How Does The Quran Guide And Misguide At The Same Time?


Guidance is the direction of a journey, the route including the resources needed to reach the destination. “Believers be mindful of Allah and seek means to Him and strive in His way…” (Al-Maidah: 35). Allah is the Guide, Al-Hadi, The Majestic Quran is Hidayah, the Divine guidance. So, Allah has provided humanity with the direction. Here I explore the resources and the means given by Allah to become a good Muslim.

Intelligence, linguistic ability and longing to learn

Allah, the Guide gave people resources and intellectual tools, intelligence, longing to learn, communication skills and much more. Intelligence is the ability to acquire knowledge and cognitive problem-solving skills. It’s the mental ability of reasoning and to perceive relationships. Simply the ability to learn and understand, the ability to apply knowledge. Intelligence is an Allah-given gift that is necessary for getting guidance through understanding the Divine intent and purpose.

When the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) companion Ali (Allah be pleased with him) was asked “has the Prophet taught you something unique that he has not informed anyone else about?” Ali responded “no, I swear by him who made the seed and created human beings, Allah has given everybody an understanding through, which they can understand the message of the Quran by reflecting and thinking about it. This book contains the laws concerning retaliation, how to deal with prisoners and how to deal with those who kill one another” (Bukhari).

Divine assistance and approval that supports guidance. When Allah sees the yearning for truth, seeking guidance and genuinely looking to better oneself He provides it. For example, “you can’t guide the one who you love but it is Allah who guides anyone he chooses” (Al Qasas: 56).

Allah is pleased when a person accepts guidance and displeased when someone denies it “Allah is not pleased with His servant’s denial and disbelief” (Al-Zumar: 7). However, He has given human’s the choice to believe or to reject it “If Your Lord wanted, He could have made all on Earth believers” (Yunus: 99).

So, who gets guidance?

The Majestic Quran teaches us “Allah lets those who want to be misled go astray and guides those who turn to Him” (Al-Rad: 27). So, those who are obedient, submit and want to be guided, Allah guides “the one who believes in Allah He guides his heart” (Al-Taghabun: 11). But the disobedient and the sinners are left to their devices “Allah doesn’t guide the sinners” (Al-Munafiqun: 6).

In another verse, it says “We guided the people of Thamud, but they preferred blindness over guidance” (Fussilat: 17). Furthermore, we are taught “Allah lets anyone He wills to go off track and guides anyone who pleases Him” (Ibrahim: 4). This is then further emphasised when Allah says “How can you make the deaf hear or the blind see or the one who is misled?” (Zukhruf: 40).

Only the disobedient are misguided

Allah is not embarrassed to give an example of a mosquito or something smaller. The believers know this is the truth from their Lord, but the disbelievers say, “What does Allah mean by this example?” He allows many to be misguided by it and others to be guided: it’s the disobedient who are misguided by it, those who break their contract with Allah after it has been agreed; they sever the ties that Allah has ordered to be joined, and they make trouble in the land, these are the losers” (Al-Baqarah: 26-27).

In conclusion, the same message can guide the faithful but mislead the disbelievers because one takes it seriously, uses his Allah-given tools to understand it, listen to it, and apply it to life. However, the disbeliever’s mocking attitude towards the revelation and stubbornness deprives them of logical thinking, so they are misguided, as they further snigger at it. Let’s pray Allah opens our faculties of understanding and learning. Ameen!