Istikharah – A Special Prayer


At certain stages of life we often find ourselves at crossroads, impelled to make important decisions that would have huge impacts on our future. These decisions could be about choosing a career, getting married to someone, buying a car or a house, relocating or moving to a foreign land and the like. Despite considering all the positives and negatives and consulting family, friends or other qualified people, this task of reaching a sound decision leaves us doubtful and nervous. Praise and thanks to our Creator who doesn’t leave us fretting and worried during these crucial times. He has taught us, a special prayer for guidance in making decisions called Salat Al-Istikharah. When performing this prayer one asks Allah to guide him to the right choice concerning a certain essential matter.
 
The prayer of Istikharah was described in a hadeeth narrated by Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allah al-Salami, who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to teach his companions to make Istikharah in all things, just as he used to teach them surahs from the Qur’an. He (peace be upon him) said: ‘If any one of you is concerned about a decision he has to make, then let him pray two rak’ahs of non-obligatory prayer, then say:
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Allaahumma ‘innee ‘astakheeruka bi’ilmika, wa ‘astaqdiruka biqudratika, wa ‘as’aluka min fadhlikal-‘Adheemi, fa’innaka taqdiru wa laa ‘aqdiru, wa ta’lamu, wa laa ‘a’lamu, wa ‘Anta ‘Allaamul-Ghuyoobi, Allaahumma ‘in kunta ta’lamu ‘anna haathal-‘amra-[then mention the thing to be decided] Khayrun lee fee deenee wa ma’aashee wa ‘aaqibati ‘amree – [or say] ‘Aajilihi wa ‘aajilihi – Faqdurhu lee wa yassirhu lee thumma baarik lee feehi, wa ‘in kunta ta’lamu ‘anna haathal-‘amra sharrun lee fee deenee wa ma’aashee wa ‘aaqibati ‘amree – [or say] ‘Aajilihi wa ‘aajilihi – Fasrifhu ‘annee wasrifnee ‘anhu waqdur liyal-khayra haythu kaana thumma ‘ardhinee bihi’
 
O Allah, I ask for Your decision by Your knowledge and Your decree by Your ability, and I ask of You from Your great favor. For You are able and I am not able, and You know and I do not know, and You are the Knower of things concealed. O Allah, if You have known that this matter [naming it here] is good for me in my religion, my livelihood and the outcome of my affair, then decree it for me, make it easy for me and then bless it for me. And if You have known that this matter is bad for me in my religion, my livelihood and the outcome of my affair, then turn it away from me and turn me away from it, and decree for me what is good wherever it may be. And then make me content with it.’ (Al-Bukhaari, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah and Ahmad).
 
The result of Istikharah is known by being inclined to do something and continuing to feel positive about it. In addition, if the decision one is about to take is good for him (in both worlds), the paths to it will open up and if it’s not, then the paths will become obstructed and Allah will direct him somewhere else.
The beauty of the Istikharah is that the person who sought the guidance of Allah will be content with Allah’s decision for him even if it diverts him from what he thought was good as he will know that this is the result of his Istikharah. This is because, Allah, the Creator knows what is best and will definitely guide His servants to what is best for them within His vast knowledge and infinite wisdom. rely
  We need to understand that Istikharah does not guarantee the absence of tests and trials in life. Since Istikharah is a du’aa, Allah’s response to it may come in any of the three ways as stated in the hadeeth: “There is no Muslim who offers a du’aa in which there is no sin or severing of family ties but Allah will give him one of three things in return: either He will answer his du’aa soon, or he will store it up for him in the Hereafter, or He will divert an equivalent evil away from him because of it.” (Ahmad)
 
So if one goes through a bad marriage even after performing Istikharah or suffers loss in his business, etc., it might be that Allah wants him/her to draw closer to Him by way of patience and du’aa and send His blessings through some other way. Allah says: “But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah knows, while you know not.” (Qur’an 2:216)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “It is from the happiness of the son of Adam to practice Istikharah and be pleased with what Allah had ordained for him. And it is from the misery of the son of Adam to drop the Istikharah of Allah and be displeased at Allah’s decrees.” (Tirmidhi and Ahmad)
 
Unfortunately, many people nowadays ignore this beautiful Sunnah and resort to baseless or forbidden ways to make important decisions. Seeking omens (faal) is one of these ways and it has been strictly forbidden in Islam, because it comes under the same heading as divination with arrows (mentioned in the Qur’an 5:3).
There are some other people who do follow the Sunnah of praying Istikharah but have added weird myths and unreasonable expectations to it. They ask some stranger or religious personality to do it for them and expect the results of Istikharah to be shown to them in dreams, visions, some special sign or color while all of this is nothing but acts of ignorance.
 
