With regard to Istikharah Prayer, let’s go through this words of Sheikh Hamed Al-`Ali, instructor of Islamic Heritage at the Faculty of Education, Kuwait and Imam of Dahiat As-Sabahiyya Mosque, who says:
“Istikharah is like any Du’a’: if Allah, the Almighty, accepts it, He will make it easy for the supplicant and guide him to the best. And if He does not accept it then it will be like any unanswered Du’a’. It’s possible that Allah delays the reward for the person in the Hereafter, which is good for him/or her. However, people are always in a hurry, whereas something bad might be looming large and Allah, the Almighty, warded it off by the virtue of that Du’a’.
After performing Salatul Istikharah, one should consult wise people and assess the situation to see how it might affect his deen (religion) and dunya. (life). Then he should choose the one that seems to be more beneficial, having firm belief that Allah will either bless his decision and make it easy for him to achieve what he desires, if it is good for him; or Allah will place obstacles in his path in order not to achieve what he desires. In the latter case, the person should be satisfied with the outcome, whatever it is, and commit his affair to Allah hoping for reward in the Hereafter. He should know that Allah does not decide except through His Divine wisdom and truth, even if it does not seem to us this way. Glory be to Him! We only know what He has taught us.
Anyway, one who seeks Allah’s guidance through Istikharah will never be disappointed, as Allah will guide him or her to that which is good, except those who have violated the rights of Allah; they should blame none but themselves. It is stated in the Hadith: “Keep your commitment to Allah and He will protect you.”
As for the matter of seeing dreams for Istikharah, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, former head of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and member of the Fiqh Council of North America, states:
“After offering Istikharah, a Muslim may do whatever is best in his understanding or whatever convinces him. He may repeat the du`a’ of Istikharah several times if he is still hesitant. It is not necessary to dream about anything neither does he need to wait for an answer in dreams. It is reported in a Hadith that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “O Anas, when you intend to do some important things, then seek the good (seek Istikharah) from your Lord seven times and then do that to which your heart (or mind) is inclined, because the good is in it.”
Most of the hadiths on this subject do not talk about any dream. However, the famous Hanafi jurist Ibn `Abdeen has suggested in his Hashiyah that one should make the Istikharah Prayer before sleeping, and should sleep after having performed Wudu’. The face should be towards Makkah. If one sees something white or green in one’s dream, then the answer is yes, but if one sees something dark or red then the answer is no.
Other jurists of Shafi`i, Maliki, Hanbali and Ja`fari schools say that one should do that which is most convincing. According to Imam Malik, other people can also perform Istikharah on behalf of someone.
there is nothing strange about dreams. If you did not see any dreams, then it does not mean that dreams do not occur. After the Istikharah Prayer, some people may see a dream and some may not. We know that some of our dreams become true. Some time we see something in a dream and it happens exactly the same way later. As there are good dreams and bad dreams, so there are also true and false dreams. The interpretation of dreams is a special knowledge that some people have. In the Qur’an many dreams are mentioned. Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) saw in his dream that he was sacrificing his son. Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) had dreams and Allah also gave him the knowledge of interpreting dreams. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) also sometimes interpreted the dreams of his Companions.”
So, our advice for any Muslim is to offer Istikharah, consult sincere wise persons and do what seems appropriate to him. If marriage to such person is good, Allah will facilitate it in sha Allah. If it is otherwise, he will find actual obstacles and matters are going on complicated.
Finally, it should be clear that Istikharah is not restricted to 7 times or days.