Dua E Istikhara | Istikhara Prayer | Salat Istikhara

Istikhara Prayer

Amongst the happiness of the son of Adam is the abundance in performing Istikhara (seeking the best) from Allah the exalted and contentment upon what is ordained by Allah for him. And amongst the misery of the son of Adam is his disregard for Istikhara to Allah the exalted and his resentment for what is ordained by Allah for him.

(Sunan At-Tirmizi – Musnad Ahmad)

What Is Istikhara Dua

Istikhara or Salat al-Istikhara is a beautiful gift that Allah SWT has blessed us with. It is derived from the Arabic word Khair which means good. And its literal meaning is “to seek Allah’s guidance” over different matters. When a believer is confused while making any decision, he can opt for Salat al-Istikhara or Istikhara Prayer. It is a form of non-obligatory prayer, followed by Istikhara Dua. Indeed, Allah has made guidance easy for those who want to get guided.

Salat ul-Istikhara is a gift from Allah the Almighty for Muslims. When a Muslim is confused about how to resolve a matter, he can ask for Allah, the Glorious, to aid him by reciting the Istikhara prayer. It is a powerful tool that God the Most-Merciful, the Compassionate, has given his slaves so that they can seek His Guidance and Wisdom in all matters of life–whether big or small. This section aims to elaborate the meaning of Istikhara, its ruling in Islam, and the etiquettes one has to endorse while praying Istikhara prayer. We will further discuss the dua of Istikhara and mention a detailed guide on how to perform the Istikhara prayer.

Purpose Of Dua Istikhara

Undoubtedly, a believer strives to seek Allah’s guidance in every matter. Salat Al-Istikhara is a vessel to it. In simpler words, it helps us come to a decision when we are confused. However, it is very important to know about Istikhara before performing it. It should be clear in our mind that it is not any kind of magic potion. In fact, it is the third tier of the decision-making process.

  • The first step of any decision-making comprises Aql or intelligence. Our intelligence and capabilities exemplify the gift of Allah to us. It’s our abilities that make us evaluate any situation and form a decision. Make use of your intelligence to assess your situation. Form a clear picture of negatives and positives. Evaluate the impact of your decision and complete your research.
  • The second step is Istisharah. It means seeking advice. The concept of Shura is important in Islam. Seek advice from your family, friends, or whomsoever you think trustworthy. Assess their views and advice and use your intelligence to narrow down your options.
  • The final step is performing Istikhara. Keep in mind that we have wanted Allah’s wisdom, support, and blessings since step one. We perform Salatul Istikhara when we are struggling to come to a decision. It also makes our hearts content and at peace after we reach the decision.

When To Pray Istikhara Dua

Pray Istikhara In All Times

Concerning the expression “the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) used to teach us to make Istikhara in all things”, Ibn Abi Jamrah said:

It is an overall expression that points to something explicit. As to issues that are Waajib (mandatory) or Mustahab (supported), there is no requirement for Istikhara to be done in order to choose whether to do them, and with respect to issues that are Haram (prohibited) or Makrooh (loathed), there is no requirement for Istikhara to be done to choose whether to stay away from them.

The issue of Istikhara supplication is restricted to issues that are Mubaah (permitted) or in Mustahab matters when there is a choice to be made concerning which one ought to be given more attention. I say: it directs towards both incredible and little matters, and presumably, a small issue could shape the basis for a major issue.

For example, It’s invalid to make it for deciding whether one should go to the movies or not.

Also, it is not performed for deciding over things that are already obligated.

For example, one cannot perform it to decide whether to pray Fajr prayer or not.

Advice Before Dua Istikhara

It is viewed as a decent practice to counsel somebody who has sufficient insight, experience, and information with respect to a matter prior to doing Istikhara for it.
Allah the Merciful notices in the Qur’an:
“Consult with them about matters.” (3:159)

Time For Istikhara Dua

  • Deciding the matter of marriage after completing your research and evaluation.
  • Starting a business after completing your research and evaluation.
  • Buying property or merchandise after completing your research and evaluation.
  • You want the blessings of Allah SWT
  • You are struggling with the decision
  • You find yourself confused after your full research.
  • Parting wrong and right have not reduced your confusion.
  • You received mixed advice.
  • Your heart and mind are still looking for answers.

How To Pray Istikhara

It is important to know that it cannot be part of regular or obligatory prayers. This means you cannot pray two Raka’at’s of Fajr and end it with Dua and count it as Salat Al-Istikhara. As a sunnah, it is separate two Raka’at’s that are voluntary and optional.

