Reflections on belief in God, its antithesis, and suffering/separation

Guidance Increasing (tentative)

إِنَّهُم فِتْيَةٌ آمَنُوابِرَبِّهِم وَزِدْناهُمْ هُدًى

This verse from the Chapter of the Cave in the Qur’an (18:13) is interpreted into English as, “Verily they were magnanimous young men who believed in their Lord and We increased them in guidance.” As I was reading this chapter this morning, this verse caught my attention as it uses the word fityatun. This word is related to the word futuwwah and I am part of a futuwwah group. Then what really caught my eye was Allah’s saying “…and We increased them in guidance.” An increase in guidance is something we all should want. Every day at least five times a day we ask Allah for guidance on the straight path while reciting The Chapter of Opening.

Allah is giving some of us a way here to increase our guidance though it isn’t readily apparent. The Arabic word used for and is the letter wow with a fatha on it pronounced wa. This is the usual interpretation. I couldn’t let go of the idea that the two are connected, i.e. belief in God and an increase in guidance. Looking in Hans Wehr’s Arabic dictionary I discovered that wa can also be used as a subordinating conjunction, so the verse could be interpreted as, “…believed in their Lord while We increased them in guidance.” And there it was; the way that we can increase our guidance, believe in God.

To be continued: