How To Pray Istikhara

When faced with a difficult decision, many Muslims turn to Istikhara, a prayer seeking guidance from Allah. Istikhara is a powerful tool for seeking clarity and making the right choices in life. It is a prayer that involves seeking Allah’s guidance and asking for His blessings.

Istikhara is a prayer of sincerity and seeking guidance from Allah. It is not a prayer to ask for a specific outcome, but rather a prayer to seek Allah’s guidance in making the right decision. The purpose of Istikhara is to seek Allah’s help in making a decision that is beneficial for both your worldly life and your Hereafter.

Istikhara is a simple prayer that can be performed at any time. It involves reciting a specific dua (supplication) and seeking Allah’s guidance through prayer. The dua begins with praising Allah and sending blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and then asking Allah for guidance in the matter at hand.

O Allah, I seek Your guidance by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power; I have none. And You know; I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things. O Allah, if in Your knowledge, this matter is good for my religion, my livelihood, and my affairs, then ordain it for me, and make it easy for me, and bless me therein. And if in Your knowledge, this matter is bad for my religion, my livelihood, and my affairs, then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it. And ordain for me the good wherever it may be, and make me content with it.

Understanding Istikhara Prayer: A Comprehensive Guide

The Istikhara prayer is an important aspect of Islamic practice, allowing Muslims to seek guidance from Allah in making important decisions. Derived from the Arabic word “Istikharah,” which means to seek goodness from Allah, this prayer is a form of supplication that asks for divine assistance in finding the right path.

What is Istikhara Prayer?

Istikhara prayer is a specific prayer that Muslims perform when faced with a decision or dilemma. It is a way of seeking guidance from Allah to determine whether a particular course of action is beneficial or harmful. This prayer is performed after the two voluntary units of prayer known as Sunnah prayers.

How to Perform Istikhara Prayer?

Performing Istikhara prayer involves the following steps:

  1. Begin by making ablution (Wudu) to purify yourself.
  2. Choose a quiet and secluded place to pray.
  3. Recite the opening supplication (Tasmiyah).
  4. Recite Surah Al-Fatihah (The Opening Chapter of the Quran) and another verse or Surah of your choice.
  5. Make the special supplication for Istikhara, asking Allah for guidance in your decision.
  6. Repeat the special supplication three times.
  7. End the prayer with the customary closing supplications (Taslim).

Interpreting the Istikhara Prayer

Interpreting the Istikhara Prayer

The Istikhara prayer is not a means of directly receiving a clear answer from Allah. Instead, it is a way of seeking Allah’s guidance and submitting one’s will to His divine plan. After performing the prayer, one should be open to signs and answers revealed through dreams, inner feelings, or circumstances.

When interpreting the Istikhara prayer, it is important to consider how one feels after performing the prayer. If a sense of peace and contentment is felt, it can be seen as a positive sign indicating that the decision is in alignment with Allah’s will. If doubts or unease persist, it may indicate that the decision needs further reflection or reconsideration.

Conclusion

The Istikhara prayer is a powerful tool that allows Muslims to seek divine guidance in decision-making. It is a means of surrendering one’s will to Allah and seeking His wisdom. By understanding and performing this prayer correctly, individuals can find comfort in knowing that they are seeking Allah’s guidance in all aspects of their lives.

What is Istikhara prayer?

Istikhara prayer is a special prayer in Islam that is performed to seek guidance and seek Allah’s help and wisdom in making important decisions. The word “Istikhara” is derived from the Arabic root word “khair”, which means “goodness” or “benefit”. This prayer is intended to seek Allah’s guidance in matters that are uncertain or where one is unsure of the best course of action to take.

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The Istikhara prayer is a personal supplication made by an individual, in which they seek Allah’s guidance and ask Him to show them the best course of action. It is considered to be a form of consultation with Allah, seeking His divine intervention and wisdom. The purpose of this prayer is to seek clarity and insight from Allah and to ask for His guidance in making a decision.

How is Istikhara prayer performed?

