Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Who should do the Istikhara for marriage?



I'm a 20 yr old muslim girl. A guy asked for my proposal and spoke to my mom about this. His aunt spoke to my mother and discussed things. Later on the guys aunt and grand mother did istikhara and saw bad dreams whereas me and my mother saw good. That guy did not perform istikhara himself and believed what they said.

I'm just few days younger than him.They gave the reason that we are of same age and so cannot get married. I want to know:

1:who should do the istikhara - the realtives or the bride and the groom to be?

2. Is it possible to get two differnt answers for the same istikhara (as they saw bad and we saw good) and

3.what should be the age gap between girl and boy in Islam to get married?

thank you, jazakallah khair

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40 Responses »

  1. AA;

    For one, anyone can do Istikhara, but of course him and you are important to do.

    But more importantly, Istikhara is NOT about a dream!! Istikhara means you are believing that Allah will choose what best for you, and what ever the outcome is, you won't be depressed or wonder why things did not work, etc etc etc. By doing Istikharah does not mean you will see the answer in your sleep, or you will see a sign in the street. It only means you trust Allah and his wisdom.

    Why you guys have different views? Well, maybe you went to sleep that night happy about it and wanting it, and they went to sleep thinking: What are we getting ourselves into? 🙂

    As far as for age, it is but a number. You can marry older, younger, same age, etc.

    May ALLAH guide us, grant us patience, and shower us with his mercy.

    If I am correct, it is from ALLAH. If I err it is from me, and I pray ALLAH forgives me. Allah knows best.


  2. Salaams,

    Istikhara is not required in a marriage proposal. Istikhara is only a means to clarify an uncertainty if someone is having a difficult time make a decision about something important to them. If a man and woman want to marry one another, and their families are supportive of it, there would be no need for istikhara because everyone is comfortable with what is being done.

    If it's a situation where a man and a woman are considering marriage, and one or both of them are not sure if it's the right decision, either one of them or both of them can make istikhara. Generally, istikhara is not something someone does for someone else.

    In your situation, if his family has concerns about you being his bride, they should talk to him about the concerns, as well as bring them up with you and your parents. If the concerns can't be resolved by discussion, then istikhara may be in order. However, using istikhara to decide whether you should like your son's intended and so support his marriage goals or not is a misuse. Istikhara is not meant to tell you what to do if you have the capability of making up your own mind without it.

    When istikhara is automatically done with any potential future spouse, without any other factors being taken into accout, it borders on fortune telling which is haraam. If there was no valid doubts for his aunt/grandmother to perform istikhara, and they were only doing it because they would've done it with anyone just to see "whether it's a good match", I would personally say this is done with a faulty basis and wouldn't give much weight to the results.

    Now that all has been said and done, my advice to you is for you and him both to decide if you still want to marry. If that was never a question in your minds or your parents, then go ahead with the marriage. If either of you are doubting whether you should marry or not because of what his family did, then make istikhara of your own and decide based on the guidance YOU get.

    As far as age, there is no set answer. Marriage is based on compatibility than age in numbers, so there are successful marriages where the couples are quite separated in years, and struggling marriages with couples who were born the same year. You should be less worried about being "a few days apart" in age and more concerned that he has a pious character (or is working on trying to be the most pious he can), is willing to try to be a good provider for the family, and has the potential to be a loving father and mate.

    -Amy Editor

    • AA Amy;

      I will have to disagree with you on this one. Istikhara is to be performed for all kinds not just when you have doubts. What if you are so sure about something (Buying a car, house, getting married, etc), but Allah knows best and he knows that it will be bad for you, wouldn't you like Allah to keep it away from you?

      Again, it is not about being sure or being in doubt, it is about trusting Allah judgement and accepting it.

      May ALLAH guide us, grant us patience, and shower us with his mercy.

      If I am correct, it is from ALLAH. If I err it is from me, and I pray ALLAH forgives me. Allah knows best.


      • Response to AA comment "Istikhara is to be performed for all kinds not just when you have doubts."

