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The Right Way is Now Distinct from the Wrong

The Right Way is Now Distinct from the Wrong

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Published by Smple Trth

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Published by: Smple Trth on Aug 18, 2011
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03/02/2014

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The Right Way is Now DistinctFrom the Wrong Way
 
"...Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in God has grasped thestrongest bond; one that never breaks. God is Hearer, Omniscient." (2:256)
 
Today’s Muslims are faced with a great challenge as this is a time of turmoil, war,famine, and oppression. We either choose to submit our inward beings to the lawsand guidance of the Creator, or we will sooner or later be compromised or crushedby the tide of evil. At this point in history, we do not have the option of comfortable,uninvolved neutrality.
 
During the past centuries, the world of Islam has seen some of its adherents driftaway from its inner soul, God, leaving the door open for materialism, corruption,unquestioning adherence to tradition, blind nationalism, and the path on the left.Islam is a path which calls on us to prostrate not just our bodies, but our minds andsouls to the Lord of the Universe
.
"God Himself has witnessed that there is no god but He. And the angels and those endowed with knowledge also bear witness that there is no god but He,the absolute god, the All-Powerful, the All-Wise. In the sight of God, Islam(submission to the will of God) is the only right way of life..." (3:18-19)
And for the Muslim, the Holy Quran is God’s gift, His guidance and instructions given throughthe prophet Muhammad.
 
People can lead lives, which are a mixture between the ways of God and the ways of the downward path for quite a while. But there are only two directions, the pathtoward God, and the path away from God, and we will eventually be forced to makea decision to go one way or the other. One cannot go in both directions at the sametime.
 
The Path toward God
 
Islam in its pure form is a spiritual path, simple, challenging and effective. Walkingthis path with commitment brings certain fruits, including increasing compassion, self control, generosity of spirit, independent thinking, moral courage, respect for others,honesty, and the right use of resources. Islam is not in itself a political system,although political systems may proceed from it. It is not a set of cultural traditions,although cultural traditions may reflect it. It is not the possession of any social or ethnic group, or of any geographical area. Its originator and protector is the Lord of the universe, and human beings cannot own or control Him.
 
Faith in God and His guidance is not a matter of conformity with doctrine, rules,human law, or cultural norms. Over periods of time, the understanding of divinerevelation, and practice derived from it, tend to accrue large amounts of interpretation, speculation, and personal preferences, dimming the pure light of God’s guidance. Belief is the internal acknowledgment that we and everything elseare created by the One and dependent upon Him, and that obedience to God’s law islife.
 
The path opens up before us as we strive to overcome sins, and to practicerighteousness, prayer, charity, compassion, fairness to others, truth, honesty. Thesituations and events of our lives are lessons which, if we ask God’s guidance andhelp, can teach us and strengthen our characters. As we progress along the straight
 
path, we find that bad habits must be overcome and good ones cultivated, mistakesmust be corrected, challenges must be undertaken, sins repented of, relationshipsbuilt on a foundation of respect and truth. Doing that which is right requires constanteffort, righteousness does not come automatically with the recitation of 
Shahadah
or by being born into a righteous family. When we find we have done wrong, we repent,we acknowledge our responsibility and remorse to God, make amends to anyonewhom we have wronged, and relying on the help of God make a consistent anddetermined effort to avoid doing the wrong again. There is no forgiveness and nohelp when we have no intention of avoiding the wrong in the future, no matter howmany religious acts we perform.
 
The path can be steep and difficult, and can have many surprises and unexpectedhazards. But it also has great rewards, the ability to love and be loved, the deep andhealing gratitude of spirit when we behold the natural world; the mental, emotionaland spiritual strengths and abilities which can be placed at the service of God in theworld around us; the joy of learning. These things last. The diversions andpossessions of the material world do not last, and when pursued as ends inthemselves inevitably turn sour.
 
Our understanding of God, of creation, and our place and purpose in creation, mayhave many gaps and inaccuracies at the beginning of our journey to God. But wecan only start from where we are, and our understanding grows as we progressalong the path.
 
We have free will, and the fact that God knows everything in no way diminishes our freedom or the consequences which ensue from our use or misuse of it. Withoutfreedom there is no growth. Simply doing what we are told without thinking or deciding for ourselves makes us robots at best. To the extent that we willinglyrelinquish our free will to the control of others, to that extent are we answerable toGod for the misuse of His gift of freedom.
 
The Path Away From God
 
Like the straight path of God, the path away from God is a direction and not aninstant condition. One "progresses" along the evil path gradually and by degrees, byeach decision to do wrong or avoid doing good, by each willing action which violatesthe law of the Creator. The downward path leads to ruin of individual character, of family and social health, and ultimately to destruction of community and nation.Rejecting God’s path confines one’s soul in an ever-increasing cage of illusion,discord and degeneration, and one no longer has the ability to see his or her condition clearly. (6:122)
 
Moral corruption in a family breeds secrecy, distrust and betrayal, with themanipulation and control tending to replace respect, cooperation and mutualresponsibility. Corrupt societies rot and die, problems don’t get solved, they getshoved off onto others; the leaders are not the wisest or most competent, but thosewho succeed politically through alliances, force and intimidation, spies, self-servingcliques, propaganda, and "image-building." The efforts to preserve privilege, statusand power takes first priority, and collisions with reality are either not perceived intime, or not handled in a way which will avoid eventual disaster.
 
The absolute basic element of Islam is submission to God (41:6) and there is goodreason for that. Worship of anything or anybody else cuts us off from the Source assurely as flipping the light switch turns off the light. Our internal beings graduallywither like flowers deprived of water. Idol worship includes worshiping statues, spiritsof nature, other creatures, material property, human beings (including prophets and

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