What is Istikhara?
Istikhara is the Arabic word that means “asking Allah.” Istikhara means asking Allah for help in making a decision, in a situation where you have two options, you must choose the best of the case where a decision must be made to select one of them.” With the sale completed, one should immediately say the supplication of Istikhara.
When someone intends to do an important task, they do Istikhara before doing this task. The holy prophet said when a person who is performing the Istikhara asks Allah Almighty:
“O Knower of the Unseen (Exalted is He), guide me if this task is better for me or not?”
(Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 21, Number 263)
According to Jabir bin ‘Abdullah, the Prophet (SAW) used to teach us the way of doing Istikhara in all matters, just as he taught us the Suras of the Quran. “If anyone of you is thinking about doing a job, he should offer two Rakat prayers in addition to the obligatory ones, and say (after the prayer):
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
Transliteration of Istikhara Dua:
Allâhumma inni astakhiruka bi ilmika wa astaqdiruka biqudratika wa as’aluka min fadlikal-azimi, fa innaka taqdiru walâ aqdiru wa ta’lamu walâ a’lamu wa anta allamul ghuyubi. Allâhumma in kunta ta’lamu anna hâdhal amra khayrun li fi dini wa ma-ashi wa aqibati amri faqdir-hu li wa yassir-hu li thumma barik li fihi wa in kunta ta’lamu anna hâdhal amra sharrun li fi dini wa maâshi wa aqibati amri fasrifhu anni wasrifni anhu waqdir liyal-khayra haythu kâna thumma ardini.
Istikharah Dua in English:
“O Allah, verily I seek the better [of either choice] from You, by Your knowledge, and I seek ability from You, by Your power, and I ask You from Your immense bounty. For indeed You have power, and I am powerless; You have the knowledge and I know not; You are the Knower of the unseen realms. O Allah, if You know that this matter is good for me concerning my religion, my livelihood and the end of my affair then decree it for me, facilitate it for me, and grant me a blessing in it. And if you know that this matter is not good for me concerning my religion, my livelihood and the end of my affair then turn it away from me and me from it; and decree for me better than it, wherever it may be, and make me content with it.”
Which is the proper time to perform Salat-al-Istikhara?
Salat-al-Istikhara is forbidden from sunrise until 15-20 minutes later when the sun is at its highest point (Zenith or Meridian), and from the start of sunset until it is completely set. Therefore, Salat-al-Istikhara is best offered during the Duhar prayer (after sunrise).
Istikhara after a two Rakats is mustahab Salah
Imam Al-Jawad (RA) said: “You should seek the best (from Allah) after two Rakats Salah. That is, you offer two Rakats Salah and then recite Istikhara prayer and then put your matter in front of Allah.”
how many attempts are required to offer Salat-al-Istikhara?
It is conditional, according to the answer situation. For example, sometimes the answer is given only once, while other times several attempts are required. If you are still undecided after offering the Salat-al-Istikhara, it is advised to repeat the prayer seven times. On the other hand, there is no need to continue Salat-al-Istikhara for seven days if you receive your answer sooner and know whether something is good for you or not.
How to Perform the Salat-al-Istikhara
There are the following steps to perform Salat-al-Istikhara:
1) Perform Ablution or Wudu
You should perform Wudu before beginning prayer to ensure that you are neat and clean. To perform ablution, wash and rinse your hands, mouth, nose, face, and lower forearms three times. After washing your head and ears, wash your feet three times (starting with the right foot).
2) Find the neat place for prayer
Make sure the place on which you are praying is clean enough to be suitable for prayer. Place a prayer mat (Jae-Namaz) onto the floor to ensure cleanliness, and offer prayer on it. Put the prayer mat toward the position of Qibla or Mecca.
3) Offering Istikhara prayer
Recite the two rakats of the Istikhara prayer same as the other obligatory prayer.
4) Recite the Istikhara Dua
After offering two Rakats of Istikhara, you are now ready to recite the Istikhara Dua or Supplication. You should mention your need during Istikhara Dua.
5) Repeat the prayer as many times
You have the option of repeating the Istikhara supplication or reciting as many rakats as you want. Continue to pray to Istikhara daily until you’ve reached a decision. If you don’t feel you’ve gotten a response after seven days, stop.
What are the benefits of Istikhara?
Salat-al-Istikhara is a Sunnah that the Prophet (PBUH) recommended. Practice Istikhara prayer if you want to seek Allah’s guidance in all aspects of your life. If you follow our Prophet’s (PBUH) footsteps, you will gain the following benefits:
It is stated in this Hadith indicated that if you consult Allah to guide you towards what is best for you, you will never be confused. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said to Hazrat Ali (RA):
“O’ Ali! whoever seeks the best (from Allah) will never be perplexed, and whoever seeks advice will never be remorseful.”
Divine Inspiration to the right path
Allah, the Glorious and High, is the purest and most perfect Being. His kindness and gifts are not withheld from His servants. When a true worshipper of Allah approaches Him for guidance with a pure and immaculate heart, Allah will unquestionably direct him to that which is excellent and beneficial for him.
Removal of sorrow and distress
The most significant advantage of presenting all of your problems to Allah and asking for the best is that you will arrive at a point. There is no confusion or distress where your heart is satisfied, all doubts are removed, and there is no confusion or pain. You come to believe that only Allah knows what is best for you, that whatever He decides is in your best interests, and that you should obey Him wholeheartedly.
Short Istikhara Duas:
Additional Duas for Istikhara can be recited after the Duas which are narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah (RA). These short Istikhara Duas are given as:
Dua no 1 (for forgiveness):
Translation: “I ask forgiveness of God in all my affairs in the best of good health.”
This Dua should be recited; it will help us receive divine assistance from Allah Almighty. Allah is the creator of the universe, and he is solely responsible for all of its affairs; he does not delegate authority. He can help everyone because he has all the powers and authority. Luckily, he helps us to complete tasks; when we are seeking help. Allah will help us in all the affairs of the universe.
Dua no 2 (Darood pak):
اللهم صلى على محمد وال محمد
We should keep the task in mind and recite the Darood Shareef written above at the end of the prayer when we want to do Istikhara. Because it is short, it is simple to remember. Allah becomes pleased with the person who seeks help from Allah Almighty because this demonstrates Allah’s superiority over all the affairs of the universe. Those who do not require the assistance of Allah Almighty will not be successful in securing Allah’s happiness. Therefore, reciting this Darood Sharif at the end of the Istikhara Dua is hugely beneficial in completing complex tasks.
Dua no 3 (selection from two things)
اللهم خر لي واختر لي
Transliteration: Allahumma khir li wa ‘khtar li
Translation: “O Allah, choose and select for me [the better of the two things (Tirmidhi).”
This is also the Dua that we can recite at the end of the Istikhara prayer to assist us in completing the tasks. When a person has the right mindset, Allah’s assistance is unavoidable; for example, the task’s purpose is not to harm someone. Because Allah is the best manager of affairs, he will help those who seek his assistance. Therefore, with good intentions, we should seek Allah’s aid.
At the End……
Istikhara is one of the most effective tools for obtaining assistance from Allah Almighty. But, we should always keep in mind that what we want from Allah, He will give us, and He will never refuse us. Therefore, possession of something may be dangerous for us. So, instead, we should keep in mind that whatever is best for us will be chosen by him.