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How to Pray Istikhara?

How to Pray Istikhara?

Istikhara prayer: (literally meaning to seek out the best [option]). It is the name of a prayer that is a very simple, powerful and unique prayer in Islam for seeking Allah’s guidance and asking for His divine help.

In our lives, whenever we find ourselves stuck in making major life decisions, we should turn to istikhara prayer. Only Allah is aware of the future and only, He knows what is best. Istikhara guides us in making the right decision.

According to Islam, it is suggested to pray istikhara whenever we need to take any important major or minor life decisions. Although scholars suggest praying istikhara for even small matters. One can even pray istikhara at the beginning of each day. So that Allah guides the person in all matters and keeps one away from all evil. Istikhara prayer is considered to be a powerful tool that connects us with Allah so we can take His guidance in all important matters.

What is istikhara?

Istikhara prayer literally means to seek out the best option. It is the name of a prayer that is a very simple, powerful and unique prayer in Islam. It is for seeking Allah’s guidance and asking for His divine help. Salat istikhara is prayed by Muslims whenever they have a decision to make. Let it be a job offer, not knowing whether to buy something or not, a travel opportunity. Or anything else.

When to pray istikhara?

So, what is istikhara prayer time? there is no specific time for it. One can pray istikhara at any time of the day. However, stay a way from the forbidden times of prayer.

Dua’ for Istikhara

Let’s learn the istikhara dua with meaning:

Narrated by Jabir bin `Abdullah رضي الله عنه:

“The Prophet ﷺ used to teach us the way of doing istikhara in all matters as he taught us the surahs (chapters) of the Quran. He said, ‘If anyone of you thinks of doing any matter, he should offer two rakahs other than the compulsory ones and say (after the prayer):

‘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-lamra 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.’

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ 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 فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ وَاقْدُرْ لِي الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ ثُمَّ أَرْضِنِي

(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, and 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 ﷺ added that then the person should name (mention) his need.” {Sahih al-Bukhari 1166}

Steps to Follow 

How to pray istikhara prayer? Sadly, many of us were not taught to implement istikhara in our regular lives either by our elders or Quran Institutes. It is necessary to start praying istikhara at a young age so that not only we learn to turn to Allah for decision-making, but we demonstrate our eagerness to be guided by Him. Furthermore, there is a contentment that washes over us when we know we exerted our best judgment and prayed to Allah for guidance–whatever outcome ensued, it was the will of Allah.

Istikhara prayer is considered to be a very simple prayer when it comes to seeking guidance from Allah.

  • Before you pray istikhara, it is important to follow the Islamic procedure for cleansing of the body, dressing properly, and facing the Ka’bah.
  • The very first step to follow is to pray two sunnah rak’ahs at any time of the day (that is not disliked). One can perform this prayer similar to any other traditional prayer.
  • After completing two sunnah rak’ahs, you should recite the dua’ of istikhara. It is recommended to begin the dua by praising Allah and sending blessings on Prophet Muhammad .
  • At the time of supplication, a moment comes when one has to name the decision he or she is performing istikhara for; the best way is to state the matter verbally or think about the need in one’s mind.
  • Ask Allah to guide you in the right direction. Let go of your own judgment and go with the signs that Allah shows you after or inclines your heart towards. Keep in mind that you might not see a dream but Allah might simply direct you in other ways.
  • With the utmost sincerity and belief, one needs to pray istikhara. It is equally important that the one who is seeking an answer needs to wait patiently. Moreover, istikhara must be performed by the person who is confused about making the decision and not by any other person on their behalf.
  • If, after you’ve prayed, you feel decided about something, then move forward with your decision, continuing to pray istikhara. Allah will guide you as you move forward, either facilitating the decision or moving you further away. 
  • If you feel that you are confused, then it might be an indication that Allah wants you to continue asking for His guidance. Keep praying istikhara until you feel confident. Whatever is Allah’s decision, you should accept it and don’t regret it afterward.

Allah knows what is best for you; it is good to leave all your decisions to Him. If you want to understand the concept of istikhara the easy way, join the best Quran Institute today.