When a human confront any hardship and is ambivalent in any particular matter related to social, personal or academic perspective, he usually seek someone‘s guidance to persuade him towards the righteous beneficiary track. The best recommendation is to opt the advice of the one who is connoisseur in that field and despite being what we like we choose to speculate and act upon the advice of the learned person.
Like wisely, Allah the sole possessor encompasses solutions for all ordeals and tribulations. Man is born weak whom Satan can easily avert from his track through his lullabies that he continuously instills in the heart of believers. Man has limited powers and deficient intellectual thereupon he consults Allah Almighty in trivial matters keeping one’s heart attach to the matter in question. Beseeching Allah’s guidance is one of the attribute of believers prescribed in the divine revelation by Allah Almighty:
“And those who have responded to their lord and established prayer and whose affair is [determined by] consultation among themselves, and from what We have provided them, they spend…. Reward is due from Allah” [Quran 42:38-40]
Asking and Relying Upon Allah
Istikhara means, “Consulting Allah for one’s matter.” Allah comprehends what is best for humans by decreeing upon hurdles to test the dexterous and best pawn in faith and devotion. In Quran Allah says pertaining to the yearning of humans that human being weak in nature asks for the things that might are not favorable hence to evade his heart it is better to seek consultation as stated:
“… 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.” [Quran 2:216]
Reinforcing the guidance, Allah Himself has said at another place in His last book that once you lay your trust unto Me then keep the trust and do not fall in the lullabies of Satan that eventually weakens faith as narrated:
“.. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].” [3:159]
Etiquettes of Istekhara Salah
From the sacred narration and revelations, the custom of offering Salah comprises two Raka’ah along supplications in the end. The format and rituals include:
- Do Wudu prior performing Salah to ward off Satan and to cleanse one’s self from worldly impurity.
- Choose clean place and clothes entailing the elimination of worldly troubles from head reaffirming that Allah is the superior, omnipotent, and the sole solver of problems.
- Offer two Raka’ah with the intention of the particular matter for which you are going to offer the Nafal.
- Once done offering, supplicate and ask Allah’s guidance for betterment of choices.
Dua for the Istekahra Salah
Jabir Ibn Abd`Allah Al Salami (R.A) narrated that “The Messenger (PBUH) of Allah used to teach His companions to make istekharah in all things, just as He used to teach them Surahs from the Quran. He said: ‘If any one of you is concerned about a decision he has to make, then let him pray two Raka’ah of non-obligatory prayer, then say:
“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 Allah, 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.” [Bukhari]
Instead of “this matter” in aforementioned Dua mention your respective desires and invoke Allah for it.
Suitable Time for Istekhara
No explicit suitable time is mentioned for this Salah like other obligatory prayers but according to the Hadith, the later part of the night in which Allah Almighty descends down to the earth from Heaven is highly recommended because He listens to the subtle and slightest whispers of the supplicants as stated in Hadith:
“Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “When it is the last third of the night, our Lord, The Blessed, The Superior, Descends every night to the nearest heaven of the world and Declares, ‘Is there anyone who invokes Me that I may respond to his invocation; is there anyone who asks Me for something that I may give (it to) him; is there anyone who asks My forgiveness that I may forgive him?” [Bukhari]
Significance of Offering Istekhara
Offering Istekhara for one’s confusion to seek Allah’s supervision detaches him from carnal desires, the inner ambiguous situation changes into angelic forms by relying firmly upon Allah’s power. The supplicant awaits the commands of Allah Almighty that instills divine motivation and prove stimulant for inculcation of inner satisfaction on Lord’s decision.
The seeker must perform supplication with conviction but not begging or pleading instead ask for His assistance in worldly matters. Allah says in Quran:
“And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible.” [Quran 40:60]
Delusions Regarding Istekhara
Humans are in a whim that Istekhara is for any matter be legal or illegal but this is the apparition intertwined to it or self innovated concept. Istekhara is for Mubaah (legal permissible) acts rather for insignificant and Haraam purposes.
Istekhara does not mean that a magic wand will fill hearts with the desires or fill hands with what you have yearned for. Istekhara allocates signs by either averting you from that task or unveiling folds of contentment upon the supplicant.
Concluding, Allah possesses the best knowledge and is the ultimate guiders hence summon Him whenever the confusion surpasses by putting one’s faith in His decisions. Salah is the best way to attain Allah’s closeness and asking to facilitate him in ordeals by invoking Him. Verily in the remembrance of Allah, hearts find solace.