Dhaka, Bangladesh
The Revelation

Comments & Analyses-II

The Revelation

Religions of the world require a believer to take the Straight Path to God. Should we find out what the Straight Path is asks Yousuf Mahbubul Islam, PhD

We often hear of the Straight Path, in particular, that one who believes should take the Straight or Direct Path to God – and that no other path is acceptable. Multiple Holy Scriptures, i.e., books of revelation given by God in the different ages insist on this. The website Devine Way of Spiritual Heart {1} summarizes their study. “The term Straight Path can be found, among other sources, in Tao Te Ching (53), in the New Testament (2 Peter 2:15), in the Quran (2:136, 2:257, 2:266, 28:50), in the Teachings of Buddhism, and in the Teachings of Sathya Sai [8 and others]. These words imply the possibility for the fastest realization of the Creator’s Intention for every one of us.” {1} Is there a problem if an individual does not take the Straight Path to his/her dealings with God? To warn mankind, the Qur’an foretells that those who do not take the Direct Path will eternally regret their error. “The Day that the wrongdoer will bite at his hands (in regret) saying: “Oh! Would that I had taken a (straight) path together with the Apostle!” [25.27] Such people would be full of regrets – the regret would not be only on the Day of Judgment, the regret would continue for the rest of eternity. There God reiterates in the Al-Qur’an: “This is a warning: whosoever will, let him take a (straight) Path to his Lord.” [76.29] What, then, could the Straight Path be? A nd how is it related to God? To find the answer we may first itemize the ways in which we approach God. Then look at which ways can be classified as straight. So, how many ways do we call on God? For example, do we call on Him when we need something (health, wealth, success, forgiveness)? Do we carry out religious rituals with the intention of gaining points for going to heaven? Or do we regularly praise/acknowledge Him for what He has done for us and continuously does for us? Do we wonder why He has created each individual and want Him to be pleased with our response or approach to Him? Let us examine the four questions for the underlying focus. Who is the focus or stands to benefit in each question? In the first two we are approaching God only to benefit ourselves and God is looked upon as a “Service Provider”. In the last two we direct our thoughts to God rightfully responding to Him as our Creator and Provider. So, which set of questions can be classified as a Straight Path to God? God guides those who seek His pleasure through His Revealed Scriptures. In the following Verse God addresses all those who have received Revelation which are now compiled as Books. “O People of the Book! There has come to you Our Apostle revealing to you much that you used to hide in your Book and passing over much (ignoring verses): There has come to you from God a (new) Light and a perspicuous Book.” [5.15] To clear up misconceptions, the last and final Revelation is the Qur’an. What is the purpose of the Qur’an? “With which God guides all who seek His good pleasure to ways of peace and safety and leads them out of darkness by His Will into the light guiding them to a Path that is Straight.” [5.16] So those who wish to find out what would please God use the Qur’an to get their questions answered. “Those to whom We have sent the book study it as it should be studied; they are the ones that believe in it; those who reject faith in it the loss is their own.” [2.121] Those who do not care to find out the meaning of the Revealed Verses seek to only benefit themselves and imagine much that is not in the Book. 20.130 “Therefore be patient with what they say and celebrate (constantly) the praises of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting; yes celebrate them for part of the hours of the night and at the sides of the day: that you may have (spiritual) joy.” The prayer system in Islam includes acknowledging His blessings by regular recitation of God’s Verses. If we want to please God we would want to use the Verses recited as guidance for our day to day life by finding the meaning and implication of what God is saying. As an example, work out how many times when are we being asked to celebrate His praises in Verse 20.130? 20.131 “Nor strain your eyes longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to parties of them the splendor of the life of this world through which We test them: but the provision of your Lord is better and more enduring.” All blessings of God demand that we acknowledge the Giver and be grateful and express satisfaction over what He has given. Has He created humans to deprive them? He is the best to decide what each of us need. Therefore, “Let not their speeches grieve you: for all power and honor belong to Allah: it is He Who hears and knows (all things).” [10.65] 20.132 “Enjoin prayer on your people and be constant therein. We ask you not to provide sustenance: We provide it for you. But the (fruit of) the Hereafter is for Righteousness.” We should invite those, over whom we have influence, to seek guidance from the Qur’an by finding the meaning and offering regular prayers. He looks after each one of us. “The Evil One threatens you with poverty and bids you to conduct unseemly. Allah has promised you His forgiveness and bounties and Allah cares for all and He knows all things.” [2.268] 20.133 “They say: “Why does he not bring us a Sign from His Lord?” Has not a clear Sign come to them of all that was in the former Books of Revelation?” The greatest Sign is the Qur’an itself. In it, “Nothing is said to you that was not said to the apostles before you: That your Lord has at His command (all) Forgiveness as well as a most Grievous Penalty.” [41.43] 20.134 “And if We had inflicted on them a Penalty before this they would have said: “Our Lord! If only You had sent us an apostle we should certainly have followed Your Signs before we were humbled and put to shame.”” 20.135 “Say: “Each one (of us) is waiting: wait therefore and soon shall you know who it is that is on the straight and even way and who it is that has received guidance.”” If those who are focused on themselves do not turn to God, we are asked to be patient till death takes over – then we will all know. {Notes}: {1}http://anatomy-of-god.swami-center.org/straight-path.shtml

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