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I am a Mexican Christian woman in love with a Kuwaiti Muslim man 10 years younger, both of us living in the US. Many things are against us but we love each other, so we are very confused.

We dated for 2 years and lived together in the US, sharing all responsibilities and rights of marriage including intercourse. This was the first time I have ever done this, for I come from a religious (Christian) family.

He asked me to marry him, but had to agree to have a Muslim marriage, our children raised Muslim; plus, consider converting to Islam. I immensely admire and respect his love for Allah (SWT), but he does many things Muslim men should not do… So, I agreed to marriage, if he showed me how to understand and love Allah (SWT) for myself not only for the marriage; and, to show me by example…

With this agreement he stopped drinking, partying, and smoking; we stopped intercourse, I began attending the mosque and learning and asking questions to him and the imam… But within a month he returned to partying even more than before, he wasn't being loving and left me alone in the quest for Islam. I broke our relationship off…

6 months with little contact between us we were reunited by chance, he approached me and started pursuing me again, he has asked me to be his girlfriend again claiming he loves me, and that he has felt lost without me…

But, while we were apart he prayed SalaT Al-Istikhara for marrying me, and said his answer was NO, and that his family and shirk in Kuwait said NO too! I see how this could happen, and how we could be not doing anything wrong at the same time… I am a non-Muslim but I am a person of the book and well behaved and are very modest for us standards; I am 10 years older than him but so was Khadijah; and our love was not born out of instant lust but out of a good friendship, trust, companionship, support, and a very good connection with each other. Now, I love him as a husband, my intention is being with him as as a wife…

I know that despite all, Allah's (SWT) will is unknown, sometimes misunderstood because we have our own expectations, and we don't understand the final goal … NOW MY QUESTION IS HOW TO INTERPRET ISTIKHARAH IN HIS SITUATION?? He is very confused, and I am too, I don't want to hurt either one of us… I have heard various ways in which you can receive an answer for Istikharah about what Allah (SWT) wills… Which one is best?!?! How does it work???

1) In dreams: if you dream something white or green, or black it means different things…He didn't dream anything!

2) Getting the right feelings in the heart about one of the options right after performing the supplication… He performed it the first time and his answer was No…

3) Him or her will pray and the guidance will come to him felt in the heart rather than felt in any senses…

4)I have heard both that you have to listen to your elders and family, because they know you and Allah (SWT); and that you should not listen to them because they aren't feeling your connection to Allah (SWT) and it is through connection and trust in Allah(SWT) that you get your answer, no one else can hear his will for you…

5) Allah's (SWT) will make one option easier than the other. And, in this case things have been going very easy and well for us, which makes both of us very confused…

HELP!!!

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Well you say you are christian but reading your post, it seems to me you are already half Muslim. I Pray Allah (SWT) guides you to his path. As far as Istikhara is concerned. It is not necessary that the answer is always in the form of a dream. Allah (SWT) can guide you in any way he likes.

Sometimes a dream , Sometimes verses from Quran , Sometimes things just start to fall in place , Sometimes it is just the feeling.

If you are still confused about what is right and what is wrong. You can try offering Salat ul-Istakhara again.

You may have to perform Istikhara a number of times before Allah's guidance becomes clear to you.

In my opinion whatever guidance you receive from Istikhara , you should follow it , because that's what is best for both of you.

My advice to you would be , if you believe in Allah(SWT)(Allah alone as One God and No other partners to him) , you yourself can also try asking for his guidance by performing Salat ul Istikhara

  • Thank you Taz, I am very respectful of Islam, and was learning many great things from my quest to understand… I have considered becoming a muslim but I still have hesitations maybe I should perform Salat ul Istikhara on that … Can I do it without being a Muslim?!?!?! – LALITX Feb 25 '14 at 19:02
  • If you believe in One God , and do not ascribe partners unto him , and consider that Jesus (PBUH) was a Messenger of Allah(SWT)...go ahead...InshaAllah Allah(SWT) will help you – Taz Feb 25 '14 at 23:14
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The purpose of Salatul Istikhara is not for helping to decide between choices, and the answers come in dreams or something else, no. Dreams have nothing to do with Istikhara, nor is it for choosing between two or three things. One makes Istikhara after one has already made the decision seeking guidance from Allah to whether what one has decided is Good or Bad. In the Dua' of Istikhara one says:

اللهم إن كنت تعلم أن هذا الأمر خير لي في ديني ومعاشي وعاقبة أمري فاقدره لي ويسره لي، ثم بارك لي فيه، وإن كنت تعلم أن هذا الأمر شر لي في ديني ومعاشي وعاقبة أمري فاصرفه عني ، واصرفني عنه، واقدر لي الخير حيث كان، ثم ارضني به

O Allah, if You know that this matter (and name it) is good for me in respect of my Deen, my livelihood and the consequences of my affairs,hen ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. But if You know this matter (and name it) to be bad for my Deen, my livelihood or the consequences of my affairs,then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it, and grant me power to do good whatever it may be, and cause me to be contented with it).

