ISTI’ÂDHA – استعاذة
Literally: A seeking shelter and protection. Taking refuge.
A pronouncing. A du'â for seeking refuge from shaytan to Allah through the phrase of “ ‘aûzu billâhi minasshaytanirrajîm” which is ordered by the âyahs of the Qur'an (7:200) (16:98) (40:56) (41:36) (23:97-98).
“Thus, if someone is both a teacher, and a policeman, and a clerk of the court, and an inspector in the civil service, in each office he has both relations, and duties, and obligations, and salaries, and responsibilities, and promotion, and enemies and rivals who are the cause of his failures. He appears before the sultân with many titles and he sees the sultân. He seeks help from him with many tongues. He has recourse to many of the ruler's titles, and seeks his help in many forms in order to be saved from the sharr 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 munâjât and isti’âdha. Like Muhammad the Arabian ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm, the cause of pride of mankind and truly the most haqîqî perfect man offered du'â with a thousand and one Names in his munâjât, Jawshan al-Kabir; does isti’âdha from fire. It is due to this mystery that the Surah, قُلْ اَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ مَلِكِ النَّاسِ اِلهِ النَّاسِ مِنْ شَرِّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنَّاسِ1 commands the isti’âdha through three titles, and, بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ shows the seeking of help through three Names.” The Words ( 344 )
“Another of shaytan's important wile is to prevent man admitting his faults so that the way of istighfâr and isti’âdha should be closed. He also incites the ananiyyah of the human nafs, so that the nafs defends itself like a lawyer, quite simply acquitting itself of all fault.
Yes, a nafs that listens to shaytan does not want to see its own faults. Even if it does see them, it explains them away in a hundred ways. According to the mystery of: وَ عَيْنُ الرِّضَا عَنْ كُلِّ عَيْبٍ كَلِيلَةٌ 2 when a person looks with the eye of contentment on his nafs, he does not see its faults. And because he does not see its faults, he does not admit to them, and does not istighfâr, nor isti’âdha from them, and becomes the plaything of shaytan. How can the nafs be relied on when a noble prophet like Hazrat Yûsuf ‘Alayhissalâm said: وَمَا اُبَرِّئُ نَفْسِى اِنَّ النَّفْسَ َلاَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ اِلاَّ مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّى ? 3
One who accuses his nafs sees its faults. And one who admits his faults does istighfâr. And one who does istighfâr does isti’âdha. And one who does isti’âdha is saved from shaytan's sharr. Not to see his faults is a greater fault than the first fault. And not to admit to his faults is a serious defect. If he sees the fault, it ceases to be a fault. If he admits it, he becomes worthy of forgiveness.” The 13th Flash-13th Indication-Second Point