Benefits From al-Istikharah Prayer – Compiled & translated By Abbas Abu Yahya

Compiled & translated By Abbas Abu Yahya

Jabir bin Abdullaah –RadhiAllaahu anhu- said the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam used to teach us al-Istikharah (a prayer said for seeking blessings in carrying out a decision) for all matters, just like he used to teach us a chapter from the Qur’aan, he would say: If any of you intends to undertake a matter then he should pray two Rakah other than an obligatory prayer then he should say

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 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

O Allaah I request of You with Your knowledge, and by Your Power I seek capability, and I ask of you of your great favour, since indeed You are the One who is able while I am not, and You know and I do not, and You are the One who knows the unseen. O Allaah if You know that this matter – here he mentions his need – is good for me in this world and for my living and for the matters of my Hereafter – or he said, for my affairs now and the future – then decree it for me and make it easy for me and bless it for me. And if You know that this matter is evil for me in this world and for my life and for the matters of my Hereafter – or he said, for my affairs now and the affairs of my future – then turn it away from me and turn me away from it, and decree goodness for me where ever it may be and make me pleased with it.

[Taken from: ‘Kalimah Tayyib’ by Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah p.115, collected by Bukhari (d.256 A.H.)]

Benefits:

1- Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah (d.728) -Rahimullaah- said :

‘The one who seeks guidance from the Creator and he consults the creation and is firm in his issue, will not have any regret.

Allaah Ta’ala said:

<< and consult them in the matter. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allaah, certainly, Allaah loves those who put their trust (in Him). >> [3:159]

Qatada -Rahimullaah- said: ‘There are not a people who consult over an issue desiring the Face of Allaah except that they are guided to what leads them to their matter.’

[Hadeeth Salaatul – al-Istikharah by Dr. Aasim Qurutee p.50 ]

[The Connection with Tawheed]

2 – Shamsuddeen Muhammad bin Abee Bakr Ibn Qayyim aj-Jawzeeyah (d.751) -Rahimullaah- said:

‘Allaah compensated the Muslims by giving them this supplication, which is Tawheed,and it is being in need of Allaah, servitude of worship, reliance upon Allaah, asking the One in whose Hand is all goodness, Who Alone can turn away evil.

He Alone who, if He opens up Mercy for His slave then there is none who can seclude a person from that mercy, and if He (Allaah) withholds it then none can send mercy to a person whether it is using omens, astrology or lucky stars.

This Dua’ is the good fortune for the happy person, it is good fortune for the people of happiness and success, those for whom Allaah gave them happiness before, and it is not good fortune for the people of Shirk and wretchedness, those whom associate another deity with Allaah, then soon will they come to know.

This Dua’ includes the confirmation and testification of the existence of Allaah – Subhanahu wa Ta’ala. The confirmation and testification of His Perfect Attributes, from the perfection of Knowledge and Capability and universal Will. And it includes the confirmation and testification of Allaah’s Lordship and entrustment of this matter to Him – Ta’ala – and seeking aid from Him, and relying upon Him, and a person leaves the responsibility from himself and acquits himself from any capability and strength except that it is with Allaah Ta’ala. It also includes the acknowledgement of the slave of Allaah of the weakness of his knowledge and his own interests and his own capability upon these things, and his desire for them, and that all of these things are in the Hand of his Guardian and his Originator and his true Lord. . . . .’

Ibn al-Qayyim -Rahimullaah- continues:

‘So the purpose of al-Istikharah is to rely upon Allaah and entrustment to Him and the capability to fulfill the action with Allaah’s Capability, His knowledge. And that Allaah chooses good for His slave, and this is from those things which necessitate being pleased with Allaah as the Lord. As a person will not taste the flavour of Eemaan if he does not have these things (reliance, entrustment etc), and if he is pleased with destiny after al-Istikharah then that is a sign of happiness.’

[Taken from ‘Za’ad al-Ma’aad’ by Ibn al-Qayyim 2/443-445]

Regarding the importance of al-Istikharah

3 – The author: Abdullaah bin Muhammad al-Hamadi says:

‘Indeed the human being has been created weak, and is in need of Allaah -Ta’ala- in all his matters and that is because a human does not know from where good and evil will occur in the future from incidents and events.

This is why, from the Wisdom of Allaah – Subhanahu – and from His Mercy to His slaves, He legislated for them this Dua’ so that they can come closer to their Lord and that they can seek refuge with Him, and that He will direct them to the path leading towards good and benefits.

