Before considering a Marriage Proposal how to pray Istikhaarah

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Ask Allah to Guide you in the important decisions of life

The Messenger of Allaah showed us the correct way in seeking guidance from Allaah.  Sometimes we are faced with very tough and big decisions, and who best to turn to other than Allaah.

The description of Salaat al-Istikhaarah was reported by Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Salami (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said:

“The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach his companions to make istikhaarah in all things, just as he used to teach them soorahs from the Qur’aan. He 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 wa astaqdiruka bi qudratika wa as’aluka min fadlika, fa innaka taqdiru wa laa aqdir, wa ta’lamu wa laa a’lam, wa anta ‘allaam al-ghuyoob. Allaahumma fa in kunta ta’lamu haadha’l-amra (then the matter should be mentioned by name) khayran li fi ‘aajil amri wa aajilihi (or: fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri) faqdurhu li wa yassirhu li thumma baarik li fihi. Allaahumma wa in kunta ta’lamu annahu sharrun li fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri (or: fi ‘aajili amri wa aajilihi) fasrifni ‘anhu [wasrafhu ‘anni] waqdur li al-khayr haythu kaana thumma radini bihi (O Allaah, I seek Your guidance [in making a choice] by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things. O Allaah, if in Your knowledge, this matter (then it should be mentioned by name) is good for me both in this world and in the Hereafter (or: in my religion, my livelihood and my affairs), then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge it is bad for me and for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs (or: for me both in this world and the next), then turn me away from it, [and turn it away from me], and ordain for me the good wherever it may be and make me pleased with it.”

(Reported by al-Bukhaari, 6841; similar reports are also recorded by al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah and Ahmad).

Ibn Hijr (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, commenting on this hadeeth:

“Istikhaarah is a word which means asking Allaah to help one make a choice, meaning choosing the best of two things where one needs to choose one of them.

Concerning the phrase ‘The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach us to make istikhaarah in all things,’ Ibn Abi Jamrah said: ‘It is a general phrase which refers to something specific. With regard to matters that are waajib (obligatory) or mustahabb (liked or encouraged), there is no need for istikhaarah to decide whether to do them, and with regard to matters that are haraam (forbidden) or makrooh (disliked), there is no need for istikhaarah to decide whether to avoid them. The issue of istikhaarah is confined to matters that are mubaah (allowed), or in mustahabb matters when there is a decision to be made as to which one should be given priority.’ I say: it refers to both great and small matters, and probably an insignificant issue could form the groundwork for a big issue.

The phrase ‘If any one of you is concerned…’ appears in the version narrated by Ibn Mas’ood as: ‘if any one of you wants to do something…’

‘Let him pray two rak’ahs of non-obligatory prayer.’ This is mentioned to make it clear that it does not mean fajr prayer, for example. Al-Nawawi said in al-Adhkaar: He can pray istikaarah after two rak’ahs of regular sunnah prayer done at zuhr for example, or after two rak’ahs of any naafil prayers whether they are regularly performed or not… It seems to be the case that if he made the intention to pray istikhaarah at the same time as intending to pray that particular prayer, this is fine, but not if he did not have this intention.

Ibn Abi Jamrah said: The wisdom behind putting the salaat before the du’aa’ is that istikhaarah is intended to combine the goodness of this world with the goodness of the next. A person needs to knock at the door of the King (Allaah), and there is nothing more effective for this than prayer, because it contains glorification and praise of Allaah, and expresses one’s need for Him at all times.

The phrase ‘then let him say’ would seem to imply that the du’aa’ should be said after finishing the prayer, and the word thumma (then) probably means after reciting all the words of the salaat and before saying salaam.

The phrase ‘O Allaah, I seek Your guidance by virtue of Your knowledge’ is explaining ‘because You know best.’ Similarly, ‘by virtue of Your power’ most likely means ‘seeking Your help.’ ‘I seek ability’ (astaqdiruka) means ‘I ask You to give me the power or ability (qudrah) to do’ whatever is being asked for, or it probably means ‘I ask You to decree (tuqaddir) this for me.’ So it may mean making it easy.

‘I ask You of Your great bounty’ refers to the fact that Allaah gives out of His great generosity, but no one has the right to His blessings. This is the opinion of Ahl al-Sunnah.

