Travelers on the Straight Path: Truth Seekers


  • Zainab Alwani, PhD Howard University



al-ṣirāṭ al-mustaqīm, istiqāma, the Straight Path, steadfastness, Abraham, Prophet Muhammad, family, guidance, Qur’ān


This article analyzes the concepts of al-ṣirāṭ al-mustaqīm (the Straight Path) and istiqāma (steadfastness) and how they guide one to the Qur’ānic roadmap to success in this world and in the hereafter. Al-ṣirāṭ al-mustaqīm is a methodology to define, verify, correct, and establish our concepts, principles, and relationships. I apply the hermeneutic of reading the divine text as a structural unity (al-waḥda al-binā’iyya li-l-Qur’ān). After defining al-ṣirāṭ al-mustaqīm, I suggest that a holistic reading of the Qur’ān can help believers rebuild istiqāma from within it, a specific methodological approach. I present al-ṣirāṭ al-mustaqīm as a roadmap that envisions the characteristics of upright and righteous truth seekers and true believers following Prophet Abraham’s religion and carried on by Prophet Muhammad and his umma to arrive at the Straight Path (Qur’ān 3:68). I close by stressing that it is imperative to become upright by remaining steadfast on the Straight Path. It is by remaining steadfast that individuals can restore balance in their relationships, uniting together as one family.

Author Biography

Zainab Alwani, PhD, Howard University

Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, Howard University