Istikhara is an Islamic tradition which is rooted in a culture of Muslims. If you either confused about making a decision between two choices then Istikhara is the best method to do. In many cases, people make mistake while doing Istikhara for having a different meaning that it truly does.

What does Istikhara mean?

Istikhara is from the Arabic root ‘Khyr' and it just ‘asking for what is good'. The word Istikhara directly means to ask ALLAH to guide one to the right sort of action concerning marriage, business, job or any deed. Most people limit the concept of Istikhara with marriage proposals but it is not true.

The concept of Istikhara:

Istikhara is for everything whether it should be choosing a wife, deciding admission to University, starting a business or other matter. People sometimes think of their dreams, as answers from ALLAH. However, in many cases dreams consist of our thoughts and ambition. We are taught from childhood to ask ALLAH for a suitable life partner. So, it is important to do Istikhara at time of marriage. One must remember Istikhara is not only limited to marriage proposals but one can do it for other purposes. In Istikhara you are actually asking ALLAH (SWT) about HIS will, you are discussing an issue with ALLAH and seeking HIS expert advice.

Importance of Istikhara:

We want so many things for us in life but ALLAH knows better what is more suitable for us. Istikhara is guidance from ALLAH that what to choose and what to not. "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 powerful tool given to us for seeking the guidance of ALLAH in all matters. The best and main reward of this prayer is that a person becomes close to ALLAH. We should not delay in Istikhara before making any decision whether it's big or small. Istikhara is a great form of prayer, which not only results in ALLAH's guidance but also purifies our heart and soul. You can perform it for everything. It offers a finest answer no matter it is related to a world or religious life.

How to perform Istikhara?

It is always good to perform Istikhara by yourself in every difficult situation of choices. If you don't know how to perform Istikhara read this article. You have to Make Wudu and you should be in a state of cleanliness and hygiene. Make sure to concentrate on your prayer and avoid noise and distractions around you. Here are all instructions of how to perform istikhara online: One has to do Niyat for performing Salatul Istikhara and perform following steps:
  • Perform 2 Rakat of Prayer
  • In first Rakat recite Surah Kafiroon
  • In second Rakat recite Surah Ikhlas
  • (Rest of the prayer performed as you would normally)
  • Read the Dua for Istikhara
People usually believe that Nafil prayer should be read after Isha prayer because one can go to sleep directly. However, there is no specific time for this prayer. But the third part of the night is the best time for this prayer and fulfillment of one's Dua. Sometimes a person once gets an answer while sometimes it takes longer. It is better to do Istikhara for seven days. If you received answer, stop doing Istikhara.

Important points about Istikhara:

  • Istikhara is done when a decision is to be made in matters whether you select the option or not. So one never do Istikhara for Hajj or not. If he is financially able to do it then Hajj is obligatory.
  • Istikhara can be done for any choice like taking a job, selecting a marriage proposal or others. People believe that Istikhara is only for major decisions and not small matters but it is wrong.
  • It is not about having a dream. Istikhara is asking ALLAH for guidance. Because one did not have a dream, a sign, doesn't mean it didn't work.
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