Posts

Shaykh ‘Umar al-Yafi’s Supplication for Rain – Nur Sacred Sciences

Shaykh ‘Umar al-Yafi’s Supplication for Rain

Shaykh Umar al-Yafi b. Muhammad al-Husayni was born in the city of Yafa (Jaffa) in Ottoman Palestine in 1759/1173.  His family settled there after leaving Mecca for Morocco and then residing in the city of Dimyat in Egypt for a period.  He memorized the Qur’an with its proper recitation (tajwid) before the age of ten.  Afterwards, he set on the path of learning and spent many years in pursuit of sacred knowledge.  Upon completion of his foundational training under the important figures in his region, he traveled to Nablus and then to Egypt where he sat at the feet of the some of greatest scholars of his time.  After completing both his formal training in the Islamic Sciences and his spiritual training at the hands of his Shaykh al-Murshid Abu al-Fattah Kamal al-Din al-Siddiqi, he settled in Damascus where a section of the Umayyad Mosque was devoted to him and to this day is known as Mashhad al-Yāfī. He was a Ḥanafī who had a deep knowledge of Islamic Law (fiqh), hadith, Arabic grammar, and morphology.  He was also a great spiritual guide who had a profound impact on the lives of the great many who were transformed by his teachings.   He expressed much of his divine love and wisdoms in the many lines of poetry he composed, which were later collected by his students in what became known as Diwan al-Yafi.  Amongst his most famous compositions is the short prayer for rain below.  In a region where water is scarce and rain is considered a blessing whose abundance or scarcity correlates with the good actions and sins of the community, this composition became sung far and wide.  Perhaps, what has distinguished this poem over others is the deep humility and sense of submission to God conveyed in Shaykh al-Yāfī’s plea, “If you are the Helper of only those who are obedient, who will then help those [of us] who are sinful?  The mercy of the Most-Merciful is absolute without any restrictions.  If none could hope for Your provision other than those who are obedient on Your path, in whom can those [of us] who disobey You seek refuge?  For, You are the Guide for those who are astray.”  If the elite who have devoted their entire lives to God implore Him as such, we are reminded of how much more we are utterly dependent on God’s mercy and guidance.

Read full article…

Asking Allah for Well-Being: The Sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace)

Answered by Sidi Waseem Hussain

Question: I was wondering do you know if there’s a hadith about a companion who was really sick and the Prophet prayed for his good health and then and told him never to pray for calamities because I think he had prayed for hardship. The thing is I have a friend who has been praying for tribulations and hardships. The first time she told me she had made this du`a in Makkah. She says it’s because she knows so many people who have suffered in life and she has life too easy. She says Allah tests people He loves and she thinks she’s a bad Muslim therefore being punished will help her feel good. Recently what’s come up is symptoms which the doctor has indicated could be cancer. Now she’s making du`a she gets cancer. I’m just very worried and tried explaining it to her, but if I can get a hadith I know she’ll take it to heart.

Answer: Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatullah

We always ask Allah for forgiveness and wellbeing. This is clearly stressed in many hadith.

There is a story quite close to the one mentioned that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) visited a person from amongst the Muslims, in order to inquire about his health, who had become weak like a small bird. Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said, “Did you supplicate for anything or ask Allah for something?” The man said, “Yes. I used to say: “Oh Allah, what you are going to punish me with in the Hereafter then hasten it for me in this life”. Thereupon, Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said, “Glory be to Allah, you don’t have the ability to take it [the burden of His Punishment] upon yourself. Why did you not say, Oh Allah, grant us good in the world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the torment of Fire?” The Prophet (may peace be upon him) made this supplication for him and he became well. [Muslim 2688, Tirmidhi 3487]

There are many other hadith, that stress the importance of always asking for wellbeing. Below are a few examples demonstrating this:

1. The Prophet (may Allahs peace and blessings be upon him) overheard a man asking for patience, so The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said to him, “You have asked Allah for a trial [to be patient in], rather ask for wellbeing.” [Tirmidhi 3527]

2. A man came to The Prophet (may peace be upon him) and asked him, “What supplication (du`a) is the best?” The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said, “To ask for wellbeing and cure in this world and the next”

The man came the next day and asked, “What supplication is the best?” The Prophet (may peace be upon him) answered the same as before. The man came the next day and asked the same thing. The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said, “If you are given wellbeing in this world and the next then you have succeeded.” [Tirmidhi 3512]

3. The Prophet (may Allahs peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah is not asked for anything more beloved to him than [being asked about] wellbeing” [Tirmidhi 3515]

4. The Prophet (may peace be upon him) ascended the mimbar crying and said, “Ask Allah for forgiveness and wellbeing, since no one has been given anything better than wellbeing after being given belief [in Islam].” [Tirmidhi 3588]

The above are examples of the sunna of the Prophet (may Allahs peace and blessings be upon him) and what he advised us to do. As it can be seen then we are not advised to supplicate for trials, tribulations and calamities upon ourselves. Rather we are advised to ask Allah to protect us and never to allow these aspects to befall us, and only when they befall us do we ask Allah to help us through them.

