Praying istikhara for marriage
Allah SWA has legalized Marriage because of the psychological, social, and moral stability of the Muslim. When marriage is offered to a Muslim man and woman, then it is from the sunnah to pray istikharah to Allah SWA. The istikhara is a two-rakah prayer and a supplication afterwards, where one asks Allah SWA to grant the best. One is not inclined to a specific thing but the matter is left to Allah SWA that He will do the best for him in Sha Allah, if Allah wills. Leaving matters to Allah should not make a person worried or upset if Allah doesn’t make the thing happen, rather he should know that whatever Allah has written for him is best for him.
Dr Abdur Rahman Al-Adawi says:
The believer is obligated to believe solidly that whatever Allah wills will happen, and whatever he doesn’t wish will not happen, and that nothing takes place without Allah wanting it to happen. The believer should believe in fate including the good and the bad of it. If his belief is like this, then he will be at peace with himself and in his life, content with what Allah SWA has written for him, relying on Allah SWA for all his matters, and asking his Lord to enable the good for him. In reality he does not know where good might be, for he might do something and it is bad for him, and he might dislike something and it is good for him. Allah SWA says: (But perhaps you may hate a thing although it is good for you, and may love a thing although it is evil for you. Allah knows, and you do not.) Al Baqara: 216
For this reason, it is better for us in our lives not to associate ourselves with anything severely, so that he is scared of losing it, or failing to achieve it, as this leads to heartbreak and anger with Allah’s judgement if the matter does not go the way he liked or thought.
We say to every Muslim: You have to be confident in the judgment of Allah and His fate for us. The matter is like what the Prophet ﷺ said in his advice to Ibn Abbas: And know that if the people were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allah had already prescribed for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you with anything, they would not harm you except with what Allah had already prescribed against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.
We should strip ourselves from any kind of inclination or desire completely, and then pray two raka’hs of Istikhara and seek Allah’s guidance regarding the marriage. Allah will open ones heart for what is best in the religion and life. The supplication of Istikhara is as the Prophet ﷺ taught us to say: “O Allah, I seek the counsel of Your Knowledge, and I seek the help of Your Omnipotence, and I beseech You for Your Magnificent Grace. Surely, You are Capable and I am not. You know and I know not, and You are the Knower of the unseen. O Allah, if You know that this matter [then mention the thing to be decided] is good for me in my religion and in my life and for my welfare in the life to come, – [or say: in this life and the afterlife] – then ordain it for me and make it easy for me, then bless me in it. And if You know that this matter is bad for me in my religion and in my life and for my welfare in the life to come, – [or say: in this life and the afterlife] – then distance it from me, and distance me from it, and ordain for me what is good wherever it may be, and help me to be content with it.” Narrated by Bukhari.