Many, or perhaps most Muslims have heard about the prayer of Istikhara, and I’m sure many of us have performed it at least once in our lives.
During Ilmfest in Putrajaya recently, we were refreshed and enlightened by our dearest sister Yasmin Mogahed about this important aspect of our daily lives. She was talking about the importance of du’a, and she spoke inquite a length about solat Istikhara.
“Istikhara is not just for marriage, folks,” she said.
Some of us laughed. She was right, of course.
While it is true that choosing a partner is one of the reasons for us to do prayer of Istikhara, there are so many other things that we should do istikhara for.
A doctor will be able to tell you that there are many times that he is stuck between two correct decisions, or between two potentially harmful but necessary interventions, and nobody would be able to tell the answers.
Or a person who had two job offers, or someone considering which house or car to buy, or so many other things that may even appear small.
By praying Istikhara, it means that we trust Allah fully to guide us on our decisions, and the outcome from it. We have total faith in Allah that His guidance will only bring us good, as we have asked sincerely from Him.
Yes, everything has been written, as in a hadith of Prophet Muhammad SAW, which translates to:
“…If the whole nation were to gather together to benefit you they would only benefit you with that which Allaah had already written for you; and if the whole nation were to gather to harm you they could only harm you with that which Allaah had already written to harm you. The pen has been lifted and the ink has dried (a phrase meaning: everything has been decreed or settled)”. [At-Tirmizi]
However, by praying and trusting Allah, whatever that has been written for us, we would understand that it is best for us. We will be able to look back and be thankful with the way things turned out to be, knowing full well that it could not have been better. We will not regret every single decision and will look forward to the positive side of things, learning and appreciating every single moment of it.
Allah SWT knows the answers; which youth are we going to marry and be happy with, what is the best treatment for a patient, which house is best for us to live in, which car would be worth our investment, which job will give us satisfaction, or even which friend to have dinner with tonight! But we don’t know which one, so by praying to Allah, we put our trust on Him to show us which decision is best for us, and we will be content with what we end up having.
* * *
Let’s listen to the ‘alim talking about Istikhara. 🙂