Establish a Sutrah
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Hadith - al-Tirmidhi # 2151.
[Classed as saheeh by al-Haakim, 1/699,
and al-Dhahabi agreed with him. It was classed as hasan by al-Haafiz ibn
Hajar in Fath al-Baari, 11/184]
The happiness of the son of Adam depends on
his being content with what Allah has decreed for him, and the misery of
the son of Adam results from his failure to pray istikharah, and the misery
of the son of Adam results from in his discontent with what Allah has decreed
To make the prayer of Istikharah (say: iss-teh-KHAR-uh), one should pray
two non-fard (non-obligatory) rakat (units) of
prayer, even if they are of the regular sunnah
prayers or a prayer for entering the mosque, and so on, during any time of
the day or night.
One should recite in them whatever one wishes of the Qur'an, after reciting
al-Fatihah. Then one should praise Allah and invoke blessings upon the Prophet,
peace be upon him.
After this one should supplicate to Allah. Jabir Ibn 'Abdullah has reported
the following supplication from the Prophet, peace be upon him, when he related,
"The Prophet, peace be upon him, taught us how to make Istikharah in all
(our) affairs, just as he taught us various surahs of the Qur'an. He told
us, 'If anyone of you considers doing something he should offer a two-rak'at
prayer other than the obligatory prayers, and then say (after the prayer),
"Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi'ilmika. wa astaqdiruka bi-qudratika,
wa as'aluka min fadlika al-azimfa-innaka taqdiru wala aqdiru, wa ta'lamu
wala a ' lamu, wa anta 'allamu-l-ghuyub.
Allahumma, in kunta ta' lamu anna hadhaI-amra khairun lifi dini wa ma'ashi
wa aqibati amri (or 'ajili amri wa'ajilihi) f aqdirhu li wa yas-sirhu li
thumma barik li fihi, wa in kunta ta'llamu anna hadha-l-amra sharrun lifi
dini wa ma'ashi wa-aqibati amri (orfi'ajili amri wa ajilihi) fasrifhu anni
Wa aqdir li al-khaira haithu kana thumma ardini bihi"
(O Allah ! I ask guidance from Your knowledge, and Power from Your Might
and I ask for Your great blessings. You are capable and I am not. You know
and I do not and You know the unseen. O Allah! If You know that this thing
is good for my din and my subsistence and for my Hereafter - (or say, If
it is better for my present and later needs) - then ordain it for me and
make it easy for me to obtain, and then bless me in it. If You know that
this thing is harmful to me in my din and subsistence and in the Hereafter--(or
say, If it is worse for my present and later needs)--then keep it away from
me, and keep me away from it. And ordain for me whatever is good for me,
and make me satisfied with it)."'
The Prophet, may peace be upon him, added that then the person should
mention his need."
There is nothing authentic concerning anything specific that is to be recited
in the prayer nor is there any authentic report concerning how many times
one should repeat it.
An-Nawawi holds that "after making istikharah, a person must do what he is
wholeheartedly inclined to do and feels good about doing and should not insist
on doing what he had desired to do before making the istikharah. And if his
feelings change, he should leave what he had intended to do, for otherwise
he is not leaving the choice to Allah, and would not be honest in seeking
aid from Allah's power and knowledge. Sincerity in seeking Allah's choice,
means that one should completely abandon what one desired oneself."
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