The Istikhara prayer is a simple prayer that can be performed by anyone. It involves a particular supplication made to Allah, followed by two units of voluntary prayers. Here are the steps to perform Istikhara prayer:

  1. Make the intention to perform the Istikhara prayer for a specific matter or decision.
  2. Perform Wudu (ablution) to purify oneself before prayer.
  3. Offer two units of voluntary prayers.
  4. Recite the Istikhara supplication, which is as follows:
Transliteration: “Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi ilmika wa astaqdiruka bi qudratika wa as’aluka min fadlika al-‘azim. Fa innaka taqdiru wa la aqdiru wa ta’lamu wa la a’lamu wa anta ‘allamul-ghuyub. Allahumma in kunta ta’lamu anna hadha’l-amra (mention the matter) khairun li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa ‘aqibati amri, or ‘ajili amri wa’ajilihi wa fi dunyana wa ma’ashina wa’aqibina faqdurhu li wa yassirhu li thumma barik li fihi, wa in kunta ta’lamu anna hadha’l-amra sharrun li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa ‘aqibati amri, or ‘ajili amri wa ajilihi wa fi dunyana wa ma’ashina wa ‘aqibina fasrifhu ‘anni wasrifni ‘anhu waqdur liyal-khaira haithu kana thumma ardini bihi”.
Translation: “O Allah, I seek Your guidance [in making a choice] by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things. O Allah, if in Your knowledge, this matter is good for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge, this matter is bad for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it. And ordain for me the good wherever it may be, and make me pleased with it.”

After reciting the supplication, it is recommended to think about the decision or matter at hand and reflect on any feelings, signs, or guidance that Allah may provide.

It is important to note that Istikhara prayer is not a means to predict the future or to receive miraculous signs or dreams. It is a way to seek Allah’s guidance and wisdom in making a decision, and ultimately, one should trust in Allah’s infinite knowledge and wisdom.

Step 1: Finding a Quiet Place

When performing the Istikhara prayer, it is important to find a quiet and peaceful place where you can concentrate and connect with Allah. This allows you to focus your thoughts and intentions during the prayer.

It is recommended to find a secluded area where you will not be easily disturbed. This could be a corner of your home, a prayer room, or any other quiet space where you feel comfortable.

Creating a serene atmosphere can also help in maintaining concentration during the Istikhara prayer. You may want to dim the lights, light some candles or incense, or play soft instrumental music to set a calm ambiance.

Remember, the key is to find a place where you can feel at ease and peacefully connect with Allah. This will allow you to dive deep into your prayer and seek guidance through the Istikhara process.

Step 2: Seeking Guidance

Once you have performed the ablution (wudu) and are in a state of purity, you can begin the process of istikhara by seeking guidance from Allah. This step involves reciting supplications and prayers to ask for guidance in making your decision.

Here are the steps to seek guidance through istikhara:

  1. Begin by seeking refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan by reciting “A’udhu billahi min ash-shaytanir-rajim.”
  2. Follow this by reciting Surah Al-Fatihah, the opening chapter of the Quran, as it is a prayer for guidance.
  3. Next, recite the supplication for istikhara, which goes as follows: “Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi ilmika wa astaqdiruka bi qudratika wa as’aluka min fadlika, fa innaka taqdiru wa la aqdiru wa ta’lamu wa la a’lamu wa anta ‘allamu-l-ghuyub. Allahumma in kunta ta’lamu anna hadha-l-amra khairun li fi deeni wa ma’ashi wa aqibati amri, faqdirhu li wa yassirhu li thumma barik li fihi. Wa in kunta ta’lamu anna hadha-l-amra sharrun li fi deeni wa ma’ashi wa aqibati amri, fasrifhu anni wasrifni anhu waqdir liya al-khaira haithu kana thumma radini bihi.”
  4. After reciting the supplication, you can then mention the specific matter or decision you are seeking guidance for.
  5. Lastly, conclude the istikhara prayer by sending blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with the recitation of “Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala ali Muhammadin, kama sallayta ‘ala Ibrahim wa ‘ala ali Ibrahim, innaka hamidun majid.”

These steps can be performed in any language, as long as you understand the meaning and intention behind them. It is also recommended to perform two raka’ahs (units) of voluntary prayer before or after the istikhara supplication.

Remember to have a sincere and open heart when seeking guidance through istikhara. Trust in Allah’s wisdom and have faith that He will guide you towards what is best for you.

