“The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor (those who believe in the Names of Allah as comprising their essential self and experience the awareness of their force) not of those who have evoked Your wrath (who have failed to the see the reality of their selves and the corporeal worlds and who have become conditioned with their ego-identities) nor of those who are astray (from the reality and understanding of the One denoted by the name Allah, the al-Wahid-ul Ahad-as-Samad, and who thus associate partners with Allah [shirq; duality]).”
Essentially, such a blessed path formed by the grace of the Rahman is one that leads the person to his Rabb, his essential reality, and thus nothing can be a greater bliss than this!
Aside from this general blessing of Allah, there is also a more exclusive blessing…
According to the Quran, this blessing is granted to the righteous, the martyrs, the saints and the Nabis… They, degree by degree, attain closeness to Allah with this blessing, so ‘guidance’ can also be understood as that which leads to the path enabling divine closeness…
And who are ‘those who have evoked His wrath’ and ‘those who have gone astray’?
Wrath can be conceived as the consequences of doing wrong, whereby the biggest wrong is one that is done to the self, which results in ‘duality’!
Duality includes all ideas, thoughts and beliefs that denote a god besides Allah, the eternal and limitless Oneness!
All such concepts consequently spawn wrath… Therefore, this phrase refers to the people of duality, those who believe in the concept of an external deity-god.
Going astray, on the other hand, refers to diversion from the straight path either deliberately or inadvertently. That is, while being on the straight path, it is the act of either making a mistake or consciously diverting from the straight path to another direction.
If one has found the truth and is living upon the truth, then turns towards an idea or belief that leads them away from the truth, this is called ‘going astray’…
Only Allah knows the absolute reality, of course, but according to my understanding ‘those who have evoked His wrath’ refers to the people of duality, who believe in the concept of a deity-god, and ‘those who have gone astray’ refers to the People of the Book, who have been notified of the truth but have then gone astray from the path of Allah, Islam, the only religion in the sight of Allah, or the teachings of Moses and Jesus.
This being the case, how to protect ourselves?