Friday, February 19, 2010

Istikharahlah kamu..

Often, we have to make major life-changing decisions: to change career or not, to go to graduate school or not, to move out or not, to get married or not..etc.

Istikaharah means to ask Allah to guide one to the right thing concerning any affair in one's life, especially when one has to choose between two PERMISSIBLE alternatives. Solat Istikharah is a sunnah. It is a prayer that one may pray if one must choose between two choices: it is two non-obligatory rakaat (that can be recited separately or in combination with the regular sunnah prayers or the prayer for entering the mosque[....]during any time of the day or night, and to recite therein whatever one wishes of the Quran (any surah) after reciting the Al-Fatihah. After the two rakaat, one praises Allah and sends salutations to the Prophet 'aSAW and recites the following doa:

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:

(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).

An-Nawawi holds that "after performing the istikharah, a person must do what he/she is wholeheartedly inclined to do and feels good about doing and should not insist on doing what he/she had desired to do before making the istikharah. And if his/her feelings change, he should leave what he intended to do, otherwise he/she is not completely leaving the choice to Allah, and would not be honest in seeking aid from Allah's power and knowledge. Sincerity in seeking Allah's choice, means that one should completely leave what he/she him/herself had desired or determined."



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