Almost everyone has his own rights and wrongs. The criteria used to determine these rights and wrongs differ greatly. A book, a person, a politician, or, at times, a philosopher may well be the guide in life for a person. However, the right path, which is the only path that leads to salvation, is the religion which God has chosen. In this path, the unique goal is to earn the pleasure, mercy and paradise of God. Other paths, no matter how attractive they may seem, are deceptive and lead to ruin, hopelessness, unhappiness and painful punishment both in this world and in the hereafter (unless God wills otherwise).
Those who are guided to the straight path are a secret revealed in the Qur'an. They are the servants God has guided to His straight path and who earn His paradise.
BELEIVING WITH CERTAINLY
Before all else, one needs to have faith in order to be guided to the straight path. If one believes that the only possessor and creator of the heavens and the earth and everything in between is God, and is certain that the reason of his existence in the world is to be the servant of God, and seeks to earn God's contentment all through his life, God guides him to the straight path. Faith in God, in the hereafter and the Qur'an should be a resolute and certain faith. Although some people say that they are believers, they may have doubts. When they are together with disbelievers and remain under their influence, such people are likely to display weaknesses and assume a hostile attitude against God and His religion. However, those God guides to the straight path have a resolute and unwavering faith:
And so that those who have been given knowledge will know it is the truth from their Lord and believe in it and their hearts will be humbled to Him. God guides those who believe to a straight path. (Surat al-Hajj: 54)
TURNING TO GOD WITH COMPLETE SUBMISSION
Believers' turning to God with complete submission is another secret of being guided to the straight path. For one who believes in God and fears the hereafter, this world holds no charm.
When the only ambition is to please God, true believers turn to God in all their acts, and knowing that God is testing them, they submit themselves to the fate God has predetermined. God has informed that those who submit themselves to Him will be guided to the straight path:
How can you disbelieve, when God's Signs are recited to you and the Messenger is there among you? Whoever holds fast to God has been guided to a straight path. (Surah Ali 'Imran: 101)
He has laid down the same religion for you as He enjoined on Noah: that which We have revealed to you and which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses and Jesus: 'Establish the religion and do not make divisions in it.' What you call the associators to follow is very hard for them. God chooses for Himself whomsoever He wills and guides to Himself those who turn to Him. (Surat ash-Shura: 13)
FOLLOWING THE ADVICE GIVEN
Another command of God to His servants who desire to be guided to the straight path is as follows:
... But if they had done what they were urged to do, it would have been better for them and far more strengthening. In that case We would have given them an immense reward from Us and We would have guided them on a straight path. (Surat an-Nisa': 66-68)
Believers who fear God strive to purify themselves of their wrongdoing and to attain the moral perfection God will be most pleased with. However, one needs humility to be absolved of mistakes and receive guidance to the straight path. A modest person who seeks to purify himself will, first of all, meticulously follow God's commands. Besides, sincere believers are friends and protectors of one another. They command what is right and forbid what is wrong. Hence, knowing that a believer's warning is of great importance for one's reckoning in the hereafter, believers should also be receptive to one another's advice. One who follows good advice will be guided to the right path. God gives good news to His servants who avoid following the Satan and obey those who call to the Qur'an and to its commands:
Those who shun the worship of false gods and turn towards God will have good news. So give good news to My servants. Those who listen well to what is said and follow the best of it, they are the ones whom God has guided, and they are the people of intelligence. (Surat az-Zumar: 17-18)