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The Proper Way How to do Istikhara in Islam

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Istikhara pray (salat Al-Istikharah) is 2 rakaat praying which is non obligatory pray (Sunah) to most moslems. They usually do the prayer for asking the guidance from Allah, which deciding the choice of a matter of Moslem’s life including work life problems, choosing future mate / spouse, etc. Some of single moslems perform istikhara pray for finding the right spouse as well be offered for Nafl (optional) and Mustahab (preferable) actions.


Istikhara (in Arabic) means asking Allah to guide a man (the prayer) to the right thing concerning any affair in someone’s life. As quoted in Qur’an, 3: 159

So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah . Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him]

The Quran above mentioned of some people which has a plan to do affairs in their life such as work, journey, etc., they should consult to others in order to have the best course in their affair then rely on Allah (swt) when they decide by performing Istikhara pray.

Narrated by Jabir Ibn. Abd-Allah al Salami about Istikharah pray:

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to teach his companions to make Istikharah in all things, just as he used to teach them Surahs from the Qur’an. He (Prophet Mohammed) said: ‘If any one of you is concerned about a decision he has to make, (or in the version narrated by Ibn Mas’ood as: ‘if any one of you wants to do something…) then let him pray two rak’ahs of non-obligatory prayer and pray (after the Salah)

When Istikhara pray and recitation, a moslem should be sincere whataver the God will guide to decide and get rid high expectation about the decision, because Allah has already known what is the best for a person. By Istikhara pray, Allah will help a moslem define a decision that may good for him/her, whether likely a moslem rather does not prefer the desicion. It is quoted in a Qur’an 2:216 (Al-Baqara):

Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not

Best Time Performing Istikhara Pray

When should we perform istikhara pray? All moslem who need guidance from Allah by istikhara pray may do the pray anytime after obligatory pray time, whether at the day or night. However, the best time doing Istikhara pray is one third of the night or in the middle of the night after Isha pray mostly start around 1 am to Subh praying time, since Moslems can perform Salat Al-Istikharah with tranquility (kusho). It is recommended to perform Salat Al-Istikharah to 7 times until a moslem decide the choice steadily, then perform ibadat besides praying such as non-obligatory fasting, donation to poverties, recite istighfar.

Steps Performing Istikhara Pray

Meanwhile, to do Istikharah pray according Islam rules, there are some steps that you must follow, such as:

1. Ablution (Wudlu)

As performing the obligatory praying (5 times praying), before performing Salat , a moslem perform ablution (Wudhu) firstly since the body must be in a clean and pure condition before performing Moslem’s activity (ibadat).

2. Perform Tahajjud Pray

It is recommend perform 2 rakaat tahajjud pray before performing Istikhara pray (if istikhara performed in the middle of the night after Isha pray).

3. Recite Intention of Praying

Usallii sunnatal-istikhaarati rak’ataini lillaahi ta’aalaa

I intend doing salat sunnah (non-obligatory pray) Istikhara for two rakaat, because of Allah ta’aalaa”. Then, it is perform at the beginning of the pray before takbiratul ikhram (Allahu Akbar) steps.

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4. Quran Reciting at First Rakaat

After recite intention for Istikhara pray, then conduct takbiratul ikhram, followed with reciting Al-Fatikha. It is in every rakaat we begin with surah Al-Fatikha followed the Surah in Qur’an (probably some short Surah or only quoting 2 surah). Al Fatikha is the opening of the quran and sometimes it is called the mother of Quran:

Bismillaah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem
Al hamdu lillaahi rabbil ‘alameen
Ar-Rahman ar-Raheem Maaliki yaumid Deen
Iyyaaka na’abudu wa iyyaaka nasta’een
Ihdinas siraatal mustaqeem
Siraatal ladheena an ‘amta’ alaihim
Ghairil maghduubi’ alaihim waladaaleen

In the name of God, the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful.
Praise be to God, Lord of all the worlds.
The Compassionate, the Merciful. Ruler on the Day of Reckoning.
You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help.
Guide us on the straight path,
the path of those who have received your grace;
not the path of those who have brought down wrath, nor of those who wander astray.

After recite Al- Fatikha in first rakaat, it is recommended to recite Al-Kaafirun as the short Surah followed by reciting Qur’an 28:68-69 (Al Qasas) 7 times:

And your Lord creates what He wills and chooses; not for them was the choice. Exalted is Allah and high above what they associate with Him. And your Lord knows what their breasts conceal and what they declare

Then followed by bowing down (ruku’ ) and prostration, then to be continued into second rakaat.


5. Second Rakaat

As the first rakaat, after doing prostration (sujud), then get up and start with takbiratul ihram again. Then it is followedby reciting Al-Fatihah. It is recommended to recite Al- Ikhlaas after reciting Al-Fatiha followed by reciting ayah Quran 33:36 (Al-Ahzab) 7 times:

It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error

6. Reciting Istikhara Dua after salat

After completed 2 rakaat Istikhara pray, then continue to recite Istikharah Du’a as quoted below:

Allaahumma inni astakheeruka bi ‘ilmika wa astaqdiruka bi qudratika wa as’aluka min fadlika, fa innaka taqdiru wa laa aqdir, wa ta’lamu wa laa a’lam, wa anta ‘allaam al-ghuyoob. Allaahumma fa in kunta ta’lamu haadha’l-amra (then the matter should be mentioned by name) khayran li fi ‘aajil amri wa aajilihi (or: fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri) faqdurhu li wa yassirhu li thumma baarik li fihi. Allaahumma wa in kunta ta’lamu annahu sharrun li fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri (or: fi ‘aajili amri wa aajilihi) fasrifni ‘anhu [wasrafhu ‘anni] waqdur li al-khayr haythu kaana thumma radini bihi

In English Translation:

O Allaah, 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 Allaah, if in Your knowledge, this matter (then it should be mentioned by name) is good for me both in this world and in the Hereafter (or: in my religion, my livelihood and my affairs), then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge it is bad for me and for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs (or: for me both in this world and the next), then turn me away from it, [and turn it away from me], and ordain for me the good wherever it may be and make me pleased with it.”

After recite the Istikhara Pray above, the prayer should sleep with ablution firstly(wudlu before sleeping), sleeping with facing qibla (it is not obligatory (Sunnat) but recommended by our beloved Prophet Peace Be Upon Him).  It is better to recite salutations ( salawat) on the Prophet Allah’s Grace (PBUH) before and after supplicati9on of Istikhara Pray.

Supporting Istikhara Pray

In order gaining the guidance from Allah smoothly and may the decision is good for the prayer, the prayer should perform the following ibadat beside performing istikhara pray, such as:

  1. Non Obligatory Fasting before performing Istikhara pray.
  2. Performing more sadaqa, give lots of charity as much as you can, because it helps push away the hardship.
  3. Recite more Istighfar.
  4. Good intention in performing istikhara pray.
  5. If the moslem still in doubt, then it is recommended to continue istikhara pray to gain the best decision.

The istikhara pray intend for the one who is in a state of confusing and seek a guidance from Allah in deciding his/her affair for instance: finding a better spouse (for single Moslems), deciding which best job should he/she take whenever there are some alternative jobs, what steps will he / she takes and many of world’s affairs (dunya).

Hopefully, this article will give any information to everybody, especially for moslems,who need article of istikhara pray.

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