May Allah accept our prayers and grant you and your friend wellbeing in this world and the next,

Wassalam,

Waseem Hussain

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

عن أنس أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عاد رجلا من المسلمين قد خفت فصار مثل الفرخ فقال له رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم هل كنت تدعو بشيء أو تسأله إياه ؟ قال نعم كنت أقول اللهم ما كنت معاقبي به في الآخرة فعجله لي في الدنيا فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم سبحان الله لا تطيقه – أو لا تستطيعه – أفلا قلت اللهم آتنا في الدنيا حسنة وفي الآخرة حسنة وقنا عذاب النار؟ قال فدعا الله له فشفا

عن معاذ بن جبل سمع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم رجلا وهو يقول اللهم إني أسألك الصبر فقال سألت الله البلاء فسله العافية

عن أنس بن مالك: أن رجلا جاء إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال يا رسول الله أي الدعاء أفضل ؟ قال سل ربك العافية والمعافاة في الدنيا والآخرة ثم أتاه في اليوم الثاني فقال يا رسول الله أي الدعاء أفضل ؟ فقال له مثل ذلك ثم أتاه في اليوم الثالث فقال له مثل ذلك قال فإذا أعطيت العافية في الدنيا وأعطيتها في الآخرة فقد أفلحت

عن ابن عمر قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ما سئل الله شيئا أحب إليه من أن يسأل العافية

قام أبو بكر الصديق على المنبر ثم بكى فقال قام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عام الأول على المنبر ثم بكى فقال اسألوا الله العفو و العافية فإن أحد لم يعط بعد اليقين خيرا من العافية

Am I Rewarded for Every Supplication I Make to Allah?

Answered by Ustadh Faraz A. Khan

Question: Concerning the dua when wearing a garment (alhamdu lillahil-lathee kasaanee…): If one makes this dua for each item that one wears during dressing e.g. shirt, trousers, socks etc can one gain reward per item or can it only be said once during dressing?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this reaches you in the best of health and faith.

Allah Most High loves for his servant to remember Him and call on Him, and He is Most Generous with His abundant reward. Every time the servant calls on Him in supplication (du`a) or makes remembrance (dhikr) of Him, He definitely rewards the servant and answers his or her call. This is a general principle based on the Qur’an and Noble Sunna, and can serve to answer your question, inshaAllah.

Allah Most High states in the Qur’an, “And remember Me – I will surely remember you” [2:152], as well as “And your Lord says, ‘Call on Me – I will surely answer you'” [40:60].

He Most High also states, immediately after a few verses describing believers who make remembrance of Him and call on Him in supplication, “So their Lord answered their call, ‘Verily, I will not let any deed of yours – whether of a male or female – go to waste…'” [3:195].

And our Beloved Messenger [peace and blessings be upon him] is reported to have said, “Supplication is the very essence of worship” [Tirmidhi, Sunan; Tabarani, Awsat], as well as “Ask Allah from His bounty, for verily Allah loves to be asked.” [Bayhaqi, Shu`ab]

It is also reported that two bedouins came to the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), and one of them said, “Who is the best of people?” He (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “He whose life is long and whose works are good.” Then the second one said, “The legal rulings of Islam are many for me, so give me something I can hold on to,” to which he (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “Let your tongue always be moist with the remembrance of Allah, Exalted and Majestic” [Musnad Ahmed].

Based on the above, we have full hope and conviction in our All-Merciful Creator that He will reward you for each and every time you make any supplication or remembrance, inshaAllah.

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam
Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Faraz A. Khan has lived in Amman, Jordan, for several years studying and teaching traditional Islamic sciences, with a focus on Hanafi jurisprudence, hadith studies, theology, logic, and Arabic grammar. He translated and annotated the classical Hanafi primer “Ascent to Felicity” (Maraqi ‘l-Sa`adat) by Imam Shurunbulali, recently published by White Thread Press.

