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      Fiqh - Islaamic Rulings

Salaah al-Istikharah - The Prayer for seeking Guidance

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What should be done after al-Istikharah?

After performing the Istikharah prayer, one should firmly resolve to do that which he thinks to be correct, after placing the trust in Allah, the Al-Knower:

“Then when you have taken the decision, put your trust in Allah.” [Soorah Aal Imraam (3): 159]

“And whosever puts his trust in Allah, He is sufficient for him…” [Soorah at-Talaaq (65): 3]

One should be truthful in his intention, sincere in the actions in which he sought the guidance, while he does that which appears to him correct without hesitation and sadness, sluggishness or fear, whether his heart is happy or not about the affair, because the affairs are not determined by the constriction of the heart, but rather it is determined by Allah granting and making the affair easy for him. As He says:

“And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not.” [Soorah Baqarah (2): 216]

And since, none of the creation whoever it may be, can prevent good if Allah intends it for him, nor can they turn away evil if Allah – the Most High – decreed it for him:

“And if Allah touches you with hurt, there is none who can alleviate but He; and if He intends any good for you, there is none who can repel His favor, which he causes to reach whomsoever of His slave He wills. And He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Soorah Yunus (10): 107]

 Question – Does the one making al-Istikharah also seek the council of People (Istihaarah)?

Answer – Yes! The one making al-Istikharah should also seek help from those whom he knows to be righteous and who can give the appropriate advice and it makes no difference whether this is before al-Istikharah or after it. For there is no contradiction whatsoever between al-Istikharah and Istihaarah (seeking the advice of the people) because al-Istikharah is from Allah and Istihaarah is from the people.

Istikharah is an action based on one’s eeman whereas Istihaarah is an action whereby one seeks means – so there is no contradiction between two. Reliance is an action of the heart, whereas, seeking means is an action of the limbs, which Allah created in order to achieve goals, and this – combining actions of the heart and the actions of the limbs – is what is legislated in the Religion of Islaam.

As for abandoning the means naming it to be ‘Tawakkul  in Allah’ – then this is something, which Islam rejects and it is not reliance upon Allah. As for depending on means besides Allah is Shirk with regards to these means. Allah says in the Qur’aan:

“And consult them in the affair. Then once you have taken the decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)” [Soorah al-Imra (3): 159]

So the Most High – in this verse, combines both seeking the means, which is taking consultation, and the obligation to have reliance on Allah, which is an action of eeman and from the complete characteristics of a believer.

And similar is reported in the Hadeeth of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam):

When a man asked him (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) concerning his riding beast; should he tie it and rely upon Allah, or should he leave it and rely upon Allah? So the Prophet answered him saying: “Tie it and rely upon Allah” [At-Tirmishee, Ibn Khuzaimah, at-Tabari and others]

And this was the practice of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), he used to consult his Companions (radhi allahu anhu) and even sometimes his wives – so he sought their counsel at the Battle of Uhud, he sought their counsel at the battle of Ditch and he also sought their counsel with regards to the prisoners of the Battle of Badr and in many other situations.

 Consequently, the stages of al-istikharah are: -

1.     Being concerned about an affair

2.     Making al-Istikharah and asking for advice

3.     Reliance upon Allah

Then the one making al-Istikharah acting according to what he considers to be correct

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