When we establish our contact with God, we implore Him seventeen times, daily, to guide us in the Straight Path / Al-Serat Al-Mustaqeem. This is what chapter one, the Key/Al-Fatihah, is all about ; a desperate prayer to the Most Gracious, the only Master, the One we worship and ask for help, to guide us in the STRAIGHT PATH. Then, 1:7 defines that path: The Path of the Blessed Ones not the Doomed and Misguided.
[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 us in the right path (written as the STRAIGHT PATH/ Al-Serat Al- Mustaqeem in the Arabic text);
[1:7] the path of those whom You blessed; not of those who have deserved wrath, nor of the strayers.
In an attempt to recognize the STRAIGHT PATH and in daring search for the means to stay on it and be with the blessed, not the doomed, the following reminders come across straightforward:
- Before we were even brought on earth, the Most Merciful made us all witness Him as our Only Lord and Master, and we made a covenant with Him that we will worship Him alone. This basically spells out His one and only message to all of His creatures; our souls and hearts have been gifted by God's message before we were born:
[7:172] Recall that your Lord summoned all the descendants of Adam, and had them bear witness for themselves: "Am I not your Lord?" They all said, "Yes. We bear witness." Thus, you cannot say on the Day of Resurrection, "We were not aware of this."
[7:173] Nor can you say, "It was our parents who practiced idolatry, and we simply followed in their footsteps. Will You punish us because of what others have innovated?"
[7:174] We thus explain the revelations, to enable the people to redeem themselves.
[36:60] Did I not covenant with you, O Children of Adam, that you shall not worship the devil? That he is your most ardent enemy?
[36:61] And that you shall worship Me alone? This is the right path (STRAIGHT PATH in Arabic text).
[30:30] Therefore, you shall devote yourself to the religion of strict monotheism. Such is the natural instinct placed into the people by God. Such creation of God will never change. This is the perfect religion, but most people do not know.
It is this one eternal message, graciously placed in our hearts, that directs whoever chooses to believe to the starting point of the STRAIGHT PATH:
[81:27] This is a message for all the people.
[81:28] For those who wish to go straight (yastaqeem in Arabic text, a verb derivative from STRAIGHT/MUSTAQEEM).
Because God is the Most Gracious, He further documented, in physical straightforward words, the essence of His message by sending messengers with scriptures and others to confirm existing scriptures. In the scriptures, He indicated that His message is one and eternal: there is only One God, worship Him alone (21:25, 16:36, 3:18-19, 3:85, 3:102). God narrated for us some perfect history about some of His messengers, since Noah, confirming that all what they were commissioned to do is to deliver that one message and invite to that STRAIGHT PATH (Noah 7:59, Hud 11:54-56, Abraham 19:42-45, Jesus 3:50-51, Muhammad 6:153, 6:161-164 and many others).
Once we decide to denounce all forms of idolatry and devote our life and worship to God alone, we hit the starting point of the STRAIGHT PATH and we qualify to be guided, by God, to all means, practices, commands and ethics that enable us to stay on that path and end up with the blessed, eternally, not with the doomed; God leads those who choose Him alone by virtue of their belief to all the guidance on His STRAIGHT PATH; belief is our choice, guidance is from God and is a consequence of that choice:
[29:69] As for those who strive in our cause, we will surely guide them in our paths. Most assuredly, GOD is with the pious.
[4:175] Those who believe in GOD, and hold fast to Him, He will admit them into mercy from Him, and grace, and will guide them to Him in a straight path.
[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 the believers in the right path (STRAIGHT PATH in Arabic).
[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.
- Quran, proven to be the only existing authenticated scripture and God's final words to His creatures contains that same message of worshiping God alone. It details all the straightforward commandments that would guarantee the stay on the STRAIGHT PATH all the way until the journey ends at God, into His eternal bliss. Quran is declared by God to be the guiding manual of His STRAIGHT PATH:
[4:163] We have inspired you, as we inspired Noah and the prophets after him. And we inspired Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, the Patriarchs, Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon. And we gave David the Psalms.
[4:164] Messengers we have told you about, and messengers we never told you about. And God spoke to Moses directly.
[4:165] Messengers to deliver good news, as well as warnings. Thus, the people will have no excuse when they face God, after all these messengers have come to them. God is Almighty, Most Wise.
[4:166] But God bears witness concerning what He has revealed to you; He has revealed it with His knowledge. And the angels bear witness as well, but God suffices as witness.
[5:15] O people of the scripture, our messenger has come to you to proclaim for you many things you have concealed in the scripture, and to pardon many other transgressions you have committed. A beacon has come to you from GOD, and a profound scripture.
[5:16] With it, GOD guides those who seek His approval. He guides them to the paths of peace, leads them out of darkness into the light by His leave, and guides them in a straight path.
[6:126] This is the straight path to your Lord. We have explained the revelations for people who take heed.
[6:127] They have deserved the abode of peace at their Lord; He is their Lord and Master, as a reward for their works..
[3:101] How can you disbelieve, when these revelations of GOD have been recited to you, and His messenger has come to you? Whoever holds fast to GOD will be guided in the right path (STRAIGHT PATH in Arabic text) .
[42:52] Thus, we inspired to you a revelation proclaiming our commandments. You had no idea about the scripture, or faith. Yet, we made this a beacon to guide whomever we choose from among our servants. Surely, you guide in a straight path.
[42:53] The path of GOD, to whom belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. Absolutely, all matters are controlled by GOD.
In conclusion, God alone, His one message of Submission to Him alone, His one perfect monotheistic religion, His commandments in His scriptures to worship and work righteousness, all together, define the STRAIGHT PATH for salvation. God placed such knowledge in our hearts before our descent to earth. Humans and Jinns are gifted with what would place them on the starting point of the STRAIGHT PATH. Once they decide to hit that point, they are promised to be blessed with all the guiding means from God to stay on it. The choice is always ours. Please reflect on this conditioned and honorable invitation from the Possessor of all honor and grace:
[18:110] Say, "I am no more than a human like you, being inspired that your god is one god. Those who hope to meet their Lord shall work righteousness, and never worship any other god beside his Lord."
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.