In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Now has come to you Our Messenger [Muhammad] explaining to you much of that which you used to hide from the Scripture and passing over [i.e. leaving out without explaining] much. Indeed, there has come to you from Allah a light [Prophet Muhammad] and a plain Book [this Qur’an]. Wherewith Allah guides all those who seek His Good Pleasure to ways of peace, and He brings them out of darkness by His Will unto light and guides them to a Straight Way [Islamic Monotheism].
[In the Aayah above, it is stated]: “Wherewith Allah guides all those who seek His Good Pleasure to ways of peace”; but it is stated in another Aayah that Allaah’s Path [or way] is one, [such as the Aayah]: “And verily, this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not [other] paths, for they will separate you away from His Path.”
[Surah Al-An’aam’ Aayah 153]
Answer: Allaah’s path is one, but it has branches [i.e. legislated acts of worship attached to one path], such as Salaah, Zakat, Sawm, Haj, Jihaad [ref 1], righteousness, keeping the ties of kinship and other deeds. All these deeds [i.e. Salaah etc are legislated ways to peace as mentioned in Al-Maa’idah’ Aayaat 15-16] are under the [umbrella] of one path [i.e. Allaah’s legislated path mentioned in Surah Al-An’aam Aayah 153 and not the innovated paths or acts of worship].