Al-Istikharah prayer and dua: what it is and how to do it

Al-Istikharah is a tool for guidance, it includes both a prayer and a dua.


Do I take the opportunity to travel abroad or just accept this job contract here? What should I do? How to choose the one that suits me best? Is this good for my future? Usually, when we make decisions about life issues, we get confused. It’s like getting married, traveling, buying or selling something. Instead of waiting for a miraculous and symbolic vision, you need to look inside to find the answer and seek advice from a wise and knowledgeable person. Next, rely on Al-Istikharah.


What is al-Istikharah?

Al-Istikharah is a prayer of guidance recited during times of indecision.


So, how to perform al-Istikharah prayer and dua? 

To perform al-Istikharah, you must be clean first, so perform wudu if necessary. Then make an intention for al-Istikharah.

Al-Istikharah has two pillars: as-salaah and ad-duaa’.

It first starts with offering a two-raka’a prayer without the obligatory prayer. And after finishing the prayer, we should say the next duaa’:

اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّـي أَسْتَخيـرُكَ بِعِاْـمِك، وَأسْتَقْـدِرُكَ بِقُـدْرَتِـك، وَأَسْـألُـكَ مِنْ فَضْـلِكَ العَظـيم، فَإِنَّـكَ تَقْـدِرُ وَلا أَقْـدِر، وَتَـعْلَـمُ وَلا أَعْلَـم، وَأَنْـتَ عَلاّمُ الغُـيوب، اللّهُـمَّ إِنْ كُنْـتَ تَعْـلَمُ أَنَّ هـذا الأمْـرَ- وَيُسَـمِّي حاجَتَـه – خَـيْرٌ لي في دينـي وَمَعـاشي وَعاقِـبَةِ أَمْـري – أَوْ قَالَ عَاجِلِ أَمْري وَاجِلِهِ – فَاقْـدُرْهُ لي وَيَسِّـرْهُ لي ثـمَّ بارِكْ لي فيـه، وَإِنْ كُنْـتَ تَعْـلَمُ أَنَّ هـذا الأمْـرَ شَـرٌ لي في دينـي وَمَعـاشي وَعاقِـبَةِ أَمْـري – أَوْ قَالَ عَاجِلِ أَمْري وَاجِلِهِ – فَاصْرِفْـهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْني عَنْـهُ وَاقْـدُرْ لي الخَـيْرَ حَيْـثُ كانَ ثُـمَّ أَرْضِـني بِـهِ

“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 matter [then mention the thing to be decided] is good for me in my religion and in my life and for my welfare in the life to come, – [or say: in this life and the afterlife] – Then ordain it for me and make it easy for me, then bless me in it. And if You know that this matter is bad for me in my religion and in my life and for my welfare in the life to come, – [or say: in this life and the afterlife] then distance it from me, and distance me from it, and ordain for me what is good wherever it may be, and help me to be content with it.”


What to do after “Al-Istikharah”

Now what should I do after al-Istikharah? After al-Istikharah, leave your command to Allah, relying on Him. It doesn’t mean to leave the matter completely. You should still strive in your request to the last thing you reach. If it is good, you will feel relaxed and satisfied, and Allah will make it easy for you. If this is not the case, you will feel dissatisfied and uncomfortable, and Allah will take it away from you, prescribe something better for you, and satisfy you. 


Rules for Salat al-Istikharah

Finally, there are some rules for Salat ul-Istikharah you should know about:

  1. Salat ul-Istikharah must be other than the obligatory prayers
  2. There is no specific time for al-Istikharah, you can do it anytime, except for the unpleasant times to pray
  3. The dua of al-Istikharah is recited before or after saying the salaam at the end of prayer.
  4. If you do not memorize the dua of al-Istikharah, you can read it from any written source


What if I still can’t make a decision after making al-Istikharah prayer and dua?

Then know that Allah simply hasn’t placed that inclination in your heart yet this could be a sign that Allah wants you to keep begging him and asking him for his Divine help and assistance in this process keep making Dua.


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