Posted: 4 Rabi-ul-Awwal 1422, 27 May 2001
|Q.) What is Istikharah and what is the proper way of performing it?
A.) Istikharah is to seek guidance from Allah when one is faced with a
problem to which no solution is apparent.
Whenever a person is faced with a difficult problem, or becomes hesitant in making a
decision and his knowledge of the matter is insufficient to guide him then after seeking
advice from trusted friends he should turn to Allah and beseech His grace. He should
willingly and with an open heart and mind supplicate for divine guidance and ask for
direction so that the problem is solved in his own best interest. The du'a at such
an occasion is called Istikharah.
Istikharah is in fact an invaluable teaching of Rasulullah
with which the Muslims have been favoured. This blessing could give solace to many for all
times to come. It is related in the Hadith that Rasulullah used to teach the
Istikharah to the Sahaba, Radi-Allahu anhum, like the Qur'an is taught to children. In
another Hadith it is stated that, "He does not fail who makes Istikharah and he does
not regret who makes Mashwarah (consultation)."
In the Masnoon Istikharah, after one has carried out his responsibility as best as one
can, one should hand over the entire matter and oneself to the limitless knowledge of
Allah Ta'ala. By resorting to Istikharah one is now relieved of making a decision on his
Now there can be no perplexity. Only that will happen which Allah Ta'ala wills and
which is good for ones own sake though one may not be able to see it immediately. It is
not necessary that one must experience or see an evident change or vision. Allah Ta'ala
alone knows what is best for His servants. It is related in the Hadith that "Success
and good tidings for the son of Adam (Insan) is in performing Istikharah and his
misfortune lies in not making Istikharah."
Method Of Istikharah
When making Istikharah begin with performing two Rakats Nafl Salat. Then with all
sincerity recite the following Du'a.
Allaahumma innee astakheeruka bi ilmika wa-astaqdiruka biqudratika
wa-as'aluka min fadhlika al-adheem. Fa innaka taqdiru walaa aqdiru. Wa ta'lamu walaa
a'alamu wa anta allaamul ghuyoob. Allaahumma in kunta ta'lamu anna haadhal-amr khayrun liy
fiy deeniy wa-ma'aashiy wa-aaqibat amriy, fa'qdruhliy wa-yassirh liy thumma baarik liy
feehi. Wa in-kunta ta'lamu anna haadhal amr sharrun liy fiy deeniy wa-ma'aashiy
was-'aaqibat amriy. Fa asrifh annee wa-srif 'anhu. Wa aqdurh liyal khayr hayth kaana
thumma a-rdhiniy bihee
Translation: O Allah!! Behold I ask You the good through Your Knowledge, and ability
through Your Power, and beg (Your favour) out of Your infinite Bounty. For surely You have
Power; I have none. You know all; I know not. You are the Great Knower of all things. O
Allah! If in Your Knowledge this matter be good for my faith (Deen), for my livelihood,
and for the consequences of my affairs, then ordain it for me, and make it easy for me,
and bless me therein. But if in Your Knowledge, this matter be bad for my faith (Deen) for
my livelihood, and for the consequences of my affairs, then turn it away from me, and turn
me away therefrom, and ordain for me the good wherever it be, and cause me to be pleased
While reciting this du'a when one reaches Haadhal Amr (this matter) at
both places he should think of his problem.
May Allah guide and assist us all, Ameen.