Istikharah is to seek guidance from Allah when one is faced with a problem to which no solution is apparent. To ask Allah to guide you to the path best for you concerning an affair with two halal options.
Whenever a person is faced with a difficult problem, or becomes hesitant in making a decision and his knowledge of the matter is insufficient to guide him then after seeking advice from trusted friends and family, he should turn to Allah and beseech His grace. He should willingly and with an open heart and mind supplicate for divine guidance and ask for direction so that the problem is solved in his own best interest. The Du’a at such an occasion is called Istikharah.
Anytime a Muslim is making a decision, he or she should seek Allah’s guidance and wisdom. Allah alone knows what is best for us, and there may be good in what we perceive as bad, and bad in what we perceive as good. This prayer is usually made when making a decision to marry someone, or working out which university to attend, and so on. But it can be related to any significant, or insignificant aspect of a person’s life. If confused about a decision, where you have a choice to make, make this prayer. Simply, seek Allah (Ta’ala)’s guidance.
It comprises of a two rakat non-obligatory (nafil) prayer, prayed at anytime during the day, with the specified du’a recited at the end.