Istikhara Says No

Dear Zahra

I met a great guy on muzmatch and spoke to him from the start of the UK lockdown (roughly 4 months). 

We told our families a month ago and met 3 weeks ago – he likes me but said for us to move ahead, his family had to do checks on me and my family. I accepted because this was inevitable, his family had their status (his dad is an imam) to protect. We had great conversation after we met and spoke positively about the future, that is, until a week after, when he said we shouldn’t speak unnecessarily. He said it’s in the hands of family now. I received a call yesterday telling me his dads istikhara kept coming back negative after having done it a few times, and it’s best we part ways for now.

It didn’t make sense to me because his family sent people to my house 4 days before and called up my guardian 3 days before that, for a friendly chat. He said he didn’t do Istikhara because his heart was inclined one way, so he left it to his parents.

 I just need someone who’s not bias to shed some light on the situation.




Dear Aisha

I know this must feel like an incredibly confusing time right now.

What a stressful few weeks that must have been. It’s not unheard of for some families to do ‘background checks’ and search for references. There isn’t necessarily any harm in doing so and from what you’ve said, it seems this guy was quite intent, on his family making the decisions. So bearing this in mind, It appears that, despite how he may have felt about you, if his family didn’t agree (whether it be because of the references or because of an Istikhara), their decision would always be the ultimate decider. 

So whilst you may have had great, promising conversations about the future together, all of that rests on what his family decide – if it didn’t, he wouldn’t tell you that his father was the one doing the istikhara. This was very much about a marriage of families.

The important thing here, is what you take away from the experience. 

Now, despite the fact some families do search for references etc, I must say, sending people over to your house, on multiple occasions, to check on your family, feels to me, like a step too far.  Remember that you set the limits. Decide what you are and are not comfortable with. That means, not agreeing to anything you’re not ok with, even if they demand it’s the only way, for you to progress towards marriage. Don’t agree to anything that doesn’t sit well with you. No man (it doesn’t matter if he’s an Imams son either!) is worth that.

Whilst I can’t tell you why this istikharah may have come back negative, (and I’m assuming here, that they actually did pray Istikhara), I can tell you, that regardless of the outcome, trust that Allah (swt) will guide you to that which is best for you. 

I know it’s easier said than done, you’re human and we have incredible minds that work hard to help us make sense of a situation. Ultimately, take this as an experience, and use the lessons moving forward, to help you on your search. 

All my duas





*Name changed for anonymity

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