The Procedure of Istikhara

Question:

I have been doing Istikhara for past 3 nights but have not had any such dreams which i could consider as an indication from Allah (Swt). Can you please help me understand how it works as i have an understanding that after doing istikhara nafil we read the dua and sleep and by the grace of Allah we get indication in our dreams.

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Istikharah means to seek khair (goodness) from Allah regarding any task in which one is unable to make a correct decision.[1] When one performs Salat-ul-Istikharah, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala places a feeling of inclination towards a particular side. One should eagerly and with an open heart and mind supplicate for Allah Taa’ala’s guidance and ask for direction so that the problem is solved in his own best interest. It is related in the Hadith that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alahi Wa Sallam) use to teach the Istikhaarah to the Sahaabah (RadhiAllahu Anhum) .

In Istikharah, it is not necessary that a person will see a dream. Rather, a person should carry out whatever occurs to him. In other words, one should continue to do Mashwara and seek advises from others regarding the task. It is preferable that one performs the Istikharah himself rather than others performing it on his behalf. Salat-ul-Istikharah may be performed at anytime. It is not a condition to perform Salat-ul-Istikharah before going to sleep. After performing Istikharah, one should hand over the entire matter to the limitless knowledge of Allah Ta’ala. Only that will happen which Allah Ta’ala wills and which is good for one’s own sake though one may not be able to see it immediately.

The method of performing Salat-ul-Istikharah is as follows:

Perform wudu and offer two Rakahs with the intention of Salat-ul-Istikharah. The Salah will be performed normally like any other Salah. Recite Surah Kafiroon in the first Rakah and Surah Ikhlas in the second Rakah. Upon completing the Salah, recite the following Dua.

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 فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي، ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ، وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ، وَاقْدُرْ لِي الخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ، ثُمَّ أَرْضِنِي به.[2]

Translation: “All praises are due to Allah, the Rabb of the Worlds. Salutations and Greetings be on our leader, Muhammad, his family and all his Companions.

O Allah! I seek from You a decision by virtue of Your Knowledge (of what is best), and I seek from You the ability (to realize my object) by virtue of Your Power, and I ask You (to grant me) from Your Great Bounty, for indeed You have power and I do not have power, and You know and I do not know, and You are the Knower of the unseen. Oh Allah! If, according you Your Knowledge, this matter is good for me with regards to my religious affairs, my worldly life and my final outcome (i.e. in the Hearafter), then direct it towards me and ease it for me, thereafter grant me blessing in it. And if according to Your Knowledge, this matter is evil for me with regards to my religious affairs, my worldly life and my final outcome (i.e. Hearafter), then turn it away from me and turn me away from it. And direct towards me that which is good, no matter where it is, thereafter make me pleased with it (i.e. that good.)”

Mention your need while reciting the underline portion of the Dua. It is Mustahab to follow this procedure three times. One may use the help of a book etc. if one does not know the Dua by heart. Alternatively, if time does not allow a person to go through this entire procedure, one may recite the following Dua without having to perform any Salah. This is the shortest form of Istikharah.

اللَّهُمَّ خِرْ لِي وَاخْتَرْ لِي

“O Allah, destine good for me and choose for me” [3]

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Arshad Ali

http://fatwa-tt.com/

Trinidad

Checked and Approved by,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 

[1] وندب صلاة الاستخارة” أي طلب ما فيه الخير وهي تكون لأمر في المستقبل ليظهر الله تعالى خير الأمرين (حاشية الطحطاوي على مراقي الفلاح، ص397، دار الكتب العلمية)

[2] حَدَّثَنَا مُطَرِّفُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ أَبُو مُصْعَبٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ أَبِي المَوَالِ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ المُنْكَدِرِ، عَنْ جَابِرٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، قَالَ: كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يُعَلِّمُنَا الِاسْتِخَارَةَ فِي الأُمُورِ كُلِّهَا، كَالسُّورَةِ مِنَ القُرْآنِ: ” إِذَا هَمَّ بِالأَمْرِ فَلْيَرْكَعْ رَكْعَتَيْنِ ثُمَّ يَقُولُ: 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: فِي عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ – فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي، 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 رَضِّنِي بِهِ، وَيُسَمِّي حَاجَتَه (صحيح البخاري، ج8ص 81، دار طوق النجاة)

[3] Istikharah in The Light of Sunnah Pg. 35-37

http://www.askimam.org/public/question_detail/26652