If you are ambivalent or unsure about a decision you have to make. You have to choose between two and you cannot decide. The best method is to do ISTAKHARA. Ibn Hajr said, commenting on this hadeeth:
“Istikharah is a word which means asking Allah to help one make a choice. meaning choosing the best of two things where one needs to choose one of them.”
Most people confine the concept of istikhara for purpose of marriage proposals. NO ! its not only for decision in marriage proposals. It’s for every matter in which you are facing confusion. Whether it be choosing a spouse or deciding admission in university or any other matter.
According to Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 21, Number 263:
“If anyone of you thinks of doing any job he should offer a two Rakat prayer. And those are other than the compulsory ones and say (after the prayer).”
How To Do Istikhara :
The Prophet Muhammad said,
“If one of you is concerned about some practical undertaking, or about making plans for a journey. He should perform two cycles (rak’atain) of voluntary prayer.”
Then with all sincerity recite the following Du’a :
“O Allah! I seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) I seek strength. And I ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and I do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action ————————————————
(which I intend to do) is better for my religion and faith, for my life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for me and make it easy for me and then add blessings [baraka’] in it, for me. O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action is bad for me, bad for my religion and faith, for my life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from me and turn me away from it and whatever is better for me, ordain [destine] that for me and then make me satisfied with it.”
And then recite durood, praise ALLAH (SWT) in the best possible manner, and then explain your heart to ALLAH, seek HIS help in your confusion.
Some Important Points for Istikhara :
- Istikharah is done when a decision is to be made in matters which are neither obligatory nor prohibited. So one does not need to do Istikharah for deciding whether he should go for hajj or not. Because if he is financially able to do it then hajj is obligatory and he does not have a choice.
- But Istikharah can be done in all kinds of other permissible matters where a choice needs to be made such as buying something permissible, taking a job or choosing a spouse, etc.
- It is not necessary that one sees a dream or hears a voice. As it is commonly believed that if one sees white or green color or any positive sign, it indicates that one should go in favor of the task, istikhara is done for. Or if one sees the black color or something negative, it means one should not go in the favor of matter. But this is not necessary that you see a clear sign in a dream etc. so in case if no sign is seen, just go for what your heart slightly favors for, as evident from the following hadith:
Rasulullah (SAW) once remarked
“O Anas! When you are undecided with regards to any matter, then seek counsel from your Rabb and do this seven times. Thereafter, whatever decision prevails in your heart regard it to be beneficial.” (Shaami-Vol.1, pg. 507)
- Asking another person to make Istikharah on one’s behalf is not substantiated from any hadith. To make Mashwarah (consultation) with someone else is Sunnat but handing over your tasks or duties to someone else is not. So do istikhara by yourself. Keep in mind, no one else can be interested in your matters more than you! No one else can reach the level of frequency and depth you would attain while making dua for you. And you know that the more deep and sincere supplication you do, the more are the chances of acceptance of your supplication.
In Istikhara you are basically asking ALLAH (SWT) about HIS will, you are discussing your issue with ALLAH and seeking HIS expert advice, thus you are involving ALLAH in your matter. Then there is no point in worrying if you do not see any sign or do not find any inclination in your heart. If you have done istikhara, just go on whatever seems suitable to you, the assent of ALLAH would be along with you, IN SHA ALLAH.
My tip :
Try to perform istikhara at tahajjud for better and guaranteed results.