Solat Istikharah and Doa Istikharah

by Muslim.Sg 2020-10-23 • 9 min read
Muslim.Sg is a one-stop online media platform that aims to inspire and empower millennial Muslims with powerful and engaging Islamic religious content.
2020-10-23 • 9 min read

Istikharah Dua and Prayer in English

shalat istikharah cinta

Istikharah linguistically comes from the Arabic root word ‘khayr’ which can be defined as all that is good. Therefore, the word ‘Istikharah’ means seeking the good. In making the best decisions, Muslims should seek Allah’s guidance in all matters because He, the All-Knowing, knows exactly what is good and best for His servants.

 وَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰ أَن تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ.

“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.”

(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:216)

We seek guidance in making the right decisions for all matters including marriage and work. Whether they are big or small, our Prophet s.a.w. encouraged us to pray Istikharah. 

Therefore, in the religious legal term, Istikharah is defined as a two rakaat sunnah prayer that is performed to seek guidance from Allah s.w.t. whether to choose something or to leave it.

Timing of Solat Istikharah

Istikharah is a two rakaat sunnah (voluntary) prayer that can be performed at any time of the day. The premise of the allowed time to pray, however, does not include the following exceptions:

  1. During sunrise until it reaches high (about 20 mins after sunrise)
  2. After performing the Subuh prayer until the sun has completely risen and reached high (about 20 mins after sunrise) 
  3. During meridian contact until the sun goes beyond it
  4. During sunset until the sun has completely set below the horizon
  5. After performing the Asar prayer until the sun has completely set below the horizon

No. 1, 3 and 4 constitute the point of prohibition to the phases of time itself while no. 2 and 5 constitute it upon the act of praying (Subuh and Asar respectively). The sunnah prayer of Istikharah and likewise other sunnah prayers are not allowed to be prayed in the mentioned point of time above. 

Etiquette of making Doa Istikharah

solat istikharah doa

After performing the Istikharah prayer, one is encouraged to pray the Dua of Istikharah. Like other duas, it is recommended to face the qiblah and read the Dua of Istikharah by praising Allah and sending blessings (selawat) upon the Prophet s.a.w. Afterwards, it is also best to close the Dua in the same manner as well.

Why we recite Dua Istikharah

solat sunat istikharah

As Muslims, we believe in Allah’s wisdom and power and that He s.w.t. alone knows what is best for us in this world and the Hereafter. We are taught to ask for guidance and blessings from Allah s.w.t. who has power over all things and encompasses all things in His knowledge. 

On top of that, we must also put in the right efforts, such as making the right decisions by looking into the prospect of things and by consulting and seeking advice from others.

istikharah how to pray

Also part of the process is to pray Istikharah which is widely encouraged by the Prophet s.a.w. as narrated in Sahih Al-Bukhari:

كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُعَلِّمُنَا الاِسْتِخَارَةَ فِي الأُمُورِ كَمَا يُعَلِّمُنَا السُّورَةَ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ يَقُولُ ‏ "‏ إِذَا هَمَّ أَحَدُكُمْ بِالأَمْرِ فَلْيَرْكَعْ رَكْعَتَيْنِ مِنْ غَيْرِ الْفَرِيضَةِ"

The Prophet s.a.w. used to teach us the way of doing Istikharah in all matters as he taught us the chapters of the Quran. He said, “If anyone of you is deliberating about a decision he has to make, then let him pray two Rak'ahs of non-obligatory prayer, then say” (pray the following):

Dua Istikhara with transliteration

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ

Allāhumma innī astakhīruka bi-'ilmika, Wa astaqdiruka bi-qudratik

وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظِيمِ

Wa as-aluka min fadlikal-’azīm

فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلاَ أَقْدِرُ وَتَعْلَمُ وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتَ عَلاَّمُ الْغُيُوبِ

Fa-innaka taqdiru Wala aqdiru, Wa ta'lamu Wala a'lamu, Wa anta 'allāmul-ghuyūb

اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي

Allāhumma in kunta ta'lamu anna hāz-al-amra khairun lī fi dīnī wa ma'āshī wa'āqibati amrī

فِي عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ

Fī 'ājili ‘amrī wa-ājilih

فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ

Faqdurhu-lī wa yassirhu-lī thumma bārik-lī fīhi

وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي

Wa in kunta ta'lamu anna hā-zal-amra sharrun lī fī dīnī wa ma'āshī wa'āqibati amrī

فِي عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ 

Fī 'ajili amrī wa-ājilih

فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ

Fas-rifhu ‘annī wasrif-nī ‘anhu

وَاقْدُرْ لِيَ الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ ثُمَّ أَرْضِنِي بِهِ

Waqdur lī al-khaira haithu kāna, thumma ardinī bihi.

Dua istikharah translation

O Allah! I ask guidance from Your knowledge and power from Your might,

And I ask for Your great blessings,

You are capable and I am not, You know and I do not, and You are all-knowing of the unseen (hidden),

O Allah! If You know that this matter is good for me in my religion, my livelihood and my affairs in the Hereafter,

If it is better for my present and later,

Then ordain it for me and make it easy for me, and then bless it for me, 

And if You know that this matter is harmful (bad) for me in my religion, my livelihood and my affairs in the Hereafter,

Or if it bad for my present and later,

Then ward it off from me and keep me away from it.

 Then ordain for me whatever is good for me wherever it may be found, and help me be content with it.

Signs of response after Istikharah prayer

After performing the Istikharah, we put our trust that Allah s.w.t will help us by strengthening our hearts to make the best decision. However, it is not necessary that we will be given a dream or vision. We may be instilled with more confidence to either choose one or the other in choosing what’s best. 

If there is still no inclination felt in the heart, other signs also include looking at the circumstances; if it is better to delay it, or if the situation seems to be eased or on the contrary, against it. 

For some, the result from their Istikharah is not as clear as what others might experience. It is important to consult others and the people we trust. However, we do not rely upon all these efforts per se. They are indeed necessary and are part of the process of seeking guidance. Instead, we rely upon Allah s.w.t. This can be seen in the following verse:

وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِى ٱلْأَمْرِ ۖ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ

“Consult with them in (conducting) matters. Once you make a decision, put your trust in Allah. Surely Allah loves those who trust in Him.”

(Surah Ali-’Imran, 3:159)

May Allah s.w.t. provide us with courage and wisdom to make the best decisions and guide us throughout our journey in this world.

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