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?

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

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.

  • 1
    Astrology and astronomy are different
    – Tachyons
    Jul 18 '12 at 3:42
  • 1
    Hmmm. Interesting point on the personality aspect of astrology. 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

Since all the heaven and the earth is created by Allah. Trying to read the stars and the relation they have to human kind seems natural to me. Not to predict the future, but rather understand the greatness of factors that make a human being and the beautiful divine glue that holds it together.

Allah has given all the answers to mankind in the holy book, the earth, molecules, the stars and all creations by Allah. I have never witnessed an astrologer trying to predict my future, rather trying to unlock the doors to who I am at on an intellectual, physical and spiritual level.

At times reading charts predicts future behaviors that I am prone to, based on my personality, but what makes all the difference in my opinion, is realizing that Allah gave you a choice. That those behaviors are not set in stone but rather obstacles to overcome or embrace.

This helped me a bit, from an article from sunnaonline.com:

Allah has informed us of His intended purpose for the stars:

"And indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps." [Al-Qur'an 67:5]

"And landmarks (sign posts during the day) and by the stars (during the night), they (mankind) guide themselves." [Al-Qur'an 16:16]

" ... and We have made such lamps as missiles to drive away the shayatin (devils)." [Al-Qur'an 67:5]

On earth we have good and bad vegetation that feeds or poison our physical body. We have salt water and fresh water to keep us from or in thirst. We have landmarks to keep up from getting lost. We have earth and trees to build homes from. We have the building blocks of all creation through molecules and ions. Science proves that burning sage removes negatively charged molecules from a space and replaces it with positively charged ions, that is the greatness of Allah to give us a tool to create positive space.

In the sky we have a map to guide us in darkness physically and spiritually. Benefit and Malefic planets for luck and chaos in your everyday life. Since studying astrology, I feel closer to Islam. I look at every situation not blaming/praising the planets or stars but recognizing my choice to learn from what was put in front of me. To listen and observe in wonder at the grand plan and creations of Allah. Allah gave us patterns to teach us to live life with wonder and awe, in every piece of creation, if you learn with that in mind...how can you steer wrong? This is my opinion based on my understanding of Astrology and passages that I quoted earlier from the holy book.


Shia View

It depends on purpose of this practice. It’s 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 everyone 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.

  • 1
    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. Jul 26 '14 at 10:15

Astrology is not haram (forbidden). What is haram is when astrologers tell people what is in the future. The past, present and future are in the Quran too. Is reading Quran haram? 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.

  • If by using numerology or astrology one is trying to predict the 'unseen', then it is a deviation. It has been prohibited. And the Quran was sent as a guidance to ALL mankind, not only to the learned. It was the Rabbis and the Brahmins who said that only the learned among them know the true meaning of the Holy Books. Since when have we started following them?
    – Ahmed
    Jan 17 '16 at 5:48

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