Istikhaara in regards to marriage


Assalam o Alaikum wrbr Mohtaram Mufti Saheb,

Pls guide me in the matter as stated below;

We had a very nice marriage proposal from a family in Hijaj e Muqaddas for my daughter. We did not know family much and another family member was responsible for connections. We then met the family in Makkah who I personally found very nice. We met their 2 sons and other family later on as well, here in US. Proposal for my daughter was for his son who is currently studying in CA and intending to do his Phd - Alhamdolillah . Family is mashallah very religious - following teachings of Deen in its pure form, I guess living in Makkah for over 32 years. Son whose proposal is at stake was born in Makkah and speaks Arabic and English and Urdu fluently.

I , my wife and my daughter did Istikhara about the proposal. My wife and daughter has been almost against this proposal from more or less day one. Grounds being that they r too religious, have according to them some skewed views on religion , are very strict about Pardah , female interaction with males and so on so forth. Their son has intention to , probably go back to Makkah after his Phd - although who knows where will he live after 6 more years in US. He seemed a nice young man with relatively moderate views on issues as I mentioned above.

My wife and daughter has categorically rejected them - saying it comes negative in their Istikhara. I have done it and it comes back very positive. We have a severe conflict of opinion about this. I would hence like to ask u the following;

1) whose opinion would u choose in this situation ?
2) would extremely +ve opinion of father be considered stronger on all others in this situation?
3) We did not see anything against Deen or Duniya in this proposal which - it seems - to reject is rejecting the Allah's blessings clearly - at least to me - what more can u look for your son in law - Alhamdolillah Deen and Dunya both seemed right - at least to me.
4) In such disputes at home -  if everything else is similar  and no non Deeni issue is involved - and dispute hangs on one person's decision - who is that member in the family from Deen perspective, whose decision should then be acceptable?
5) How much weight do u give to Istikhara of my daughter - as in this case she has met that family for may be one hour at most. She has only seen the proposed boy for - say 5 minutes at most - had not seen much else. Can her Istikhara be considered valid in such circumstances , when her dad is happy about the proposal and Mom is opposing and perhaps have given her thoughts to her daughter as well - which may be polluting her decision making as well.

Jazakallah for your help in this matter.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما


Wa ‘alaykum as salām wa raḥmatullāhi wa barakātuhu,
The answer to your queries may be found below:
  1. Marriage is a very delicate situation. While you might be inclined towards a certain decision, it would not be ideal to enforce your opinion on your family. Rather, it would be more beneficial to come to a mutual decision amongst them. The purpose of nikah is love and compassion; pressuring or forcing a person into a relationship against their will can become problematic and a cause of discord in the future.  Thus, in this scenario, you should speak with your family and only make a decision after trying to reach a mutual agreement.
  2. In Islam, the father has indeed been given a lofty status in the family. The father is like a leader of the family and his recommendation is also given much importance. However, as mention previously, one should not hasten in making such decisions which could affect an entire lifetime. 
  3. Piety and good morals are definitely important factors to consider when looking for a partner for their daughter. However, along with piety, a parent should ensure there is compatibility between both potential spouses. Many times if both spouses are from completely different backgrounds, this will end up being problematic in their relationship as their is no compatibility.
  4. Who the final decision belongs to will differ from situation to situation. In many household matters the final decision will be the father's. In this scenario, however, the final decision belongs to the daughter as she cannot be forced to marry a person against her will.
  5. It seems your confusion stems from not fully understanding the concept of IstikharahIstikharah is a dua one makes to Allah Ta'ala to help them make the right decision. After performing istikharah, whichever option one starts to become inclined towards or, in the case he/she was a already inclined towards a certain option, their inclination increases, that option should be acted upon. No experience is necessary for the istikharah to be valid.
Thus, in the aforementioned scenario, we would suggest that istikharah be redone as it seems that it was not carried out correctly the first time. Thereafter, the family should try to come to a mutual decision amongst each other. If after repeating the istikharah and trying to come to a mutual decision there is still disagreement, the final decision will be the daughter's as she cannot be forced to marry against her will as stated above.

والله اعلم

Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala knows best.

Omar Baig

Approved by Mufti Husain Ahmad Madani