Question

Assalam-u-aleikum.

I was wondering how to perform prayer of Istakharah.

Asked by a visitor.

Answer

بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Assalam-o-Aleikum

Prayer of Istikharah is Recommended. Istikharah means asking for better or suitable results in tasks.

Wisdom of Istikharah prayers.

Sometimes we are not able to decide in some deeds which are related to our future and we are not able to come a final conclusion, many doubts surrounds our mind. So in order to clear these doubts and attain some prior knowledge of these issues, people seek help from conjurers and fortune tellers. It should be kept in mind that a Muslim in any condition is not allowed to seek help from these conjurers or fortune tellers who claims that they have (God forbids) knowledge of the unseen. Therefore, in normal human's life such issues which are connected to the future, seeking help from ALLAH (SWT) is called prayers of Istikharah.

Istikharah is not allowed in obligatory, mandatory, disliked and disallowed deeds. This means that no Muslim (God forbids) can't do Istikharah for compulsory prayers (5 times a day), fasting in Ramadan, Zakat (Alms) and charity on Eid day or regarding to similar affairs like who deserves more in property. Similarly,  doing Istikharah for abstaining from disliked and forbidden deeds is not allowed. For example if someone want to quit lying or backbiting or drinking alcohol or other forbidden business such as theft, robbery, he doesn't need Istikharah for that.

Istikharah is performed to draw a final conclusion between two deeds about someone is facing doubts. For example, if doing marital engagements, doing partnership in business with someone, travelling to some place. In such cases, we may want to know what is better for me. To find out what is more appropriate, one should not consult conjurer or fortune tellers and instead should perform Istikharah and seek guidance from a given System by ALLAH (SWT).  

Virtue of Istikharah Prayer.


1. Hazrat Jabir bin Abdullah (RZ) narrates that ALLAH's (SWT) Apostle (SAW) used to preach us about Istikharah in similar way as he used to preach us about the Holy Quran.

(Sahih Bukhari - Kitab ul Tahjjud - Hadith 1162, Kitab ul Dawaat - Hadith 6382, Kitab ul Tauheed - Hadith 7390)


2. Hazrat Ans (RZ) narrates that ALLAH (SWT) Apostle(SAW) said:


"One who does Istakharah will never be failed".


(Tibraani - Almajam al Saghir).


Method of performing Istikharah prayer.

This prayer comprises of two Naafil. In the first unit (Rak) read Surah Al-Fatiah and then Surah Al Kafiroon and in the second Rak read Surah Al-Fatiah and then Surah Al-Ikhlas and complete the prayer. After finishing the prayer read the following Dua,


اَللّٰھُمَّ اِنِیّ اَستَخِیرُکَ بِعِلمِکَ و اَ ستَغفِرُکَ بِقُدرَتِکَ وَ اَساَلُکَ مِن فَضلِکَ العَظِیمِ ، فَاِنَّکَ تَقدِرُ وَلاَ اَقدِرُ ، وَ تَعلَمُ وَلاَ اَعلَمُ ، وَ اَنتَ عَلاَّمُ الغُیُوبِ ۔ اَللّٰھُمَّ اِن کُنتَ تَعلَمُ اَنَّ ھٰذَا الاَمرَ خَیرُ لِی ، فِی دِینِی وَ مَعَاشِی وَ عَاقِبَۃِ اَمرِی ،وَ یَسِرّہُ لِی ، ثُمَّ بَارِک لِی فِیہِ ، وَ اِن کُنتَ تَعلَمُ اَنَّ ھٰذَا الاَمرَ شَرُ لِی فِی دِینِی وَ مَعَاشِی وَ عَاقِبَۃِ اَمرِی ، فَاصرِفہُ عَنِیّ وَاصرِفنِی عَنہُ ، وَاقدُر لِیَ الخَیرَ حَیثُ کَانَ ، ثُمَّ اَرضِنِی ۔


Translation.


O ALLAH, I beg for good and ask for strength Your authority and ask from Your supreme kindness, because You have the control and You know everything and I don't know, and You are Knowledgeable of the unseen. O ALLAH, If you know that this task is good for my faith and world and the start and ending of my task is good for me then I pray to you that write this task in my fate and make it easy for me and keep blessing in it for me, and if you know that this task is going to cause damage to my faith and world then keep me away from it write peace in my fate and then whenever possible make me pleased.


After this Dua, present your plead to ALLAH.

Saints and scholars says that one should be recite this prayer while abluted and facing Qibla and finishing reciting, one should sleep. If he seas any white or green object in his dream then it's the sign that he should proceed with this job since it's good in it, and if he seas a black or red object in his dream then there is evil in this work and he should abstain himself from it. If he doesn't understand the signs in his dream then he should consult his spiritual teacher/leader and whatever the teacher suggest, he should adopt it.


If you don't get any sign in your dream on the first day, then keep on trying for seven days but if you don't get anything then do whatever you feel satisfied with.


It's written in the Hadith that Hazrat Ans bin Malik (RZ) narrates that ALLAH (SWT) Apostle (SAW) said:


"O Ans whenever you decide to do something then do Istikharah seven time to your God, and then see what comes to your heart, and for sure that has all good in it for you."


(Naamat ul bari fi sharah Sahih Bukhari c 3 p 311)


May ALLAH (SWT) grant us faith till the last breath and give us strength to follow Sunnah of Holy Prophet (SAW).


Note: The arabic of the Holy Hadith is written in possible available computer program and we have tried our best to write the correct Arabic with proper vowels but if we have missed anything, we apologize in advance.