Wa alaikum ussalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh,
Thank you for sending in your question to our website, sister.
Nikah refers to the Islamic wedding contract, which embodies the actual marriage between a Muslim man and woman that takes place after the culmination of marriage negotiations between them and their families.
What Is Istikhara?
Dua Istikharah, on the other hand, is a special supplication that is made to Allah after performing two supererogatory units of salah or prayer.
In this special prayer, a Muslim requests Allah’s guidance in an important decision-making matter that they are facing in life.
The Arabic word “istikharah” means, “seeking khair (good)”.
Each one of us should ponder upon the meanings of the dua istikharah before we actually go ahead and make this dua.
Basically, in this dua, a believer expresses their own lack of knowledge and power regarding their destiny.
They then remind themselves that Allah has all the power to bring any benefit to them, as well as the knowledge of what is truly beneficial for them.
The supplicator then goes ahead to ask Allah to decree a particular matter if it is good for them, and to avert it from them if it is not.
The dua ends with asking Allah for any good, where ever it might be. Finally, we ask Allah to make us pleased with whatever good that Allah decrees for them.
It is a truly beautiful dua, which is most often made to Allah for guidance in matters related to love and marriage.
Now, as for your question, when a Muslim who is single desires to marry someone in particular whom they know of, and if the latter is righteous and has a good character, then yes, it is permissible for them to pray salatul istikharah regarding marriage to that person.
True Love vs. Infatuation
However, please bear one thing in mind: When you say you are “in love” with someone who does not even know you, please make sure it is not the false kind of obsessive infatuation that is commonly depicted in romantic novels and films.
True, pure, and sincere love between a couple is an emotion that develops after marriage, after getting to know one’s spouse over time, through companionship that is Divinely endorsed.
The kind of “love” you are talking about seems to perhaps be more of a combination of awe, admiration, and respect, infused with infatuation, instead.
Perhaps these feelings that you have for this person are based upon your observation of them from a distance.
Or, maybe they’re based upon the positive things that you might have heard about them, their character, and their personality, through hearsay and people.
This kind of “love” might be an illusion, sister. So I advise you to be careful.
Nevertheless, if you really wish to marry this person, you can go ahead and make salah istikharah to Allah about it.
Please keep the meanings of the dua of istikharah in mind when performing this act of worship.
Then, if Allah turns marriage to this person away from you, you will be pleased with His decree and not complain about it.
Also, you should try to lower your gaze around this person so that you can remain as far away from sin as possible. You have done well to stay away from him, not talk to him, and not inform him about your feelings.
Finally, you should consider the option of talking to your parents about your wish to marry this person, and see what they say about it.
A Muslim girl should work with her parents’ approval and guidance when it comes to marrying someone whom she fancies, in most cases. Perhaps, if they agree, they can initiate a marriage proposal to the said young man through their social network/community contacts.
Once again, if you continue to pray istikharah, if this marital union is good for you, it will happen. But if it is not, Allah will divert it and decree what is good for you in its place, insha’Allah.
And Allah knows best. I hope that this answers your question.
Salam. Please stay in touch.
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