‘You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not’ refers to the fact that power and knowledge belong to Allaah alone, and the slave has no share of them except what Allaah decrees for him.

‘O Allaah, if in Your knowledge this matter…’ According to one report, he should mention it by name. It is apparent from the context that he should state it, but it is probably sufficient to be thinking of the matter whilst making this du’aa’.

‘Then ordain it for me’ means ‘make it happen for me’ or it may mean ‘make it easy for me.’

‘Then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it’ means ‘so that my heart will no longer feel attached to it after it has been turned away.’

‘Make me pleased with it’ means ‘make me content with it, so that I will never regret asking for it or be sorry that it happened, because I do not know how it will turn out, even if at the time of asking I am pleased with it.’

The secret is that one’s heart should not be attached to the matter in question, because that will result in a person becoming restless. Being pleased with something means that one’s heart is content with the decree of Allaah.

(Summarized from the commentary of al-Haafiz Ibn Hijr (may Allaah have mercy on him) on the hadeeth in Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Da’waat and Kitaab al-Tawheed.).

The description of Salaat al-Istikhaarah was reported by Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Salami (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said:

“The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach his companions to make istikhaarah in all things, just as he used to teach them soorahs from the Qur’aan. He 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 wa astaqdiruka bi qudratika wa as’aluka min fadlika, fa innaka taqdiru wa laa aqdir, wa ta’lamu wa laa a’lam, wa anta ‘allaam al-ghuyoob. Allaahumma fa in kunta ta’lamu haadha’l-amra (then the matter should be mentioned by name) khayran li fi ‘aajil amri wa aajilihi (or: fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri) faqdurhu li wa yassirhu li thumma baarik li fihi. Allaahumma wa in kunta ta’lamu annahu sharrun li fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri (or: fi ‘aajili amri wa aajilihi) fasrifni ‘anhu [wasrafhu ‘anni] waqdur li al-khayr haythu kaana thumma radini bihi (O Allaah, I seek Your guidance [in making a choice] by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things. O Allaah, if in Your knowledge, this matter (then it should be mentioned by name) is good for me both in this world and in the Hereafter (or: in my religion, my livelihood and my affairs), then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge it is bad for me and for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs (or: for me both in this world and the next), then turn me away from it, [and turn it away from me], and ordain for me the good wherever it may be and make me pleased with it.”

(Reported by al-Bukhaari, 6841; similar reports are also recorded by al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah and Ahmad).

Ibn Hijr (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, commenting on this hadeeth:

“Istikhaarah is a word which means asking Allaah to help one make a choice, meaning choosing the best of two things where one needs to choose one of them.

Concerning the phrase ‘The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach us to make istikhaarah in all things,’ Ibn Abi Jamrah said: ‘It is a general phrase which refers to something specific. With regard to matters that are waajib (obligatory) or mustahabb (liked or encouraged), there is no need for istikhaarah to decide whether to do them, and with regard to matters that are haraam (forbidden) or makrooh (disliked), there is no need for istikhaarah to decide whether to avoid them. The issue of istikhaarah is confined to matters that are mubaah (allowed), or in mustahabb matters when there is a decision to be made as to which one should be given priority.’ I say: it refers to both great and small matters, and probably an insignificant issue could form the groundwork for a big issue.

The phrase ‘If any one of you is concerned…’ appears in the version narrated by Ibn Mas’ood as: ‘if any one of you wants to do something…’

‘Let him pray two rak’ahs of non-obligatory prayer.’ This is mentioned to make it clear that it does not mean fajr prayer, for example. Al-Nawawi said in al-Adhkaar: He can pray istikaarah after two rak’ahs of regular sunnah prayer done at zuhr for example, or after two rak’ahs of any naafil prayers whether they are regularly performed or not… It seems to be the case that if he made the intention to pray istikhaarah at the same time as intending to pray that particular prayer, this is fine, but not if he did not have this intention.

Ibn Abi Jamrah said: The wisdom behind putting the salaat before the du’aa’ is that istikhaarah is intended to combine the goodness of this world with the goodness of the next. A person needs to knock at the door of the King (Allaah), and there is nothing more effective for this than prayer, because it contains glorification and praise of Allaah, and expresses one’s need for Him at all times.

