Question # 167: I got a proposal – she’s pious but she’s divorce and having two kids. I did istikarah and I talk with my mom everything’s come good Alhamdulilah… But from that girl side, istikhaarah is negative… In this situation wat we will do?

Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: Praying istikharah does not necessarily result in or mean receiving an answer. According to hadith, when you are about to do something, you should pray istikharah, meaning you have already made your decision and have started to go forth with the issue in question. The benefit of Salat ulIstikharah is that you show Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) your ultimate need for His guidance. And because of your request, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) will make it easy for you to proceed with the issue in question if it is good for you or otherwise, if Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows that it is not in your favor, it will be deflected for any reason or by any obstacle. Generally speaking, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) encouraged marriage to virgins; however, if the divorcee is a lady of religious commitment and good character, than one should not let the opportunity go, else he may not find a virgin of such religious commitment and character, as Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “…Choose the one who is religiously-committed…” 

Long Answer: Praying istikharah does not necessarily result in [or mean] receiving an answer. Usually, and for many people, praying istikharah does not lead to any solid answer regarding the matter for which they prayed istikharah; and this perfectly normal.

The hadith in which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) recommended that we pray istikharah does not indicate that a Muslim should wait for an answer or even expect to receive an answer. The only thing mentioned in the hadith is that when you are about to do something, you should pray istikharah. This means that you have already made your decision and have started to go forth with the issue in question.

The benefit of Salat ulIstikharah in this case is that you show Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) your ultimate need for His guidance. And because of your request, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) will make it easy for you to proceed with the issue in question if it is good for you. Otherwise, and if Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows that it is not in your favor, it will be deflected for any reason or by any obstacle. (Fatwa of Dr. Hatem al-Haj and Dr. Main Khalid Al-Qudah, Member of the Fatwa Committee of Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America)

Generally speaking, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) encouraged marriage to virgins… It was narrated that Jabir (رضي الله عنه) said: “My father died, leaving seven – or nine – daughters, and I married a previously-married woman. The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) asked, ‘Did you get married, O Jabir?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘A virgin or a previously-married woman?’ I said, ‘A previously-married woman.’ He said, ‘Why not a young girl whom you could play with and she could play with you, and you could laugh with her and she could laugh with you?’ I told him that ‘Abd-Allah had died and left behind daughters, and I did not want to bring to them someone like them. So I had married a woman who could take care of them and discipline them. He said, ‘May Allah bless you,’ or similar kind words.”(Narrated by al-Bukhari)

Shaykh Mustafa al-Ruhaybani said: “It is Sunnah for the one who wants to get married to marry a virgin, because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said to Jabir, ‘Why not a virgin whom you could play with and she could play with you?’ (Agreed upon) – unless there is a reason for which marrying a previously-married woman is better, in which case he should choose such a woman over a virgin, in order to serve that interest.”(Mataalib Uli al-Nuha)… [Hence, if the divorcee is a lady of religious commitment and good character, than one should not let the opportunity go, else he may not find a virgin of such religious commitment and character.]  As it was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (رضي الله عنه) that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Women may be married for four things: their wealth, their lineage, their beauty and their religious commitment. Choose the one who is religiously-committed, may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper).” Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

(The above reply is based on various answers by Islamqa.info, unless stated otherwise)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam