By: Hosai Mojaddidi & Dr. Nafisa Sekandari
There are a lot of single Muslims
trying to navigate their way through the marriage process. It’s not always easy
to know what’s permissible, what isn’t, what works and what doesn’t. The list
below is a great guide for anyone who is thinking about marriage and wants to
prepare in advance. It’ll help prepare
you for what to expect, what to do and what not do to before you begin your
quest for “Mr or Ms. Right” and once you start meeting potential prospects,
1) DO make Istikhara.
There’s an old Arab proverb that says,
Man proposes, God disposes.” Before actively working on oneself and
pursuing marriage through worldly means, one has to turn to Allah (swt) and
make the intention for marriage. Next, one should make the Duah of Istikhara
and put their trust in Allah’s divine decree, especially when considering a
particular candidate. Istikhara is a prescribed prayer with specific guidelines
that should be properly understood. There is also a lot of confusion about how
one “interprets” their Istikhara. Here is a good article from SeekersGuidance that helps
clarify everything one needs to know about it:
2) DO have a “checklist.”
It’s important to know what you’re
looking for in a partner and to take the extra time to put your thoughts down.
Not only does the list give you tangible things to focus on, but it can also
reveal whether or not you have your priorities down. If you notice, for
example, that most of your “requirements” are superficial in nature
then you may scale back some things and put focus on more important matters
like character, family values, and future goals. Additionally, a written
checklist can also help your friends and family who are actively on the
look-out for you to better screen potential candidates.
Anytime a Muslim is making a decision, he or she should seek Allah’s guidance and wisdom. Allah alone knows what is best for us, and there may be good in what we perceive as bad, and bad in what we perceive as good.
If you are ambivalent or unsure about a decision you have to make, there is a specific prayer for guidance (Salat-l-Istikhara) that you can do to ask for Allah’s help in making your decision. Should you marry this certain person? Should you attend this graduate school? Should you take this job offer or that one? Allah knows what is best for you, and if you are not sure about a choice that you have, seek His guidance.
Salat al-Istikhara is a powerful tool that Allah has given us to ask His guidance in all matters. We should not hesitate to pray Istikhara before making any choice in our lives, big or small.
It’s important to do this prayer with sincerity, knowing in our hearts that only Allah can give us the guidance we seek, and resolved to follow the guidance He gives us, even if it clashes with our own desires.
We should also say the dua with firm conviction, not begging or pleading, but asking Allah clearly for guidance.
And we should not be impatient after our dua. We do not put Allah on a timetable. And we should not expect some sort of miracle, or a dream full of signs and symbols. These things are not necessary. We simply say our prayers and trust that Allah has heard us and will answer us in the way that is best.