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How do you pray Istikhara?

How do you pray Istikhara?


Urgent; how exactly do you pray istikhara?

Salaam alykum,

I do not study the issues of Ibadat (religious rituals) in which this question emerges, I will simply refer you to the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Dr. Ali Gomaa, who has written on this subject.

The regulations surrounding Istikhara were taught by The Prophet, with the most direct Hadith found in Bukhari, which is as follows:

Jaber ibn Abdullah narrates that The Prophet said: “If any of you intends to undertake a matter he should offer a voluntary two rak’a prayer and say, ‘O God! I seek Your guidance from Your knowledge and strength by Your might and I ask for Your great blessings for indeed You are able and I am not; You know and I do not and You are the Knower of the unseen. O God! If You know that this matter is good for me in my religion, life, and the Hereafter (or say, if it is better for my present and later needs) then decree it for me, facilitate it and bless me with it. And if You know that this matter is harmful to me in my religion, life, and Hereafter (or say, ‘if it is worse for my present and later needs), then keep it away from me and keep me away from it, and decree for me what is good wherever it be and make me satisfied with it.’ Then the Prophet said: ‘And then mention your need.”

For the transliteration of the Dua:

Allahumma inni astakheeroka bi ilmik. Wa’astaq-diroka biqodratik. Wa’as’aloka min fadlikal-adhim. Fa’innaka taqdiru wala aqdir. Wat’a 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 deene. Wama ashi. Wa ajila amri. Wa’ajilaho. Fasrifho annee. Wasrifnee anh. Waqdur leyal-khayr haytho kan. Thomma ardini bih.

Grand Mufti Gomaa underlines that you should not offer these prayers during obligatory prayers and only during times which are permitted to offer such prayers.

He closes by saying that “Istikhara prayer has no manifest results; rather, it is entrusting the matter to Allah Almighty. If it is good Allah will facilitate it, otherwise He will keep it away from you, and compensate you with what is better and make you satisfied with it.”

I hope this helped, insha Allah, but I’d like to underline that questions of Ibadat (religious rituals) are not my specialization and that I would suggest you go to your local Imam, if possible, and that asking me questions on these issues should only occur if you do not have any other option, as again, this is not what I have studied.

I pray this reaches you and your families in the best of health and Iman, insha Allah.

For further reading, please refer to these two Fatwas from Dar Al-Ifta Al-Missriyyah on the matter of Istikhara:

Istikhara prayer (seeking a choice) and its results

What are the expected signs after Istikharah prayer?

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