Marrying a Potential Convert: Supplication, the Prayer of Guidance, and Following Allah’s Guidance

Answered by Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja

Question: I was working with a Catholic man and he has expressed an interest in becoming a Muslim, and wanting to marry me. He used to go to the mosque and was very close to becoming Muslim but his strict Catholic family didnt allow him to. Even when he said he accepted all the Islamic tenets, he couldnt deny Jesus dying on the cross. The last few months he again expressed an interest in becoming a Muslim and marrying me. I made a lot of supplication and prayed istikhara many times as I feel he would make an excellent Muslim and husband.  He is very pious, chaste, and charitable, and unfortunately I have allowed myself to form an attachment to this man. He has now moved abroad for a new job. To me this seems like a clear sign from Allah in answer to my istikhara that this man wasn’t for me. But how does one really know for sure if there istikhara has been answered?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I hope this message reaches you in the best of states inshaAllah. May Allah reward you for being concerned and seeking understanding in these matters of your life and may He guide you to that which is best for you in your religion, life, and hereafter.

It is not clear from your question whether the man has actually become Muslim or not. In either case, it is important to know that while you can make du`a that Allah guides him to Islam and brings you both together in marriage, you should not form an emotional attachment to him. Since this has unfortunately already happened, you need to realize that Allah does not want this of you and He only dislikes for His servants that which is harmful for them. Having conviction in this will help you to ease the pain in your heart and release your attachment to this man inshaAllah.

You should discontinue contact with the man in a polite manner suitable to the situation, since remaining in contact with him is not benefiting you. Please consider asking a Muslim male you trust, such as your brother or an Imam in the community, to keep contact with him in order that he has access to answers about Islam. Perhaps an Imam can explain to him the appropriate understanding of the Prophet Jesus (may Allah grant him peace) in Islam. Accepting that Jesus (may Allah grant him peace) did not die on the cross is something that is known by necessity to be a part of the religion. Allah says in unequivocal terms in the Qur’an:

“…and they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but so it was made to appear to them. And those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no knowledge, but only conjecture to follow. Of a surety they killed him not. Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself. And Allah is Exalted in Power and Wise.” [Al-Nisā’, 156-157]

Since his embracing of Islam and its tenets is a prerequisite to him being a potential husband for you, and it not clear that he is Muslim, it would not be proper to pray istikhara regarding marrying him, as you cannot supplicate for or seek guidance in something that is unlawful. Give the situation some time in order to allow yourself to pull out of the situation, physically (by involving someone you trust to sort out the man’s beliefs) and emotionally. Continue during this time to ask Allah for what is good for you. Then reevaluate the situation and move from there.

Regarding istikhara: The istikhara is a prayer in which one seeks guidance and good from Allah in a particular matter. This guidance and good as unfold on the plane of worldly causes and effects, not merely dreams and feelings – meaning that Allah facilitates what is best for one if one genuinely supplicates for the good and strives to do what is best. As Shaykh Faraz Rabbani describes,

“the sunna regarding actions is two-fold: (a) one takes the best and most effective of means; and (b) one places one’s trust and reliance on Allah. The istikhara is primarily related to the latter. It in no way negates one’s duty to take the proper steps in choosing a marriage partner of finding out the relevant details related to their worldly and religious life, their character, conduct, and personality.”

The hadith that you mentioned contains the Prophetic guidance to not despair in Allah’s mercy and to have conviction in His wishing well for us and His ultimate wisdom. If the slave truly understands their slavehood to Allah, they will never abandon supplicating to Him, because it is a manifestation of the realization of their poverty-stricken state and Allah’s supreme Richness, Completeness and Generosity. Supplication is furthermore an answer to Allah’s request, “…and call upon Me, I will answer you…” [Surat Ghafir, 60]. However, one has to know that Allah’s answering of a prayer comes in different forms.  Likewise the answer of our istikhara can be in a form that we do not anticipate. Allah may respond to one’s supplications by giving one what was supplicated for, or by withholding it in order to store up good for them in the Hereafter, or by withholding evil from one in his life. In a similar hadith the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) says,

“There is not upon the face of this earth a Muslim who calls upon Allah with a supplication except that Allah gives it to them or withholds from him a harm commensurate in measure [the the good he was seeking], as long as does not ask for the sinful or severing of kinship.” [Al-Tirmidhi]

May Allah guide you and us to that in which His pleasure lies.

