Is Istikharah related to Dreams?
As explained earlier, the wisdom behind Salaat al-Istikharah is to resign the
affair to Allah while relying upon him to make the affair easier, and to be
pleased with what Allah chooses for someone. Thus, having a dream or not makes
no difference. Furthermore, for someone to claim that Istikharah is always
answered through dreams has no basis, even though this misconception is
widespread. Dreams are not always from Allah, as the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu
aliahi wa-sallam) said, ‘Dreams are of three types; glad tidings from Allah,
whispering of the soul or frightening thoughts from Shaytan.’ [Agreed upon] So,
a person could receive a glad tiding related to an issue on which he has made
Istikharah, but there is no relation between Salaat al-Istikharah and dreams.
This needs to be clarified since many people have the incorrect notion that
Istikharah is necessarily answered through dreams, and if no such dream is
observed, they despair from this act of worship – Salaat al-Istikharah.
Capitalizing on the ignorance of the people concerning the reality of
al-Istikharah and their sheer desperation to solve their life’s problems – a
satellite channel has come up with a theme for one of its call-in programs;
inappropriately called, ‘Istikharah.’ In this program, viewers call the program
host and explain their problem, who in turn forwards these queries to the
in-house ‘moulana.’ The moulana allegedly performs Istikharah on behalf of these
people, and returns back saying, ‘Jawab yeh aa raha hai… (the answer thus
received is…)’ And the answer could be about whether one should continue one’s
education, is the marriage proposal fine, has black-magic been performed on such
and such person, is the property purchase profitable, etc.
From the earlier mentioned explanation on al-Istikharah, one can clearly see how
the ‘call-in Istikharah’ opposes the very essence of Istikharah. While the
results of true Istikharah are subtle like attaining contentment and easiness in
achieving one’s goal, the results of the ‘call-in Istikharah’ are clear and
instant as if a window into the knowledge of the unseen, except there is no such
The ‘call-in Istikharah’ program closely resembles another program run by
non-Muslims, in which they answer similar questions based on astrology
(estimation of future events based on the position of the stars) and one’s date
of birth. Islam rejects this kind of fortune-telling, for the future is
determined by what Allah, the All-Mighty has decreed and not the position of
created creatures like the stars. But, at least, in this case we know that,
‘Jawab yeh aa raha hey… (the answer thus received…)’ refers to calculations and
astrology, but, who provides the answers for the ‘call-in Istikharah’?
‘And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah.’ [Soorah
al-Kahf (18): 15]
Many have claimed access to the knowledge of the unseen to elevate themselves
and their trickery has bewildered the ignorant, the ‘call-in Istikharah’ is
another such gimmick with its false claims and unseen moulana. Istikharah is
turning to Allah and reliance upon Him at a time of desperation; do not turn to
falsehood at a time when you need your Rabb and His Guidance, the most.