"God's guidance is THE TRUE guidance"/ قُلْ إنَّ هُدَى اللَّهِ هُوَ الْهُدَى/ “Inna Hoda Allah, hua al-Hoda”
The English word, "guidance," and its Arabic alternative, " Hoda," mean compassionate offer of clear directions and useful tools to properly show the way and successfully reach a specific destiny. God almighty emphasized, twice, in the Quran that His guidance is the REAL and ONLY form of guidance to attain salvation. With His precise choice of Arabic words, His specific Arabic grammatical structure and tools, and the redundancy of the word "Hoda" in the above statement, God affirms and excludes His guidance to be the ONLY legitimate and rightful kind of guidance to be redeemed. These two occurrences are:
[2:120] Neither the Jews, nor the Christians, will accept you, unless you follow their religion. Say, "GOD's guidance (hoda) is the true guidance (hoda)." If you acquiesce to their wishes, despite the knowledge you have received, you will find no ally or supporter to help you against GOD.
[6:71] Say, "Shall we implore, beside GOD, what possesses no power to benefit us or hurt us, and turn back on our heels after GOD has guided (hadana - a derivative of Hoda) us? In that case, we would join those possessed by the devils, and rendered utterly confused, while their friends try to save them: `Stay with us on the right path.' " Say, "GOD's guidance (hoda) is the right guidance (hoda). We are commanded to submit to the Lord of the universe.
In fact, God rephrased the same context for Adam and his wife. When both of them transgressed in Heaven and were granted a second chance on earth to be redeemed, God confirmed the same principle that His guidance is the real one. He stated that they shall wait for His guidance on earth, then, follow it to attain eternal peace and contentment. He specified to them and to all of us, children of Adam, that if we do not follow His guidance/Hoda, we will go astray:
[20:123] He said, "Go down therefrom, all of you. You are enemies of one another. When guidance (hoda) comes to you from Me, anyone who follows My guidance (hoday) will not go astray, nor suffer any misery.
[2:38] We said, "Go down therefrom, all of you. When guidance (hoda) comes to you from Me, those who follow My guidance (Hoday) will have no fear, nor will they grieve.
God's mercy to fully present and deliver that divine guidance/hoda is immense and incomprehensible. He has showered us with visible and invisible signs, within us and all around, that distinguish His right path from others, and speak up, loud and clear, His language of guidance. He has blessed us with the brains, the eyesight, and the hearing through which we were taught how to differentiate between bad and good, straight and crooked (16:78, 55:3-4). He sent His prophets with the proofs, the scriptures, and the laws to guide both humans and jinns from darkness to the light. He has been sending His messengers to reconfirm and redirect us to this guidance. Hoda/guidance is found in the perfect and detailed teachings and laws in all of His scriptures as spelled out in the following examples. We are to benefit from the reminders in these examples - we lose our souls when we disregard His laws, and His guidance/hoda - the righteous are the real beneficiaries of His enlightenment and the ones who are entrusted to establish justice:
[5:44] We have sent down the Torah,* containing guidance (hoda) and light. Ruling in accordance with it were the Jewish prophets, as well as the rabbis and the priests, as dictated to them in GOD's scripture, and as witnessed by them. Therefore, do not reverence human beings; you shall reverence Me instead. And do not trade away My revelations for a cheap price. Those who do not rule in accordance with GOD's revelations are the disbelievers.
[5:46] Subsequent to them, we sent Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the previous scripture, the Torah. We gave him the Gospel, containing guidance (hoda) and light, and confirming the previous scriptures, the Torah, and augmenting its guidance (hoda) and light, and to enlighten the righteous.
[2:2-5] This scripture is infallible; a beacon (hoda) for the righteous; who believe in the unseen, observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and from our provisions to them, they give to charity. And they believe in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed before you, and with regard to the Hereafter, they are absolutely certain. These are guided (hoda) by their Lord; these are the winners.
[2:185] Ramadan is the month during which the Quran was revealed, providing guidance (hoda) for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book....
[57:25] We sent our messengers supported by clear proofs, and we sent down to them the scripture and the law, that the people may uphold justice. And we sent down the iron, wherein there is strength, and many benefits for the people. All this in order for GOD to distinguish those who would support Him and His messengers, on faith. GOD is Powerful, Almighty.
