From Issue: 994 [Read full issue]
Dalal and dalalah are the opposite of huda and hidayah. Dalal means to lose one's way, to go astray, to deviate from the straight path. Therefore dalalah is the opposite of hidayah (guidance) and means misguidance. It embraces all aspects of straying from the right path whether intentionally or by mistake or ignorance. Idlal, from the same root, means misguidance, delusion and misleading.
In many verses in the Quran it is mentioned that Allah guides whoever He likes and misguides whoever He wants. But this is not an arbitrary act on the part of Allah. As all acts of Allah are based on justice and fairness, those who are misguided are responsible for their own misguidance. This is explained in many places in the Quran. Those who are prone to evil render themselves incapable of benefiting from Divine Guidance. Fasiq (sinner), zalim (oppressor) and kafir (non-believer) are led astray because of their rejection of the Path of Righteousness.
"Treasures of the Qur'an: Surah al-Fatihah to Surah al-Mai'dah" - Abdur Rashid Siddiqui