Wassalam,
Sulma Badrudduja

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Returning from Umrah: A Feeling of Despair

Answered by Sidi Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: I’ve recently come back from performing Umrah. Alhamdulilah, it was absolutely amazing but now that I’m home I feel so restless and always upset and in a depressed-like state. Everything seems a lot harder, especially in my personal and family life. There seems to more problems financially as well. I know I shouldn’t despair and I should have complete faith and conviction in Allah but I do see that all the supplications I made for people coming true for them but mine haven’t. I don’t know how to change the feelings I have. I pray a lot more, I recite the Qu’ran as much as I can but I still feel the same. Is there any advice you can give me?

Answer: Wa alaikum salam,

Congrats on your Umrah; may Allah Most High accept it.

I am not sure if there are any physical reasons or mental factors for why you feel the way you do. However, its natural after such a religious experience, especially if it was a getaway from a difficult period in life, that when you return, you feel spiritual deprivation and that make you feel down or less spiritual. The Companions used to complain about that, so you are not alone.

Remember, you probably grew stronger in faith on your Umrah. Thus, tests may increase too as you grow in your faith. So finances may seem tighter, duas may seem longer to come, family may be giving problems… but Allah Most High only sends something your way because He knows you can handle it. Thus, its all about your mentality.

Just like at Umrah, in our daily lives we need to put ourselves in front of the Lord of the Ka’abah. We need to think back to our visitation to Mecca, and ask ourselves if we returned with a tidbit of the character and patience of the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace).

Don’t be hasty in your supplications (du`as).  They can be answered in many ways, not just by you seeing the result you want. It could be that a calamity averted, or something better for you is given, especially in the Hereafter. Don’t compare with others’ supplications, or your supplications for for them, being answered – Allah is giving each person exactly what they need, not more or less at any time.

Don’t ask Allah because you want to get; ask Allah because He loves to be asked, because He deserves to be asked, and because you love Him. Servanthood is not an A + B = C relationship; its all about mercy – pure generosity and mercy. You can try to do a lot of outward worship to fix this issue, but until this pure love, humbled submission to His will and self-effacing servanthood takes hold of your heart and permeates your worship to Allah, the true peace that will solve your worries will not imbue your life.

I want to thank you for giving me this chance to address myself first and foremost. Words are words but realities- only Allah knows them.

Wasalam,
Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Can Supplication Change Destiny?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question : Can du’a change qadr?

Answer:

[1] There is no doubt that the Divine Decree is eternal–beyond time–and therefore not subject to “change.”

[2] Du`a’ “changes” destiny in the relative sense: it is a means (like other means) towards the good, so it turns to flow of one’s life towards the good, by Divine facilitation, in accordance with the eternal Decree (qada’) of Allah.

[3] To understand this, one must appreciate that there are two types of decree (qada’):

(a) The absolute decree (al-qada’ al-mubram), which is what Allah willed in eternity. This isn’t subject to change, by definition; and

(b) The relative or conditional decree (al-qada’ al-mu`allaq), which is the direction in which the flow of life events seems to be going. This is what can change. This could be referred to as “apparent destiny.”
And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani.

Are There Any Supplications to Brighten One’s Face?

Answered by Sulma Badrudduja

Question: Is there a specific supplication to illuminate and brighten one’s face? Also, is it permissible for me to employ ruqya? I once read a hadith that those who will enter paradise without reckoning are individuals who did not perform ruqya.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I hope this reaches you in the best of health inshaAllah.

(1) The scholars of Islam tell us that of the best supplications are ones from a sincere heart and also prophetic supplications. The Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam used to make the following supplications:

“O Allah make light in my heart, and light in my sight, and light in my hearing, and light on my right, and light on my left, and light above me, and light below me, and light in front of me, and light behind me, and make for me light.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)

‏ ‏اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ فِي قَلْبِي نُورًا وَفِي بَصَرِي نُورًا وَفِي سَمْعِي نُورًا وَعَنْ يَمِينِي نُورًا وَعَنْ يَسَارِي نُورًا وَفَوْقِي نُورًا وَتَحْتِي نُورًا وَأَمَامِي نُورًا وَخَلْفِي نُورًا وَعَظِّمْ لِي نُورًا

And

“O Allah, I seek refuge in you from grief and sadness, and I seek refuge in you from incapabiliity and laziness, and I seek refuge in you from cowardice and miserliness, and I seek refuge in you from being overcome by debt and overpowered by men.” (Sahih Bukhari)

