This article is a complete guide to perform istikhara dua and prayers.
I will guide you step by step until done, and I simplified this guide for easy understanding.
What is interesting:
This prayer guide is also assisted with Audio and English transliteration to help anyone who has difficulty reading Arabic script.
- Istikhara Meaning
- When To Pray Istikhara?
- The intention (Niyyah) of Istikharah Prayer
- Number of Rakats
- How to Pray Istikhara
- Recitation In Final Sujood
- Istikhara Dua In English & Arabic
- Istikhara’s Answer & Indicator
- Conclusion: We Istikharah Symbolic dependence on God
The istikhara dua and prayer (Salat-al-Istikhara) is a prayer to ask for guidance from Allah.
Istikhāra literally means “to seek that which is good”.
It is done when a person is hesitant in making a choice or deciding what is best.
For example, when a person is looking for a job and gets two job offers simultaneously, both feel good.
Because confused in determining which jobs should be accepted, it is desirable to perform prayers istikhara.
The same goes for other matters such as marriage, offers for further studies, and so on.
Rasulullah stated this SAW in a hadith narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah r.a which means:
Rasulullah SAW taught us istikhara in all matters, such as teaching us surahs from the Quran. He said: “When one of you wants to do something that is not clear, he needs to pray two rak’ahs that are not obligatory, then dua.”– Narrated by all except Muslims
Istikhara sunnah prayers are performed in the hope that the decision taken will receive guidance from Allah SWT.
You should only perform istikhara prayer for things or jobs that comply with Sharia.
Prayers performed on matters that contradict religion are indeed not led by Allah SWT.
When To Pray Istikhara?
Prayers Istikhara is preferably done at night (qiamullail) together with Tahajjud and prayers of repentance (Tawbah Prayer).
If not, it can be performed at a time other than the time of Tahrim (the time when prayer is forbidden).
Perform Istikhara prayers 3 or 7 days in a row, according to their importance.
InsyaAllah, you will be given a tendency or moved to make the right decision or choice.
The intention (Niyyah) of Istikharah Prayer
The intention or niyyah for Istikhara is:
Usolli Sunnatal Istikharati Rak’ataini Lillahi Ta’ala
The intention in English:
I pray sunnah istikhara two rak’ahs because of Allah Ta’ala
Number of Rakats
Istikhara prayers can be performed for two rak’ahs or up to 12 rak’ahs with six salam.
How to Pray Istikhara
How to perform Istikhara Prayer?
Perform these two rak’ahs of prayer in the same way and order as the other sunnah prayers.
You can recite any Surahs you’d like after Fatiha in each rakah as there are no Surahs specified by The Prophet ﷺ.
In the First Rakat
Read surah Al-Fatiha and followed by surah Al-Kafirun
Qul yaa ayyuhal-kafirun. La a’budu maa ta’buduun. Wa la antum ‘Abiduna maa a’bud. Wa laa ana ‘Aabidum maa ‘abattum. Wa laa antum ‘abiduuna maa a’bud. Lakum diinukum wa liya diin.
Say, “O disbelievers, I do not worship what you worship. Nor are you worshippers of what I worship. Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship. Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship. For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.”
In the Second Rakat
Read surah Al-Fatiha and followed by surah Al-Ikhlas
Qul huwallahu ahad. Allahus-samad. Lam yalid wa lam yuulad. Wa lam yakul lahuu kufuwan ahad.
Say, “He is Allah, [who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent.”
Recitation In Final Sujood
When the final sujood in the second rak’ah (before the final attahiyat), recite it 40 times:
Subhanaka Laa ‘ilma Lana illa Maa ‘Alamtanaa, innaka Antal- ‘Alimul-hakim (40x)
Glory be to You, there is no knowledge for us except what You have taught us. Indeed, You are the Knower, the Wise.
After salam, recite surah Al-Fatihah and dhikr after salah
Istighfar and ask for forgiveness from Allah.
Istikhara Dua In English & Arabic
How to perform istikhara dua?
