السّلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
Firstly, I’d like to apologize for not updating the the.ijtema® for so long. I feel at least two posts a month should be par for the course, so I’ll be aiming for that now.
Coming to the topic, here’s something on Istikarah (a prayer recited by Muslims when in need of guidance on an issue in their life. The salat is a two raka’ah salat performed to completion followed by the supplications Salat al-Istikharah) by Hadrath Shaykh Maulana Hakeem Akhtar Saheb (may Allah ta’ala have mercy on him and grant him Firdaus) who unfortunately is no more with us. Here, the Shaykh opines about a very pertinent question regarding Salat ul Istikarah, the question as to why sometimes things go wrong even after having performed Istikarah diligently.
The Shaykh writes:
In Istikhara, as well, we must not think that whatever we have been directed towards is going to be problem free.
Take for example: A girl is proposed. She makes Istikhara. The Istikhara is positive. She feels satisfied, with an inclination to accept and she follows this inclination and accepts the proposal. After some time, problems arise and the marriage breaks down. Such persons come back to us and say: “Maulana, when I made Istikhara and related the dream (or the feeling) that I had, then you told me that it is good and that I should proceed. Now why is it that the marriage didn’t last?”. Istikhara does not mean that the person will have a problem-free life. It means that at that time this was much better than perhaps marrying someone else. It was “the lesser of the two evils”. The problems being experienced presently could have been worse had she married another person. It could also mean that at the time of Istikhara, this was good, but then again, this is no guarantee that the marriage will be successful, if after the Istikhara, the person leads any kind of life, indulges in any Haraam he or she wishes to and displeases Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). It does not give a license to both, husband and wife, to watch plenty of filth on television, read any sort of literature, neglect Salaah and then ignorantly and foolishly say: “We made Istikhara, therefore it must work out.”…It does not work like that. So, perhaps, that Istikhara meant that that was ‘better than’, probably another person she would have married. Here again arises Tafweez: If the person made Tadbeer i.e. made use of the means that Allah Ta’ala has created, but after doing so, the marriage fails, then she adopts Tafweez; accepting that this is the will of Allah Ta’ala, and He knew before hand that this is how the marriage would end. She knows that both, she and her husband, did not purposely do those things which were contrary to Shariah or against the normal effort that a person should put in. They tried to the best of their ability but it failed … now this is Tafweez: “Whatever Allah Ta’ala is happy with, then I too am happy with that.” This understanding immediately brings consolation and peace to the heart. The person’s depression will disappear.
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References: The above was taken from the Shaykh’s book ‘The Cure for Depression (Tafweez)’.
While I’m at the topic of Istikarah, let me also point out that a short form of Istikarah is reciting اللهم خر لي واختر لي “Allahumma Khir-li wakhtar li” meaning “Ya Allah! Please choose for me and select the best for me”.
And now you know.
وعليكم السلام و رحمة الله و بركاته