The Straight Path is the path of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
The path to recovery is the path that the Prophet, pbuh, took as he showed us how to live and how to find our way in life. If we choose not to follow his lead, then we will live in regret in both this life and the next;
“And remember the Day when the one who has strayed will bite at his hands, he will say: “Oh! If only I had taken the path of the Messenger! Ah woe to me! If only I had never taken so-and-so as a friend! He really did lead me astray from the Reminder (this Qur’an) after it had come to me. And shaitan is to man a deserter in the hour of need” (25:27-29)
The path of the Messenger
Everyone needs a role model. If we want to achieve sobriety, give up sins, please Allah and make it to Paradise, then who better to be our hero other than the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him? The early companions, many who were in the state of sinfulness prior to becoming Muslim, tried to be just like him. They copied his ways, his manners, his speech. In doing this, they were able to change and shape their behaviours and characters. They began to communicate differently with the people around them, relationships improved and they became contented with having an anchor that would keep them firm. They realised that had new goals in life, and their aim was to use this life to get to Paradise. They knew that anything opposite to what the Prophet, pbuh, would have done, would take them away from the Straight Path to Allah. They befriended like-minded people. As Allah says in the Verse above, people who choose friends that are astray will deeply regret this on the Day of Judgement. They will bite at their hands in regret what’s sad is, they won’t even remember the name of that person they thought was their friend.
We make this statement every day in our prayers, but how much do we really mean it? We say we believe in him, we acknowledge his historical existence but how much do we try to be like him? Allah tells us in other places in the Qur’an that if we truly love Allah, we would follow the Prophet, pbuh, because this is the best way to show our love to Allah. Allah sent this messenger to show us how to live in this world, yet many of us fail to follow the example. As we embrace recovery, if we strive to emulate him in all our actions we would never relapse again. So ask ourselves this; how hard are we trying to be just like Muhammad? Allah tells us what the Prophet Muhammad will say on the Day of Judgement;
“And the Messenger will say; “Oh my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Qur’an” (25:30)
The way of the Prophet, pbuh, is the way of the Qur’an
He, peace be upon him, was a walking, talking Qur’an. Everything he did was as a result of the direct guidance from Allah. This is why Allah tells us in many places in The Qur’an that if we want to be successful, we must follow the Prophet’s way. These Verses appear in Surah al-Furqan, which means the criterion between right and wrong. This is our manual for life that will help steer us in the right direction and help us not to stray from The Path.
The alternative path?
If we do not follow the Prophet, peace be upon him, then what are we following? Every time we stray from The Straight Path, then we are following one of three things;
- The path of those who have gone astray – we won’t even remember their names!
- The path of the Shayateen – They will abandon us on The Last Day
- Our own lusts and desires – We will never satisfy them, always wanting more
“Have you seen him who has taken as his gods his own lusts and desires?” (25:43)
In this Verse, Allah is stating that when we obey our desires we are committing shirk (associating partners with Allah) because we are disobeying Allah in favour of our own self. This is a heavy sin. We find ourselves in a state where we just keep giving in to our desires and Allah describes this as being worse than animals, who even have some control
“Or do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are only like cattle – No! They are even farther astray from the Path than cattle”. (25:44)
Cattle don’t think for themselves. Cattle just follow the crowd and don’t look where they are heading. They just follow without any thought processes. In addiction, we rarely stopped to think where we were heading. Sometimes, people tried to advise us, but we would not listen or try to understand, just as Allah states in the Verse above. Recovery is all about thinking things through.
Think before we act! What would Allah like? What would the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, do if he was here? Put these two thoughts before any action and you will never stray far from The Straight Path of Allah.
Narrated Abu Musa:
The Prophet,pbuh, said, “My example and the example of what I have been sent with is that of a man who came to some people and said, ‘O people! I have seen the enemy’s army with my own eyes, and I am the naked warner; so protect yourselves!’ Then a group of his people obeyed him and fled at night proceeding stealthily till they were safe, while another group of them disbelieved him and stayed at their places till morning when the army came upon them, and killed and ruined them completely So this is the example of that person who obeys me and follows what I have brought (the Quran and the Sunna), and the example of the one who disobeys me and disbelieves the truth I have brought.” (Bukhari,Book 9, Volume 92 Hadith 387)