Rasulullah SAW often taught this dua as he introduced the verses of the Quran (Record of Imam Al-Bukhari)
You can recite this dua in Arabic and English. (or whatever language you’re comfortable with). If you don’t have it memorized, read it off a paper or your phone.
InsyaAllah, Allah understands the dua of each of His servants.
Allahumma Innii Astakhiiruka bi’ilmika
Wa Astaqdiruka Biqudrotika
Wa As-aluka Min Fadhlikal Azhiim
Fainnaka Taqdiiru Wa Laa Aqdiru
Wata’lamu Wa Laa A’lamu
Wa Anta ‘allaamul Ghuyuub
Allaahumma In Kunta Ta’lamu
Anna Haadzal Amro Khoirun Lii Fii Diinii Wa Ma’aasyii Wa ‘aaqibati Amri
Faqdurhu lii Wayassirhu lii
Tsumma Baarikli Fiihi
Wa In Kunta Ta’lamu
Anna Haadzal Amro Syarrun Lii Fii Diini
Wa Ma’aasyii Wa ‘aaqibati Amri
Fashrifhu ‘annii Washrifnii ‘anhu
Waqdur Liyal Khairahaytsu Kaana
Tsumma Aor Dhinii Bih
Istikhara Dua In English:
O Allah, I beg you to choose which is right according to You O Allah.
I also beg to be given certainty by Your provision, and I beseech with Your mercy the Almighty God.
Indeed, You are the Mighty God, while I know not. You are the God who knows everything that is still hidden.
O, Allah! If, in your opinion, this matter (mention the subject) is good for me for my religion, my life, and my work, then destiny it for me and bless it to me.
If, according to Your knowledge that this matter (mention the subject) gives harm to me for my religion, my life, and my work, then I beg You to keep it away from me and grant me only goodness wherever I am.
Be me a person who is pleased with Your grace.(Record of Imam al-Bukhari)
After praying, ask for anything good to be done according to our purpose to perform this istikhara sunnah prayer.
Any decision came to our hearts strong; that’s the decision that we would choose.
Istikhara’s Answer & Indicator
How will be our istikhara dua answered?
When we have performed the istikhara prayer, then we should submit to Allah Taala.
Pray to God with full confidence to be guided through dreams, instincts (feeling more inclined & vigorous), and simplified matters which are good.
According to Dr. Ali Jum’ah:
When we pray istikhara, we will not dream or see a magical event, but usually, when we do things that were good for us to continue, the sign will be easy to connect with it vice versa.
What if I still can’t make a decision?
Then know that God simply hasn’t placed that inclination in your heart yet.
This could be a sign that God ﷻ wants you to keep begging Him and asking Him for His Divine Help and Assistance in this process.
Keep making duāʾ. But never lose hope.
Even if you asked a thousand times with no response, that’s no reason to stop asking.
Don’t Forget To Do Istishāra (Seek Advice)
What is mean by istishara?
Istihara means ask someone of experience and knowledge in the topic you’re looking for guidance on.
Rasulullah did not perform istikhara in some critical situations.
This is because the prophet was convinced that the choice was right.
For example in the battle of Badr when Rasulullah wanted to choose an area far from the spring.
The friends suggested that a place close to the spring be chosen.
After hearing the explanation of the importance of making a camp near the spring, Rasulullah continued to accept the friend’s suggestion was relevant and much better than the first suggestion.
During the Khandaq War, when Salman Al-Farisi proposed to dig a trench, Rasulullah accepted it without istikhara.
This is because the proposal is indeed the best in consideration.
In our situations:
We should talk to the family, ask for the opinions of the oldies we know, mentor, and ustaz we are close to.
Through Rasulullah himself we learn.
Conclusion: We Istikharah Symbolic dependence on God
Performing istikhara prayers is symbolic of our dependence on Allah.
This shows that we are God’s weak servants, who desperately need His guidance.
So ask God to give guidance and simplify matters.
And once the decision is made, trust in Allah; everything that happens after this is the best for our lives, InsyaAllah.
I hope this guide is helpful to you.
All the shortcomings in this guide will be corrected from time to time.
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments section below.
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