Istikharah Prayer for Marriage: Seeking Divine Guidance


Istikharah is a special prayer that Muslims use to seek guidance from Allah in making important decisions. It is also a way of asking Allah to show you the best course of action for your situation. So, whether you are single, engaged, or married, the Istikharah prayer can help you achieve happiness and harmony in your relationship. Read on to find out more.

What is Istikharah?

Istikharah prayer is a cherished Sunnah — a practice taught by the Prophet Muhammad SAWW that holds immense value. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, emphasized the significance of seeking Istikharah in all aspects of life, including the decision to marry.

According to the Prophet Muhammad, when you perform this prayer, you ask Allah to guide you to choose the best future spouse. Moreover, you also express your trust and reliance on Allah, who knows what is best for you.

Dua for Istikharah:

Istikharah supplication for marriage is similar to that of Istikharah for any other matter.
The only exception is that you specify the name of the person you are interested in marrying.
The dua for Istikharah is:

اللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أسْتَخِيرُكَ بعِلْمِكَ وأَسْتَقْدرُكَ بقُدْرَتِكَ، وأَسْأَلُكَ مِن فَضْلِكَ العَظِيمِ، فإنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ ولَا أقْدِرُ، وتَعْلَمُ ولَا أعْلَمُ، وأَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الغُيُوبِ، اللَّهُمَّ إنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أنَّ هذا الأمْرَ خَيْرٌ لي في دِينِي ومعاشِي وعَاقِبَةِ أمْرِي -أوْ قالَ عَاجِلِ أمْرِي وآجِلِهِ- فَاقْدُرْهُ لي ويَسِّرْهُ لِي، ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لي فِيهِ، وإنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أنَّ هذا الأمْرَ شَرٌّ لي في دِينِي ومعاشِي وعَاقِبَةِ أمْرِي -أوْ قالَ في عَاجِلِ أمْرِي وآجِلِهِ- فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي واصْرِفْنِي عنْه، واقْدُرْ لي الخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ، ثُمَّ أرْضِنِي قالَ: «و يسمي حاجته»

The translation of Istikharah’s supplication is:

“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 ….. 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,

O, Allah! If You know that this …… 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 Two Rak’ah of Istikharah Prayer

The Istikharah prayer should be performed by praying two rak’ahs other than the obligatory prayer. Here are the steps to complete the Istikharah prayer for marriage:

  • Make the intention to perform the Istikharah prayer for marriage in your heart. You can also say it verbally, such as “I intend to perform two rak’ahs of Istikharah prayer for marriage.”
  • Recite Surah Al-Kafirun after Surah Al-Fatihah in the first Rak’ah and Surah Al-Ikhlas in the second Rak’ah.

After the two Rak’ahs, recite the above supplication, specifying the name of the person you are considering for marriage. You can say it in Arabic or your own language.

You can also perform the Istikharah supplication without performing the two rak’ah prayers if you cannot pray or are in a hurry. However, it is better to perform the prayer, as it shows more respect and devotion to Allah.

You can also repeat the Istikharah prayer and supplication as many times as you want until you feel confident and clear about your decision.

When to Perform Istikharah Prayer for Marriage

The best time for the Istikharah for marriage is after the obligatory prayer of the night, either after the Maghrib prayer or after the Isha prayer. And the most preferred time for Istikharah prayer is before sleeping. This specific timing is when you are more likely to receive guidance from Allah through your dreams or feelings.

However, the Istikharah prayer can be performed at any time of the day, except for three disliked periods: 

  • When the sun is rising
  • When the sun is setting
  • When the sun is at its zenith

As per the instructions by Prophet Muhammad SAWW, only perform Istikharah when you have a clear intention and a specific choice in mind. For instance, if a suitor proposes to you, you can perform Istikharah to determine whether the suitor is good for you or not.

However, you should refrain from performing the Istikharah prayer to know when the marriage will take place. You should also refrain from performing Istikharah before a man proposes to you. The appropriate time for Istikharah is when you have the intention to marry. This aligns with the notion that the timing of marriage involves the knowledge of the unseen, known only to Allah.

Understanding the Result of Istikharah:

The outcome of Istikharah for marriage can be revealed through signs in dreams or feelings in your heart following the prayer. The outcome could be one of the following four cases:

First Case: If You Have Decided to Marry Someone

If you have already decided to marry someone and want to confirm your decision. If Allah makes it easy for you to marry that person or keeps you away from marrying that person, then this is Allah’s choice for you. You should accept it and be grateful to Allah for His wisdom and mercy.

Second Case: If You Are Unsure About Marrying Someone

If you are unsure whether you should marry someone or not and want to seek Allah’s guidance. In this case, you may face one of these three situations:

  • You may feel peace, comfort, and reassurance in your heart to marry that person without hesitation or doubt. In this case, you can proceed with the marriage, relying on Allah and trusting His choice for you.
  • You may lack the desire, enthusiasm, or energy to marry that person. You may also feel uneasy, anxious, or restless about the marriage. In this case, you can leave that person and look for another suitable partner, knowing Allah has something better for you.
  • You may remain confused, uncertain, or indecisive about the marriage. In this case, you can either proceed with the marriage or repeat Istikharah for clarity and confirmation from Allah. However, you should also have good faith in Allah that He will choose what is best for you.

Third Case: If You Feel Peace and Comfort After Istikharah

If you perform Istikharah for marriage and feel peace, comfort, and reassurance in your heart, this is a sign that Allah has chosen that marriage for you. But if you seek more clarity and a stronger confirmation from Allah, you can choose to repeat the Istikharah prayer. This allows you to approach your decision with even greater certainty, ensuring that you make the choice that aligns most closely with Allah’s plan for you.

Fourth Case: If You Propose Marriage Without Any Difficulties

If you propose marriage to someone without difficulties and feel that it is a good match for you, then you do not have to wait for a specific sign or feeling after Istikhara. Take it as a sign that Allah has already facilitated your marriage.

Final Takeaway:

The Istikharah prayer may not always produce immediate signs. Therefore, you should have patience and faith in the Almighty Allah because you’re handing the reins over to Him.

Mawada, the matchmaking website, is here to help you find the perfect match. Every day, dozens of successful marriages bloom thanks to this awesome platform. So, remember, when it comes to marriage, trust Allah, have faith, and explore the world of Mawada!

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