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What is Istikhara prayer & What is the Purpose of Salatul Istikhara 

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to make a difficult decision, but just couldn’t figure out what the right choice was? Maybe it was related to your love life, career, or any other important matter. Well, as Muslims we believe in Istikhara prayer for all our answers.

In Islam, there’s a special type of prayer called istikhara that can help you out! Istikhara dua and prayer is a way of seeking guidance from Allah (SWT) when you’re at a crossroads and need some spiritual insight. In this article, we’re going to talk about what istikhara prayer is, how it works, and how you can perform it. So, if you’re ready to learn more about this powerful tool for guidance, keep reading.

What is Istikhara Prayer

Istikhara prayers are those prayers that Muslims pray to seek guidance from Allah to make important life decisions. The one who faces a critical situation and needs guidance prays istikhara prayer. It is used when facing difficult decisions or when uncertain about the best course of action to take.

Istikhara prayer is a powerful tool that can provide spiritual insight and assistance in decision-making, whether it is related to marriage, career, or any other important matter. Istikhara prayer is known as “Salat ul-Istikhara” in Arabic.

Meaning of Istikhara Prayer

The word “istikhara” comes from the Arabic root word “khayr,” which means “goodness” or “what is best.” Istikhara, therefore, means “seeking what is best” or “seeking goodness.” In the context of prayer, istikhara refers to the act of seeking Allah’s guidance and help in making a decision. It is believed that through istikhara prayer, one can receive divine insight and direction on the best course of action to take.

The meaning of istikhara is “to seek the best of affairs”. The meaning of salat ul-istikhara is “prayer of seeking counsel”. Istikhara prayers are sunnah prayers. Muslims can offer istikhara prayer anytime except Mukrooh Aowqat.

The holy prophet (P.B.U.H) has advised Muslims to seek counsel from Allah by performing istikhara prayers. Jabir bin Abdullah said;

“The Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) used to teach us the way of doing Istikhara in all matters as he taught us the Surahs of the Quran”.

Istikhara dua

Dua istikhara is a specific supplication that is recited during the istikhara prayer. It is a prayer that seeks Allah’s guidance and wisdom in making a decision. The dua is recited after performing two rak’ahs (cycles) of optional prayer, and before making the actual supplication for guidance.

Istikhara Dua

The dua Istikhara is:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظِيمِ، فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلاَ أَقْدِرُ وَتَعْلَمُ وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتَ عَلاَّمُ الْغُيُوبِ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي ـ أَوْ قَالَ عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ ـ فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ، وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي ـ أَوْ قَالَ فِي عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ ـ فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ، وَاقْدُرْ لِي الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ ثُمَّ أَرْضِنِي ـ قَالَ ـ وَيُسَمِّي حَاجَتَهُ

Translation of Istikhara Dua

O, Allah! I seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) I seek strength, and I ask from You Your Great Blessings because You have the Power and I do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh, Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action (which I intend to do) is better for my religion and faith, for my life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for me and make it easy for me and then add blessings [baraka’] in it, for me. O, Allah! In Your Knowledge, if this action is bad for me, bad for my religion and faith, for my life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from me and turn me away from it and whatever is better for me, ordain [destine] that for me and then make me satisfied with it.

You can continue reciting dua Istikhara till you see obvious signs of the matter.

How to Pray istikhara prayer step-by-step guide:

Istikhara prayers are offered like other sunnah prayers. First you have to find a clean place to pray, perform wudu and then make up your intention to pray istikhara prayer. These are offered in two rakats as follows;

1- In the first rakat, recite surah-e-Fatiha first then recite surah al-kafirun.
2- In the second rakat, recite surah-e-fatiha then recite surah al-Ikhlas.
3- After praying two rakats, recite Istikhara dua after attahiyat.

After performing Istikhara prayer, sleep facing Qibla with ablution (wudu). In general, Istikhara should be done in seven days. But as someone receives an answer, he can stop doing Istikhara.

How to Pray istikhara prayer

When Should You Perform Istikhara Prayer

Istikhara prayer is a recommended prayer in Islam that is performed to seek guidance from Allah before making an important decision. It can be performed at any time during the day or night, but it is recommended to perform it after offering the obligatory prayers, preferably during the last third of the night.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “If any of you is deliberating about a decision he has to make, then let him pray two rak’ahs of non-obligatory prayer.” [Sahih Bukhari]

Therefore, it is suggested to perform Istikhara prayer after offering the night prayers (Tahajjud) or before going to bed at night, as this is the time when a person is most calm and focused, and is more likely to receive guidance from Allah. However, if it is not possible to perform it at night, it can be done at any other time during the day or night.

