Asking for Allah's Guidance in a Certain Affair - Al-Istikhaara

Authentic Supplications of the Prophet
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Asking for Allah's Guidance in a Certain Affair - Al-Istikhaara (123)

The Messenger of Allah used to teach us to ask Allah's guidance in all matters just like he used to teach us a surah out of the Qur'ãn. He would say: If one of you intends on doing a certain matter, let him pray two rak'ãt, then let him say: Allãhumma '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, 'allãhumma 'in kunta ta`lamu 'anna hãthal 'amra - 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(143)'.
- and [here] you name it [the affair] by its name -

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

<<And consult them in the matter [of moment]. Then when you have taken a decision put your trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust [in Him].>> (l44). Qãtadatu said: There is not a people that consult amongst themselves seeking Allah Face(145) except that they would be guided to the most straight and correct action for them.

(143) O' my 'ilãh 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' my 'ilãh if You know that this affair -and you name it by its name- 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.

(144) Surat 'Ale-'lmrãn (#3) V. 159.

(145) Meaning they want to see Allah's Face (because that is the greatest pleasure for the people of Paradise). The Qur'ãn and the Sunnah affirm that Allah has a face, two hands, fingers, and two eyes. Some people deny these attributes because they incorrectly suppose that by affirrning them they are humanizing Allah. Such an argument is only valid for those that would say, for example, "Allah has hands like ours (?)" Such a statement is not allowed because it qualifies Allah's attributes without evidence from the Qur'an or the Sunnah. It would also be in contradiction to the Qur'anic verse:

<<There is nothing that is like Him, and He is The Ever-Hearing, The Ever-Seeing>> . Thus we must affirm the attributes that Allah, and/or his Messenger have affirmed; we must believe that these attributes befit the Magnificence, and Glory of Allah; and we are not allowed to qualify these attributes unless Allah, and/or his Messenger have done so for us.

Ibn Taymiya said that it was reported by Al-Bukhãri to this effect. Al-Albãni said that the wording was identical to that of Al-Bukhãri; however, the word "all" in "in all matters" was not in Al-Bukhãri's Qiyãm ul-Layl but was in his Ad-Da`awãt and his At-Tawheed. Also, he said that Al-Bukhãri 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-Albãni continued, Ibn Taymiya 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-Albani 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.

© 1993 Waleed Al-Essa
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