Category: Daily Reminders


Mending what is Broken


By Fadia Bint Ismail

“From the perfection of Allah’s Ihsan is that he allows his slave to taste the bitterness of the break before the sweetness of the mend. He does not break his believing slave, except to mend him. And he does not withhold from him, Except to give him, And he does not test him (with Hardship) except to cure him” Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah

When I read this Quote and at the moment when I read this I was going through a hard time with choices and in general my entire life.

If we have ever felt as though we can no longer go on, when life seems utterly challenging and we say to ourselves, ” You know what I just want to give up” .

I am sure we have all felt this way and so I shared this quote as a means to help those very people, including myself to help realize that when we feel like we are broken down into tiny little pieces it is Allah’s mercy upon us, so the stronger our faith is the harder the tests will be.

We can go on and on about challenges, hardships and how Allah puts us through difficult to help us and no burden will be placed upon us that we cannot bear, but I think the reason so many of us fail to realize the true nature of our struggle and the value of Allah’s mercy is because we do not understand why we believe in Allah and this is the question you should ask yourself, why did Allah create me ? and What is my relationship with Allah?

So ask yourself those two questions…..

This is a reminder first and Foremost to myself

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Illumination of Allah


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By Fadia Bint Ismail

 

The Messenger Muhammad (SAW) said: “The true believer has a penetrating insight he sees by the light of Allah”

When I make Dua I always ask Allah to illuminate my path with his Noor. Sometimes we are faced with so many obstacles and the tunnel seems so dark and the only way out of it is having true faith that the illumination of Allah will light our way.

It is always important that we remember that he, who knows himself, knows Almighty Allah and whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him.

I read a very interesting book which teaches us how to control our conscious mind and to unleash the power of the Almighty Allah within ourselves. It truly made me think about many things and how the conscious mind is the master of our destiny and that each part of our being is only imminent by the illumination of Allah.

How is it then possible that we are able to attain such esteem ranking? Well first of all when we allow ourselves to let Allah control our entire lives instead of worrying what will be or what has passed us by. All that counts is here and now.

I also wrote a poem which I thought would best reflect what I am talking about.

 

Illumination of Allah, By Fadia Bint Ismail

 

(From my poetry book “My Inner Self”)

Amidst the darkness do you weep.

Searching for a faceless beauty while others are asleep.

Silently praying

Remembering, wondering, where your life would have been.

Had you not reached out to what cannot be seen.

Secluding yourself, hoping for a sign.

Reaching out to that which is truly divine.

It cannot be seen, yet it can be felt

Searching and praying

Waiting for the One.

 

 

 

 

 


By Fadia Bint Ismail

 

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Allah the exalted says: “So hasten towards all that is good” (2.148)

Fail I alone, in words and deeds? Why, all men strive and who succeeds?

It is incumbent on all of us to strive toward doing good deeds, whether it is giving of what you love to others, doing charity or struggling in the cause of Allah.

These are indeed attributes that every believer should have.

The Messenger of Allah has told us that we should hasten to do good deeds before we are over taken by seven afflictions.

The only way to succeed in life is to do good deeds. Take Hazrat ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab RadhiAllaahu Anhu for example he was the second Khalifah in Islamic History and he was a companion of our beloved Prophet (SAW). I recently watched a program about Umar Ibn Al Khattab (RA) and it brought me to tears literally, all I could think of was where such exemplary people are in today’s generation. When he did any trade, when he spoke, when he preached he did it with such esteem, with justice and honesty. When he was in the market place doing trade a man wanted to earn extra profit and give Umar Ibn al Khattab (RA) a cut of the profit but this would be done by betraying and cheating his friends, of course Umar Ibn al Khattab told the man he could not do that because corruption breeds evil fruits. SubanAllah. Today when people trade or sell goods they do not care what duress another individual is under, they will lie and cheat just to get a quick buck. It is really sad.

There are numerous ways of doing good deeds, Allah the exalted says” “And whatever you do of good deeds, truly Allah knows it well” (2.215)

The act of saving people from harm and loss is greatly liked by Allah no matter how small it is. In every glorification of Allah there is Sadaqah, in every Takbeer and in every celebration of praise there is Sadaqah and in every declaration that he is One is Sadaqah and enjoining of good and forbidding evil.

