Monday, 20 June 2011

The Islamic Ruling on Horoscopes

The Islamic Ruling on Horoscopes

Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips

Not only is the practice of astrology Haraam as mentioned earlier,
but also visiting an astrologist and listening to his predictions,
buying books on astrology or reading one’s horoscope are also
forbidden! Since astrology is mainly used for predicting the future,
those who practice it are considered fortune-tellers. Consequently,
one who seeks his horoscope comes under the ruling contained in
the Prophet’s statement: "The Salaah (daily prayer) of
whoever approaches a fortune-teller and asks him about anything
will not be accepted for forty days and nights." [Reported
by Hafsah and collected by Muslim (Sahih Muslim (English Trans.),
vol. 4, p. 1211, no. 5440).]

As was mentioned in the previous chapter, the punishment in this
Hadeeth is simply for approaching and asking the astrologist, even
if one is in doubt about the truth of his statements. If one is
in doubt about the truth or falsehood of astrological information,
he is in doubt about whether or not others know the unseen and the
future besides Allaah. This is a form of Shirk because Allaah has
clearly stated:

"With Him are the keys to the unseen and none knows it except
Him" [Soorah al-An`aa,m 6:59]

"Say: None in the heavens or earth knows the unseen except
Allaah." [Soorah an-Naml 27:65]

If, however, one believes in the predictions of their horoscope,
whether spoken by an astrologist or written in books of astrology,
he falls directly into Kufr (disbelief) as stated by the Prophet
(sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) "Whoever approaches an oracle
or fortune-teller and believes in what he says, has disbelieved
in what was revealed to Muhammad." [Reported by Abu Hurayrah
and collected by Ahmad and Abu Daawood (Sunan Abu Dawud (English
Trans.), vol. 3, p. 1095, no. 3895).]

Like the previous Hadeeth, this Hadeeth literally refers to the
fortune-teller but it is just as applicable to the astrologist.
Both claim knowledge of the future. The astrologist’s claim
is just as opposed to Tawheed as the ordinary fortune-teller. He
claims that people’s personalities are determined by the stars,
and their future actions and the events of their lives are written
in the stars. The ordinary fortune-teller claims that the formation
of tea leaves at the bottom of a cup, or lines in a palm tell him
the same thing. In both cases individuals claim the ability to read
in the physical formation of created objects knowledge of the unseen.

Belief in astrology and the casting of horoscopes are in clear
opposition to the letter and spirit of Islaam. It is really the
empty soul, which has not tasted real Eemaan (belief) that seeks
out these paths. Essentially these paths, represent a vain attempt
to escape Qadar (fate). The ignorant believe that if they know what
is in store for them tomorrow, they can prepare from today. In that
way they may avoid the bad and ensure the good. Yet, Allaah’s
messenger was told by Allaah to say:

"If I knew the unseen, I would surely have only sought the
good. But, I am only a warner and a bearer of glad tidings for believers."
[Soorah al-A`raaf 7:188]

True Muslims are therefore obliged to stay far away from these
areas. Thus, rings, chains, etc., which have the signs of the Zodiac
on them should not be worn, even if one does not believe in them.
They are part and parcel of a fabricated system which propagates
Kufr and should be done away with entirely. No believing Muslim
should ask another what his sign is, or attempt to guess his sign.
Nor should he or she read horoscope columns in newspapers or listen
to them read. And, any Muslim who allows astrological predictions
to determine his actions, should seek Allaah’s forgiveness
and renew his Islaam.


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