How to perform Istikhara Step by Step – The Ultimate Guide


In our daily lives, We face confusion and hesitation in so many matters, and before taking some decisions which make us don’t know what to do or what to choose for our future.

For this reason, The prophet Muhammad peace be upon him taught us Istikhara, how to perform Istikhara step by step, and what the decisions we can perform Istikhara before we take.

What is Istikharah?

Istikharah prayer is one of the aspects of achieving submission and obedience to Allah Almighty.
Achieving this in all the fluctuations of the heart and soul is the ultimate in submission to Allah and perfect reliance on him, and that is when the servant realizes his need to Allah, Glory be to Him, and finds his pleasure and reassurance in relying on the Creator, the All-Powerful, the Controller, and Almighty.

Istikhara meaning:

In Arabic, Istikhara linguistically means: seeking goodness in something.

Istikhara applied definition is a prayer of seeking Allah’s counsel in every aspect of life whether big or small when facing a decision in life.

Also, Known in Arabic as Salat Alistikhara. And, Dua’ul Istikhara.

Istikhara in Islam is a prayer of two units Raka’ah of voluntary salah prayer and reciting a Dua which is called Dua’ul Istikhara.

How to perform Istikhara?

In this guide, you can learn how to perform Istikhara step by step and learn the best way to do this.

How to perform Istikhara step by step

how to perform Istikhara,
In case you are afraid to forget them, download Istikhara steps picture.

Follow these steps as follows:

  1. First, Perform the Wudu of Salah.
  2. Have an intention to pray Istikhara. You should have this intention to make this Salah Istikhara and not another Fard or Sunna Salah.
  3. Pray two units of Raka’ah. Two Sunna Raka’ah, not Fard (obligatory) Raka’ah. It’s called Istikhara prayer. And it’s a Nafl prayer.   Istikhara two rakaa'h
  4. It’s recommended to read in the first Raka’h after Fatiha sura Alkafiroon. And, in the second Raka’h sura AlIkhlas.
  5. After you finish Salah and say Salam. You raise your hands in supplication to Allah, recalling His greatness and power, and pondering the supplication.
  6. It’s better to start by praising Allah then send blessing upon the prophet. The Prophet ﷺ said: “When any one of you prays, let him begin by praising Allaah, then let him send blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ, then let him ask for whatever he wants.” (Tirmidhi, classed as Saheeh by al-Albaani). Also, Fadalah bin ‘Ubaid (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
    The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) heard some one supplicating after his prayer without praising Allah and without supplicating Allah for the Prophet (ﷺ). With regard to him, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “This man rushed.” Then he called him and said, “When any one of you have performed Salat (prayer) and wants to supplicate, let him praise Allah first then glorify Him in the beginning, and then he should send blessings upon the prophet. Then he may supplicate for whatever he likes.”

    عن فضالة بن عبيد رضي الله عنه قال‏:‏ سمع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم رجلا يدعو في صلاته لم يمجد الله تعالى، ولم يصلِ على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏عجل هذا‏”‏ ثم دعاه فقال له -أو لغيره‏:‏ إذا صلى أحدكم فليبدأ بتحميد ربه سبحانه، والثناء عليه، ثم يصلي على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ثم يدعو بعد ما شاء‏”‏ رواه أبو داود والترمذي وقال حديث صحيح‏.‏ [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

  7. Recite Istikhara Dua. The following dua.
  8. When you reach in Dua اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ then say the matter you want to ask Allah’s counsel. Like My work in London, selling my house, my marriage to the daughter of someone, etc. Then you say خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي أَوْ قَالَ عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ.
  9. After you recite Istikhara dua. Send blessings upon the prophet ﷺ.  The best way to say this is to recite Salat al-Ibrahimiya which we say after Tashahud in Salah. «اللّهُمَّ صَلّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحمَّدٍ كمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إبراهيم وَعَلَى آلِ إبْرَاهيمَ وَبَارِكْ عَلَى مُحمَّدٍ وعَلَى آلِ مُحمَّدٍ كمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى إبْرَاهيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إبْرَاهيمَ في العالمينَ إنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ »  Or any other way you say it.
  10. Then you rely on Allah and leave it to Him to guide you to what is best for you. Bad dreams and feelings are not something that should happen. Just go on your way to what you decided and Allah will guide you to the best.

