The word Istikhara derives from Arabic, which translates to 'seeking guidance from Allah.' The importance of Istikhara is so much that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has taught us to recite the Istikhara supplication for any important matter that Muslims start.
Jabir narrates that The Prophet (PBUH) used to teach us the Istikhara for every matter as he used to teach us the Suras from the Holy Qur'an. He used to say, "If anyone of you intends to do something, he should offer a two-rak'at prayer other than the obligatory prayer and then say:
'اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ، وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظِيمِ، فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلاَ أَقْدِرُ، وَتَعْلَمُ وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ، وَأَنْتَ عَلاَّمُ الْغُيُوبِ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي ـ أَوْ قَالَ عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ ـ فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي، وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي ـ أَوْ قَالَ فِي عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ ـ فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ، وَاقْدُرْ لِيَ الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ، ثُمَّ رَضِّنِي بِهِ."
Then he should mention his matter (need). [Sahih Al-bukhari: 6382]
Starting a business can be an exciting process for many. It requires you to plan and make complex decisions. However, if you wish to seek guidance from Allah, you must seek his help from the Dua-e-Istikhara.
Let us read more on how this straightforward dua can help you out when starting your journey towards success.
Steps to Perform Istikhara
Performing prayers for Istikhara includes specific steps that Muslims must follow to seek help from Allah.
- Prepare yourself mentally for the process of Istikhara. Purify your heart and mind. Perform wuzu.
- Muslims must then pray for two rakahs of obligatory prayers and then recite the dua Istikhara. One must also pray for the blessing and guidance of Allah.
- The guidance from Istikhara can reveal in different ways. It can be a dream, intuition, or occurrence no one can explain. Attentiveness to these signs is essential as these will help reflect the guidance of Allah.
When to Pray Istikhara
The five obligatory prayers have a fixed time during which the Muslims perform their prayers. The prayer for Istikhara has a flexible time. However, it is recommended not to pray during the following times as it is forbidden by the Prophet (PBUH). As per Sahih Muslim:831, these three instances include
- After Fajr, until the sun rises
- Until the sun goes past the Meridian after Zuhr
- After Asr, up until the sun sets.
Why Performing Istikhara before Starting a Business is Important?
Any act, whether big or small, may create certain confusion in the mind of any Muslim. We are still determining the outcomes of the decisions we make. Dua Istikhara exists for this very reason. It helps to clear our minds and make an informed decision by relying on Allah.
1. To Obtain Peace of Mind
Starting your business may come with a feeling of excitement. But these may also come with feelings of doubt and uncertainty. With the help of Istikhara, Muslims can get a clear insight into which path they should take.
It also gives a certain peace of mind that Allah will guide the path. It helps to eliminate any confusion that one may have in their minds.
2. To Identify Obstacles
Whenever we start a business, there are certain risks involved in it. Istikhara allows us to seek guidance from Allah. The dua for Istikhara translates to:
‘and if You know that this job is harmful to me In my religion and subsistence and in the Hereafter--(or said: If it is worse for my present and later needs)--Then keep it away from me and let me be away from it.’ [Sahih Al-Bukhari:1166].
If you trust Allah entirely, you will know He will never guide you to a path that is bad for you.
3. To Strengthen Connection with Allah
Istikhara is a sign of devotion to Allah. It is a sign that you submit to Allah's will and guidance no matter the decision. It also means that you will follow His wisdom and that Rizq only comes from Him. This reliance helps to develop a relationship with Allah. It can positively affect all aspects of our lives, including business matters.
4. To Become Confident in Making Decision
Starting a business can involve certain decisions with limited information. When someone performs an Istikhara, it improves their decision-making process. Since they start relying on Allah for all their business matters, they become aware of the signs of Allah, and their goals also align with Islamic values. It helps build confidence in decision-making and all aspects of business-related matters.
Creating a Balance Between Faith and Practical Matters
Most people must remember that creating a healthy balance between faith and practical matters is also important when starting a business. Business owners must conduct thorough market research and analysis before starting.
These practical steps allow the identification of opportunities and assessment of risks. Combining Istekhara's and market decisions will help business owners make better decisions. It can improve the quality of decision one makes.
While Istikhara will help business owners make the right decisions, effort, and hard work are also important. The balance between these two factors helps the individual to aim for excellence in business matters.
Performing Istikhara before starting a business holds great importance for Muslims. It leads them down a pathway that Allah guides. Anyone who performs Istikhara before starting their business will be at peace with his decision since Allah will guide it.
By mixing the business mindset and the power of Istikhara, business owners can reduce risk to a great extent. Identifying potential pitfalls is also possible if one combines their skills and faith.
Istikhara also helps in personal growth and strengthens their relationship with Allah. Balance of faith and practical matters is essential. One must also conduct their research before starting their venture. Ultimately, Istikhara will give them a sense of alignment and purpose.
Rafia Tahir is a Quran scholar and an Islamic blogger, dedicated to sharing the message of Islam. Her engaging personality and deep knowledge make her a cherished voice in the Islamic community and beyond. She occasionally writes articles for Muslim And Quran.