When we establish our daily contact with God almighty, we implore Him seventeen times a day 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 for the Most Gracious, the Master, the One we worship and ask for help, to guide us in the straight path, then, an informative sign of that path follows in 1:7 - it is for the blessed not the doomed strayers:
[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 and define the straight path of those fortunate ones whom God blessed (1:7), the following reminders come across clear and straightforward:
- God's message is generally the mean that places those who choose to be on a straight path on its beginning:
[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 the same word to march straight).
Fortunately, God spelled out for us the essence of His message in a straightforward manner, and indicated to us that it has been one and the same since Noah ; worship God alone. Therefore, once we choose to denounce all forms of idolatry, and devote our life and worship to God alone, we qualify to be guided to the straight path of God:
One God/One Message/One Religion [21:25] We did not send any messenger before you except with the inspiration: "There is no god except Me; you shall worship Me alone."
[16:36] We have sent a messenger to every community, saying, "You shall worship GOD, and avoid idolatry." ......
Submission: The Only Religion [3:19] The only religion approved by GOD is "Submission." Ironically, those who have received the scripture are the ones who dispute this fact, despite the knowledge they have received, due to jealousy. For such rejectors of GOD's revelations, GOD is most strict in reckoning.
Only One Religion Approved by God [3:85] Anyone who accepts other than Submission as his religion, it will not be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter, he will be with the losers.
In fact, 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. The message has been in our hearts before we were even born:
We Are Born With Instinctive Knowledge About God
[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.
The Devil is the Other Alternative
[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).
God even narrated for us some perfect history about some of His messengers confirming that all what they were commissioned to do is to deliver that one message and invite to that Monotheistic Straight Path. His narration is for those who wish to take heed:
[11:54] "We believe that some of our gods have afflicted you with a curse." He said, "I bear witness before GOD, and you bear witness as well, that I disown the idols you have set up-
[11:55] "beside Him. So, give me your collective decision, without delay.
[11:56] "I have put my trust in GOD, my Lord and your Lord. There is not a creature that He does not control. My Lord is on the right path (straight path in Arabic text).
[19:42] He said to his father, "O my father, why do you worship what can neither hear, nor see, nor help you in any way?
[19:43] "O my father, I have received certain knowledge that you did not receive. Follow me, and I will guide you in a straight path.
[19:44] "O my father, do not worship the devil. The devil has rebelled against the Most Gracious.
[19:45] "O my father, I fear lest you incur retribution from the Most Gracious, then become an ally of the devil."
[3:50] "I confirm previous scripture - the Torah - and I revoke certain prohibitions imposed upon you. I come to you with sufficient proof from your Lord. Therefore, you shall observe GOD, and obey me.
[3:51] "GOD is my Lord and your Lord;* you shall worship Him alone. This is the right path (straight path in Arabic text)."
[6:153] This is my path - a straight one. You shall follow it, and do not follow any other paths, lest they divert you from His path. These are His commandments to you, that you may be saved.
[6:161] Say, "My Lord has guided me in a straight path - the perfect religion of Abraham, monotheism. He never was an idol worshiper."
[6:162] Say, "My Contact Prayers (Salat), my worship practices, my life and my death, are all devoted absolutely to GOD alone, the Lord of the universe.
[6:163] "He has no partner. This is what I am commanded to believe, and I am the first to submit."
[6:164] Say, "Shall I seek other than GOD as a lord, when He is the Lord of all things? No soul benefits except from its own works, and none bears the burden of another. Ultimately, you return to your Lord, then He informs you regarding all your disputes."
- So, Quran, the scripture proven to be the only authenticated one, contains the message of worshiping God alone to humanity. It also details all the straightforward commandments that would grant us our righteousness and our salvation, thus, it is declared by God to be the manual of His Straight Path:
The Quran: God's Message
to the Jews and Christians [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.
- God leads those who choose Him by virtue of their belief to the guidance of His Straight Path:
[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).
[10:25] GOD invites to the abode of peace, and guides whoever wills (to be guided) in a straight path.
In conclusion, God alone, His one message of Submission to Him alone, His one perfect monotheistic religion, His commandments in His scriptures to worship Him alone and attain righteousness, all together, constitute the straight paths for salvation. God placed such knowledge in our hearts before our descend to earth. We made a covenant to adopt the straight path - we are reminded by that covenant in the Quran. Humans and Jinns are offered all the means to find the straight path, and all the means to stay on it with no ambiguity, subjectivity, or injustice. The choice is always ours.
[2:148] Each of you chooses the direction to follow; you shall race towards righteousness. Wherever you may be, GOD will summon you all. GOD is Omnipotent.
[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.
Peaceful Friday, salaam, and God bless.