Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance
The Istikhara prayer is one of the most important prayers for Muslims. They use it every time an important decision has to be made, such as choosing a life partner, starting an important project, or generally making a life-changing decision.
This mandala however is intended to be used by people who are not necessarily Muslim, nor they belong to any particular religion. The only obvious requirement is that you believe that there is an intelligent force that has created the Universe and has your best interest in mind and for you to be open to its guidance.
The translation of the original text is as follows:
‘Dear God, I’m asking You for goodness through Your [Infinite] Knowledge, and I’m asking You for strength through Your Divine Ability, and I’m asking You from Your Infinite Grace. Because You’re completely able to do, while I simply cannot. You know everything, and I do not, and You know everything that’s unseen. Dear God, if You know that this decision [mention decision here] is good for me in terms of my religiosity, my worldly life, and afterlife, then decree it, facilitate it for me with ease, and bless me through it. But if You know that this has bad consequences on my religiosity, my worldly life, and afterlife, then get it away from me and get me away from it, and [instead of that] decree what’s better for me, whatever it may be, and make me content with it.’
To sum up, the content of the prayer can be condensed to those three things and framed outside of any specific religion as:
Creator, if this is good for me, make it happen easily in my life for my highest good.
If it is bad for me in any way, take it away from me.
Make me content with your decision.
This field will take your request to the Divine intelligence and love of the Creator and will leave it in Creators ‘hands’ to make the decision what is the best possible outcome for you in the situation you requested guidance for. Be prepared to let go of the option that is not in your highest good as the situation will clearly change to show you the reality of it. Our advice is to not try and cling to the negative option/person/choice regardless of your feelings and ideas as it will only make it more painful. Creator’s view is always the most beneficial for you and you will save yourself a lot of suffering if you are willing to relax and accept it.
Some people see dreams about the right choice, others just feel inclined towards one of the options, or the situation changes externally so much that the answer becomes obvious. Have in mind that even if the option you chose did not turn out easy for you, it is considered that this was the better choice for you for some important reason that we sometimes come to know, but sometimes remains obscure.
To use the mandala think about your dilemma and send the idea of it to the mandala. The events will unfold in due time afterward. Relax and do not try to force anything.
I’ve used this several times with excellent results. Now, imagine doing this prayer non-stop in every moment of your life. That’s what Surrender is.
Surrender is to:
Relinquish and let go of all personal desires/preferences. This includes all the trapped energy in the mind, heart and bodies. No more swimming against the current, no more striving to go somewhere.
See the present moment as perfect. Life presents you with what is ideal for you, whether it is an event happening, words/requests/advice spoken to you, or any possibilities that can occur. God knows what you don’t, so let God takes care of everything for you, and God will guarantee the perfect outcome in every moment.
You have to give total trust/faith and live this process. Make it second nature. Before long, you’ll realize that there’s nowhere to go, nothing to do because you have already been in the Kingdom of God, in every flowing moment of now.
Note: please use common sense. Don’t do anything others tell you that is harmful to yourself or someone else.
I also find that you can go directly to (2), and when you succeed, it is easy to let go of any desires or whatever comes up.
I also find the above process can be used in my meditation practices. Relinquish and let go of all personal desires/preferences (wanting to feel a certain way, be in a particular state or want to figure things out), and listen to what Life is presenting to you in each perfect moment. Flow in Life’s current, and wherever you go, there you are.