On the authority of Abu Dharr al-Ghifaari, may Allah be pleased with him, from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), from among the sayings he relates from His Lord (may He be glorified) that He said, “O My servants, I have forbidden wrongdoing for Myself and I have made it forbidden for you. Therefore, do not wrong one another. O My servants, all of you are lost except those whom I have guided. Therefore, seek guidance from Me and I will guide you. O My servants, all of you are hungry except those whom I have fed. Therefore, seek food from Me and I will feed you. O My servants, all of you are naked except those whom I have clothed. Therefore seek clothing from Me and I will clothe you. O My servants, you sin by day and by night, and I forgive all sins. Therefore seek forgiveness from Me and I will forgive you. O My servants, you will not be able to harm Me so as to bring any harm to Me and you will be able to benefit Me so as to bring any benefit to Me. O My servants, if the first and the last of you and the human and the jinn of you were as pious as the most pious heart of anyone among you, it would not add anything to My dominion. O My servants, if the first and the last of you and the human and the jinn of you were as wicked as the most wicked heart of anyone among you it would not decrease anything from My dominion. O My servants, if the first and the last of you and the human and the jinn of you were to gather together on [the same sector] of land and all asked Me and if I were to give everyone of them what he asked, that would not decrease what I have any more than a needle decreases what is in the ocean when it is put into it. O My servants, it is but your deeds that I reckon for you. Then I recompense you for them. The one who finds good is to give praises to Allah. The one who finds other than that should not blame anyone but himself.” (Recorded in Muslim)
“O My servants, all of you are lost except those whom I have guided. Therefore, seek guidance from Me and I will guide you.”
SubhaanAllah, all of us are lost except those whom Allah (swt) has guided. The word lost, or dhilaal in Arabic, implies any kind of straying from the Straight Path. It is the opposite of guidance, and includes mistaken straying as well as straying on purpose. It therefore incorporates those who know the truth as well as those who reject it.
How can we be amongst those whom Allah (swt) guides? By asking Him (swt) to guide us. How simple and yet how fundamental to the whole of our existence. We have no ability to guide ourselves to success in this life or the Hereafter, only Allah (swt) can do this for us. Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:
“He whom Allah guides, he is rightly guided. But for him whom He sends astray you will find no guiding friend to lead him [to the Straight Path].” (Surah al-Khaf:17)
No individual can bring about their own benefit. Instead, we must turn to Allah (swt) and beseech Him to guide us.
When we realise that Allah grants us guidance out of His (swt) mercy and grace with no benefit to Himself whatsoever, it should make us realise how much He (swt) is deserving of our worship. This should make us more sincere in our worship of Allah and make us realise our need for Him (swt).
The greatest blessing that Allah (swt) bestows on mankind is the blessing of guidance. There are four different types of guidance that Allah (swt) can provide, as outlined by ibn Taymiyah:
1) The first type of guidance is the type needed for welfare in this worldly life, such as sustaining ourselves and staying away from harm etc. This type of guidance is given to all human beings whether they are believers or not. If a person does not have this type of guidance, which includes metal capacity, then they will not have other types of guidance and will be not be held responsible for their actions.
2) The second type of guidance is showing mankind what benefits them in a religious sense, and thus concerning the Hereafter. For this purpose clear signs have been shown, messenegers sent and books revealed. This type of guidance has also been offered to all of mankind.
3) The third type of guidance occurs when Allah (swt) places faith and guidance in the heart of the individual.
4) The fourth type of guidance is the guidance in the Hereafter or the guidance to the path to Paradise.
We should seek all of these types of guidance from Allah (swt), asking Him for what is best for us in this life and the Hereafter. When we recite Surah al-Fatihah in our daily prayers we should be mindful and sincere of our request to Allah (swt) to guide us on the Straight Path, not the path of those who are lost or astray. We should beseech Allah (swt) sincerely to guide us on that Straight Path to Paradise, for it is only with His (swt) guidance and because of His (swt) infinite mercy that we could ever hope to get there.