Start with Istikhaara(Prayer for guidance)
Per my understanding, the goal of istikhaara is to get you an individual whom after putting all things together, is compatible with you. Compatibility is not determined by just one factor. Religion, character, upbringing, exposure, ambitions all influence compatibility. What I understand as the outcome of a successful istikhaara is that all these are factored; the good and the bad and then a suitor is chosen for us via the guidance of Allah.
The middle part of the dua (prayer) brings everything to light for me.
“O Allah! If in Your Knowledge this matter be good for my faith (Deen), for my livelihood, and for the consequences of my affairs, then ordain it for me, and make it easy for me, and bless me therein.”
Three key things have been called out here, faith, livelihood and consequences of affairs. All these are key and important.
No matter how rich, religious, good looking, hardworking or educated the person is, pray istikhaara first. No matter how much you are crushing on the person, pray istikhaara. No matter how much pressure you are getting from others, pray istikhaara first. There’s only so much you can be sure of by face value. Istikhaara is the first therapeutic shield you build for yourself ahead of any mishaps.
From my experience, it is not always that you see the response to your istikhaara in the early phase such that you do not get serious. Sometimes you will have to get in to know that it isn’t the place for you. This normally happens when you allow your emotions to get ahead before you are even able to gather enough details about the individual.
A successful istikhaara doesn’t mean you wouldn’t fight. You will fight; a lot. But you will see yourself finding a way through even the ugliest moments. On the flip side when it isn’t meant to go far, you just find you two not getting along even when all the conditions are favourable.
Some people need to get bounced by a person today in order to make them better suited for the same person few years later. It’s how it works.
Even when you are with the person and have some feelings of doubt coming in, pray istikhaara, it has a way of reinforcing you.
The reason you need to start with istikhaara is so you constantly remind yourself that Allah is the one who ultimately knows that which is best for you. That way when things don’t work out after you’ve tried everything possible, your heart remains content that Allah will sort you out. That thinking alone saves you from emotionally stressing yourself about the person once things are over.
The ending of the dua nice captures it excellent:
“But if in Your Knowledge, this matter be bad for my faith (Deen), for my livelihood, and for the consequences of my affairs, then turn it away from me, and turn me away therefrom, and ordain for me the good wherever it be, and cause me to please with it.”
Get yourself a shield; pray istikhaara
©Ibrahim Abdul Rauf( Ari-J Tagba)