Some people say after Isha salah, pray your Istikhara salah and go to sleep.
Others say you can do it any time of the day; you don’t have to go to sleep.
In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful.
Istikharah is to seek guidance from Allah when one is faced with a problem.
It is related by Jabir bin Abdullah that the Prophet of Allah (SAW) used to teach us the way of doing Istikharah, in all matters as he taught us the Surahs of the Quran... (Sahih Al-Bukhari, 2.263)
When making Istikharah a person should perform two Rakats Nafl Salat. Then with all sincerity recite the following Du’a.
Translation: O Allah!! Behold I ask You the good through Your Knowledge, and ability through Your Power, and beg (Your favour) out of Your infinite Bounty. For surely You have Power; I have none. You know all; I know not. You are the Great Knower of all things. O Allah! If in Your Knowledge this matter be good for my faith (Deen), for my livelihood, and for the consequences of my affairs, then ordain it for me, and make it easy for me, and bless me therein. But if in Your Knowledge, this matter be bad for my faith (Deen) for my livelihood, and for the consequences of my affairs, then turn it away from me, and turn me away therefrom, and ordain for me the good wherever it be, and cause me to be pleased therewith.
It is stated in Fiqh us Sunnah (Vol2. No 32), that Istikharah can be done, “…during any time of the day or night…”
It is not necessary that one must experience or see an evident change or vision after performing Istikharah. However inshallah only that will happen which Allah wills and which is good for the person.
Only Allah knows best
Darul Ifta, Birmingham