Can You Do Istikhara for Marriage? Islamic Law Explained

Recently, I learned that Istikhara is an Islamic tradition which is strongly rooted in culture. Unfortunately, I have noticed that most people have an incorrect view of Istikhara and marriage. So, I decided to conduct research on the significance of Istikhara and marriage.

So, can you do an Istikhara for marriage? All Muslims are encouraged to perform Istikhara for marriage. Marriage is an important issue that come up in Muslim lives. It is important to always stop and think and ask others for advice, seek guidance from Allah through Istikhara.

Marriage is a beautiful thing. It is a commitment between two people for a very long time. A very comfortable and pleasant relationship full of care, love and sincerity ought to be brought before Allah through Istikhara.  Anytime a Muslim is making a decision like marriage. He or she should seek Allah’s wisdom and guidance. Allah alone knows what is best for us.

Istikhara by supplication involves asking what’s proper and best from Allah, the merciful- which is itself a form of supplication. Relying upon Allah and leaving all the affairs of marriage to Allah and having a favorable or good opinion of Allah is essential. This means that in all the affairs of marriage, the believer supplicates to Allah and sincerely asks Him to bless his marriage and make it a successful one.

The Istikhara by supplication for marriage in all instances takes precedence. It is always recommended that before one goes ahead with marriage he or she should start with supplicating to Allah. In numerous hadiths, it is always recommended that believers should perform supplication before every action and is usually characterized with success for the believer.

Istikhara involves glorifying and praising coupled with humility and modesty towards Allah. Istikhara by seeking advice from other individuals in order to find out what is best for the marriage is encouraged.

During each and every individual’s life, every knowledgeable believer, especially during times where He or She is taking a major step in life like marriage should not rely on his or her restricted and limited knowledge and intellect. In addition to his own understanding, he needs to obtain advice from other people like Imams.

Istikhara is a powerful tool that Allah has given us to ask guidance in all matters. It is important to do Istikhara with sincerity, knowing in our hearts that Allah will provide the guidance we seek. As long as we resolve to follow the guidance, he gives us even if it clashes with our own desires.

How do you Perform Istikhara for Marriage?

You should perform Istikhara for marriage with firm conviction, not pleading or begging but asking Allah clearly for guidance. You should not be inpatient after performing Istikhara for marriage. You simply make your prayers and trust that Allah has heard your prayer and will answer the prayers in the way that is best.

According to a hadith narrated by Jabir bin’ Abdullah, the prophet used to educate believers on the right way of doing Istikhara. He taught the believers the Surats of the Quran. He stated that if any believer is doing any job, he or she is required to offer two Rakat prayers other than the compulsory ones.

Istikhara for marriage should be performed with an open should not be performed after one has made the decision of marriage and only looking for evidence to support the union. The dua should be truly for seeking guidance from Allah as one is awaiting a sign from Him on the decision of marriage.

For instance if you have already made up your mind that you will get married to her and you are just waiting for a sign, then this shows that you have made the decision and in the process you may overlook any indications that one should not move forward with the marriage.

Regarding the signs of istikhara for marriage, scholars say that the results if the istikhara prayer can be presented in many forms and one has to go by his or her feelings. You should deduce whether you feel more favorable or not.

You can also notice change in many events, either for what you were expecting or not. It is advisable to follow the results of an istikhara because not doing so is similar to reflecting God’s guidance once he has provided one. You should first clear your mind, not have the mind clearly decided on the marriage and later follow the results willingly.

If you have decided to get married, even after supplication and asking the best from Allah, and using your intelligence, thought and research and obtaining advice from other individuals and cannot seem to reach the conclusion and still entertain confusion and doubt, then the best thing to do is to go back to God and ask for guidance once more. To achieve this, one can opt to use the spiritual istikhara or by the use of the Quran, Tasbih or by papers.

The spiritual istikhara is a kind of dua in which one establishes a relationship with Allah. After obtaining other individuals guidance and advice and relying on the individual’s intelligence and have not achieved any results, you should perform supplication to Allah by seeking what is best. While you’re engaging in prayer with your creator, make sure to ask all the desires of your heart and ask Him to grant you and guide you to what is truly best for you.

At this point, you should look into your heart through soul searching and make sure to follow the path that is stronger in your soul. This will be an answer that Allah has provided to you with certainty and satisfaction and would go ahead with your plans.

The istikhara by Quran is usually done by supplicating and asking what is best after asking for advice from others and thinking what could be best for you but you still have no peace of mind, then you are allowed to refer to the Quran in order to remove any thoughts and doubt through seeking what is best. You can as well opt for istikhara by Tabish as described in the Quran hadith number 34.

When making dua, you should always mention the matter or the decision. In the case of marriage make sure to mention marriage instead of “hathal-amra”. What you should always understand is that the answer of your istikhara prayer does not simply come in the form of feeling and dreams, but it comes in how Allah unfolds or facilitates events for you after you genuinely strive to do what is best before making the decision.

It is always essential to make sure to consult others having wisdom and knowledge that you trust in and always put your trust in Allah. Lastly, when making istikhara for marriage, you need to be patient when waiting for your answer and always remember the words of the prophet  that supplication of everyone is granted as long as the person does not show haste and does not say that he made the supplication and it was not answered.

The istikhara for marriage should be preceded by one essential Sunnah called the istikhara-seeking counsel of the individuals who are worthy of being consulted and taking the sound means of assessing the situation of marriage at hand. According to scholars like Imam al-Nawawi, you should always seek counsel on your marriage situation. Other scholars like Al-Haytami outline the benefits of getting such advice is to further distance yourself from the desires of taking your own egotistic inclinations.

