The next question which then arises is which “Path” is “Straight”?
Well, it would be obvious to mention that the “Straight path” is the path which has no twists and turns. It is the straight path of faith which goes to neither extremes of excessiveness and deficiency. A person who follows the straight path neither goes beyond the limits nor falls short of them in both belief and practice.
The last verse of Surah Fatiha explains the phrase “straight path”:
“The path of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not of those who have incurred Your wrath, nor of those who have gone astray.”
Verse 69 in Surah Nisa explains who Allah has favoured:
“Those whom Allah has blessed from the Prophets, the Siddiqin, the Shuhada and the righteous.”
So 4 categories have been mentioned here:
- The Prophets who are the greatest.
- The Siddiqin who are the “constantly true ones” they acquire spiritual perfection and so they receive the highest rank with the Prophets.
- The Shuhada who are the “martyrs” they sacrifice their lives for the faith.
- The righteous that follow the Shariah (Islamic law) completely, they follow the fardh, wajib and mustahab actions. Generally they are the pious, virtuous or good people.
This makes it clear that we should follow people of these 4 categories and try and attain the same position as them. One other thing I want to point out is it begins by pointing out the positive and by giving us hope.
It then continues on to eliminate a group of people from the straight path by saying those who have attained Allah’s wrath and those who have gone astray.
So now 2 questions arise:
- Who are the people who have attained Allah’s wrath/anger?
These are the people who even having knowledge about what Allah has ordered and his commandments they go against them for their own reasons. This can be applied to the Jews who even after having knowledge about the last Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) they rejected him for worldly gain, even with earlier Prophets the Jews would insult the prophets and even go to the extent of killing their Prophets at times.
- Who are the people who have gone astray?
These are the people who go beyond the limits appointed by Allah and they indulge in excess and exaggeration in terms of religion because of their ignorance and lack of thought. This can be applied to Christians who turned their Prophet into a God by exceeding limits.
On one side we have the Jews who rejected the Prophets and killed some and on the other side we have the Christians who turned their Prophet into a God. So essentially we are asking to be on a path that is in the middle not one that makes us slaves of desires, who are obstinate in their thoughts and actions and deficient in carrying out religious duties nor one that makes us ignorant, unmindful, misleading us and making us indulge in excess and exaggerate religious matters but in between these 2 extremes which doesn’t incline towards excess or deficiency and is free from following desires, free of doubts and confusions.
May Allah make us from amongst the Siddiqin, the Shuhada and the righteous and raise us with the Prophets and save us from misguidance, the misguided ones, from being led astray and the ones who have gone astray.
And Allah knows best.
Keep me in your humble duas.