Before Considering a Proposal How to Pray Istikhara for Marriage

It is imperative that you seek Allah’s blessing and guidance before considering a marriage proposal. Because Allah SWT knows what is best suited for you. To smoothen your path before choosing someone for marriage, you may consider praying Istikhara.  

Therefore, before considering a proposal, you need to know how to pray Istikhara for Marriage. 

We shall be discussing in detail how to pray Istikhara for marriage or perform Salat al Istikhara.  Even if you have the slightest doubt about marrying a certain person, then pray Salat al Istikhara. Then Allah SWT will undoubtedly make matters easier for you

Istikhara means seeking guidance from Allah SWT to the path that is best for you on a specific matter.  

It was narrated by Jabir bin ‘Abdullah: 


“The Prophet (PBUH) used to teach us the way of doing Istikhara, in all matters as he taught us the Surahs of the Qur’an and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely.” 
[3:159] [Bukhari]

How to pray Istikhara for Marriage?                 

It is crucial that you perform Istikhara in the right manner to attain the desired result. You may also consult with a renowned Alim to know accurately on how to do Istikhara for Marriage. Upon knowing the proper procedure, then you may proceed with praying Istikhara for marriage.

The steps for performing Istikhara have been listed below.

  • Make ablution properly and proceed with reciting 2 rak’at of Nafil namaz. 
  • During the first ra’kat recite Surah Fatiha followed by Surah Kafiroon
  • As for the second ra’kat, recite Surah Fatiha followed by Surah Al Ikhlas.   
  • For the next step, you’ll need to recite the Istikhara dua, provided below.
Transliteration:

‘Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi’ilmika, Wa astaqdiruka bi-qudratika, Wa as’alaka min fadlika Al-`azlm Fa-innaka taqdiru Wala aqdiru, Wa ta’lamu Wala a’lamu, Wa anta ‘allamu l-ghuyub. Allahumma, in kunta ta’lam anna hadha-lamra Khairun li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa’aqibati `Amri (or ‘ajili `Amri wa’ajilihi) Faqdirhu wa yas-sirhu li thumma barik li Fihi, Wa in kunta ta’lamu anna hadha-lamra shar-run li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa’aqibati `Amri (or fi’ajili `Amri wa ajilihi) Fasrifhu anni was-rifni anhu.

Waqdir li al-khaira haithu kana Thumma ardini bihi.’[Bukhari]

Translation:

(O Allah! I ask guidance from Your knowledge, And Power from Your Might and I ask for Your great blessings. You are capable and I am not. You know and I do not and You know the unseen. O Allah! If You know that this job is good for my religion and my subsistence and in my Hereafter– (or said: If it is better for my present and later needs)–Then You ordain it for me and make it easy for me to get, and then bless me in it, and if You know that this job is harmful to me in my religion and subsistence and in the Hereafter– (or said: If it is worse for my present and later needs)–Then keep it away from me and let me be away from it. And ordain for me whatever is good for me, and make me satisfied with it). 

The Prophet (ﷺ) mentioned that, once the above dua is recited, then, the person should proceed with naming his need.” 

You may keep the following things in mind – 

  • Then mention the name of your potential partner and their mother.
  • You will need to perform Istikhara for preferably 7 days.
  • Throughout these 7 days, you will get various signs in your dream. This will tell you whether he or she is the ideal person for you.
  • Performing Istikhara means, Allah SWT will provide you guidance. This will help you to make the right decision.
  • Lastly, you need to make Istikhara while having a pure heart. It ensures that you get the best result. 

Things to keep in mind when praying Istikhara for Marriage 

It is vital that we ask for guidance from Allah SWT.  For this we need to perform Salat al Istikhara. Marriage is undoubtedly a crucial step so it should be made under the counsel of Allah SWT. 

  • It is recommended to pray 2 rak’at of Nafil namaz before seeking the guidance of Allah SWT. 
  • You should include Istikhara into the morning prayer, known as Salat al Fajr or after Salat al Lail. 
  • Salat al Lail is an optional prayer during night time. It doesn’t have a specific number of rak’ats. If you wish to perform Salat al Lail, then, it should be after the Isha prayer.  
  • It is ideal to seek advice from people who possess more knowledge regarding Istikhara.   
  • You should not expect answers to appear in your dreams, instantly. Only help from Allah SWT and your parents can make it easier for you.    

