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In the Name of Allahﷻ Most Beneficent & Most Merciful. Peace & Blessings Be Upon Our Master Muhammad ﷺ, The Chief & The Seal of All Prophets & Messengers.

Istikharah is essentially the act of seeking goodness, or in simpler terms, it involves requesting Allah's guidance to lead you to the right and beneficial choice. When you are uncertain or confused about how to proceed in a matter, you can beseech Allah  , the Glorious, for assistance through the recitation of the Istikharah prayer.

Istikharah signifies seeking Allah's boundless wisdom when faced with confusion, in the hope of being directed towards a better outcome. This can encompass various aspects of life such as career, marriage, business, and more.

Jabir bin `Abdullah رضي الله عنه narrated:

"Allah's Messenger ﷺ would teach us Al-Isthikhara for all of our affairs just as he would teach us a Surah of the Qur'an, saying: 'When one of you is worried about a matter, then let him perform two Rak'ah other than the obligatory (prayer), then let him say:

The Prayer in Arabic

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظِيمِ فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلاَ أَقْدِرُ وَتَعْلَمُ وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتَ عَلاَّمُ الْغُيُوبِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعِيشَتِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي أَوْ قَالَ فِي عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ فَيَسِّرْهُ لِي ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعِيشَتِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي أَوْ قَالَ

فِي عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ وَاقْدُرْ لِيَ الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ ثُمَّ أَرْضِنِي بِهِ


Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi'ilmika, wa astaqdiruka biqudratika, wa as'aluka min falikal-azim, fa innaka taqdiru wa la qadiru, wa ta'lami wa la a'lamu, wa anta allamul-ghayub. Allahumma in kunta ta'lamu anna hadhal-amra khairun li fi dini wa ma'ishati wa aqibati amri, or said: Fi ajili amri wa ajilihi fayassirhu li,thumma barik li fihi, wa in kunta ta'lamu anna hadhal-amra sharrun li fi dini wa ma'ishati wa aqibati amri, or said: Fi ajili amri wa ajilihi fasrifhu anni wasrifni anhu waqdur Lil-khaira haithu kana, thumma ardini bih.


'O Allah! I consult Your knowledge, and seek ability from Your power, and I ask You from Your magnificent bounty, for indeed You have power and I do not have power, and You know while I do not know, and You know the unseen. O Allah! If you know that this matter is good for me in my religion or my livelihood, and for my life in the Hereafter - or he said: for my present and future - then make it easy for me, then bless me in it. If You know that this matter is bad for me in my religion and my livelihood and my life in the Hereafter - or he said: for my present and future - then divert it from me and divert me from it, enable me to find the good wherever it is, then make me pleased with it."

He ﷺ said: "And he mentions his need."

In the realm of Islamic scholarship, there is a unanimous consensus regarding the classification of the Istikharah prayer as Sunnah. This prayer is a potent instrument bestowed by the Most-Merciful and Compassionate God to His servants, enabling them to take His divine guidance and wisdom in every aspect of life. One will find inner tranquility and satisfaction in the eventual outcome of the matter. Through the act of Istikharah, an individual will understand that there is assured goodness in whatever Allah has ordained to occur, even if it doesn't align with their own preferences and desires.

It's also advisable to seek counsel from the pious. Imam al-Nawawi emphasized the importance of seeking guidance from those whom you trust for their knowledge, wisdom, and genuine concern before performing the Istikhara prayer. Ibn Hajar al-Haytami and other scholars have noted that doing so serves the purpose of distancing oneself from one's own ego-driven desires.

Istikharah may be performed at anytime that is not disliked. It's essential to set aside one's personal opinions or leanings concerning a specific issue and patiently await a sign from Allah  or to make things happen in a way that indicates what to do. If the outcome of the Istikharah remains unclear, the fuqaha recommend that it can be repeated as many as seven times typically on separate occasions. [Radd al-Muhtar, 1:461]

Performing Istikharah before bedtime, while recommended by scholars, is not obligatory. Furthermore, it is not mandatory for an individual to experience a dream. On occasion, one may feel a strong inclination or have a dream guiding them towards a particular course of action after conducting Istikharah.

The famous Hanafi jurist Ibn `Abdeen has suggested in his Hashiyah that if one sees something white or green in one’s dream, then the answer is yes, but if one sees something dark or red then the answer is no. (Raddul Muhtar p.471 v.2)

However, it is not necessary that an individual encounters these conditions or experiences.

Imam An-Nawawi holds that “after performing the istikharah, a person must do what he is wholeheartedly inclined to do and feels good about doing and should not insist on doing what he had desired to do before making the istikharah. And if his feelings change, he should leave what he had intended to do, otherwise he is not completely leaving the choice to Allah, and would not be honest in seeking aid from Allah’s power and knowledge. Sincerity in seeking Allah’s choice, means that one should completely leave what he himself had desired or determined.” (Fiqh us Sunnah: 2.32)

Remember, one should be pleased with what Allah chooses for one and not seek to follow one’s whims after the answer to one’s supplication becomes clear.

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