Thursday 29 November 2018

Astrology and Islam

Everyday in the newspapers a section on Zodiac signs appears and tell the readers how the day would be as per the particular Zodiac sign of the reader - and let me tell you this is one of the most read section by a large segment of the people for they believe that movement of stars at a particular time of hour, day, week, month or year will have telling effect on their business, social life and worldly affairs. 

In fact the astrology is so popular among a large section of our society that they do not take decisions like naming children, marriages, business deals and travel plans unless they have consulted an astrologist or have read books on astrology to find he best dates to perform a certain task or undertake an engagement.

In recent times, polytheistic astrology has dramatically spread, and it has become a means of distorting people's belief in Allah. Private institutes have been founded, books, magazines and newspapers are published, under various titles such as What's in the Stars for You?, Constellations and many others in order to advertise such a seductive commodity that often appeals to the uneducated public.

But the question is: Do stars and their movement shape our destinies? Many would answer in positive for it has become a general belief that stars, their position at a particular time and their movement has telling effect on our lives and since it is scientifically proved that that astrology does effect our lives, there is no harm in believing in astrology and makes one's decisions of life. But here a question arise: If astrology had all the answers about in one's life, what about the beliefs and faiths? Where does the belief in God goes who is the master of the universe and without whose nod, nothing moves or happens? 

Honestly speaking, Islam forbids all forms of fortune or future telling, whether it is based on astrology or palm readings. Although many things do happen as predicted in astrology or what the lines on our palms mean, the fact of the matter is that believing so nullifies one's belief in God and faith that whatever happens to a person is because it is willed by God and not due to peculiarities of one's Zodiac sign.

Talking of astrology and its effect on one's life, Islam takes a serious note of it, for we firmly belove that it is none other than Allah who can bring about any good or evil in our lives and anyone who has a belief other than this is commuting a heinous act of sin of shirk. It goes outside our faith if we look for answers to our future and destiny in anything else other than the will of Allah.

This brings us to our faith in Allah and our future for no one is better future teller than the One who shapes our future and none else. Let us see what Allah says about future in the Holy Qur'an and true understanding of these verses should clear our minds and thoughts and belief in the fortune and future telling stemming from any other means than Allah Himself:
"If Allah helps you, none can overcome you! And if Allah forsakes you, who is there, then, after Allah that can help you? Therefore, the true believers should trust in Allah Alone." [Surah Ale Imran 3: verse 160]
Verily, the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah Alone. He it is Who sends down the rain, and He Alone knows what is taking shape in the wombs of the mothers. No living being knows what he will earn the next day, nor does any know in what land he is to die! Verily Allah is the All Knowing, Wise. [Surah Luqman 31:34] 
"Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us: He is our Protector"; and on Allah let the believers put their trust. [Surah Taubah 9:51] 
And He has subjected for you the night and day and the sun and moon, and the stars are subjected by His command. Indeed in that are signs for a people who reason.[Surah An Nahl 16:12] 
"Say (O Muhammad) : Behold what is in the heaven and the earth! But revelations and warnings avail not folk who will not perceive." [Surah Yunus verse 101] 
However, Allah does give some knowledge of the future to His chosen ones: "(He Alone is) the All-Knower of the unseen, and He reveals to none His ghayb (unseen), except to a Messenger (from mankind) whom He has chosen. (He informs him of unseen as much as He likes), and then He makes a band of watching guards (agnels) to march before him and after him." [Surah Al-Jinn, 72:26-27] And Prophet Yousef  (Josef, peace be upon him) was gifted with this knowledge to interpret dreams and indications. Likewise, Prophet Idris (Enoch, peace be upon him ) was also blessed with his immense knowledge of heavenly sciences. In fact he is considered as the founder of the science of the stars, also called "ilm al nujum" in Arabic. And that he was supposedly known to be the first person to educate mankind that living creatures are under the influence of cosmic rays. But such knowledge as is said before has only been given to the chosen ones by Allah as signs of His full grasp on the affairs of the future.

The Prophet of Allah (ﷺ) has been quoted as saying as narrated  by Abu Hurayrah [Sahih Muslim Hadith 133]: "Don't you know what your Lord said? Your Lord observed: I (Allah) have never endowed My bondsmen with a favor, but a section amongst them disbelieved it, and said: stars, it was due to the stars.

At another place an incident has been quoted attributed to the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) in the Hadith book of Sahih Al-Bukhari [Hadith 1.807] narrated by Zaid bin Khalid Al Juhani that one day the Prophet Muhammad  (ﷺ) led us in the Fajr prayer at Hudaibiya after a rainy night. On completion of the prayer, the Prophet (ﷺ) faced the people and said, "Do you know what your Lord has said (revealed)?" The people replied, "Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) know best." He (ﷺ) said, "Allah has said, 'In this morning some of my slaves remained as true believers and some became disbelievers; whoever said that the rain was due to the Blessings and the Mercy of Allah had belief in Me and disbelieved in the stars, and whoever said that it rained because of a particular star had no belief in Me but believes in that star!' 

It would also be pertinent to quote a particular occurrence from the life of Prophet Muhammad can be considered evidence of his opposition of theoretical views of the influence of heavenly bodies. Prophet Muhammad's only son died around the age of two, coincidently during a solar eclipse. It was perceived by the Arabic community that solar eclipse symbolized a bad omen. Prophet Muhammad wanted Arabs to eradicate the pre-Islamic era paganism and superstitious beliefs. Distraught by the death of his son, he gathered his community and told them that solar eclipse is an irrelevant event and does not occur in correlation to someone's birth or death. The experience of Prophet Muhammad is considered proof that there is no celestial influence or synchronicity between such phenomenon and human events. 

We have often observed that even the most prominent astrologers can't get precise in describing people and events simply because astrology is not designed for concrete predictions. Obviously, the reason behind the accuracy of some predictions is more than just a simple coincidence. We have ample examples of such predictions at the start of each year or on taking over a particular government - the claims are made and then fade away as most prove to be a fallacy.

Thus in the light of above verses from the Holy Qur'an and Hadiths attributed to the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), we have reason to believe that anyone who interprets the movement of stars and predicts future is in fact interfering into something which is the sole domain of Allah and it would be sheer ignorance on the part of humans to believe anyone else other than its creator for anything leave alone astrology.

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 |
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