Sunday, May 19, 2024

Proper Procedure For Istikhara

Istikhara means “to seek the best of circumstances.” It is a two-raka’at Sunnah prayer with the intention of seeking guidance from Allah SWT on whether to proceed or withdraw from the matter. It could be about marriage, career paths, business, or anything else. The Sunnah Istikhara prayer, like all Sunnah prayers, is performed in two raka’at.

To begin, establish the niat (intention) as follows: “I intend to pray the Sunnah Istikhara prayer, two raka’at, for Allah s.w.t.”

Second, say the Takbir (Takbiratul-Ihram) and pray two raka’at.

After concluding the prayer with Salam, invoke Allah SWT with the adab of making a Dua. As taught by our Prophet Muhammad s.a.w, read the following Dua:

“Allahu Akbar! I seek Your wisdom from Your knowledge, Your power from Your might, and Your great blessings, because You are capable and I am not, You know and I do not, and You are All-knowing of the unseen (hidden).

Allahu Akbar! If You know that this matter is good for my religion, livelihood, and future affairs, if it is better for my present and future, then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me.

And if You know that this matter is harmful (bad) for me in my religion, livelihood, and future affairs, or if it is bad for my present and future, then keep it away from me. Then decree for me whatever is good for me wherever it may be found, and assist me in being content with it.”

The Prophet then instructed the individual to name (mention) his need.

(Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Appropriate time to pray Istikhara:

Unlike the five obligatory prayers, which each have their own set time, Solat Istikhara has no set time. You may perform it at any time of day, except during the following hours:

1. Following the Subuh prayer until sunrise

2. From the time the sun reaches its meridian until it passes it (about 5 minutes before Zuhur)

3. Following the Asar prayer until sunset

How will we know if our Istikhara prayers have been answered?

Please keep in mind that the answer may not come immediately after performing the Sunnah Istikhara prayer. If there is more conviction or clarity on a particular path, we should take it. Not all answers come in the form of manifested results or dreams.

If no inclination is felt in the heart, we should examine our affairs and determine whether there is an ease or an obstacle to proceeding or perhaps withdrawing accordingly. Our life circumstances can be a part of Allah’s facilitation in providing us with the best of outcomes from our Istikhara.

For some, the outcome of their Istikhara is not as clear as it is for others. It is critical to consult with others and people we trust. However, we do not rely solely on these efforts. They are, in fact, required and are part of the process of seeking guidance.

Mehjabeen Qasim
Mehjabeen Qasim
Business Journalist at Startup Pakistan

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