from the tafsir of ibn Kathir will help you akhi:

The Faithful ask for and abide by Guidance

If someone asks, "Why does the believer ask Allah for guidance during every prayer and at other times, while he is already properly guided Has he not already acquired guidance'

The answer to these questions is that if it were not a fact that the believer needs to keep asking for guidance day and night, Allah would not have directed him to invoke Him to acquire the guidance. The servant needs Allah the Exalted every hour of his life to help him remain firm on the path of guidance and to make him even more firm and persistent on it. The servant does not have the power to benefit or harm himself, except by Allah's permission. Therefore, Allah directed the servant to invoke Him constantly, so that He provides him with His aid and with firmness and success. Indeed, the happy person is he whom Allah guides to ask of Him. This is especially the case if a person urgently needs Allah's help day or night. Allah said,

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ءَامِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَـبِ الَّذِى نَزَّلَ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَـبِ الَّذِى أَنَزلَ مِن قَبْلُ]

(O you who believe! Believe in Allah, and His Messenger (Muhammad ), and the Book (the Qur'an) which He has sent down to His Messenger, and the Scripture which He sent down to those before (him)) (4:16).

Therefore, in this Ayah Allah commanded the believers to believe, and this command is not redundant since what is sought here is firmness and continuity of performing the deeds that help one remain on the path of faith. Also, Allah commanded His believing servants to proclaim,

[رَبَّنَا لاَ تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ ]

(Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.) (3:8). Hence,

[اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ ]

(Guide us to the straight way) means, "Make us firm on the path of guidance and do not allow us to deviate from it.'

[صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّآلِّينَ ]

(7. The way of those upon whom You have bestowed Your grace, not (that) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray).

We mentioned the Hadith in which the servant proclaims,

[اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ ]

(Guide us to the straight way) and Allah says, "This is for My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he asks for.' Allah's statement.

[صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ]

(The way of those upon whom You have bestowed Your grace) defines the path. `Those upon whom Allah has bestowed His grace' are those mentioned in Surat An-Nisa' (chapter 4), when Allah said,

[وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَآءِ وَالصَّـلِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُولَـئِكَ رَفِيقاً - ذلِكَ الْفَضْلُ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ عَلِيماً ]

(And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad ), then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, the Prophets, the Siddiqin (the truly faithful), the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are! Such is the bounty from Allah, and Allah is sufficient to know) (4:69-70).

Allah's statement,

[غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّآلِّينَ]

(Not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray) meaning guide us to the straight path, the path of those upon whom you have bestowed Your grace, that is, the people of guidance, sincerity and obedience to Allah and His Messengers. They are the people who adhere to Allah's commandments and refrain from committing what He has prohibited. But, help us to avoid the path of those whom Allah is angry with, whose intentions are corrupt, who know the truth, yet deviate from it. Also, help us avoid the path of those who were led astray, who lost the true knowledge and, as a result, are wandering in misguidance, unable to find the correct path. Allah asserted that the two paths He described here are both misguided when He repeated the negation `not'. These two paths are the paths of the Christians and Jews, a fact that the believer should beware of so that he avoids them. The path of the believers is knowledge of the truth and abiding by it. In comparison, the Jews abandoned practicing the religion, while the Christians lost the true knowledge. This is why `anger' descended upon the Jews, while being described as `led astray' is more appropriate of the Christians. Those who know, but avoid implementing the truth, deserve the anger, unlike those who are ignorant. The Christians want to seek the true knowledge, but are unable to find it because they did not seek it from its proper resources.

This is why they were led astray. We should also mention that both the Christians and the Jews have earned the anger and are led astray, but the anger is one of the attributes more particular of the Jews. Allah said about the Jews,

[مَن لَّعَنَهُ اللَّهُ وَغَضِبَ عَلَيْهِ]

(Those (Jews) who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath) (5:60).

The attribute that the Christians deserve most is that of being led astray, just as Allah said about them,

[قَدْ ضَلُّواْ مِن قَبْلُ وَأَضَلُّواْ كَثِيراً وَضَلُّواْ عَن سَوَآءِ السَّبِيلِ]

(Who went astray before and who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the right path) (5:77).

There are several Hadiths and reports from the Salaf on this subject. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Adi bin Hatim said, "The horsemen of the Messenger of Allah seized my paternal aunt and some other people. When they brought them to the Messenger of Allah , they were made to stand in line before him. My aunt said, `O Messenger of Allah! The supporter is far away, the offspring have stopped coming and I am an old woman, unable to serve. Grant me your favor, may Allah grant you His favor.' He said, `Who is your supporter' She said, `Adi bin Hatim.' He said, `The one who ran away from Allah and His Messenger' She said, `So, the Prophet freed me.' When the Prophet came back, there was a man next to him, I think that he was `Ali, who said to her, `Ask him for a means of transportation.' She asked the Prophet , and he ordered that she be given an animal.

