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f:17 -    Istikhara
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Question:     I am starting a new business. Before it starts, I want to perform Istikhara. What I have to ask is, how many rakaat does the Istikhara Salaat have? What surahs should be recited in the rakaats? And what dua should be recited in Istikhara? Please write it
Answer:     Istikhara means to ask for what is good. Upon performing Istikhara, the worshipper is guided towards the good. There is a Hadith in The Collection of Tirmizi (Jame Tirmizi) about istikhara." It has been narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him), that he said that the Prophet (Sallallahu aaihi wa sallam) used to exhort us to use istikhara in all of our important affairs as if He (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) was teaching us a chapter (Surah) of the Holy Quran." The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said," When anyone of you decides to do something, he should offer 2 raka'at (of Salaat) apart from the Obligatory (Farz) Salaat. Then recite this Dua-

"O Allah I supplicate You for what is good, through Your Knowledge. And I ask You to empower me through Your Power. And I ask You for your great Benevolence. Because only You have (absolute) power and I don't have any. Only You know and I don't know. And You know the unknowable. O Allah, if this affair is good for my religion (Deen), good for my life and for the conclusion of my affair, then destine it for me and ease it for me and make it prosperous for me. If in Your knowledge, this affair is harmful for my religion, my life and for the conclusion of my affair, then turn it away from me and turn me away from it. And grant me good wherever it is for me. And make me contented."

Then he should present his wish/need.

There are 2  rakaats in Salaat Ul Istikhara. In its first rakaat, surah Kafirun and in the second rakaat surah Ikhlaas must be recited. Raddul Muhtaar, “The chapter of Witr and the number of rakaat in Salaatul Istikhara” Pg no- 507/508 has, “ It has been narrated about some of the pious predecessors (salaf Saliheen) that in the first rakaat 2 verses of surah Qisas, verses no. 68, 69 and in the second verse, the 36the verse of surah Ahzaab should be recited. This should be repeated 7 times. Then the Dua of Istikhara should be recited. Reciting the praise of Allah SWT and durood and salaam on the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) is commendable. After this, the person performing the istikhara should face the qibla and sleep. If the colour white or green is seen in the dream then that work is good for him. If red or black colour is seen then that work should be avoided. As given in Radd Ul Muhtaar “The chapter of Witr and the number of rakaat in Salaatul Istikhara” Pg nos 507/508. ………………
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