Al-Fatihah

The opening of the Quran is beautiful to me. It’s not a creation story, explaining how the world was made, there are no stories here in fact. Instead the writer starts with such a simple plea

“Guide us to the straight path: the path of those You have blessed; not of those who have incurred Your wrath, nor of those who have gone astray.”

It reminds me of what I was taught many years ago about the Lord’s Prayer. You don’t begin by making demands of your God. You instead put yourself in the right frame of mind, you honor God with your heart and you mind and remember that He is all-knowing and wise beyond what you can comprehend. You give him first praise, and then ask not for a list of demands, but instead for the things the Lord wishes to give you.

“Guide us,” you pray, “to the straight path.” Allow me to stay focused on that which you would give to me, rather than on the things that I want but that you have not granted to me. Lead me not, as Matthew wrote, into temptation, but deliver me from evil. (Matthew 6:13)

I think it is lovely that this whole holy book starts from that place, a place of seeking the straight path, looking for that which God has blessed.

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