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How to pray istikhaarah


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How to pray istikhaarah
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loje
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How to pray istikhaarah
السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Question :

How do I pray salat al istikhara, at what times , and are there special dua that I can read for different cicumstances?

Answer :

Praise be to Allaah.

The description of Salaat al-Istikhaarah was reported by Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Salami (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said:

“The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach his companions to make istikhaarah in all things, just as he used to teach them soorahs from the Qur’aan. He 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: Allaahumma inni astakheeruka bi ‘ilmika wa astaqdiruka bi qudratika wa as’aluka min fadlika, fa innaka taqdiru wa laa aqdir, wa ta’lamu wa laa a’lam, wa anta ‘allaam al-ghuyoob. Allaahumma fa in kunta ta’lamu haadha’l-amra (then the matter should be mentioned by name) khayran li fi ‘aajil amri wa aajilihi (or: fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri) faqdurhu li wa yassirhu li thumma baarik li fihi. Allaahumma wa in kunta ta’lamu annahu sharrun li fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri (or: fi ‘aajili amri wa aajilihi) fasrifni ‘anhu [wasrafhu ‘anni] waqdur li al-khayr haythu kaana thumma radini bihi (O Allaah, I seek Your guidance [in making a choice] by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things. O Allaah, if in Your knowledge, this matter (then it should be mentioned by name) is good for me both in this world and in the Hereafter (or: in my religion, my livelihood and my affairs), then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge it is bad for me and for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs (or: for me both in this world and the next), then turn me away from it, [and turn it away from me], and ordain for me the good wherever it may be and make me pleased with it.”

(Reported by al-Bukhaari, 6841; similar reports are also recorded by al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah and Ahmad).

Ibn Hijr (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, commenting on this hadeeth:

“Istikhaarah is a word which means asking Allaah to help one make a choice, meaning choosing the best of two things where one needs to choose one of them.

Concerning the phrase ‘The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach us to make istikhaarah in all things,’ Ibn Abi Jamrah said: ‘It is a general phrase which refers to something specific. With regard to matters that are waajib (obligatory) or mustahabb (liked or encouraged), there is no need for istikhaarah to decide whether to do them, and with regard to matters that are haraam (forbidden) or makrooh (disliked), there is no need for istikhaarah to decide whether to avoid them. The issue of istikhaarah is confined to matters that are mubaah (allowed), or in mustahabb matters when there is a decision to be made as to which one should be given priority.’ I say: it refers to both great and small matters, and probably an insignificant issue could form the groundwork for a big issue.

The phrase ‘If any one of you is concerned…’ appears in the version narrated by Ibn Mas’ood as: ‘if any one of you wants to do something…’

‘Let him pray two rak’ahs of non-obligatory prayer.’ This is mentioned to make it clear that it does not mean fajr prayer, for example. Al-Nawawi said in al-Adhkaar: He can pray istikaarah after two rak’ahs of regular sunnah prayer done at zuhr for example, or after two rak’ahs of any naafil prayers whether they are regularly performed or not… It seems to be the case that if he made the intention to pray istikhaarah at the same time as intending to pray that particular prayer, this is fine, but not if he did not have this intention.

Ibn Abi Jamrah said: The wisdom behind putting the salaat before the du’aa’ is that istikhaarah is intended to combine the goodness of this world with the goodness of the next. A person needs to knock at the door of the King (Allaah), and there is nothing more effective for this than prayer, because it contains glorification and praise of Allaah, and expresses one's need for Him at all times.

The phrase ‘then let him say’ would seem to imply that the du’aa’ should be said after finishing the prayer, and the word thumma (then) probably means after reciting all the words of the salaat and before saying salaam.

The phrase ‘O Allaah, I seek Your guidance by virtue of Your knowledge’ is explaining ‘because You know best.’ Similarly, ‘by virtue of Your power’ most likely means ‘seeking Your help.’ ‘I seek ability’ (astaqdiruka) means ‘I ask You to give me the power or ability (qudrah) to do’ whatever is being asked for, or it probably means ‘I ask You to decree (tuqaddir) this for me.’ So it may mean making it easy.

‘I ask You of Your great bounty’ refers to the fact that Allaah gives out of His great generosity, but no one has the right to His blessings. This is the opinion of Ahl al-Sunnah.

‘You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not’ refers to the fact that power and knowledge belong to Allaah alone, and the slave has no share of them except what Allaah decrees for him.

