Khalid Zaheer
“I am convinced about the veracity of my opinions, but I do consider it likely that they may turn out to be incorrect. Likewise, I am convinced about the incorrectness of the views different from mine, but I do concede the possibility that they may turn out to be correct.” — Imam Shafa’i
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Procedure and supplication of Istikhara

Question:
If you please kindly brief me with the procedure that how an Istikhara is performed and under what condition one is allowed to do it ?

Response:
If you are in a situation in which you are not sure whether the possibility you are considering is likely to be good for you, you can resort to istikhara and seek Allah Almighty's help in enabling you to take the right decision. From the wordings of the prescribed supplication (du'a) of istikhara, which the prophet, alaihissalaam, taught his companions, the following things seem to emerge:

1. Istikhara has to be done by the person who is seeking guidance from the Almighty. No body else should do it for him/her.

2. There is neither a guarantee nor is it desirable that the one who does istikhara would see a dream that would show him/her the solution to the problem he/she is seeking advice in. In fact, the more likely and desirable thing to happen is that on sincere and repeated mention of the prayer of istikhara, the Almighty through His Grace would make the conditions conducive for the option that is advisable for the individual and his/her own inner inclination would also start tilting towards it.

3. Although there is no definite way of making the istikhara prayer except to continue to repeat it whenever one gets the opportunity, it is desirable that one does it at the end of a Salat (formal prayer).

The following is a transliteration and translation of the prayer of istikhara. Read it for the purpose you have in mind and concentrate on the meanings while doing it.



Allaahumma inni astakheeruka [O Allah I seek Your blessings] bi'ilmika [through Your knowledge] wastaqdiruka biqudratika [and I seek Your help through Your might] wa as'aloka min fadlikal'azeem [and ask your help through Your immense grace] fa innaka taqdiru [as You have all the power] wa laa aqdiru [and I have no power] wa ta'lamu wa laa 'alamu [and You know everything and I know nothing] wa anta 'allaamul ghuyuub [and you are the knower of everything hidden]

Allahaumma [O Allah] in kunta ta'lam [if in Your knowledge] anna haazal amra khairun li [this matter is good for me] fi diini [for my religion] wa dunyaya [my worldly considerations] wa 'aaqibati amri [and the perspective of the eventual outcome of my matters] faqdirhu li [then make it possible for me] wa yassirhu li [and make it easier for me] thumma baarik li fihi [thereafter grace me with Your blessings in it]

Wa in kunta ta'lam [and if in Your knowledge] annahu sharrun li [that it is bad for me] fi diini [for my religion] au dunyaya [my worldly considerations] au 'aaqibati amri [or the perspective of the eventual outcome of my matters] fasrifhu 'anni [then take it away from me] wa sarrifni 'anhu [and take me away from it] wa qaddir liyalkhaira [and arrange goodness for me] haithu kaana [where ever it is] thumma radhdhini bihi [then make me content with it]

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