Dua Istikhara for Good Decision and Allah’s Blessings in it: A Muslim should always seek Allah’s wisdom and guidance before making a choice. There may be good in what we consider as terrible, and there may be bad in what we perceive as good, but only Allah knows what is best for us.
There is a special prayer for guidance (Salat-l-Istikhara) that you can perform to seek for Allah’s assistance in making your decision if you are undecided or ambivalent about one you must make. Should you get married to this person? Should you enrol in this graduate programme? Which employment offer should you accept: this or that? If you are uncertain about a decision you are making, ask Allah’s advice since He knows what is best for you.
Allah has given us the great weapon of the Salat al-Istikhara to seek His direction in all things. Before making any decision in our lives, no matter how major or minor, we should not be reluctant to offer Istikhara.
It is crucial to perform this prayer sincerely, believing that only Allah can provide us with the guidance we need, and resolving to follow that guidance, even if it conflicts with our own wants.
Additionally, we must be adamant in our dua, not appealing or begging but rather requesting Allah’s guidance in a direct manner.
And after our dua, we shouldn’t be impatient. We don’t put God on a schedule. Furthermore, we shouldn’t hope for a miracle or a dream replete with signs and symbols. These items are not required. We merely recite our prayers and have faith that Allah has heard us and will respond to us in the most beneficial way. Here is the Dua Istikhara:
Transliteration: ‘Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi’ilmika, Wa astaqdiruka bi-qudratika, Wa as’alaka min fadlika al-‘azlm Fa-innaka taqdiru Wala aqdiru, Wa ta’lamu Wala a’lamu, Wa anta ‘allamu l-ghuyub. Allahumma, in kunta ta’lam anna hadha-l-amra Khairun li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa’aqibati amri (or ‘ajili amri wa’ajilihi) Faqdirhu wa yas-sirhu li thumma barik li Fihi, Wa in kunta ta’lamu anna hadha-lamra shar-run li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa’aqibati amri (or fi’ajili amri wa ajilihi) Fasrifhu anni was-rifni anhu. Waqdir li al-khaira haithu kana Thumma ardini bihi.’
TRANSLATION: “O Allah! I seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) I seek strength, and I ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and I do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action ———————————————— (which I intend to do) is better for my religion and faith, for my life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for me and make it easy for me and then add blessings [baraka’] in it, for me. O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action is bad for me, bad for my religion and faith, for my life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from me and turn me away from it and whatever is better for me, ordain [destine] that for me and then make me satisfied with it.”
Conditions for the Istikhra Prayer
The same requirements apply as with any other prayer
No more conditions. No special bath or time of day, for instance.
How to perform istikhara dua
There are no Surahs designated by The Prophet (saws) therefore you may recite any other Surahs you choose after Fatiha in each of the two rakat of voluntary prayer (any prayer other than the five mandatory ones). Recite the du’a (prayer) of istikhra in Arabic as instructed to us by the Prophet (saws) once you have finished, i.e., after you have said your salaam for the prayer, and then formally explain your need in any language you choose. Read it from a piece of paper or your phone if you don’t already know it by heart. Read the transliteration if you are unable to read Arabic. After that, no additional work is necessary.
How many times do you need to pray Istikhara Dua?
It varies. The answer can be obtained more frequently or less frequently. Seven (7) times through Istikhara is preferable. Stop doing istikhara if you have received a response that is described in the section below. You do not need to do istikhara for seven days. It is preferable to fall asleep facing the Qibla immediately after reciting the aforementioned supplication (those who are unable to keep the ablution for extended periods of time owing to health issues should not worry about this) (facing the Qibla is not necessary but it is a Sunnat of our beloved Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him). It is preferable to say the greetings (durood/salawat) on Prophet (PBUH) after and before Dua.
Result of Dua Istikhara
You CANNOT expect to have a dream, vision, sign, etc. Your heart will be slightly predisposed toward carrying out the activity or not by Allaah.
Istikhra happens naturally. Expect nothing extraterrestrial, please. The only thing istikhra guarantees is that Allah will support your decision. For Haram acts (such as should I consume this alcohol?) and ‘obligatory’ activities (such as should I perform ‘fajr’ today? ), there is no istikhra. Don’t second-guess your choice because doing so would mean doubting Allah’s counsel. Even if your choice “doesn’t work out” the way you had hoped, remember that it was the right one for you and that, even if you can’t yet see the benefits, it brought you.