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:
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.
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.
Then you mention your need. Scholars say that it is Mustahab(recommended) to pray the salat al- Istikharah and recite the dua mentioned above. Its condition is that it be used to guide one in matters that are permissible (mubah). There is no need to perform the Istikhara prayer when it comes to the obligatory (wajib) or encouraged (mustahab), since they should be carried out, or the impermissible and disliked.
One should begin the dua by praising Allah Almighty and sending salutations (salawat) upon the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). When praying the prayer of Istikharah:
- One should recite surat al-Kafirun in the first raka’ah.
- One should recite surat al-Ikhlas in the second raka’ah.
Once a person has performed Istikharah, he may then go towards that which his heart has inclined to.
Ibn Abi Jamrah explained that the dua is combined with a ritual prayer to combine the goodness of this world with that of the next. The wording in Arabic uses several words that implore Allah and evoke His attributes, all of which add to the strength of the dua itself.
If you would like to learn to recite the dua in its original language and understand its meaning, consider enrolling in one of our many Arabic courses. Kiflayn provides Arabic language programs for all levels and all interests, from beginner and conversational Arabic, to Quranic and Classical Arabic.