The Recitation of the Phrase: `I seek the best from Allah' and the number of times to recite’
al‑Imam al‑Sadiq (as), said: "In the case of an important action, recite:
`I seek the best from Allah' one hundred and one times, and for a lesser important action, recite it ten times. " 
The Supplication for `Seeking the Best' and the Number of Times to Recite it
al‑Imam al‑Sadiq (as), said: "No servant asks Allah for the best seventy times in this method except that Allah gives him what is best ‑ and he should say:
"O' the best Seer of Seers and O' the best Hearer of Hearers and O' the Quickest of Reckoners and O' the Most Merciful and O' the Judge of Judges! Send your blessings on Muhammad and his family and grant me the best in the action which 1 have intended to perform. " 
The Supplication for Asking for the Best (Istikhara)
al‑Imam al‑Sadiq (peace be upon him) said, "Say the following (supplication):
"O' Allah! I ask you for the best by Your Mercy and by Your power since You (alone) are the Knower of the Unseen and the Seen, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. So 1 ask you that you send blessings on Muhammad, the Prophet and his family just as you have sent blessings on Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim, since verily You are the Praiseworthy and Glorious. O' Allah if there is good in this act which 1 have made the intention to perform for my religion or my worldly affairs and my hereafter, then make the task easy for me and if it is not like this then turn it away from me and let me turn away from it too." 
The Method of Seeking the Best from Imam al‑Baqir (as)
al‑Imam al‑Baqir (as), said: "There is no servant, who seeks the best from Allah one hundred times by saying the following except that Allah guides him to one of the two paths”. 
"O' Allah the knower of the hidden and apparent. If in this action there is good for the affairs of my world and my hereafter, then make it easy for me and open up the doors of it for me and make my pleasure be in that which You have decreed. "
The method of `Seeking the Best' as practiced by Imam Jafar al‑Sadiq (as)
al‑Imam al‑Sadiq (as) said: "There is no servant of Allah 'that honor, glorifies and praises Allah, and sends blessings on the Prophet and his family (as) and says:
"O' Allah! Verily I ask you since verily You are the knower of the hidden and the apparent, the Beneficent, the Merciful and You are the knower of all the Unknowns. I seek the best from Allah by His mercy. "
If the matter is something important in which there is some fear or distress, then the above supplication should be read one hundred times and in other than this, it can be read three times. " 
The method of `Seeking the Best' from Imam Musa ibn Jafar al‑Kazim (as)
A man enter into the presence of him (Musa ibn Jafar (as)) and said to him, `May 1 be sacrificed for you! I want to perform a certain task. Please teach me the way to ask the best (from Allah) such that if in that work, there is good for me, that Allah makes it easy for me, and if there is bad in it for me, then Allah makes me turn away from it. The Imam (as) said to the man, "Do you want to do that task? " The man replied, "Yes. " The Imam replied, "Say the following (so that Allah makes what is good for you in the performance of that act): 
"O' Allah! Decree for me this and this and place goodness in it for me, since verily You are the one who Decrees in this. "
`Asking for what is Best' in the Dua' of the Istikhara
al‑Imam al‑Sadiq (as) said: "... Your seeking the best must be accompanied with requesting (something that is) good, since sometimes it is possible that what is best for a person lies in his hand being cut off, the death of his child, and the loss of his wealth and property. " 
The method of `Seeking the Best' as done by the Prophet of Allah (s)
The Prophet of Islam said, "O' Anas! Any time you want to perform an act (then before you do it), ask Allah for the best seven times and then see what answer (either to perform it or not to perform that task) comes into your heart. That which is the best for you will be the response, meaning, whatever is in your heart should be acted upon." 
Allah is the changer of hearts and desires, and He has the power to guide His servants and remove all doubts and indecision from their hearts.
The method of `Seeking the Best' as done by Amir al‑Mo'minin 'Ali (as)
al‑Imam al‑Baqir (as) narrated that: `Amir al‑Mo'minin (as), would pray a two rak'at Salat and once finished, would say;
"I seek the best from Allah " one hundred times, and then say:
"'O' Allah! 1 have intended to perform a task which You know. Thus, if you know that in it there is good for me in this world, in my religion and in the hereafter, then make it (that task) easy for me; and if you know that in it there is bad for me in this world, in my religion and in the hereafter, then let me turn away from that task; whether 1 detest that task or l love it, since You know (better than 1) and 1 do not know and You are the Knower of the Unseen. ' Then act according (to whatever you feel in your heart).”