Humans and Jinns are merely here on earth to choose the guidance/hoda of God over the illusion of other idols (2:148, 2:256, 6:130). God, the Omniscient, the Alpha, and the Omega, knows all of our choices as well as our destinies. Based on His knowledge, He designs for us what will coincide with our paths, guided or misguided ones. He, thus, augments our guidance or misguidance. This is a divine, unchangeable system. Therefore, when God is declaring that He is the One who guides or misguides, this is only represented by all what He brings our way, based on His full knowledge of our choice of belief or disbelief:
[28:56] You cannot guide the ones you love. GOD is the only One who guides in accordance with His will, and in accordance with His knowledge of those who deserve the guidance.
[47:17] As for those who are guided, He augments their guidance, and grants them their righteousness.
[ 64:11] Nothing happens to you except in accordance with GOD's will. Anyone who believes in GOD, He will guide his heart. GOD is fully aware of all things.
[39:23] GOD has revealed herein the best Hadith; a book that is consistent, and points out both ways (to Heaven and Hell). The skins of those who reverence their Lord cringe therefrom, then their skins and their hearts soften up for GOD's message. Such is GOD's guidance; He bestows it upon whoever wills (to be guided). As for those sent astray by GOD, nothing can guide them.
[10:33] This is what your Lord's decision does to those who choose to be wicked: they cannot believe.
[19:75] Say, "Those who choose to go astray, the Most Gracious will lead them on, until they see what is promised for them - either the retribution or the Hour. That is when they find out who really is worse off, and weaker in power."
[19:76] GOD augments the guidance of those who choose to be guided. For the good deeds are eternally rewarded by your Lord, and bring far better returns.
God and those who believe use the divine and proven truth to guide with. It is the divine truth that carries within God's guidance/hoda, while everything and everyone else would not guide except to an illusion and a real loss. Conjecture and falsehood are no substitute for the truth, hence, God's truth is the real guidance:
[7:181] Among our creations, there are those who guide (yahdoona - another derivative of hoda) with the truth, and the truth renders them righteous.
[10:35] Say, "Does any of your idols guide (yahdi- a derivative of hoda) to the truth?" Say, "GOD guides (yahdi - same derivative of hoda) to the truth. Is one who guides (yahdi - same derivative of hoda) to the truth more worthy of being followed, or one who does not guide (yahdi - same derivative of hoda), and needs guidance for himself? What is wrong with your judgment?"
[22:54] Those who are blessed with knowledge will recognize the truth from your Lord, then believe in it, and their hearts will readily accept it. Most assuredly, GOD guides (la-hadi - a derivative of hoda) the believers in the right path.
[7:43] We will remove all jealousy from their hearts. Rivers will flow beneath them, and they will say, "GOD be praised for guiding us. We could not possibly be guided (lanahtadi - a derivative of hoda) , if it were not that GOD has guided (hadana - a derivative of hoda) us. The messengers of our Lord did bring the truth." They will be called: "This is your Paradise. You have inherited it, in return for your works."
It is not a surprise that Quran, itself, is referred to or given the attribute of being hoda/guidance in many verses. What is interesting is that the gematrical value of the Arabic root for the word "Hoda" adds up to 19 ! - Ha (5) + Da (4) + Ya (10) = 19. More interesting, "Hoda" which is also often translated as beacon occurs 79 times in the entire Quran, in different contexts. The number of occurrences out of these 79 times that "Hoda" is used as an attribute of the Quran or strictly and directly referring to the Quran happens to be 19 times! Indeed, the only available 19- based scripture, proven to be authored by God, is all the divine guidance we need. These 19 occurrences are:
We pray for God's guidance/ Hoda Allah/ هُدَى اللَّهِ 17 times a day. May He accept from us and guide us in His straight path.
[1:1] In the name of GOD, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
[1:2] Praise be to GOD, Lord of the universe.
[1:3] Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
[1:4] Master of the Day of Judgment.
[1:5] You alone we worship; You alone we ask for help.
[1:6] Guide (ihdina - derivative of hoda) us in the right path;
[1:7] the path of those whom You blessed; not of those who have deserved wrath, nor of the strayers.
Peaceful Friday, salaam, and God bless.