Assalamou Alaikoum, Is it permissible to make salat al istikhara if there are multiple opinions regarding a halal and haram matter. For example, there are multiple opinions on whether to use islamic banks services or not and I asked around and received multiple fatwas with multiple proofs from quran and hadith. As a person who does not know all the details about fiqh, can I make salat al istikhara in this case, or salat al istikhara is not permissible in this case. Salam alikoum.
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.
Istikhaarah is not the means by which the Halaal and the Haraam are distinguished. Rather, if a person is unsure whether something is allowed or forbidden, he must be diligent – according to his capacity – in discovering the correct answer, and there is nothing wrong with seeking Istikhaarah with Allaah The Exalted along with that diligence. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in Ash-Sharh Al-Mumti’: “One should be diligent as much as he is able to come to know the correct one of the two opinions, and seek Istikhaarah with Allaah and follow that opinion...”
Even if one follows a scholar due to his inability to be diligent, he should use a sort of “preponderance” by following the scholar whom he believes to have more knowledge and piety, and he should perform Istikhaarah.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked if Istikhaarah is only for worldly affairs or also for matters of worship, he said: "The Hadeeth that came from the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, regarding Istikhaarah is comprehensive and general for all kinds of issues that concern a person who is uncertain of what is best for him: to do it or to leave it. Such should seek Istikhaarah with Allaah The Exalted. However, this does not include obligatory matters, since anything that is obligatory is already known to be best for the person without further consideration."
Allaah Knows best.
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