THE SALAAH OF ISTIKHAARAH
When a person wishes to carry out some important work, guidance should be sought from Allah Ta’aala. This seeking of guidance is called ISTIKHAARAH. Nabi (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) has mentioned that a person who does not seek guidance from Allah Ta’aala and does not carry out Istikhaarah is deprived of all good and is unfortunate. InshAllah there will be no regret if Istikhaarah is made before accepting a proposal for marriage, travel, important business or any other important task.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to teach his companions about it the same way he used to teach them the verses of the Holy Qur’an. The companion Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (PBUH) used to strongly encourage us to practice Istikhaarah for all our affairs.
Method of Istikhaarah:
The manner of performing this prayer is that the person performs a Nafl prayer of two Rak’aats at anytime during the day or night. Thereafter, he praises Allah by saying “ALHAMUDU LILLAH”.Thereafter recites the Durood upon Nabi (Sallallaahu alaihe wa Sallam). Upon completing this, the person then recites a private supplication in which he/she seeks the guidance of Allah. This goes as follows:
“ALLAHUMMA INNI ASTAKHYIRUKA BI’ILMIKA WA ASTAQDIRUKA BI QUDRATIKA WA ASALUKA MIN FADHLKA-AL-AZIM, FA INNAKA TAQDIRU WALAA AQDIRU WATA’LAMU WALAA A’LAMU, WA ANTA ‘ALLAMUL-GUYYUB. ALLAHUUMA IN KUNTA TA’LAMU ANNA HADHALAMRA
(Here the person makes mention of the matter for which guidance is sought, i.e., “should I move, take that job, marry her, etc.”).KHEIRUN LEE FII DINII WAMA’AASHII WA’AAQIBATA AMRII FAQDURHU LII, WA YASSIR-HU LII THUMMA BAARIK LII FIIHI, WAIN KUNTA TA’ LAMU ANNA HADHAL-AMRA(also at this point the person makes mention of the matter for which guidance is sought) SHARRUN LEE FII DINII WA MA’AASHII WA’AAQIBATA AMRII, FASRIFHU ‘ANNII WASRIFNII ‘ANHU WAQDUR LEE YAL-KHAIRA HEYTHU KANA THUMMA ARDHINI BIHII.”
“O Lord, I seek your guidance, through Your knowledge and power; and I ask You of Your great bounties; for Your decree and I do not decree; and You know and I know not; You are the Knower of invisible things. O Lord, if You know that this matter (here the person makes mention of the matter for which guidance is sought, i.e., “should I move, take that job, marry her, etc.”), is of benefit to me in my religion, in my livelihood and in its outcome, decide it for me and make it easy for me and then bless it for me. And if You know that this matter (here again the person makes mention of the matter for which guidance is sought) is bad for me in my religion, in my livelihood, and in its outcome, turn it from me and divert me from it and decree good for me wherever it may be and make me pleased with it.”
Having sought Allah’s guidance as above, the person then resumes his/her routine affairs and waits for the due response from Allah. This can appear to the person by way of the feeling you have in your heart about the matter of either confidence or further indecision. Thus, when you feel in your heart a sense of vigor, optimism or confidence about the intended undertaking, you may construe this as a positive response from Allah (swt) and may accordingly proceed forward with the intended undertaking. If, on the other hand, the opposite is true and your sense of doubt or worries have not cleared, then you may want to avoid the proposed undertaking as it could mean a bad outcome.
Allah (swt) says: “…It is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you may love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth and you know not.” (Qur’an 2:216)
Indeed the essence of this prayer is to test someone’s trust in Allah, hence, they need to abide by the guidance of Allah whether it means pursuing or abandoning the intended undertaking.
Allah also says:
“…and if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is Allah for him. For verily Allah surely accomplishes His purpose: Verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.” (Qur’an 65:3)
Upon reciting the DUA, think of the reason and work for which Istikhaarah is being made. Thereafter, sleep on clean bedding with Wudhu facing the qiblah.
One should not make Istikhaarah for performing a Farz duty of should I perform Hajj or not. Istikhaarah should rather be made to determine the time of travel for Hajj e.g. When should I travel for Hajj?
It should rather be done: If a person has committed any sin perform. And after the Salaah and Dua should seek Allah’s pardon by a firm pledge saying: Oh Allah! I shall not commit this sin again. Oh Allah! forgive me.
By the grace of Allah Ta’aala the sin will be forgiven.