When you say the Istikhara Dua after praying, that’s what it usually means. It doesn’t mean a different way to pray.

Anyone who thought someone else knew more about a subject would ask that person for advice before choosing or following a particular course of action.

Only Allah knows what will happen in the future. The Istikhara Dua is a way to ask Allah for direction on handling a particular situation. The Dua is a way for a Muslim to find peace of mind and comfort in knowing that no matter what happens, it will always be the best thing that could happen.

Another thing is that the Istikhara Dua is a way for a Muslim to show trust in Allah, who is All-Knowing and All-Powerful. Istikharah means to ask Allah to help you understand what He has already decided will happen.

We will show you step-by-step how to pray Istikhara in this blog, Inshallah, so that you can get the help of God. But let’s talk about how vital Istikhara is before we get to the method.

Istikhara Prayer – What Is It?

Istikhara means “to seek goodness” in English. In general, Istikhara means to ask Allah to help you make decisions and complete big tasks by guiding and watching over you. It could be about work, love, business, etc. It means asking Allah to lead you to the good or correct answer.

Istikhara prayer is not just two Rakas of prayer but two Rakas of prayer plus a specific request. The prayer of direction is said when there is no clear answer or choice. Before we go over the steps of how to pray, Istikhara, it’s important to remember that you must have complete faith in Allah as the supreme Knower of all things, both seen and hidden and everything that exists in the world. Only then can you get His help and direction to complete any task successfully.

Lots of people want to know: Is Istikhara in the Quran? Even though the Quran doesn’t say Istikhara by name, it’s clear from many texts that asking Allah to help you with something important or when making a choice is always a good idea. Here is a verse from the Quran that makes it clear that Allah loves people who trust Him:

Allah’s kindness is what you, O Prophet, have shown them by being patient with them. If you were mean or heartless, they would indeed have left you. So, forgive them, ask Allah to ignore them, and talk to them about how to handle things. Trust Allah after you’ve made up your mind. Without a doubt, Allah loves people who trust Him. (Imran Ali: 159)

Istikhara Prayer - What Is It

Step by Step Directions on How to Say Istikhara

It’s the same as any other prayer, and you can’t do it without first making Wudu because Tahrah is so important in Islam. Now let’s go over each step of how to pray Istikhara:

How to Do Istikhara

Step 1: Before beginning the prayer, complete the ablution (for Muslim women, see How to complete Wudu for Females).

Step 2: Offer two Rakas, either in conjunction with two Rakas of Tahajjud, for example, or to offer Istikhara on its own, separately. Which Surah is for Istikhara? Well, there’s a prayer for that, not a verse.

Step 3: Recite the Istikhara prayer immediately after completing the two Rakas.

Istikhara Indicators of Response

Someone should put aside their own choice or desire about something after learning to pray Istikhara step by step and give it. Instead, they should wait for Allah SWT to show them signs or make everything happen the way Allah wrote it for us. It is okay for someone to repeat the prayer if they aren’t sure what will happen.

An American Islamic teacher named Nuh Ha Mim Keller says that the more someone prays the Istikhara, the more they understand its meaning. He does it himself when it seems unlikely that someone would pray Istikhara for a specific reason.

People don’t have to see or feel Istikhara signs in their dreams. Instead of waiting for a symbolic vision, the person should look inside themselves to find answers and talk to smart people who know what they’re talking about. If someone wants to know if Istikhara is terrible, they should look at the tendency. Islam says that after someone does Istikhara, Allah will guide them and won’t push them toward a choice that isn’t good.

Advantages of Istikhara

Istikhara prayer has a lot of benefits, such as making things more straightforward when things are complicated and bringing you closer to Allah. When someone on earth wakes up in the middle of the night and calls out to Allah, He praises them greatly, listens to their prayer, and says their name in front of the angels.

Shah Waliyyullah (RA) says, “One of the best things about Istikhara is that it frees people from sensual desires. Their animalistic traits give way to their angelic traits, and they give themselves over to Allah.” If he does this, he will reach the level of the angels, whose trait is that they wait for Allah’s order. When they hear Allah’s order, they work hard because they are motivated by God, not their own desires. Doing too much Istikhara is a proven way to bring out angelic traits.

How to Do Istikhara for Marriage

How do Istikhara get a marriage proposal by praying to her step-by-step? You perform Salat Al Istikhara for marriage in the same way as you would for any other reason. Recite two Rakas and the marriage-related Istikhara dua after the required prayer. Ask Allah SWT to indicate whether or not that individual is the correct one for you by mentioning the person’s name and the name of their mother.

The Step-by-Step Istikhara Dua for Marriage Success

This is the English version of the Istikhara dua for marriage:

Almighty Allah! Because You have the power and I do not, I pray for Your Great Blessings. I seek goodness from Your Knowledge. I desire strength from Your Power (and Might). You are aware of everything that I am unaware of, and you are also aware of what is invisible. Almighty Allah, oh! Make it destined for me, make it easy for me, and add blessings to it if, in Your Knowledge, this action (about the marriage proposal of the man or woman’s name and his or her mother’s name) is better for my religion and faith, for my life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter.

Almighty Allah! If, in Your Knowledge, this action (the marriage proposal involving the man or woman’s name and the name of their mother) is detrimental to me, detrimental to my faith and religion, harmful to my life and death, detrimental to both this world and the next, then please turn it away from me and away from it, and if there is anything better for me, please ordain [destine] that for me and then make me satisfied with it.

Final Words

It is usual for Istikhara to happen. Don’t expect anything out of this world. If you follow Istikhara, all it guarantees is that Allah will support your choice. There is no istikhara for Haram actions (like “Should I drink this alcohol?”) or required actions (like “Should I pray ʿhshaʾ today?”). If you change your mind after making a choice, you will be doubting Allah’s direction. If the choice you made “doesn’t work out” the way you had hoped, have faith that it was better for you and that there are good things in it that you can’t see yet. 

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Frequently Ask Questions

1. Should I go to sleep after Istikhara?

You don’t need to sleep. Reciting the Istikharah before going to sleep is advisable because sleep helps you remember things and organize your thinking. If you want to see your choices in a new light, getting up early in the morning might help you. Second, some people may have a dream that helps them decide which way to go!

2. Can I still make Istikhara even though I can’t pray two rak’ah since I’m on my period?

Yes, go with step 3 without the two rak’ah. Since you would have prayed the two rak’ah if you had been able to, Allah will still bless you as though you had done so!

3. I am not a memorizer of the Istikhara Dua. How should I proceed?

If you cannot learn it, select option 3, where you can recite it with your hands raised during a Dua that follows the prayer. To read the Dua, use a piece of paper or a smartphone.

4. I did not do istikhāra when making the decision. Am I destined to fail?

No. The slave uses istikhāra as a means of pleading with his Lord for guidance in making decisions, but the Lord is far too kind to condition His benefits on the slave’s deeds.

× Consultant With Maulana Abdul Aziz