Introduction

Would you ever imagine having a consultant beside you all your life! Someone along with you tells you, which direction you have to follow? Which distention you should choose? What is the right decision and what is the wrong one? Throughout this life, Unfortunately, we go through situations when all the ways look the same. When we are lost in our thoughts. When choosing is harder than not having any options at all. Allah brought for us a key, a tool, assistant, and consultant; Istkhara prayer- To be able to take a proper decision in every small tiny little detail in life. Pious and righteous used to pray istikhara for most of the decisions they face in this life. However, it is not made only for major decisions in life as most people think but also for everyday decisions. Here we are going to take a closer look at the Istikhara prayer

What is Istikhara prayer?

The word Istikhara comes from the word Khair in Arabic which means goodness, blessings, and prosperity. Istikhara is seeking guidance from Allah Almighty (SWT). Istikhara is a sunnah prayer for seeking guidance from Allah (SWT). It is asking for the good thing for yourself to make the best possible choice. It implies another important meaning that we are admitting fully and completely; that Allah knows the best for us. As human beings our vision is narrow. We have limited intellect. We are not aware of all the circumstances So we put our absolute trust in Allah to choose what is the right thing, at the right time, and in the right way.

Saa’d narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said:

‘From (the signs of) the son of Adam’s prosperity, is his satisfaction with what Allah decreed for him, and from the son of Adam’s misery is his avoiding to requesting guidance from Allah, and the son of Adam’s misery is his anger with what Allah decreed for him.”

How to perform Istikhara prayer?

The method of performing Istikhara prayer is so simple:

  1. Before starting prayer, perform Ablution or Wudu. Pray two sunnah rakats at any time.
  2.  In the first Rakah. After Reciting the Surah Fatiha, Recite the Surah al-Kafirun. Be sure to start each Surah by saying, “Bismillahi Rahma-ni-Raheem.”
  3. In the second Rakaah. Recite the Surah Fatiha once again, then the Surah al-Ikhlas.
  4. Before salam Recite the Istikhara supplication (Duaa). After offering two Rakat, you are ready to recite the Istikhara supplication (Duaa).

Jabir bin Abdullah (RA) said: The Prophet (ﷺ) used to teach us to seek Allah’s Counsel in all matters, as he used to teach us a Surah from the Qur’an. He would say: When anyone of you has an important matter to decide, let him pray two Rak’ahs other than the obligatory prayer, and then say:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ العَظِيمِ، فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلاَ أَقْدِرُ، وَتَعْلَمُ وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ، وَأَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الغُيُوبِ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي – أَوْ قَالَ عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ – فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي، ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ، وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي – أَوْ قَالَ فِي عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ – فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ، وَاقْدُرْ لِي الخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ، ثُمَّ أَرْضِنِي

دعاء الاستخارة

‘Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi’ilmika, Wa astaqdiruka bi-qudratika, Wa as’alaka min fadlika al-‘azlm Fa-innaka taqdiru Wala aqdiru, Wa ta’lamu Wala a’lamu, Wa anta ‘allamu l-ghuyub. Allahumma, in kunta ta’lam anna hadha-l-amra Khairun li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa’aqibati amri (or ‘ajili amri wa’ajilihi) Faqdirhu wa yas-sirhu li thumma barik li Fihi, Wa in kunta ta’lamu anna hadha-lamra shar-run li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa’aqibati amri (or fi’ajili amri wa ajilihi) Fasrifhu anni was-rifni anhu. Waqdir li al-khaira haithu kana Thumma ardini bihi.’

Istikhara Dua’

 The Prophet (صلی الله علیه وآله وسلم) added that then the person should name (mention) his need.

5.Repeat the prayer as many times and for as many days as you desire.

Can istikhaarah prayer be performed at a time when prayer is not allowed?

we have stated the times at which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade prayer. What is meant by this forbidding is general naafil prayers for which there is no reason. As for naafil prayers for which there is a reason, such as greeting the mosque, they may be offered at these times when prayer is not allowed. 

The scholars differed concerning istikhaarah prayer and whether it is regarded as a prayer for which there is a reason, or not. 

The correct view is that if istikhaarah is done for something that is immediate and cannot be delayed, then this prayer may be performed at a time when prayer is not allowed, such as if a person wants to travel after ‘Asr prayer. But if the matter is not immediate and the prayer can be delayed until after the time when prayer is not allowed is over, then it should not be performed at that time. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: Can a person pray istikhaarah at a time when prayer is not allowed? 

He replied:  If istikhaarah has to do with an immediate matter that cannot be delayed until the time when prayer is not allowed is over, then it may be done. If it is for something that may be delayed, then it must be delayed.

How Do You Get Your Answer from Istikhara And Its Signs?

You do NOT have to wait for a dream or something supernatural as a sign! Dreams do have interpretations indeed – but You can’t say if the dream is just a part of your subconscious or glad tiding from Allah or just something from Shaitaan!  Imam al-Nawawi mentioned that before the istikhara prayer, you should seek advice from those with whom you are confident in their knowledge, wisdom, and concern for you. We have to keep and detach ourselves from our desires and egotistic inclinations. One of the signs is that when you are not any more hesitant about that matter or when you proceed in the matter without fear or you could be in the same status of doubt and worry so you come to know that you should give up on this matter.

Conclusion

In short, you have to believe and submit to Allah’s actions. Because when you perform Istikhara you are under Allah’s protection. It is very powerful when you are convinced that Allah will guide you to the best and nothing except the best. So, when you perform Istikhara and it doesn’t turn out to be as you want. Try to not be sad and accept Allah’s decision with satisfaction and you are going to be rewarded with something way better than this. Trust Allah’s process and see the miracles!  

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