As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 4


Translation and Explanation of Dua al-Istikharah

‘O Allah, I seek Your counsel by Your Knowledge.’ meaning I request You that You choose good for me and help me in this need of mine. Saying, ‘by Your Knowledge’ is one of the three permissible types of Tawassul (means of seeking nearness to Allah) in Duaa – and that is seeking Tawassul by the lofty Names and Attributes of Allah. Tawassul by means of the Attribute (Sifat) of Allah’s Absolute Knowledge is very appropriate, since the need of seeking guidance is connected with the Unseen and Allah Alone has the Absolute and Eternal Knowledge that extends over everything and nothing escapes from it.

‘And I seek Your assistance by Your Power and I ask you from Your Immense Favor, for verily, you are Able and I am not,’ The slave again invokes Allah by means of His lofty Attributes of Power, Ability and Immense Favor, since the slave’s ability is from the Ability and Power of Allah, otherwise he is weak. Making matters easy is from the Ability of Allah and His Great Favor that He has bestowed upon His slaves, if He does not make things easy for His slave, they will turn difficult.

‘And verily, You know and I do not, and you are the Knower of unseen.’ In these words, the slave expresses his helplessness and inability, which is part of our servitude towards Allah, and such expressions are worships in themselves.

‘O Allah, if You know this affair to be good for me in relation to my religion, my life and end (or he said my present and my future), then decree and facilitate it for me and bless me with it. And if You know this affair to be detrimental for me concerning my religion, my life and end (or he said my present and my future), then remove it from me and remove me from it and decree for me what is good wherever it be and make me satisfied with it.’ The slave then asks for Allah’s Blessings because if Allah guides him due to His Knowledge, helps him due to His Ability and Power, then the slave needs Allah’s Help and Blessings to preserve it - so that his matter becomes firm and grows.

The Dua then concludes with invoking Allah for contentment in what has been ordained for him because, since the slave is shortsighted; he may not be pleased with what is given to him and not be content with what is ordained for him. It is beyond human understanding to completely comprehend and understand the Divine Wisdom behind Allah’s Decisions because our knowledge is limited only to the apparent event. Allah Alone knows how things will turn out in the end, and how it will benefit the slave. So, an affair which appears to be unpleasant may lead to many favorable benefits. Allah says in the Qur'aan, ‘…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 (what is best for you) and you do not.’ [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 216]

The above-mentioned verse directly follows the command of striving in the Path of Allah. Allah explains - although people dislike hardships and sacrifices, striving in the Way of Allah is for the benefit of the Muslims for it will be followed by good. ‘…Allah knows (what is best for you), and you do not.’ [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 216] Thus, a Muslim must always expect good from Allah and trust His Decision and Judgment with regard to every aspect of life. Allah has promised that if the believers put their complete trust in Allah, then Allah will suffice them, ‘Whoever trusts in Allah, will find Him sufficient. Verily, Allah will accomplish His purpose.’ [(65): 3]

It is an integral part of Eeman to believe that everything Allah chooses for the slave is for the slave's benefit and thus one should always have a good opinion about Allah. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) said, ‘By Him, in Whose Hand is my soul, Allah does not ordain a Decree for a believer but for his good; and this merit is for no one except a believer...’ [Saheeh Muslim] The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) explained that the believer should always be satisfied with the Decree of Allah. He should be pleased and thankful to Allah when he is granted ease and pleasure of life. Likewise, he should become patient when something apparently displeasing afflict him. He (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) said, ‘…If he (the believer) is granted ease of living, he is thankful; and this is best for him. And if he is afflicted with a hardship, he perseveres; and this is best for him.’ [Saheeh Muslim]

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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