The reason for taking us to Bangladesh was to give us all in marriage. Thus, looking for a suitable mate for each of us was the only concern of our parents. We were told that we would stay only for three months but three months was going by and there was no mention of returning to New York. We three sisters wanted to fly out of Bangladesh to New York because it was unusual and uncomfortable to live in it after 10 long years.
My father kept looking from one man to another and one family to another just to find the right man for each of us. Every time either he had an excuse to reject the proposal or we had an excuse to turning it down. If he rejected the proposal, that was perfectly fine. We got no yelling for it. Alhamdulillah. However, if we turned down the proposal of a man that he liked and rest of the family like, it was our turn to be ready to hear hours long yelling by both parents and looking down by the relatives. Although we wouldn’t be forced into marriage physically, but that yelling was a way to make us agree to the proposal that they liked. But we, sisters, were all headstrong like them. When we said NO, that means it is a no and it will not change does not matter who said what. Marriage is about a life long relationship and it involves only our lives not anyone else. So, we needed to be sure we are happy as we get marry before anyone else. Thus, we stood firm. Also, none of us wanted to get marry in Bangladesh. We did not want to live there to begin with. That meant, if we got married, we have to bring the man to US to live with us and that’s like the only reason for which most men would want to marry us anyway.
In contrast to my sisters, my marriage matter was different. I am kind of religious. A type of religiousness that is hard to find these days unless Allah made it easy. I did not know anyone in Bangladesh religious like me. I have no close connection with anyone anyway. Thus, i was really scared to marry a man without knowing anything. Most of the religious people in Bangladesh are not like me. They do a lot of things that are not permissible that includes serious crimes as shirks and innovations.
There were so many confusion as to what i am upon and what kind of Islam i follow in the family. I faced so many troubles. Days would go by none of my parents would talk to me nor would i talk to them out of guilt and shyness. Proposals come and i would just turn down one after another saying this or that excuse. My family got so fed up with me.
So one day when a proposal came, i was supplicating to Allah constantly that He turns away this proposal without my involvement. Since the morning, my mother and sisters were busy preparing for the guests that would come during the afternoon. I silently helped out in the preparations of cutting foods, cooking, and cleaning. I was not happy of course. I was just silent. I said nothing neither yes nor no regarding the proposal that was being dealt with. I was already getting yelled at for rejecting many proposals. Now, if i rejected this one as well, i would get more yelling. I just wanted it to turned away without i rejecting it. I just hoped it would be turned away some other way.
My mother seemed satisfied with the fact that i was silent and was helping her with all works quietly. My sisters were asking, Nasrin, what are you going to do today. I was like forget it. I didn’t say anything: Yes or No. I just hoped it would be turned away somehow.
After helping with preparation works, i went to take shower as time for Zuhr salah was arriving. After taking shower, i felt so fresh and calm. I stood up to do my Istikhara prayer [prayer of seeking counsel of Allah] about this proposal. I knew from the bottom of my heart that what Allah and His Messenger sallallahu alayhe wa sallam said is the truth. And if i sincerely supplicated to Allah, He will certainly respond to my supplication. I also knew that the supplication has a better chance of being answered when we are on prostration in the prayer due to us being closest to Allah in that state. I also knew the supplication regarding which our Prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam said, if someone says this supplication and then makes request to Allah, Allah will certainly respond to it. Being certain about all these matters, during my prostration in the salatul istikhara, i said that especial supplication and made request to turn away the proposal without i interfering into it at all. I finished my prayer and stayed into my room without trying to find out what was going on.
Then suddenly my little sister came and said, Nasrin don’t worry they left. I was wallahi so happy and amazed to know that i didn’t know how to be grateful to Allah that the proposal got turned down and the people left soon after they came without i doing anything.
I went into the kitchen to help out again. There i heard how the people who came left. The people came and sat down. We cooked for them for lunch and they got sweets and other things for us as well as usual. They came all the way from the village to meet with our family in the city. After a little bit of talk, my father asked if they had a house in the city, they were like no. Then my father asked about couple of other things. They got offended and then left without talking further. They didn’t eat anything either. My mother was like she was about to faint to see them leave like that. She was so hurt and frustrated that she kept saying everything that took place. While i was so happy and grateful that my supplication was answered. I silently helped out and ate whatever i liked. I was like we can have a good meal of our own. Alhamdulillah.
Salatul istikhara is to make 2 rakah of prayer, then to make the below supplication three times raising both hands stating the problem.
Supplication for seeking guidance in forming a decision or choosing the proper course.
The Especial Supplication that promises the answer to the supplication made after saying it.