اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
Ihdina aSSiraaTa almustaqeem
Guide us the straight path,
-Sura Al-Fatihah, Ayah 6
Ihdi comes from hada. It means to guide, to show and to lead.
Ihdina is in the plural imperative tense meaning we are asking for guidance.
Guidance is what we really need from Allah and He answers our plea later in surah Al Baqarah: 2.
As SiraTal mustaqeem (the straight, uncrooked, undeviating path) can mean sunnah (way of the prophet guided by Allah). It will also be explained later in other chapters.
Allah answers our plea by giving us laws and limits to guide us towards the straight path. Philosophically, there is a straight path in all aspects of men’s life (socially, politically, economically etc).
This ayat symbolises a servant’s dependence on His Master. Our inherent helplessness and ignorance long for His might, knowledge and mercy.
It also explains the reality of free will. The qadariya, muktazila and some shi’a believes that our actions and fate are all within the influence of our free will. However, this ayah proves that Allah has the power to guide and misguide as He wills, our free will is not enough.
Allah made this surah a model for all supplications. Half of it comprises His praises and the other half is our needs.
It is best to use Allah’s word for supplication because He knows what He loves.
Some scholars say that the meaning also covers “keep us firm in your guidance (Islam) and don’t deviate us from it”.
O Allah, incline our hearts to the truth.