The Istikhara from the heart; seeking advice from Allah (swt)
al‑Imam al‑Sadiq (as) "When any of you want something, you must seek council with Allah, your Lord (and act according to it). If He guides you to it, then perform the act; and if He does not guide you to it, then do not perform it. " A man questioned, "I said, O' Master! And how will we know this? " The Imam replied, "Go into Sajdah after your wajib Salat, and say the following one hundred times:
"O' Allah, grant me what is best. "
Then, perform Tawassul to us (the Ahl al‑Bait) and send blessings upon us and take us as your intercessors. Then look at what is revealed (into your heart) and act according to it, and this is the seeking council with Him (Allah). 
The method of `Seeking the Best' from Imam Jafar al‑Sadiq (as)
al‑Imam al‑Sadiq (as) said: "...recite a two Rak'at Salat and then ask the best from Allah one hundred and one times and see which of the two ways (either to perform that act or not perform it) is stronger (in your heart) and act accordingly, since whatever is best for you is in that, Insha‑Allah. " 
The only person who will be able to make use of this method of seeking what is the best is the one whose heart has been purified of the various types of whispers of Shaitan and whose heart has not become polluted with sins. Such a heart is one that still has the desire and capability of receiving the heavenly inspiration of Allah.
The method of `Seeking the Best' from Imam 'Ali ibn Musa al‑Rida (as)
al‑Imam al‑Rida (as) said: "When you intend to do something, pray a two Rak'at Salat and seek the best from Allah one hundred times, then whatever is stronger (in your heart), perform that. In your supplication, recite:
`There is no god except Allah, the Highest, the Greatest. There is no god except Allah, the Patient, the Noble. The Lord of Muhammad and 'Ali! Grant me the best in my action for this world and for the next world, the best from Yourself, that in which Your pleasure lies in and which is good for me for the goodness of the next world. O' possessor of Blessings and Mercy! " 
`Seeking the Best' by Asking Others for Advice
al‑Imam al‑Sadiq (as) said: `Any time one of you wishes to do something, then do not ask the advice of anyone until you ask advice from Allah, the Glorious and Most High... (in such a way that) you initially start out by asking Allah for the best in that (act) and then you take advice from others in that action; thus, since you have first asked Allah for what is best, then He will have whatever is best for you come out from the mouth of whosoever of His creations that He pleases. " 
The Method of `Seeking the Best' by Imam Jafar al‑Sadiq (as)
al‑Imam al‑Sadiq (as) said: ` If you wish to do anything, then do not consult anybody until you have consulted with your Lord ...Say:
((I seek the best from Allah)) one hundred times and then seek consultation from people, since Allah will make whatever is best for you (your answer) flow from the mouth of one whom He loves. " 
The narrations regarding `seeking the best' by way of consulting with others, in addition to confirming the need to ask others for advice and help, tell us that this action is very effective for one who is confused and does not know which path to choose. After reciting the supplications and asking Allah for what is truly the best, asking others for advice has been highly recommended.
Only with the help of Allah is one able to benefit from seeking council and advice from others to secure what is truly the best for ones' self. It is only with the humble supplications and asking Allah for the best that one can actually reach a state of satisfaction.
Seeking advice and council from others has been reckoned as one of the best teachers and guides; however, one should only seek council after asking Allah (swt) for what is best, and then seek advice from those people one is close to who are worthy of taking advice from.
People who are pious (Taqwa); those who keep away from following their low desires; the people who are humble towards their Lord; and those who have knowledge and experience in life are examples of people one should request help and advice from.
`Seeking the Best' by the Qur'an as done by the Prophet of Allah (s)
The Prophet of Allah (s) said: "Whenever you want to seek the best by the Book of Allah, the Glorious and Great, recite Surah al‑Ikhlas three times send blessings on the Prophet and his family three times, then say:
‘O Allah! I am seeking the best by Your Book and I am relying upon You so show me from Your book that what is written from Your secrets and known from your Unseen Knowledge.' Then open the Qur’an and take what is best for you from beginning of the first line on the right side page. "
There is no problem or religious taboo in performing the Istikhara by the Qur'an since asking Allah for the best ‑ whether it be by the Qur'an or Tasbih beads is permitted when a person can not come to a conclusion.
