Du’a of Istikharah

A common question is how to perform Istikhara or Istakhara, the prayer of asking Allah’s help in making a decision or asking Allah to make easy a decision you are making. Is it a prayer or a supplication: 

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has said in a Hadith related by Bukhari: “When one of you intends to do anything, he should perform 2 rak’ahs of voluntary(Nafl) prayer and then say: 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 فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ، وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ، وَاقْدُرْ لِي الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ ثُمَّ أَرْضِنِي بِهِ. Allahumma innee astakheeruka bi ilmika wa-astaqdiruka biqudratika wa-as’aluka min fadhlika al-adheem. Fa innaka taqdiru walaa aqdiru. Wa ta’lamu walaa a’alamu wa anta allaamul ghuyoob. Allahumma in kunta ta’lamu anna haadhal-amr khayrun liy fiy deeniy wa-ma’aashiy wa-‘aaqibat amriy, faqdur hu liy wa- liy thumma baarik liy feehi. Wa in-kunta ta’lamu anna haadhal amr sharrun liy fiy deeniy wa-ma’aashiy wa-‘aaqibat amriy. Fa asrifhu ‘annee wa-srifni ‘anhu. Wa aqdur lial khayra haythu kaana thumma a-rdhiniy bihee.  O Allah, I seek guidance from You through Your knowledge; I seek strength through You from Your Power, and I implore You through Your immense grace. For You have power and I have no power, You know and I do not know, and You are the Knower of all unseen things. O Allah, if You know that this matter is good for me in my religion, my livelihood and my ultimate destiny, then ordain it for me, make it easy for me and bless me in it. But if You know that this matter is bad for me in my religion, my livelihood and my ultimate destiny, then turn it away from me and me away from it and decree good for wherever it may be, then make me pleased with it. Then you mention your need. The scholars say that it is Mustahab(recommended) to pray the salah al Istikharah and recite the du’a mentioned above. One should begin the du’a by praising Allah Almighty and sending salutation (salawat) upon the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). When praying the prayer of Istikharah:
  • One should recite surah al Kafiroon in the first raka’ah.
  • One should recite Surah Ikhlas in the second raka’ah.
Once a person has performed Istikharah, he may then go towards that which his heart has inclined to.