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Quranic Terminology: Guidance: Rushd/Rashad/Rasheed

 

Quranic Terminology: Guidance: Rushd/Rashad/Rasheed

Published in October 9, 2017

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

Introduction:

1- God created human beings and inculcated into them the freedom of choice; each individual can choose to (dis)believe and to (dis)obey while seeing the result of this or that choice on the Last Day, in Hell or in Paradise: "And say, "The Truth is from your Lord. Whoever wills-let him believe. And whoever wills-let him disbelieve". We have prepared for the unjust a Fire, whose curtains will hem them in. And when they cry for relief, they will be relieved with water like molten brass, which scalds the faces. What a miserable drink, and what a terrible place. As for those who believe and lead a righteous life-We will not waste the reward of those who work righteousness. These will have the Gardens of Eden, beneath which rivers flow. Reclining on comfortable furnishings, they will be adorned with bracelets of gold, and will wear green garments of silk and brocade. What a wonderful reward, and what an excellent resting-place." (18:29-31).

2- God has given people scriptures for guidance and the freedom to (dis)believe in them. God says the following about the Quran: "A Quran which We unfolded gradually, that you may recite to the people over time. And We revealed it in stages. Say, "Believe in it, or do not believe." Those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, they fall to their chins, prostrating." (17:106-107); "This is a reminder. So whoever wills, let him take a path to his Lord." (73:19). This is repeated elsewhere in the Quranic text, while asserting the human will: "This is a reminder; so whoever wills, let him take a path to his Lord. Yet you cannot will, unless God wills. God is Knowing and Wise. He admits into His mercy whomever He wills. But as for the unjust ones, He has prepared for them a painful torment." (76:29-31). This means that the human will and freedom of choice is asserted by God's will; i.e., God asserts and accepts what man chooses for himself: (dis)belief and (dis)obedience and then this results either in Paradise or Hell. God increases the (mis)guidance chosen by people: "As for those who are guided, He increases them in guidance, and He has granted them their piety." (47:17); "Say, "Whoever is in misguidance, the Dominant Lord will lead him on." Until, when they see what they were promised-either the torment, or the Hour. Then they will know who was in worse position and weaker in forces. God increases in guidance those who accept guidance. And the things that endure-the righteous deeds-have the best reward with your Lord, and the best outcome." (19:75-76). Hence, those who choose guidance will be guided further by God Himself, and those who choose misguidance will never be guided at all: "He whom God guides is truly guided; but he whom He misguides, for him you will find no guiding ally." (18:17). Let us tackle below the meaning of the Quranic term (guidance) and its derivations within the Quranic text.   

 

Firstly: the Quranic word "Rushd" means guidance:

1- The Quranic term (Rushd) literally means guidance in both the Arabic and Quranic tongues.

1/1: God says in the Quran: "There shall be no compulsion in religion; guidance (Rushd) has become distinct from misguidance. Whoever renounces Taghut and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy handle; which does not break. God is Hearing and Knowing." (2:256). Thus, the Quranic legislative rule of (there shall be no compulsion in religion) is justified by the fact that guidance is granted to humanity in the Quran exclusively; any other sources will misguide people. The belief in the Quranic guidance or Rushd is in contrast to Taghut/tyranny (i.e., devilish hadiths and deifying mortals and things/items). Guidance here means to cleanse one' heart from all polytheistic notions/beliefs. The most trustworthy handle is the testimony of (There is no God but Allah). Thus, Rushd here means guidance provided only by God.   

1/2: The contrast between guidance/Rushd and misguidance is asserted further by the fact that the haughty, arrogant, tyrannical ones adhere to falsehoods and lies and we are not to expect them to be guided by the Quranic Truth, because they have rejected and discarded the Quran (the only source of guidance/Rushd) to follow the path of misguidance and temptations. This is their choice as they deny God's Quranic verses and never heed them, despite overtly claiming to believe in them; this applies exactly to Muhammadans: "I will turn away from My verses those who behave proudly on Earth without justification. Even if they see every sign, they will not believe in it; and if they see the path of guidance (Rushd), they will not adopt it for a path; and if they see the path of misguidance, they will adopt it for a path. That is because they denied Our verses, and paid no attention to them." (7:146).