After reciting the supplications asking Allah 30 for the best, research and investigation, and having asked others for advice, if one is still in doubt and indecisive whether to perform or to leave a certain task, then in this scenario he is permitted to turn to Allah , and either through the Tasbih beads or the Qur'an, seek guidance (from Allah ). If the Istikhara comes out "good", then one should perform the task and be at ease; and if it comes out "bad", then one should put complete trust and reliance upon Allah and not go through with one's plans. 
The method of determining whether the outcome is `good' or `bad' from the Qur'an is that after all the etiquette and conditions of performing the Istikhara by the Qur'an have been fulfilled, if the verse that comes is one that contains a command to something good, a description of the Believers, the rewards of those who will dwell in Paradise, or the glad tidings of Paradise ‑ then that Istikhara will indicate `good' and one should proceed with the intended act with peace in his heart.
However, if the verse that comes mentions the anger or punishment of Allah , prohibition from evil, descriptions of the non‑Believers and hypocrites, explanation or description of the punishment of hell ‑ then one should seek refuge with Allah and should not perform the intended task.
If the verse that comes is one in between these two types, then the Istikhara should be taken as neutral.
Method of Imam Jafar al‑Sadiq (as)
al‑Imam al‑Sadiq (as) said: `If you intend to perform the Istikhara from The Noble Book (Qur’an), then say:
`In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. (O' Allah!) If in your plan and destiny which you have bestowed on the Shi'a of the family of Muhammad with the speedy return of Your Guardian and Representative over Your creations, then show us a verse from Your Book that will guide us to it (that which is good).'
Then, open the book (Qur’an) and go forward six pages and on the seventh page, look at the sixth line, and take (act upon) what is in that verse. " 
By no means does the Istikhara by the Qur'an or with the Tasbih beads, even after following the etiquette and all of the prerequisites, prevent one from using his brain or reasoning and seeking advice from others. This is also not `future‑telling'.
Rather, if after one has thought about the task that one wants to perform, has weighed the pros and cons and has taken advice from others and is still in doubt, then at this point, these types of Istikharas comes into play.
Istikhara by the Qur’an before Salat
al‑Imam al‑Sadiq (as) said: "... when you wake up for the Salat, see what is in your heart and take that (step) since the devil is far away from the person who rises up for the Salat. Or, open up the Qur’an and take what you see on the first line (on the right hand side of the page) and act upon it (and whatever is good for you will be in that), God Willing. " 
That which has been mentioned in the beginning of this Hadith regarding the performance of the Istikhara by the Qur'an is only after the Dua' and supplication for Istikhara and asking the best from Allah have been exhausted. This form of Istikhara is only permissible when doubt still remains after deep thinking, pondering on the subject, and seeking advice from others.
The above was mentioned since the relater of this Hadith, Yasa' Qummi, had asked the Imam that when he intended to perform a certain action and had asked Allah to guide him to what was the best for him, but he did not come to a clear cut answer and doubt and indecision still existed within him. It was at this time that the Imam spoke the words that have been quoted above.
Istikhara by the Qur’an ‑ not by augury (future telling)
al‑Imam Jafar al‑Sadiq (as) said: "Do not perform the augury by the Qur'an. "
The meaning of performing the augury by the Qur'an (in the above Hadith) which has been forbidden is to seek the knowledge of the unseen, foretelling future events, and trying to find out the outcome of actions that one will perform in the future.
However, seeking the best by the Qur'an which has even been emphasized in the Holy Book, in reality, is just to remove doubt and uncertainty and to guide the person to choose one of two paths (either to perform or refrain from a certain act).
In addition, one must pay close attention to the fact that in no instance should the Istikhara ‑ be it by the Qur' an, the Tasbih beads, or papers – be performed before using one's own God‑given intelligence or asking others for advice and guidance. These three types of Istikhara do not specify one's responsibility, rather, they just guide a person and remove the doubt and uncertainty from one's mind, that too after the person has thought about the task, asked advice from others and is still at a dead end.