‏اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْهَمِّ وَالْحَزَنِ وَالْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَالْجُبْنِ وَالْبُخْلِ ‏ ‏وَضَلَعِ ‏ ‏الدَّيْنِ وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ

(2) Taking a ruqya is permitted. Sheikh Nuh Keller quotes Shaykh Mansur `Ali Nasif in the Reliance of the Traveller:

“Protective or healing words are permitted by sacred Law and are called for when there is need for them, provided three conditions are met:
(a) that they consist of the word of Allah Most High, His names, or His attributes (…)
(b) that they be in Arabic;
(c) and that the user not believe the words have any effect in themselves (…) but are rather empowered to do so by Allah Most High.”

The hadith you mentioned does not prohibit the use of ruqya, or even disapprove of it. The scholars of Islam have discussed the different meanings of this hadith. Some said though these people are given a distinction in this hadith, it does not necessarily mean that they have a higher rank. Others said that it refers to those who do ruqya without need for it. [taken from Fath al-Bari sharh Sahih al-Bukhari]

May Allah grant you ease and every good in this world and the next.

And Allah knows best.

wassalam,
Sulma

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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

Invocation (Dhikr) and Supplication (Dua) After Prayer

Answered by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam

Question:  In my mosque, the muezzin gives command after prayer when to say subhanallah, alhamdulillah and so on. And it is done after sunnah prayer. Is that practice OK?

Answer : It is permissible (and rewarding) to recite the various forms of Dhikr, Tasbih and Dua after prayers as mentioned in the various Hadiths of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), both individually and collectively, and both silently and loudly.

 

Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the completion of the Messenger of Allah’s (Allah bless him & give him peace) prayer would be known by the recitation of the Takbir.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no: 994)

 

Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that raising of the voice with Dhikr was practiced in the time of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) when they left the obligatory prayer. And Ibn Abbas said: “I would know of when people left the obligatory prayer by the (loud) Dhikr and I used to hear it.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no: 995)

 

Based on the above and various other narrations found in the Sunnah literature, the renowned Hanafi jurist, Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) states in his Radd al-Muhtar that raising one’s voice whilst doing Dhikr (m: in all its forms) is permissible due to the various evidences found in the Sunnah, except in certain circumstances. He concludes his discussion by quoting Imam al-Sha’rani as saying:

 

“All the scholars (ulama) have agreed, both early (salaf) and late comers (khalaf), upon the recommendation of group Dhikr (m: meaning loudly) in the Masjid, except when it disturbs a sleeping person, the one engaged in prayer and the one reciting Qur’an.” (Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 1/660)

 

Therefore, it is permissible to recite the various forms of Dhikr loudly after obligatory prayers. The reciting of Subhan Allah and al-Hamdulillah 33 times and Allahu Akbar 34 times has been prescribed in the Hadith. Thus, if the Mu’adhin or someone else reminds people by saying it loudly, then there is nothing wrong with that, as long as it is not considered to be a specific form of Sunnah, and that those who do not wish to join are not condemned.

 

As far as doing group Dhikr in the Masjid after Sunnah prayers is concerned, it is best avoided, for it may disturb those engaged in other forms of worship. Yes, if there is a common understanding amongst the people, in that they all participate in the group Dhikr, then it would be permitted.

 

You state that you wish to carry out your own Dhikr and not join the group Dhikr. This is perfectly allowed; hence you should not be looked down upon. The other members of the congregation should be made aware that it is not necessary for people to join a specific form of group Dhikr. In fact, condemning those who wish not to join would make the group Dhikr a form of reprehensible innovation.

 

In conclusion, you may recite the various forms of Dhikr after prayers on your own or by joining in with the group. Both methods are permissible, and one method should not be deemed necessary.

 

And Allah knows best

Muhammad ibn Adam

Darul Iftaa

Leicester , UK

             

                         

                         

           

 

 

 

 

Chapter on the Supplication for the One Invited and the Guest to the Hosts When Finished Eating’

From Imam an-Nawwawi’s al-Adhkar:

Question: Chapter on the Supplication for the One Invited and the Guest to the Hosts when finished eating


Answer : اللهم بارك لهم فيما رزقتهم ، واغفر لهم وارحمهم

Allahumma baarik lahum fima razaqtahum wagfir lahum warhamhum

‘Oh Allah, bless them in what You provided for them and forgive them and bestow mercy upon them.’