Firstly, it is a form of innovation to ask someone else to do istikharah for you or do it for others and secondly, it doesn’t give one instant results like giving a green signal to proceed in a certain affair.
 
Istikharah is a du’aa which one needs to make himself, at any time of the day and then execute the matter (for which he prayed). And if it is good then Allah will make it easy for him and bless him in that, and if it is not good for him, then Allah will turn it away from him and will make easy for him that in which there is good by His permission. For without doubt, the person who makes Istikharah, seeking guidance from his Creator and advice from His creation never regrets, as Allah said to His Messenger (peace be upon him) in the Qur’an (3:159): “Consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].”
 
-Mariam Anwer
Originally published at Arab News
AN Istikharah
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Recognize the gift and the Kindness


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Alhamdulillah! Indeed He Knows…Trust Him…

أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ
Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves) All-Aware (of everything).

-Al Mulk 67:14-

The DROP behind the closed door


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It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alyhi wasallam) said:

“There is no Muslim who calls upon Allaah with words in which there is no sin or severing of family ties but Allaah will give him one of three things:
✔either He will answer his prayer soon, or
✔He will store it up for him in the Hereafter, or
He will remove something bad from him that is equivalent to what he is asking for.”

They said, “Then we should make a great amount of du’aa’.” He said, “Allaah is greater.”

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3573; classed as saheeh by al-Tirmidhi and others)

Be prepared to face tests every day in different ways


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As human beings we must be prepared to face tests every day in different ways.

Sometimes we are tested with being strangers for practicing our faith like the people of the cave.

Sometimes we are tested with wealth and success like the man with the two gardens

Sometimes we are tested with calamities that we don’t understand like the people in the story of Musa and Al-Khidr

And sometimes we are tested with power and authority like Dhul Qarnayn.

Whatever the test is, focus on the goal: the pleasure of Allah and eternal Paradise and work towards it!

-Lessons from Surah AlKahf

Abu Muawiyah Ismail Kamdar

Is not Allah sufficient?


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أَلَيْسَ اللَّـهُ بِكَافٍ عَبْدَهُ ؟

Sometimes, we want someone to deeply understand our wounds, our fears, and the pain we carry with us. Sometimes we want others to stop judging, stop talking, and stop assuming they know us. Sometimes, we want someone to just listen, just love, and show us how to hold on or simply let go

But most of the time, we’ll be waiting. Waiting for any of that to take place

Then we realize with time that it is ONLY Allah who is there for us, Only Allah who understands and accepts us, listens to us, calms our fears, and it is ONLY Allah Who is there for us whenever and wherever we need Him
An it is only then that we realize that ALLAH truly is enough for us! ♡

Ḥayāt ibn Sharīḥ, One of Imam Bukhāri’s teacher :)


Allah knows by sh Hayat

From the salaf uṣ-ṣāliḥeen was a scholar named حياة ابن شريح Ḥayāt ibn Sharīḥ, one of Bukhāri’s teacher. All his life, dunya constricted on Ḥayāt Ibn Sharīḥ; in unabated poverty and hunger, he adopted a life of zuhd (asceticism) unwillingly. Ibn Wahab said of him, “I have never seen a man as drastic in his istighfār as Ḥayāt ibn Sharīḥ. He was known for having his duʿās responded to. He was also of those who cried often [from khushūʾ]—and those deprived of this world’s comforts. For this reason he became a zāhid [ascetic].”

ما رأيت أحدا أشد استغفار بعمله من حياة. وكان يُعرَف بالإجابة. وكان من البكائين، وديق الحياة جداً ومع ذلك من الزاهدين

His worried students inquired about his condition; they said, “Why would Allāh restrict His rizq (provision) on a pious scholar like Ḥayāt?” And so Ḥayāt would respond to them: الله أعلم بما يصلح عباده  “Allāh knows what [worldly] conditions are best for His servant…”

One of the kirāmāt (miracles) of this scholar: Ḥayāt ibn Sharīḥ’s annual income was a mere 60 dinars, which he distributed ALL to the needy. Narrations say Ḥayāt would return home and randomly find another 60 dinars under his pillow. Like Allāh was compensating him secretly for his charitable donations. His cousin, seemingly baffled by Ḥayāt’s kirāmah, tested this to see if it would work for him.

It didn’t. And when his cousin complained to him, Ḥayāt replied: أنا أعطيت ربي بيقين وأنت أعطيته بتجربة “I give for Allāh’s sake with yaqīn (certainty) while you give to test Him.”

A quick-witted scholar, yes, but also an exemplar of virtuosic contentment. Your heart may long for wealth, but Allāh knows poverty is better for you. It may long for simplicity, but Allāh chose you for His rizq. He knows. And we know nothing.