The slave should contemplate his absolute need and poverty when he utters the words: Guide us to the straight path, the path of those whom you have blessed, not the path of those who have incurred Your anger, nor the misguided (1:5-7).
The discourse of these particular verses has five aspects: recognizing the truth, his intending the truth, actually obeying the truth, remaining steadfast upon it, inviting others to it, and enduring the persecution of those whom he is inviting. So, the completion of these five stages completes the guidance of the slave, and whatever is lacking in these aspects represent his deficiencies in guidance.
For the slave is in desperate need of this guidance in its outer and inner form, in all stages of his life. This dua comprehends all deeds he performed either with the wrong intention, or the wrong method, or those deeds he neglected to perform although they were obligatory, or deeds in which his performance was erratic, and he needed to acquire constancy. This question of guidance refers to his mightiest plea and his most desperate need. This is why Allah has enjoined upon His slaves the asking of this every day and every night, in his most exalted state, namely the five prayers, repeatedly. For this is his most pressing need and his most urgent priority.
To be continued…