        The Istikhara by supplication in all instances takes precedence. It has been recommended that before one performs even the smallest act, he start off by supplicating to Allah . In the ahadith, it has been emphasized that this type of Istikhara should be performed before every action, and is one of the reasons for the success of a person, since in reality, the Istikhara by supplication includes:
        1) Praising and Gloryfying Allah (SWT) coupled with modesty and humility towards Him (SWT)
        2) Istikhara by Seeking Advice from Others

        If a person makes the intention to perform a certain task, and even after supplicating and asking the best (from Allah ), and using his own intelligence, and through thought, research and asking others for advice is still not able to reach to a conclusion and still entertains doubt and uncertainty in his heart, then the best thing to do is to once again return to Allah ‑ the real transform of hearts and ask for `content of the heart' and for help to remove all doubts and confusion. This can be accomplished by a variety of methods of Istikhara including the `spiritual Istikhara', or by use of the Qur'an, Tasbih or by papers'.

        Istikhara: Seeking the Best from Allah (swt) - by Muhammad Baqir Haideri

        We have really misunderstood Istikhara. The human race accepted the divine gift of intellect. We should use it as much as possible and pray for guidance too. No person would accept a court case judgement based solely on Istikharo no matter how confused the judge was. In fact Islam has protocols in place when a judgement needs to take place which always errs on the side of caution - research into how difficult it is to prove a couple have perfomed zinna - it's almost impossible. Should this be replaced with the traditional, cultural view of istikharo or should steps one and two be performed?

        Marriage is compulsory upon a man and a woman when desires develop. If a good spouse has been found and the appropriate "checks" have taken place , follow steps one and two and after using your God given gift of intellect make your decision. If then you are still confused then move on to the spiritual Istikharo. Should I take Istikhara in its current topical sense whether I should go to work tomorrow or not? No, It's my duty as a husband to earn a living and if it happens to be a bad day and I overcome the obstacles in God's name then I have not only attempted to earn a living which is a great thing in God's eyes but also become closer to God by overcoming these problems.

        If all our acts were to be based on the spiritual istikhara without steps one and two then tell me how Allah (SWT) can judge us?

  3. Salaams,

    I suppose it would be fair to say then, that every time we recite Al Fatiha in salat we are making istikhara! I guess there are times when one is more concerned with Allah's judgement and guidance than others. Needless to say, a lot of people don't wake up making istikhara about whether to take a certain route to work because of the possibility that they may be in a car accident that day...although that would be something most people would consider as "bad for them".

    I guess it all boils down to risk and one's comfort level for making the wrong choice. On some things, we don't feel it's a big loss to make the wrong decision, or to have the bad thing happen to us so we don't incline ourselves to seeking Allah's guidance on those matters. On other things, like marriage, we feel we have to get it right the first time or the outcome might be disastrous, so we make istikhara and seek Allah to make sure we don't wind up on the bad side of the outcome. Either way, every "mistake" is a learning experience and can help us grow into better Muslims, and that can never be a bad thing.

    -Amy Editor

  4. AA;

    I guess it all depends on how you intrepid Istikhara. You do not pray istikhiara to wake up and go to work, but you do pray Istikhara when you are applying for jobs. You do not pray Istikhara to be nice to your wife or being a good father, but you do Istikhara when you get married.

    You said: I guess there are times when one is more concerned with Allah's judgement and guidance than others. For me, all decisions are best when trusting Allah's judgment. Plus, once you trust in Allah and his judgment, you will not feel bad or sorry if you do not get what you wanted. Again, evem if it was buying a car, house, job, not to mention marriage.

    And if you look at marriages, how many marriages started and were based on love and then ended up with a divorce? And how many were built on good intentions and the goal of building a family that survived so much issues and troubles?

    I know this is not the place to argue Istikhara, but I would like to end with this:
    I guess it depends on your understanding of Istikhara and how much you want to invoke Allah guidance and choice.

    May ALLAH guide us, grant us patience, and shower us with his mercy.

    If I am correct, it is from ALLAH. If I err it is from me, and I pray ALLAH forgives me. Allah knows best.


  5. trust me i know guys that have got married to young and their marriages have not worked out!

  6. will any one please guide me about the matter that what does it mean when you perform a istakhara and during the days when you are seeking guidance from ALLAH,you feel contentment in your heart about that matter? is it the sign of positivity and should one go for the matter?

    • RA, sounds like a good sign to me. But the essence of istikhara is not about receiving a sign, it is about praying, then making a choice and trusting that Allah is guiding you. We've answered many questions on this subject, so please do a search.

      Wael Editor

  7. My mom passed away last year and my dads side of the family thinks it's time for my dad to get remarried now. They found a woman and they seem to like her. I told my dad to perform Istikara before going ahead with the marriage but he kind of laughed it off saying that I'm young and don't know what I'm talking about, and I don't know what Istikhara is. He says he always prays for the betterment of him and the rest of the family and asks ALLAH (S.W.T) for guidance anyways. I'm not sure though. I don't want this woman to come into the house and ruin everything. I don't want her to be extra controlling and distance me from my dad. Is my dad right? Should Istikhara be done in this situation? Or Am I just over thinking everything?

    • Your father should do Istikhaarah for marriage. Perhaps he has misunderstood the method and the purpose of Istikhaarah.

      But if one does not do so with conviction, there is no point in doing it. I believe you could do the Istikhaara for having her as your step mother, I'm not very sure, though.

      If you need more advise, please post your question separately.

      Muhammad Waseem Editor

  8. Aslaamlykum

    I am currently doing istikara and I have been told and told to do many years ago. There are few things I would highlight:
    1. You have to be mentality ready and spirtiallly very close to Allah and see. Prying beyond him otherwise from experience your istikara for anything will not be as effective and you will always be. Infused till you reach that stage where you keep asking Allah that I have faith in you
    2. If you perform istikara you must remember patience is the best virtue you might get positive signs and negatives not straight away but you have to follow your heart which in my case my heart has been positive but my mind is telling me all sorts of things which are of course negative and against Allahs wish so following my heart when I'm confused gives me peace and I pray like everyday obviously and no doubt I speak to my Allah and he is making situation better each day mashallah for me this is a sign to say carry on till I get that thing or a person for example this guy who is very beloved to me and is nasty to me but I don't let him walk all over me but I show patience and he is getting more drawn towards me. Istikara makes you a better preon in the eyes of the other if you follow it all the way long with having full absolute full faith in none other than Allah.
    3. You will suffer in meantime but don't feel weak only if your heart is saying that this person is right as for example this guy today may not be pious but inshallah one day he will and only my pure istikara will make him so even If for example In due course you are confused and see no signs or possibly of marriage carry on with the best of your ability and if not anything atleast for me I will think in the end that because of my patience and good actions this person has changed and you never know he will be a good husband in future or a person just because of you even though he might not end as your husband but you have done a favour for another woman.
    4. You have to fight and fight for the right course and how Allah will like it and watch inshallah things will and of course will turn out to be the best. We guys really think that our one istikara whether it's performed for 7 nights and Allah will do a miracle and give it us he will still test us as how do I know myself whether I am myself good enough for this guy I am asking for. No one is better than the other and if it's guy you have to behave and action like our Prohept and for a woman behave like prophets wife and watch I will be AMA ed if the other side doesn't like and there family!!!!
    Have faith one and Allah who is most Glorious and merciful x

  9. @ Sr. Tanzila
    I am not sure what you mean by "for example this guy today may not be pious but inshallah one day he will and only my pure istikara will make him so" - If I understood you correctly, you think praying the istikhrara salat and making the isikhara dua will CHANGE a person, then that is not what the istikhara is meant for. It is meant to guide you towards the best course of action.

