As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 4


Seeking Advice from the people is not contradictory to Istikharah

Seeking Advice from the people is not contradictory to Istikharah (seeking guidance from Allah) – Additional Clarification
Along with Istikharah, one should also seek help from people, whom he knows to be righteous and those who can provide appropriate advice. It makes no difference whether this is done before performing Salaat al-Istikharah or after it. Imam An-Nawawi (rahimahullah) said, ‘It is mustahabb, before praying Istikharah, to consult someone whom you know is sincere, caring and has experience, and who is trustworthy with regard to his religious commitment and knowledge. Allah says, ‘and consult them in the affairs.’ [Soorah aal-Imran (3): 159]

Seeking people’s advice is a means to reach the correct decision and Istikharah relates to reliance upon Allah (Tawakkul). The former is an action of the limbs and the later is an action of the heart, therefore, there is no contradiction between the two. Moreover, the combination of the actions of the heart and the limbs is what is legislated in the Religion of Islam. However, depending on the means alone besides Allah is Shirk.

As for abandoning the means under the pretext of ‘Tawakkul in Allah,’ then this is against the teachings of Islam. It was the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) to seek advice from his Companions in various matters and such was also the order of Allah, the Most High, ‘And consult them in the affair. Then once you have taken the decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).’ [Soorah al-Imran (3): 159] Thus, in this verse, Allah combines both, seeking the means (i.e. consultation) and the obligation to have reliance on Allah. This is similar to what is reported in a narration, when a man asked Allah's Messenger (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) concerning his riding beast, whether should he tie it and rely upon Allah, or should he leave it and rely upon Allah? So, the Prophet (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) answered him saying, ‘Tie it and rely upon Allah.’ [At-Tirmidhee, Ibn Khuzaymah, at-Tabaree and others]

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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