Shaykh Humayun Hanif Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi (HA) says:

Some of our discussions (here) are to explore ideas and concepts which are not apparent (or superficially) understood so it may be something which have neither heard of nor familiar with. Allah (SWT):

فَٱعۡتَبِرُواْ يَـٰٓأُوْلِى ٱلۡأَبۡصَـٰرِ

So, learn a lesson, O you who have eyes to see

Things come to life by a combination of physical (existence) and a soul. When someone dies we ask when will his “body” will be buried? This “body” in front of us is devoid of life without its soul. Similarly, the combination brings actions to life and gives them fulfilment (and completeness). The Kalima was recited by Sahabah and it was also recited by Abdullah Ibn Ubayy (the hypocrite) but was it the same? A person may adorn the external facets of his prayer by fulfilling and perfecting them but his intention is to show people how beautiful his prayer is, would that be an accepted Salah?

So you can see that in order for an action to be complete it has to have the action and its soul (its spirit, its spirituality, its sincerity).

Our Mashaykh used to say:

Ask Allah (SWT) to get Allah (SWT) for the sake of Allah (SWT).

On the contrary we:

Ask Dunya to get Dunya for the sake of Dunya.

I don’t say that there is anything wrong with excelling in education or setting up a business but we resort to people (Dunya) and think that connections will get us Dunya and then we rely upon interest and other Haram means so we are turning to Dunya, utilising Haram means of Dunya to get Dunya.

One aspect of Islam which has been watered down and its spirituality removed is Istikhara. In fact, let me say that many don’t even practise the apparent (external) aspect of Istikhara let alone getting to the spiritual aspect! Let’s look at Istikhara from a non-traditional angle and enumerate a few aspects which are hidden from people:

  1. Sunnah:For those who are lovers of Allah (SWT) no other reason is needed to practise!
  2. Mushwara with Allah (SWT):When you have a problem and want to consult, whom do you refer to? Do you go to the first available person but do you go to the most intelligent and wise person who has the best of your interest at heart? Who can be Greater than Allah (SWT)?
  3. Stakeholder Consensus: Suppose you have high electricity bills so you convene a meeting with the family, your wife, your son, your daughter also suggest certain actions to reduce the electricity usage. Do you then need to convince them (to switch off appliances etc) or do they do it automatically (and voluntarily) because they were part of the decision making process? So by Istikhara you have made Allah (SWT) a stakeholder in your decision!
  4. Knowledge of the Future:Even the best of the ones you consult doesn’t have knowledge of the future but Allah (SWT) has perpectual and complete knowledge. Wouldn’t you like to consult someone who has knowledge of the future?
  5. Power & Authority:Even the best and most wise may not have the authority to remove hurdles from your way when you come to implement your decisions. Do you think Allah (SWT) has any such problems or impediments?
  6. Mitigation of Risk:Allah (SWT) guarentess to protect you from loss, do the people of this people give you such guarentee when you consult them?

Remember that our Mashaykh taught us:

Ask Allah (SWT) to get Allah (SWT) for the sake of Allah (SWT).

And here are some direct and tangible results for your spirituality due to Istikhara:

  1. Closeness to Allah (SWT):Istikhara is about closeness to Allah (SWT) due to direct consultation. For those who are lovers of Allah (SWT) noting else matters.
  2. Access:In Dunya you can’t meet the Prime Minister and even if you do it will be hurried 5 minute interaction. Istikhara gives you direct access with Allah (SWT). For those who are lovers of Allah (SWT) noting else matters.
  3. Guarenteed Protection:Have you seen a little child pulling and tugging at the shirt of his mother when he wants to go to the Toilet? Eventually she says OK go to the Toilet? Why does he do that? Because he wants assuarance and attention…So when you pull and tug at the Mercy of Allah (SWT), what will you get (in return)?

Counting rewards is not something (true) Fuqaha of Islam pay much attention to! Sure, you will get this many rewards for this action but the ultimate goal is closeness to Allah (SWT) through perpetuity of (good) actions so Istikhara also needs to be persistently acted upon and rigorously adhered to. You need to get into the habit of consulting Allah (SWT) for every single thing and thereby get on the ladder of closeness to Allah (SWT).

It may appear simple but it’s enormously effective for the lovers of Allah (SWT).

Now let’s discuss results. Some people say that they were after a lucrative (business) deal and Istikhara didn’t show positive (results) but their friend invested in the same opportunity and made a fortune! My Brother, what makes you think that the results of the same investment would have brought “Khair” for you? Maybe the abundance of money would have taken you away from Allah (SWT), maybe you would have indulged in Interest and other (Haram) means, may be your children would have become spoilt so Allah (SWT) decreed “Khair” for you based on your circumstances and your situation but your superficial and limited focus is depriving you from seeing the big picture!

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