What is Sirat-e-Mustaqeem?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
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Also, on Sirat-e-Mustaqeem - In my opinion, it is not a question of who is on Sirat-e-Mustaqeem and who is not, but what is Sirat-e- Mustaqeem? As you pointed out, it is the Holy Quran which will answer this question. Only pity is that how many of us have courage and wisdom to go against the self proclaimed leaders- the cult-resembling brain-washers of the Bohra community who discourage their followers for obvious reasons.
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What is Sirat-e-Mustaqeem?
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
We could not agree more with your beautiful and wise statement. You are absolutely right in stating that it is not a question of who is, and who is not on Siraat al Mustaqeem (Straight Path of Islam), but what is Siraat al Mustaqeem? And the Quran does indeed answer the question comprehensively.
The essence of the first Chapter of the Holy Quran is the dua or supplication we make to our Lord and Creator in verse 6: (O Allah) Show us the Straight Path (Siraat al Mustaqeem).
And in response, Allah has revealed the whole Quran for our guidance to show us exactly what is the Siraat al Mustaqeem, what are the trials and tribulations, and what honor and reward awaits those who follow the Straight Path.
Every muslim owes it to his Creator to read and understand the Message that was revealed for his guidance. If anyone deliberately does not want to understand the guidance, then he will be guilty in the Court of Allah. Allah will not accept the excuse that you believed so and so of the holy men and invoked them and did so many ‘ziyaarat’ to their graves! There is one way and one way only, to understand which is the Path acceptable to Allah; and that is to read the Holy Quran with understanding! Once you have read the Holy Quran with understanding, Allah puts so much courage and wisdom in your hearts, that all the things that look strong and formidable today, are powerless, compared to the strength of Allah.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 29 Surah Ankabut verses 41-43: The likeness of those who have taken other ‘awliyaas’ besides Allah, is the likeness of a spider which makes itself a dwelling. And the weakest of all dwellings is the dwelling of a spider. Would that these people had knowledge! Allah surely knows whomever they invoke instead of Him. He is the All Mighty, All Wise. These parables We cite for the instruction of people, but only those people understand them who have knowledge.
In the above parable of the spider, Allah reveals the strength of the people and the awliyaas they have taken instead of Him. The reality of the toy-house of expectations that they have built, on their faith in the powerless ‘awliyaas’ and the imaginary deities, is no more than the cobweb of the spider. Just as a cobweb cannot stand the slightest interference by the hand of man, so will the toy house of their expectations collapse in its first clash with the scheme of Allah. It is nothing but ignorance that they are involved in! Had they any knowledge of Allah, and of His Power and Sovereignty, they would never have built the systems of their life on baseless props. However strong and mighty the system of ‘shirk’ looks, it is absolutely nothing compared to the Power and Might of Allah.
The one who fears Allah Alone, fears nothing else in this universe. He knows that everything is in the control of Allah, and nobody can influence His decision. If Allah wills to support him, the whole world can get together, and they cannot stop it. If Allah wills to put him in any trial, there is absolutely no one who can remove this trial from him. Since everything is in the absolute Control and Power of Allah, then why should he fear anyone else?
But the one who does not fear Allah Alone, you will see, fears anything and everything else. He fears that doing this thing will bring him good luck, and doing that thing will bring him bad luck! He thinks that if he goes to this grave, his wish will be granted, and if he does not go to this grave his wish will never be granted. He thinks this ‘awliyaa’ can get this for me from Allah, and that person can get me that from Allah! He builds his system of life around superstitions and more superstitions, which are nothing but whims and conjectures! These superstitions do not have an iota of truth in them, but he lives his life in absolute fear of them!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imran verse 175: It was Shaitaan who was frightening the people with the fear of his ‘awliyaas’; therefore, in future, do not fear men, but fear Me (Allah), if you are true believers.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anam verses 81-82: And there is no reason why I should fear those beings you associate with Allah, when you are not afraid of setting up partners with Allah without any authority. Then tell me, which of the two parties merits peace and freedom from fear? It is those who believe and do not confuse their beliefs with wrong, that are truly in security, and they are the ones who are rightly guided.
