Istiadhah – seeking refuge

Bismillah Hirahaman Niraheem

audhubillahi minashaitan nirajeem

I seek refuge with Allah from Shaitan,the outcast(cursed one)

The above phrase is known as Istiadhah meaning ‘ I seek refuge with Allah from the cursed satan so that he is prevented from affecting my religious or worldly affairs, or hindering me from adhering to what I was commanded, or luring me into what I was prohibited from.’ It entails seeking Allah’s help and acknowledging HIS ability to do everything. The Istiadhah also affirms the servant’s meekness, weakness and inability to face the enemy of his inner evil, whom Allah alone, Who created this enemy is able to repel and defeat. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

The excellence of seeking refuge is emphasised in various places of the quran and various hadith. It is recommended to say the istiadhah before reciting the quran, before salah, when one gets angry, when an evil thought enters his mind and for seeking protection from all types of evil.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Sulayman bin Surad said, “Two men disputed in the presence of the Prophet(SAW) while we were sitting with him. One of them was cursing the other fellow and his face turned red due to anger. The Prophet(SAW) said, I know of a statement which if he said it, will make what he feels disappear, `I seek refuge with Allah from the cursed Satan.’ They said to the man, `Do you not hear what the Messenger of Allah is saying’ He said, `I am not insane.”’ Also, Muslim, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i recorded this Hadith.

Muslim reported that ‘Uthman ibn Abi’l-’As said, “I went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, ‘Messenger of Allah, Shaytan comes between me and my prayer and recitation and confuses me.’ He said, “That is a Shaytan called Khinzab. When you feel that, seek refuge in Allah from him and spit to your left three times.’ I did that and Allah removed it from me.”

A number of surah in the Quran stress the need of seeking refuge from the shaitan. These include Al-Mu’minun Chapter 23 : Verse 97-98 “And say: My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings of the shayatin. And  I seek refuge in Thee, my Lord, lest they come near me.”; Al-A`raf Chapter 7 : Verse 200 “And if an evil suggestion from Satan incite thee, then seek refuge in Allah; surely, He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing”; and Ha Mim Al-Sajdah Chapter 41 : Verse 36 “And if an incitement from Satan incite thee, then seek refuge in Allah. Surely He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing”.

Regarding the excellence of seeking refuge before the reciting the Quran Allah says in Surah Al-Nahl Chapter 16 : Verse 98-100  “So when you [want to] recite the Qur’an, seek refuge with Allah from Shaytan, the outcast (the cursed one). Verily, he has no power over those who believe and put their trust only in their Lord (Allah). His power is only over those who obey and follow him (Satan), and those who join partners with Him”

It is also known the Prophet(SWS) used to seek refuge with Allah from all types of evil. Apart from prophetic supplications, Al-Muawwidhatayn(Surahs Al-Falaq and An-Naas) are the best duas for seeking refuge with Allah. The surah Falaq, seeks refuge with Allah, the Lord of Daybreak from the evil of all created things, from the evil of the night when it advances with its darkness and from the evil of the black magic. The Surah Naas exclusively seeks protection with the Lord of Mankind from the evil of waswas of Shaitan.

The istiadhah was also used before Prophet(SWS), by Prophet Musa(AIS), Prophet Nuh(AIS) and Maryam(when she saw the angel in the form of a man) as told in the Quran in the following surahs. Al-Baqarah Chapter 2 : Verse 67 “And remember when Moses said to his people: ‘Allah commands you to slaughter a cow,’ they said: ‘Dost thou make a jest of us?’ He said: ‘I seek refuge with Allah from being one of the ignorant.” ; Hud Chapter 11 : Verse 47 “He said: ‘My Lord, I beg Thee to protect me from asking Thee that whereof I have no knowledge. And unless Thou forgive me and have mercy on me, I shall be among the losers.”; Maryam Chapter 19 : Verse 18 “She said, ‘I seek refuge with the Gracious God from thee if indeed thou dost fear Him.’”

Allah also reveals in the quran asking man to seek refuge from false pride in the surah Al-Mu’min Chapter 40 : Verse 56 “Those who dispute concerning the Signs of Allah without any authority having come to them — there is nothing in their breasts but a feeling of greatness which they will never attain. So seek refuge in Allah. Surely He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.”

May Allah(SWT) protect us from all types of evils and evil of whispering of Shaitan. Ameen.

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