It is a true fact and I see it a lot that many Muslims believe doing many good things at once will automatically make them a good Muslim. It is good that we want to do many good things but Allah loves it more when we do an action that is done regularly. It is also quite evident that when take on many things at once it tires an individual quicker than someone who does things in moderation.

So how do we succeed in doing good deeds?

  • Having patience
  • Justice and dealing with equity
  • Putting our trust in Allah
  • Perfection of ones work
  • Rescuing those in need
  • Being kind and gentle towards others
  • Repentance
  • Having piety
  • Doing good
  • Purification
  • Humility
  • Reflection of Allah’s grace
  • Magnanimity
  • Virtuosity
  • Loftiness
  • Justice
  • Strength
  • Love for the Sake of Allah
  • Forgiving others
  • Continuous performance of righteous deeds
  • Good manners and conduct

 

What really matters to Allah is faith and piety, people who are modest and humble are rich in faith and piety, they lead a life of success in doing good deeds.

Why not make a list of goals or good things you would like to achieve and spend some time doing each one, one at a time in moderation. For example giving charity, perhaps devote a few hours each week to a charity, shelter or home. Other good deeds are Nafl (optional) prayers or specific Dua’s.

Inshallah, I hope that we will strive toward doing good deeds no matter how big or small they are.

 


By Fadia Bint Ismail

 

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ALLAH ALONE IS SUFFICIENT FOR US

Allah exalted says: “And in Allah (alone) let the believers put their trust (14.11); then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah put your trust in Allah(3.159), and whosoever puts his trust in Allah then Allah will suffice him(65.3). “The believers are only those who when Allah is mentioned feel a fear in their hearts and when his verses (the Quran) are recited unto them they increase their faith and put their trust in their Rabb (Alone)” (8.2)

What does it mean to have firm belief and perfect reliance on Allah? Even in the worst circumstances one should always have faith and trust in Allah.
Take birds for instance, people should have hearts like birds that do not collect to keep in reserve; they go out every morning to collect food. Unlike us humans who collect and store things when it actual fact it is unnecessary which should know that if we truly have firm faith and rely solely in Allah surely he will provide for us like he provides for the birds.

The Prophet (PBUH) said: “A group of people (both men and women) whose hearts will be like the hearts of birds, will enter Jannah”

Sometimes we all feel we have to hoard certain things, whether it is physical, material or emotional we as human beings tend to accumulate everything that is unnecessary. We should live in the present, we cannot change the past and we cannot foresee the future. Instead we should put our trust in Allah and believe that he truly knows what is best for us.
We should continuously try to renew ourselves, renew our faith. Inshallah

Bismillah tawwakkaltu alAllah wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah (I begin with the name of Allah, I trust in Allah, there is no altering of conditions but by the power of Allah)

 

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This is a reminder first and foremost to myself and then to others.


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By Fadia Bint Ismail

 

What do you think the most important aspects of being a good Muslim should be?

I know many wonder what more they can do, how much more Islamic knowledge they can gain etc. But sometimes we fail to realize the most important fundamentals of Islam which will pave our way towards gaining closeness to Allah (SWT).

Our beloved Prophet (PBUH) had many unique qualities and characteristics which should be our guide in being the best Muslim that we can be. Inshallah.

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Sincerity: Actions are judged my intentions

“Actions are (judged) by motives (niyyah), so each man will have what he intended. Thus, he whose migration (hijrah) was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger; but he whose migration was for some worldly thing he might gain, or for a wife he might marry, his migration is to that for which he migrated.”

[Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

But just following this simple hadith it can lead us into a better path Inshallah. Everyone will be rewarded or punished according to his aim and intention.

Our intentions should be in striving and fighting in the way of Allah. Our intentions and spirit of Jihad should always be present in our hearts and thus we shall then be rewarded. For example even if you made the intention to do good, to give some sort of charity but then failed to do so when that intention forms in our heart out of sincerity in striving in the way of Allah we will also be rewarded for it.

Being sincere and having good intentions are very important aspects in every human beings lives.

Repentance: Speaking the truth

It is always necessary when we commit any sort of sin even if it is as much as the foam in the sea, as high as the mountains if we sincerely repent and turn back to Allah He will then open the gates of Tawbah for us. A Muslim should always speak the truth even if he has to face troubles. So if we have sinned speak your heart out to Allah, He knows and sees everything but confess only to Allah and do not display and expose your sins. Speak the truth and repent sincerely because the pleasure of Allah lies in the truth.

