Cart (0)

How to Perform Istikhara Prayer: A Beginner's Guide

How to Perform Istikhara Prayer: A Beginner's Guide

by Riwaya

    Istikhara prayer is a practice that Muslims can turn to when they need help navigating through life's uncertainties. Although not mandatory, It is a highly recommended way to seek Allah's guidance and ask for the best outcome. 

    In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the steps and significance of Istikhara prayer, providing clear and easy-to-follow instructions on how to properly perform the prayer.

    If you're curious about other prayers like Taraweeh or Janazah, we've got you covered! Check out our detailed guides!

    What is Istikhara prayer?

    Istikhara prayer is a sunnah prayer consisting of two raka'at (units) with the specific intention of seeking guidance from Allah. It can be performed when facing important decisions in various aspects of life, such as marriage, career pathways, business ventures, and more.

    The word "Istikhara" itself translates to "seeking the best of affairs." By engaging in Istikhara prayer, Muslims express their desire to seek Allah's guidance on whether to proceed or withdraw from a particular matter. 

    It is a powerful practice that reminds believers of their reliance on Allah's wisdom and His ability to guide them towards what is truly beneficial for them.

    Benefits of Istikhara Prayer

    Performing Istikhara prayer offers several benefits for Muslims. Let's take a look at them:

    • Clear Mind: Istikhara prayer helps in clearing the mind, allowing individuals to focus better on the decision at hand. It eliminates distractions and creates mental clarity by seeking Allah's guidance.

    • Understanding Your True Desires: Istikhara prayer enables individuals to tap into their subconscious and better understand their true desires. It provides an opportunity to connect with oneself and gain insights into what truly matters.

    • Awareness of Consequences: By seeking Allah's guidance through Istikhara prayer, individuals become more aware of the potential outcomes, whether positive or negative, of their decision. This helps them make more informed choices.

    • Peace and Tranquility: Engaging in Istikhara prayer brings about a sense of peace and tranquility regarding the decision one is about to make. It reduces anxiety and instills trust in Allah's guidance, bringing inner calmness.

    In summary, Istikhara prayer not only helps in seeking Allah's guidance but also provides mental clarity, understanding of one's true desires, awareness of potential consequences, and a sense of peace and tranquility. By performing Istikhara prayer, believers can navigate life's uncertainties with confidence and trust in Allah's plans.

    Muslim Women Close Eyes Holding Chest While Feeling Relieved

    Conditions for Performing Istikhara Prayer

    Before seeking guidance through Istikhara prayer, there are important conditions to keep in mind. Let's break them down in simple terms:

    • Intention: When you want to make an Istikhara prayer, you should have a sincere intention. This means your desire to seek Allah's guidance should come from your heart with honesty.

    • Taking Action: While asking for guidance, it's important to also take practical steps towards your decision. Trusting in Allah's guidance doesn't mean sitting back and doing nothing. You should make efforts and take actions to help with your decision.

    • Accepting Allah's Will: Regardless of the outcome of your decision, you should willingly accept whatever Allah decides for you. Having faith in Allah's plan brings inner peace and contentment.

    • Keeping it Halal: Istikhara prayer is meant for seeking guidance in matters that are allowed in Islam. It should not be used for decisions involving haram or forbidden actions.

    • Repentance and Avoiding Wrongdoings: Before seeking guidance, it's important to seek forgiveness for any past mistakes, resolve conflicts, and stay away from earning or consuming anything haram.

    • Seeking Guidance for Anything: You can seek Allah's guidance for any matter, big or small. Trusting in Allah's wisdom can offer blessings and guidance even in unexpected ways.

    In essence, when you perform Istikhara prayer, remember to have a sincere intention, take practical steps, trust in Allah's plan, keep your decisions in line with Islam's teachings, seek forgiveness, and seek guidance for all aspects of your life. Following these simple guidelines can help you seek clarity and make better decisions with Allah's guidance.

    Muslim Making A Sincere Dua With Hands Raised Towards The Sky

    How to Pray Istikhara Prayer? (Step-by-step)

    1. Intention (Niyyah)

    Start by sincerely intending to perform the Istikhara prayer for the sake of seeking clarity and make better decisions with Allah's guidance. While it's not mandatory to say it aloud, your intention should be clear in your mind, to give you an idea: “I intend to offer two raka'at of the Istikhara prayer”.

    2. Takbeer and Recitation

    Initiate the prayer with Takbeer, saying "Allahu Akbar'' and raising your hands. Like a regular Fardh salah, recite Surah Al-Fatiha followed by Quranic verses in the two raka'at of Istikhara.