1/3: God tells us about some Jinn beings who listened to the Quran and were guided by it, because the Quran is the source of Rushd or guidance; God has no associates or deified beings ascribed falsely to Him by polytheists: "Say, "It was revealed to me that a band of jinn listened in, and said, 'We have heard a wondrous Quran. It provides guidance (Rushd), so we have believed in it; and we will never associate anyone with our Lord. The Exalted One is really our Lord-He never had a mate, nor a child." (72:1-3).

1/4: Abraham as a young adolescent reached the logical conclusion of (There is no God but Allah); this means he reached guidance/Rushd at an early age: "We gave Abraham his guidance (Rushd) formerly, and We knew him well. When he said to his father and his people, "What are these statues to which you are devoted?"" (21:51-52).

2- The Quranic term (Rashad) refers to guidance from God when sought by real, monotheistic Muslims/believers.

2/1: The real Muslims/submitters are those who seek guidance only from God, as this is real monotheism inferred from the words of the believing jinn: "Among us are those who are submitting, and among us are the compromisers. As for those who have submitted-it is they who pursue guidance (Rashad). But as for the compromisers-they will be firewood for Hell.'"" (72:14-15).

2/2: God says in the Quran: "And never say about anything, "I will do that tomorrow." Without saying, "If God wills." And remember your Lord if you forget, and say, "Perhaps my Lord will provide me to nearer than this guidance (Rashad)."" (18:23-24)

2/3: Prophet Muhammad stood against his Meccan people who desecrated God's mosques with deified/sanctified mausoleums of saints/allies and mentioning the names of these entombed deities in prayers (exactly like Muhammadans of today in their harmful mosques). This is mentioned in the Quran in these verses: "The places of worship are for God. So do not call, besides God, upon anyone else. And when the servant of God got up calling on Him, they almost fell on him in a mass. Say, "I pray only to my Lord, and I never associate anyone with Him." Say, "It is not in my power to harm you, nor to bring you to guidance (Rashad)."" (72:18-21). Muhammad, and any other mortals, could never provide guidance/Rashad for any other people, because guidance is based on free, personal choice and on individual responsibility of those seeking divine guidance from God.   

3- Hence, the Quranic term (Rasheed) means the guided, pious person (in terms of faith/belief). Lot had used this term when he addressed the men who broke into his house seeking to rape his guests (angels who took the shape of men): "And his people came rushing towards him-they were in the habit of committing sins. He said, "O my people, these are my daughters; they are purer for you. So fear God, and do not embarrass me before my guests. Is there not one guided (Rasheed) man among you?"" (11:78). There is no guided, pious men among homosexuals who seek only to satisfy carnal lusts and appetites; in the Arab world, there is no Rasheed/guided men to discuss the problem of homosexuality among the Muhammadans; the West people tackle this problem openly and overtly, whereas Arabs are still in the denial, though Arab homosexual sinful men exist. 

 

Secondly: Rushd/guidance in the sense of piety, reasoning, success, knowledge:

1- In the sense of piety in these verses about fasting, as attaining piety is the higher purpose of all acts of worship: "O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become pious." (2:183); "And when My servants ask you about Me, I Am near; I answer the call of the caller when he calls on Me. So let them answer Me, and have faith in Me, that they may be rightly guided." (2:186).

2- In the sense of reasoning within the Quranic context about orphans coming of age as reasonable persons who receive their money after being tested to see if they are (Rasheed) ones or guided persons of good moral character and reasonable mind: "Test the orphans until they reach the age of marriage. If you find them to have reached Rushd/guidance level, hand over their properties to them..." (4:6).

3- In the sense of success or winning by being guided to the right deed or course of action, like the people of the cave: "When the youths took shelter in the cave, they said, "Our Lord, give us mercy from Yourself, and bless our affair with guidance (Rashad)."" (18:10).

4- In the sense of knowledge, like Moses when he sought to be taught wisdom from the good man, as per the story in the Quranic Chapter 18: "Moses said to him, "May I follow you, so that you may teach me some of the guidance (Rushd) you were taught?"" (18:66).

