Is is possible to make a wrong decision after istikhāra and how can one avoid doing so?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

10 years ago I did istikhara for my proposal. In dream i saw white cake, raw egg but a small black fish swiming in little water. I was confused so i did istikhara again for 2 more days but could not understand the results so i asked one aalim. He said there is no negative thing in your dreams so i got engaged. But after one and half year i got so much disturbed due to the false allegations and misbehavior of my would be mother in law. So i told my father for breakup.

After that, my mother in law defamed me everywhere and said that despite of good istikhara u broke up. U ppl are sinner. I cried a lot and felt gulity but i realised that it was a right decision. After that i got so many proposals but could not get married. Last year i got a better proposal but i feared and did not do istikhara for myself. My father did it. He saw a white bed sheet with small green flowers on it. There was a thin red line too on one side of sheet. My father interpreted that istikhara is better as red line is thin. So i got married this year. But unfortunately my hubby and in laws were not good. They left me at my father’s place, although i was expecting. After 7 mnth of marriage he sent me divorced paper in which it was written that we did not have understanding so he divorced me.

I told u about the 2 istikharas and results of them. I m so much depressed. Whats wrong with my istikharas? Did we misinterpret dreams? I read somewhere that whoever does istikhara, he will not be regretful. Then why it happened to me? My father also did istikharas for my sister and brother and they r living happily alhamdulillah. Ppl ask me that u did istikhara then y it happened to u? I go speechless at that time. Plz guide me.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

There is goodness in whatever Allah decides for us even though it does not seem apparent at the time. Just because an istikhāra comes out good or bad does not mean that other factors should not be considered. If you were being mistreated by your future mother-in-law and could not bear it, imagine how it would have been after the marriage?

The reality of istikhāra is that it is a duā (supplication) in which we seek khayr (goodness) in our decision. It should not be seen as the only deciding factor and one is allowed to, and should consider other aspects as well. 

For example, in the case of marriage one should look at the religion and character of the prospective spouse, their respect for elders, their family, compatibility with each other and so on in addition to performing istikhāra. After all these considerations whatever decision one takes, Insha-Allah, it will be for the best no matter what happens. Sometimes the wisdom of the decision becomes apparent in the dunya and sometimes in the hereafter.

It is a commonly held misconception that performing istikhāra will always result in the right decision becoming apparent, either in a dream or through some other sign. This is not the case. It is not necessary to see a dream after performing istikhāra and neither is it necessary that the choice about which decision to take will become clear.

Rather, since istikhāra is a duā and duās are not always answered immediately or even in the dunya, one should not have any misgivings about why things didn’t work out even when istikhāra was made. However, after making istikhāra and taking all other factors into consideration whatever happens will be for the best since this world is a test while the real abode is the hereafter.

We sincerely advise you to turn towards Allah, practice taqwa, continue making duā, and use all permissible resources to find a suitable, loving, pious husband. Make istikhāra for every proposal but consider all other relevant factors as well before making a decision. [i] [ii] [iii] [iv]

Sohail ibn Arif,
Student Darul Iftaa
Chicago, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 

إستخارة كا مسنون طريقة، مفتي تقي عثماني، ص.٦ و ٩ ميمن إسلامك ببلشرز [i]

بوادر النوادر، ص. ٤٦٣ – ٤٦٥ إدارة إسلاميات لاهور [ii]

أحسن الفتاوى، ٣/ ٤٧٨ – ٤٨٠ [iii]

وربما قدر ما هو خير ويراه شرا نحو قوله تعالى: {وعسى أن تكرهوا شيئا وهو خير لكم} البقرة: ٦١٢ [iv]

عمدة القاري شرح صحيح البخاري ٧/ ٢٢٥ دار إحياء التراث العربي

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