Forget About Psychics!
Randomly browsing a secular forum, a guy complained he was scammed by an online psychic of $80. The funny thing was, another member, who happened to have a very-much-Muslim username, echoed his statement and cried :
“Then how can I find an accurate psychic who knows about my future!”
Odd thing is, another member, who was a non-muslim, understood it better : “Forget about psychics, man! Ask your matter to God, be it Jesus, Jehovah, or Allah. Surely God knows better about your future than any psychic!”
That was perhaps the best reply on the whole thread.
I’m not saying that you should make Allah your fortune teller; that’s very disrespectful Istaghfirullah. But my point is, you’ll never go wrong consulting the All-Knowing Divine Mastermind. Be it Istikharah prayer or not.
Consulting a fortune teller to predict your future can cost you a sin and make your salaah not accepted for 40 days.
But consulting Allah will only add to your Akhirah (afterlife) rewards and increase your closeness to Him.
PLUS, you’ll get real solutions to your problems. It’s a triple-plus no fortune teller in the world can give you.
Personal Story : How Istikharah Prayer Helped Changed My Life
In my mid-teens, I suffered from a longtime depression, so much that I frequently felt suicidal. I was hopeless about life. At the lowest point of my state, I just knew I couldn’t take it anymore.
I made istikharah and asked Allah: “How am I supposed to find a cure? How will my life go in a better direction? What should I do?”
- Option A: Go to professional counselor, since I’ve never seen one (I was simply too embarassed and couldn’t afford it).
- Option B: Read some psychology and healing books to find the answer.
- Option C: Whatever You (Allah) think is best for me. Something that I could never think of.
Just after I folded my prayer mat, a surprising answer “came” to me: “Time will heal your wounds. Allow yourself to go with the flow.”
I raised my eyebrows.
Logically, at first it sounds like nonsense. I have battled this monster for 4 years, and it seems like I would never see the light at the end of tunnel.
So how come “time heals” came to me?
But if the answer was from Allah, it couldn’t be BS. So I decided to put my trust in it and submit.
As time unfolded, the Istikharah answer came surprisingly true.
By the time I entered University, a tide of change had happened in my social life. I was too busy socializing to get on too much in my own head.
Before I realized it, I had regained that joie de vivre that was once lost. I had forgotten that I once suffered depression and had suicidal thoughts.
It was gone.
There, I met my fiance, who was an aspiring entrepreneur, but kept failing at everything he did.
One time, after a yet another failure, but still wanting to survive, he finally made Istikharah on what type of business he should do.
The answer he got was: “Change your business model into this.”
It was not the answer he expected, and it even sounded strange to him.
But he implemented it.
Now three years later and his business is thriving, even flourishing, whereas previously, they never survived more than 4 months.
Those are just two examples.
Put simply, you’ll never go wrong trusting the Divine Creator to pick the best path for you.
1. Understand the Supplication Meaning
I rarely recite my istikharah supplication in Arabic. In fact, most often I recite it in my own native language. But it’s still answered 90% of time.
(Where does the 10% go to? Hmmm….that’s between me and Allah ;))
So here’s the meaning of the supplication, more or less:
Dear Lord, I’m seeking Your counsel with Your vast knowledge. You know the hidden and the apparent, Your knowledge surpasses all things in the past and future, while my knowledge is a tiny drop in the ocean compared to Yours.
Please tell me what should I do regarding this problem ____(state it specifically) and I would like to do A or B or C.
So, what should I pick between them?
If it’s good for me then draw me closer to it and make me content accepting it.
If it’s bad for me, turn it away from me and turn my heart away from it.
Please choose for me whatever is best according to Your knowledge, and make my heart content in accepting it.
2. Ask It, Say It With Your Heart
Honestly, that’s silly.
Can you expect to move a car by hitting the gas and brakes at the same time?
Istikharah is no different than any other supplication you do. Start by praising Allah and His messenger (peace be upon him), be humble and develop khushoo (God-mindfulness).
Repeat the supplication thrice.
