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Is Marriage Haram For Some People? by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

At a recent dinner invitation, I noticed that most of those present had business relationships with each other. I feared that if there wasn’t some radical intervention, the conversation would center on things like guerrilla marketing and such—not my cup of tea. So I decided to say something radical, hoping to shift the flow of conversation to human relationships instead. I said, “You know, I think that it is haram for many people to marry.”

Heads turned very fast. Some asked me whether I’d lost my mind. Others simply asked me what I meant.

I wasn’t joking, I said. No, I was very serious.

Many people fall into sin by marrying.

Why? Because they enter marriage without understanding the serious responsibility that marriage entails. Then they fail to fulfill their duty as husband or wife, and end up wronging their spouse. Such failure is sinful, even if one’s spouse is similarly remiss.

This returns to an important principle in the Shari‘a that hurting another is worse than hurting oneself. In fact, you have the full right to hurt yourself—in effect, you have the right to go to Hell, if you so wish. However, you have absolutely no right to hurt another—whether materially, emotionally, or in any other way. In marriages, spouses do amazing things to hurt each other, both directly and indirectly—through remissness in fulfilling their rights; and through simple inability to maintain a healthy marital relationship.

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So, what can be done about it?

The answer to this returns to individuals, parents, and society at large. As individuals, we have to develop an understanding of the keys to healthy human relationships in general and healthy marriages in particular—before and after marriage. Parents have to inculcate an understanding in their children, especially in the later teen years and after, of good character, of taking the rights of others seriously, and of how to maintain strong relationships. With that, as parents we ourselves have a duty to be examples of successful marital life for our children. In society, we have a communal responsibility to raise awareness of what is needed to make marriages work—practical manner, not just through yet more lecturing on “The Importance of Early Marriage,” because early marriage without sufficient preparedness is as likely to fail as late marriage, if not more.

We need to train our community leaders, imams, and activists in marriage counseling. Seminars and programs must be held within the community for those seeking to get married and for those married. Trained counseling and suitable literature needs should be made available in accessible ways for those married, especially for those having trouble in their marriages.

There Is Help Out There

People have to be made aware of the (often many) resources available in the wider society on marriage. Often, Muslims are wary of going outside the community for counseling (and yet fail to find capable counseling within the community). We need develop lists of reliable counseling services—services that uphold the core marital values Muslims hold dear (and which they fear for when seeking outside counseling). Likewise, there is a lot of good literature on marriage that those marrying and married should seriously consider reading.

As Dr. Ibrahim Kreps and other leading Muslim counselors concur, one of the very best books on marriage is John Gottman’s The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. This or similar books give practical guidance on improving marriage relationships in our times.

With this, as Muslims we have to look at the radiant example of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) himself. He reminded us that, “The best of you are those best to their spouses, and I am the best of you to their spouse” (Tirmidhi, on the authority of ‘A’isha, God be pleased with her)). We should look regularly and with reflection at the life and example of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), as these give us beautiful examples and clear principles on how to have a successful marriage built on the Qur’anic paradigm of love and mercy, and of striving to live together with a mutual commitment to excellence in dealings.

Originally published in Islamica Magazine

 

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered in this comprehensive reader.

ANNOUNCEMENT: National Call for Volunteers for SeekersGuidance Appalachian Retreat

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Bismillah.

As-salamu alaikum,

May this reach you all in the best state of health and iman. Ameen.

Alhamdulillah, SeekersGuidance will be launching its first ever week-long retreat, Living Faith: Understanding, Living, & Realizing the Testifications of Faith, this June at the Coker Creek Village in Tennessee. This 300-acre park is nestled high in the southern Appalachian Mountains on the famed Ocoee River. Students will be surrounded by the creation of Allah and enveloped in some of the nation’s most pristine national forest.

Almost all of our instructors will be present there: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Shaykh Omar Qureshi, and Ustadha Shireen Ahmed. Additionally, Ustadh Usama Canon will be presenting at a parallel youth session during the retreat.

In order to make this program a success, we are issuing a national call for volunteers to assist us in this endeavor.

If you are interested in volunteering, please email Hafiz Noman Zaheer at [email protected] with the following information:

Your Name
Your E-mail
Your Phone Number
Your Address

We look forward to seeing you this summer!