Indeed the Muslim slave of Allaah is upon certainty in which there is no doubt that the management of all matters and the execution of them is in the Hand of Allaah -Subhanahu wa Ta’ala – and He is the One who destines and executes whatever He wills in His creation.

As Allaah Ta’ala says: << And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses, no choice have they (in any matter). Glorified be Allaah, and exalted above all that they associate as partners (with Him).  And your Lord knows what their chests conceal, and what they reveal. And He is Allaah; Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). His is all praise, in the first (i.e. in this world) and in the last (i.e. in the Hereafter). And for Him is the Decision, and to Him shall you (all) be returned.  >> [al-Qassas: 68-70]

‘Allaama Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Qurtubi al-Maliki (d. 671 A.H.) -Rahimullaah- said:

‘Some of the scholars have said: It is not appropriate for anyone to precede upon a matter from the matters of the Duniya until he asks Allaah for guidance in the matter by praying two Rakat Salaat -ul-Istikharah.’

[al-Jamia’ al-Hakaam al-Qur’aan (13/202)]

[Following the Sunnah & the Salaf]

Indeed the Salaf as-Salih understood this meaning and would seek guidance from their Lord in all their matters.

[The author brings an example of when Zaynab –RadhiAllaahu anha- married the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam and she prayed al-Istikharah. The scholars mention that she did this fearing her shortcomings in fulfilling the rights of the Messenger of Allaah.]

Then he continues:

‘This is how the Companions –RadhiAllaahu anhum- were eager to follow the Sunnah and to rely upon Allaah -Subhanahu wa Ta’ala- and seek aid from Him in preceding with their matters.

And we follow the methodology of the Companions and those who came after them from the Salaf as-Salih that is why it is upon us to revive this Sunnah in our lives and rely upon our Lord – Subhanahu – for He is The Best Master and The Best Guardian, Disposer of affairs.

[Taken from ‘Kashf as-Sitaarah an Salatul-Istikharah’ p.15-17]

4 – Shaykh Muhammad Hayaat As-Sindi -Rahimullaah- (d. 1163 A.H.) said:

‘Regarding the saying in the Dua’: ‘If you know that this matter’:  This is not a doubt about the knowledge of Allaah Ta’ala, rather it means; the slave’s absence of knowledge compared to Allaah’s Knowledge -Subhanahu wa Ta’ala-, since it is impossible for something to be good, and The all-Knowing and The All-Aware not have knowledge of it.’

[Hasheeyat as-Sindi ‘ala Nisa’ee (6/80) [Hadeeth Salaatul -Istikharah by Dr. Aasim Qurutee p.40 ]

[After the Decision has been made]

Shaykh Muhammad bin Umar Bazmool said:

‘That al-Istikharah is not done when a person is uncertain about the matter at hand; because the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said: ‘If any of you intends to undertake a matter’ and that the whole of the Dua’ indicates to this point.

So if a Muslim is uncertain about a matter, and he intends to pray al-Istikharah , then he should make a choice between the two matters and then pray al-Istikharah , and then after al-Istikharah he executes that matter, and if it was good then Allaah will make it easy for him and bless him in that, and if it was not good for him, then Allaah turns it away from him and makes easy for him that in which there is good by the permission of Allaah -Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.

[Taken from: ‘Buggeeyat al-Mutattawa’ fee salat at-tattawa’ p.105]

5 – What should be done after al-Istikharah?

Shaykh ‘Aasim al-Qurutee said:

‘Shaykh Kamal uddeen Muhammad bin Ali bin AbdulWahid bin az-Zamalakaani (d.771 A.H.) said:

‘If a person prays two Rakah al-Istikharah for a matter, then he should after that do what appears to him, whether his soul becomes delighted to his own-self or not, since praying al-Istikharah is good, even if it does not cause one to be happy with his own self.  ……. And there is nothing in the hadeeth that indicates that the soul should become relaxed as a condition for al-Istikharah to be accepted.’

[‘Tabbaqqat ash-Shafa’eeyah al-Kubra’ (9/206)]

And Shaykh Muhammad Badr ‘Aalaam said:

‘And know that the scholars of the past and the present indeed pointed out that it is not conditional for al-Istikharah that the person who made al-Istikharah sees a dream or that someone speaks to him or something occurs to his heart and mind. But rather Allaah Ta’ala makes his heart incline or lean to the side which causes his heart to be happy and is resolute upon this.’

[‘al-Badr as-Saaree ila Fayd al-Baari’ 2/247-248]

[Seeing a Dream]

Shaykh Muhammad ‘AttaAllaah Haneef -Rahimullaah- (d. 1408A.H.) said:

‘Likewise, there is nothing in the narrations mentioning sleep after al-Istikharah prayer or recognizing that which is better for that person of what he may see in a dream.