Source: رياض الصالحين (Riyaadussaliheen)

I hope my answer is clear, and I ask Allah for forgiveness of any mistakes.

  • While I absolutely Agree with Al Ummat on this , there have been instances when I personally had no idea about how to solve a particular problem and I have done Istikhara , and actually dreamt of the solution , followed what I saw , and it was just amazing how it solved my problem. So , we just need to ask Allah(SWT) for guidance sincerely, in anything that we need help from him. There is no doubt that He(SWT) will come for our help. – Taz Feb 25 '14 at 4:39
  • @Taz I did not mean to say by my answer that guidance cannot come through dreams, but in general Istikhara has nothing to do with dreams. But yes, solutions can come through dreams. – مجاهد Feb 25 '14 at 13:58
  • Thank you Al Ummat it is very helpful. I guess I have misunderstood the purpose all along… So if one has made a decision not to marry, the answer to the supplication will not be yes marry or no don't marry?, It would be in a form of facilitating our own decision or turn it away from us??? Can one interpret wrongfully based on own free will, or our own assumption of what Allah (SWT) expects from us? What happens in those instances? – LALITX Feb 25 '14 at 19:21
  • @LALITX If one has decided to marry, and made Istikhara then Allah would make an easy path for that decision to be fulfilled, but if it is bad then road blocks will be placed in front of oneself so that in the end the decision is not fulfilled. So it is not necessarily a matter of interpretation, if the decision is good then you are asking Allah to make it easy to happen, if it is bad then you are asking Allah to not let it happen and to make one happy with the turn in events. – مجاهد Feb 25 '14 at 20:54
  • If you want to further discuss I would be happy to, but not here in comments. This site's chatroom is open. – مجاهد Feb 25 '14 at 21:03
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first i'd like to say that from your Question i think you seem to be more a Muslim then the man you want so hard to marry!

Opinion about Istikhara

I'm not sure what the goal of Istikhara maybe, but i think if one has a problem or want to make decision he needs to look deep inside himself to make it. And the "Ritual" of making wudu and then praying and doing the dua' may help for this. If one see a sign or not... i think we tend to look for such a thing and maybe find it. I don't say Allah doesn't give us signs at all, but he gave us at least this helpful and powerful way to make things clean inside of us. So maybe one can find a solution for what he asked in a dream, or maybe he can find a sign or maybe he just has a good feeling about it. Why? Because he did wudu and then prayed (both in the best manner) then already he has to expect something good (see also in the Quran (29:45)), so already at this point he could have cleaned his mind from any trouble. And after that he does recite the well known dua' to have guidance... So sometimes people don't find this freedom of mind (for some reasons) then they might repeat the Istikhara several times.

An attempt to analyze your situation

In your case what i conclude from your Question is that you are more concerned about your afterlife then the man you want to marry. And you may believe in Allah more then him, as he returned to the sins he was doing before your marriage! And the Verse (29:45) shows clearly that a well done prayer would provide the believer from doing (big) sins as it restrains from indecent and evil acts!

Now he's asking you to be his girlfriend while you want to be his wife. You said that you promised him considering converting to Islam. You should know that as a Muslim Woman you shouldn't accept a husband who does such sins like drinking alcohol etc. and this is one of the reasons or courts my accept divorce. So maybe you should consider first that both of you repent your sins and try to do good things "to replace" bad acts with good acts.

Istikhara again

I think -and this is my own opinion- you could also do Istikhara and ask for advice, as you are a faithful lady from the people of book. Whether you consider praying as a christian or as Muslim and doing wudu or maybe even having a bath before is up to you. Of course "Istikhara" as it's understood from an islamic POV needs a 2 rak'a prayer and the prayer can only be done by a Muslim. And fro becoming a Muslim one needs to say the Shahada and then have a bath... etc.

Finally just as an Addition i also found a fatwa (in Arabic i found others also) saying that nobody else then the one who want's to get help in making a decision can do Istikhara (some scholars of the maliki and shafi'i school may allow it but the statement of the hadith about istikhara is quoting and addressing the person who needs guidance!). In this Fatwa someone asked if he/she can do Istikhara instead of a christian woman. The Mufti said in his Answer also that this christian lady should respect the Believes and Religion of others and see or use this as an occasion to consider to become a Muslim, as this act can/should only be done (by Muslims) the way it was described in the Islamic Shari'a!

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