- Published on Friday, 01 November 2013 01:00
- Written by Muhammad Baqir Haideri
"There are two meanings of the word Istikhara ‑ one of them is the actual meaning and more than all the other types has been mentioned in our narrations (ahadith) and is the most common, and this is simply supplicating and asking Allah for the best.
This type of Istikhara has its roots in supplicating (to Allah ) in all actions that a person performs, and is not only admirable, but is recommended (Mustahab) in Islam.
The other meaning of Istikhara is when a person is confused and perplexed about whether to perform an act or not, such that it (that act) is not something that Allah ?t has ordered us to perform such that His guidance would be there nor that our intelligence could help us to decide if it is good or bad. If there is no way for a person to decide whether to perform a task or not, and in the state of confusion and uncertainty, instead of simply guessing and performing the act, the person seeks refuge with the All-Knowing Allah , who all in distress turn towards and seek council from.
Allah will either guide him through his heart and thus reveal to him which path to choose, since in reality, He is the Changer of hearts (in relation to the `spiritual Istikhara').
Otherwise, He will place the person's hand on a certain part of the Tasbih. (if he is performing the Istikhara by way of the Tasbih beads), or he will guide His servant's heart by the Qur'an (if he is using the Qur'an for his Istikhara).
Is it not that a person who is confused, after using his own common‑sense and asking advice and help from others in need of guidance so as to open his path? Can it be that a person, whose `lamp of thinking' has gone dim and has sought help from others around him not in need of advice and guidance?
In one of the verses of the Qur'an, Allah after mentioning and counting all of His powers and the blessings which He has showered says:
"Or; Who answers the distressed one when he calls upon Him and removes the evil?1
However, there are examples that people who are against Istikhara mention, such as the incident in which there was a girl who liked a young boy and in all ways, were compatible with each other, but after talking with one another, the Istikhara was performed and it came out 'bad' and the discussion ended there. Another example is about a person who wanted to purchase a house. Everything was fine and in all ways, the house was ideal ‑ he performed an Istikhara and it came out bad, so he decided not to purchase the house.
It is clear that the reply to them and thousands of people like these regarding the Istikhara (and the proper use of it), is that in instances such as these, only one who has no intelligence, who is defiant, and who does not have a correct understanding of the Istikhara would perform it in these instances.
It also goes without saying that the ahadith that have come to us with regards to the Istikhara have not promised us that we will reach our goal without any troubles or difficulties. Rather, that which has been promised is that whosoever asks Allah for good, will be granted good. If it is good for the person in his worldly life, then he will be granted his wish; and if it not, then it will be stored for him and bestowed upon him in the next world."
1. Surah Naml (27) Verse 62
Adapted from: "Istikhara: Seeking the Best from Allah (swt)" by: "Muhammad Baqir Haideri"