Fatwa ID: 04996
Answered by: Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh
Regarding doing istikharah for someone else?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
In order to answer this question, I would need to know what you understand by Istikhāra. Often people ask “can you do Istikhāra for me or for my child” and they mean something other than the Istikhāra taught by the Prophet.
Let me, first of all, explain what Istikhāra is and then I shall return back to the above point. The word Istikhāra in Arabic means ‘seeking the good’ and is done to seek Allah’s support and guidance.
Jabir Ibn Abdullah said:
“The Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to teach his companions to make Istikhāra in all things, just as he used to teach them surahs from the Qur’an. He said: If any one of you is concerned about a decision he has to make, then let him pray two rakahs of non-obligatory prayer, then say:
“O Allāh, I seek Your guidance [in making a choice] by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things. O Allāh, if in Your knowledge, this matter (then it should be mentioned by name) is good for me both in this world and in the Hereafter (or: in my religion, my livelihood, and my affairs), then ordain for me the good wherever it may be and make me pleased with it.” (Bukhāri)
Istikhāra prayer is an individual’s personal seeking of guidance from Allāh concerning uncertain matters. Therefore, it is not normal practice to ask someone else to do this on one’s behalf.
Coming back to the point I made in the beginning about people’s understanding of Istikhāra, I am aware that some people in the Asian community use the term in relation to finding out about black magic and Jinn’s possession. Istikhāra is not done for this purpose. If a person is afflicted by black magic or Jinn possession then they should seek help through permissible Ruqya which is done with Quran, Sunnah, and using Allah’s names and attributes.
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham