Kitab Al-Salaah (The book of Prayer)


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  • Kitab Al-Salaah (The book of Prayer)


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    Salatul-Isstikhara
    (Prayer To Seek Allah's Guidance)

               
    It is natural that in his day-to-day affairs a Muslim is confronted
    with important issues requiring decision making and which may force the
    person to undergo much thinking, anxiety and even worry before the
    person is able to decide affirmatively or negatively. It is with due
    regard to such situations that the Prophet (peace be upon him)
    accustomed for the Muslim Ummah a voluntary prayer to which a person
    may resort to and through which he/she seeks from Allah (subhanahu wa
    ta'ala) true guidance and the ability to reach the proper decision over
    the particular matter.

                This
    prayer is known in Arabic as SALATUL-ISSTIKHARA and its importance is
    such that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to teach his companions
    about it the same way he used to teach them the verses of the Holy
    Qur'an. The companion Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) said that
    the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to exhort us to practice
    Isstikhara for all our affairs.

                The
    manner of performing this prayer is that the person comes up with a
    voluntary prayer of two rakaats (units) at anytime during the day or
    night and upon completing the same the person recites a private
    supplication in which he/she seeks the guidance of Allah (subhanahu wa
    ta'ala). The supplication goes as follows: "ALLAHUMMA INNI ASTAKHYIRUKA
    Bl'ILMIKA WA ASTAQDIRUKA BI QUDRATIKA WA AS-ALUKA MIN FADHLIKA-AL-AZIM,
    FA INNAKA TAQDIRU WA TA'LAMU WALAA AQDDIRU WATA'ALAMU WALAA A'LAMU, WA
    ANTA 'ALLAMUL-GHUYYUB. ALLAHUUMA IN KUNTA TA'LAMU ANNA HADHAL-AMRA.
    (Here the person makes a mention of the matter for which guidance is
    sought) KHEIRUN LEE FII DINII WAMA'AASHII WAAAQI-BATA AMRII FAQDURHU
    LII, WA YASSIR-HU LII THUMMA BAARIK LII FIIHI, WAIN KUNTA TA' LAMU ANNA
    HADHAL-AMRA (Also at this point the person makes a mention of the
    matter for which guidance is sought) SHARRUN LEE FII DINII WA MA'AASHII
    WA'AAQIBATA AMRII, FASRIFHU 'ANNII WASRIFNII 'ANHU WAQDUR LEE AL-KHEYRA
    HEYTHU KANA THUMMA ARDHINII BIHII". Which means: "O Lord, I seek Your
    guidance, through Your knowledge and power: and I ask You of Your great
    bounties,- for You decree and I do not decree,- and You know and I know
    not,- You are the knower of invisible. O Lord, if You know that this
    matter (and here the person states the matter for which guidance is
    sought) is of benefit to me in my religion, in my livelihood and in its
    outcome, decide it for me. And make it easy for me and then bless it
    for me, and if You know that this matter (and here he names it again)
    is bad for me in my religion, in my livelihood, and in its outcome,
    turn it from me and divert me from it and decree good for me wherever
    it may be and make me pleased with it".

               
    Having sought Allah's guidance as above, the person then resumes
    his/her routine affairs and in the meantime awaiting the due response
    from Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) which could appear to the person by
    way of feelings in the person's heart of either confidence or
    otherwise. Thus, where the person feels in his/her heart a sense of
    vigor, optimism and satisfaction about the intended undertaking, then
    the person may construe this as a positive response from Allah
    (subhanahu wa ta'ala) and may accordingly proceed on with the intended
    undertaking. Where, however, the opposite is true and the person's
    doubts, and/or worries are not cleared, then the person may avoid the
    intended undertaking for it could mean doom for him/her. Allah
    (subhanahu wa ta'ala) says: “It is possible that ye dislike a
    thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for
    you. But Allah knoweth and ye know not”
    (Qur'an 2:216).

               
    Indeed, the essence of this prayer is to test someone's trust in Allah
    (subhanahu wa ta'ala), hence, the need to abide by the guidance of
    Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) accordingly whether this may mean pursuing
    or abandoning the intended undertaking. Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala)
    also says: “And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is
    Allah for him, for Allah surely accomplishes His purpose: Verily, for
    all things has Allah appointed a due proportion”
    (Qur'an 65:3).

     

     

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