The Necessity of Reciting Isti’adhah

The Isti’adhah (seeking refuge in God from Satan) is a crucial practice that should become customary for all Muslims.

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The Isti’adhah (seeking refuge in God from Satan) is a crucial practice that should become customary for all Muslims.

We seek refuge in Allah from Shaitan from influencing our moral and sacred duty of seducing us into that which Allah has commanded believers to stay away from. Our goal is to focus on our spirituality and what he has directed us to do; reciting the Isti’adhah purifies the mouth and prepares it to recite (Kalaamullah) the Speech of Allah. It also encompasses seeking Allah’s help in what we are about to say and do.

So, when you recite the Qur’an, seek refuge with Allah against Shaitan, the accursed”.


When we recite the Isti’adhah we are professing our shortcomings and our inability to face the lurking enemy of our souls without the help of Allah. The lurking enemy of our souls is the Jinn, who is trying to order us into acts of disobedience

The Qur’an advises:

O children of Adam, let not Satan tempt you as he removed your parents from Paradise, stripping them of their clothing to show them their private parts. Indeed, he sees you, he and his tribe, from where you do not see them. Indeed, we have made the Devil’s allies to those who do not believe.”


In the Arabic language, the term Shaitan (Satan) is derived from the verb meaning to be far away. This definition is assigned to Shaitan because he is distanced from all good and is far away from Allah’s grace and mercy. Likewise, individuals who lack divine fortitude are essentially devils.

Let’s take a minute to investigate the language of being far away from Allah’s mercy. A fine example is an image of a rogue planet that has been ejected from its host planetary system and is no longer affected by the force of gravity. Gravity also gets weaker with distance. So, the closer objects are to each other, the stronger their gravitational pull. A wandering interstellar object of planetary mass without a host planetary system is called a rogue planet. When people reject Allah, they behave like a rogue planet with a weak gravitational force. When one rejects Allah’s mercy, in this case, they have a weak spiritual force because they are distant from the spiritual center of truth. Thus, they are like Shaitan, as far away from Allah’s grace and mercy.

And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Satan, then seek refuge in Allah. Indeed, He is Hearing and Knowing.”


Satanic Fitra (Primordial Nature) is far away from the nature of the God-fearing. The Prophet (PBUH) stated that every newborn is born in the Islamic fitra, after which the parents cause the child to become either Christian or Jew or a member of another religion.

He created man from clay like [that of] pottery, and He created the jinn from a smokeless flame of fire.”


Allah formed humans to stand on a firm spiritual and physical base. This aids man in his sensitivity and equips him with a sensitive heart open to receiving Allah’s spiritual guidance. With this guidance, man can accept his role in the physical environment while fulfilling his divine purpose for his existence.

As for the creation of the jinn from a smokeless flame of fire, we have been blessed with the understanding to perceive the fact that where there’s smoke, there’s a fire. Smoke serves as a warning of an imminent probability of a fire. The creation of the jinn from a smokeless flame of fire implies that one can be consumed by  fire without smoke and without a prior warning.

Everything in existence has a mirror image. Everything is the same, except reversed.

The image that we see in the mirror is an illusion and a false reality that has a narcissistic effect. And if we fall in love with that reflection, it will diminish our noble character.
Narcissus is a character in Greek mythology, a hunter who is known for his beauty, according to Tzetzes, a Byzantine Greek writer.

Narcissus rejected all romantic advances, eventually falling in love with his reflection in a pool of water and staring at it for the remainder of his life. The moral lesson that we want to learn from this fable is we don’t want to fall in love with the image that Shaitan has presented to us. That image is an illusion. The man standing before the mirror is reality.

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:

When Allah (SWT) created the Garden, He asked the Angel Jibril (AS) to go and take a look at it. So, he went and looked at Paradise and at all that Allah had prepared for its inhabitants. Then he said “O My Lord! By Your Honor, no one who hears about this place would stay away from it.” Then Allah surrounded Paradise with difficulties and hardships and asked Jibril again to go and take another look. Jibril went again and after looking at it, came back and said, “O My Lord! By Your Honor, I am afraid now that no one will be able to enter it.” Then, after Allah created Hell, He asked Jibril to go and take a look. When Jibril came back, he said, “O My Lord! By Your Honor, no one who hears about it will ever enter it.” Then Allah surrounded Hell with all kinds of lusts and desires and asked Jibril to take another look. This time, after looking at it, Jibril said, “O My Lord! By Your Honor, I am afraid that no one will be able to avoid it.”


How to Perform Isti’adhah

Isti’adhah is when you utter the following words:

udhu billahi min ash-shaitanir rajeem

I seek refuge in Allah [SWT] from the accursed Satan. But it is necessary that one should seek this protection from the depths of one’s heart. That is true Isti’adhah.

Recommended Times to Recite Isti’adhah

The most recommended times to recite the Isti’adhah are:

  • When you’re alone with a non-mahram. In this situation, Satan tries his best to tempt the non-mahrams into sin.
  • When in a frenzy of anger
  • As you leave your home
  • Before commencing any halal action
  • Before praying

May Allah [SWT] keep us secure from Satan’s trickery.