‘O Allaah, if in Your knowledge this matter…’ According to one report, he should mention it by name. It is apparent from the context that he should state it, but it is probably sufficient to be thinking of the matter whilst making this du’aa’.

‘Then ordain it for me’ means ‘make it happen for me’ or it may mean ‘make it easy for me.’

‘Then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it’ means ‘so that my heart will no longer feel attached to it after it has been turned away.’

‘Make me pleased with it’ means ‘make me content with it, so that I will never regret asking for it or be sorry that it happened, because I do not know how it will turn out, even if at the time of asking I am pleased with it.’

The secret is that one’s heart should not be attached to the matter in question, because that will result in a person becoming restless. Being pleased with something means that one’s heart is content with the decree of Allaah.

(Summarized from the commentary of al-Haafiz Ibn Hijr (may Allaah have mercy on him) on the hadeeth in Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Da’waat and Kitaab al-Tawheed.).


Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:30 am View user's profile Send private message
loje
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He prayed istakhaarah and did not feel anything Reply with quote
Question :


I need your advise on the following, please. What happens if two people who are planning to get married both read their Istikharaah namaaz and only the woman gets the message and not the man. This sister saw herself and her future husband as being happy and together and she feels that ALLAH is telling her that they are right for each other. But what if the man doesn't get any sign/feeling/dream whatsoever. What do they do then? And for how many days does one have to read this namaaz. Some people say for 3 days others say for 7.
Jazak Allah


Answer :

Praise be to Allaah.

The daleel (evidence) for Salaat al-Istikhaarah and the du’aa’ to be recited is the report narrated by al-Bukhaari (1109) and others from Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with them both). For the commentary on this hadeeth and more details, please see question #2217 and 410.

With regard to what some people say, “then he should go ahead with whatever he feels happy with”, a hadeeth to this effect was narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) – narrated by Ibn al-Sunni – according to which he said, “If you are concerned about a matter, then make istikhaarah seven times, praying to your Lord, then see what you feel most drawn towards, and the good will be in that.”

Al-Nawawi said: its isnaad is ghareeb, and it includes narrators whom I do not know. (al-Adhkaar, p. 132).

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said: if this were proven, it could be taken as evidence, but its isnaad is very weak (waahin jiddan). (al-Fath, 11/223)

Al-Haafiz al-‘Iraaqi said: it contains a narrator who is known to be da’eef jiddan (very weak), namely Ibraaheem ibn al-Baraa’.. Therefore the hadeeth is da’eef jiddan. (al-Futoohaat al-Rabbaaniyyah, 3/357)

The correct view is that when Allaah makes something easy for you – after having decreed it and accepted your du’aa’ – this is a sign that it is good to go ahead and do it. The existence of obstacles and difficulties is an indication that Allaah is pushing His slave away from doing it. This meaning will be very clear when one ponders the meaning of the hadeeth of Jaabir concerning al-istikhaarah, where the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“… O Allaah, if You know this affair – [and here he should mention it] – is good for me in relation to my religion, my life, and end, then decree and facilitate it for me, and bless me with it, and if You know this affair to be ill for me towards my religion, my life, and end, then remove it from me and remove me from it, and decree for me what is good wherever it be and make me satisfied with such.”

Ibn ‘Allaan – after transmitting the scholarly view that the hadeeth of Anas is da’eef (weak) – said: Therefore it was said: that after (doing istikhaarah) he should do what he wants (i.e., even if he does not feel that sense of being happy), because whatever happens after doing istikhaarah is good…

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said: Al-Haafiz Zayn al-Deen al-‘Iraaqi said (concerning doing something after praying istikhaarah): Whatever he does, there will be good in it. This is supported by what is said at the end of the hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood according to some of its isnaads: ‘Then let him make his decision.’ I (Ibn Hajar) say: I have already discussed above and explained that its narrators (i.e., the narrators who added the phrase ‘Then let him make his decision) are da’eef (weak). But this is still stronger than the narrator of that hadeeth (i.e., the hadeeth which says, ‘then see what you feel most drawn towards’). (al-Futoohaat al-Rabaaniyyah, 3/355-357)

Another of the myths that are widespread among people is that after praying istikhaarah you should sleep, and whatever good you see in your dream that makes you happy means that what you want to do is good and will be made easy for you, otherwise it is not good. (This is what the questioner meant by saying “gets the message”). There is no saheeh daleel (evidence) for this as far as we know.

The above does not mean that if you feel happy it is not a sign, but this should not be regarded as the only sign about whether or not the matter is good. People often make istikhaarah about something they like or want to do, so they feel happy about it from the outset.

Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] (may Allaah have mercy on him) said concerning the matter of feeling happy about something: if he makes istakhaarah, then whatever Allaah makes him feel happy about and makes easy for him, this is what Allaah has chosen for him. (Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa, 10/539).

There is a difference between making feeling happy the only sign and making it one of several signs. There is no set time period for salaat al-istikhaarah; it is permissible to repeat it more than once, but there is no limit to how many times. The person may offer the du’aa’ before or after saying the salaam. And Allaah knows best.


Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:33 am View user's profile Send private message
loje
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She learned of some faults in her fiancé and prayed istikhaarah about annulling the engagement, but it was not easy for her to do so

Question:


I got engaged recently, but after the engagement I found out about some faults in my fiancé that I cannot put up with, and I felt that he is not suitable for me, in addition to the fact that he does not help me to obey Allaah. Despite all that, every time I think of annulling the engagement and pray istikhaarah, asking Allaah for guidance, something happens to make it difficult to annul it. What should I do? If I annul the engagement will I be disobeying Allaah because my decision is something other than what He has chosen for me? Should I close my mind so that I will be obeying Allaah?.


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

If it has become clear to you that your fiancé has some faults that you cannot put up with, there is nothing wrong with annulling the engagement. This is better than getting married with the possibility of differences and conflicts, then divorce.

If you have thought about that, then pray istikhaarah and ask Allaah for guidance, then tell your wali so that he can apologize to your fiancé. Thus your engagement will be annulled.

Istikhaarah does not mean that you should close your mind, and it is not only focused on material matters that surround man, rather it is complementary to that. A person may be hesitant about some matter, because it involves both good and bad, pros and cons, or because he is uncertain of the consequences, so he asks Allaah to make easy for him the good that He knows.

It may seem to you that a suitor is free of faults, but Allaah knows that he is not suitable for you and that there are faults in him of which you are unaware, or that you are not suitable for him. Or it may seem to you that there are faults in a suitor, but Allaah knows that he is suitable for you and that his faults will disappear, or that they are not actually faults, or that he is suitable for this woman, and other unseen matters that no one knows except Allaah, may He be glorified.

It is well known that no one can succeed except with the help and guidance of Allaah, and that if he were to be left to his own devices he would be an utter loser. So if you have prayed istikhaarah, asking Allaah for guidance, about something, then go ahead with it. If it is good, Allaah will make it easy and facilitate it, and if it is bad, Allaah will divert you from it or divert it from you.

To apply this to your question: because of the faults that you see in your fiancé, you should pray istikhaarah and ask Allaah for guidance about annulling the engagement, and go ahead with it, by speaking to your wali or to someone who will convey news of the annulment of the engagement. If the matter comes to an end and is made easy, that is better for you, in sha Allaah. If it becomes difficult to annul the engagement, then there is nothing good for you in that now; it may be that Allaah knows that your getting married to him is better for you, or that continuing the engagement for a while longer is better for you. There is no reason why you should not repeat istikhaarah several times.

We should point out a number of things:

1. Istikhaarah is not to be used concerning things that are obligatory or forbidden or makrooh, except when the hesitation is about setting a time to do an obligatory action. Based on that, if it has become apparent that your fiancé does not pray or that he commits immoral actions, for example, then you must refuse him, and it is not prescribed to pray istikhaarah in that case.

2. The issue of things being made easy or difficult may involve some doubt and waswasah (whispers from the shaytaan). Perhaps the wali will try to contact the fiancé to tell him of the annulment and will not be able to get in touch with him, so it is said that the matter has become difficult. But that is not the case. Rather he should try again to get in touch with him, or send someone to tell him the news, and so on.

3. If a person goes against what is indicated by istikhaarah, he is not disobeying Allaah or sinning, but he will miss out on much goodness and will regret it if he does not do it, or harm may befall him if he goes ahead with something that Allaah has not made easy for him. Perfect faith and trust in Allaah means delegating one’s affairs to Allaah and accepting His decision, and going ahead with the matter after praying istikhaarah and deciding upon a course of action, and not paying attention to waswasah.

Please see also the answers to questions no. 11981 and 5882.

We ask Allaah to make good easy for you wherever it may be.

And Allaah knows best.



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Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:36 am View user's profile Send private message
urfi67
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JAZAKALLAH,,,nice sharing
Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:35 pm View user's profile Send private message
KAMRAN KHALIL
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nice sharing

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