Allah exalted says “O you who believe, be afraid of Allah and be with those who are true (in their words and deeds), the men and women who are truthful (in their speech and deeds) then if they had been true to Allah, it would have been better” Quran (47.21)

Patience and Perseverance

 

 

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Many of us find it difficult to remain patient in times of anger or even difficult times. We all fall prey to this nobody is perfect but if we try and persevere and strive in the way of Allah we can overcome anything. I believe we should try to maintain uprightness and steadfastness. Having these two qualities and persevering and having patience is the true mark of faith.

A tree which does not bear any fruit has no value; similarly faith becomes meaningless without practice.

Allah exalted says “O you, who believe, endure and be patient, and certainly we shall test you with some fear, hunger, and loss of wealth, lives and fruits but give glad tidings to As Sabirun (The patient) Quran (2.155)

I think that if we incorporate these three important aspects into our lives into our character, instil it within our hearts I am sure we will be able to reach a level in our Emaan which will be pleasing to Allah.

Our beloved Prophet (SAW) was truly sincere; he even repented to Allah 70 times a day. He was not arrogant and believed that just because He (SAW) was a Prophet that he did not have to repent. He persevered and remained patient through the worst of tribulations which we will never be able to comprehend.

This should be a reminder firstly to myself and then to others. Inshallah

May we all take heed in seeking to strive in the way of ALLAH. Ameen


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Do not be Sad


‘Do not be sad, because sadness causes you to regret the past, to have misgivings concerning the future, and to make you waste away your present.

Do not be sad, because it causes the heart to contract, the face to frown, the spirit to weaken, and hope to vanish.

Do not be sad, because your sadness pleases your enemy, angers your friend, and makes the jealous rejoice.

Do not be sad, because by being sad you are complaining against the divine decree and showing vexation at what is written for you.

Do not be sad, because grief cannot return to you the one who is lost or gone away. It cannot resurrect the dead, it cannot change fate, it can bring no benefit whatsoever.

Do not be sad, because sadness is often from the devil and is a kind of hopelessness.”

(pg 155-156, ‘Don’t Be Sad’ by ‘Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni)


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By Fadia Bint Ismail

Who to start with?

Sometimes we are all in denial when it comes to ourselves. We look at others around us and we believe that they are the ones who need to change. But have you ever thought that perhaps you are the one who needs to change. Everyone lacks something but we first need to start looking at ourselves before we want to change the world and others. Like the saying goes “Sweep in front of your own door step first” . When it comes to our faith there are always certain influences that cause us to stray, be it your friend circles, family members and many other factors but when we want to gain closeness to Allah to return back to him there are many things we need to learn and take heed of. Even treating your Muslim Brothers and Sisters is an act of faith and reward from Allah. That is why by changing ourselves to follow the commands of Allah and our Rasool (SAW) we will be able to not only conquer the quest in bettering ourselves we will also win the battle against Shaytaan (Devil)

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said “Whoever from amongst you sees an evil he should change it with his hand and if he is not able to, then with his tongue and if he is not able to, then he should hate it in his heart, and that is the weakest level of faith.” [Muslim and Ahmed]

To begin with our transformation by changing ourselves first there are certain things we need to look at first. For example.

  1. How is your relationship with Allah
  2. How is your prayer, humbleness, distraction
  3. How is your Aqeedah (Faith)
  4. How is your connection with the Quran and Sunnah(Prophetic Traditions)

It is very imperative that a person should take his soul to account and treat his deficiencies and match yourself according to those 4 pointers that i have set out.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:  “Whoever wants to know what Allah has prepared for him then he should look to what he has prepared for Allaah.” [As-Silsilah As-Saheehah]

After those 4 points we need to continuously strive to better our conditions with our creator. If you change what is in your heart Allah will change your condition. The best way to always make sure that you are striving and gaining closeness to Allah is to remember we are the created. From Allah we came and to him we shall indeed return.

Now test yourself when you hear the call to prayer. If you notice a desire to delay answering it in order to pursue your interests. Then know that Shaytaan (Devil) is leading your astray and gradually he wants you to fail in the pursuit of you changing yourself.

That is why we should constantly remind ourselves each day that we will all meet death. But it is better to meet death whilst trying to improve our own condition.

With following those four points that i have mentioned it will also help to implement the following.

 

  • Understand that all shall be well with Allah’s will. Allah forgives minor sins for He is All-Understanding and All-Forgiving. Even if you feel that you are already too deep to become the good Muslim that you truly can be.
  • Discover where the influences causing you to turn your back on your religion comes from. Maybe you can trace back the cause to either family situations or friends that are leading you on the wrong path. Leave the friends. They will not be there on the Day of Judgement when you have to face Allah on your own. If it is because of family, it is a little more difficult.
  • Pray five times a day. Before you get on the prayer rug, learn what the prayer words mean to enhance your contemplation within prayer. If you do not speak Arabic, try to find some translated versions of the prayer words and take some time to read and understand what the words mean. Start making prayer a normal part of your day, the way eating is a need of ours, our spiritual food is prayers.
  • Read the Quran. Read the Quran and also try to read the translation of the Quran and truly try to understand its meaning. You can read the translation in English as well. Reading the Quran will help establish a useful relationship with Allah and will also allow you to understand how beautiful the religion is. Listening to it (you can find videos online) also makes you feel closer to Allah.
  •  Learn more about Islam. Know what you have to do (which is called ‘wajib’ things) and what you can’t do (Haram things).  Do not only rely on the web “Imam Google” as some may put it. There are many unauthentic websites that promote propaganda. Always verify and check what sites you go on to. The best way to learn more about Islam i believe is through the old school method, attending the mosque, Islamic classes and purchasing or hiring Islamic books from your libraries or bookstores.
  •  Allocate a minimum amount of time each day to Islamic activities. For example, four hours for salah, Quran and Islamic studies will enable you to build up your relationship with Allah (SWT) and make good progress towards acquiring knowledge. Remember that the five daily Fard Salaah are your top priority and you should form the framework of your daily routine around these.
  • Hang out with good friends. Going with the theme you may want to make friends who share your mission of being a good Muslim. Avoid negative influences including old friends. Even though Shaytaan (Devil) can tempt us it is our responsibility as Muslims to fight these temptations and urges by increasing our faith and spirituality.
  • Forgive yourself and ask Allah (SWT) for forgiveness for any sins you may have committed. You need to let go of past mistakes and work on improving the future. Whatever has happened is done. It is in the past and there is nothing you can do to change it or better it. The only thing you can do is forgive yourself and sincerely repent to Allah (SWT) and sincerely ask Him for forgiveness. Use those negative experiences as motivation to get better and do good. Also notice where your weaknesses are and avoid them.
  • Take it day by day. If you make it a priority in your mind that you want to strive to be the best Muslim possible, you will achieve this goal without even realizing it! Every time you are about to do something, think: “Is this something good or religious?” If it isn’t, don’t do it! Simply remind yourself and be ready to stop yourself, just in case. Every single moment of every day must be devoted to pleasing Allah (SWT).

 

I hope that this information will benefit everyone Inshallah. Even if we think that we are good and on the right path we should never stop increasing our faith with good things. Everyone is prone to temptations but life is a battle that we need to fight to win the legitimate test from the Almighty Allah (SWT)

 

 

Ramadan To do List


 

 

 

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What does Istikhara Mean?

The word Istikharah comes from the root word of khayr.  Khair in the Arabic language in its origins is representative of all that which is good.  Khair is an umbrella word that represents all that which is good.  Istikharah means to seek the good and seek that which is good.  This is the meaning of the word Istikhara itself.

Just like the meaning, the prayer Salaatul Istikharah, which is from the Sunnah of the Prophet , is an authentically narrated Sunnah of the Prophet and an extremely emphasized practice of the Messenger .  Just like the meaning of the word Istikhara, the purpose of the Salaah is similarly to seek that which is good from Allah .

I want to Insha’Allāh have this session to explain the procedure and the purpose of Istikharah.

I am going to split today’s presentation into two parts.  The first part will focus on the ritual itself, meaning the technicalities, procedure, concept and outcome of Istikharah.  The second part will focus on the purpose of the Istikharah, which is explaining the meaning and beauty of the supplication of Istikharah itself because that unlocks the purpose and the reason why we even do Istikharah.

Technicalities

To begin with the technicalities, I would like to begin with a few basic points.  The first is the concept of Istikhara to understand Istikhara conceptually and what it is.  I can explain best to you what Istikharah is by explaining to you what Istikharah is not.

