What is the Straight Path?
In Arabic lexis, a path around which there are dangers is called Sirat. According to shariah the straight path is called Sirat-e-Mustaqeem. Indeed, this world is like a straight path around which Satan has set traps. And he makes every effort to misguide the descendants of Adam (as).
The Holy Prophet (pbuh) has explained the straight path as follows. It is related in Sunan ibn Majah that Jabir ibn Abdullah says:
We were with the Holy Prophet (pbuh), he drew a line on the ground. And then drew two more lines on left and right side of the previous line. He then put his finger on the middle line and said that this is the path to Allah.
It is related in Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal:
- The Holy Prophet (pbuh) put his finger on the middle line and said that this is the straight path. This is my path and the lines on the sides are paths of Satan. Try to avoid these paths.
Allah’s help and favour is required to travel the straight path and avoid satanic paths because man cannot travel this path on his own. However, it is up to him to wish for it. And this is what Allah commands.
اِہۡدِ نَا الصِّرَاطَ الۡمُسۡتَقِیۡمَ ۙ﴿۵﴾
- Show us the straight path. (1:5)
Who Does Allah Reward with Straight Path?
Allah also says: “Ask from me I will provide”. “The Almighty Allah grants this path to those who sincerely have a desire to walk on the straight path”. Allah said:
As those who strive hard for Our cause, We certainly guide them to Our ways and verily Allah blesses the men of spiritual excellence with His companionship. (29:69)
It is clear from this verse that Allah helps and fulfils the demands of those who strive. Now it is up to the person how intensely he desires something.
Ibn Arabi says:
The orders given to us by Allah are because of the requirement of our spiritual existence. Actually, we ourselves are our masters in Divine knowledge because knowledge is given to the knower by the Known. Whatever we demanded according to our capabilities, Allah the most munificent bestowed it. Whether it was poison or antidote, infidelity or Islam. Allah the most munificent keeps bestowing. We ourselves request and also order according to our capabilities. That is why Allah says: فَلِلّٰہِ الۡحُجَّۃُ الۡبَالِغَۃُ meaning “Only Allah’s is the irrefutable argument.” (6:149)
No one will be able to complain to Allah on the day of judgement. Allah will reveal the reality upon them that closeness and distance from Him is only according to their desire.
- Destiny has nothing in hand for man. He has what he looks for in the path of Allah and he finds it.
Allah blesses the people who travel the straight path with His help. These are the people who proved rewarded by gaining Divine closeness.
The Rewarded Group
The Quran mentions four rewarded groups:
And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (pbuh) are the people who will be in the company of those whom Allah has blessed with His favour: the Prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the most pious. (4:69)
The first group in this verse is the group of Prophets whom Allah rewards regardless. Because the chain of prophethood has ended at the Holy Prophet (pbuh), who are the people of guidance now? Who should we follow? They are the truthful, martyre and pious people whom Allah rewarded. Their path is Allah’s path. Hamid Saeed Kazmi calls these people as the perfect Saints. A perfect Saint has these three attributes:
A perfect Saint is honest and always says truth. His esoteric self is clean like a mirror because of the light of truthfulness. And he is at the level of inward verification.
Martyr is someone who sacrifices himself while travelling the straight path. And the person who dies while travelling it is also a martyr. A perfect Saint’s whole life is on the straight path. No matter how many obstacles are in his path, he never refrains from raising the voice of truth.
The Saints and Fakirs are righteous people and loving them is in fact loving Allah. Because their inwards are filled with Divine love.
It is in Mirat-ul-Arifeen:
- These are the people whose self has annihilated in the fire of love for Allah and the Holy Prophet (pbuh). They have reached their true reality i.e. the Mohammadan Reality. And now Mohammadan Light is their reality.
Saints and Fakirs and the Straight Path
Some people think the Saints’ and Fakirs’ path is different from that of Prophets and refuse to follow it whereas it is not the case.
Fakirs’ path is the same as Allah’s and His Prophet (pbuh)’s and the Holy Quran has ordered to follow it. Allah says:
- O believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (pbuh) and those who hold command amongst you. (4:59)
In this verse, “Those who hold command amongst you” are the Fakirs whose obedience is in fact the Holy Prophet (pbuh)’s obedience and his obedience is in fact Allah’s obedience. These Fakirs are vicegerents of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Their obedience is compulsory.
- It is related from Abu Hurairah (ra) that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: “Know! There will be no Prophet after me” the Holy Companions asked O prophet! Then who will guide the mankind? The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said “My spiritual successors will guide and then their spiritual successors will guide. So whomever you find on the true path, pledge allegiance to him and fulfil it. And if you find anyone has strayed from the true path, fulfil their right upon you and ask Allah for yours.
- As Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is not physically present for you to follow so when you follow the sacred men who are his perfect followers and have always obeyed him steadfastly, it is as if you have followed the Prophet (pbuh). Seeing them is like seeing him. (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani, Section-14)
Whoever wants to traverse the straight path should attach themselves to the Fakirs and perfect Saints and follow their path. The path of these rewarded people is the straight path.
Allah’s True Reward for the Straight Path
Many people misunderstand and think that money, offspring, health, fame, etc. are the rewards of Allah but this is not true. These are all just Allah’s kindness for His creation. Allah provides these blessing to even those who do not believe in Him or commit polytheism.
His true reward is Divine gnosis, closeness and vision. This special reward is for the people who love Allah, whose inwards are filled with Divine light, on whom Allah’s beauty has spread and they have reached the level of immortality with Allah and annihilation in Allah by annihilating their self. They are the people about whom it is said that if you see them you see Allah, if you feed them you feed Allah and whoever sat beside them sat beside Allah. These are the people who light up inwards, none of their breaths is without Allah’s remembrance. This is the rope Allah has said to grasp.
It is important to associate with the perfect spiritual guide to walk the straight path. The straight path is the path of Divine gnosis and closeness which is accomplished through the Fakirs. Finding the perfect spiritual guide is actually help from Allah.
اندرین عالم نیرزی باخسے
تا نی آویزی بہ دامانِ کسے
Explanation: You do not have any worth in this world unless you associate yourself with the perfect spiritual guide.
Following the perfect spiritual guide guarantees forgiveness because travelling any path without the guide is traveling in error. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is present today as the perfect spiritual guide of this era. Whoever wants to travel the straight path should know that no other way is correct. He grants Ism-e-Allah Zaat daily without allegiance and austerity and hard work. It is an open invitation to everyone to come and associate themselves with him and become a part of the rewarded group. May Allah help us travel the straight path. Ameen.
Q.1 What is the straight path?
Ans. The straight path is the path of Divine gnosis and closeness which is reached through the Fakirs.
Q.2 Who can help travel the straight path?
Ans. It is important to associate with the perfect spiritual guide to walk the straight path. Finding the perfect spiritual guide is actually help from Allah. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is present today as the perfect spiritual guide of this era.
This blog is English translation of an Urdu article of the magazine “Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore” for the month of February, 2022. The title of the Urdu article is:
Sirat e Mustaqeem ksy kehte hain? (صراط مستقیم کسے کہتے ہیں؟ ).
Originally penned by Faqiha Sabir Sarwari Qadri from Lahore is presently in English by Mohammad Bin Moghees Sarwari Qadri, exclusively for websites.