I have the honor of being Chairman of Trustees of my local Mosque. I am also heavily involved in many voluntary activities for a number of Muslim charities in fields as diverse as education to management training to computerization. All this is fee-Sabeel-lillah(in the way of Allah). I have been working in the field of Dawah for over 15 years and can count a number of scholars as my teachers, Alhamdulillah.
I have an excellent job in the UK Government, where I am a Senior Executive Officer, a rank that very few Muslims have achieved, if at all.
So what is my problem?
I have become tired of working for the Government and want to work solely for the Deen (religion) of Allah (swt). Unfortunately, apart from 20 years of professional experience, I have no qualifications as I had to start work straight from school due to family reasons. I simply cannot afford to work fulltime on a voluntarily basis for the charities I am with at the moment and leave my job because of commitments etc (I have small children). I fear that my Iman is weak which is why I'm not taking the plunge, but then I also feel that Allah (swt) does not require us to make rash decisions.
I would like your help in the following please:
1. What is the proper way to do Salat Al Istikharah?
2. Is there any Islamic body that, on verification of my skills, would sponsor me so I can work full time in the Deen?
3. I feel very depressed about the situation - are there Dua's / recommended hasan acts that I could do to overcome my feelings?
I look forward to your reply.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.
1. Istikharah prayer is 2 Raka'as that a person prays and follows by supplication. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) illustrated the manner of praying Istikharah. Al-Bukhari and Al-Thirmidhi reported that Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "The Prophet would teach us Al-Istikharah for all of our affairs, as he would teach us a Surah from the Qur'an. He said: 'If one of you intends over an act, he should pray two non-obligatory Raka'as and say: "O Allah, I consult You as You are All-Knowing and I appeal to You to give me power as You are Omnipotent, I ask You for Your great Favor, for You have power and I do not, and You know all of the hidden matters. O Allah! If you know that this matter (then he should mention it) is good for me in my religion, my livelihood, and for my life in the Hereafter, (or he said: 'for my present and future life,') then make it (easy) for me. And if you know that this matter is not good for me in my religion, my livelihood and my life in the Hereafter, (or he said: 'for my present and future life,') then keep it away from me and take me away from it and choose what is good for me wherever it is and please me with it."
2. We are not aware of any Islamic institution which sponsors people to do religious work. It is not required that a Muslim leave his work to do religious activities. But rather it is better and more appropriate to work and earn one's daily bread and not be in need of people's money, especially, if one has financial obligations and small children. So stay on your job until Allah grants another permissible means of earning your daily bread.
3. We ask Allah to accept your sincerity and action in charitable work for His religion, and to cure you from the stress and boredom that you are experiencing. You should also read the Qur'an, as Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): "And We send down from the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism and act on it), and it increases the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers) nothing but loss. (Al-Isra 17:82)
Allah further Says (interpretation of meaning): "O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord (i.e. the Qur'an, ordering all that is good and forbidding all that is evil), and a healing for that (disease of ignorance, doubt, hypocrisy and differences, etc.) in your breasts, - a guidance and a mercy (explaining lawful and unlawful things, etc.) for the believers. (Yunus 10:57)
We want to comfort you as well with an authentic Hadith; Imam Ahmed reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "In case distress befalls somebody, he should say: O Allah! I am your servant, the son of your servant, the son of your slave girl. All my affairs are in Your Hand, Your Fate will occur, Your Decree is just. I ask You with the greatness of each Name of Yours, You revealed in Your Book or which You taught to some of Your creatures, or You kept secret. I ask You to please and enliven my heart with the Qur'an and to make it the light of my chest, the remover of my distress and discomfort. Allah will dispel that person's distress and grant him ease and comfort." Some one asked: should we learn this Dua? The Prophet added: "Whoever hears of this Dua should learn it."
Allah knows best.
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