    3. Istikhara Dua (supplication)

    After completing the two raka'at prayer, end the prayer with the Salam (saying "Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah"), signifying the completion of the prayer. Then recite the Istikhara dua as taught by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The dua goes as follows:


    "اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ، وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظِيمِ، فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلَا أَقْدِرُ، وَتَعْلَمُ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ، وَأَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي، أَوْ قَالَ فِي عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ، فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي، وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي، ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ، وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي، أَوْ قَالَ فِي عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ، فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ، وَاقْدُرْ لِيَ الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ، ثُمَّ أَرْضِنِي بِهِ"


    “Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi'ilmika, wa astaqdiruka bi qudratika, wa as'aluka min fadlika al-'azim. Fa innaka taqdiru walaa aqdiru, wa ta'lamu walaa a'lamu, wa anta 'allamul ghuyub. Allahumma in kunta ta'lamu anna hadha al-amra khayrun li fi diini wa ma'ashi wa'aqibati amri (or 'ajili amri wa ajilihi) faqdurhu li wa yassirhu li thumma barik li fihi. Wa in kunta ta'lamu anna hadha al-amra sharrun li fi diini wa ma'ashi wa'aqibati amri (or fi ajili amri wa ajilihi) fasrifhu anni wasrifni anhu waqdur li al-khayra haythu kana thumma ardini bihi.”


    "O Allah! I seek Your counsel from Your knowledge and power from Your might, and I ask for Your great blessings. You are capable and I am not, You know and I do not, and You are All-knowing of the unseen (hidden). O Allah! If You know that this matter is good for me in my religion, my livelihood, and my affairs in the Hereafter, if it is better for my present and later, 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, my livelihood, and my affairs in the Hereafter, or if it is bad for my present and later, then ward it off from me and keep me away from it. Then ordain for me with whatever is good for me wherever it may be found, and help me be content with it."

    It is worth mentioning that if clarity in the matter is not achieved immediately, it is recommended to continue performing the Istikhara prayer for several days.

    How will you know the answer to your Istikhara prayers?

    After performing Istikhara prayer, it's important to remember that the answer may not come immediately, and not necessarily in the form of a dream. Instead, the outcome can manifest through various signs. 

    For instance if you feel a strong inclination or clarity towards a particular decision, it may indicate the path you should take. On the other hand, if you don't feel a clear inclination, it's essential to assess your situation and consider whether there are any obstacles or ease in proceeding or withdrawing from a matter. Allah's facilitation in our circumstances can guide us towards the best outcome from our Istikhara. As stated in the Quran:

    "And consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely upon Him."

    (Surah Ali-’Imran, verse 159)

    Muslim Women In Thoughtful Contemplation With Question Marks Around Her


    In conclusion, the Istikhara prayer is a powerful way to seek guidance from Allah during times of uncertainty. Sometimes, the answer to our Istikhara prayers may come in the form of a clear inclination or ease in proceeding with a certain decision. In other cases, it may require us to reflect on our circumstances and seek advice from trusted individuals.

    Ultimately, we should rely on Allah and have faith that He will guide us towards what is best for us. The Istikhara prayer is a reminder of our dependence on Allah and a means of seeking His mercy and blessings. May we all have the strength and wisdom to make the best decisions through Istikhara, and may Allah guide us on the path of righteousness in all aspects of our lives.

    Selling at Riwaya

    Are you a seller of Islamic products? Join the Riwaya marketplace and connect with a community of like-minded individuals passionate about promoting Islamic culture and values.

    With our platform, you can showcase your products to a global audience, expand your reach, and contribute to the growth of the Islamic marketplace. Start selling at Riwaya today and be part of a thriving community dedicated to preserving and sharing the beauty of Islam.


    Q1: What is the perfect time for Istikhara?

    Unlike the obligatory prayers with specific timings, there is no specific time for performing Istikhara. It can be done at any time except during the forbidden hours mentioned by the Prophet s.a.w. This flexibility allows individuals to seek Allah's guidance whenever they need it.

    Q2: How to know the result of Istikhara?

    The result of Istikhara is not always immediate or obvious. It requires patience and trust in Allah's wisdom. After performing Istikhara, one should pay attention to their heart's inclination and clarity, as well as consider the ease or obstacles that may arise in their circumstances. Seeking advice from trusted individuals can also provide insights.

    Q3: When should I pray Istikhara?

    Istikhara prayer can be performed whenever you are faced with an important decision and seek Allah's guidance. It is recommended before deciding, but it can still offer guidance and blessings even after a decision has been made.

    Q4: What are the benefits of Istikhara prayer?

    Istikhara prayer allows us to connect with Allah and seek His guidance, deepening our relationship with Him, it provides a sense of comfort and assurance, bringing clarity and peace of mind during times of decision-making.

    Recent Blogs

    Join Riwaya as a seller
    Unlock your business with amazing Riwaya tools and target your customers in one platform
    Join us