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Al-Istikhaara [Asking for Allaah's Guidance in a Certain Affair]


[Asking for Allaah’s Guidance in a Certain Affair]

The Messenger of Allaah used to teach us to ask Allaah’s guidance in all matters just like he used to teach us a surah out of the Qur’aan. He would say:
“If one of you intends on doing a certain matter, let him pray two rak’aat, then let him say:

Allaahumma ‘innee ‘astakheeruka bi`ilmika, wa ‘astaqdiruka biqudratika, wa ‘as’aluka min fadhlikal-`atheemi, fa’innaka taqdiru wa lã ‘aqdiru, wa ta`lamu wa lã ‘a`lamu, wa ‘anta `allãmul-ghuyoobi, ‘allaahumma ‘in kunta ta`lamu ‘anna hãthal ‘amra –

[O’ Allaah I ask your guidance due to your knowledge, and I ask your help due to your ability. For You are able and I’m not able, You know and I don’t Know, and You are the one that knows the hidden matters. O’ Allaah if You know that this affair]

and [here] you name it [the affair] by its name

khayrun lee fee deenee wa ma`ãshee wa `ãqibati ‘amree, wa`ãjilihi wa’ãjilihi, faqdurhu lee wa yassirhu lee, thumma bãriklee feeh, wa ‘in
kunta ta`lamu ‘anna hãthal-‘amra sharrun lee fee deenee wa ma’ãshee wa `ãqibati ‘amree, wa`ãjilihi wa’ãjilihi, fasrifhu `annee wasrifnee
`anhu, waqdurlee ‘al-khayra haythu kãna, thumma radh-dhinee bihi

[is better for me in my faith, my livelihood, the aftermath of my affair, its short term, and its long term, then decree it for me, make it easy for me, and bestow blessings for me in it; and if You know that this affair is bad for me in my faith, my livelihood, the aftermath of my affair, its short term, and its long term, then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it; and decree for me the good where ever it is, and then content me with it.]

One that asks the Creators’ guidance in a matter, and consults with His creation, then acts deliberately would never regret his action. For Allaah The Exalted says:

“And consult them in the matter [of moment]. Then when you have taken a decision put your trust in Allah. For Allaah loves those who put their trust [in Him].” [Aal-lmraan (3):159]

Imaam Qataadah Ibn Diaa’amah Sadoosee Basree (117H) said: “There is not a people that consult amongst themselves seeking Allaah’s Face 1 except that they would be guided to the most straight and correct action for them.” 2

1 Meaning they want to see Allaah’s Face (because that is the greatest pleasure for the people of Paradise). The Qur’aan and the Sunnah affirm that Allaah has a Face, two Hands, Fingers, and two Eyes without giving resemblance (tashbeeh) or making a likeness (tamtheel) to created things as Allaah says: “There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” [Surah Ash-Shura (42):11]
2 With regards to the reporting of this du’aa: Ibnu Taymiyyah said that it was reported by Al-Bukhaaree to this effect. Al-Albaanee said that the wording was identical to that of Al- Bukhaaree; however, the word “all” in “in all matters” was not in Al-Bukhaaree’s Qiyãm ul-Layl but was in his Ad-Da`awaat and his At-Tawheed. Also, he said that Al-Bukhaaree reported, after the phrase “the aftermath of my affair”, the following: “Or he said: the short term of my affair and its long term” indicating that the narrator was not sure which of the two was correct. So perhaps, Al-Albaanee continued, Ibn Taymiyyah combined the two so that the supplicant would be sure he was, either way, saying the words of the Prophet . For this reason it appears in this book as “the aftermath of my affair, its short term, and its long-term. Al-Albaanee said he had no problem with that, then, he said: “And Allah knows best”. He included this hadeeth in The Authentic of Good Sayings as #96.