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Step 3: Making the Intention

Once you have prepared yourself for the istikhara prayer by performing the ablution (wudu) and finding a quiet and clean place to pray, the next step is to make the intention for the prayer.

Making the intention is an important part of any prayer, including istikhara. It is a mental statement of your intention to perform the specific prayer and seek guidance from Allah.

To make the intention for istikhara, you can silently say to yourself:

“I intend to perform two rak’ahs (units) of istikhara prayer seeking guidance from Allah.”

This simple statement is enough to make your intention clear and focused.

It is important to note that the intention for istikhara should be sincere and made with a pure heart, seeking guidance from Allah alone. Avoid making the intention for any other ulterior motives or seeking advice from anyone other than Allah.

After making the intention, you can proceed with the istikhara prayer by following the specific actions and recitations outlined in the previous steps.

Step 4: Performing the Prayer

1. Start with the intention

Before you begin the prayer, it’s important to have a clear intention in your heart. Make sure your intention is pure and sincere, solely seeking guidance from Allah.

2. Perform the ablution (Wudu)

Prior to praying Istikhara, you must perform the ablution (Wudu). Start by washing your hands, then rinse your mouth, nose, face, arms up to the elbows, wipe the head, and finally wash the feet up to the ankles. This purification ritual helps cleanse your body and mind, preparing you for the prayer.

3. Stand facing the Qibla

Next, find a clean and quiet place to perform the prayer. Stand facing the Qibla (the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca). Make sure your body is straight and your gaze is focused on the spot where you place your forehead during prostration.

4. Begin with the opening supplication (Takbeer)

Start the prayer by raising your hands to your ears and saying “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the Greatest). This is known as the opening supplication (Takbeer).

5. Recite Surah Al-Fatihah

Recite Surah Al-Fatihah, the opening chapter of the Quran, silently to yourself. This is a mandatory part of the prayer that sets the tone for seeking guidance from Allah.

6. Recite the additional supplication (Dua)

After reciting Surah Al-Fatihah, you can recite a specific supplication (Dua) for Istikhara. There are different versions of this supplication, but the main focus is seeking Allah’s guidance in making the right decision. You can use a prayer book or look up a reliable source for the specific supplication to recite.

7. Perform the prostration (Sujood)

After reciting the supplication, perform the prostration by placing your forehead, nose, hands, knees, and toes on the ground. This position symbolizes humility and submission to Allah’s will. Stay in this position for a few moments, focusing on your intention and seeking guidance.

8. Repeat steps 5 to 7

Repeat steps 5 to 7, reciting Surah Al-Fatihah and the supplication, followed by prostration. This can be done once or multiple times, depending on your personal preference.

9. Conclude the prayer

To conclude the prayer, turn your face towards the right and say “Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah” (Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah), then repeat the same to the left.

10. Offer a personal prayer

After performing Istikhara, it’s recommended to offer a personal prayer to Allah, asking for guidance and clarity in the matter you seek guidance for. Pour your heart out to Allah, expressing your concerns, hopes, and desires.

11. Trust in Allah’s decision

Finally, after performing Istikhara, it’s important to trust in Allah’s decision and have faith that He will guide you towards what is best for you. Remember, Istikhara is not a guarantee of a specific outcome, but rather a means to seek guidance from the Almighty.

May Allah bless you with the guidance you seek through Istikhara and grant you success in all your endeavors.

Step 5: Reflecting on Dreams and Signs

After performing the Istikhara prayer, it is important to reflect on any dreams or signs that you may have received. While dreams and signs are not guaranteed to happen, they can provide guidance and clarity regarding the decision you are seeking guidance for.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when reflecting on dreams and signs:

  1. Pay attention to your dreams: Dreams can be a way in which Allah communicates with us. If you have had any dreams after performing Istikhara, take some time to reflect on them. Consider the symbols, emotions, and overall message of the dream. While not every dream is a direct sign, it may contain valuable insights.
  2. Look for signs in your daily life: Along with dreams, signs can also come in various forms in your daily life. It could be a conversation you have, a verse from the Quran that stands out to you, or a sudden change in circumstances. Keep an open mind and be aware of any potential signs that may guide you towards the right decision.
  3. Seek guidance from a knowledgeable person: If you are unsure about the meaning of a dream or a potential sign, it is always helpful to consult with a knowledgeable person, such as an Islamic scholar or a trusted individual who has experience with Istikhara. They can provide insights and help you interpret the guidance you have received.
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Remember that interpreting dreams and signs is not an exact science, and there may be different possible interpretations. Ultimately, rely on your own understanding and intuition, while seeking the guidance and wisdom of Allah.

