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On the Ordeal of Changing Oneself to the Better
Fatwas Part Ninety-Three
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Historic roots of Wahabism
New branch of the International Quranic Center
Fatwas: Part Seven
Abraham, the First Muslim
It is the phrase in the Opening Sura
"Ihdena al siraat al moustaqeem"

                       "Ihdena al siraat al moustaqeem"

It is the phrase in the Opening Sura (or chapter) in the Qor-aan on which that sura seems to evolve. It is the Arabic statement which is repeated by every Muslim, at any occasion, and for any reason. Yet, do Muslims really understand its meaning?


Ask any Qor-aan literate person, or any man in the street, if they can tell you what that phrase really means. The answer quite often comes back, with a shrug of the shoulder, as if to say 'it's simple' and goes something like: 'You are asking God to show you the straight path or road.' Some more thoughtful people would say something along the line that one is imploring God to show one the right road to His religion. Translators of the Qor-aan like to write: 'Guide us to the straight path'; or 'Show us the straight way'; or 'Guide Thou us on the straight path'; or something similar.


But, if you stop to think more deeply into these three Arabic words, you start asking yourself: am I lost to ask for guidance? What is the 'right' path? How do I find the right path? How do I know that such a path is the right path? Or the straight path, a straight path could also lead to Hell? How do I know that I am on the wrong path? I have been very consistent and truthful about my practice of the religion, I fast regularly the month of Ramadhaan, I have been to Haj more than once, I pray faithfully five times every day, I pay alms regularly, I try to be honest, truthful and fair … and yet I still ask God to show me the right path! I have been asking Him for the last fifty years or more, and I am getting very close to the end of my road here on earth … but I still ask for the right path! Am I ever going to find it?


As any good Muslim, you should be able to find your answers in the Qor-aan. Let us see what does it say in this regard.
But before we delve into this question, let us review again a story we heard many times before. It is the story of Adam and his spouse in Paradise. The Qor-aan relates how God created Adam from baked clay, and asked the Angels to bow down to His creation whereupon He emits His spirit into the creation and pronounce it alive. Very dutifully, all the Angels bowed down except one whose name is Iblees. God asked Iblees why he refused to bow down as was ordered? Iblees said "I am superior to him;You had created me from fire-energy, while You created Adam from clay-mud.". God then said, "Get down out of here! You have no right to be haughty here. Get out! You are an abject creature."


Iblees, who was called from then on Satan (Arabic Shaitaan), did not leave the place before he swore to his Lord that he will interdict Adam's descendents, steer them away from God's 'siraat al moustaqeem' ! Those are very powerful words. Satan has promised his Lord that he will intervene between us and God's doctrine to us! He will do so, so that we will not win God's favour. Satan vowed that he will attack us from all directions, and by every mean, to make sure we are diverted away from the True-and-Upright Course given to us by God.


Iblees, who was called from then on Satan (Arabic Shaitaan), did not leave the place before he swore to his Lord that he will interdict Adam's descendents, steer them away from God's 'siraat al moustaqeem' ! Those are very powerful words. Satan has promised his Lord that he will intervene between us and God's doctrine to us! He will do so, so that we will not win God's favour. Satan vowed that he will attack us from all directions, and by every mean, to make sure we are diverted away from the True-and-Upright Course given to us by God.

So, what is the True-and-Upright Course of God? God says in the Qor-aan about the Qor-aan: "This is My True-and-Upright Course. Follow it (153)" (chap. 55 al-Anaam,. "And this is your Lord's True-and-Upright course, in which We have detailed clearly the verses for those who remember (126)". And God assured Mohammad that he is guiding his people to a true-and-upright course. (Al Shora chap62, verse 52.) This was repeated again in chap. 74 al-Mouminoon, verse73. There is absolutely no doubt that God's true-and-upright course is the Qor-aan. The teachings or the doctrine of the Qor-aan have NOT changed from Adam to Noah to Abraham to Moses and to Mohammad.


Satan had mislead Adam and his spouse once before. God had told Adam and his spouse to enjoy everything in Paradise, but not to partake of a certain tree. Satan whispered to them: God wants you to stay here for ever like the Angels …but there is a better way to live for ever, and that is by having descendents, and you can eat and play to your hearts' content. They believed him and did eat of the tree; thus following Satan's way not God's way. Adam and his spouse were then very apologetic; they recognized their mistake, and asked God to forgive them. But God said that there is no 'existence by sex' in here, you go down to earth to do that. BUT, if you follow My true-and-upright course in your life on earth, I will let you back in.


So, there it is. We do have one, and only one more chance to win back eternal life in Paradise if we follow God's True-and-Upright course as set in the Qor-aan, and not listen to Satan. Further, the word 'ihdena' does not mean in this context to guide us. We are not lost. We know where we are. This term means "prompt us to chose" the right course. And we know that course as well. It is in our hands. What we need of God to make us take the right choice, not like what Adam and his spouse did. You see, by taking the trueand-upright course, you simply CAN NOT take other courses such as the hadeeth at the same time! This is what we pray for.

Remember, Satan comes to us by way of Boukhary and his ilk. He plays up the 'hadeeth' in so many different ways to set us away from the Qor-aan, just as he had promised. He is very successful so far. For example, look at how many people wash the way Boukhary says not what the Qor-aan says. May be 99.9% of 'Muslims'. "Woodoo" )), washing before we pray, is not an Arabic word. It is an old Persian term, the language of Boukhary who used it first.


Talk that the Qor-aan is not very clear, it is short on details, could not be understood without the help and explanations of the Prophet's relatives (ahl al albeit), the Qur’an contradicts itself …this is all Satan talking. Do not listen to such talk. Just try on your own to understand the Qur’an, and try again and again, eventually, God willing, He will clarify it for you as He promised. (sura al-Quiyamah 31 verses 18 and 19) It is His true-and-upright doctrine. Any other religious doctrine is Satan's.


The Qur’an’s way is not simply straight. 'moustaqeem' but rather from the Arabic root ) ) or upright. What use is the Qur’an if we can not understand it? The Qor-aan was not sent to the sheikh or imam or mullah or whatever to explain. It was sent to us all. The sheikh and mulla and imams …etc do well as comic actors: what with their white, black, green, red… turbins, and their long flowing robes, and the beards of all shapes and sizes … and don't forget the 'hijaab'. One does not find this funny appearances described in the Qor-aan, but will find it in Boukhary hadeeth. Study the Qor-aan on your own, you will get better insights. Use an Arabic dictionary, but not books of 'tafseer' to help you.

Incidentally, NEVER say amen, or aameen, or whatever. This is not an Arabic word. The Qor-aan did provide us with a beautiful term: In shaa rab al-aalameen . , or in shaa allah . This is God's way, a better way.

Note:
The sura numbers are arranged chronologically not as traditionally written


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