Sunday, 13 May 2007


yesterday was just an ordinary saturday, you know lounging around the house and then it got busy with lots of guests (in the way that only pakistanis know how!) and so barely had time to breathe!

and then...

at night, i had a conversation which touched me and made me remember something. you know one of those conversation which you know will stay with you because of how powerful it was?

i had the pleasure of telling a sister about the istikhaara prayer.before i carry on, i just wanted to talk about what it made me remember- my first experience of feeling at an utter loss and not knowing which direction my life would take.

i was 17 at the time and working hard at college to get the grades i needed to study Law at university. i had always been sure i wanted to do Law, encouraged by my teachers and parents who wanted me to do something great and deserving of the work i put into my studies (yes i was always a little nerd!)

and then one of my closest and dearest friends, who i respect a lot, told me that perhaps Law wasn't for me, and i would be suited to something else (i can't remember if she actually suggested teaching or not) at first i denied it and insisted law was for me and that was what i wanted to do

but gradually i started to think about teaching, and made some tentative enquires, and really liked the idea, but decided i wasn't cut out for teaching (especially thinking back to my own high school and mean some of the kids were to teachers!)

so, i decided to stick with Law and that's what i applied for and when i got my place at a very competitive university, i decided it was meant to be and i should be lucky as so many other people don't get that chance. i convinced myself i was doing the right thing.

and then one night, i was speaking to another dear friend online (why are all my deep and meaningful conversations always online?) and i told her about my "decision" and she said, you still don't sound sure so why don't you pray Istikhaara? and taught me the whole thing that night (i wonder if she knows how much of an effect that conversation had on me?)

i was so excited and ecstatic as i finally felt at peace, you know? i prayed Istikhaara for a long time, and got a bit impatient to be honest as i was still undecided. and then one morning i woke up and i was sure what i needed to do. i didn't have a dream, but i just had this certainty and felt at peace with the decision, even though it wasn't what i had wanted.

doing Law would have been easier because it was what people expected of me, and i knew it was what my dad wanted. but teaching was what was written in my destiny.
telling my dad this was my biggest concern as i didn't want to disappoint him, so i did what i always do when i want to tell my dad something big- told my mum and asked her to tell my dad:)

and to my great joy my dad said straight away, it's up to you and do what's best for you. alhamdulilah, he then said he had only ever encouraged me to do Law because he thought that was what i wanted.

so there you go. i put my trust in Allah and felt at peace with my decision straight away. of course i did, as who can guide me and understand my needs better than the One who created me?

i felt so grateful to Allah for granting me with the honour of telling this sister about istikhaara yesterday. immediately i could feel her excitement as she felt sure this was the best solution and the only way to make the important decision she wanted to make.

so, one of the reasons i am sharing this story with you guys is, i want you to please share your experiences of salatul-istikhaara and how it may have helped you to come to any decisions. i know it is a very personal thing, but i am hoping to show the sister the variety of experiences people have, and how it can affect people in different ways.

so, spill!


Sumera said...

I just get a feeling that resonates agreement with whatever choice I wish to make - I can't describe it, but usually the result corresponds to my gut feeling about a given issue :)

'liya said...

I agree with Sumera :)

I used it for the same reason as you at the end of high school to decide between my two passions, teaching and art/design. Teaching was the answer.

I also used it to make sure that the guy I liked would be "the one" and the feeling was yes, and now we're going to get married (soon) ... Inshallah!

Unique Muslimah said...

I can't make many decisions without this beautiful duaa, seriously, even what kind of clothes I should buy, if it has kheer in it I pray for that, if it doesn't, I put my money away, maybe it's meant for sadaqah you know? :)

This duaa also shows you the way things are meant to be. That's what I love. And you don't necessarily have to dream the answer like many people tend to believe.

Alhamduliah for this mercy =)

Umm Maymoonah said...

