Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Istikara – if not dreams then what?


Assalam O Alaikum,

I have known people to perform Istikara seeking guidance from Allah, and they have had positive/negative dreams as their outcome. However, on this website, we are told numerous times that Istikara is not based on dreams as not everyone will have a dream.

If istikara has nothing to do with dreams then what are we supposed to expect in order to see if the reason we are doing Istikara is good or bad? In what way are we supposed to get a sign from Allah to let us know whether this thing we are praying for, is beneficial for us or not?


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17 Responses »

  1. People continue to think that they will see a "dream." That is not necessarily so.

    The word meaning of istikhara is to ask for the mercy and blessing of ALLAH. istikhara is done to ask for the opinion of ALLAH in the matters where person is confused. Most of the time, when we have to take decisions regarding important matters of life, we feel deserted at some point of time because at that point we find ourselves in a fix as what to do and what not.
    When such a point comes, one can easily make a wrong decision, so the holy Prophet s.a.w.w has told us a solution for this matter. When we are in a fix we should ask ALLAH swt to guide us in the matter.

    According to Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 21, Number 263:
    Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah :The Prophet (Sallal Laho Alaihi Wasallam) used to teach us the way of doing Istikhara, in all matters as he taught us the Suras of the Quran. He said, "If anyone of you thinks of doing any job he should offer a two Rakat prayer other than the compulsory ones and say (after the prayer):

    Translation: "O Allah! I seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) I seek strength, and I ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and I do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah!in your knowledge if you think(which I intend to do) is better for my religion and faith, for my life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for me and make it easy for me and then add blessings [baraka'] in it, for me. 

    O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action is bad for me, bad for my religion and faith, for my life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from me and turn me away from it and whatever is better for me, ordain [destine] that for me and then make me satisfied with it."

    People associate too many things to the astikhara dua. They say that they will see dreams. If they see green color it will be okei. If it is red color, it is rejected. Many people believing on this, when pray for istekhara they do not see such dreams. They might not see dream even for 10 nights. They think they cannot do istikhara themselves.

    For those who go to other to do istikhara on their behalf must know that there is no such thing in islam. One who wants to ask for ALLAH’s help should ask this himself. When we want to seek advice on some matter, do we ask others to seek the advice on our behalf? Certainly no. we will never rely on others in the matters personal to us. Why do we go to others for istekhara then?

    There are some people who do istekhara in one minute and tell people what to do and what not, i.e. instant istekhara. Where in hadith we were told to do instant istekhara? These are all lies. The people who do such absurdities in the name of istekhara actually are numerologists and magicians who do not ask from ALLAH but form their evil friends.

    When we ask ALLAH for help, HE either makes circumstances good for us or makes things easy or he makes the ways so hard that there is left no other option but to forget what we wanted to do. If some people see dreams etc. then this could be a way of guidance but it is not hard and fast to see dreams.

    When we ask ALLAH, the first thing we should notice that our heart will come at peace. This peaceful feeling remains till we take the final decision. Hence if you do see dream after you do istekhara, do no panic.

    And always Allah tala knows best 🙂

  2. Salaam,

    Do Istikhara and go forward with the decision you are more inclined to. If there is goodness in it, Allah will make things unfold easily for you. If not you will find a lot of difficulties coming in your way, then you need to get out.

  3. Salamualaikum,

    Alhamdulillah, I have experienced both.

    Personally, I was Guided by Allah through dreams sometimes and without dreams sometimes.

    Istikhaarah, as the dua means, makes things easy for you, whatever is good for you and whatever is not good becomes difficult.

    For example, we were on for an outing from my office, some time ago. They asked me if I would join, and I agreed. I was unsure if I did right. I performed Istikhaarah.

    To my surprise, just before the day we were to set out, I fell ill and I informed them I wouldn't join. Later, I heard that there were a lot of evils over. I thank Allah for His Protection and pray for His Protection at every step I take.

    Istikhaarah can even work in this way. We never know how Allah Helps.

    Muhammad Waseem Editor

    • Thank you brother Waseem. That really shows how powerful Allah is.
      However, what if you performed Istikara a few times, and every single time you got a positive dream but there have been some minor hurdles along the way and what you are trying to achieve/asked Allah for guidance, hasn't happened yet? What does this mean?


      • Sister Saira,

        You should have patience. You can not expect magic to happen just when you perform Istikhaarah, right? 🙂

        Yes, exceptions are possible. But Allah does what He wants, in a way He wants and whenever He wants.

        So, if you have seen something positive about a matter, then go ahead with it, then insha Allah, if it is good for you, Allah will make it easy for you. Otherwise, you'll have not minor, but major hurdles and sometimes, things will make it impossible. So, the answer is - have patience and keep your trust in Allah that whatever He does is good for you, and then, accept what comes your way.

        Muhammad Waseem Editor

  4. Mashallah brother waseem in you reply it shows Allah loves you 🙂 ( I do not mean that Allah dosent love us) :/

    • sister Nadia,

      Subhanallah, not only me. He loves us all. We just need to turn to Him, obey Him and follow the Sunnah of His Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.

      Muhammad Waseem Editor

  5. Salam

    What brother Waseem explained makes me look back what happened to me during my Istikharah ( for the second marriage ). Yes, I dreamed positive and negative dreams and it makes me confused. I then realize what I face is more to difficult thing and it may be the way Allah answer the istikharah.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Allah hafidz

    • Sister if you don't mind me asking, did Allah give you major hurdles along the way in order to guide you away from it, or did you keep trying and the outcome gave you your answer from Allah? Was the outcome good or bad?


  6. Salam sister Saira, thanks for asking

    Since we have no result for what we have done for our future life and his unsolved yet previous marriage problem, my conviction and sincerity grow inside as it is the way Allah answers my Istikharah, patience, and du'as. we have done our effort but Allah decides. I think our conviction play a role as part of istikharah answer. Since a marriage is about two persons, both must have the same effort to make it come true and if it fails in the future i think it is a Taqdeer. but for some cases, you may keep on trying then you can see if the outcome is good or bad or failed or lucky, as the answer of ur istikharah.


  7. Brother Waseem, is a girl still allowed to do Istikara if it's the time of the month? If yes then how can she without praying 2 nafl rakat?

    Thank you

  8. Sister Saira, quite unclear of your question. Do you mean the month of Ramadan? What can be a better month than this one? Please make the best use of this. And with all trust in Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta'ala, unto Whom, we will all return, do two normal raka'aat of nawaafil, and after the salam, read the dua of Istikhaarah, mentioning your need in two places where the words 'hazal amr' come (after this word), then continuing the dua till the end.

    Read the translation before you do it. So that you can know what you are reading, and have a higher level of conviction and trust in Allah. Insha Allah, it'll work.

    Muhammad Waseem Editor

    • No sorry I meant like when a girl is not "able to pray" she isn't paak

      • In such situation, you are not allowed to do any prayer, are you? Hence, you can not even do Istikhaarah prayer.

        But with the intention of dua, you could insha Allah just read the dua, as you can do duas and dhikr in this time. But if you want to do prayer also, then wait until you are clean, and then offer the prayer, insha Allah.

        And Allah Knows Best

        Muhammad Waseem Editor

  9. Assalamualaikum to my fellow muslim brothers & sisters,

    As i'm struggling to understand my faith and searching i came across your site here and alhamdullilah I think Allah had led me here for an answer somehow. (Question deleted by the Editor)

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