The True Meaning of Guidance in Sūrah al-Fātiḥah: Guidance on the Day of Judgement

Imām Ibn al-Qayyim

The second part to a commentary on the statement of Allāh, “Guide us to the straight path (of beneficial knowledge coupled with righteous action).”
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Imām Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751 AH) said:
“The guidance [being invoked in Sūrah al-Fātiḥah] has another level, which is its final level. This is the guidance on the Day of Judgement to the path of Jannah. For there is a path [ṣirāṭ] that reaches Jannah.

Whomsoever is guided in this worldly life to the straight path of Allāh as espoused by His Messengers and His Books, will be guided [in the hereafter] to the straight path that leads to His Jannah—the place of His reward.

Imām Ibn al-Qayyim

It is the degree of stability that the slaves [of Allāh] have on the path that has been set forth for them in this life that determines the stability of their feet on the ṣirāṭ that will be raised over Jahannam [in the hereafter]. Their strength of traversal on this worldly path will determine how they traverse that path [over Jahannam]. So, from among [the slaves of Allāh] are those who can move like lightning, others like the blink of an eye, others like the movement of wind, others like a strong rider, others like a fast run, others like a walk, and others like a crawl. From among them are those who are saved and those who are cast out. So, let every slave [of Allāh] look at his traversal of this [worldly] path to see how he will fare on that path [in the hereafter]. His steps here [in this dunyā] will be like his steps there [in the hereafter]. A befitting recompense [Allāh says]:

هَلْ تُجْزَوْنَ إِلَّا مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ‎﴿٩٠﴾‏

‘Are you recompensed except for what you used to do?’
[al-Naml, 27:90]

Let him look also at the desires and confusions that impede his traversal on the straight path. They are like the hooks that surround the path [in the hereafter] that protect it and impede traversal on it. If the [desires and confusions] are plentiful and robust in this life, such will the [hooks] be in the hereafter [Allāh says]: ‘

وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ ‎﴿٤٦﴾‏

And your Lord is not ever unjust to [His] servants.’
[Fuṣṣilat, 41:46]”

Source: Tafsīr al-Qayyim: 9-10
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: February 20, 2022
Edited: May 27, 2022

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