1:6 Guide us on the straight path.
This is the wellspring of worship and the marrow of obedience. It is the supplication, request, pleading, and imploring of the faithful. It is seeking straightness and firm fixity in the religion. It means: “Lead us to this path, make us travel upon it, and make us firm in it.”
The faithful are saying, “O God, show us Your road, then make us go forth on the road, then take us from traveling to being pulled.” These are the three great roots: first showing, then traveling, then being pulled.
Showing is what the Exalted Lord says in “He shows you His signs” [40:13]. Traveling is what He says in “You shall surely ride stage after stage” [84:19]. Being pulled is what He says in “We brought him near as a confidant” [19:52].
Muḥammad asked God for showing. He said, “O God, show us things as they are.” About traveling he said, “Travel! The solitary will be the preceders.” About being pulled he said, “One attraction of the Real is equivalent to all the deeds of jinn and men.”
In this verse, the faithful request all three of these from God, for not everyone who sees the road travels the road, and not everyone who travels the road reaches the destination. Many there are who hear but do not see, many there are who see but do not recognize, and many there are who recognize but do not find.
Many a prayerful shaykh has fallen from his steed!
Many a tavern-goer has saddled up a lion! [DS 110]
Concerning His words, “Guide us,” it has been said, “Cut off our secret cores from witnessing the others, display in our hearts the dawning lights, isolate our intentions from the defilement of traces, take us beyond the way stations of seeking and inference to the courtyards of proximity and union, prevent us from taking repose in likenesses and shapes by treating us with the gentleness of finding union, and unveil to us thereby the witnessing of majesty and beauty.”