I want to study further but from home ideas please then I can decide with istikhara

hema said...

thank you girls for sharing, i know it's a ver personal topic so i'm really grateful for any responses.

umm maymo- i'm not sure what you're asking- you mean like a distance learning course such as the Open University?
it depends what you want to study i guess. you seem to be enjoying the alKauthar courses, has it given you a taste for studying further:)
i remember once yo said you wanted to do a media course, what happened with that?
anyway, let us know what you want to study and hopefully someone will know of something.

iMuslim said...

Istikhaarah is truly a mercy to the believers! I wonder whether it is something that Allah kept especially for this Ummah, because i haven't come across anything similar in Judaism or Christianity? Of course they must pray to Allah for guidance, in general terms, but i'm not sure if they have a special prayer that they have preserved from the teachings of their past Prophets, 'alayhimus salam.

Anyway, my response to Istikharaah isn't so clear cut as other people's, which is a little worrying; makes me think, "am i doing it right?". From my poor memory, i can't say that i ever get "feelings" as to which path is the best to choose. To be honest, i don't trust my feelings very much, cos one day i'm all for plan A, then the next, for plan B! Rather, I tend to look for "signs", meaning, i try to ascertain which way Allah is taking the situation.

If everything goes smoothly, with no problems, then i am reassured that this is the right thing to do. If everything starts getting messy and complicated, or a big problem comes up, that puts a stopper in the whole thing, then i am reassured that it was not meant to be.

I don't think this is an invalid method to interpret Istikhaara, as the dua asks Allah not only to make you content with the outcome, but also to "bring closer" that which is good for you, and/or "take away" that which is bad... which suggests action & events, not just feelings.

Anyway... it is also important to remember that Istikhaarah should be combined with asking advice from the people. So ask your fellow Muslims (whom you trust) for their opinion, have a think, make Istikhaarah, and then go ahead with your decision, inshallah.

Also, Istikhaarah should only be used in matters of the permissible. If something is clearly haraam, then there is no need to ask Allah whether one should do it or not, cos the answer is kinda obvious.

This is part of the etiquette of dua. Advice goes to myself first, as always! :)

Umm Maymoonah said...

the thing is im just looking for ideas and info at the mo all welcome. reply on my blog i don't wana take the discussion away from istihkara.

AnonyMouse said...

As-salaamu 'alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatu,

I actually haven't prayed salaatul Istikhaara yet, ever... I have, however, begun learning to memorize the du'aa - this because something came up recently that I know is definitely Istikhaara-worthy... now, the issue is something that's going to just sit there for a while, but the ultimate decision is something I'm really anxious over. So, I'll be making lots of du'aa and definitely praying salaatul Istikhaara when (or rather, if) the big decision-making moment arises!

I've been reciting the first half of the du'aa anyway, and I do think it's helped... I got over the first initial burst of super-excitement and am starting to "think" about it rather than just "feel" about it (my brain tends to make more sense than my heart!)... so yep.

May Allah make happen for us what is most beneficial and keep away from us that which is harmful, ameen!


Gry said...

My heart is filled with gratefulness! I don't even think you know what an impact this had had on me...! I have been excited about this ever since you told me and i can't wait to learn it properly and say the words, to sit in peace just me and My Creator. You know i'm at a point in my life where i'm pretty confused and who's better to turn to than The Almighty. So my sweet sister THANK YOU soooooo much for sharing this powerful and so important information with me. I am certain that this will change so many things and remind me to always put my trust in Allah, as He knows best! Thank you!!!

hema said...

imsulim, thanks for the response, iot made a lot of sense, especially the bit about not asking for haraam..

umm maymo- i've posted the required info on your blog:)

gry- i'm really glad it helped, and hopefully some of these responses will have helped too. may the One in whom you trust fill your heart with happiness.

mouse- i like so hope that whatever you're praying for has the like desired outcome. (that was my attempt to sound canadian by the way, but whatever!)

AnonyMouse said...

lol, "like" is more of an American thing which we Canadians have picked up... :P
But I'd say you did a pretty fair job of it! ;)