As Muslims, we have been blessed with an endless list of duas. There is a dua for traveling, a dua for when it rains, even a dua for when you enter the bathroom. However, one of my personal favorites is the istikhara dua.
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) encouraged us to pray Salatul Istikhara when we are concerned about something, in order to ask for Allah’s guidance to help us see if the situation is good or bad for us. We pray two rakats, and read the istikhara dua, where we name the particular issue and ask Allah that if the situation is good for us in this life, and more importantly, the afterlife, to bring us closer to it. And should the situation be bad for us, we ask Allah to take it away from us and out of hearts, and to bless us with whatever is good for us.
And yet, so many Muslims fail to use this prayer when it comes to finding a spouse. People rely on looks, wealth, kindness, or their family’s opinion, and forget that the best of all guiders is Allah. Even if a Muslim matchmaking website says you’re 99.8% right for each other, Allah knows what we do not.
From the beginning of your search, put your feelings aside, and ask Allah for His guidance. Ask Allah whether this person is right for you and seek His help alone. It may take time, but you’ll know whether or not this a good match through His direction. Encourage brothers and sisters that you know that are looking for a spouse to carry out this prayer. You can perform istikhara up to seven times, and if a woman is unable to pray the two rakats, they can simply read the dua.
Whenever we make make dua, we should remember to ask Allah to make the things that are good for us in our religion easy and accessible for us, and that He makes whatever is bad for us in our religion very difficult, so that it is almost impossible to proceed with the bad, but the good becomes easier in the process.
We must always be sincere and genuine when making dua, and not ask with the hopes that the answer is yes, this is the one for you. Because if the person in question is not the one, no matter how we feel, Allah has a better plan, and will guide you to someone that is right for you.
Allah knows best.