  • Make strong niyyah or intention for Istikhara
  • Pray the two Raka’ats (as you usually pray for other obligatory prayers. It does not include any special Surah or verses)
  • Recite the Istikhara Dua and mention your need or matter.

Best Time To Perform Istikhara Dua

Unlike the 5 obligatory prayers, which have their own specific timings, there is no set time to perform Solat Istikhara. You may perform it at any point of the day except during the forbidden hours, which are:

1. After the Subuh prayer until sunrise

2. When the sun is at its meridian until it goes past it (which is about 5 minutes before Zuhur)

3. After the Asar prayer until sunset

This prohibition is based on the hadith of the Prophet s.a.w:

“When the sun rises until it goes high in the horizon, when the sun is at its meridian until it goes past the meridian, and when the sun sets until it is totally down.” (Sahih Muslim)

Dua For Istikhara

Istikhara Prayer | Dua Istikhara | Salat Istikhara
Istikhara Prayer | Dua Istikhara | Salat Istikhara

Dua E Istikhara Arabic

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمَكَ، وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظِيمِ، فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلَا أَقْدِرُ، وَتَعْلَمُ، وَلَا أَعْلَمُ، وَأَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ،

اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ- خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي- عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ – فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ،

وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي- عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ- فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ وَاقْدُرْ لِيَ الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ ثُمَّ أَرْضِنِي بِهِ…

Istikhara Dua English

‘Allaahumma ‘innee ‘astakheeruka bi’ilmika, wa ‘astaqdiruka biqudratika, wa ‘as’aluka min fadhtikal-‘Adheemi, fa’innaka taqdiru wa laa ‘aqdiru, wa ta’lamu, wa laa ‘a’lamu, wa ‘Anta ‘Allaamul-Ghuyoob,

Allaahumma ‘in kunta ta’lamu ‘anna haathal-‘amra-[then mention the thing to be decided] Khayrun lee fee deenee wa ma’aashee wa ‘aaqibati ‘amree – [or say] ‘Aajilihi wa ‘aajilihi – Faqdurhu lee wa yassirhu lee thumma baarik lee feeh,

ًa ‘in kunta ta’lamu ‘anna haathal-‘amra sharrun lee fee deenee wa ma’aashee wa ‘aaqibati ‘amree – [or say] ‘Aajilihi wa ‘aajilihi – Fasrifhu ‘annee wasrifnee ‘anhu waqdur liyal-khayra haythu kaana thumma ‘ardhinee bih.’

Istikhara Dua With English Translation

“O, Allah! I ask guidance from Your knowledge, And Power from Your Might and I ask for Your great blessings. You are capable and I am not. You know and I do not and You know the unseen.

O, Allah! If You know that this job is good for my religion and my subsistence and in my Hereafter–(or said: If it is better for my present and later needs)–Then You ordain it for me and make it easy for me to get, And then bless me in it,

O, Allah! If You know that this job is harmful to me In my religion and subsistence and in the Hereafter–(or said: If it is worse for my present and later needs)–Then keep it away from me and let me be away from it. And ordain for me whatever is good for me, and make me satisfied with it). The Prophet added that then the person should name (mention) his need”.

Why Istikhara Dua

It’s important to realize the presence of Allah in one’s life. This realization helps a believer in overcoming many problems, and difficulties, and making decisions. Also, it is one way that strengthens our connection with the Almighty. Also, it is part of Sunnah.

Narrated Jabir bin `Abdullah:

Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to teach his companions to perform the prayer of Istikhara for each and every matter just as he used to teach them the Suras from the Qur’an He used to say, “If anyone of you intends to do something, he should offer a two Rakat prayer other than the compulsory prayers, and after finishing it, he should make it. (Sahih al-Bukhari 7390)

Benefits Of Dua Istikhara

  • It acts as a means to get closer to Allah
  • It establishes our reliance on Allah
  • It helps us come to a fruitful decision
  • Knowing it is best for us.
  • It is a part of the Sunnah
  • It is a form of Ibaadah

Ruling Of Istikhara Prayer

The scholars of Islam have unanimously agreed upon the status of Istikhara prayer as Sunnah and its validity comes from the hadith of Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him):
“The Messenger of Allah used to teach his companions to seek counsel from Allah (Istikhara prayer) in all things, just as he used to teach them chapters from the Qur’an.
“If any one of you is concerned about a decision he has to make or wants to take an action then let him pray two units rak’ah of voluntary Salah prayer and Make Istikhara”

Istikharah may not seem to be mandatory but its benefits can bring fruitful changes in a believer’s life. Even if we do not get the desired results after performing Istikhara, we should be content knowing that Allah has selected a certain outcome for our beneficiary. Indeed, Allah is the best planner!