The phrase ‘then let him say’ would seem to imply that the du’aa’ should be said after finishing the prayer, and the word thumma (then) probably means after reciting all the words of the salaat and before saying salaam.

The phrase ‘O Allaah, I seek Your guidance by virtue of Your knowledge’ is explaining ‘because You know best.’ Similarly, ‘by virtue of Your power’ most likely means ‘seeking Your help.’ ‘I seek ability’ (astaqdiruka) means ‘I ask You to give me the power or ability (qudrah) to do’ whatever is being asked for, or it probably means ‘I ask You to decree (tuqaddir) this for me.’ So it may mean making it easy.

‘I ask You of Your great bounty’ refers to the fact that Allaah gives out of His great generosity, but no one has the right to His blessings. This is the opinion of Ahl al-Sunnah.

‘You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not’ refers to the fact that power and knowledge belong to Allaah alone, and the slave has no share of them except what Allaah decrees for him.

‘O Allaah, if in Your knowledge this matter…’ According to one report, he should mention it by name. It is apparent from the context that he should state it, but it is probably sufficient to be thinking of the matter whilst making this du’aa’.

‘Then ordain it for me’ means ‘make it happen for me’ or it may mean ‘make it easy for me.’

‘Then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it’ means ‘so that my heart will no longer feel attached to it after it has been turned away.’

‘Make me pleased with it’ means ‘make me content with it, so that I will never regret asking for it or be sorry that it happened, because I do not know how it will turn out, even if at the time of asking I am pleased with it.’

The secret is that one’s heart should not be attached to the matter in question, because that will result in a person becoming restless. Being pleased with something means that one’s heart is content with the decree of Allaah.

(Summarized from the commentary of al-Haafiz Ibn Hijr (may Allaah have mercy on him) on the hadeeth in Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Da’waat and Kitaab al-Tawheed.).

Source Islam-qa.com

40 Comments to Before considering a Marriage Proposal how to pray Istikhaarah

  1. salam alaikum,
    thank you for making a very clear description with this.
    i used to think that the prayer can only be made before sleeping in the night.
    May Allah guides us all.

  2. This information would be very useful to all, perhaps for one who is in the stage of this subject made even better in seeking additional knowledge! Somehow thank you very much to one who deed this information explained well. Jazakallahu Khairan, May Allah guide us always into d’ right path.

    • abdulrahim reganit tolentino

      JAZANA WA JAZAKUMULLAHU KULLI KHAYR WA IYYAK YA YHANGHON…
      SALAM ALAYKUM WA RAHMATULLAHI TA’ALA WA BARAKATUH…
      AMEEEN AND MAY ALLAHU SUBHANA WA TA’ALA ALWAYS BE WITH US IN ALL TIMES OF OURLIVES…

  3. Aminat Abdul Rahim

    What if both partner perform Istikhaarah and the woman is one that sees it that the man is right for her and the man says he has not seen anything yet is that possible.

      • Aminat Abdul Rahim

        But i thought it should be cleared to both, please this is between me and my partner and i brought the idea that we should seek Allah’s guidiance before our conclusion and now we did the prayer for 3 days and it was revealed to me but he keep saying he did not see anything but am just scared because i don’t want to make a mistake please brothers and sisters i would be very glad if you can reply me on my email with enlightment on this may almighty Allah reward you all aboundantly

        • Nowhere does it say you have to see a vision. All you do is pray Istikhara and then do what is best. If Allah does not decree it for you then He will turn it away from you if Allah believes it to be good for you then He will allow it to happen inshAllah.

          I repeat nowhere does it say you must see a vision or a dream.

          • Aminat Abdul Rahim

            I thank you so much for making this point clear to me because we were both thinking different thing entirely and i really appreciate this and my almighty Allah continue to increase you in knowledge Jazakumullahu khaira

  4. why didnt i think of this dua before… how can i improve my marriage… as it seems that we both are just drifting apart day by day!! she is more concerned about her kids then me.. when she asks me something its just for getting the necessary things from the store that is about it..

    how can we make this work.. i know deep down in my heart she is everything for me but i do feel hurt at times….