May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) grant you all tawfeeq and tayseer. Ameen.

Wassalam,

Khuram Zaman

General Administrator, SeekersGuidance

(www.SeekersGuidance.org)

[email protected]

Registration Now Open – Clarity for Seekers: Perfecting Prayer – Free Monthly Video Seminar

Perfecting Prayer

Keys to Presence of Heart & Excellence in Prayer

How to fulfill the Prophet’s command, “Pray as you have seen me pray,” and realize the tremendous virtues of prayer, of which Allah Most High has called us, “Seek assistance in patience and prayer.”

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
  • Imam Tahir Anwar
  • Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Date/Time: Saturday March 13th at 5pm EST (US)

(Convert to your time zone)

Capacity is limited, register soon.

Celebrating the Prophet Muhammad’s Birth – CelebrateMercy.com and an Interview with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani of SeekersGuidance

Today, February 25th, will be a worldwide celebration of Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings. Millions of Muslims worldwide commemorate the Prophet Muhammad, by remembering his life, teachings and character. And for the first time ever, with the growing popularity of social media – this year, CelebrateMercy.com will host an online celebration to facilitate people everywhere—both those who are Muslim and those who are not—to celebrate his life with prominent world figures, scholars, and performers.

Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens; Dalia Mogahed, a member of the Advisory Council to President Obama; the President of the Muhammad Ali Center; and several other notable Muslim scholars and artists will be presenting.

The event has received registrants from 40 countries. Viewing centers are being set up in many communities, including cities in New Zealand, India, UK, Canada, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Australia.

Prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca (in modern day Saudi Arabia) in 670 AD. Muslims believe that he was the last in a series of prophets chosen by God, and the teachings revealed to the Prophet Muhammad form the basis of the religion of Islam. Over one billion people worldwide commit to his teachings, and he is thought by many—Muslim and non-Muslim alike—to be one of the most influential people in history.

One rarely imagines a figure more talked about, revered by over 1.5 billion Muslims, yet remains virtually unknown in reality to the rest of the world.

[Interview with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani of SeekersGuidance]

sh-faraz1I have contacted CelebrateMercy.com to request an interview by one of the scholars who will speak at the event. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a notable researcher and scholar in Islamic Studies. He is the educational director and Instructor at SeekersGuidance – an online academy on Islamic Studies.

In this interview, Shaykh Faraz discusses his personal love and admiration for Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings, and the journey in knowing him.

Wazwaz: Why do you personally love Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings?

Shaykh Faraz: Personally, we know every good that one has in life is through the Prophet, upon him peace and blessings. All beauty that you can imagine is in its human manifestation it is personified in the example, person and conduct of the Prophet, upon him peace and blessings. And then, when one earns for Allah, one realizes that the means, the key and the door to Allah is the Messenger, upon him peace and blessings.

Wazwaz: How did you come to know Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings?

Shaykh Rabbani: Growing up as a teen in Spain, going to private British High School, we were taught at home about the Prophet, religion and so on. But religion seemed very distant from the social reality I was surrounded by. From the beginning – one thing that truly attracted me to the Prophet, upon him peace and blessings, was stories that would be read to me by my paternal grandmother who used to live with us and by my own mother and that I would hear from my maternal grandfather.

And these stories gave a connection to the Prophet, upon him peace and blessings, at a time when otherwise religion did not have a very central part in my life. As I was finishing high school and entering University and there is a lot of questions on who am I and what does it mean to be a Muslim, identity and so on. One thing that made me earn to strive to be a better Muslim, and to change my ways of life was the beautiful example of the Prophet. If you think of the Prophet, you can’t help yourself but to stop and say wow, that’s amazing.

Wazwaz: Tell me the first personal memory where you felt a connection to Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings, and why?

Shaykh Faraz: When I took a personal reading of the Prophetic biography. You can relate to the Prophet at every level. I felt a disconnect in many ways, because I grew up in so many different countries and the fact that the Prophet was orphaned, I could relate to that in a social way. The fact that the Prophet had such concern for others is good.

The way the Prophet wanted to convey guidance to his people. One of the first books I read about the Prophet was Martin Lings’ biography, “Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources.”

