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We frequently receive advice from pious family and friends to pray Istikharah (the prayer of guidance) for the decisions we make throughout our lives. Many people mistakenly believe that Istikharah is a prayer that should only be offered for significant life decisions or when one cannot decide or make up their mind about something paramount. You might not be aware of the true meaning of this powerful prayer, its essence, or its benefits in resolving your daily issues.

You might not be familiar with the fact that this prayer caused you to put your trust in Allah SWT completely. You keep asking Him to take charge of your affairs and lead you to the best choice for you, not necessarily the choice you would have made for yourself.

Understanding Istikharah

Istikharah is a nafl prayer for seeking guidance from Allah SWT for direction in all matters of one’s life. It is encouraged in Islam, and our Prophet PBUH advised his companions to do so regarding all of their affairs, especially when making significant choices and decisions. Istikharah is a reliable way to seek the right or the good thing for yourself. We suspend our judgment and leave our matter to the Lord in the knowledge that we cannot know everything, nor do we know all the details and facts of the possibilities available to us.
We put all of our faith in Him. By directing oneself in this way, we seek to find the best solution for our worldly and religious lives, which are frequently misconstrued by our limited intellect.

The Misconceptions Around Istikharah

1. Istikharah is Only a Prayer for Marriage

Some people mistakenly believe that Istikharah is only employed while planning to marry someone, when in fact, it is used to seek divine guidance in ALL facets of life.

2. Only Religious Individuals Perform Istikharah

It is thought that in order to perform Istikharah, a sinner must find a pious person to make Istikharah for them. However, Istikharah can be performed by anyone, regardless of their state of piety.

3. Istikharah is Only Answered Through One’s Dream

It is a common belief that Istikharah’s answers appear through dreams or as visions of green or white. However, in reality, Allah SWT directs you in the direction of what is best for you.

4. Istikharah is Only Relied on for Serious Matters

Some people think that Istikharah should only be carried out when making significant life decisions, such as choosing a partner, buying a home, having a child, etc. In fact, one can perform it for any minor issue, a general query, or just a good day.

5. Istikharah Can Only Be Performed While Praying

It is believed that one can only conduct Istikharah after salah or when in a state of wudu. That is not the case. You can read the Istikharah dua on its own if performing the Istikharah prayer is not possible for you at the moment, like when you are traveling or during your menstruation.

If you are struggling to interpret the response of your Istikharah, consider seeking guidance from a professional counsellor at Istasara. With her years of experience and knowledge, Salome Yusuf will help you find clarity and peace of mind by seeking Allah’s counsel on your behalf.

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