Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Question: Assalamu alaykum
Whom does ‘us’ refer to in the verse ‘guide us in the straight path”?
Can I intend it to be me and my children?
Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.
Thank you for your question.
According Imam Nasir al-Din al-Baydawi, the pronoun for ‘Us’ in refers to the reciter of the verse, but it has been left in the plural for various rhetorical purposes. Amongst them is the idea that the imam or the one reciting this verse is acting as a representative for all the believers whilst standing in the presence of the King whose generosity cannot be fathomed – let alone rivaled.
Therefore, at this point one asks for increasing and continued guidance for oneself, and all the other believers; this is much better than a narrower intention.
Asking through love.
Imam al-Baydawi also mentions that another purpose of the word ‘Us’ in this verse is to ask Allah to grant us the great good of guidance in this world, and success in the afterlife through His beloved servants. He states that amongst the believers are those who are truly beloved to Allah, and any prayer made by them or for them is bound to be answered because of His love for them. (al-Baydawi, Anwar al-Tanzil wa Asrar al-Ta’wil).
May Allah the Most Generous make us all of those who He loves and grants perpetual, increasing guidance to. Amin
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat