Is a situation to take refuge necessary in order to take refuge in Allah?

The Details of the Question

- Is it appropriate or good to take refuge in Allah in all situations whether good or bad?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

A difficult situation is not necessary in order to take refuge in Allah; it is necessary to take refuge in Allah in all situations whether good or bad.

We take refuge in Allah and need His guardianship in order to be protected from sickness before getting sick, from fire before entering into fire, from misfortunes before they occur. Likewise, we seek refuge in Allah and seek help from Him before Satan harms us from the traps of people like Satan before we fall into the traps of people like Satan.

Thus, it is necessary to seek refuge in Allah not only when we are in trouble, but also in all situations from falling into difficulty, and we should constantly seek refuge in His protection.

Therefore, taking refuge in Him is a requirement of belief and an indication of servitude in all circumstances.

Taking refuge in Allah is the most important shelter and dynamic against the temptation and deception of Satan. This dynamic must be used in any case.

A slave who turns toward Allah by saying "Audhu" will have sought refuge in his Lord. Istiadha means to take refuge in Allah Almighty, to seek refuge in Him and to seek His protection.

There seems to be a difference of generality and specificity between dua (prayer) and istiadha.

Dua is a concept broader than istiadha because there is both asking for goodness and taking refuge in Allah from evil in dua.

Only the latter, that is, taking refuge in Allah, His grace and mercy from evils and issues that cause concern are in question in istiadha.

Why Istiadha?

Man, who is weak and incapable and who has endless ambitions and desires, who has very limited means, and who has to struggle with forces that can be considered as enemies throughout his life, such as Satan, his evil-commanding soul, and in addition to them, lust and wrath, has no other choice but to seek refuge in his eternal Lord, who has infinite power and mercy in order to both realize his desires related to good deeds and get rid of the traps and plots of his enemies.

A person who realizes the existence of this remedy and refers to it is deemed to have solved his basic problems because the greatest armor of man against Satan and his soul, which Satan uses like a center, is istiadha, that is, taking refuge in Allah Almighty.

Today, unfortunately, many people act as if Satan does not exist even if they are believers, and these wrong thoughts always leave them exposed to the dangerous tricks and plots of Satan and his helpers. Yes, one of the most dangerous tricks of the conspiratorial, destructive and disruptive Satan is to make man overlook his mistakes and faults and to prevent him from noticing those flaws; and even if man notices them, Satan makes him interpret them differently. Those who are deceived by that trick do not realize that Satan trips them by making them deny himself.

However, those who are aware of their enemies are / should be constantly on the alert. It is natural for those who wander carelessly in dangerous places to fall into the trap of ruthless hunters.

Thus, a person who does not have the anxiety of closing the gaps in his faculties for the purpose of defense becomes the target of the poisonous arrows of the soul and Satan, and is transformed into their toy frequently.

Istiadha is the Command of Allah and the Way of the Messengers  

There are many istiadha prayers in the Quran, hadiths and various prayer collections. What we mean by istiadha prayers is the supplications that include the words and phrases like “audhu, naudhu; aidhni, aidhna; ajirni, ajirna / I take refuge and we take refuge".

Allah Almighty states the following in the Quran:

فَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ 
“When thou dost read the Quran, seek Allah’s protection from Satan the rejected one.”
(an-Nahl, 16/98)

Acting upon that command, when those who believe want to read the Quran, they say أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنْ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ “I take refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan” in order to benefit fully from its guidance, to purify their hearts and spirits and so as not to be affected by the delusions of Satan.

Although it is a sentence in present tense in terms of its form, it is a sentence of supplication in terms of meaning. Its meaning is as follows: "O Allah! Protect me from the evil of Satan!" The following lesson can also be deduced from it. When a person wants to read the Quran, he should be purified from all kinds of Satanic considerations and should read it with a pure heart.

In addition, it means Satan, who can deceive even a person who has the Quran in his hand with all kinds of tricks, can deceive man much easily in other circumstances. Therefore, it is always necessary to be on the alert against Satan and his tricks.

Allah Almighty states the following in verses 97 and 98 of the chapter of al-Muminun, where He wants His slaves to take refuge: وَقُلْ رَبِّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ هَمَزَاتِ الشَّيَاطِينِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ رَبِّ أَنْ يَحْضُرُونِ “And say ‘O my Lord! I seek refuge with Thee from the suggestions of the Evil Ones’.”

Besides, the chapter of al-Falaq “Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn; From the mischief of created things; From the mischief of Darkness as it overspreads; From the mischief of those who practise secret arts; And from the mischief of the envious one as he practices envy.” and the chapter of an-Nas

“Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind, The King (or Ruler) of Mankind, The Allah (for judge) of Mankind,- From the mischief of the Whisperer (of Evil), who withdraws (after his whisper),- (The same) who whispers into the hearts of Mankind,- Among Jinn and among men.”,

which the Messenger of Allah read in prayers, and three times every morning and evening can be cited as examples and evidences regarding the issue.

As it is known, those two chapters are called “Muawwidhatayn”, which means one takes refuge in Allah with them.  

As a matter of fact, as it is seen in the Quran,
- the Prophet Musa (Moses), أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ “I seek refuge in Allah from being among the ignorant.” (al-Baqara, 2/67);
- the Prophet Nuh (Noah), أَعُوذُ بِكَ أَنْ أَسْأَلَكَ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِهِ عِلْمٌ “O my Lord! I do seek refuge with Thee, lest I ask Thee for that of which I have no knowledge.” (Hud, 11/47)
- and the Prophet Yusuf (Joseph), مَعَاذَ اللهِ “I seek Allah’s refuge.” (Yusuf, 12/23) took refuge in Allah with the phrases above.

Some Istiadhas of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) 

Our Prophet (pbuh) is definitely the best example for us in prayer and istiadha as in all issues. He knows best what and how to ask Allah Almighty; he also knows from what issues and how it is more appropriate to take refuge.

We find it useful to quote some istiadha sentences with which the Prophet took refuge in Allah:

أَعُوذُ بِكَلِمَاتِ اللهِ التَّامَّاتِ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ
“I take refuge in Allah’s perfect words from the evil of His creatures.” (Muslim, Dhikr, 54-55; Tirmidhi, Daawat, 40; Ibn Macah, Tibb, 46; Darimi, Isti’dhan, 48)

أَعُوذُ بِكَلِمَاتِ اللهِ التَّامَّاتِ الَّتِي لاَ يُجَاوِزُهُنَّ بَرٌّ وَلاَ فَاجِرٌ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ وَذَرَأَ وَبَرَأَ وَمِنْ شَرِّ مَا يَنْزِلُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَمِنْ شَرِّ مَا يَعْرُجُ فِيهَا وَمِنْ شَرِّ مَا ذَرَأَ فِي اْلأَرْضِ وَمَا يَخْرُجُ مِنْهَا وَمِنْ شَرِّ فِتَنِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَمِنْ شَرِّ كُلِّ طَارِقٍ إِلاَّ طَارِقًا يَطْرُقُ بِخَيْرٍ يَا رَحْمٰنُ 
“I take refuge in Allah’s perfect words, which no good and no evil can overcome, from the evil of what He created, what descended from the sky and ascended there, the trials of the night and day
– except for what comes with goodness.” (Musnad, 3/421)

اَعُوذُ بِكَلِمَاتِ اللهِ التَّامَّةِ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ وَهَامَّةٍ وَمِنْ كُلِّ عَيْنٍ لاَمَّةٍ 
“I take refuge in Allah’s perfect words from all kinds of devils, bad accidents and evil eye.”
(Bukhari, Anbiya, 10; Abu Dawud, Sunna, 20; Tirmidhi, Tibb, 18)

What is meant by the words in the hadiths may be the Quran. Being perfect means that those words are beneficial and healing or that they are free from any deficiency. Allah knows best.

اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَالْحَزَنِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْجُبْنِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ غَلَبَةِ الدَّيْنِ وَقَهْرِ الرِّجَالِ 
“O Allah! I take refuge in You from sorrow and grief, incapacity and indolence, cowardice and miserliness. I take refuge in You from being suppressed by debt and from the infliction of enemies.”
(Bukhari, Daawat, 36)

اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ نَفْسِي وَمِنْ شَرِّ كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ أَنْتَ اٰٗخِذٌ بِنَاصِيَتِهَا ﴿ إِنَّ رَبِّي عَلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ
“O Allah! I take refuge in You from my soul and all living beings whose forelock You grasp.” (Musnadul-Harith, 2/953)

"Verily, it is my Lord that is on a straight Path." (Hud, 11/56)

اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْكُفْرِ وَالْفَقْرِ، اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ لاَ إِلٰهَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ 
“O Allah! I take refuge in You from unbelief and poverty. I take refuge in You from the torment in the grave. There is no god but You.”
(Abu Dawud, Adab, 110)

اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْكَسَلِ وَالْهَرَمِ وَسُوءِ الْكِبَرِ وَفِتْنَةِ الدُّنْيَا وَعَذَابِ اْلاٰخِرَةِ

“O Allah! I take refuge in You from indolence, getting old, problems of old age, the trial of the world and the torment of the hereafter.” (Muslim, Dhikr wa Dua, 74-76)

The Messenger of Allah also took refuge in Allah from other things after performing prayers and at other times and advised his Companions and hence his ummah to take refuge in Allah.

When we read the hadiths of the Prophet (pbuh), we see that he took refuge in Allah from the following:  
- from the wrath of Allah,
- from the trial and torment of Hell and grave,
- from being tested with wealth and poverty,
- from the trial of Dajjal (Antichrist) and evil
- from being mocked by enemies
- from being exposed to misfortunes,
- from diseases,
- from being too old to do things, which he expressed with the phrase "ardhal al-umur"
- from dementia,
- from the trials of the world,
- from the heart that does not fear,
- from the prayer that is not accepted,
- from the insatiable soul,
- from the eye that does not shed tears,
- from the knowledge that is not beneficial,
- from conflicts, hypocrisy and immorality,
- from male and female devils
- and from all their tricks.

After prayers we say,

اَللّهُمَّ أَجِرْنَا

سُبْحَانَكَ يَا اَللهُ تَعَالَيْتَ يَا رَحْمٰنُ أَجِرْنَا مِنَ النَّارِ

سُبْحَانَكَ آهِيًا شَرَاهِيًّا تَعَالَيْتَ لاَ إِلهَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ اْلأَمَانَ اْلأَمَانَ أَجِرْنَا من النار

With such supplications and glorification, we say “O Allah! Protect us…” and beg Him, taking refuge in Allah from what the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) took refuge in Him. Thus, we follow his sunnah. We utter the following statement at the end of every part of Jawshan Kabir:

سُبْحَانَكَ يَا لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ الْأَمَانَ الْأَمَانَ خَلِّصْنَا مِنَ النَّارِ، أَجِرْنَا مِنَ النَّارِ، نَجِّنَا مِنَ النَّارِ 
“Glory be unto Thee, Thou art without partner or fault! There is no god but Thee! Mercy, mercy, save us from Hell-fire!”

It is also an istiadha uttered by the blessed tongue of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). In fact, Jawshan itself is an istiadha.

Istiadha with Asma al-Husna

The following statement of Badiuzzaman Said Nursi regarding the issue is very remarkable:

“Man has recourse to many of the ruler’s titles, and seeks his help in many forms in order to be saved from the evil of his enemies. In just the same way, man, who manifests many Names and is charged with many duties and afflicted with many enemies, invokes many of the Names in his prayers and supplications. Like Muhammad the Arabian (Peace and blessings be upon him), the cause of pride of mankind and truly the most perfect man, supplicated with a thousand and one Names in his prayer, Jawshan al-Kabir. It is due to this mystery that the Sura, قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ. مَلِكِ النَّاسِ. إِلٰهِ النَّاسِ. مِنْ شَرِّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنَّاسِ   Say, I seek refuge with the Sustainer and Cherisher of men, The Sovereign of men, The God of men, From the evil of the whispering, elusive tempter commands that we take refuge with God through three titles.” (Sözler, p. 356)

As the slaves of Allah Almighty, we actually learn this lesson, that is, the lesson and manner of seeking refuge in Allah with different names, from Jawshan and from the supplications of Allah’s friends, as well as from the chapters of al-Falaq and an-Nas before them:

Allah Almighty orders His slaves to make istiadha by sayingرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ، رَبِّ النَّاسِ، مَلِكِ النَّاسِ، إِلَهِ النَّاسِ in these two chapters through His Messenger. As it is seen, the names Lord, Rab (Lord), Malik (Owner) and Ilah (Deity) are mentioned there.

When a believer who reads those two chapters seeks refuge in Allah from human and jinn enemies, the evils that may come from them, sickness and misfortunes, various failures, he knows that we have a Lord, who first created all human beings from soil, made them perfect by training them, gave them intelligence and understanding, made man a distinguished being among all creatures by informing him about his duties, showed him the way of working for the sake of truth and charity by making him perceive His existence.

Secondly, he thinks that the Sublime Being in whom he takes refuge is the king of the kings and sultan of the sultans, who dominates all human beings, who leads them to goodness and perfection as a necessity of His knowledge and wisdom, who gives property to whomever He wishes and make them the king, who dismisses whomever He wishes from the sultanate, and who has the power to elevate and humiliate whomever He wishes.

Thirdly, he thinks that the door in which he takes refuge is the door of the true God, whose slaves worship him all the time, who possesses universal deeds such as creating, inventing, bringing people into the field of existence and removing them from that field, rewarding with thawabs, punishing with torment, and who has unstoppable power, majesty and grace.

Thus, a person who takes refuge in Allah Almighty with His different names may consider the thoughts similar to those he has while reading those three names for other beautiful names of Allah Almighty according to their meanings and contents.

To sum up, we can say that asma al-husna, which are the most beautiful names of Allah, is of great importance and value in terms of istiadha too. (see Hak Dini Kur’ân Dili, the interpretation of the chapters of al-Falaq and an-Nas)

Conclusion

A believer can neither escape from falling into sins nor perform worshipping properly without taking refuge in his Lord, who is the sole owner of strength and power. He can neither be freed from Satan’s tricks nor be protected from being defeated by his evil-commanding soul.

Therefore, he should frequently refer to istiadha prayers in the Quran, hadiths and prayer collections, and should always express his need for the protection and care of his Lord with the voice of his heart. (Theologian-Author M. Yılmaz)

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