Allah commands us to fear Him Alone, if we are indeed His true believers. All these other people, and their ‘awliyaas’ can all get together, but they cannot harm a believer in the least, who has put his trust in Allah.
Thus the first thing to do is read and understand the Holy Quran in its entirety and its context. It is extremely simple reading and contrary to the fears let loose by the self-proclaimed clergy and self-confessed holy men, the basic message can be understood very easily. There is no ambiguity and crookedness in the Holy Quran, and it explains everything in detail.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 16 Surah Nahl verse 89: We have sent down to you this Book, which makes everything plain, and is a guidance, blessing and good news to those who have surrendered themselves entirely.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 18 Surah Kahf verse 1-2: All praise is for Allah Alone, Who has sent down this Book to His Servant (Mohamed (saws), and assigned nothing crooked to it. This Book says everything directly, so that he may warn the people of the severe chastisement of Allah and give good news to the believers, who do righteous deeds, that they will have an excellent reward.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 99: We have sent down to you Revelations that clearly expound the Truth, and none but the disobedient reject them.
We owe it to ourselves to at least read the Holy Quran once in our lifetime with understanding. This is the syllabus prepared for us by Allah, of describes in detail what Pleases Allah, and what brings about the Wrath and Anger of Allah. We assume today that these clergy and holy men in crisp white clothes, are guiding us from the Holy Quran. But we believe with certainty that the Holy Quran are the very words of Allah, and a Book revealed for our guidance. Thus if we read it, it should be directly in tandem with the practices and ways of the leadership and its guidance!
But obviously, that is not the case! And thus, the Bohra leadership has always tried to keep its followers away from reading and understanding the Holy Quran. If their teachings were in line with the Quran, they should have absolutely no qualms and objections whatsoever in someone reading the Glorious Quran with understanding, as everything they do and propagate should be from the Quran! These people have no authority from Allah to conceal the Message revealed to us by our Creator.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Al-Baqarah verse 174: Indeed those, who conceal the commands that Allah has sent down in His Book and barter them away for paltry worldly gains, fill their bellies with fire. Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He regard them as pure and there is a painful torment for them!
Therefore, our fear should never be what will happen to us if we follow the Truth from the Quran, and how the clergy and community might react. Our fear should always be what are we going to do and what are we going to say to Allah on the Day of Qiyaamah. Just imagine the state of the people in the court of Allah, who believe, follow and obey the commands of their self-proclaimed holy men, without understanding the Holy Quran. When Allah will ask, “Did you follow my syllabus and Message that I revealed for your guidance?”, they will reply, “O Allah, we followed and obeyed so and so holy men!”. The only person we are commanded in the Quran to obey and follow without question is the Messenger of Allah (saws), and no one else. All the other scholars, leaders, aamils, raza na sahebs, bhaisahebs, dais, imams, etc. are names we have invented ourselves, and they have absolutely no authority from Allah. We cannot follow any of them unconditionally. The only person we follow unconditionally is the Messenger of Allah (saws), simply because Allah Himself states so in the Quran.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisa verse 79-80: We have sent you (O Mohamed) as a Messenger to mankind, and Allah’s witness suffices for this. Whoever obeys the Messenger, in fact obeys Allah, and whoever turns away from him, he will be accountable for his deeds. Anyhow, we have not sent you (O Mohamed) to be a guardian over them.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imran verse 31-32: Prophet, tell the people, “If you sincerely love Allah, follow me. Then Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, for He is All Forgiving, All Merciful.” Also say to them, “Obey Allah and His Messenger.” And if, in spite of this, they do not accept your invitation, warn them that Allah does not love those, who refuse to obey Him and His Messenger.
O Allah, help us, guide us, and forgive us our sins. O Allah, guide us to the Siraat al Mustaqeem. O Allah, help us and guide us to read and understand the clear message of the Holy Quran. O Allah, open our hearts to the understanding of the clear aayahs of the Glorious Quran. O Allah, have mercy on us, on our parents, and on our brothers and sisters in Islam. You are indeed the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy. You indeed are the All Powerful and All Mighty. Blessed and Glorified be Your Name. Glorified and far Exalted are You above all that they associate with You.
May Allah guide you and us all to the Siraat al-Mustaqeem
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,