  10. Slaam what I meant is this guy that I want to marry personally he is not on the right path as in he is naraaz with Allah for his own personal reasons by me doing istikara surely I will be guided but he can see my actions and one day he will understand where the truth is ... That is Allah!! Secondly my istikarah has to be valid and only Allah can accept ones istikara but if I see him change in future I will know my istikarah has adjusted him as a person and hope he does become a pious person who doesn't want to be! Only Allah can guide him but because I am close to him I spend a lot time with him im sure he will rub of me and that's my istikara as I have asked Allah that IF this person is good for my deen and AkirAh then grant me ... And brother I interpret that as if he stops being naraaz with Allah and gets close to Allah then only Allah knows whether at that point he will be good for me and will be granted to me. Also I am very much devoted to this person and I believe of you ask for someone you have to want that person regardless of what they are like now and only Allah knows if this person will never go close to deen if that is the case then I have also asked that Allah turn me away from this person and grant me someone better! Hope you understand the concept of istikara it's not a magic or a dream... It's guidance and it's long term not short term and it's different for everyone. My point is that I have many dreams about this person good and bad but that is not enough as since Iv done istikara this guy has got a lot better and more drawn towards me and that is a sign for me!!!

  11. salam
    i wnt to know i got positive intition after performing istikhara. hw much time it can take to get it.

    • khushboo, there is no time limit. Pray your istikhara then choose whichever action seems best to you, and trust that Allah is guiding you to what is right.

      Wael Editor

  12. Follow Ur good instinct ie Ur heart and keep at it inshallah if Allah wills no matter what comes Ur way that person will be yours stay positive but in mean time get on with Ur life positively

  13. salaam,

    I jus wanted to ask I really like someone, but my family did not accept him, so we both decided to do istikhara, he done it first, in his dream he saw us both together walking to the kaba.

    could someone please tell me what the dream interpretation is?


    • haleena, the result of Salat al-Istikhara is not necessarily based on dream interpretation. However, the dream you describe certainly sounds like a good one. It indicates that the two of you are walking a good path together.

      Wael Editor

      • jazakalhair,

        jus another question 🙂

        he also asked someone what the dream means, the person replied we need to be more into our deen & in'sha'Allah wel get married is that also true??

        A day after the person had a dream that the person i really like gave a card to him & sed thanxs for everything..

        • Yes, that could be as well. Dream interpretation is subjective and perhaps the most relevant question is, what does the dream mean to the dreamer?


  14. My istikara has worked I think. Everytime I followed my heart and my faith in Allah I got closer to the guy and he got more closer to me but everytime I followed my mind and what other people told me it made me feel down and he seem to ignore me again so I have learned from experience that I will only follow my heart because Allah swt has put him in my heart and things are getting better for me. Please note I did istikara last year in Ramazan so it can take time.

  15. So how can one convince parents when I know the guy and his traits but some 'Shaykh' who performed istikhara for us believes he is not a good guy?

    • Akhan, if you're referring to the kind of "Istikhara" where they use your mothers' names and birthdates, that is totally illegitimate and haram. It's numerology, nothing more, and as such is shirk. Pray Istikhara yourself and follow your best judgment, Insha'Allah.

      Wael Editor

      • I agree with that and have performed a lot of research over the topic. But my parents seem to be stuck on that matter and are forcing me to marry someone over someone i like. Is there any way i can convince them?

        • There is no forced marriage in Islam. It is illegitimate. Simply do not agree to it.

          Since you have researched the topic, show your research to your parents. If they still don't agree then yes, your situation is difficult. If you want to log in and write your question as a separate post, we will advise you in turn, Insha'Allah.


          • I have written my situation in another post but its still pending review for more than a month.
            Thanks for your prompt reply here.

  16. I just want to know, could someone do istikara to see if there going to marrying the person there dating ?
    P.s. before anyone jumps the gun and starts judging I know its haram to have a boyfriend or girlfriend in Islam. But this is just a curious question I would like to know.

    • missy, Salat-al-Istikhara does not tell the future. It is not a fortune-telling device. You pray Istikhara when you are trying to make a choice or decision. In the prayer you ask Allah to bring the thing in question to you if it is good for you, and to keep it away if it is bad for you. After that you make the best choice you can, and trust that Allah is guiding you in response to your dua'.

