One of the first ayahs of the Holy Quran is that mentioned above of asking Allah to guide us to the straight path. The immediately next verse that follows is that of guiding us to that path that Allah has prescribed for us and saving us from going astray and in turn getting His anger. Such is the importance of following the straight way in the Quran.
When we recite our salah we often pray in the end to Allah to guide us to the right path. But what does the right path mean? When Allah tells us to go to the straight way He means to worship Him and only Him, not to associate a second being with Him and living according to the commandments of the Quran. And how do we accomplish this? We get this by praying to Allah to give us the strength to go the right path in this world full of evil which is bound to take us astray. But Allah has again and again reminded us to follow the path of righteousness. This is not for the benefit of Allah but for our own advantage. Listening to the commandment o f the Quran will only help us secure a place in Jannah and Allah wants to give that to us indeed.
Apart from absolutely saying NO to shirk, we are also required by Allah to do good deeds in the world. Some evils like backbiting, killing, stealing, adultery and fornication are mentioned directly in the Quran as acts that one has to shun in order to go on the straight way. The right way includes all the five commandments prescribed by Allah; believing in the Oneness of Allah, Salah, Ramadan and Hajj.
Taking this path of righteousness automatically comes to a person if he wills to make a change. Allah has said in the Quran: “And as for those who have attained to faith in God and hold fast unto Him – He will enfold them within His grace and bounty, and guide them unto Himself by a straight way.” (4:175)
As humans we are, however, prone to mistakes and Allah knows that. That is why together with telling us to go on the straight path, He in his mercy also tells us that there is forgiveness for us no matter how big the sin we have committed. There is a tradition that Allah said to the Holy Prophet (PBUH)”And whoever comes to Me walking, I will go to him running. And whoever faces Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, I will meet him with forgiveness nearly as great as that.”
Let’s all walk towards the path of Allah then. Seek the light. Seek forgiveness. Indeed the walk to Allah is the straight way.