The Quran about straight path
In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful
Any ideology of people provides its direction vector, its own path, which is declared to be the only correct one. Of course, everyone has the right to their own opinion, but a rational approach to this issue reveals one of its drawbacks – it is subjective, because it is based on human experience, and therefore – doomed to some kind of contradiction.
What is the difference between the followers of the Quran and adherents of their own ideologies? It is the fact that they realize the objectivity of the given direction, because it is initiated by the transcendent source, and therefore, is deprived of any inconsistencies. This is the reason for the daily request of the Muslims to guide them to a straight path – “syrotal mustakim.”
Guide us to the straight path (syrotal mustakim)!
The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favour! (1:6-7)
At every historical moment, the revealed truth revealed the fundamental contradictions in the worldview of people formed by a limited intellect. Only reliance on the Prescription contributed to their elimination.
Mankind was on one basis. God sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners, and sent down with them the Prescription with truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over the Prescription except those who were given it – after the clear proofs came to them – out of jealous animosity among themselves. And God guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And God guides whom He wills to a straight path. (2:213)
Faith and trust to the Lord is the guarantee for a man to acquire the vector of the true path.
So those who believe God and hold fast to Him – He will admit them to mercy from Himself and bounty and guide them to Himself on a straight path. (4:175)
But such a guarantee is not based on an empty seat, but on the willingness of the person to obey to the signs of the Creator.
And so those who were given knowledge may know that it is the truth from your Lord and believe in it, and their hearts humbly submit to it. And indeed, God guides those who have believed to a straight path! (22:54)
Orientation only to your knowledge, the established tradition and the measure of assessments does not allow you to understand the meaning of divine prescriptions.
The foolish among the people will say, “What has turned them away from their direction, which they used to face?”
Say, “To God belongs the east and the west. He guides whom He wills to a straight path!” (2:142)
Thus, the following is determined only by the desire of a man, which is also true for the straight path.
But those who deny Our signs are deaf and dumb within darknesses. Whomever God wills – He leaves astray; and whomever He wills – He puts him on a straight path! (6:39)
And God invites to the home of peace and guides whom He wills to a straight path. (10:25)
We have certainly sent down distinct signs! God guides whom He wills to a straight path! (24:46)
It is not a secret that hypocrites invariably arose among the messengers and believers. To reveal the true essence of such people, the Almighty arranged various kinds of trials.
And if We had decreed upon them, “Kill yourselves” or “Leave your homes,” they would not have done it, except for a few of them. But if they had done what they were instructed, it would have been better for them and a firmer position. And then We would have given them from Us a great reward. And We would have guided them to a straight path. (4:66-68)
The same approach was taken to test the faith.
God has promised you much booty that you will take and has hastened for you this and withheld the hands of people from you – that it may be a sign for the believers and He may guide you to a straight path! (48:20)
As already mentioned, guidance to the straight path was oriented by the willingness to humbly submit to the Lord of the Worlds. This is how Abraham’s life went.
Indeed, Ibrahim (Abraham) was a leader, devoutly obedient to God, inclining toward truth, and he was not of those who associate others with God. [He was] grateful for His favors. God chose him and guided him to a straight path! (16:120-121)
Directed to the straight path were both Noah, and the descendants of Abraham.
(Jesus said), “Indeed, God is my Lord and your Lord, so serve Him. That is the straight path!” (3:51)
And that was Our argument which We gave Ibrahim (Abraham) against his people.
We raise by degrees whom We will. Indeed, your Lord is Wise and Knowing.
And We gave to Ibrahim (Abraham), Ishaq (Isaac) and Yaqub (Jacob) – all [of them] We guided. And Nuh (Noah), We guided before; and among his descendants, Daud (David) and Suleiman (Solomon) and Ayub (Job) and Yusuf (Joseph) and Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron). And Zakariya (Zechariah) and Yahya (John) and Isa (Jesus) and Ilyas (Elias) – and all were of the improving. And Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot – and all [of them] We preferred over the nations of the worlds. And among their fathers and their descendants and their brothers – and We chose them and We guided them to a straight path! Thus do We reward the doers of good! (6:83-87)
And We did certainly confer favor upon Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron). And We saved them and their nation from the great affliction, And We supported them so it was they who overcame. And We gave them the explicit Prescription, And We guided them on the straight path. (37:114-118)
(Jesus said), “Indeed, God is my Lord and your Lord, so serve Him. This is a straight path.” (43:64)
In the pleiad of all messengers, Muhammad was no exception.