Step by step process of performing Istikhara 

The process of performing Istikhara is quite straightforward. The steps are, as follows- 

  1. First and foremost, you need to perform ablution to cleanse yourself. You need to focus your thoughts while performing Istikhara.  Clean in the order – 
  • First of all, cleanse your –
  1. Lower forearm 
  2. Face 
  3. Hands 
  4. Mouth 
  5. Nose

Three times. 

Then wash – 

  1. Head 
  2. Ears

Once.

  1. Rinse your feet (right feet first)

Three times. 

Once you’ve performed ablution, point the index finger of your right hand while reciting a prayer for a witness.

“Ash-hadu al laa ilaaha illALLAHu wahdahuu laa shariikalahu, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhuu wa rasuuluh.”
  1. Before you proceed with praying Istikhara – 
  • Find a place without distractions. 
  • Prepare yourself for praying Salat al Istikhara
  • Make sure to use a clean mat while praying. You and the mat must face in the Qibla (Mecca).
  1. Start your prayer by – 
  • Centering your intentions and clearing your mind. 
  • Then bring your hand towards your ears.
  • Utter Allahu Akbar.
  • Proceed with reciting the opening dua, the Istiftah. 
“Subhana Kal-lah hum-ma wabi hamdika wata-baara kasmuka wata’ala jad-duka wala ilaha ghyruk.”
  •     Next up, recite the Ta’awwuz only once. 
“A’udhu bil-lahi minash Shayta-nir-rajeem”
  • Next, you need to recite, Tasmiyah
  • Remember, you need to recite the Tasmiyah, before you proceed with reading the Quran or any Surah.
“Bismillah hir-Rahma nir-Raheem”
  1. Before you pray the Salat al Istikhara, you will need to offer two rak’at nafil prayers. In these rak’ats, the first surah should be Surah Fatiha
  2. Continue your first rak’at with Surah Al Kafirun
  3. Again in the next rak’at, recite Surah Fatiha, then, Surah Al Ikhlas
  4. After you’ve completed the 2 rak’ats, proceed onto the supplication for Istikhara.  

It was mentioned by Prophet Muhammad SAW (PBUH) –

“If anyone of you think of doing any job, then, he should offer two nafil rak’at prayers other than the compulsory ones and say (after the prayer) …” 

[Bukhari]

Istikhara Dua (it’s a Sunnah)

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظِيمِ، فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلاَ أَقْدِرُ وَتَعْلَمُ وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتَ عَلاَّمُ الْغُيُوبِ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ، وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ، وَاقْدُرْ لِي الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ ثُمَّ أَرْضِنِي بِهِ

Transliteration:

‘Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi’ilmika, Wa astaqdiruka bi-qudratika, Wa as’alaka min fadlika Al-`azlm Fa-innaka taqdiru Wala aqdiru, Wa ta’lamu Wala a’lamu, Wa anta ‘allamu l-ghuyub. Allahumma, in kunta ta’lam anna hadha-lamra Khairun li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa’aqibati `Amri (or ‘ajili `Amri wa’ajilihi) Faqdirhu wa yas-sirhu li thumma barik li Fihi, Wa in kunta ta’lamu anna hadha-lamra shar-run li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa’aqibati `Amri (or fi’ajili `Amri wa ajilihi) Fasrifhu anni was-rifni anhu. Waqdir li al-khaira haithu kana Thumma ardini bihi.’

[Bukhari]

Translation:

(O Allah! I ask guidance from Your knowledge, And Power from Your Might and I ask for Your great blessings. You are capable and I am not. You know and I do not and You know the unseen. O Allah! If You know that this job is good for my religion and my subsistence and in my Hereafter– (or said: If it is better for my present and later needs)–Then You ordain it for me and make it easy for me to get, and then bless me in it, and if You know that this job is harmful to me in my religion and subsistence and in the Hereafter– (or said: If it is worse for my present and later needs)–Then keep it away from me and let me be away from it. And ordain for me whatever is good for me, and make me satisfied with it). The Prophet (ﷺ) added that then the person should name (mention) his need.” 