Masid-Nabawi-at-Sunset-Green-DomeWazwaz: When you share his life story – what major event or saying do you find important to share with students or your children?

Shaykh Faraz: With his life story, every aspect is light. A few things that really hit me – one is that when – in the early years of Islam, when the message of Islam started spreading, and the Meccans had reached their limit, in trying to figure out how they could stand fast against the Prophet. They sent one of their notables, Abu Sufian who later becomes a Muslim and a noble companion. But he was one of the elders of the tribe of Quraish. They sent him to the emperor of Rome, basically to complain about the Prophet. He went to complain that he is calling our people to worship of other than the gods of our ancestors. The emperor told Abu Sufian, well tell me about him. Abu Sufian is trying to complain about the Prophet, but all he could do was to praise the Prophet’s character and the way he treats the orphan and the stranger and his generosity and his nobility and his truthfulness.

And the Arabs say “Virtue is that which one’s enemy bears witness to.”

That really struck me that even the Prophet’s enemies could not help themselves but to admire the Prophet. It really struck me as well how he conducted himself in victory. Because in victory, growing up I read a lot about history and you see in history how victors treat the vanquished. But then you saw the Prophet when he entered Mecca after almost two decades of opposition. He entered victorious. Yet, he entered bent over on his camel in worship with his head, in thankfulness to Allah, with his head almost touching the back of the camel.

And the Prophet – When he entered, the Meccans were terrified that they thought there would be a bloodbath. That was the way of the worldly. If you won you want to show whose boss and who’s in charge and who won. But the Prophet simply called out, told them not to worry and to come out and they were safe. Today I say to you as Prophet Yusuf said to his brethren. There is no blame on you today. We are but brethren. May Allah forgive us and you. There is no blame on you today. May Allah forgive us and you. The words of Prophet Yusuf are mentioned toward the end of Surah Yusuf. This is the noble victor. His character was tremendous because he had no concern other than Allah.

Similarly, his clemency in battle of Uhud. Initially, the Muslims were winning. The Prophet, upon him peace and blessings, told the Muslims who were standing on Mount Uhud not to come down from the mountain even if the Muslims seemed to be victorious, unless and until the Prophet gave them the explicit permission to do so. Yet, some did not heed his call and came down the Mountain, and so the Quraish launched a counterattack. In that counterattack, since they were few in number, their primary concern was to strike fast, kill the Prophet and leave. And in that retreat, the

Prophet’s noble face was bleeding, and as he wiped the blood off his noble face, he called upon Allah – how can a people succeed who make blood flow down the face of their prophet while he is but calling them to paradise. Think of the power of these words. His concern even when they are trying to kill him is for their success. He was sent a mercy to All creation, not only friend but also foe. He had no enmity to them as people whatsoever. He wanted the good for them.

And the thing that saddens me as someone who teaches the religion, is how badly people misunderstand the prophetic guidance both non Muslims and Muslims themselves who don’t really appreciate the tremendous mercy that is the Messenger. His teachings and example are nothing but a manifestation of mercy. And any understanding of religion that is lacking in mercy is lacking in understanding and it is lacking in being true to the teachings of the Prophet, upon him peace and blessings.

Wazwaz: How do you share his life story with your kids?

Shaykh Faraz: By encouraging them to read about the life of Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings, and reading to them about his life, and bringing that life story to life. One has to instill love for the Prophet in the hearts of children. There is a prophetic tradition that raise your children on three matters. The love of the Quran, and the love of the Messenger, and the love of the family and companions of the Prophet. As one of great scholars says, Love is the access around which all good revolves. And the prophet said, whoever loves God and his messenger above all else has truly tasted the sweetness of faith. We want our children to turn to religion and to be virtuous, upright human beings.

Wazwaz: What resources or recommendations do you have for people to learn more on his life.

Shaykh Faraz: We would invite everyone to read about his life. A few of the books that come to mind immediately:

Martin Lings’ biography, “Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources.”

Shaykh Ramadan Al Bouti “Understanding the Prophetic Biography.”

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf from Zaytuna has a good CD set on the life of Prophet Muhammad.

Wazwaz: What is your favorite hadith or one of his sayings and why?