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FAQs

Q1. How will we know the answer to our Istikhara prayers?

After performing the Sunnah Istikhara prayer, do note that the answer might not come immediately. If there is greater conviction or clarity on a certain pathway, you may feel more drawn toward the outcome. If it’s beneficial for you, you will feel content and happy about it.

If there is no inclination felt in the heart, or you feel negative or encounter obstacles, then that’s your answer by Allah SWT and Keep believing that you will be guided towards what’s best for you. We should also look into our affairs and judge whether there is ease or an obstacle to proceed or perhaps to withdraw accordingly. Our circumstances in life can be a part of Allah’s facilitation to give us the best of affairs from our Istikhara.

For some, the result from their Istikhara is not as clear as what others might experience. It is important to consult others and the people we trust. However, we do not rely upon all these efforts per se. They are indeed necessary and are part of the process of seeking guidance.

Instead, we rely upon Allah s.w.t. This can be seen in the following verse:

“Consult with them in (conducting) matters. Once you make a decision, put your trust in Allah. Surely Allah loves those who trust in Him.” (Surah Ali-’Imran, 3:159)

May Allah s.w.t. provide us with courage and wisdom to make the best decisions and guide us throughout our journey in this world.

Q2. What if I don’t get the answer after Dua Istikhara?

Keep a firm belief that you will be answered soon. It is normal practice to keep doing it till the answer is achieved. Keep making Dua and do not lose hope.

Q3. Can I pray Istikhara for someone else?

It is recommended to perform it by yourself to seek the decision.

Q4. Can I recite the Dua Istikhara after any obligatory prayers?

It is necessary to perform non-obligatory 2 Raka’ats prayers and then make Dua. This is collectively known as Salat Al-Istikharah and cannot be counted within obligatory prayers.

Q5. What is the impact of a decision made without performing Istikhara?

Allah is the All-Knowing and Most-Generous. He listens to us even when we have things in our hearts and not on our lips. He is the All-Aware. Istikhara is a vessel to get more and more of His blessings. Having trust and faith in Allah is the essence of our every act.

Q6. What if I still can’t make a decision?

Then know that God simply hasn’t placed that inclination in your heart yet. This could be a sign that God wants you to keep begging Him and asking Him for His Divine Help and Assistance in this process. Keep making duʿāʾ. But never lose hope. Even if you asked a thousand times with no response, that’s no reason to stop asking.

Q7. What if I’m not very practicing and don’t feel like my dua will be answered?

Allāh is accessible to all. Even the greatest sinner can turn back and ask Allāh. This is a sign of your sincerity and trust in Allāh.

Q8. What if the decision affects more than just me?

Then everyone involved should all be praying their own istikhāra.

Q9. Can I pray istikhāra even if I’m already confident in my decision?

Yes, because it’ll increase the blessings in your actions. The companions [rḍA] would make istikhāra even for simple everyday things.

Q10. Can I recite the dua without praying the two Rakat?

Just the duʿāʾ [supplication] is sufficient. The Prophet ﷺ explicitly said to perform the two rakaʿāt, however, you may recite the duʿāʾ by itself if it’s something you choose to constantly do, or if you have an immediate decision. So for a sister who is currently not praying, it is completely valid and acceptable for her to only make this duʿāʾ without the physical prayer.

Q11. What if I can’t read Arabic? I’m new/returning to Islamic practice and have real trouble pronouncing this data.

Say the dua in English and know that Allāh understands your prayers to Him no matter what language it’s in. — And as always, pray to God from your heart. God wants to know that you are truly and sincerely begging Him and Him alone. If that’s best conveyed in a language other than Arabic, then so be it.

Q12. If Allāh understands all languages and dua, then why should I recite this in Arabic?

Because The Prophet is the one who taught us this dua and just by uttering the very words he uttered, we get extra blessings. Additionally, his amazing companions would say that The Prophet taught them this dua as he taught them parts of The Quran.

Q13. Is there a maximum number of times that this can be performed for one particular decision?

The Prophet didn’t specify a number for us. So whether it’s once or a thousand times is all based on the individual. If you still haven’t felt an inclination towards a decision, keep asking. If you did feel an inclination, know that that is from God and accept it. There is no need to keep asking to be “sure” of the istikhāra.

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Final Words On Istikhara Dua

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said,

“Verily the most helpless of people are those unable to supplicate…”

(Shu’ab al-Iman 8238)

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