On the Istikhara and consultation

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

97. Chapter: On the Istikhara and consultation

Allah says, "consult with them about the matter," (3:159)

and the Almighty says, "who manage their affairs by mutual consultation." (W42:35; H42:38)

718. Jabir said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to teach us the istikhara, asking for the good in all matters, as he would teach us a sura of the Qur'an. He said, 'When one of you is intending to do something, he should pray two rak'ats outside the obligatory prayer and then say, 'O Allah, I ask You for the best by Your knowledge and I ask You for strength by Your power and I ask You for some of Your immense bounty. You have power and I do not. You know and I do not. You are the Knower of the Unseen worlds. O Allah, if You know that this matter is good for me in my deen and my livelihood and the end of my affair (or he said, 'my affair sooner and later'), then ordain it for me and make it easy for me and then bless me in it. If You know that this matter is bad for me in my deen and my livelihood and the end of my affair (or he said, 'my affair sooner and later'), then avert it from me and avert me from it and ordain something better for me wherever it may lie and make me content with it.' He added, 'Then he should name the thing he wants to do.'" [al-Bukhari]