I bring attention to this, because many of the people claim that al-Istikharah is seeking information from Allaah Ta’ala and seeking consultation from Him, so they invent principles for al-Istikharah which the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallamdid not bring.  Then if they do not see a dream in their sleep, they go and seek guidance from others whom they think are righteous people. Upon my life, indeed this action of theirs is from a type of fortune telling which the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam prohibited and it negates the Sharia’ aim of al-Istikharah.’

He continues: ‘[That al-Istikharah is having] Tawwakul (reliance upon Allaah) before the action, and being pleased with it after it. So whoever relied upon Allaah before it, and was pleased with what it fulfilled after al-Istikharah then he has established al-Uboodeeyah (servitude of worship for Allaah).’

[‘Taleeqat as-Salafeeyah ala Sunnan an-Nisa’ee’ (2/67) [Hadeeth Salaatul –Istikharahby Dr. Aasim Qurutee p.61-63]

All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace and blessings be upon our final Prophet Muhammad, his family, his Companions and all those who follow his guidance.

Istikhara (Seeking Guidance from Allah), and Consultation

Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-Saliheen
Chapter 97
Istikhara (Seeking Guidance from Allah), and Consultation

Allah, the Exalted, says:

“And consult them in the affairs.” (3:159)

“And who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation.” (42:38)

718. Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) used to teach us the Istikharah (seeking guidance from Allah) in all matters as he would teach us a Surah of the Qur’an. He used to say: “When one of you contemplates entering upon an enterprise, let him perform two Rak`ah of optional prayer other than Fard prayers and then supplicate: “Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi `ilmika, wa astaqdiruka bi qudratika, wa as-‘aluka min fadlikal-`azim. Fainnaka taqdiru wa la aqdiru, wa ta`lamu wa la a`lamu, wa Anta `allamul-ghuyub. Allahumma in kunta ta`lamu anna hadhal-`amra (and name what you want to do) khairun li fi dini wa ma`ashi wa `aqibati amri, (or he said) `ajili amri ajilihi, faqdurhu li wa yassirhu li, thumma barik li fihi. Wa in kunta ta`lamu anna hadhal `amra (and name what you want to do) sharrun li fi dini wa ma`ashi wa `aqibati amri, (or he said) wa `ajili amri wa ajilihi, fasrifhu `anni, wasrifni `anhu, waqdur liyal-khaira haithu kana, thumma ardini bihi.” (O Allah, I consult You through Your Knowledge, and I seek strength through Your Power, and ask of Your Great Bounty; for You are Capable whereas I am not and, You know and I do not, and You are the Knower of hidden things. O Allah, if You know that this matter (and name it) is good for me in respect of my Deen, my livelihood and the consequences of my affairs, (or he said), the sooner or the later of my affairs then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. But if You know this matter (and name it) to be bad for my Deen, my livelihood or the consequences of my affairs, (or he said) the sooner or the later of my affairs then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it, and grant me power to do good whatever it may be, and cause me to be contented with it). And let the supplicant specify the object.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Du’aa Al-Istikhaarah – Read, Listen and Learn

Authentic Dua & Dhikr

Supplication for seeking guidance in forming a decision or choosing the proper course (Al-Istikhaarah)

Al-IstikhaarahJabir bin Abdullaah –RadhiAllaahu anhu- said the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- used to teach us al-Istikharah (a prayer said for seeking blessings in carrying out a decision) for all matters, just like he used to teach us a chapter from the Qur’aan, he would say: If any of you intends to undertake a matter then he should pray two Rakah other than an obligatory prayer then he should say :

Al-IstikhaarahAllaahumma ‘innee ‘astakheeruka bi ‘ilmika, wa ‘astaqdiruka bi qudratika, wa as’aluka min fadhlikal-‘Adheemi, fa ‘innaka taqdiru wa laa ‘aqdiru, wa ta’lamu, wa laa ‘a’lamu, wa ‘Anta ‘Allaamul Ghuyoobi, Allaahumma in kunta ta’lamu ‘anna haadhal-amra – [then mention the thing to be decided] khayrun lee fee deenee wa ma’aashee wa ‘aaqibati ‘amree – [or say] ‘Aajilihi wa ‘aajilihi –  Faqdurhu…

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Istikharah : Prayer For Seeking Guidance – Permanent Committee

When is the proper time for Du`a’ Al-Istikharah (supplication for guidance); before or after Taslim (salutation of peace ending the Prayer)?