      Wael Editor

      • Wael, Well I am aware of that. My other half mentioned to do Istikhara but I was worried and scared at first because I believed god would move me away from him because its a haram relationship. But the I decided to just end up praying Istikhara and put my trust in allah. I've prayed Istikhara for the past four days, The first time I prayed Istikhara I felt ok, Then second time I prayed it I was more relaxed and not worried of the outcome and I put my trust in Allah. Though the last two times I've prayed it, I felt really good and positive. The first thing that came to me after I prayed Istikhara was " god wants me to marry this man" I was getting a good vide and I was and still am in this happy mood. I'm assuming this is the outcome ? P.s. I am under the name missy, although I just made an account on this website and I had to choose a different name.

  17. Salam everyone,

    I am confused right now. Please guide me.

    I have one proposal ..everything is going fine. we met boy's family and decided to do Nikah. But recently someone asked me to do istekhara. I did but was unable to see anything in my dream or from heart i was feeling normal. And it was tough to say YES or NO as my parents wants to give date to the family if its YES.
    I asked my friend and she asked some islamic scholor to perform istekhara for me (by providing my name mothers name and boy name and his mothers name) and he said its not good. On the other hand i asked someone else also to have better idea and they are saying its good go for it.

    Now, I am confused. And i started reading dua myself and its 2 days.. i didnt see anything and feeling the same.
    And boy's family wants reply this week as they are ready.

    What should I do?
    Kindly reply.


    • Hina, what you have described (doing "istikhara" based on mother's names or birth dates) is nonsense and shirk. It comes from Hindu numerology and has nothing to do with Islam.

      Furthermore, Salat-al-Istikhara does not necessarily give you a dream, or even a feeling. Instead, you simply pray Salat-al-Istikhara, then make the best choice you can. In other words, you choose what seems right and good to you, and trust Allah to guide you to what is best.

      Wael Editor

  18. AOA... I have an idea about istakhara and its meaning....but prob is dis that i cant concentrate while question is there any option that sonmeone from ur side do istakhara for me?????

  19. Salam, if you have done Itikhara 7 days and saw nothing for 5 days and another potential twice what does this mean? JazakAllah

  20. Hi I'm a mother of two kids me and my husband have been separated for about 2 1/2 years the main reason was becuz I'm a us citizen first my in laws said they don't want their son to go to USA so my parents got me married after marriage they all started forcing me to take him . After a while I found out he is secretly married and has a son I had filed for Khulla but never got it registered but now my family wants me to go back with him for the sake of our children I want to get a istikhara done online please help

    • Hena, there is no such thing as getting Istikhara done online. Anyone who claims to perform such a service is simply cheating you. Istikhara is a personal prayer for guidance done by you, to Allah. It is between you and your Creator, not some stranger on a website.

      Wael Editor

      • Assalam alaikum.
        I am interested in marrying someone but his family has an objection over the caste.
        I prayed Istikhara and saw positive colours in my dreams and felt stronger and remained steadfast after that .
        When he performed it, he had dreams like someone knocks at the door and his mother stops him from going out but he does and there is no one outside. Another time he saw that someone is throwing pebbles at him and he goes to check but doesn't find anyone. What could these mean?
        The thing about how we felt after that, we felt more hopeful for ourselves and towards convincing his parents.

  21. A/S everyone,
    I have a question. I want to marry a guy and we have been in a relationship for 7 years now. His family is also ready with the marriage proposal and have approached my family a number of times. But my family is not agreeing. The only reason they are giving is that the boy is not of our caste although he is also a muslim. We have tried convincing them but of no use. It has been almost 2 years since we are trying to convince them.

    Is the reason they are giving even valid? They know that there is no caste system in Islam still they are not allowing just because of thinking about society.

    Please help me in this regard as soon as possible. Should istakhara be done and what is the correct procedure to follow? There are a lot of sites and everywhere there is slight difference in the process.

    Allah hafiz,

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