The right way of doing istikhara for your marriage is to first perform your ablution for your specific prayer. Secondly, you should make the intention for the prayer and make sure that you pray two rakats at the time that is favorable to you. Thirdly, pray two rakats according to the sunnah- you should read the first rakat after the Surah al-Kafirun and in the second rakat after the Fatiah, you should read Surah al-Ikhlas.

Fourth, after finishing the prayers with tasleem, you should raise your hands and recite the supplication of the istikhara for marriage. Fifth, makes sure that when making the supplication you embody the states it is calling you towards, namely that you be abased and lowered before Allah. You should be aware of his rank, authority and power.

It is said that you should know your slave hood inwardly by directly recognizing Allah’s supremacy and that it is key for our dua getting answered. Sixth, it is recommended that when opening supplication of istikhara, you should praise Allah and send blessings to the Prophet. You should also end with it too.

Provided that you conduct istikhara for your wedding with proper manners, most importantly is to truly consign  the matter to Allah, in that case, then whatever happens afterwards is itself the answer and we should trust and believe that it is best for our present marriage affairs. When the result is not clear, then it is recommended by numerous scholars that we perform istikhara seven times if necessary.

Always remember that when we’re performing dua, you should move away from your ego. You should ask Allah to give you the beneficial knowledge and the gifted success to act upon it in the way that is most beloved to Him, in the footsteps of His holy Prophet.

What is Istikhara Prayer for Marriage?

As stated above, as a believer who wants to make a decision about your marriage, then you should seek Allah’s wisdom and guidance. Because He is the only one who knows what is best for you and He understands that what is good for you today will be something good in future.

Therefore, believers should practice istikhara prayer for marriage to find out whether their marriage that looks so promising will be blessed in future.

The process of performing istikhara for marriage is as outlined requires that one should state what the dua is for, supplicate asking for guidance and wait for God’s guidance. In return He will provide you with the best and right way to perform your marriage. 

If you have doubts on whether you should marry a certain person or not and you’re filled with doubt, then turning to Allah will ensure that you attain surety with only His guidance.

The decision for your marriage may give you numerous sleepless nights. But by practicing Salat Al istikhara for marriage then you will no longer have doubt in your mind. You should not hesitate when doing istikhara when making small or big decisions in your life. However, it is essential to perform it with great sincerity and devotion. Always ensure to follow the verdict that comes to you even if it clashes with your thoughts.

The best way to practice the istikhara for marriage is to keep reciting two rakat namaz after making the obligatory dua of the night. Then recite your istikhara for marriage. Then utter the name of the spouse. You should also pray for Allah to grant a hint of whether the marriage is right for you or not once you are done, you should sleep facing Qibla.

When Allah answers you will get a hint in your sleep in the form of a dream. The answer could be favorable or not. But always make sure that whatever the sign is, it is usually an answer from Allah himself. Make sure to abide by it.

The significance of istikhara for marriage helps you meander any twisted scenario of marriage. During such a particular time, you may be required to make an important decision in your marriage that will have significant influence in the future of your life. As per the traditions available to all Muslim believers, istikhara helps us to consult with God rather than taking into consideration the worldly aspects.

In a prophetic tradition narrated by Bihar Al-Anwar, the Prophet directed that all the children of Adam are required to perform istikhara as directed by Allah. He says that it is a misfortune for a child of Adam to abandon performing istikhara in his or her decisions in life.

In fact those who abstain from performing istikhara are harshly reprimanded in numerous traditions. It is a directive to perform istikhara for marriages and not to select based on one’s opinion the result of the dua.

The result of the dua is usually applicable when one feels confident about the decision in marriage. In such situations, the Imams will recommend that one should go ahead with the decision, and couple it with a dua. According to Shaikh al-Tusi, one should state the istikhara for marriage more than a hundred times in matters that are important such as marriage affairs and at least ten times in affairs that are not that important.

All the concepts put forward clearly state the significance for istikhara for marriage. It is usually recommended that any believer should engage in the dua before deciding to marry. Al-Maqniah clearly states that one who wishes to marry should first look for a spouse as per the criteria elaborated by Islamic law. He or she should then perform istikhara by stating:

‘O Allah, I wish to get married, make it easy for me to acquire from the women, the best of them in physique and character , the most protective of herself, the most chaste amongst them, her faith and my trust that I place with her.’

The above prayer can also be performed if you have numerous options to choose from, but you are not in a position to choose any of them. The prayer can be restructured in a different manner.

The basic part of any problem is to look for a solution that encourages you to seek an expert’s guidance. A more productive manner of performing this is to seek goodness from God instead of depending upon the understanding of human beings with limited knowledge.

As directed by al-Sadiq, before you embark in any affair like marriage, you should not seek advice from anybody until you have sought advice from Allah. In turn Allah will make sure that what is good for you will flow from the mouths of whomever He wishes.

The practice of istikhara for marriage is not only valuable to Islam but also increases faith in Allah. After making dua for your marriage, whichever of the options of the marriage occurred to you, you should be always thankful to Allah for the guidance. In any case of any ambiguity, it is advisable to act with diligence and make decisions as per the desirable information.

In conclusion, the aim for istikhara for marriage is to ask which is good from Allah and that you demonstrate your abject neediness to Him in your marriage. As indicated in the wording of your dua, all power, knowledge and capability rests in Allah’s alone and you cannot possess anything except that with Allah destined for you. In summary, the ultimate answer to your istikhara for marriage is that which Allah brings into being in your marriage.

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