The Road

    Everybody's Journey

    The Road

    The world is a place of transition, full of examples. Be pilgrims therein, and take warning from the traces of those that have gone before. [6]

    To understand the Road, we must know first of all where we come from and where we’re going. The straightest path will be literally the clearest and the most direct way with the least danger. The answer to this has been explained in the Qur’an:

    Verily! We all come from God, and to Him we are returning. [7]

    This is the journey – the journey of life. It is our past, present and the future.

    What is the past for us? The past is that God began our history with Adam our forefather, the first man created. God Almighty then ordered all those Angels and Spirits (genii) who were present to bow before Adam. Iblis, who was a devoted spirit (jinn) – not an angel – refused to bow. So he was expelled from God’s presence. Iblis then became the Shaytan (Satan), which literally means “to be cast out”. So Shaytan became the clear enemy to man from the first day. In the Garden in which God then placed Adam and Hawwa’ (Eve), Shaytan tempted man to disobey. This was the first sin. Then Adam fell from grace because of that incident and this was to be a lesson for all humanity. This is our past.

    Ever since the fall from the Garden, Satan has been permanently trying to mislead man. This is our present.

    What is the future? The future is that everyone will finally be judged. There will be a Day of Account for everyone, and no one will be absent from that final day, from Adam, peace be upon him, to the last man, everyone will be gathered. And then they will either return to the Jannah (The Garden), or they will go to Jahannam, to the Fire. Those are the two ends awaiting after Judgement by God.

    So the lesson which we learn from this is that Shaytan is continuously trying to divert us; to stop us from arriving safely back to the Garden. The Straight Path back is clear. It is, in fact, to follow God’s guidance and not to veer away from it.

    Today people say, “Oh, the rules of religion are too many, there are too many things you can’t do. So much we have to give up.” But essentially, it’s just as simple as the first command which was given to Adam which is – listen to God and don’t listen to Shaytan.

    In another verse in the Qur’an, it makes it even simpler; it explains what the Straight Path in essence is.

    Did I not enjoin on you, O ye children of Adam that ye should not serve Shaytan for that he was to you a clear enemy? And that ye should serve Me, for that this is a straight way? [8]

    One of the benefits of a well trodden Road is its ability to keep people within its boundaries; to stop people from veering off and keep them guided towards their final destination. The steps along the Straight path are our actions.

    God has told us what basic steps are necessary, preparing our souls in this transitory world for the life to come and training us in daily life to keep on the straight and narrow, till we reach the end of our voyage.

    Good deeds are the best provisions for the journey and there are many we can do. Such as prayer, charity, speaking the truth, kindness to parents, being patient, refusing to engage in sex outside of marriage, good neighbourliness, keeping one’s promises and so on. These are the signs of guided, God-conscious souls.

    It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards East and West; but righteous is he who believes in God and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets; and gives [of] his wealth, for the love of Him, to family and to the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and those who ask, and [to] set slaves free; and be regular in prayer and giving charity (zakat); and those who keep their promise when they make one and are patient when misfortune and adversity befalls, during times of stress; such are the sincere. Such are the God-conscious (muttaqeen). [9]

    This is what the Qur’an says about the pre-destined event:

    Behold, thy Lord said to the angels, ‘I am about to create man from sounding clay, from mud moulded. When I have fashioned him in due proportion and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down [bowing] before him.’ So the angels bowed themselves, all of them together. Not so Iblis. He refused to be among those who prostrated.
    God said, ‘O Iblis! What is your reason for not being among those who prostrated?’
    Iblis said, ‘I am not one to prostrate myself to man whom Thou didst create from sounding clay, from mud moulded.’
    God said, ‘Then get ye out from here for Thou art rejected, accursed. And the Curse shall be on thee until the Day of Judgement.’
    Iblis said, ‘O my Lord, give me respite then until the day the dead are raised.’
    God said, ‘Respite is granted thee-Until the day of the time appointed.’
    Iblis said, ‘O my Lord, because Thou hast put me in the wrong, I will make wrong fair-seeming to them on the earth. I will put them all in the wrong except Thy servants among them, sincere and devoted.’
    God said, ‘This way of My sincere servants is indeed a way that leads straight to Me. For over My servants no authority shalt thou have except as such as put themselves in the wrong and follow thee.’ [10]

    6 Jesus Christ
    7 The Qur’an, Al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2:156
    8 The Qur’an, Yasin 36:60-61
    9 The Qur’an, Al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2:177
    10 The Qur’an, Al-Hijr 15:28-42