Shaykh Faraz: His hadith are so beautiful. A favorite one is a prayer, “Oh Allah, I ask you for your love, and the love of those whom your love and the love of those actions that will make me attain unto your love.” The prayer continues “Oh Allah, make your love more beloved to me than my love of my parents, children and all people and make your love more intense than one’s love for cool water on a intensely hot day.”

Another of my favorite sayings is: “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, though there is benefit in both. Be avid for all that benefits you. Place your trust in Allah and do not deem yourself incapable. And if you did something then never say after it, had I done such and such – it would have been such and such. For saying had I, opens the doors to the workings of the devil.”

The hadith means, one should not second guess. The strong believer is always avid for what benefits them and who seeks what benefits them, what is most pleasing to Allah while relying on Allah, and who do not deem themselves incapable. Rather, one seeks their benefit while trusting upon their lord. While acting one does not second guess. One learns and takes heeds from one’s mistakes but one keeps one’s focus on what’s coming.

Wazwaz: Thank you very much Shaykh Faraz for the Interview. If anyone wishes to attend the event visit CelebrateMercy.com

Pictures from the 8th Annual Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention in Toronto – Habib ‘Ali al-Jifri, Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, and Others

Alhamdulillah, SeekersGuidance attended the 8th Annual Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention this past weekend in Toronto,  Canada. This year’s convention featured Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, Shaykh Habib ‘Ali al-Jifri,  Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Imam Zaid Shakir, Shaykh Mokhtar Magroui, Shaykh Abdallah Idris Ali, Imam Tahir Anwar, Shaykh Suleiman Mulla, Ustadha Zainab Alwani, Dr. Sherman Jackson, Dr. Tariq Suwaidan, Tariq Ramadan, Amr Khaled,  Imam Johari Abdul Malik, Sr. Tayyiba Taylor, and others. Allah Made Me Funny and Junaid Jamshed gave highly entertaining performances. Over 17,000 people attended this years conference.

SeekersGuidance set up its first booth at a conference. The booth featured our scholars, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Omar Qureshi, and Mufti Umer Ismail as well as Nader Khan who gave a live performance of one of his latest songs “Alhamdulillah.” We launched the 2010 Winter Semester with a 15% discount for on-site registration.

Here are some pictures from the conference:

Shaykh Faraz along with many others welcoming Shaykh Habib Ali al-Jifri to the convention.

Shaykh Faraz showing Mufti Umer Ismail the new homepage

World-famous graphic designer Peter Gould jokingly to convince Shaykh Faraz to sign up for a course. Peter’s firm, Azaan, designed the new SG banner and logo.

A computer monitor featuring the newly redesigned homepage for the SeekersGuidance site

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad meeting with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani in the bazaar.

Nader Khan finishing up a live performance at the Firdous Books booth in order to bring awareness to the “Winter Feed Me Campaign” put together by Relief Works

SeekersGuidance met with key individuals from the Fawakih Institute to strengthen cooperation and coordination between the two institutes. Here, Shaykh Faraz is talking with Saad Ansari over lunch.

Four Keys To Successful Action – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Four Keys To Successful Action

Guaranteeing Success by “True” Conditions

By Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The idea of striving for success is a central theme of both the Qur’an and Prophetic teachings. It is something ultimately sought by every human. But how is success achieved?

Shaykh al-Islam Shabbir Usmani, one of the great Muslim scholars of the 20th century and a leading voice in the Independence Movement in the Indian subcontinent, said we can understand from the Qur’an and Prophetic teachings that, if the following four conditions are present, success is guaranteed.

The Four Keys

1) One’s intention must be true;

2) One’s goal must be true;

3) The means one takes must be true; and

4) The way one takes the means must be true.

How are these four conditions made “true”?

First: True Intention

A true intention is for one’s action to be sincerely for the sake of God.

God Most High says, “They were only ordered to serve God, making their religion sincerely His.” (98:5)

And, “Whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him do righteous work, and make none sharer of the service due unto his Lord.” (18:110)

The Messenger of God (God bless him and give him peace) said, “Actions are by intentions, and each person shall only have that which he intended.” (Related by Bukhari and Muslim, on the authority of Umar – God be pleased with him)

The second Islamic century scholar and Sufi, Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak (God have mercy on him), said, “How often is a small action made tremendous through its intention, and how often is a tremendous action rendered small through its intention.” (Dhahabi, Siyar A’lam al-Nubala, 8.400)

Second: True Goals

Having a true goal entails that one’s goal is something that is pleasing to God. What pleases God is seeking to make good one’s relationship with Him and to seek the good for oneself and for all creation.