Say, “Indeed, my Lord has guided me to a straight path – a persistent duty of the community of Ibrahim (Abraham), inclining toward truth. And he was not among those who associated others with God!” (6:161)
And indeed, you invite them to a straight path. (23:73)
By the legible Literature (Quran)! Indeed you are from among the messengers, on a straight path. (36:1-4)
And thus We have suggested to you the Spirit with Our command! You did not know what is the Prescription or faith! But We have made it a light by which We guide whom We will of Our servants. And indeed, you guide to a straight path – The path of God, to whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth! Unquestionably, to God do matters evolve! (42:52-53)
So adhere to that which is suggested to you! Indeed, you are on a straight path! (43:43)
Isa (Jesus) said, “Indeed, He has the knowledge of the hour! So be not in doubt of it, and follow me! This is a straight path!” (43:61)
Indeed, We have given you a clear conquest That God may forgive for you what preceded of your trespasses and what will follow and complete His favor upon you and guide you to a straight path! (48:1-2)
The Quran is positioned as the natural successor to the former Prescriptions, designed to become a litmus paper in the definition of truth. In this regard, Muhammad is regarded as a messenger to the holders of the Prescriptions as well, through whom they were also given a direct path:
And how could you close themselves while to you are being recited the signs of God and among you is His messenger? And whoever holds firmly to God has been guided to a straight path! (3:101)
O holders of the Prescription! There has come to you Our messenger making clear to you much of what you used to conceal of the Prescription and overlooking much. There has come to you from God a light – a clear Prescription. By which God guides those who pursue His contentment to the ways of humility and brings them out from darknesses into the light, by His permission, and guides them to a straight path. (5:15-16)
The reason for the need of the last Prescription – the Quran, was the distortion of the essence of the direct path, the main initiator of which was the disappointed (iblees), who settled exactly on it.
He said, “Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your straight path. (7:16)
About the possibility of substituting the right worship, God warned people before.
Did I not enjoin upon you, O children of Adam, that you not serve the disobedient – indeed, he is to you a clear enemy – And that you serve Me? This is a straight path. (36:60-61)
Often the Creator turns to figurative thinking to facilitate perception, giving examples for comparison:
And God presents an example of two men, one of them dumb and unable to do a thing, while he is a burden to his patron. Wherever he directs him, he brings no good. Is he equal to one who commands justice, while he is on a straight path? (16:76)
Then is one who walks fallen on his face better guided or one who walks erect on a straight path? (67:22)
The principle of voluntariness a priori does not give place to dictates from the part of the Creator. This fact explains the delay in summing up the results for the Day of Debt.
Say, “Each [of us] is waiting; so wait. For you will know who are the companions of the straight path and who is guided!” (20:135)
So what is a straight path? Let us turn to the messenger Muhammad’s opinion.
Indeed, I have relied upon God, my Lord and your Lord. There is no creature but that He holds its forelock. Indeed, my Lord is on a path [that is] straight!” (11:56)
Clearly identifying the source of the direct path, the messenger also associated himself with the direction suggested by the Creator.
And this is my path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow other ways, for you will be separated from His way! This has He instructed you that you may beware! (6:153)
In order that there should be no discrepancies among the followers of Muhammad, the Almighty clearly defined the direct path indicator – the Quran.
And this is a Prescription We have revealed blessed, so follow it, being circumspect, that you may receive mercy! (6:155)
The role of the Prescription as a direct path for people is repeatedly emphasized by God in the mission of the messenger.
And this is the path of your Lord, [leading] straight. We have detailed the signs for a people who remember! (6:126)
Alif, Lam, Ra.
Which We have revealed it to you, that you might bring mankind out of darknesses into the light by permission of their Lord – to the path of the Exalted in Might, the Praiseworthy (14:1)
There is no other straight path than the one indicated in the Lord’s Prescription – the Quran.