  5. Asalam Alaykum warahmotullahi wabarakatuhu. I want to ask is the prayer can be said at the Last rukuh of the two rakah or after salam… Jazakumullah khairan

  6. may allah reachly bless you for spreading the word of peace and how to get closer to allaah
    may he reward you

  7. Salaam alaikum; may Almighty Allaah continue to give u more wisdom to convey messages that will be of great importance to Islamic women and muslims in d world,have also learnt alot from this message’jazakumlaahu khyran.may Allaah give u the power to do more of this [Ameen]

  8. Aminah El-Marzuq

    Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu. Masha Allah, may Allah bless you abundantly for making this clear, as most of us don’t know how to go about Istikhara and therefore make it anyhow. Jazaa naa wa jazakumullahu khair. Salaam.

  9. for those whom want it in Arabic, may Allah reward you.

    عن جابِرٍ رضيَ اللَّه عنه قال : كانَ رسولُ اللَّه صَلّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وسَلَّم يُعَلِّمُنَا الاسْتِخَارَةَ في الأُمُور كُلِّهَا كالسُّورَةِ منَ القُرْآنِ ، يَقُولُ إِذا هَمَّ أَحَدُكُمْ بالأمر ، فَليَركعْ رَكعتَيْنِ مِنْ غَيْرِ الفرِيضَةِ ثم ليقُلْ : اللَّهُم إِني أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بعِلْمِكَ ، وأستقدِرُكَ بقُدْرِتك ، وأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فضْلِكَ العَظِيم ، فإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ ولا أَقْدِرُ ، وتعْلَمُ ولا أَعْلَمُ ، وَأَنتَ علاَّمُ الغُيُوبِ . اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كنْتَ تعْلَمُ أَنَّ هذا الأمرَ خَيْرٌ لي في دِيني وَمَعَاشي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي ، فاقْدُرْهُ لي وَيَسِّرْهُ لي، ثمَّ بَارِكْ لي فِيهِ ، وَإِن كُنْتَ تعْلمُ أَنَّ هذَا الأَمْرَ شرٌّ لي في دِيني وَمَعاشي وَعَاقبةِ أَمَرِي ، فاصْرِفهُ عَني ، وَاصْرفني عَنهُ، وَاقدُرْ لي الخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كانَ ، ثُمَّ رَضِّني بِهِ » قال : ويسمِّي حاجته . – رواه البخاري

  10. SHAGUFTA NAAZ

    jazakAllah khair….may ALLAH guide us and make all momin brother’s n sister’s life after marriage peaceful and good for duniya n akhirah…ALLAH humma Ameen

  11. Ibrahim Yusuf

    I want to sincerely ask can this prayer be said when you are also in the state of been confused and things are going wrong for you example been falsely or wrongly accused and you been relived of your job after the wrong accusation.

    Please i need your quick response here.

    Thank You!

    • This dua is not just for marriage but when you need Allaah’s guidance in any matter or decision you face.

      • Abdurahman Kabiru

        Alhamdu Lillah.
        I am very happy for these clearance & the way u replied to brothers & sisters.But please,make it clearer to all.Its a prayer recited when ever u need guidance from Allah.You don’t dream or see the solution overnight after reciting the Du’a.You are asking Allah to guide u on what is good & best for u in all matters of your life.Not only for those who wants to get married.Thx

  12. Good day!This was a really fine theme!
    I come from itlay, I was luck to find your website in yahoo
    Also I learn a lot in your subject really thank your very much i will come every day

  13. JAZAAK ALLAAHU KHAIRAN…
    MAY ALLAH GUIDE US ALL…
    N MAY ALLAAH FULLFILL ALL UR GOOD DESIRES..
    U REALLY DID A VERY GOOD JOB.
    THAnx AGAIN…

  14. Salaam alaikum .. ameen to all the dua’s made above. Im just a little confusee with how this works.. if you read your esha salaah n then read the 2 nafl, do you need to go to sleep straight after reading your 2 nafl because thats what i have heard. Is it also true you shudnt talk after the dua. Plz let me kno.. im a little confused. Thankyou

  15. Hey. Cool article. There’s a problem with the website in internet explorer, and you may want to test this… The browser is the marketplace leader and a good component to other folks will omit your magnificent writing due to this problem.

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