As they say in Arabic, sometimes the best way to get to know something is to know the opposite of it.  The best way I can help you understand what Istikharah is conceptually and the role and purpose of Istikharah is by explaining to you what it most definitely is not.

Istikharah is not a Magic 8 ball.  Did you ever buy that?  You get it at the mall as a gag gift.  You ask the Magic 8 ball, “Should I go to the mall today?” [Shake it]. “Maybe.”  This is the Magic 8 ball.  What I am trying to say by giving you this silly example is what people play around with when playing with the Magic 8 ball is throw out a random question, shake the Magic 8 ball and get a magical answer and go with it.  It is kind of like rolling the dice.  Istikharah is not that.

Decision Making Process

Istikharah is the third of a three-step decision making process.

Step 1- Use your intellect, ability and critical thinking that Allah has blessed each and every human being with in different capacities. Allah has granted every human being the ability to take factors into consideration and weigh different options and think about, ponder, contemplate, and process.  That is the first step of the decision making process in the life of the believer.  He first uses his intelligence and ability to think that Allah has given him. Take your circumstances into consideration, look at the options available to you, and then sit down and think and try to figure out and do some research and try to come to somewhat of a conclusion.  At least try to narrow your options and come to somewhat of a conclusion.  This is number one.

Step 2- Seeking counsel and seeking advice. It really depends on what type of decision you are trying to make. If you want to buy a car, you first do research online and do some car shopping and test drove and narrow down to options. Now seeking counsel and advice. if it is more of a personal issue, something that is a life type of decision, then you seek the counsel and advice from somebody who sincerely honestly cares about you, somebody who is experienced and mature and maybe even spiritually focused who can provide to you.

Now you are seeking counsel and advice.  If it is a more personal issue, something that is a life type decision, then you seek the counsel and advice from somebody who sincerely and honestly cares about you, somebody who is experienced and mature and maybe even spiritually focused so that they have a well-rounded perspective they can provide to you.

Step 3- The final step is then Istikharah. What has occurred up to this point that you started with no idea of what to do. You narrowed it down to options you sought counsel and got some advice. At this point in time you are struggling with this or that. You are starting to lean in one direction, but you are a little conflicted but you need a little confidence. This is where Istikharah comes in.

What I have just explained to you removes many of the issues and questions that people have about Istikharah itself.  A lot of people are confused about Istikharah because they try to use it like the Magic 8 ball.  “I have got to buy a house.  Let me do Istikharah.”  What do you think is going to happen?  Are you magically going to see a house in your dreams and going to go searching for it and find it and buy it?  It doesn’t work that way.  You don’t decide that you need to buy a car and then pray Istikharah and a Honda Civic is going to fall on you.  It doesn’t work that way.

When people try to utilize Istikharah in that way, then they walk away confused and say, “Shaykh, I made Istikharah and I can’t figure anything out.  It’s not working.”  You don’t change the batteries in your Istikharah, right?  What is basically going on is that you are not utilizing it properly.  Anything that is not utilized properly is not going to work right.  You have to utilize it properly and appropriately.  Make sure you turn it into the third of a three-step decision making process.  This is the concept and role of Istikharah.

Prerequisites of Istikharah

The next thing I would like to explain are the prerequisites of Istikharah.  What is required to do Istikharah?

I am going to give you the actual narration, but for now we are just going to roll with it and speak a little more generally.  What is required for the Istikharah is what is required for any other prayer, which is you need to make sure that you are pure and clean, clothed appropriately, have Wudu (Ablution) . You face towards the Qiblah (direction of the Kabah).

Basically whatever is required to normally pray is what is required for Istikharah.  There are no other extra prerequisites or requirements for Istikharah.  You don’t have to pray it immediately before you go to sleep.  You don’t have to take a shower and then immediately pray Istikharah.  You need Wuḍu for prayer; you need Wuḍu’ for Istikharah.

Istikharah is a prayer just like Zuhr is a prayer and Nafl would be a prayer.

  • You don’t need to stop talking to people when you decide to do Istikharah.
  • You don’t need to wake up in the middle of the night and do Istikharah.
  • You don’t have to go stand on top of a mountain on one leg and do Istikharah.  You get my drift at this point – anything extra that you may heard, come across, or assumed that is needed for Istikharah aside from what is needed for prayer.  Wuḍu, dressing appropriately, facing the Qiblah, Allāhu Akbar – that is Istikharah.

