…And let me be pleased with it

If you need a prayer to tell you to be with me, then you don’t care about me at all!

I smiled sympathetically as I saw his ego was deeply hurt.

O God!
I seek your counsel from Your Knowledge
and by Your Power, I seek strength,
and I ask You for Your immense favour,
for verily, You are able while I am not
and verily, You know while I do not
and You have knowledge of the unseen.

I tried to explain this passage from the guidance prayer [Istikhara]. We had been through a lot, and I did not know whether or not we were right for each other. His gambling issues triggered my anxiety  inherited from growing up as the daughter of a gambling addict. I had ever hope that he could manage, with the right therapy, to recover mentally and financially from his addiction, but could I ever feel secure in this partnership?

Oh God!
If in Your Knowledge this affair
[mention concern]
is better  for my religion and faith,
for my life and end,
for this world and the hereafter
then make it destined for me and make it easy for me
and then add blessings in it, for me.

I wanted us to work out. I had invested time, effort and feelings into building this home for us. We had already moved in together and then moved province together. We had stood up against his parents who discouraged a Christian/Muslim union.

We had ongoing projects and plans for the future. We had made accommodations for each other’s needs, habits, and interests. We were planning an engagement, a marriage, a family. I had never enticipated this addiction to come haunt my daily life yet again, years after finally seeing my dad recover from the same exact ailment.

O God!
In Your Knowledge if this is bad for me,
bad for my religion and faith,
for my life and end,
for this world and the hereafter
then remove it from me and remove me from it

Even in times of complete certainty, it is often recommended that Muslims turn to the guidance prayer [Istikhara] before entering business deals, making car/animal purchases, or agreeing to a marriage. In times of uncertainty, Istikhara can be applied to various circumstance.

Tradition states that guidance may come in a variety of ways: dreams, events, or flashes after any of the recommended 7 recitations. In my case, guidance has always come in the form of direct action or events from interested parties. In this situation, it was this phone call:

It doesn’t matter, I’ve already got another girl lined up, you f***ing terrorist!”

and decree what is good, wherever it be

There couldn’t be clearer sign that he was not the right man for me. I went on to grieve the end of my relationship by respecting a divorce’s 3 months of celibacy.

and let me be pleased with it.

“Pleased” is not how I would describe the weeks that followed the break up. I’d kept my life on hold while he was “working out his issues”, so our break up came as a harsh reminder of all that needed to be done, the projects that were now scrapped and the plans which would have to be restructured.

Istikhara had brought upon me guidance that I was not entirely ready to accept and God’s plan was, in all ways, still too murky for me to comprehend.

Financial instability made me anxious and bitter, and “being pleased” was often the last thought in my mind. My anger was  at times directed at my ex for his addiction, at times at my dad for making me so vulnerable to this issue, and sometimes to God, for revealing what I did not want to see.

I have since repented for my misdirected anger. I am grateful for my dad’s support in recovering financially from my ex. I am grateful to my friends for the emotional support during my grief. Moreover, I am grateful to God for removing me from what would inevitably have been a bad situation.

I have just entered a new relationship that I foresee leading to marriage. I know that I should seek guidance through Istikhara. However, should I wait until he has formally made some sort of peoposal?

I am terribly afraid to see our beautiful and strong relationship crumble before my eyes. Would I be ready to accept divine guidance if it were given to me right now?

I know my life is in God’s hands always, but I would be lying if I said that I want His Knowledge right now. I *am* please right now, and my life will go according to His plan regardless of my prayer. There will come a time for Istikhara but, for now, I bask in the “being pleased with it” part of His journey for me.

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