How to Know the Answer to Istikhara Prayer:

When a person sleeps after performing Istikhara prayer, if he sees something white or green in a dream, then he must understand that the decision is good and is in favor. Whereas if someone sees something in red or black then he must understand that it is not good and must avoid it.

However, if the dream doesn’t come or if someone does not remember the dream, then he must listen to his heart after performing 7 days of istikhara. It is not necessary that the person receive guidance only from dreams. However, a person can receive guidance from strong feelings as well.

If someone performs the prayer of guidance (Istikhara prayers) in proper manners and in the correct way, then Allah directs him to the best. But, if someone is not sure about the result of Istikhara in this case it is advised to repeat Istikhara.

Istikhara Prayer Can be Performed for Every Matter:

Istikhara prayer can be performed for every life matter. Whether it is a simple decision or a critical decision. It can be performed for marriage decisions, job decisions, or study-related matters. It is not required to perform Istikhara on those matters that are wajib, compulsory or are prohibited. Istikhara prayer can be performed at any time except that time in which prayers are prohibited.

Anas bin Malik is reported to have said: “When the Prophet ( P.B.U.H ) died, there was a man in Al-Madinah who used to make a niche in the grave and another who used to dig graves without a niche.

Let us call for them both and offer Istikharah to our Lord; whichever of them comes first, we will allow him to perform it, they responded. They were both summoned, and the person who made niche graves arrived first. They then created a niche grave for the Prophet ( P.B.U.H ).

Misconceptions About Istikhara Prayer:

There are certain misconceptions about Istikhara prayer that are;

1- It is often performed in marriage matters.

This is false. Istikhara prayers are performed for every matter.

2- The outcome of Istikhara only comes in dreams.

Not true, the outcome of Istikhara can be strong feelings about something, Allah opens the way to the best matter.

3- A sinful person should ask anyone else to perform Istikhara prayer on his behalf.

False, a person can perform Istikhara prayer for himself.

4- Istikhara prayer can only be performed for critical matters, not small matters.

This is a misconception. Istikhara can be performed for small as well as big decisions.

Istikhara Prayer Benefits:

  1. A person gets Allah’s help in life decisions.
  2. A person gets to know the will of Allah.
  3. It frees a person from stress, and tension and brings peace.
  4. Istikhara prayer bring a person closer to Allah.
  5. Istikhara Dua bring peace, a person does not feel fear anymore.
  6. Istikhara is a gift from Allah, as Allah directs the person in confusion through Istikhara prayer.


In this article, details about istikhara prayer is mentioned. Salat ul-Istikhara are also known as seeking guidance from Allah. These prayers are offered in times when a person makes a critical decision. These prayers are sunnah prayers.

You can offer Istikhara prayer for every life matter from general to specific. A Muslim does proper ablution to offer Salat ul-Istikhara. Istikhara dua is recited in istikhara prayer. It is often said to sleep facing Qibla after performing Istikhara. A person can get the guidance of Istikhara either by dreams, feelings or Allah directs the person.

Istikhara prayer relieve a person from every kind of stress and anxiety. Istikhara prayer can be performed for 7 days but as soon as the person receives guidance, he can stop doing Istikhara. It is a strong tool; it guides the person in all life matters.

Everything about Salat ul-Istikhara is mentioned in this article. Step by step guide about how to perform salat ul-Istikhara is also mentioned. Read this article till the end to know more about Istikhara prayers.

Istikhara prayer FAQS:

Q1. In what situations, Istikhara prayer must be offered?

Istikhara prayer can be offered in any situation. When a person feels stuck in making life decisions then he must perform Istikhara. A person can perform Istikhara for little to specific life matters.

Q2. How many times can Istikhara be performed?

Istikhara can be performed for 7 days. But as the person gets the outcome, he can stop doing Istikhara further.

Q3. At what time, Istikhara prayer should be offered?

There is no specific time for Istikhara prayer. It can be offered anytime except Mukrooh Aowqat. It is often recommended to offer Istikhara prayer before sunrise.

Q4. How many rakats are of Istikhara prayer?

There are two rakats of Istikhara prayer.

Q5. What type of prayers are Salat ul-Istikhara?

Salat ul-Istikhara is a sunnah prayer.

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