Reaching Allah before death

Question: Wherever they see the word “hidâyah” in the Qur’ân, some people, somehow, say it means a soul’s reaching Allah before death. Actually, are there any âyât or hadîths that are in accordance with this definition? What is “reaching Allah”?

ANSWER
No, there is not such an âyat or a hadîth. Nor did any Islamic scholars say such a thing.

Hidâyah has these senses: the true path, the righteous path, Islam. Its opposite is dalâlah [going astray, deviating]. Hidâyah is to enter the right path after seeing right as right and wrong as wrong; it is to turn away from dalâlah and wrong path, to have îmân and to become a Muslim.

Al-Hâdî and al-Mahdî, two of the , denote the One who provides hidâyah, who guides to the right path.
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There is not such an expression as “reaching Allah,” but there is such an expression as “meeting Allah.” However, it does not mean “a soul’s reaching Allah before death.” The scholars of tafsîr explain “meeting Allah” as follows:
(Those who [deny the Resurrection] do not expect to meet Us [to be questioned], who are content with [as they are heedless of the Hereafter] and take comfort [preferring this world to the next] from worldly life, and who are unaware of Our âyât [proofs that show the existence of the Creator] will go to Hell because of what they have committed [because of their sins].) [Sûrat-u Yûnus, 7-8]

(To deny the meeting with Allah after death is to deny the Rising after death.)

The following are the purport of some verses that contain the word hidâyah:
(Inna hudallaahi huwal hudaa = Allah’s path of hidâyah [Islam] is the true path through and through.) The proper English translation of this âyat is: (The true path is only Allah’s path.) [Sûrat-ul-Baqara, 120]

(In-nalhudaa hudal-laahi = The true path is without doubt Allah’s path.) [Sûrat-u Âl-i ‘Imrân, 73]

(Ulaaikal-ladheena hadaahumul-laahu = Those are the ones whom Allah has guided to hidâyah [whom Allah has guided to the true path.) [Sûrat-uz-Zumar, 18]

(Wal-ladheena-h-tadaw zaadahum hudaa = Allah increases the hidâyah of those who have attained it [who have entered the true path].) [Sûrat-u Muhammad, 17]

(Wa man yu’min bil-laahi yahdi qalbahuu = Whoever believes in Allah, Allah guides his hearth towards hidâyah [truth].) [Sûrat-ut-Taghâbun, 11]

(Wa yazeedul-laahul-ladheena-h-tadaw hudaa = Allah increases the hidâyah of those who have attained it [who have attained îmân].) [Sûrat-u Maryam, 76]
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(Wallaahu yahdee man yashaau ilaa siraatin mustaqeem = Allah provides hidâyah for whom He wills to the right path [makes him reach the right path].) [Sûrat-ul-Baqara, 213]

(Sayahdeehim = He makes them reach hidâyah [makes them reach the right path].) [Sûrat-u Muhammad, 5]

(Hadaanaa li haadhaa wa maa kunnaa li nahtadee = If Allah had not given us hidâyah, we could not have attained it on our own.) [Sûrat-ul-A’râf, 43]

(Ulaaikalladheena-sh-taraw-ud-dalaalata bil hudaa = Those are the ones who have bought aberration instead of truth.) [Sûrat-ul-Baqara, 175]

(Innaka laa tahdee man ahbabta wa laakin-nallaaha yahdee man yashaau = You cannot make whom you like reach hidâyah [you cannot make whom you like a Muslim]. But Allah gives hidâyah to whom He wills.) [Sûrat-ul-Qasas, 56]

(Wallaahu laa yahdil qawmaZZaalimeen = Allah does not guide the zâlimîn to the hidâyah.) [Sûrat-ut-Tawba, 19]
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(Laysa ‘alayka hudaahum = It is not your duty to make them reach hidâyah.) [Sûrat-ul-Baqara, 272]

In addition to them, the purport of some hadîth-i sharîfs is as follow:
(Each of my Ashâb is like a star in the sky. If you follow any one of them, you will attain hidâyah [the true path].) [Dârimî, Bayhaqî, Ibni ‘Adiy, Munawî]

(My Lord revealed: “O My Messenger! Your Ashâb are like the celestial stars. Some of them are more luminous. He who follows any one of them is on hidâyah.) [Daylamî]

(He who causes a person to attain hidâyah [who causes a person to have îmân] goes to Paradise.) [Bukhârî]

(Join the suhba of those pious scholars who strive to make people attain hidâyah and keep them away from dalâlah.) [I. Mâwardî]

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