' `Adi then said, "Later on, she came to me and said, `He (Muhammad ) has done a favor that your father (who was a generous man) would never have done. So and-so person came to him and he granted him his favor, and so-and-so came to him and he granted him his favor.' So I went to the Prophet and found that some women and children were gathering with him, so close that I knew that he was not a king like Kisra (King of Persia) or Caesar. He said, `O `Adi! What made you run away, so that La ilaha illallah is not proclaimed Is there a deity worthy of worship except Allah What made you run away, so that Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greater) is not proclaimed Is there anything Greater than Allah' I proclaimed my Islam and I saw his face radiate with pleasure and he said:

ıإِنَّ الْمَغْضُوبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْيَهُودُ وَ إِنَّ الضَّالِينَ النَّصَارَىı

(Those who have earned the anger are the Jews and those who are led astray are the Christians.)'

This Hadith was also collected by At-Tirmidhi who said that it is Hasan Gharib.

Also, when Zayd bin `Amr bin Nufayl went with some of his friends - before Islam - to Ash-Sham seeking the true religion, the Jews said to him, "You will not become a Jew unless you carry a share of the anger of Allah that we have earned.' He said, "I am seeking to escape Allah's anger.' Also, the Christians said to him, "If you become one of us you will carry a share in Allah's discontent.' He said, "I cannot bear it.' So he remained in his pure nature and avoided worshipping the idols and the polytheistic practices. He became neither a Jew, nor Christian. As for his companions, they became Christians because they found it more pure than Judaism. Waraqah bin Nawfal was among these people until Allah guided him by the hand of His Prophet, when he was sent as Prophet, and Waraqah believed in the revelation that was sent to the Prophet may Allah be pleased with him.

Moosaa    -- 14-09-2009 @ 1:09 PM
  wa 'alaykumus-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

Jazaak Allaahu khayran!

OK - so then what is it that we are asking for? (in 10 words or less)

And i believe you are quoting a translation of "al-Misbaah al-Muneer" by al-Mubaarakfooree, not the actual Tafseer Ibn Katheer.  Could you check that and verify?

May Allaah bless you.

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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Moosaa    -- 14-09-2009 @ 1:21 PM
  Regarding how to use and quote from Shaykh Al-Mubaarakfooree's (may Allaah have Mercy on him) summarized re-writing of Tafseer Ibn Katheer (published by Daar as-Salaam): (the last post)

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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Abu_Yahya_    -- 24-09-2009 @ 11:23 PM
  asalaamu alaykum

what was the benefit you were intending to share?

Moosaa    -- 30-09-2009 @ 11:55 PM
  wa 'alaykumus-salaamu wa rahmatullaah.

i wanted to discuss (AND STILL DO!):

the four different types of "hidaayah" and of which type is the one in al-faatihah

and how that plays into the translation of the meaning of the verse, possibly some critical discussion of available translations...

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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dksadiq    -- 02-10-2009 @ 2:00 AM
  assalaamu 'alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh,

JazaakAllaahu khayraa akhanaa Moosaa.

From the explanation above, I believe that when we recite, "Ihdinas-Siraatal-Mustaqeem," we are asking Allaah for guidance to knowledge of the truth and acting upon it.

faisal.rawn    -- 02-10-2009 @ 10:39 PM
I think that there was some direction given in the following ayah:

The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger
(such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).
(Al-Fatihah 1:7)

Thus, we are seeking guidance to the way of those whom Allah has bestowed His grace upon and seeking guidance away from the punishment of Allah's anger and guidance away from being led astray.

As for those whom Allah has bestowed His grace upon:

And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad sallallahu alahi wasallam), then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqun (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr as-Siddiq), the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!
(An-Nisa 4:69)

So in 10 words or less... Lol,

Guide us to the Straight Way.
(Al-Fatihah 1:6)

is asking for guidance to the way of those mentioned in An-Nisa 4:69.

Wallahu A'lam

Barak Allahu feek

Abu Abdillah Faisal Ibn Zahid Rawn

Jazak Allahu Khairun, Wasalam u alaykum.

