Pearl of Wisdom
'Gray hair is the herald of death.'
Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 1202
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"And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near: I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me; therefore, they should answer My call and believe in Me so that they will be rightly guided." (Qur’an, 02:186).
The Attribute "al-Rasheed" is derived from Rushd, its root word, which means: guidance, righteousness, and uprightness, the antithesis of straying and crookedness.
Its derivation accepts two possibilities: one is al-Rasheed, which means the same as al-Rashid, the Wise One, so Wise is He that there is nothing among His deeds that can be regarded as wasteful or wrong.
The other is that it may mean the same as al-Badee`, and Allah's irshad, that is, His leading His servants to the right path, is due to His hidaya, guidance. Al-Rasheed is the One Whose management of all affairs achieves its objectives without anyone else besides Him directing or assisting it, Who is none but Allah, Glory to Him. Al-Rasheed pleases whoever He wills by providing him with His guidance, making whoever He wills miserable by distancing him from His guidance. He is the One in Whose management there is no lapse, and in Whose assessment there is no fault.
Al-Rasheed is characterized by complete perfection, great wisdom, and ultimate guidance. He is the One Whose management of all affairs reaches its ultimate goal and success. He guides His creatures and leads them to what is best for them. He guides them through His wisdom towards the attainment of their well-being in the life of this world and in the life to come. Al-Rasheed has made those with whom He is pleased happy, Who guided His friends to Him; there is no negligence in His management of the affairs nor in His assessment, and He is known for His justice and favors.
Al-Rasheed is al-Murshid, the One Who inspires right guidance for those who obey Him, and He has led all beings to His guidance, the One Whose rope is strong, Whose command is wise. In Surat al-Kahaf, we read the following verse, "Lord! Grant us mercy from You, and provide for us a right course in our affairs" (Qur’an, 18:10), and, "... whomsoever He causes to err, you shall not find for him any friend to lead (him) rightly" (Qur’an, 18:17).
If a servant of Allah wishes to be on the right track, his guidance will be proportionate with his terse management in the attainment of his secular and religious objectives. One must deal with his Lord, al-Rasheed, in a way whereby he properly relies on his Lord to guide him. His Lord will then lead him to reform his own self first, to refer all his affairs to Him, and to seek refuge with Him whenever evil touches him and pray for His help whenever he is afflicted, just as Allah has told Moses to do: "And when he (Moses) turned his face towards Midyan, he said: Maybe my Lord will guide me to a course nearer to the right path than this" (Qur’an, 18:24).
Thus ought a servant of Allah to behave: when he wakes up, he should rely on his Lord, and whatever matter faces him, he should seek Allah's help in its regard then await what signal his heart will respond thereto.
He will then help him do whatever he needs to do and will suffice him regarding all his affairs. If he does contrary to what Allah guides him, He will then reprimand him so that he would know that his Lord found him to be insolent, hence he abandons his self-reliance and forsakes following his own mind and trickery.
A servant of Allah ought to quite often remember the Attribute "al-Rasheed" and cling to its meaning so that he may be led to the commendable conduct, and Allah will then grant him wisdom and bestow His blessings upon him.