Meaning And Description of Salat Al-Istikharah
The term “Istikharah” generally means to look for Allah`s support and supervision in the easiness or removal of any confusions in any matter before making any crucial decision or taking up any key task. It requires to have absolute faith in the Almighty as the ultimate Knower of things (both seen and unseen, and whatever lies in the entire universe), to be able to seek His direction for successful execution of a matter.
Jabir Ibn Abd`Allah Al Salami (R.A) narrated that “The Messenger (PBUH) of Allah used to teach His companions to make istikharah in all things, just as He used to teach them surahs from the Quran. He said: ‘If any one of you is concerned about a decision he has to make, then let him pray two rakats of non-obligatory prayer, then say (translation):
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 Knower of hidden things. O Allah, 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.” (Bukhari)
The greater implication of the above mentioned Hadith is that the act of Istikhara makes one able to attain the spiritual leadership from Allah SWT in unraveling intricate things only by considering Him as the Supreme Judge of everything. Dua (supplication) includes asking for the Almighty`s blessings in easiness of a matter under reflection. It should also be noted that one has to pray to God with a view to be able to benefit from task both in the world and hereafter, which means Istikharah must not be carried out for any forbidden matters in Islam.