Istikhara Dua

Istikhara dua,

Istikhara Dua in Arabic

اللَّهُم إِني أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بعِلْمِكَ، وأستَقْدِرُكَ بقُدْرَتِك، وأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ العَظِيم، فإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلا أَقْدِرُ، وتَعْلَمُ وَلا أَعْلَمُ، وَأَنْتَ علَّامُ الغُيُوبِ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كنْتَ تعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأمرَ name the matter to be decided – -خَيْرٌ لِي في دِيني وَمَعَاشي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي -أَوْ قالَ: عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِله- فاقْدُرْهُ لي، وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي، ثمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ، وَإِن كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هذَا الأَمْرَ- name the matter to be decided- شرٌّ لِي في دِيني وَمَعاشي وَعَاقبةِ أَمَرِي -أَو قَالَ: عَاجِل أَمري وآجِلهِ- فاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي، وَاصْرِفْني عَنهُ، وَاقدُرْ لِيَ الخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كانَ، ثُمَّ أَرْضِنِي بِهِ.

Istikhara Dua transliteration

Allāhumma innī astakhīruka bi `ilmik, wa astaqdiruka biqudratik, wa as’aluka min faḍlika ‘l-`Aẓīm, fa’innaka taqdiru wa lā aqdir, wa ta`lamu wa lā a`lam, wa anta `allāmu ‘l-ghuyūb, Allāhumma in kunta ta`lamu anna hādha ‘l-amra – [then mention the thing to be decided] Khayrun lī fī dīnī wa ma`āshī wa `āqibati amrī – [or say] `ājilihi wa ājilih – faqdurhu lī wa yassirhu lī thumma bārik lī fīh, wa in kunta ta`lamu anna hādha ‘l-amra sharrun lī fī dīnī wa ma`āshī wa `āqibati ‘amrī – [or say] `ājilihi wa ‘ājilihi – faṣrifhu `annī waṣrifnī `anh, waqdur liya ‘l-khayra ḥaythu kān, thumma arḍinī bih.

Istikhara dua translation in English

“O Allah, I seek the counsel of Your Knowledge, and I seek the help of Your Omnipotence, and I beseech You for Your Magnificent Grace. Surely, You are Capable and I am not. You know and I know not, and You are the Knower of the unseen. O Allah, if You know that this matter [then mention the thing to be decided] is good for me in my religion and in my life and for my welfare in the life to come, – [or say: in this life and the afterlife] – then ordain it for me and make it easy for me, then bless me in it. And if You know that this matter is bad for me in my religion and in my life and for my welfare in the life to come, – [or say: in this life and the afterlife] – then distance it from me, and distance me from it, and ordain for me what is good wherever it may be, and help me to be content with it.”

Read complete Istikhara Hadith here

The ruling of Istikhara prayer

All scholars agreed that Istikhara prater is Sunna (recommended).

The evidence is the prophet Hadith mentioned above.

Can Istikhara be performed without a prayer?

Istikhara can be performed without a prayer by reciting Istikhara Dua only.

It’s not Bidah because Dua is allowed anytime.

It’s better if performed with prayer.

What are the matters we can perform Istikhara before?

Istikhara can be done before taking any decision even the simple ones.

The prophet PBUH taught companions to make Istikhara before everything.

Narrated Jabir bin `Abdullah:

The Prophet (p.b.u.h) used to teach us the way of doing Istikhara (Istikhara means to ask Allah to guide one to the right sort of action concerning any job or a deed), in all matters as he taught us the Suras of the Qur’an.

(In all matters) in this Hadith means in every matter that can make one feels hesitated, This can be understood from the following Hadith,

Anas reported God’s messenger as saying, “Let one of you ask his Lord for all that he needs, even for the thong of his sandal when it is cut.” [1]

This Hadith also proves the recommendation of performing Istikhara by the prophet PBUH.

So, It’s better for every Muslim to pray Istikhara in all matters and ask Allah’s counsel before taking any decision.

Istikhara is important before taking any important life decisions. Like Istikhara in marriage, Istikhara in divorce, Istikhara in work, Istikhara in Education, and Istikhara in travel.

Hope this guide taught you how to perform Istikhara step by step.

Read also: Dua for family protection from evil, for unity and happiness


  1. Mishkat al-Masabih 2251, 2252


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