Istikhara by Tasbih Beads by Imam al‑Zamana
It has been narrated from al‑Qa'im regarding the Istikhara by the tasbih that: "The tasbih should be taken (in the hand), and blessings should be sent on Muhammad and his family s three times, and then pick a sport on the beads and count them two by two. If at the end only one bead remains, then you should perform that action; and if two beads remain, then you should not perform it. " 
Istikhara by Papers
al‑Imam al‑Baqir (as) said: `If you intend to do something, then take six pieces of paper and on three of them write:
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Goodness is from Allah, the Great, the Wise for Fulan the son of Fulan (put your name here) he will do (it).
On the other three pieces of paper write:
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Goodness is from Allah, the Great, the Wise for Fulan the son of Fulan (put your name here) he will not do (it).
Then place them under your prayer mat. Read a two rak`at Salat and when you finish, go into sajdah and recite the following one hundred times:
I seek that which is good from Allah through His Mercy, the goodness for the outcome.
Then get up and while sitting say:
Following this, with your hands shuffle the six papers and one by one choose three of them. If three of the cards come up with:
Then perform the action that you had intended to do. However, if three of the cards come up with:
Then do not perform that action which you had intended to do. If one of the cards said to perform the act and the other one said not to perform the act, then pick up the cards until you have picked up five and see which of them is more and act according to it; and it is not necessary to pickup the sixth one. " 
 Fath al‑Abwab, Page 252 1 Wasa'il ash‑Shi'a, Volume 9 , Page 77, Hadith 10124
 Man La Yahdhur al‑Faqih, Volume 1, Page 536 / Tahdhib al‑Ahkam, Volume 3, Page 182
 Wasa'il ash‑Shi'a, Volume 8, Page 76, Hadith 10119 / Mahasin Barqi, Page 599, Hadith 9
 Fath al‑Abwab 235, Wasa'il ash‑Shi'a Volume 8, Page 77, Hadith 10123
 Fath al‑Abwab, Page 255 / Bihar al‑Anwar, Volume 91, Page 256
 Qurb al‑Isnad, Page 300 / Bihar al‑Anwar, Volume 91, Page 260, Hadith 10
 Tahdhib al‑Ahkam, Volume 3, Page 181, Hadith 411 / al‑Mahasin, Volume 2, Page 599, Hadith 7 / al‑Kafi, Volume 3, Page 472, Hadith 7 / Wasa'il ash‑Shi'a, Volume 8, Page 65, Hadith 10098
 Bihar al‑Anwar, Volume 91, Page 265, Hadith 19 46
 Amali Tusi, Volume 1, Page 281 / Wasa'il ash‑Shi'a, Volume 8, Page 74, Hadith 10114
 al‑Kafi, Volume 3, Page 472 / Tahdhib al‑Ahkam, Volume 3, Page 181, Hadith 411 / Wasa'il ash‑Shi'a Volume 8, Page 65, Hadith 10098
 Fiqh al‑Rida, Page 152 / Man La Yahdhurua `l‑Faqih, Volume 1, Page 356 / al-Maqnah, Page 49
 Maa'ni al‑Akhbar, Page 144 and 145 / Mahasin Barqi, Page 598 / Man La Yahdhura `1‑Faqih, Volume 1, Page 355, Hadith 1553 ; al‑Maqnah, Page 36
 Makarim al‑Akhlaq, Page 367 / Amali Tusi, Volume 1, Page 281 / Bihar alAnwar, Volume 91, Page 253, Hadith 4
 Taken from the Tafsir of the Qur'an by `Allamah Taba'taba'i ‑ Volume 6, Page 188
 Bihar al‑Anwar, Volume 91, Page 246
 Tahdhib al‑Ahkam, Volume 3, Page 310 / Bihar al‑Anwar, Volume 91, Page 243 / Wasa'il ash‑Shi'a, Volume 3, Page 875, Hadith 7819
 Bihar al‑Anwar, Volume 91, Page 250, Hadith 4
 Bihar al‑Anwar, Volume 88, Page 230, Hadith 5 / al‑Kafi, Volume 3, Page 470