How to Pray Istikhara – Seeking Guidance Step By Step

by | Feb 6, 2019

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Istikhara or prayer of seeking guidance. Does this ever happen to you that you prayed Istikhaara but did not see the istikhara dream? Well, the answer is it is not necessary to see a dream after Istikhara Dua.

You don’t need to get an istakhara dream or a “feeling.” Instead, in Istikhara Prayer, Allah guides you towards that which is best (Khayr) for you; If you do the prayer of seeking guidance (Istikhara) with the proper manners.

The most important of which is to consign the matter to Allah and suspend your inclinations indeed. Allah will make events unfold in the direction that is the best for your worldly and next-worldly affairs. First of all, let’s see what Istikhara and Istikhara Dua are.

How to perform Salaat al-Istikhara (Prayer of Seeing Guidance)

For the Dua of Istikhara in Arabic, download this book: Hisnul-Muslim (Book of Dua).

Reported by Jaabir ibn Abd-Allaah al-Salami (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said:

The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to teach his companions to make Istikhara in all things. Just as he used to teach them Soorahs from the Quraan. He said:

If any one of you is concerned about a decision he has to make. Then let him pray two rak’ahs of non-obligatory prayer, then say:

Istikhara Dua:

Allaahumma inni astakheeruka bi ‘ilmika wa astaqdiruka bi qudratika wa as’aluka min fadlika. Fa innaka taqdiru wa laa aqdir, wa ta’lamu wa laa a’lam, wa anta ‘allaam al-ghuyoob. Allaahumma fa in kunta ta’lamu haadha’l-amra (then the matter should be mentioned by name) khayran li fi ‘aajil amri wa aajilihi (or: fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri) faqdurhu li wa yassirhu li thumma baarik li fihi. Allaahumma wa in kunta ta’lamu annahu sharrun li fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri (or: fi ‘aajili amri wa aajilihi) fasrifni ‘anhu [wasrafhu ‘anni] waqdur li al-khayr haythu kaana thumma radini bihi

Translation of Istikhara Dua:

“O Allaah, I seek Your guidance [in making a choice] by virtue of Your knowledge. And I seek ability by virtue of Your power. And I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not. You are the Know er of hidden things. O Allaah, if in Your knowledge. This matter (then it should be mentioned by name) is good for me both in this world and in the Hereafter (or: in my religion, my livelihood and my affairs). Then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge it is bad for me and for my religion. My livelihood and my affairs (or: for me both in this world and the next). Then turn me away from it, [and turn it away from me]. And ordain for me the good wherever it may be and make me pleased with it.” [Reported by al-Bukhaari, 6841; al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah and Ahmad]

Istikhara Dream:

Many people think that after Praying Istikhara, there has to be a dream or feeling of ease in their heart. But that is not the case. Even if no such thing happens when a person has prayed Istikhara and done his best to find out what is best for him. Such as consulting people, examining the issue, and asking those who have the experience. And then he goes ahead and does it; then it is hoped that this will be best for him, even if he does not feel at ease in his heart initially. Even if we assume that he fails in this matter, he goes ahead with praying istikhara. It may be suitable for him because he does not know it, and Allah, the Most Knowledgeable, knows.

Some of us pray Istikhara and wait till we see a dream. But this is not what has been told by Prophet (P.B.U.H). The Prophet (P.B.U.H) told us to pray Istikhara and consult others, not to rely on what is seen in dreams.

When Allah makes something easy for us, after having decreed it and accepting our Du’a, this is a sign that it is good to go ahead and do it. The existence of obstacles and difficulties indicates that Allah is pushing His slave away from doing it. This meaning will be obvious when one ponders the importance of the Hadeeth of Jaabir concerning al-istikhara.

Prophet (P.B.U.H) said:

” O Allah, if You know this affair – [and here he should mention it] – is good for me in relation to my religion, my life, and end, then decree and facilitate it for me, and bless me with it. And if You know this affair to be ill for me towards my religion, my life, and end, then remove it from me and remove me from it, and decree for me what is good wherever it be and make me satisfied with such.”


Before looking into Istikhara dreams, one must know about the types of Dreams:

1. Ru’yaa – promising visions (dreams)

2. Dreams by Satan to frighten us

3. Workings of the subconscious/ imaginations

Awf ibn Malik (R.A) narrated that the Prophet (P.B.U.H) said:

Dreams of three types: some are terrifying things from the Satan, aimed at causing grief to the son of Adam. Some are things that a person is concerned with when he is awake. So he sees them in his dreams. And some are a part of the forty-six parts of Prophecy.” [Ibn Maajah, 3155]

Abu Huraira (R.A) said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“Dreams are of three types: glad tidings from Allah, what is on a person’s mind, and frightening dreams from the Satan. If any of you sees a dream that he likes, let him tell others of it if he wishes. But if he sees something that he dislikes, he should not tell anyone about it. And he should get up and pray.” [Ibn Maajah, 3154]

Istikhara Dream:

Sometimes we may be inclined towards a thing; we Pray Istikhara and see Dream about it. But one should not rely on Dreams as a dream can be the working of the subconscious too. As to what a person thinks and sees in his daily life. Plus, one cannot interpret any dream by themself. One has to seek the advice of some scholars. If we assume that the dream interpretation suggests something good, good dreams are no more than hints, but one cannot rely on them. Instead, one should try to find out and ask the concerned people in that regard as it is stated in the Ayah that explains Istikhaara:

“and consult them in the affairs. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).”


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