BUT…you should be certain in your request, and leave no room for doubt.
God’s delay is not God’s denial.
Pray and have faith that your supplication will be answered. For Allah doesn’t fulfill supplication that comes from careless heart that’s not concentrating.
Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah
If you supplicate, do not say ‘O Allah, forgive me if You wish. Bless me if You wish. And give me providence if You wish’. Ask with a full (certain) heart, for Allah do what He wishes, and no force on Him”
3. You Can Ask For Practically Anything, Even If It’s Not An Emergency
The tendency most people have is they resort to Istikharah prayer when things start going rough, and they need an answer for the future and the hard decisions they have to make.
Allah loves it when His servants supplicate to Him, so why wait until the downward spiral hits to invoke Him?
You can do istikharah for any of these reasons:
- Baggage from the past or current times, that have you stuck.
- Wherever you are standing right now (i.e. life position, mental state).
- The right person to be your business partner.
- People you should avoid for your personal well-being.
- The right person to be your future spouse.
- Which University subject to major in.
- If a specific action you might do will harm you in the future or not.
The list is endless.
But you see the point. You can ask for practically anything.
4. Spare the option “X”
Basically, when you supplicate, you’re not just saying: “Oh Allah, should I do A or B?”
Additionally, you should also say: “Dear Allah, if you have another option that You know is best for me but I’m unaware of it, please bring it forth to me.”
And don’t be surprised that if you happen to get the answer from this Option “X,” it’s something so simple, or weird, yet so darn effective that you could have never thought about it on your own.
Allah knows it best!
5. Be Sensitive to Incoming Signs
Allah doesn’t answer your istikharah by throwing you a written paper from heaven.
You must open your heart. You must be sensitive to the possible answers coming by.
Some people receive their istikharah answer through a dream.
Some through an “A-HA” moment of clarity and they just “know” it’s the answer.
Some through intuition and “feeling” – as if there’s a higher power pushing them to do a certain thing.
Some through a certain odd synchronicity. Like a seminar booklet, or book falling from the shelves as if saying “pick me! pick me!”
Then they figure out the answer there.
At times, I’ve received istikharah answer through waking visions.
It’s like quick slideshows being played in my head, which I know haven’t originated from my own logical mind.
Pay attention to them.
You can even fish out the answer by asking the yourself the questions.
Or write down the question with different options a paper. Then genuinely ask which option is the innermost you clinging to.
6. Repeat The Istikharah If Necessary
If you haven’t gotten clarity yet, don’t hesitate to repeat the istikharah. There is no limit to repeating istikharah.
You can do it 3 times or 30 times until your heart and mind have really “soaked in” the Divine’s answer.
Then evaluate yourself again.
Have you actually developed khushoo during the prayer?
Were the hunches, signs, and answers, coming to you but you ignored them?
Or did they come but you disliked the answer and want one that your ego thinks is “better”?
Did you do any big sins that could possibly have put a veil over your supplication keeping them from being answered?
If you did one of these things, you might want to fix them first before repeating another Istikharah.
7. Accept the Answer, but Don’t Ignore the Logic
Sometimes the Istikharah answer is not the kind of answer you want. But Allah with His Divine knowledge, knows best what you need.
And all you have to do is put your TRUST in Him.
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 but you do not know
Chapter 2, verse 216
I have to emphasize here that Istikharah is NEVER a substitute for logic.
By all means, do use the external resources you have to make decision. But why not ask The All-Knowing Mastermind Himself, to guide you, aid you through the process?
I don’t know about you, but in my (limited) personal experiences, insha-Allah the Istikharah answers have never disappointed me so far.
Have you recalled any Istikharah moments that later changed the course of your life? Anything you want to add?
Feel free to share your own story below. I’d love to hear from you!
Fatima Ariadne is a graduate student and writer. In her blog Decoding Eden she shared insightful tips on self improvement, inner reflections, and spiritual growth based on Islamic teachings and practical psychology. Visit her blog to get the free ebook “100 Beautiful Positivity Hadiths to Spice Up Your Soul.”