Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Straight Path: Sirat al Mustaqeem

(٧) صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ (٦) اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ 

Here in this verse of the Quran, God mentions guidance and the Straight Path (Sirat al Mustaqeem), the path of those whom God is pleased with, not the path of those whom God is displeased with (غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ) and not on the path of those who are ‘Dhaaleen’ (ضَّالِّينَ), stone-hearted.

What displeases God? God is not displeased with sins; he likes the tears shed by the sinners when they repent. If you are weak in worship and austerities then you are a sinner. But there are some sins God forgives and there are some sins he does not forgive such as Shirk. Shirk is not a sin, it is to make enemies with God and according to a Hadith (Prophetic Tradition) God declares war against such people. People, who reject, blaspheme and trouble the Prophets and Friends of God, God is displeased with them and he curses them eternally in this world and hereafter and declares a war against such people (غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ).

Secondly, what is meant here by ‘Dhaaleen?’ To understand this further we can look at the following verse:

أَفَمَن شَرَحَ اللَّهُ صَدْرَهُ لِلْإِسْلَامِ فَهُوَ عَلَى نُورٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِ فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْقَاسِيَةِ قُلُوبُهُم مِّن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أُوْلَئِكَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ

‘Fawayl’ (فَوَيْلٌ) means destruction and ‘Qasiyati’ (قَاسِيَةِ) is derived from ‘Qast’ which means, stone-hearted in Arabic. Destruction is for those whose hearts have become stone-hearted for Dhikr Allah {Remembrance of God) and Dhikr Allah cannot enter their hearts. 

For such people the Quran said that the Dhikr Allah shall not penetrate into the stone-hearts and for them it is destruction. Everything including the devil will penetrate their hearts but not the name of God. 

It should be noted that those who take the word ‘Dhaal’ as misguidance and ‘Dhaaleen’ as misguided ones are mistaken. Here it refers to the hardness of the heart and the darkness of the heart. How can you be misguided when you haven’t even been initiated onto the path? You begin the path of Sirat al Mustaqeem when the heart becomes enlightened with Dhikr Allah and then if, for some reason you deviate off the Straight Path that would be misguidance. However, if you haven’t even started on the path, how then are you misguided? If you are one in whose heart the name of God does not penetrate then you cannot be guided because guidance is related to the heart (Qalb). 

According to the Quran you must have Emaan (faith) and then God shall provide guidance.

وَمَنْ يُؤْمِنْ بِاللَّهِ يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُ ۚ

Those who enlighten their hearts and become Momin, God shall provide guidance to their hearts. When God is providing guidance to the heart, how can that heart be misguided? First you must bring the name of God into your heart and enlighten the heart with the Divine Light of the name of God and then God shall render guidance to the enlightened heart.   

Those who rejected this knowledge of Spirituality became misguided and their emphasis was on the physical worship only. Previously it was difficult to know whether a heart was capable of absorbing the name of God. People would go to a Murshid-e-Kamil (Perfect Spiritual Guide) to get the invocation of the heart with the name of God and if their hearts were not capable then the Spiritual Guide would not grant them the initiation. The Guide would send such people away and tell them it was not in their destiny and therefore this knowledge was supressed. Fortunate are those who have come in the era of His Divine Eminence Imam Mehdi, Kalki Avatar and Messiah Gohar Shahi. The method of His Divine Eminence Gohar Shahi is incomparable! Even if Dhikr Allah is not written in one’s fate but he spends his life at the feet of the Lord, it is enough for his salvation. The Lord does not return anyone empty-handed.

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