In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
And that you should serve Me; this is the right way. And certainly he led astray numerous people from among you. What! could you not then understand? (36:61-62)
The Straight Path is that for which we, at least ten times daily, pray: O God! Guide us on the Straight Path. The path, which is the shortest way to the neighborhood of Muhammad (‘s), not the bye lanes which are curved and deviating, so that we may not stray from our true aim. The road is so much deviated that it does not lead to paradise and even if it does it will be only after suffering and suspension for thousands of years in Barzakh and Qiyamat.
What is the Right Path? God Himself says:
And that you should serve Me; this is the right way.
It is the worship of Only One God (Monotheism), without in any way, worshipping the Satan or passions. Thus this is the Right Path.
Of course there is an important point in Monotheism. It is that one should be a God worshipper from every angle and in every aspect. It must never be sometimes God-worship and sometime devil-worship (worshipping anyone except God).
Today in the Holy month of Ramadan we worship God, but tomorrow we tread the path of Satan. It shouldn’t be that when you are negligent in Prayer, you follow the advice of Satan and fall out of the Right Path.
And most surely those who do not believe in the hereafter are deviating from the way. (23:74)
When you indulge in sin you have left the Path of God and proceeded on the way of Satan.
Of course this Path is a spiritual thing, which cannot be touched or felt physically. O the fasting believers! O the praying ones! If, God forbid, there is no purity of intention there is no monotheism. You would be a polytheist and a hypocrite. It has nothing to do with God. Or if there is one who is conceited and who imagines that he has done an extraordinary thing; for example, he is irked at some delay in food being served.
You should know that it is nothing. There is no obligation. It is God Who grants and accepts. What are you and I? He gives a great reward of such little deeds. Who are we? How can our deeds become noteworthy? It is like “getting the locust’s leg for king Solomon” Multiply it a million times!
So the Right Path is the worship of Only One God. It is giving up of sins and fulfilling obligatory matters.
Then, putting emphasis, He says:
And certainly he led astray numerous people from among you. What! could you not then understand? (36:62)
Man is endowed with intellect to benefit from admonition and to be warned. Animals have no intelligence and hence no duty is enjoined on them. It is man who must take a lesson. Thus Allah says how many people are there who are misled by Satan and destroyed by the devil. Have you no sense to understand this?
It is very strange; nowadays everyone is running after money and they think that honor lies in wealth. O wealth worshippers! O you who are running on the path of Satan! Qaroon was richer than you all. No richness can ever reach the level of Qaroon. By the knowledge of Alchemy, which he got from Prophet Moses (‘a), he gathered so much gold and silver that, in the words of the Holy Quran: He became so wealthy that a number of porters carried the keys of his treasures with difficulty.
Surely Qaroon was of the people of Musa, but he rebelled against them, and We had given him of the treasures, so much so that his hoards of wealth would certainly weigh down a company of men possessed of great strength. (28:76)
When the keys of his treasures were so heavy, what would have been the extent of his riches!
O rich gentlemen! However wealthy you may be, you cannot reach the level of Qaroon, but look at his end. According to a narration, first his wealth sank in the ground before his eyes and thereafter he himself also sank.
Thus We made the earth to swallow up him and his abode… (28:81)
How many millionaires have you seen in your life? What happened to their riches amounting to billions when they died? The wealthy fellow went away empty handed. Take lesson. Also look at the grave of that unlucky fellow who gathered money through usury.
O young man! Your eye fell on a strange woman and you were attracted. Just see where the followers of lust reached and what happened to them? How they fell in the traps of Satan?
A wise man should always beware of the satanic traps. O learned gentleman and O ignorant student! Look and deliberate what calamity befell such people.
…so his parable is as the parable of the dog; if you attack him he lolls out his tongue; and if you leave him alone he lolls out his tongue; this is the parable of the people who reject Our communications; therefore relate the narrative that they may reflect. (7:176)
Will you not take a lesson? Will you not be warned?
The author of Muntakhabut Tawarikh writes that, in Kerbala, there was a perfumer who was famous for his piety and fear of God. When he fell ill and his illness prolonged, a friend went to see him and found that nothing remained in his house and everything was sold out. A straw mat, which used to remain under his feet, was now serving as his pillow.
The businessman had come down in such a condition. Meanwhile his son came and said, “O father! Today we have no money to purchase your medicines.” The sick man removed the mat from under his head and, giving it to his son, said, “Sell this also and let us see whether I recover or not.”
The visitor asked, “What is all this?” The sick man replied, “In Kerbala, I was an agent of a limejuice company of Shiraz. I was importing limejuice and selling it profitably. Once, Kerbala was caught in a widespread typhoid fever and doctors announced that lemon water was the best remedy for it.