The only thing I will add in here is that according to the opinion of the majority of scholars, there are small difference of opinion – I’m going to tell you what the majority of scholars say.  In Salatul-Istikharah, there are not major differences of opinion.  There are a few minor opinions here and there that differ from the vast majority.  I’m just going to go ahead and share the majority opinion because it is an overwhelming majority opinion.

The overwhelming majority opinion is that the only thing you have to watch out for is what you watch out for in other prayers.  Make sure you don’t pray Istikharah at the times when prayer is forbidden.  Those are three basic times of the day:  while the sun is rising, when the sun is at its peak (which lasts for a minute or so), and the setting of the sun.  Those three times of the day are when we are told not to pray.  It is the same requirements of Salaah and for Istikharah.

 

Procedure

What is the procedure of Istikharah?

There is a sequence of events or procedure.  Once you fulfill the prerequisites, you will stand up and pray two Rakah’s, two units, of Nafl (voluntary, supererogatory) prayer.  Why am I emphasizing and specifying it to be two Rakah’s of a voluntary prayer?  When we read the text of the Hadīth together Insha-Allah, at that time you will see it.  It is mentioned explicitly within the text of the Hadīth by the Messenger of Allah .  No debate and no question here.

What that means is that you can’t pray Salatul-‘Eshā’ and make the supplication of Istikharah – two for one, all done.  You can’t do that.

The Prophet explicitly said that you have to invest two more extra Rakah’s of prayer that are voluntary and optional.  You pray those two Rakah’s of prayer.  There is nothing different about those two units of prayer.  You pray them as you should pray any other Salaah.  There’s obviously room for improvement in my prayer, and I’m pretty sure everybody feels there is room for improvement within their prayers, so aside from that entire discussion, basically you pray Istikharah like you would pray any other prayer, which is two Rakah’s, Qiyāam, Rukū’, Sujood.  You sit at the end, Tashahhud, Salawaat on the Messenger , supplication, Salaam, and that’s it.

There is no extra special Surah that should be recited here.  There’s nothing that is authentically narrated from the Prophet about reciting this in the first Rakah and that in the second Rakah.  There is nothing of that sort.

What to do Step By Step

1- Make your intention by saying the Niyyah for Salaatul Istikharah.

2- Pray two Nafl Rakah’s

3- Once complete recite the supplication for Istikharah as taught to us by the Prophet (SAW). It must be read in Arabic. There are many opinions as to when the supplication can be recited either before or after.

4- Ask your question, problem etc. make sure that what you are asking are questions that will give a yes or no answer. Be direct in what you are asking ie: Should i marry so and so use this person’s name

Nevertheless, going back to the procedure.  We talked about praying two Rakah’s, completing the prayer, reading the supplication in Arabic to the best of your ability.  That is the procedure of Istikharah.  Read the supplication in Arabic, and it is done.  You don’t have to make any extra Dua after that.  The supplication that you read in Arabic is the supplication and Dua’ itself.

Outcome of Istikharah

What is the outcome of the Istikharah?  Again, I can start by telling you what is not the outcome of the Istikharah.  You will not wake up in the middle of the night and have a 3D vision of what you should.  I can tell you that is not going to happen.  It is Istikharah and not Avatar.  That is one thing we need to be clear on.  While it might seem like a joke or silly to some people, sometimes people just don’t know.

The primary outcome of the Istikharah is the clarity of mind and confidence to make the decision that you need to make.  You feel confident and good about making your decision.  You were already leaning towards one option – option A – and there is another option on the table, but you are a lot more confident about option A or maybe you have come to a decision about option A but you just need that extra little confidence.

You do your Istikharah and naturally start to feel more confident and feel clearer and feel ready to make that decision.

The outcome of the Istikharah is to reflect internally and be a bit introspective and look inside and see if you feel good and confident about making your decision.

How do you know that the outcome of the Istikharah is maybe this isn’t the best decision for you?  You will naturally feel down.  You will feel conflicted, doubtful, very scared or anxious or hesitant about making your decision.

The reason why Istikharah has become complicated for us a lot of times is because we are looking for something out of this world and something supernatural and really far out.  We look for something crazy like that, and when we don’t find it, we feel unfulfilled.

