When is the best time to do Istikhaarah and how long should a person do it for?



Islamic Text

عَنْ جَابِرٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، قَالَ: كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يُعَلِّمُنَا الِاسْتِخَارَةَ فِي الأُمُورِ كُلِّهَا، كَالسُّورَةِ مِنَ القُرْآنِ: إِذَا هَمَّ بِالأَمْرِ فَلْيَرْكَعْ رَكْعَتَيْنِ ثُمَّ يَقُولُ: اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ، وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ العَظِيمِ، فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلاَ أَقْدِرُ، وَتَعْلَمُ وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ، وَأَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الغُيُوبِ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي، وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ، وَاقْدُرْ لِي الخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ، ثُمَّ رَضِّنِي بِهِ

(Sayidina) Jabir said, the Prophet  used to teach us Istikhaarah for every issue, like (he  would teach us) a Surah of the Quran. (He  used to say), ‘If something concerns you then perform two Rakahs of prayer and then say, O Allah, I ask You to show me what is best through Your knowledge, and bring it to pass through Your power, and I ask You of Your immense favour; for indeed You are able and I am not, You know and I do not, and You are the Knower of the Unseen. O Allah, if You know this matter to be better for me in my religion, livelihood and final outcome, then decree it for me. And if You know this matter to be harmful for me in my religion, livelihood and final outcome, then keep it from me, and keep me from it and bring about the good for me wherever it may be, and make me pleased with it.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, 6382).

Nothing is specified in Hadith with regards to the timing of Istikhara, therefore it is not correct to restrict it to a particular time. However, some scholars suggest that the best time to do Istikhara is when your heart and mind are at their most tranquil. Some suggested Tahajjud time, not only because of the Barakah of that time but also because you have just woken up so there is a freshness in mind and tranquillity of heart.

The notion that you should do it before you go to sleep and the results of Istikhara are based on what you see in a dream is incorrect. A dream can feed into the results of one’s Istikhara but it is not limited to dreams. The results of Istikhara are understood by the movement of the heart.

As for the second question, there is nothing specified. Please refer to the following answer:

Repeating Istikhara 7 Times

And Allah (Most High) knows best.

– Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen (23.02.2021)

See also: