ISTIKHARAH: A Course of Action During Times of Tribulation & Trials, By Maulana Sayed Muhammad Yusuf Banuri
Compiled by: Mufti Umar Anwar Badakhshani
In this era when the very binding of the Ummah has become unstitched there appears to be no possibility of binding it in the near future. Since the path of proper investigation and consultation has closed, only the avenue of Istikhaarah remains. It is narrated in the Hadeeth:
ما خاب من استخار ولا ندم من استشار
Translation: “One who resorts to Istikharah will not be one who bears failure and harm and one who resorts to consultation will not regret and be ashamed.”
This is the course of action for the general masses who do not know which way to turn during these Fitnas, whereby they resort to the Masnoon Istikharah before acting. There is hope that after Istikharah, the steps he takes will be correct and sound. The meaning of Masnoon Istikhaarah is, when a person is confused and unsure regarding any matter due to which no clear option is visible and his knowledge is unable to guide him, his strength fails him in choosing the better course of action. He should then turn to the court of Allah and supplicate from Him with reliance, handing one’s matter over to Allah submitting to His will and readily accepting His decision in the matter. Asking Allah to guide and steer him in the right direction so that he is granted the ability to tread the better path.
THE REALITY OF ISTIKHARAH
The letters being received from sincere people are all being replied with the guideline to resort to Masnoon Istikharah. It will not be inappropriate at this juncture to include the method and dua for Istikharah. In reality, Istikharah is a ray of light from the lamp of Nabuwwat which has been shown to the Ummah. It is a guide for every individual who is in difficulty among the Ummah till the Day of Qiyaamah. This is a form of nurturing through the Rasul the blessings of which will remain till the last day. It is narrated in the Hadeeth that Nabi-e-Kareem used to teach Istikharah to the Sahaabah like the Surahs of the Noble Quraan is taught to children. Through the experience of the pious saints, many forms of Istikharah have come to the fore through which people find the right course of action to follow, but what can be said about that which flowed from the bosom of the guide of the Ummah, the seal of Nabuwaat, the mercy to mankind, the one granted the most know ledge from the first to the last.
THE OBJECTIVE OF ISTIKHARAH
It should be noted that the objective of the Masnoon Istikharah is for the servant to do the work required of him and for him to hand himself over to the all encompassing knowledge and perfect power of Allaah It is as if the servant, by resorting to Istikharah has freed. himself of his responsibility. It is evident that if a person goes to an intelligent, experienced and noble person, for consultation, that person will furnish the correct advice and will also assist the person in keeping with his ability. Therefore what is istikharah? It is seeking advice from Allah through which the servant has placed his request before Allah. Who can be more merciful and Compassionate, kind and Endowing than Allah? His generosity and bounty is without example. His knowledge is complete and His power is peerless. Now, whatever is beneficial for the person, Allah will grant him the ability and inclination to do. Thus, there is no need for further pondering or seeing a dream to direct one. Whatever is good for him will happen, whether he knows of the goodness or not, whether he presently finds peace and serenity or not. Only that will happen in which there is goodness for him. This is the meaning of Masnoon Istikharah. This is why this course of action has been left as a legacy for the entire Ummah till the Day of Qiyaamah. This is why it is mentioned in the Hadeeth:
من سعادة ابن آدم استخارة الله ومن شقاوة ابن آدم تركه استخارة الله
Translation: “It is the good fortune of a person that he resorts to Istikharah in his affairs and it is his ill fortune that he gives up Istikharah.”
THE DUA FOR ISTIKHARAH
اللهم إني أستخيرك بعلمك، وأستقدرك بقدرتك ، و أسألك من فضلك العظيم ، فإنك تقدر ولا أقدر ، و تعلم ولا أعلم ، و أنت علام الغيوب ، اللهم إن كنت تعلم أن هذا الأمر . . . . . . خير لي ، في ديني و معاشي و عاقبة أمري ، فاقدره لي و يسره لي ، ثم بارك لي فيه ، و إن كنت تعلم أن هذا الأمر . . . . . . شر لي ، في ديني و معاشي و عاقبة أمري ، فاصرفه عني و اصرفني عنه ، و اقدر لي الخير حيث كان ، ثم أرضني به
Translation: “Oh Allah! I ask you the good through Your knowledge and I ask You to grant me ability through Your power, and beg out of Your infinite bounty. Surely, You have power and I have none. You know all and I know not. You are the Great Knower of all things. Oh Allah! If, in Your knowledge, this matter be good for my Deen, for my livelihood and for the consequences of my affairs, then ordain it for me and make it easy for me and bless me therein. But if, in Your knowledge this matter be bad for my Deen, for my livelihood and for the consequences of my affairs, then turn it away from me and turn me away there from and ordain for me the good wherever it be and cause me to be pleased therewith.”
(“daur e hazir ke fitnay aur un ka ilaj” page 66 to 70)