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Istikhara prayer - please comment


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Author Topic: Istikhara prayer - please comment  (Read 1790 times)
Heba E. Husseyn
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« on: December 15, 2007, 08:41:31 pm »


Assalaam Alaikum, peace and hi to the folks of this little villa Smiley

Can anyone please throw some light on certain matters regarding Istikhara Prayer? 

For the information of those readers who don't know what Istikhara prayer is - Istikhara is a special supplication or du'a that one makes when one is faced with the dilemma of being unable to make a right decision for some important Halal issue in life.  There can be NO Istikhara for Haram issues.  Haram is Haram which you must avoid.

There are times when we find it hard to discern what might be the right step to take.  The decision could be for ourselves or for our family.  At such times, a person is advised to offer Istikhara prayer to Allah, asking Allah to enable them do what He thinks would be beneficial for them and refraining from making a decision that wouldn't be beneficial.  As a traditional rule, 2 rakahs of nafl prayer are offered before reciting the Istikhara du'a. 

I know Istikhara is not a part of the regular salaah nor mentioned in the Quran.  The Istikhara supplication is also not a Quranic verse.  However, if you read it, it's a very nice du'a.  It's properly worded and in compliance with Quranic values. 

Life is full of complexities.  Like I said, every so often we find ourselves in situations when it gets hard and confusing to know what might be the best step to take.  The wordings of Istikhara du'a are apt and inspiring to provide comfort at such times.  However, this doesn't mean we cannot supplicate to Allah in our own words without calling the supplication 'Istikhara.'

Also however, traditionalists have made various inexplicable and unnecessary rules regarding Istikhara du'a. 

1.  They say that Istikhara must be offered after Isha prayer only and one must go to sleep soon after reciting it.  Why must this be necessary?

2.  It is also said that Istikhara must be offered after 2 rakahs of nafl salaah and not after our daily salaah.  Why must this be necessary?

3.  According to many traditionalists, Istikhara can be offered only upto 7 times for a single request.  Again, why?  Why 7 times? 

There are no answers available for these needless rules.

Honestly speaking, the above 3 rules don't make much sense to me.  The only important thing is to be earnest.  If it's recited with sincerity, why can't it be recited after any of our daily salaahs?  Why is it necessary to go to sleep soon after reciting it?  And why should we limit ourselves for reaching out to Allah only upto 7 times when Allah has given us the permission to approach Him as many times as we want?  The only 2 important things are sincerity and humility. 

Any comments would be more than welcomed.


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Zeynab
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2007, 11:36:21 pm »

 

BismEm


Istikhara prayer is no doubt very soothing, comforting and inspiring.  Though not the words of the Noble Quraan, it is fully compatible with Quraanic concepts and would be pleasing to Allah.  Thus, I would advise anyone in a difficult and indecisive situation to recite this supplication with full concentration. 

This supplication is reported to have been recited by the Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings be on him) at difficult and indecisive times.  Since the nature of the du'a is fully compatible with the Quraan, thus it's very likely the Prophet did recite the words of the Istikhara du'a.  Even if the report of the Prophet reciting it is inaccurate, we do know for sure that the Prophet would definitely have approved of this humble and nice supplication.

I absolutely agree that those 3 traditional points you mentioned are very unconnected with the purpose and goal of the Istikhara prayer.  Logically and personally, I would consider them as irrelevant.  As long as we are fully ready for salaah with all the requirements as stated in the Quraan i.e. sincerity of intent to pray to Allah and physical cleanliness with a proper wadu (ablution), we can recite the Istikhara after completing any one of our daily salaah at any time.   Also, no one can put limits to ibadah or worship or supplication to Allah.  If we want to make du'a to Allah for a certain thing a few years in advance, we an even supplicate a few hundred times in total.  It's between Allah and the individual.  No other person is entitled to put a limit on that. 

Also, I know of a few people (including myself) who recite Istikhara by reading its English translation.  Istikhara is quite a long supplication, about the size of an average paragraph.  It might not be easy for non-Arabic speaking people to memorize it that quickly.  Besides, when such persons recite it in English, they can follow each word as they recite, so it helps to keep the concentration on what's being uttered much better. 

Salaams and peace


 
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2008, 08:53:25 pm »



While browsing through this thread, I thought I should also post the Istikhara supplication, so whoever does not know this du'a and desires to learn it, can copy it from here. 

According to tradition, Istikhara prayer is offered after Isha salaat.  Istikhara prayer consists of 2 rakahs of salaat and then the following supplication. 

Transliteration of Arabic

Allah Huma Innee Astak-heer-uka bi-ilmika
Wa-astaq-diruka biqudratika wa-as'aluka
Min fadh-lika al-adheem.

Fa innaka taqdiru walaa aqdiru.

Wa ta'lamu walaa a'alamu wa anta allaamul ghuyoob.

Allah Huma in kunta ta'lamu anna haadhal-amr-khayrun liy fiy deeniy wa-
ma'aashiy wa-aaqibat amriy, fa'qdruhliy wa-yassirh liy thumma baarik liy feehi.