On the first day, I did nothing. On the second, I told myself, ‘Why should I sell limejuice so cheap when there are so many buyers?’ So I doubled and then multiplied its price and the people were forced to purchase it.
Seeing the shortage of limejuice I thought that all the stocks would be sold out even at that high price. So I added water to it and also prepared artificial limejuice. In this way, I gathered a lot of money, but after sometime, thereafter, I fell ill and became bedridden. For my treatment, I had to spend all I had earned from limejuice business. You can see that now the only straw mat I had, is also gone. Let us see if I can recover from my illness after this.”
…most surely there is a lesson in this for those who have sight. (24:44)
It is not that this is only by way of punishment. Sometimes a slight punishment is given so that others may take lesson; otherwise the real chastisement is after death. Just think how many are destroyed in the path of passions? O dear youth! You should control your eyes right from the start.
Say to the believing men that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; surely Allah is Aware of what they do. (24:30)
If you look at an unrelated woman, you have fallen on the path of Satan. Then if you continue to gaze and fall in lust, where will you reach? In the beginning, it may appear light, but thereafter it will become very heavy.
First of all, why do you look there? In case it is by chance, then why do you continue to stare?
Look at the events being reported in daily newspapers. This is the result of following Satan in this world.
On that day We will set a seal upon their mouths, and their hands shall speak to Us, and their feet shall bear witness of what they earned. (36:65)
Habits are carried to the grave and Qiyamat. The verse says that today is the day when We will close the mouths and their hands will talk to Us and their legs will testify what they had done.
Let me tell you a word of wisdom: Whatever habit a man forms in this world it remains with him forever. It means that he is like that in grave or Barzakh and also in Qiyamat (Hereafter).
The habit does not leave him. If one were habituated to foul language, one would always remain foul mouthed. When his eyes fall on the angel of death in his last moment, he will use bad language with him also and he would even abuse the angels. He would also be like that in the hell tomorrow.
If you have the habit of saying Bismillah before starting anything, tomorrow on the Day of Judgment, when your Scroll of Deeds is presented to you, you will say Bismillah, as was your habit in the world, and all your sins would be erased. You will ask, “What happened?” A voice will say, “O My servant! You called me by the Name of Beneficent and Merciful; so We also dealt with you mercifully.” This is mentioned in a tradition also.1
So if one’s nature had been to refute the Truth, which was merely a claim, this habit will also not leave him. Here (in the Hereafter) also he will say, “I am telling the truth and I am pious”, a hollow claim it would be. Or, for example, he owed something to somebody but never intended to return it so he would deny it flatly.
A liar will similarly take that habit to Barzakh and Qiyamat. When his Scroll of Deeds is given to him he at once says, “There is some mistake, when did I commit this sin?” Therefore, God had solved the problem beforehand; He seals the lying tongues.
It is not so with a believer who himself would confess everything. He does not require the sealing of his tongue. He himself submits and bows his head. Woe unto the blatant liars and that too before the Almighty Lord!
Allah says, “Today, We seal the mouths. No one can refute the truth.” Hands and feet are mentioned by way of examples; all the organs will testify what had been done using them. This is mentioned in several places in the Holy Quran.
And they shall say to their skins: Why have you borne witness against us? They shall say: Allah Who makes everything speak has made us speak, and He created you at first, and to Him you shall be brought back. (41:21)
When the parts of his body and his organs testify, what will the poor fellow do? Some have said that this witnessing will be for manifesting the sins. But how will it be done? Only He knows better. The sinners will ask their organs, “How are you able to speak and testify against us?” They will say, “We do not have any authority of our own. God made us speak.”
Fortunate is one who turns towards God here in this world himself before he is made to stand before his Lord in His Supreme Court. The fortunate one becomes humble and lowly before his Lord and confesses about his sins. He himself says, “O Lord! I was a bad servant.”
He begs for pardon and makes no excuses. So now is the time that the eyes should shed tears, the tongue must seek pardon, for it will not remain in your mouth. The breathing will also not remain forever with you. You must repent just now, before your tongue is not able to say anything.
If a runaway slave comes back himself, puts down his head at the feet of his master and seeks pardon, what will his master do? What about the other slave who is caught by the master and brought back in chains? He deserves to be punished. What will the Lord do with him? All these are divine affairs.
Doors of the House of God are always wide open. But sometimes respite is given. Except in this Holy month (of Ramadan), there are some conditions. He must come with a pious intention and sincerity. But in this Holy month, conditions are less. All are welcome. Appreciate the value of this month, which is about to end. This is the month of pardon.
Though forgiveness of God is ever available, in this Holy month, this great guesthouse is open for everyone, whosoever one may be; even if one is liable to punishment (not fit for forgiveness). Yet, due to the holiness of Ramadan, everyone is welcome. Those worthy of hellfire are also forgiven, as mentioned in the Prophet’s sermon of Shabania.