Step 6: Consulting with Trusted Individuals

After performing the Istikhara prayer and seeking guidance from Allah, it is also beneficial to consult with trusted individuals. These can be family members, friends, or religious scholars who have knowledge and experience in matters of guidance and decision-making.

Consulting with others can provide a new perspective and help you gain insights that you may not have considered. These individuals can offer advice based on their own experiences, knowledge, and understanding of your situation.

However, it is important to remember that the final decision rests with you, as you are the one who will be directly affected by the outcome. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with individuals who are trustworthy, sincere, and knowledgeable. Their guidance should be taken into consideration, but ultimately, you should make the decision that feels right for you.

When consulting with trusted individuals, it is important to be open and honest about your thoughts, fears, and concerns. They can provide valuable insights and support during your decision-making process. Remember to ask for their opinions, listen to their advice, and take time to reflect on their perspectives.

It is also important to keep in mind that not everyone’s advice may be beneficial or appropriate for your specific situation. Therefore, it is necessary to weigh the different perspectives and ultimately make an informed decision based on what you believe is best for you.

Lastly, it is important to maintain confidentiality and trust when consulting with others. Sharing personal information with trusted individuals should be done in a safe and secure environment. This ensures that the advice and guidance received remain private and protected.

Consulting with trusted individuals can help provide clarity and reassurance during the decision-making process. It can also offer valuable support and guidance as you navigate through the consequences and implications of your decision.

Step 7: Making a Decision

Once you have completed the Istikhara prayer and sought guidance from Allah, it is important to make a decision based on the signs you receive. Here are some steps you can take to help you make a decision:

  1. Reflect on your feelings: After performing the Istikhara prayer, take some time to reflect on your emotions and feelings. Pay attention to any gut instincts or strong inclinations you may have.
  2. Consult with others: Seek advice from trusted family members, friends, or religious scholars. Share your situation and the signs you have received during Istikhara. Their guidance and insights may help you gain clarity.
  3. Consider the pros and cons: Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of the decision you are contemplating. Assess the potential outcomes and weigh them against your personal values and goals.
  4. Pray for guidance: Continue to seek guidance from Allah through regular prayers. Ask for His guidance and wisdom in making the right decision.
  5. Follow your heart: Ultimately, trust your instincts and follow your heart. If you feel a strong connection to a particular option, it may be a sign from Allah.

Remember that Istikhara is not a magic formula that will give you a certain answer. It is a way to seek guidance from Allah and make an informed decision. Place your trust in Allah and have faith that He will guide you on the right path.

FAQ:

What is Istikhara prayer?

Istikhara prayer is a prayer performed by Muslims when they need guidance or help in making a decision. It is a way of seeking Allah’s guidance before making an important decision in life.

How do I know if I should perform Istikhara prayer?

If you are facing a decision in your life and are uncertain about what to do, it is recommended to perform Istikhara prayer. It is a way of seeking Allah’s guidance and help in making the right decision.

What is the best time to perform Istikhara prayer?

The best time to perform Istikhara prayer is during the last third of the night, just before the Fajr prayer. This is considered to be a time of peace and tranquility, and it is believed that Allah’s guidance is more easily received during this time.

How do I perform Istikhara prayer?

To perform Istikhara prayer, start by performing ablution (wudu) and finding a clean and quiet place to pray. Then, recite the Istikhara prayer (dua) and make your intention clear to Allah. After the prayer, continue to seek guidance from Allah and observe your feelings and any signs that may come your way.

What should I do after performing Istikhara prayer?

After performing Istikhara prayer, it is recommended to continue seeking guidance from Allah by observing your feelings and any signs that may come your way. You should also consult with trustworthy individuals and seek their advice before making a decision. Ultimately, trust in Allah’s guidance and make a decision based on your best judgment.