Fatwa ID: 05200
Answered by: Maulana Syed Johir Miah
I understand from reading your previous posts that dreams can fall into three categories. Good dreams are from Allah SWT, bad dreams can be from your conscience and also from Shaytaan. I wish to marry an individual whom I have been speaking to for just over a year now. We have always viewed the goal to be marriage, but the process has been lengthy due to COVID-19 and families agreeing. We understand that even talking is not permissible and have stopped. My potential mother-in-law had done Istikhara recently and had seen three dreams. One where she saw my entire family and there was a sense of unease and discomfort. Another where she brought home an expensive bag of rice which was black when opened and lastly kitchen glasses were broken and told they were not for her.
I and this boy feel confused and lost over this and have stopped speaking in order to do Istikhara ourselves. I have prayed previously and have felt positive, but felt a need to get married quickly. He has felt some doubts previously but ultimately wants to take this forward.
I feel scared that these dreams could indicate that this marriage should not go ahead due to something Allah SWT is saving us from in the future, but I am also confused because these dreams could be from Shaytaan? How can I know for sure? We both feel very disheartened and sad by this.
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
The Hadith you are referring to is the one narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ قَالَ “ الرُّؤْيَا ثَلاَثٌ فَبُشْرَى مِنَ اللَّهِ وَحَدِيثُ النَّفْسِ وَتَخْوِيفٌ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ فَإِذَا رَأَى أَحَدُكُمْ رُؤْيَا تُعْجِبُهُ فَلْيَقُصَّهَا إِنْ شَاءَ وَإِنْ رَأَى شَيْئًا يَكْرَهُهُ فَلاَ يَقُصَّهُ عَلَى أَحَدٍ وَلْيَقُمْ يُصَلِّي ” .
“Dreams are of three types: Glad tidings from Allah, what is on a person’s mind, and frightening dreams from Satan. If any of you sees a dream that he likes, let him tell others of it if he wishes, but if he sees something that he dislikes, he should not tell anyone about it, and he should get up and perform prayer.”
Your mother-in-law had few dreams and we are not certain whether it is an emotion playing up or not and it can happen at times. It is best that Istikhara is done by the people intending to get married.
Also, the best thing for you to do is separate from each other and keep a clear mind and then do Istikhara and then you will get the best result. In this way, your emotions will not get the best of you.
The method of Istikhara is mentioned in Hadith.
Jabir ( رضى الله عنه )relates that:
جابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ رضي الله عنهما، قالَ: كانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ يُعَلِّمُنا الِاسْتِخارَةَ فِي الأُمُورِ كُلِّها، كَما يُعَلِّمُنا السُّورَةَ مِنَ القُرْآنِ، يَقُولُ: «إذا هَمَّ أحَدُكُمْ بِالأمْرِ، فَلْيَرْكَعْ رَكْعَتَيْنِ مِن غَيْرِ الفَرِيضَةِ، ثُمَّ لِيَقُلْ: اللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ وأسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ، وأسْألُكَ مِن فَضْلِكَ العَظِيمِ، فَإنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ ولاَ أقْدِرُ، وتَعْلَمُ ولاَ أعْلَمُ، وأنْتَ عَلّامُ الغُيُوبِ، اللَّهُمَّ إنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أنَّ هَذا الأمْرَ خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي ومَعاشِي وعاقِبَةِ أمْرِي – أوْ قالَ عاجِلِ أمْرِي وآجِلِهِ – فاقْدُرْهُ لِي ويَسِّرْهُ لِي، ثُمَّ بارِكْ لِي فِيهِ، وإنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أنَّ هَذا الأمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي ومَعاشِي وعاقِبَةِ أمْرِي – أوْ قالَ فِي عاجِلِ أمْرِي وآجِلِهِ – فاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي واصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ، واقْدُرْ لِي الخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كانَ، ثُمَّ أرْضِنِي» قالَ: «ويُسَمِّي حاجَتَهُ»
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)used to teach us the way of doing Istikhara, in all matters as he taught us the Suras of the Qur’an. He said(صلى الله عليه وسلم)
“If anyone of you thinks of doing any job he should offer a two rakat prayer other than the compulsory ones and say (after the prayer):
(O Allah! I ask guidance from Your knowledge, And Power from Your Might and I ask for Your great blessings. You are capable and I am not. You know and I do not and You know the unseen. O, Allah! If You know that this job is good for my religion and my subsistence and in my Hereafter–(or said: If it is better for my present and later needs)–Then You ordain it for me and make it easy for me to get, And then bless me in it, and if You know that this job is harmful to me In my religion and subsistence and in the Hereafter–(or said: If it is worse for my present and later needs)–Then keep it away from me and let me be away from it. And ordain for me whatever is good for me, And make me satisfied with it). The Prophet (ﷺ) added that then the person should name (mention) his need.
A person cannot do Istikhara for the known matters that are Wajib (obligatory) or mustahabb (liked or encouraged), there is no need for Istikhara to decide whether to do them and with regard to matters that are haram or Makruh (disliked), there is no need for Istikhara to decide whether to carry out a Fardh or not.
 The Istikhara in Hajj and Jihad and all the chapters of goodness implies setting the time, not the same act, and if Istikhara passes, his chest is not open to him, then he should repeat it seven times when it was narrated on the authority of Anas that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
يا أنس إذا هممت بأمر فاستخر ربك فيه سبع مرات ثم انظر إلى الذي يسبق إلى قلبك فإن الخير فيه
O Anas, if you are concerned about a matter then trust your Lord seven times in it, then look at what comes before your heart, for the good is in it. 
A person does not necessarily need to have a dream to know the result of their Istikhara, as the heart will be inclined towards carrying out the task or not, without any doubt and the result will be evidently clear in their mind and heart.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Syed Johir Miah
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
 Sahih Bukhari, 263, 57/2,
Amalul Yawmi Wal Laylah, 498, Muassisatur Risalah, Beirut, 1406 H., Raddul Muhtar, 26/2.
 والاستخارة في الحج والجهاد وجميع أبواب الخير تحمل على تعيين الوقت لا نفس الفعل وإذا استخار يمضي لا ينشرح له صدره وينبغي أن يكررها سبع مرات لما روي عن أنس قال رسول الله ﷺ: «يا أنس إذا هممت بأمر فاستخر ربك فيه سبع مرات ثم انظر إلى الذي يسبق إلى قلبك فإن الخير فيه».
Maraqiyul Falah, 149, Al-Maktabatul Asriyyah, 1425 H.
 Amalul Yawmi Wal Laylah, Hadith 558, 550/1, Darul Qiblah, Jeddah/Beirut