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Among Muslims, controlling the djinn or the shayatin for worldly gain is considered a form of magic, and practicing magic is clearly condemned by God in the Qur'an (i.e., Qur'an 2:102). As such, one could easily derive that a devout Muslim should have nothing to do with fortune-tellers who claim, by communing with (evil) spirits or accessing the "spirit world," to know the future or possess secret knowledge.

There are, however, fortune-tellers who claim their knowledge comes from other sources. Astrologers, for example, base their information on observation of the stars and the celestial bodies, and not from communing with the spirit world.

As such, would practicing astrology be considered acceptable in Islam, even if spirit-based forms of fortune-telling are not?

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Ah! I mistook Astronomy with Astrology. –  user2350 Jun 7 '13 at 1:06

3 Answers 3

The prophet is reported to have said:

He who visits an 'Arraf (عَرّاف) and asks him about anything, his prayers extending to forty nights will not be accepted. (Sahih Muslim: 5540)

Going to an 'arraf (e.g., a diviner, seer or fortune-teller) is a clear violation of the Prophet (S)'s order, hence not allowed in Islamic Shari'ah. Since God is `Alimu-lghaib (Knower of the Unseen), visiting any 'arraf to gain knowledge of the unseen can also be considered a form of shirk. As God says in the Qur'an,

72:26: [He is] Knower of the unseen, and He does not disclose His [knowledge of the] unseen to anyone
72:27: Except whom He has approved of messengers, and indeed, He sends before each messenger and behind him observers

And as for anyone who claims to have knowledge of the future, God said:

31:34: Indeed, Allah [alone] has knowledge of the Hour and sends down the rain and knows what is in the wombs. And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul perceives in what land it will die. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.

So it seems clear that anyone who goes to an astrologer for the purposes of knowing and predicting the future has strayed from the straight path.

That said, I know of no strong evidences against using astrology for purposes other than discerning the unseen.

For example, there are many astrologers who claim, through (pseudo-)scientific observations made over generations, that the positions of the stars may influence your personality or behaviour; rather than claiming to know the secrets of the unseen, which are God's alone to disclose, they are trying to explain observable phenomena using other observable phenomena.

Even if there's nothing to forbid such practices, or following those who espouse them, refraining from such is still probably safer since astrology (in general) is so strongly correllated to fortune-telling.

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Astrology and astronomy are different –  Tachyons Jul 18 '12 at 3:42
Hmmm. Interesting point on the personality aspect of astrology. –  System Down Jul 18 '12 at 4:43
@goldPseudo, I have a question about this. If one learns techniques of seeing things which others can't see, skills/gifts received due to extreme devotion to God, then that isn't really the unseen is it, as that person can see it. Isn't the unseen those things which absolutely only God can see? –  user3550 Feb 13 '13 at 14:28
@user3550 I would liken it to science; scientists can see a lot more than the layman because of their tools and knowledge, but even though such things are normally "unseen" they're still fundamentally observable. The future (i.e. "And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul perceives in what land it will die.") is al-ghaib because it's something that we fundamentally can't observe. –  goldPseudo Feb 13 '13 at 14:40
@user3550 That would also probably be well-posted as a new question. –  goldPseudo Feb 13 '13 at 14:42

Shia View

it depends on purpose of this practice. its like using knife.

unseen is what one does not know and is relative from one person to other person. what you know but I do not know is unseen for me and not unseen for you. there are levels of unseen and every one know unseen based on his knowledge. prophets and Imams know unseen more than normal people but still lower than God. some magicians can really firstly how you can ensure they tell truth and they do not use Kafir Jinns? also giving money and using any kind of magic and future telling is Haram unless in very especial cases only for prophets and Imams and very close friends of God (who are Wali of God).

future by help of Jinns. there are Muslim and Kafir Jinns. prophets and Imams have servants of Jinn who help them (like delivering a letter quickly or working like Jinns working for prophet Solomon S.A. in Quran) and Kafir Magicians use Kafir Jinns to see future.

Jinns are not material like human and they live in another parallel universe but are living in the same places human live. because time and place limit is only for material and Jinns are not material Jinns can go to future or past in time and can go to any place quickly.

Kafir Jinns help Kafir humans only if they do some works for them in return. for example insulting Quran. for example after arresting a magician it was seen that he had a Quran under his sit and made it dirty with Najis things.

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No prophet, no imam (if he exists) knows the unseen and the future, only God does, clearly according to Quran : 31:34: Indeed, Allah [alone] has knowledge of the Hour and sends down the rain and knows what is in the wombs. And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul perceives in what land it will die. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted. –  AymenDaoudi Jul 26 '14 at 10:15

Astrology is not haraam. What is haraam is when astrologers tell people what is in the future. The past, present and future are in the Quran too. Is reading Quran haraam? There is also a science called numerology that can be used for some of the same purposes as astrology. The Quran is full of complex numerological calculations that are understood only by learned people.

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