Istikhara – The guidance prayer

Posted on March 11, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

We all have had a time in our life when we’ve had to make a decision,
at times we’ve all felt a need to get guidance, or to be shown the correct way. 
Making a decision will affect not just us but those around us, as a
consequence we may make a good or bad choice, what we
perceive as bad maybe considered good by someone else.

In these times of uncertainty there is a specific prayer for guidance
(Salat-l-Istikhara) that you can do to ask for Allah’s help in making your decision. 
Allah knows what is best for you.
It is recommended to open the dua of istikhara [below],
with praise of Allah and sending blessings on the Prophet
(Allah bless him & give him peace), and to close it in this manner, too.
Like other duas, it is recommended that one face the qibla.

It is disliked to ‘hasten’ in seeking the answer to one’s istikhara,
like other duas, because the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace)
said, “Your prayers are answered, unless you hasten, saying,
‘I prayed, but no answer came.'”

The way to perform Istikhara is to first pray two cycles of ritual
prayer [raka’] and after finishing prayer
[salam] then recite this (supplication/dua’) (it does not have to be
recited in Arabic but can be recited in your own language)

The Prophet Muhammad said, “If one of you is concerned about some
practical undertaking, or about making plans for a journey, he should
perform two cycles (rak’atain) of voluntary prayer.” 
Then he/she should say the following du’a:

Oh 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.

Oh Allah!  If in Your knowledge, (this matter/decision*) 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/decision *) 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 content with it.

Transliteration:

Allahumma inni astakheeroka bi ilmik.  Wa’astaq-diroka biqodratik. 
Wa’as’aloka min fadlikal-azeem.  Fa’innaka taqdiru wala aqdir. 
Wata lamo wala-a lam.  Wa’anta-allamul ghuyoob.

Allahumma in kunta ta lamu anna (hathal-amra*) khayul-lee fi deenee
wama ashi wa ajila amri wa’ajilah, faqdorho lee, wayassirho lee,
thomma-barik lee fih.  Wa’in konta ta lamo anna (hathal-amra*)
sharrul-lee fi deenee.  Wama ashi.  Wa ajila amri. 
Wa’ajilaho.  Fasrifho annee.  Wasrifnee anh.  Waqdur leyal-khayr haytho kan. 
Thomma ardini bih.

*When making the du’a, the actual matter or decision should be
mentioned instead of the words “hathal-amra” (“this matter/decision “).

* After doing salat-l-istikhara, you may feel more inclined toward a
decision one way or the other.  Some people report seeing dreams that
may reveal a course to follow, but it is not required to see a dream.

It is better to do istakhara seven (7) times and right after reciting
the dua, given above, sleep with ablution

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