When a person intends doing something, he should seek advice from Allah Ta’ala. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Not seeking advice and proper guidance from Allah Ta’ala is a great misfortune and cause of bad luck.” If a person intends sending a proposal somewhere, marrying someone, travelling somewhere or intends doing anything else, and he does not do these things without making istikhaarah, then Insha Allah he will not regret doing what he did.
He should think of the thing for which he is making istikhaarah. Thereafter, he should sleep on a pure and clean bed with his face towards the qiblah in a state of wudu. Once he wakes up from his sleep, then whatever comes out strongly in his mind will be best for him. He should act according to that which comes to his mind.
If he has not made up his mind after the first day. And some doubt still persists, he should do the same the following day. In this way, he could continue doing this for seven days. Insha Allah, he will come to know of the advantage or disadvantage of that matter. If a person intends going for hajj, he should not make istikhaarah as to whether he should go or not. Instead, he should make istikhaarah to decide as to whether he should go on a particular day or not.
Istikhara dua in english
Allaahum-ma in-nee ustakheeruka bi’ilmika wa ustaqdiruka bi qudratika wa us`aluka min fadlikal ‘azeem. Fa`in-naka taqdiru wa laa aqdiru wa ta’lamu wa laa a’lamu wa anta ‘al-lamul ghuyoob. Allaahum-ma inkunta ta’lamu in-na haadhal amra khairul-lee wa deenee wa ma’aashee wa ‘aaqibati amree ao’aajili amree wa`aajilihee faqdirhu lee wa yass-sirhu lee thum-ma baarik lee feehi. Wa inkunta ta’lamu an-na haadhal amra shar-rul-lee fee deenee wa ma’aashee wa’aaqibati amree. Ao’aajili amree wa aajilihee fasrifhu ‘an-nee wa usrifnee ‘anhu wa aqdirlil khaira haithu kaana thum-mardinee bihee.
O Allah, I ask You to show me what is best, through Your knowledge, and I ask You to empower me, through Your Power, and I beg You to grant me Your tremendous Favor, for You have Power, while I am without power, and You have Knowledge, while I am without knowledge, and You are the One who Knows the unseen. O Allah, if you Know that this is good for my worldly life, and for the Hereafter, then destine it for me and make it easy for me, and put Blessing in it. And if you Know it to be of bad consequences for me, in my worldly life, and for the Hereafter, then distance it from me, and distance me from it. And give me the ability to do that which is beneficial for me, and keep me pleased with that.