Islamic marriage advice and family advice

The Prayer of Need (Salat al-Hajah) or Istikhara?

Salat al-Hajah is a prayer for need, to bring your needs to Allah
Salat al-Hajah is a prayer for need, to bring your needs to Allah

There is a difference between Salat al-Istikhara, which is the Guidance Prayer, and Salat al-Hajah, the Prayer of Need. So how do you know which one you should pray in your situation?

You should pray Salat al-Istikahara when you are trying to determine the best course of action in any situation. Maybe you are trying to decide between two different important life paths, or you have been offered an opportunity and you don't know if you should take it. Salat al-Istikhara is a prayer to ask Allah to bring you the best outcome, and keep evil far away from you.

On the other hand, Salat al-Hajah is simply to ask Allah to help you with some pressing need. It's not about making choices or decisions.

Here is some information about Salat al-Hajah, written by Faraz Rabbani for SunniPath:

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, and all blessings and peace upon our master Muhammad, his Folk, Companions and those who follow their noble way,

Abullah ibn Abi Awfa (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "Whoever has a need with Allah, or with any human being, then let them perform ritual ablutions well and then pray two rakats. After that, let them praise Allah and send blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). After this, let them say,

لا إِلَهَ إِلا اللَّهُ الْحَلِيمُ الْكَرِيمُ
سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِين
أَسْأَلُكَ مُوجِبَاتِ رَحْمَتِكَ وَعَزَائِمَ مَغْفِرَتِكَ وَالْغَنِيمَةَ مِنْ كُلِّ بِرٍّ وَالسَّلامَةَ مِنْ كُلّإِثْمٍ
لا تَدَعْ لِي ذَنْبًا إِلا غَفَرْتَهُ وَلا هَمًّا إِلا فَرَّجْتَهُ وَلا حَاجَةً هِيَ لَكَ رِضًا إِلا قَضَيْتَهَا يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ

There there no god but Allah the Clement and Wise.
There is no god but Allah the High and Mighty.
Glory be to Allah, Lord of the Tremendous Throne.
All praise is to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
I ask you (O Allah) everything that leads to your mercy, and your tremendous forgiveness, enrichment in all good, and freedom from all sin.
Do not leave a sin of mine (O Allah), except that you forgive it, nor any concern except that you create for it an opening, nor any need in which there is your good pleasure except that you fulfill it, O Most Merciful!"

[Related by Tirmidhi and Ibn Maja. The hadith has some weakness, but such hadiths are acted upon for virtuous deeds (fada'il al-a`mal) by general agreement of Sunni scholarship]

The prayer of need is very simple: It is essentially to raise one's need to Allah Most High, by performing ritual ablution (wudu), praying 2 rakats (or four), and then making whole-hearted dua to Allah. If one uses the abovementioned Prophetic supplication, or other similar supplications transmitted from the Beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), it is best. [Ibrahim al-Halabi, Sharh Munyat al-Musalli; al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

The inward manners of supplication is exhibiting our neediness and absolute slavehood to Allah, consigning one's matters to Allah, and knowing that the only one who gives or benefits is Allah Most High. With this, one should be certain that Allah Most High answers our duas, but in the way He knows is best for us.

When circumstances do not permit us to pray 2 rakats, one should still turn to Allah in supplication, raising one's needs to Him, for He answers our supplications and loves being asked.

And Allah alone gives success.


Faraz Rabbani

217 Responses »

  1. Interestingly one member on another forum stated the following:

    Sh. ibn 'Uthaymeen Rahmiahullaah when asked about this prayer he responded:

    "They are both incorrect; neither Salatul-Hajah nor Salat Hifzul-Qur’an are correct, because it is not possible to confirm such acts of worship except by some legal evidence and there is no legal evidence by which to make them lawful."

    Fataawa Islamiyyah, vol.2 p.314

    In accordance with the principle of fiqh it is not permissble to engage in any form of worship except that it has been confirmed in the authentic sunnah of the messenger of Allaah (salAllaahu 'alayhi waSallam.)

    And this is proven in the narration of Aa'isha RadiAllaahu 'anha where she quoted the Prophet salAllaah 'alayhi waSallam saying:

    "Whosoever introduces into this affair of ours (i.e. into Islam) something that does not belong to it, it is to be rejected." (al- Bukhaari & Muslim)

    And it is known that du'aa can be made at anytime without the requirement of nawaafil salaah so it is better we act in accordance with the sunnah than follow the people who have invented methods of supplication that were not present to those who came before them, and methods that were not instructed by Allaah or his messenger salAllaahu 'alayhi waSallam.

    There are however many Aadiyah that are recorded in the sunnah that the Prophet salAllaahu 'alayhi waSallam prayed on specific occasions.

    When something becomes difficult for you:

    Allaahumma laa sahla 'illa maa ja'altahu sahlan wa 'Anta taj'alul-hazna 'ithaa shi'ta sahlan.

    Oh Allaah there is no ease other than what You make easy. if you please you ease sorrow.

    (Recorded by ibn-Hibaan in his Saheeh (no.2427) and ibn as-Sunni (no.351) Declared authentic by al-Haafidh ibn Hajar and 'Abdul Qaadir al-Arna'ut.

    For more refer to Fortress of the Muslim by Darussalam.

    as-Salaamu 'Alaykum.

    Here is the link to that forum:

    • you have no right to contradict what this person has wrote an actually it is permissible to perform such acts of worship because its also sunnah our own prophet sallalahualyhiwasalam prayed salatul hajah so you can put your references away, we follow our nabis example and there absolutely nothing wrong in worshipping our lord,

      • What am I contradicting? When did I say its not permissible? I didn't retaliate or defend against what that member has stated I simply just linked it. So you have no right tell me anything and keep your ignorant opinion to yourself. Furthermore even if I did contradict something which I didn't its extremely daffy of you to tell me not to voice an opinion when you go ahead and voice yours by telling me to put my reference aside, again educate yourself and learn to read before ignorantly and arrogantly replying ignited by ground less emotion.

  2. What is the timing of salat-ul-hajaat??????

  3. Demise, what is your point? Shaykh Faraz has clearly stated that, 'The hadith has some weakness, but such hadiths are acted upon for virtuous deeds (fada’il al-a`mal) by general agreement of Sunni scholarship]'.

    I believe the key words in the above quote are 'Sunni scholarship'. Which of the four Sunni Madhahib adopts the position you are promoting? If none of them do, then it is not a Sunni position that you are following. Please don't quote minority opinions as if they are the only valid ones, when this is clearly not the case. As for Shaykh Faraz's description of Salat Al Hajah, it is clear that the vast majority of Sunni scholars support it.

    • I don't recall making any arguments for or against it , I only linked what I read on another website, so what exactly is your point?

      How am I promoting anything if I didn't make a dispute?

      If your so ignorant to believe these shaykhs or whatever they are without making the effort to actually do the research yourself then go ahead but don't call others out because they don't want to act upon a hadith that may not be all unfeigned, also you don't need to make a certain prayer to make dua you can make dua at anytime. Check your own position before making a feeble attempt to advise others.

  4. i zainab i want to know that when nikha.istakhara found to be negative so further what can do in case of pure hearty love please

  5. If i dont pray the 2 raqat salat before the first wedding night does the marraige cancel?

  6. Assalamu_Alaikum_Warahmatullah_Wabarakatuhu, I get this stomach aches and mum tells me to recite surah Al fatiha and Ahad, Nas and Falaq a number of times in my drink to relieve the pains is this also a wazifa?

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