MEANING OF ISTAKHARAH:
“Istikhara” means to seek goodness from Allah (Exalted is He), meaning when one going to do an important task they do istikhara before the task. Istakharah is the request to ALLAH that, O the Knower of Unseen (Exalted is He) guide me if this task is better for me or not?
Allah says in the Holy Qur’an: “And it is very possible that you dislike something whereas it is good for you; and (similarly) it is very possible that you like something whereas it is bad for you”. (BaqaAccording to one Hadith: “It is from the good fortune of man that he makes Istikharah (seeks good) from Allah, and it is from5 his misfortune that he discards Istikharah.”
WHAT IS ISTAKHARAH?
Istikhara is one of the most important duas and acts to do before any kind of decision. today, Istikharah has become as equally difficult as making a decision. People hesitate so much to perform this great act of worship. Many people misunderstand the act of istikhara however. Some just make istikhara one day before as an act of tradition and other pray istikhara and then wait for signs that will give them an answer and show them the way.
YOUR INTENTION WHILE DOING ISTAKHARAH:
Firstly you admit that you don’t know and can’t do anything without Allah. Then you ask Allah to give you or take away from you the object of your decision. Basically in istikhara you are not asking for any signs, you are asking Allah for khair.
WAY TO PERFORM ISTIKHARA:
First pray Two Cycles (raka’) of ritual Prayer (nafil) such that in the first raka’ after Surah Fatiha (Allhamd…) recite Surah al-Kafirun (Chapter 109) and in the second raka’ after Fatiha (Allhamd…) recite Surah al-Ikhlas (Chapter 112). After finishing prayer recite this (supplication/dua’): Dua in Arabic Text below:
“O Allah! I seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) I seek strength, and I ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and I do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action ———————————————— (which I intend to do) is better for my religion and faith, for my life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for me and make it easy for me and then add blessings [baraka’] in it, for me. O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action is bad for me, bad for my religion and faith, for my life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from me and turn me away from it and whatever is better for me, ordain [destine] that for me and then make me satisfied with it.”
It depends. Sometimes it takes more days to show any sign or answer but its better to do it 7 times. After doing just sleep with ablution(wuduh) facing the Qiblah(its Sunnah).
After istikhara it is not necessary that you see any sign, you should just trust in Allah to give whatever is more khayr for you or to keep you away in what is harmful for you.