اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
Guide us to the straight path -
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There is some scholarly disagreement concerning this Surah [i.e. concerning where it was revealed]; the majority is however of the opinion that it was revealed in Mecca, one among the first Surahs of the Qur'an to be revealed. Abu 'Uthman Sa'id ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Zahid informed us> his grandfather>Abu 'Amr al-Hiri> Ibrahim ibn al-Harith and 'Ali ibn Sahl ibn al-Mughirah who said: Yahya ibn Abi Bukayr informed us> Isra'il> Abu Ishaq> Abu Maysarah ['Amr ibn Shurahbil] who said: “The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, whenever he went out, used to hear someone calling him 'O Muhammad!' And whenever he heard this, he used to flee. Waraqah ibn Nawfal advised the Prophet to remain in his place when the caller calls him so that he hears what he has to tell him. And so when he went out, he heard the calling: 'O Muhammad!' He said: 'Here I am! At your service!' The caller said: 'Say: I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah'. Then he said: 'Say (Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Owner of the Day of Judgement…)' and he read until the end of the Opening of the Book”. This is also the opinion of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib. Abu Ishaq Ahmad ibn Muhammad, the Qur'anic commentator, informed us>al-Hasan ibn Ja'far, the commentator who said: Abu'l-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Marwazi> 'Abd Allah ibn Mahmud al- Sa'di> Abu Yahya al-Qasri> Marwan ibn Mu'awiyah> al-'Ala' ibn al-Musayyab> al-Fudayl ibn 'Amr> 'Ali ibn Abi Talib who said: “The Opening of the Book was revealed in Mecca from a treasure beneath the divine Throne”. And through the same chain of transmission> al-Sa'di who said: 'Amr ibn Salih informed us> his father> al-Kalbi> Abu Salih> ibn 'Abbas who said: “The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, stood up once in Mecca and said: 'In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds'. The people of Quraysh said: 'May Allah strike your mouth' or something to this effect”. This was related by al-Hasan and Qatadah. But according to Mujahid, the Opening of the Book was revealed in Medina. About this opinion al-Husayn ibn al-Fadl said: “Every scholar has a lapse, and this is one lapse from Mujahid, since he is the only scholar who holds this opinion while all the other scholars disagree with him”. What makes the Opening of the Book categorically a Meccan Surah is the saying of Allah, exalted is He: (We have given thee seven of the oft-repeated (verses) and the great Qur'an), i.e. the Opening of the Book. Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Nahwi informed us> Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn 'Ali al-Hiri> Ahmad ibn 'Ali ibn al-Muthanna> Yahya ibn Ayyub> Isma'il ibn Ja'far> al-'Ala'> his father> Abu Hurayrah who said: “When Ubayy ibn Ka'b finished reading the Opening of the Book to him, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: 'By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, Allah has not revealed the like of it in the Torah, the Gospel, the Psalm or in the Qur'an. Verily, I was given the seven oft-repeated [i.e. al-Fatihah] and the great Qur'an' ”. Furthermore, there is no disagreement that Surah al-Hijr was revealed in Mecca. It follows therefore that Allah would not mention His bounty on the Prophet for giving him the Opening of the Book while in Mecca and then reveal this to him in Medina. Again, one cannot possibly say that Allah's Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, stayed over ten years in Mecca and prayed during this time without the Opening of the Book. This is inconceivable.
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
(6. Guide us to the straight path.)
This method is more appropriate and efficient in bringing about a positive answer to the pleas, and this is why Allah recommended this better method. Asking for help may take the form of conveying the condition of the person who is seeking help. For instance, the Prophet Moses said,
رَبِّ إِنِّى لِمَآ أَنزَلْتَ إِلَىَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ
(My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!) (28:24). Also, one may first mention the attributes of whoever is being asked, such as what Dhun-Nun said,
لاَّ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنتَ سُبْحَـنَكَ إِنِّى كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّـلِمِينَ
(La ilaha illa Anta (none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah)), Glorified (and Exalted) be You (above all that they associate with You)! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers) (21:87). Further, one may praise Him without mentioning what he needs. The Meaning of Guidance mentioned in the Surah The guidance mentioned in the Surah implies being directed and guided to success. Allah said,
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
(Guide us to the straight path) meaning guide, direct, lead and grant us the correct guidance. Also,
(And shown him the two ways (good and evil)) (90:10), means, `We explained to him the paths of good and evil.' Also, Allah said,
اجْتَبَـهُ وَهَدَاهُ إِلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
(He (Allah) chose him (as an intimate friend) and guided him to a straight path) (16:121), and,
فَاهْدُوهُمْ إِلَى صِرَطِ الْجَحِيمِ
(And lead them on to the way of flaming Fire (Hell)) (37:23). Similarly, Allah said,
وَإِنَّكَ لَتَهْدِى إِلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
(And verily, you (O Muhammad ) are indeed guiding (mankind) to the straight path) (42:52), and,
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِى هَدَانَا لِهَـذَا
(All praise and thanks be to Allah, Who has guided us to this) (7:43), meaning, guided us and directed us and qualified us for this end - Paradise.
