SHAFAQNA- It is a known fact which no creation can deny that the Almighty Creator has blessed all His creation with bounties and sustenance. However, Allah (SWT) speaks to us in the Holy Quran about specific individuals whom He has blessedأنعم الله عليهم with His bounties. He (SWT) identifies “them” to be the prophets from the progenies of Prophet Adam, Nuh, Ibraheem, and Israel (AS) and those who are guided and chosen by Him, as cited in verse 58 of Surat Maryam:
“أولئك الذين أنعم الله عليهم من النبيّين من ذرية أدم وممن حملنا مع نوح ومن ذرية إبراهيم وإسرائيل وممن هدينا واجتبينا…”
These are they whom Allah hath favoured, from among the prophets, of the progeny of Adam and of them whom We bare with Nuh, and of the progeny of Ibrahim and Israel, and of those whom We have guided and chosen…
This verse displays the different levels of honor which prophets have in their relation to other prophets before them. So Prophet Idrees has an honorable lineage to Adam, Nuh has an honorable lineage to Idrees, and Ibraheem has an honorable lineage to Prophet Nuh (peace be upon all of them), etc. Each prophet has a ship of salvation which its followers have great pride to have that prophet as a divine guide.
According to Tafseer Tebyan Al-Jami’ Li ‘Uloom Al Quran by Sheikh Al-Toosi, the word “مِن” in this verse indicates that not all prophets receive that special divine blessing from Allah (SWT); only the chosen ones who hold an exceptional high rank attain that privilege. In Tafseer Al Safi by Fayd Al-Kashani, he points out that the sons of daughters are included in the “progeny” just like Prophet ‘Isa (AS). If this is the case, then we can surely consider Imam Hasan (AS) and Husain (AS) who are the sons of Lady Fatima (AS) the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (SA), to be from the progeny of Prophet Ibraheem (AS).
Furthermore, Seyyid Muhammad Hussain Tabatabai in his exegesis Mizan fi Tafseer Al Quran highlights the fact that the above verse indicates that there are other guided and chosen ones besides the prophets who have also attained these special blessings from Allah (SWT). They are among the truthful / sidiqeen, the martyrs / shuhadaa, and the righteous ones. Tababatai correlates this verse with verse # 7 of Surat Al Fatiha to point out that these special individuals whom Allah (SWT) has granted His special bounties have a straight path which they tread and follow,
“صراط الذين أنعمت عليهم”
Thepath of those whom You have favoured.
Allah (SWT) has made it incumbent on every Muslim to beseech Him in their daily obligatory prayers to guide them to this straight path which belongs to these divinely chosen guides. They are those whom Allah (SWT) blessed with His obedience. It is cited in Tafseer Al Safi regarding this verse that Imam Jafar Al Sadiq (AS) stated that those who have received the divine blessings (Ne’mat) are none other than the Seal of Messengers Prophet Muhammad (AS) and his purified progeny.
In another tradition, Ahmad Al Halbi narrates from Abi Abdillah (AS) that he recites
“إهدنا الصراط المستقيم”
Guide us to the straight path,in reference to Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS). Moreover, Sheikh Al Tabarsi explains in his Tafseer Bayan that the “straight path” mentioned in Surat Al Fatiha not only includes the laws of religions and jurisprudence, but we ask in this prayer to take as role model those whom Allah (SWT) has made their obedience (the Imams) obligatory on us.
Once it comes to our attention that Allah (SWT) has servants whom He (SWT) chose over creation and designated them as divine proofs, it is only natural for us to desire their proximity, tread their path, and seek protection from being among the misguided and those who are blinded from the right path.
In another verse, Allah (SWT) warns the sons of Adam (AS) not to follow the devil, and to follow the straight path which leads to Him,
“,”ألم أعهد إليكم يبني أدم أن لا تعبدوا الشيطان إنه لكم عدوٌ مبين. وأنِ اعبدوني هذا صراطٌ مستقيم.
Did I not enjoin upon you, O children of Adam, that you not worship Satan – indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.And that you worship Me? This is a straight path. [30:60-61]
Allah (SWT) clearly points out that the only appropriate way to worship Him is to follow that Siraat Al Mustaqeem which is a path that is opposite of the devilish path. It is interesting to note that He (SWT) says “هذا” (that) to indicate a specific path, or rather a special someone. Another characteristic of these divinely blessed personalities is that they are not among those who are مغضوب عليهم (earned your anger), nor are they from the ضالين (misguided).
Ali ibn Ibrahim Al Qummi states in his Tafseer Al Quran that those who have earned the divine anger are the Nawaseb – those who have shown animosity towards the Prophet’s household and have neglected their Wilayah (guardianship). As for the misguided ones, they are those who doubt and do not know who their real Imam / leader is.
Adapted from: “Brief Analysis of Ne’ma (Bounty) in the Holy Qur’an” by: “Jerrmein Abu Shahba”