When should the du‘aa’ be offered in salaat al-istikhaarah?
What is prescribed with regard to du‘aa’ al-istikhaarah is that it should be said after finishing the prayer. This is the view of the majority of scholars.
It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (3/245): The Hanafis, Maalikis, Shaafa‘is and Hanbalis said: The du‘aa’ should come immediately after the prayer. This is in accordance with what is mentioned in the text of the hadeeth from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). End quote.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said: What is prescribed for the Muslim, when he offers salaat al-istikhaarah, is to offer the du‘aa’ after saying the salaam at the end of the prayer, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “If any one of you is concerned about a decision he has to make, then let him pray two rak‘ahs of non-obligatory prayer, then say: Allaahumma inni astakheeruka bi ‘ilmika… (O Allaah, I seek Your guidance [in making a choice] by virtue of Your knowledge…)”
This indicates that the du‘aa’ should come after saying the salaam at the end of the prayer.
End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 11/389
The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked: Does the du‘aa’ of istikhaarah come before the tasleem or after saying the tasleem and finishing the prayer?
They replied: The du‘aa’ of istikhaarah comes after the tasleem of salaat al- istikhaarah. End quote.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The du‘aa’ of istikhaarah comes after the salaam, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Let him pray two rak‘ahs then let him say…” and he mentioned the du‘aa’.
End quote from Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh, no. 20
And Allah knows best.
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