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Finding yourself at a crossroads in life?
We’re often faced with life-changing decisions where we find ourselves unsure of the choices we are dealing with. The truth is, we can never be truly certain which of our choices will turn out to be good decisions – only Allah SWT possesses that quality. It is only He who is All-Seeing and All-Knowing, and He always knows what is better for His man.
That is why Allah SWT has granted us a special tool of guidance, a gift that serves as a direct link between the Almighty and us. That blessing is Salat al-Istikhara.
We perform the Istikhara Prayer for His guidance when we need to make a decision regarding any dilemma, no matter how big or small it is. In other words, the purpose of performing Istikhara is to fully surrender to Allah’s SWT will and trust Him to lead us to what is better for us.
Have a look at this step-by-step guide on how to perform the Istikhara Prayer.
When Should You Perform the Istikhara Prayer?
When you’re uncertain about the ‘right’ choice or the ‘better’ decision, you offer the prayer of Istikhara. The choice or decision could be related to anything from your job, business, and money matters to family, children, and marriage – no matter the urgency of it.
However, it should go without saying that deliberating on things that are sinful or Haram in nature renders the Istikhara Prayer invalid. The individual seeking Allah’s SWT help in making a certain decision must have good intent and sincerity in his heart.
What Is The Correct Way to Perform Salat-al-Istikhara?
Here’s how you can perform the Istikhara Prayer in seven clear steps:
Say two cycles of ritual prayer (Nafl Salah).
After finishing the ritual prayer, recite Durood-e-Ibrahim.
Do Allah’s Dhikr. For example, you can say “Allahu Akbar” any number of times.
“Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi'ilmika, Wa astaqdiruka bi-qudratika' , Wa as'alaka min fadlika Al-`azlm Fa-innaka taqdiru Wala aqdiru, Wa ta'lamu Wala a'lamu, Wa anta 'allamu l-ghuyub. Allahumma, in kunta ta'lam anna hadha-lamra Khairun li fi dini wa ma'ashi wa'aqibati `Amri (or 'ajili `Amri wa'ajilihi) Faqdirhu wa yas-sirhu li thumma barik li Fihi, Wa in kunta ta'lamu anna hadha-lamra shar-run li fi dini wa ma' ashi wa'aqibati `Amri (or fi'ajili `Amri wa ajilihi) Fasrifhu anni was-rifni anhu. Waqdir li al-khaira haithu kana Thumma ardini bihi.”
Translation: “Allah, I seek the counsel of Your Knowledge, and I seek the help of Your Omnipotence, and I beseech You for Your Magnificent Grace. Surely, You are Capable and I am not. You know and I know not, and You are the Knower of the unseen. O Allah, if You know that this matter [then mention the thing to be decided] is good for me in my religion and in my life and for my welfare in the life to come, - [or say: in this life and the afterlife] - then ordain it for me and make it easy for me, then bless me in it. And if You know that this matter is bad for me in my religion and in my life and for my welfare in the life to come, - [or say: in this life and the afterlife] - then distance it from me, and distance me from it, and ordain for me what is good wherever it may be, and help me to be content with it.” – [Sahih Bukhari: 1166]
When saying the word "ھذا الامر" while reciting the Dua of Istikhara, specifically think about the reason for which you’re performing this Salah.
Recite Durood-e-Ibrahim at the end to conclude the Salah.
After offering Salat al-Istikhara, surrender to Allah’s Will with your whole heart and put your trust in His infinite Wisdom. It is important to note that offering Istikhara does not necessarily mean that the answer will come to you in the form of dreams or visions. In fact, Allah SWT may embed the answer in the heart of the believer and guide him to the best course of action.
Once you put your faith in Allah SWT, trust the process and know He will bring you the very best in this life and the Hereafter.
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Islamic ruling on Suicide in the light of the Quran and Hadith.