  1. State your need

“…The Prophet (ﷺ) mentioned that after this the person should name (mention) his requirement…”

[Bukhari]

  1. You may perform Istikhara as many times you feel is necessary. Until you feel your prayers have been answered by Allah SWT. You can also pray Salat al Istikhara, 7 days a week during every prayer.  

Benefits of performing Istikhara

There are a number of benefits of Istikhara. These are –

  • During times of trails, we can rely on the guidance and supervision of Allah SWT. This will undoubtedly make our life a lot easier. 
  • Only Allah SWT knows about the future. So, he can guide us towards the righteous path.
  • Humans are prone to making wrong decisions. But Allah knows our weakness. So, performing Istikhara will help us in receiving the guidance of Allah SWT. 
  • There are times when we may feel a decision we are taking is the right one. However, if we perform Istikhara then, Allah SWT will take care of us.   

Istikhara for marriage problems

This will help you if your marriage is on the point of divorce. You may still be unsure whether abandoning your husband or wife is the correct thing to do. Then the Istikhara for separation will help out a great deal. For this – 

  • You need to perform this Istikhara before going to bed. 
  • Once you’ve done taharat and ablution, pray 2 ra’kats of nafil namaz. 
  • Then you’ll have to practice the Istikhara dua for separation.
  • Once you’ve done this, go to sleep immediately. 
  • When you’ve witnessed the dream, you may consult with a molvi. 
  • This will help you to know about the meaning of your dream. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. When should you not perform Salat al Istikhara?

When you are either out on the road or going through the menstrual period, do not perform Istikhara prayer. During this period, you can simply read the dua.   

2. Is it possible to pray Istikhara on behalf of someone else?

Istikhara should only be performed by the person who is seeking guidance for a certain decision.

3. Can I perform Istikhara if I am not a practicing Muslim, will my dua be answered?

Any Muslim can offer namaz or pray to Allah SWT. Even if a person commits a lot of sins, he/she should not think twice before turning to Allah SWT for help. Turning back to Allah will only show that you are sincere and trust in Allah’s plans. 

4. Does the decision that I get after praying Istikhara affect others?

In this case, everyone who is involved should pray their own Istikhara.

5. What should I do if I am still unable to make a decision even after performing Istikhara?

If this happens, then Allah SWT did not place an inclination in your heart. This might be a sign that Allah SWT wants you to beg and keep asking for this guidance. You need to ask for Allah’s divine help in this case. You should never stop making dua. Always be hopeful. 

6. If I’m confident about my decision, do I still pray Istikhara? 

Yes, you should still pray Istikhara. This will increase the blessings upon your actions. The companions of Prophet Muhammad SAW (PBUH) used to make Istikhara on a regular basis. Even for the simplest things. 

7. Would it be okay if I recite only the dua without offering the 2 rak’ats?

It will be sufficient for you even if you only recite the dua. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) specifically mentioned performing 2 rak’ats. Although, you may just recite the dua, provided that this is what you choose to do. Simply reciting the dua will help you to make an immediate decision. 

8. What if I am unable to read Arabic? I’m relatively new to practicing Islam and have difficulty in pronouncing the dua?

You should not be worried, simply recite the dua in English. Allah SWT will be able to understand your prayer, irrespective of the language you use. Pray to Allah SWT from your heart. Allah wants you to plead sincerely and ask for his help. Even if you use any other language, other than Arabic, then it should not be an issue. 

9. Allah SWT understands all dua & languages, in that case, why should I recite dua in Arabic?

As Prophet Muhammad SAW (PBUH) taught us this dua, if you utter the exact words as him, you will get additional blessings. Moreover, companions of Prophet Muhammad SAW (PBUH) also mentioned that this dua was taught to them similarly to portions of the Quran.  

10. What if I make a decision without having performed Istikhara? 

Praying Istikhara is our way of begging Allah SWT to be bestowed with his blessings while making a certain decision. The generosity of Allah SWT means his blessings are not dependent on our actions.

Conclusion 

You should not expect anything that is unworldly after praying Istikhara. Performing Istikhara means, you are backed by the blessing of Allah SWT. So, before considering a proposal, you need to know how to pray for Istikhara. You should keep in mind that Istikhara does not exist for actions that are obligatory or haram. Even after praying Istikhara, if your decision does not work out as you wanted to, you should keep in mind that Allah SWT knows best and has a better plan for you. There were Allah’s blessings even if you cannot see them at that moment.

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