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Seeking Godís Guidance

Adil Salahi

Arab News, 3/22/04

Q. Could you please explain how to do the istikharah?

A. The istikharah is a prayer which seeks Godís guidance in making a choice between alternatives or options that are available to a person. It is particularly useful when the choice is difficult. To do the istikharah, one should offer a voluntary 2-rakíah prayer and follow it with the following supplication: ďMy Lord! I appeal to You on the basis of Your knowledge and seek Your help with Your power, as You know while I do not know, and You are able while I am helpless, and You certainly know what is beyond the reach of human knowledge. My Lord! If You know this particular matter (one should specify the thing in question) is good for me with respect to my religion and my life and in my present and future, then facilitate it for me and make it easy for me to choose it. But if You know this particular matter (one names it again) is bad for me with respect to my religion and my life and in my present and future, then keep it away from me and keep me away from it. Choose what is good for me wherever it happens to be and bless it for me.Ē

People often speak about seeing a dream with an indication of the choice to be made. But this is not necessary so. Unless the indication is very clear, then one should not attach much importance to it. Otherwise, one looks for what comes oneís way easily. When we do the istikharah, we are asking God to help us to choose, and He does by facilitating the better option for us. This could come in a variety of ways, but the person concerned would feel that one particular option seems to be unhindered. In the case of a marriage proposal, for example, this means that if the development leading to marriage are easy, such as parentsí approval is forthcoming without difficulty, and agreement between the two families is easily obtained, then you realize that God has chosen this course for you. If, on the contrary, the proposal is beset with difficulties, one should know that it is better not to go ahead with this marriage.

Impurity and Fasting

Q. If a married couple have an intercourse at night, can they fast the following day without performing the ghusl, or grand ablution first?

(Name and address withheld)

A. When a married couple have intercourse, both of them will be in the state of ceremonial impurity, which has no effect on the validity of starting a fast. So, a married man or a woman can begin a fasting day, even though they had intercourse with oneís spouse before the start of the fasting day, and they might have not removed it. To remove this state of ceremonial impurity, or janabah, they must have a ghusl, or grand ablution, which means a bath or shower washing all their bodies. Even if they go through the whole day without having the grand ablution, their fast will be valid. Needless to say, they must have a grand ablution before they can pray. This means that they must do so before sunrise in order to pray Fajr on time.




Earth, a planet hungry for peace


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers (Ran Cohen, pmc, 5/24/03).


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers in the West Bank, like a Python. (Alquds,10/25/03).

Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah's.