Wa in-kunta ta'lamu anna haadhal amr sharrun liy fiy deniy wa-ma'aashiy was-aaqibat amriy.

Fa asrifh annee wa-srif'anhu.

Wa-aqdurh liyal khayr hayth kaana thumma a-rdhiniy bihee.


Translation:

O Allah! Behold I ask You the good through Your Knowledge, and ability through Your Power, and beg (Your favor) out of Your Infinite Bounty.

For surely You have Power, and I have none.

You know all; I know not.

You are the Great Knower of all things.

O Allah!  If in Your Knowledge this matter be good for my Faith (Deen), for my livelihood, and for the consequences of my affairs, then ordain it for me, and make it easy for me, and bless me therein. 

But if in Your Knowledge, this matter be bad for my Faith (Deen), for my livelihood, and for the consequences of my affairs, then turn it away from me, and turn me away therefrom, and ordain for me the good wherever it be, and cause me to be pleased therewith. 


While reciting this Du'a when one reaches "haadhal amr" (meaning, 'this matter') at both places, the person should think of his / her problem. 

May Allah Subhan Wa'Tala (The Highest) guide and assist us all, ameen.


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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2008, 03:14:05 am »



Thanks sister.  Yes, this is the du'a for Istikhara.  It's a very nice one.  
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2013, 02:26:00 pm »

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Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur'an. Who fulfilleth His covenant better than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain that ye have made, for that is the supreme triumph.9:111
Ruhi_Rose
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2018, 12:25:49 am »





Istikhara is quite a long supplication, about the size of an average paragraph.  It might not be easy for non-Arabic speaking people to memorize it that quickly.  Besides, when such persons recite it in English, they can follow each word as they recite, so it helps to keep the concentration on what's being uttered much better. 

Exactly sis.  Since the Arabic dua is not from the Noble Quran, so if one isn't well-versed in Arabic, it's just as fine to recite in their own language or in English ..... as long as one understands each word as they recite.  It really helps to concentrate on Allah Almighty and thus provides the supplicant with immense relief and feeling of accomplishment .. I mean even if we don't get what we plan, the relief & accomplishment comes the strength of our Faith and steadfastness.   The same dua sent by my husband's cousin in slightly differing words as follows:

(O Allah, I seek Your help in finding out the best course of action (in this matter) by invoking Your knowledge; I ask You to empower me, and I beseech Your favor. You alone have the absolute power, while I have no power. You alone know it all, while I do not. You are the one who knows the hidden mysteries. O Allah, if You know this thing (I am embarking on) is good for me in my religion, worldly life, and my ultimate destiny, then facilitate it for me, and then bless me in my action. If, on the other hand, You know this thing is detrimental for me in my religion, worldly life, and ultimate destiny, turn it away from me, and turn me away from it, and decree what is good for me, wherever it may be, and make me content with it.)

Really nice.  We're facing some tough decision-making these days so focusing a lot on Istikhara along with regular salat and Quran reading/understanding.  Beg Allah Almighty for His help.



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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2018, 01:42:04 am »



I absolutely agree Sister Ruhi.  Reciting an extra-Quranic dua in one's own language is perfectly fine.  Only Quranic contents are better to recite in original Arabic and then the translation for understanding.  The original Words of The Almighty as contained in the Quran, carry special strength and effect.  That's confirmed.  But extra-Quranic content can be in any language.

Hope everything is fine dear Sis.  What tough decision-making?


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Ruhi_Rose
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2018, 01:52:45 am »

  Only Quranic contents are better to recite in original Arabic and then the translation for understanding.  The original Words of The Almighty as contained in the Quran, carry special strength and effect.  That's confirmed.  But extra-Quranic content can be in any language.

Couldn't agree more.


 
Hope everything is fine dear Sis.  What tough decision-making?


Aw! lol ,, the usual troubles of earthly world.   We gradually need to change our accommodation .. having problems here.  This condo management is really deteriorating.  Our dissatisfaction has been so rapidly rising that my husband says that it's time to move on.   My sister and sister-in-law are having the same issues in their condo units as we're all in the same building.  But one has to plan one's finances sufficiently in advance as transition costs of moving can also be high.  So, just need to pray.  May Allah be with us and take us through.  Our Istikhara is more for acquiring the protection of Allah.    This place is gettin so disappointing by the day that we've almost made up our mind "must go."  But like I said, gotta plan big decisions cautiously so need Allah's protection.

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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2018, 01:59:48 am »


Wow sis.  Your qismet seems to be a copy of mine.  I've been having identical troubles since past one year and have also decided to move out to some other accommodation.  But as you said about transition costs, I will need some time to implement my decision and in the meantime save some money and get some renovation works done.  Selling and buying can often involve more extra cost than expected if they don't exactly coincide.   I am sure you understand.    Allah be with us, ameen ya Rab.



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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2018, 02:07:40 am »

O really?   Yeah sure sis, understand totally.  Same situation here.    Alas!  this dunya.  It takes up so much of our precious time we would love to devote to Allah.   Will discuss this with you on email, InshAllah.



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