What does Sirat-al mustaqim mean?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The straight path means the true path.

There have been descriptions such as moderate way free from all sorts of extremes, straightforward path, smooth way, or justice for the straight path. The revealed Quran describes this way as

"The Way of Allah, to Whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth. Behold (how) all affairs tend towards Allah!" (Ash-Shura: 53), and

"The way of the prophets (who teach), the Sincere (lovers of Truth), the martyrs, and the Righteous (who do good)" (An-Nisa: Women: 69).

A believer recites the Chapter of al-Fatiha during all rak’ahs (units) of prayers and asks for guidance to the straight way from his Lord. We want to spend all our lifetime in a straight line in this worldly life, that is, to pass the Sirat here, by wishing our guidance to the straight path from our Creator. It is really difficult for us to keep all our works, words and states in the straight line in this world. However, unless we complete this hard and sharp path without going to extremes, it will be impossible to cross the Sirat (the bridge over Hell, which must be crossed to enter Paradise on the Day of Judgment).

Sirat is located over Hell. The front of all our deeds is like Paradise and the underneath is like Hell. Whatever deed we commit without intending the consent of Allah, we will commit sins and disobey Allah. They are all harbingers of Hell in this world.

The way to happiness in this world depends on the straight path. It will not be possible for us to get happiness unless our body with its all organs and our heart with its whole senses are on the straight path. Our eyes should be neither near-sighted nor far-sighted. Our blood pressure should be neither high nor low. The electric current of the mechanism that makes our brain work should be neither low nor high. Our heart should beat within certain ranges. Our body temperature should be moderate.

Another definition of the straight path is to prefer the moderate way which is far from all sorts of extremes in ethics.

Generosity is a part of social ethics. The person who is neither extravagant nor stingy has got this part of ethics. Justice is another good character. Man should neither tyrannize nor be too weak to seek his rights and cause others to become oppressors.

The primary form of having high ethics is tawakkul (complete trust in Allah). Man who applies to the causes and shows consent to the results in the end, understands the essence of tawakkul and is on the straight path.

If a believer prays, Oh my Lord! Lead us to the straight path, he demands from his Creator to live all aspects of the true path. And he includes all believers in his prayer.

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