 

Thirdly: guidance in contrast to misguidance of those who follow falsehoods and lies:

1- God asserts the choice of persons, whether it is guidance or misguidance, and God increases both anyway; thus, we are not to feel sorry or sad about those who have chosen misguidance. The reason: God makes devils as their allies who make lies/falsehoods/evil deeds appear to them as truths and the Truth and good deeds as lies; thus, their being guided is an impossibility: "What of him whose evil deed was made attractive to him, and so he regards it as good? God leads astray whomever desires misguidance, and He guides whomever desires guidance. Therefore, do not waste yourself sorrowing over them. God knows exactly what they do." (35:8).  

2- We read these verses about devilish allies who mislead the misguided human beings further: "We had assigned companions for them, who glamorized to them what was in front of them, and what was behind them. And the Word proved true against them in communities of jinn and humans that have passed away before them. They were losers." (41:25); "Whoever shuns the remembrance of the Dominant Lord, We assign for him a devil, to be his companion. They hinder them from the Path, though they think they are guided." (43:36-37).

3- Moses' Pharaoh in the Quran typically exemplified those who turn the Truth into lies and lies into truths; he considered his evil deed of massacring the Israelites' children as a good deed, and he even desired to kill Moses after accusing Moses of being a corrupt person! "Pharaoh said, "Leave me to kill Moses, and let him appeal to his Lord. I fear he may change your religion, or spread corruption in the land."" (40:26). The believing man among the family/retinue of Pharaoh (who used to hide his faith, fearing persecution) protested against the plot to murder Moses: "  A believing man from Pharaoh's family, who had concealed his faith, said, "Are you going to kill a man for saying, 'My Lord is God,' and he has brought you clear proofs from your Lord? If he is a liar, his lying will rebound upon him; but if he is truthful, then some of what he promises you will befall you. God does not guide the extravagant imposter. O my people! Yours is the dominion today, supreme in the land; but who will help us against God's might, should it fall upon us?"..." (40:28-29), but Pharaoh responded as follows: "... Pharaoh said, "I do not show you except what I see, and I do not direct you except to the path of guidance (Rashad)."" (40:29). This is the stance of tyrannical rulers who impose their views and opinions on people while claiming falsely to guide them. This Pharaonic culture and mentality still persist in the countries of the Muhammadans in the Middle East. It is noteworthy that the believing man among the retinue of Pharaoh offered to them the path of the true guidance in contrast to the sham/fake guidance of Pharaoh: "The one who had believed said, "O my people, follow me, and I will guide you to the path of guidance (Rashad)."" (40:38). Of course, the people of Pharaoh rejected the true guidance and followed the fake one of Pharaoh to their demise and downfall. "And We sent Moses with Our signs and a clear power. To Pharaoh and his retinue members, but they followed the command of Pharaoh, and the command of Pharaoh was not of true guidance (not Rasheed)." (11:96-67).  

4- Pharaoh with his arrogance, haughtiness, tyranny, and corruption used to mock Moses and to announce he owned Egypt: "Pharaoh proclaimed among his people, saying, "O my people, do I not own the Kingdom of Egypt, and these rivers flow beneath me? Do you not see? Am I not better than this miserable wretch, who can barely express himself?" (43:51-52). The people of Madian used to ridicule their prophet, named Shuaib, and tell him in mockery that he was guided: "They said, "O Shuaib, does your prayer command you that we abandon what our ancestors worshiped, or doing with our wealth what we want? You are the one who is wise and guided (Rasheed)."" (11:87). Such mockery and ridicule are adopted by those criminals/sinners who assume they are guided and accuse guided preachers of the Truth of misguidance. "Those who committed crimes used to laugh at those who believed. And when they passed by them, they would wink at one another. And when they went back to their families, they would go back exulting. And if they saw them, they would say, "These people are misguided."" (83:29-32).

 

Lastly:

 Those misguided ones among the Muhammadans who believe in the books of Al-Bokhary, Al-Kulayni, Al-Ghazaly, and other imams/authors of other books/tomes of misguidance follow the same footsteps of criminals/sinners who assume they are guided. In fact, this verse applies to them: "...They have adopted the devils for allies rather than God, and they assume that they are guided." (7:30). As always, God says nothing but the Absolute Truth. 


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