Istikhara means “directly ask Allah to guide one to do the right action concerning to some deed in which there could be a job, marriage decision and some others includes.” Or we can say “asking Allah to guide us to the good or right answer” is Istikhara. This prayer is a very important volunteer prayer and it was a Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to do this when he needed Allah’s (SWT) guide towards an action.
Importance of Istikhara
We want so many things for us in our life which we think are good for us but Allah knows better what is more suitable for us. If we have to choose between two options for us then it will be better to do Istikhara. Istikhara is guidance from Allah that what to choose and what to not. So it is better to take advice from Allah (SWT) then just take a random choice and goof up something.
“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 Baqrah 2:216).
Salat ul-Istikhara is a powerful tool that has given us to ask His guidance in all matters. We should not delay in Salatul Istikhara before making any choice in our lives, whether it’s big or small. Importance of Istikhara could be known from below mentioned Hadith:
“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 Allah, 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.” (Bukhari)
Way To Perform Istikharah: First pray Two Cycles (raka’) of ritual Prayer (nafil) such that in the first raka’ after Surah Fatiha (Allhamd…) recite Surah al-Kafirun (Chapter 109) and in the second raka’ after Fatiha (Allhamd…) recite Surah al-Ikhlas (Chapter 112). After finishing prayer recite this (supplication/dua’): Dua in Arabic Text above.