Third: True Means

The Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) said, “The strong believer is better and more beloved to God than the weak believer, though there is good in both. Be avid for that which benefits. Rely on God, and don’t deem yourself incapable.” (Related by Muslim, on the authority of Abu Hurayra – God be pleased with him)

The “strong believer” in this hadith has been explained in various ways, but perhaps the best explanation is that the strong believer is the one who is able to take the best of means – outward and inward – in each situation.

Some sunnas in planning the right way of action include:

[1] Considering all options;

[2] Consulting those worthy of consultation;

[3] Carefully weighing the choices based on the greatest likely benefit;

[4] Consigning the matter to God by suspending one’s judgment before acting and performing the prayer of seeking guidance (istikhara); and

[5] Acting in the way one then feels is of the greatest likely benefit. It is a Prophetic promise that such action will be blessed.

Fourth: True Way of Taking the Means

This entails that the way one takes the means be in accordance with the spirit of excellence, wisdom, gentleness, dignity and forbearance that are the essence of the way of the Beloved Messenger Muhammad (God bless him and give him peace).

It entails striving to promote the good – for oneself and others – in one’s action and as one acts; and to strive to respond to all challenges that arise in the best way possible.

May God inspire us to all that is best and most pleasing to Him.

And God alone gives success.

Videos From the “Feed the Needy Online Fundraiser”: Imam Zaid Shakir, Shaykh Abdullah Hakim Quick, Shaykh Muhammad Ninowy, Imam Tahir Anwar & Preacher Moss

Just in case you missed the “Feed the Needy Online Fundraiser”, here are the videos from the event:



Istikhara – a Powerful Prayer When in Need of Guidance

What is the istikhara prayer and how does one perform it?

The istikhara prayer is a very simple prayer of seeking guidance.

  • One prays two rakats at any time that is not disliked, after which one recites the supplication of istikhara.
  • It is best to recite it before sleeping, though in no way necessary.
  • Like other duas, it is recommended that one face the qibla.
  • It is recommended to open the dua of istikhara, with praise of Allah and sending blessings on the Prophet ﷺ and to close it in this manner, too.
  • It is disliked to ‘hasten’ in seeking the answer to one’s istikhara, like other duas, because the Prophet ﷺ said, “Your prayers are answered, unless you hasten, saying, ‘I prayed, but no answer came.’”

The Prayer in Arabic

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظِيمِ فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلَا أَقْدِرُ وَتَعْلَمُ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ وَاقْدُرْ لِي الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ ثُمَّ أَرْضِنِي

Transliteration

Allâhumma inni astakhiruka bi ilmika wa astaqdiruka biqudratika wa as’aluka min fadlikal-azimi, fa innaka taqdiru walâ aqdiru wa ta’lamu walâ a’lamu wa anta allamul ghuyubi. Allâhumma in kunta ta’lamu anna hâdhal amra khayrun li fi dini wa ma-ashi wa aqibati amri faqdir-hu li wa yassir-hu li thumma barik li fihi wa in kunta ta’lamu anna hâdhal amra sharrun li fi dini wa maâshi wa aqibati amri fasrifhu anni wasrifni anhu waqdir liyal-khayra haythu kâna thumma ardini.

Translation

“O Allah, verily I seek the better [of either choice] from You, by Your knowledge, and I seek ability from You, by Your power, and I ask You from Your immense bounty. For indeed You have power, and I am powerless; You have knowledge and I know not; You are the Knower of the unseen realms. O Allah, if You know that this matter is good for me with regard to my religion, my livelihood and the end of my affair then decree it for me, facilitate it for me, and grant me blessing in it. And if You know that this matter is bad for me with regard to my religion, my livelihood and the end of my affair then turn it away from me and me from it; and decree for me better than it, wherever it may be, and make me content with it.”