Abu Abdullah Faisal Ibn Zahid Rawn.

ibnwaheed    -- 04-10-2009 @ 9:47 PM
  I could only find three categories of hidaayah:

1) Guidance in the sense of clarification and direction ONLY:

And as for Thamood, We Guided them to the Path of Truth, but they preferred blindness to guidance, so the Saa'iqah (a destructive awful cry, torment, hit, a thunderbolt) of disgracing torment seized them, because of what they used to earn. (Fussilat 41:17)

2) Guidance in the sense of clarification and direction AND acceptance:

They are those whom Allaah had guided. So follow their guidance. Say: "No reward I ask of you for this (the Qur'aan). It is only a reminder for the 'Alameen (mankind and jinns)." (Al-An'am 6:90)

3) Guidance to the bridge to Paradise.

This is a summary of a section of Ibn Qayyim's Madaarij as-Salikeen, which can be found on pp 43-44 of this document:

Hamdi    -- 06-10-2009 @ 2:13 AM


Guide us and keep us on the straight path, which has no crookedness, that is Knowledge and application of the truth..??

Umm yahya bint muhammed

Moosaa    -- 13-05-2010 @ 8:13 AM
  guidance meaning: lead or direct us to the sraight path (Islaam), is not the intended meaning in Soorah al-Faatihah, since the people reciting Soorah al-Faatihah have already been guided to it, and they have already accepted it.  so are we asking Allaah to:

a) direct us towards Islaam,

b) allow us to accept it,

c) or keep us firm upon it afer having acceped it (hidaayat ath-thabaat 'alal-haqq)?

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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UmmIbrahimLabiba    -- 05-08-2010 @ 12:33 AM
  Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu

Mashaa'allaah! for some reason I didn't see this thread before, but I believe there is a lot of benifit in the explanation of this ayah(what Br. Moosaa is trying to lead us to!). We do need to understand this specially since we are reciting it several times a day! And it is a dua we are asking Allaah subhana wa taa'la for.

I would say it is the third kind (c), keep us firm upon it afer having acceped it (hidaayat ath-thabaat 'alal-haqq), LIKE the sahabahs, and not follow the ways of the Ahllul Kitaab.....Who were given the guidance yet they went astry!

Umm Ibrhim Labiba

Moosaa    -- 17-08-2010 @ 5:43 PM
  wa 'alaykumus-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh...

May Allaah bless you - that is correct!

While all three meanings can be correct, meaning:

1) Guide us to the Straight Path (Islaam), by giving us knowledge of the Religion (by teaching us, through the scholars, for example).

2) Guide us to the Straight Path, by allowing us to accept the new things we learn from our Deen and implement them, as all correc beliefs and acts of worship are from as-Siraat al-Mustaqeem.

3) Guide us to the Straight Path, by granting us stability upon it, after having accepted it (and all its teachings), since not everyone who accepts the truth stays on it!  In the authentic hadeeth of as-saadiq al-masdooq: "...A man can be behaving like the people of the Paradise until he is within a handspan of it, yet what is written for him overtakes him, so he begins behaving like the people of the Hellfire, and thus (dies and) enters it."

This third understanding is very strong in light of the context of the verse, in light of what comes after it, mention of those whom Allaah's Anger is upon (the Jews) and those who went astray (after knowledge, the Christians).  So we are asking Allaah for the stability upon the truth that neither of the mentioned groups attained!

No one goes to Paradise for accepting Islaam (and dying on disbelief).  Paradise is for those who accept Islaam and remain steadfast and die as Muslims.  None of us know how we will die.  Thus it is very scary - today we are Muslims worshipping Allaah alone, wal-hamdulillaah, but what kind of trials will tomorrow bring?!

Fitnah will come and people will go to bed Muslims and wake up disbelievers!  People will go out in the morning as Muslims and go to bed that night as disbelievers!!  None of us are safe from these trials!

In fact, the people who feel safe and do not think they can stray after being guided are often led astray in the most hideous of ways, since they let their guard down.

All of this is part of worshipping Allaah with fear.

This fear used to leave many of the righteous salaf crying after reading the hadeeth mentioned above, they used to say, "Where will our souls go?!"

So, with this is mind, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for us to reflect over the meanings of this simple du'aa' that we say so many times, its importance, and how we may have been neglecting the significance of it in our prayers.

May Allaah grant us all steadfastness upon His magnificent Religion!  Ihdinas-Siraatal-Mustaqeem!

ibn John

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dksadiq    -- 08-12-2010 @ 11:13 AM
من مفاهيم اهدنا الصراط المستقيم
  لفضيلة الشيخ محمد بن عبد الله الإمام حفظه الله
ألقيت يوم الجمعة 20 ذي الحجة 1431هـ

link to audio:
his biography:
An amazing lecture ... may Allah reward & preserve the Shaykh and the brothers who guided me to it.

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