If we learn to just think of it internally and learn to be a little more reflective and introspective, naturally you will find the response to your Istikharah to be a lot more facilitated for you.  You are thinking internally and feel naturally confident in your decision.

What about Dreams?

The question always comes up:  what about dreams?  The issue of dreams is one thing that needs to be understood.  We don’t completely dismiss dreams altogether.  Authentic narrations of the Prophet tell us that dreams are something that a believer derives inspiration from.  Even the greatest of scholars like Ibn Sirīn of the tabi’ūn and great scholars of interpretation of dreams, one of the first things they would say or one of the first things they taught their students was that dreams are not a basis of making decisions.  Decisions should not be based on dreams.  These were the first and foremost to tell their students that even though these were the scholars of the interpretation of dreams.  They said at the most it is inspiration, motivation, encouragement.  That is all it is.  It is not something you base a decision on.

I would like to clarify that right here.  If you have a dream and it kind of inspires you or motivates you, Alḥamdulillāh.  Don’t read too much into it because you are not supposed to.

Two Miscellaneous Issues

That is the outcome of the Istikharah.  There are two miscellaneous issues I would like to explain.  The first issue is related to the outcome.

What if I make Istikharah and I just still don’t feel comfortable or confident in my decision?

I still don’t feel confident or clear and am still not comfortable making a decision, and I made Istikharah and followed the procedure properly. 

What do I do at that time?

The course of action at that time is:  do it again.  If it doesn’t work again, then do it again.  If you are still not comfortable, then do it again.  Keep doing it until you feel confident and comfortable in making your decision.

There is even a narration from ‘Abdullāh b. Zubayr , one of the companions of the Prophet and probably ‘Ā’ishah’s best and brightest student.

He says, “I made Istikharah with Allāh three times.  Then I was comfortable and confident in making my decision.”  He explicitly mentions while explaining to his students that if you have to make istikhārah multiple times, then you have to make istikhārah multiple times and that’s ok.  He said, “I had to pray Istikharah three times one time to make a decision.”  Don’t be afraid of repeating the Istikharah multiple times.

A lot of times, it is just a matter of – and this is a tragedy of our times – becoming spiritually numb and we are not very introspective and not very reflective.  Sometimes the superficial nature of the culture we live in or activities make us a little spiritually dull or numb.  We might have to do Istikharah a few times to break through the surface or crack the shell.

 

Can someone else do Istikharah for you?

There is no precedent.  There is no religious verification for having someone else do Istikharah for you.  There is nothing mentioned in the Hadith of the Prophet .  There is no precedent from the generation of the Saḥabah.  The classical furqaha’ have explicitly stated that Istikharah is meant to be done by the individual himself or herself.  That is a rule.  That’s it.  A person has to do the Istikharah himself or herself.

There is a very honest and sincere question and concern that is in the mind’s of people who ask this question.  The question or that concern is often:  I am not a very good person, I don’t pray five times a day, I have a lot of sins and issues in my life, I feel distant from Allah, I don’t know if I make Istikharah if it will be clear or won’t be clear, so I want to ask someone to make Istikharah who is a lot more righteous and pious, and someone who is a lot better person than I am.

I would like to answer that concern by first saying that maybe part of the reason that you feel that way about your relationship with Allah is because of the mentality and approach that you have where you don’t feel like you are good enough to talk to Allah.  You feel like you don’t have access to Allah.

The first thing that you have to get over is the simple fact that Allah is just as available and just as accessible to the sinful person as He is to the most righteous and pious person.  Allah is available and accessible to everyone.  We can all pray to Allah.  We can all ask Allah for whatever we need.  We can all do Istikharah with Allah.

The second answer to that concern is if you are feeling a bit guilty and self-conscious about the fact that you are distant from Allah and not praying and maybe that is why you should not be doing Istikharah, then why not fix the problem?  Why not say, “I have a situation.  I need to do Istikharah.  I don’t pray five times a day and that’s why I don’t feel comfortable doing Istikharah.  Well, it’s time for Maghrib right now or time for Esha right now, why don’t I go ahead and take that first step?  Why don’t I go make wuḍu’, stand up and pray.

 

May Allah bless us all to do Istikharah and to be pleased with Allah’s Decree and decision in our affairs and issues.

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