A: Du`a’ Al-Istikharah should be said after Taslim.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

http://alifta.net/Fatawa/FatawaChapters.aspx?View=Page&PageID=2603&PageNo=1&BookID=7

Q14: When performing Du`a’ Al-Istikharah (supplication for guidance) in regard to an action or a need, is it conditional to have memorized the Du`a reported from Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) or is it possible to read it from a book after finishing Salah (Prayer)? After performing the Du`a’, how can it be known or felt that Allah (may He be Praised and Exalted) is guiding the supplicant to do or to abandon something? Please, advise.

A: Whether you memorize the Du`a’ Al-Istikharah or read it from a book, it is accepted as the matter is flexible. What you should do is to strive to prepare your heart and attain Khushu` (the heart being attuned to the act of worship), and be sincere in the Du`a’. Afterwards, it is permissible to consult reliable and experienced people. When you feel that your heart feels at ease with one of the two possibilities, this is the sign that this is what Allah has chosen for you.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

Q: Our Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us Salat-ul-Istikharah (Prayer for guidance); I hope that Your Eminence would point out to us the conditions concerning anyone who performs Istikharah in behalf of another person, if this is permissible.

A: It is prescribed for every person to perform Salat-ul-Istikharah for themselves, and it is not permissible on part of a certain person to perform it in behalf of another.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

http://alifta.net/Fatawa/FatawaChapters.aspx?View=Page&PageID=11384&PageNo=1&BookID=7

Q 1: If one performs Salat-ul-Istikharah (prayer for guidance) before proceeding with an important matter such as marriage, applying for a job, etc. then begins to comply with the direction of such Salah (Prayer), can one be afflicted by evil or any calamity after that? If so, what must be done in this case?

A: Performing Salat-ul-Istikharah is enjoined for matters wherein a person is unclear. The aim of Salat-ul-Istikharah is to leave one’s affairs to Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) and ask Him to choose what is best for one’s faith and worldly matters. However, if a person performs Salat-ul-Istikharah after which there is a negative result; it must be understood that this is for achieving a wisdom that Allah wills and that in the negative result there is real goodness.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

http://alifta.net/Fatawa/FatawaChapters.aspx?View=Page&PageID=11385&PageNo=1&BookID=7

Q: First, is it permissible to intend to pray Salat-ul-Istikharah (prayer for guidance) after starting to pray the Sunnah Ratibah (supererogatory Prayer performed on a regular basis) or Nafila (supererogatory) Salah such as Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid (two-unit-Prayer to greet the mosque)? Or Should my intention be specifically for offering Salat-ul-Istikharah only?

Second, is it permissible to raise the hands while performing Du`a’ (supplication)?

Third, is it permissible for me to offer Salat-ul-Istikharah for more than one matter?

Fourth, is it permissible for me to perform Du`a’-ul-Istikharah (supplication for guidance) regarding the time of offering `Umrah (lesser pilgrimage), such as saying: “O’ Allah, if You know that there is goodness in my going to perform `Umrah on that night, and then state a certain time”; or is Istikharah itself not related to acts of obedience and their time of performance?

Fifth, is it true concerning what people say that if a person offers Du`a’-ul-Istikharah, they will see in a dream or feel inner relief or abhorrence towards the matter for which they made Istikharah; then act according to what they feel assured about. What is the benefit in knowing that all goodness is in acting according to what results from Istikharah?

I ask Allah with His Most-High Names and Most Beautiful Attributes to bless you and admit you to Jannah (Paradise) with the Prophets, the Siddiqûn (followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr As-Siddîq may Allah be pleased with him), the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions were!

A: First, Salat-ul-Istikharah (prayer for guidance) should be independent, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If anyone of you intends to do something, they should offer a two-Rak‘ah prayer other than the compulsory prayers…

Second, It is permissible for you while offering Du`a’-ul-Istikharah to raise the hands, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to do so on passionately offering Du`a’ (supplication).

Third, It is permissible for one to offer a single Istikharah for more than one matter.

Fourth, As far as `Umrah is concerned, you should perform Istikharah concerning the time of performing it, not whether to perform it or not.

Fifth, There is no validity to what is said that Istikharah is related to having a particular vision; rather, one should act upon the matter which one’s heart is receptive to, and vice versa. This is the correct manner to either go ahead with a certain matter or not.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

http://alifta.net/Fatawa/FatawaChapters.aspx?View=Page&PageID=11386&PageNo=1&BookID=7