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Question: Assalam walaikum Sheikh Ahmed Kutty My question today is in regards to Istikhara in relation to marriage. There is a Mulsim sister that I would like to marry. I have known her for almost 3 years now she has good qualities as a person (very good Muslim character) she has a kind heart and is always respectful to me her parents and everyone around her. In terms of performing daily salat that is something that she and I both need to improve on but it is something that we have both acknowledged and agreed upon to make it a priority. We both want to become closer Islam and improve on our Iman. My parents are in disapproval because: a) it is not a girl of their choice b) because she is from a different region of my homeland. Furthermore my parents will not approve until Istikhara is performed and a positive result is given. I understand that the purpose of this prayer is to seek guidance from Allah. However how closely does one follow the answer that he/she receives? I have not yet performed the prayer myself. Also is the answer/guidance one receives absolute? And is this something that only I should perform? Or can my parents ask someone else (outside our family) to do it on my behalf? My own personal beliefs are as such that if she is serving Allah as I am and her heart and intentions are pure should that not suffice to a marriage in Islam? If you could please provide me with some guidance I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you again. Assalam walaikum

 I pray to Allah to inspire you to make the right choice. 

You have the right to choose your marriage partner as long you follow the prophetic advice that the primary criteria should be faith and character. Once you have found a person fulfilling the criteria, then you may marry. Your parents should not block it. If they do, they are unfair. It seems to me that their concerns are simply materialistic.  The success of the marriage is dependent on compatibility and character.  
As for Istikharah, it does not result in a dream or vision. Rather, you decide upon a course of action following Istikharah, as long as your heart is inclined to it.
For further details on the manner and significance of Istikharah, please refer to the answer linked below.



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