Prayer of Istikhara
Istikhara dua refers to the prayer Muslims make to Allah to seek his guidance and betterment with respect to a particular decision or task. When there is a situation that requires a choice to be made. For example, when pursuing a job, taking the marital decision or a decision whether to move to another country or not people usually take advice from experienced members of family and friends. So who could be a counselor better than the Almighty Allah?
Conditions of performing prayer
Istikhara dua is made for matters that are within the boundaries of Islam. If there is ambiguity or any uncertainty with regard to any important decision to be made and seek Allah’s guidance to help you. Conditions for performing this prayer are the same as for any other prayer. You must be in a complete state of cleanliness and purity. You must do ablution before offering two rakats of Istikhara prayer.
Method of performing prayer
First of all, you must make intention to offer two nafl rakats of Istikhara prayer. In the first rakat. Recite Surah Fateha followed by Surah Al-Kafiroon. In the second Rakat recite Surah Fateha followed by Surah Ikhlas. After completion of prayer recite the Istikhara dua in Arabic. It is most recommended that when you want your prayer to reach Allah as quickly as possible. Make sure you recite Durud shareef before and after your prayer.
Time of performing prayer
There is no particular time to offer istikhara dua. However, according to ahadith, the best time for supplication to be answered is the final third part of a night Tahajjud time. So it is evident from ahadith that to offer istikhara prayer, it is better to perform it at later stage of night. This is the time when Allah is particularly close to his people and listens to them. He likes it when his people are remembering him, supplicating to him at a time when they are supposed to be fast asleep.
Benefits of Istikhara Dua
Istikhara means to seek Allah’s guidance. It is a means of directly asking Allah for his help. There could not be an any better help than this. When a person supplicates to Allah, prays to him and seeks him Allah loves it a lot. He really likes it when his people remember him in the middle of the night. Such acts earn great rewards and blessings.
When you make a decision based on Istikhara prayer, it gives you a sense of assurance and guarantees that now whatever comes in your fate has been the verdict of Allah. So it would be in your best interest. Even if it does not seem to be in your favor, it will definitely be the best for you in the long run.
Misconceptions about Istikahara prayer
There are many misconceptions about Istikhara prayer. Many people think that it is done only for marital affairs. However, it is not true. Istikhara can be done for any purpose. It is also a misconception that Istikhara is done when a person has to make a choice only. However, it can be made for any endeavor, not necessarily involving a choice. Another misconception about Istikhara prayer is that it resolves uncertainty by showing definite signs in your dreams. This is not true. When you make Istikhara prayer, it makes conditions favorable for that thing to happen in your life which has been decided by Allah as suitable for you. Another common belief is that you need to consult religious experts to perform Istikhara for you. This is not true as anyone who has faith in Allah can reach him through Istikhara prayer. As Allah says in the Holy Quran: –
And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible. [Quran, 40: 60]
So make Istikhara prayer to seek Allah’s guidance and goodness in your life. Not only it brings that which is good for you, but it also makes you closer to Allah.