As for the meaning of As-Sirat Al-Mustaqim, Imam Abu Ja`far At-Tabari said, "The Ummah agreed that Sirat Al-Mustaqim, is the clear path without branches, according to the language of the Arabs. For instance, Jarir bin `Atiyah Al-Khatafi said in a poem, `The Leader of the faithful is on a path that will remain straight even though the other paths are crooked.'' At-Tabari also stated that, "There are many evidences to this fact.'' At-Tabari then proceeded, "The Arabs use the term, Sirat in reference to every deed and statement whether righteous or wicked. Hence the Arabs would describe the honest person as being straight and the wicked person as being crooked. The straight path mentioned in the Qur'an refers to Islam. Imam Ahmad recorded in his Musnad that An-Nawwas bin Sam`an said that the Prophet said,
«ضَرَبَ اللهُ مَثَلًا صِرَاطًا مُسْتَقِيمًا، وَعَلَى جَنْبَتَيِ الصِّرَاطِ سُورَانِ فِيهِمَا أَبْوَابٌ مُفَتَّحَةٌ، وَعَلَى الْأَبْوَابِ سُتُورٌ مُرْخَاةٌ، وَعَلَى بَابِ الصِّرَاطِ دَاعٍ يَقُولُ: يَاأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ ادْخُلُوا الصِّرَاطَ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَعْوَجُّوا، وَدَاعٍ يَدْعُو مِنْ فَوْقِ الصِّرَاطِ، فَإِذَا أَرَادَ الْإِنْسَانُ أَنْ يَفْتَحَ شَيْئًا مِنْ تِلْكَ الْأَبْوَابِ قَالَ:وَيْحَكَ لَا تَفْتَحْهُ فَإِنَّكَ إِنْ فَتَحْتَهُ تَلِجْهُ فَالصِّرَاطُ: الْإِسْلَامُ وَالسُّورَانِ: حُدُودُ اللهِ وَالْأَبْوَابُ الْمُفَتَّحَةُ مَحَارِمُ اللهِ وَذَلِكَ الدَّاعِي عَلَى رَأْسِ الصِّرَاطِ كِتَابُ اللهِ، وَالدَّاعِي مِنْ فَوْقِ الصِّرَاطِ وَاعِظُ اللهِ فِي قَلْبِ كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ»
(Allah has set an example: a Sirat (straight path) that is surrounded by two walls on both sides, with several open doors within the walls covered with curtains. There is a caller on the gate of the Sirat who heralds, 'O people! Stay on the path and do not deviate from it.' Meanwhile, a caller from above the path is also warning any person who wants to open any of these doors, 'Woe unto you! Do not open it, for if you open it you will pass through.' The straight path is Islam, the two walls are Allah's set limits, while the doors resemble what Allah has prohibited. The caller on the gate of the Sirat is the Book of Allah, while the caller above the Sirat is Allah's admonishment in the heart of every Muslim.)
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.''
Ihdina (tunjukkanlah kami), dari kata hidayaat yang artinya memberi petunjuk ke suatu jalan yang lurus (irsyad). Yang dimaksud di ayat ini bukan sekedar memberi hidayah saja (yakni tidak hanya hidayah irsyad), tetapi juga meminta diberi taufik (dibantu menempuh jalan yang lurus). Oleh karenanya kata ihdinaa langsung dilanjutkan dengan shiraathal mustaqiim, tidak dipisah dengan kata "ilaa" (ke) yang berarti "tunjukkanlah kami ke ….." karena ia meminta dua hidayah (irsyad dan taufiq). Oleh karena itu, arti ayat ini adalah "Tunjukkanlah kami jalan yang lurus dan bantulah kami menempuh jalan itu serta teguhkanlah kami di atasnya sampai kami berjumpa dengan-Mu". Jalan yang lurus itu adalah Islam; sebagai jalan yang dapat mengarah kepada keridhaan Allah dan surga-Nya, jalan yang telah diterangkan oleh Rasul-Nya Muhammad shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam, sehingga seseorang tidak dapat bahagia kecuali dengan istiqamah di atasnya. Dengan demikian, di ayat ini kita juga meminta kepada Allah Ta'ala agar dapat istiqamah di atas jalan yang lurus itu sampai akhir hayat mengingat hati yang lemah mudah berbalik dan karena hidup di dunia penuh dengan liku-liku, penuh dengan gelombang cobaan dan fitnah yang begitu dahsyat yang dapat menghanyutkan seorang mukmin. Sungguh berbahagialah orang yang tetap mendirikan shalat karena do'a yang dipanjatkannya ini, berbeda dengan orang yang meninggalkan shalat; yang tidak lagi memanjatkan do'a ini sehingga mudah sekali ia terbawa oleh arus fitnah itu yang membuat dirinya binasa –wal 'iyaadz billah-.