Those of us who have believed that they are Muslims (Submitters to God) and practice Salat, ask God 17 times to guide them to the straight path: 1:6 – Ihdinaa al-siraat al-mustaqeem (guide us to the straight path) as well as expect His response to be guided to that path reciting an Arabic phrase during the return from bowing to standing, sami`a allahu liman hamidah (God responds whoever praises Him). But many of us may not be aware that what it does mean or what we should do to be guided to the straight path other than just reciting these 7 Arabic words in our 5 times daily Salat prayers. This review may help us to have its insight to realize whether our prayer is being responded by God and we are leaving this world with an assurance of recompense from Him being Salat is the prime source to nourish our souls.
Religion with God is Islam
There are many religions and religious faiths that are practiced all over the world but God has informed us in the Quran that Submission (Islam in Arabic) is a religion that belongs to Him and those who accept other than Islam will be losers in the Hereafter (3:19, 3:83 and 3:85). It was decreed for Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus including Muhammad (42:13). Thus, God has introduced religion for the people specifying their ways and means to worship Him alone and He has decreed Submission (Islam in Arabic) for all of us but we have divided His religion into many that we see, are practiced all over the world even though He warned us not to divide it:
[3:19] The religion with God is Submission, and those who received the scripture did not dispute except after the knowledge came to them out of jealousy between them. And whoever rejects God’s revelations, then God is swift in reckoning.
[3:83] Do they seek other than God’s religion while whatever in the heavens and the earth have submitted to Him willingly or unwillingly? And to Him they will be returned.
[3:85] And whoever seeks other than Submission as a religion, will not be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be with the losers.
[42:13] He decreed for you the religion what He decreed for Noah, and what we inspired to you (Muhammad), and what we decreed for Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: “You shall uphold the religion, and do not divide it.” Hard for the idolaters is that to which you call them. God chooses to Himself whomever He wills and He guides to Himself whoever turns.
Note: We may also reflect to the fact that Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus found in the verse, are mentioned 43, 69, 129 (out of 134 times excluding 5 not exactly reflecting to Moses being a messenger of God) and 25 times by name in the Quran respectively. If the occurrences of their names are added together, it is a multiple of 19 => 43 + 69 + 129 + 25 = 266 (19x14) is a physical proof that the religion given to Muhammad is the same religion what was given to them, i. e., Islam is the religion of all the people.
Requirements to be Muslim
God has clearly defined in the Quran who is a Muslim (Submitter to God) among the people so that we can confirm ourselves whether we are Muslims as well as to recognize and accept someone to be Muslim from around us based on the criteria given in the Quran (2:62, 5:69 & 22:17). However, it is a commitment and the first step to start the journey while the final destination can be reached through perfecting beliefs and practices as directed by Him without being lost.
[2:62] Surely, those who believed, those who were the Jews, the Christians, and the Sabians; whoever believed in God and in the Last Day, and did righteous works, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
[5:69] Surely, those who believed, those who were the Jews, the Sabians, and the Christians; whoever believed in God and in the Last Day, and did righteous works, then they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
[22:17] Surely, those who believed, those who were Jews, the Sabians, the Christians and the Zoroastrians, and those who were the polytheists, God is the One who will judge among them on the Day of Resurrection. God is witness over all things.
Note: The above verses explain that people are to fulfill three criteria: (1) believing in God, (2) in the Last Day, and (3) leading a righteous life to receive their recompense from their Lord irrespective of what they named themselves as a community while to do righteous works are clarified through sending scripture from time to time.
God guides to the straight path
God’s guidance is the true guidance (2:120, 6:71) and He guides those who seek His acceptance to the ways of the peace with the Quran to guide to the straight path bringing out them of the darkness into the light (5:16) as well as He has stated that the Quran is the straight path for us (6:126), which brings good news to the believers (17:9) and a reminder from our Lord to remand us to pay attention to it (21:2):
[2:120] Neither the Jews, nor the Christians, will accept you, unless you follow their religion. Say, “God’s guidance is the true guidance.” And if you follow their wishes after the knowledge that has come to you, there is neither a protector nor a helper for you against God.
[6:71] Say: “Shall we call on other than God what cannot benefit us or harm us, and we turn back on our heels after God has guided us?” Like the one whom the devils have enticed in the earth, is confused, he has friends who call him to the guidance: “Come to us!” Say, “God’s guidance is the true guidance. We are commanded to submit to the Lord of the universe.”
[5:16] God guides with it (Quran) whoever seeks His acceptance to the ways of peace; and He brings them out of the darkness into the light by His leave; and He guides them to a straight path.
[6:126] And this (Quran) is the straight path to your Lord. We have explained the revelations for a people who take heed.
[17:9] Indeed this, the Quran guides to that which is straight and gives good news to the believers who do the righteous deeds, that for them there is a great reward.
Note: The above straightforward verses confirm that God guides with the Quran, and whoever is truly guided by Him follows the Quran, which is the straight path to our Lord as well as brings us out of the darkness into the light.
[21:2] When a reminder comes to them from their Lord, is new, they listen to it paying no attention.
Note: God has confirmed the Quran to be a reminder of these people like the reminder that was sent down for the previous generations while the people listen to it paying no attention.
A small set of straightforward verses explains that God guides the believers to the straight path with the Quran, which can also be confirmed from mathematical coding of the Quran to strengthen our hearts. There are 3 distinct sets consisting each set with closely connected verses that belong to this small set of 13 verses in 10 surahs, If the relevant surah # and verse # are added, the sum is a multiple of 19 =>817 = 19 x 43 (See table below for details):
Note: This mathematical analysis confirms the relationship of Islam to be God’s religion, fulfilling of primary requirements to be a Muslim and the guidance of God with the Quran to the straight path.
There are many religions that are practiced all over the world, even there is definition of religion found in the knowledge base that a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects, which does not conform to the religion given by God. However, God has created us and has introduced religion for us to appreciate Him as well as to remember Him to develop our souls to get back to Him being redeemed. He has informed us in the Quran that Islam (Submission) is a religion that belongs to Him and those who accept other than Islam will not be acceptable to Him. Thus, Islam has been decreed for all the people as well as for all prophets and messengers sent with His message to guide the humanity to the straight path.
God has defined primary requirements to be a Muslim in the Quran. Now anyone can be a Muslim fulfilling those requirements and recognize others as Muslims from around based on those given criteria as well. However, it is the first step to start the journey and can be reached the final destination through perfecting beliefs and practices as directed by Him without being lost.
God’s guidance is the true guidance and He guides those who seek His acceptance to the ways of the peace with the Quran and leads to the straight path bringing out them of the darkness into the light. Thus, when we ask God to guide us to the straight path as well as expect His response to be guided mean that we must concentrate to make efforts to study, understand and follow the Quran to find the straight path by ourselves. Since this practice is not as easy as we think, God includes it in a rite, a prime source of nourishing our soul to remind ourselves to make it happen while we cannot achieve anything without His help has been explained in 13 straightforward verses of 10 surahs including a confirmation of it from mathematical coding of the Quran.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.