In my early childhood my grandmother used to tell us that when we had any fear of darkness or we found ourselves in any lonely place, we should recite:
أَعُوْذُ بِاللٌّهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ
She told us that when we recited this, the Shaitan or the evil spirits, if they were around, would run away. She asked us to recite this whenever we came out of our home, while going to school or any other place. She also asked us to say these words before we said:
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Before eating our food or commencing any work. Later on, during our theology classes at the school I learnt about the basics of Isti’adha.
Recently I have read a compendium of transcripts of 30 lectures, Sermons, given by the Shahīd al-Mihrab Ayatullah Dastaghaib Shirazi. The erudite scholar has very skilfully encompassed all the aspects of Isti’adha drawing references from the authentic traditions and the Holy Book.
Without going into the technicalities, which are for the scholars and the researchers to delve in, the Ayatullah has give a very apt explanation of the concept for the layman to understand. What really surprises me is that every individual Muslim, from the very childhood, gets used to seeking, Isti’adha - Allah (S.w.T.)’s Protection against the machinations of Satan. This is done as a force of habit cultivated through the instruction of the elders at home. But the details of the need for doing it are known, to but a few.
A reading of the transcripts of the 30 lectures convinced me that they must be available to as wide a group of Muslims as possible.
Hence this translation! I pray to Allah (S.w.T.) that the translation gets published, gets widely circulated, and the spiritual reward (ajr) goes to the Shahīd Dastaghaib. Insha Allah (S.w.T.)!