Looking for signs

One should suspend one’s own judgement or inclination about the particular matter, and wait for Allah to show one a sign or to make things happen in a way that indicates what to do. When one is not clear about the result of the istikhara, the fuqaha mention that it is recommend to repeat it, up to 7 times if necessary (usually done on separate occasions). [cf: Radd al-Muhtar].

Shaykh Nuh Keller mentions that the more one prays the istikhara prayer, the clearer its answers become to one. He prays it for all matters, even things one would not imagine doing istikhara for.

It is not necessary that you get a dream or even a “feeling.” Rather, the istikhara is a prayer that Allah guide you towards that which is best (khayr) for you. If you do the prayer of guidance (istikhara) with the proper manners, the most important of which is to truly consign the matter to Allah and suspend your own inclinations, then Allah will make events unfold in the direction that is the best for your worldly and next-worldly affairs.

When unable to offer salah

In general, when it is not possible to perform the istikhara prayer itself (such as when one is out on the road, or in one’s menstrual period), it is recommended to simply read the dua itself. [Radd al-Muhtar]

For even the smallest things

The great Hanafi scholar and hadith expert from Aleppo, Shaykh Abdullah Sirajal-Din mentions in his book on the virtues of prayer that it is the way of many Sufis, including Shaykh al-Akbar Muhiyyuddin Ibn al-Arabi (Allah sanctify his secret), to pray the istikhara prayer at the beginning of their day, after sunrise, asking Allah to guide them in general to all good and to keep away all evil from them.

Istikhara gives the best answer, for one’s worldly and religious life (not worldly life alone), when coupled with another essential sunna: istishara (seeking sound counsel) of those worthy of being consulted and taking the sound means of assessing the situation at hand.

Imam al-Nawawi mentioned that before the istikhara prayer, one should seek advice from those whose knowledge, wisdom, and concern one is confident. Ibn Hajar al-Haytami and others mentioned that one of the benefits of this is to further distance oneself from the desires of one’s own egotistic inclinations.

The istikhara prayer may be made for a specific matter or be made for a general seeking of all that is best. Some scholars, including Imam Abd al-Wahhab al-Sha`rani and Ibn `Arafah before him saw this kind of istikhara prayer as being superior. Others, including Shaykh Ibn al-Arabi, recommended performing a general istikhara prayer for all that is good every day, ideally at the time of the Duha prayer (after sunrise).

One should be pleased with what Allah chooses for one, and not seek to follow one’s whims after the answer to one’s supplication becomes clear. We ask Allah to give us beneficial knowledge, and the success to act upon it in the way most beloved to Him, on the footsteps of His beloved Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace).

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Listen to Shaykh Faraz debunk common misconceptions about istikhara in this SeekersHub podcast, including

  • Misconception 1: Istikhara is a prayer in matters of marriage
  • Misconception 2: The signs come in the form of dreams
  • Misconception 3: A sinful person must ask a pious person to perform the prayer on his behalf
  • Misconception 4: Istikhara is only for the big decisions, not small matters

Resources on istikhara and other related matters

Prophetic Supplications for Our Times – Seeking Refuge From Debt, Sin, and Disbelief

90105_prayer2

In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful

The Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) has a number of beautiful and powerful supplications against debt, sin, and disbelief.

Among them are:

1. “O Allah, I seek refuge in you from sinfulness and indebtedness.”

(Allahumma inni a`udhu bika mina’l ma’thami wa’l maghram)

[Reported by Bukhari, from A’isha (Allah be pleased with her)]

2. “O Allah, I seek refuge in you from disbelief and debt.”

(Allahumma inni a`udhu bika mina’l kufri wa’d dayn)

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

10 Steps to Firm-Footedness in Seeking Knowledge of Fiqh

In this brief podcast, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani provides 10 genuinely useful tips on gaining and retaining a firm grasp of your knowledge of fiqh. Listen to it now.

See also:

“From knowing nothing to becoming a student of knowledge”
Advice from Habib Ali Al-Jifri for Seekers of Knowledge
The Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge

Habib Umar’s Advice to the Seekers of Sacred Knowledge
Shaykh Áwwamah’s advice for Students of Sacred Knowledge
Importance of Intention in Seeking Knowledge