The Islamic Ruling on Horoscopes
Not only is the practice of astrology is Haraam, but also visiting an astrologer and listening to his predictions, buying books on astrology or reading one’s horoscope are also forbidden. Since astrology is mainly used to predicting the future, those who practice it are considered fortunetellers. Consequently, one who seeks his horoscope comes under the ruling contained in the Prophet’s sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement:
‘The Salaah (daily prayer) of whoever approaches a fortuneteller and asks him about anything will not be accepted for forty days and nights.’ [Saheeh Muslim vol.4,p. 1211, no 5440]
The punishment in this hadith is simply for approaching the asking the astrologer, 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 clearly stated:
“And with Him are the keys of ghayb [all that is hidden], none knows them but He and He knows whatever there is in [or on) the earth and the sea; not a leaf falls, but the knows it. There is not a grain in darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or day, but is written in a clear record.” [6:59]
“Say: None in the heavens and the earth knows the ghaby (unseen) except Allaah, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected.” [27:65]
If, however, one believes in the predictions of their horoscope, whether spoken by an astrologer or written in books of astrology, he falls directly into kufr (disbelief) as stated by the Prophet sallallaahu ‘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 Hadith, the Hadith literally refers to the fortuneteller but it is just as applicable to the astrologer. Both claim knowledge of the future. The astrologer’s claim is just as opposed to the Tawheed as the ordinary fortuneteller. He claims that people’s personalities are determined by the starts, and their future actions and the events of their lives are written in the starts. The ordinary fortuneteller 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, represents a vain attempt to escape Qadr (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:
“Say (O Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): ‘ I possess no power over benefit or hurt to myself except as Allaah wills. If I had the knowledge of the ghayb (unseen), I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil should have touch me. I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings unto people who believe.” [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 attempt to guess his sign. Nor should he or she read horoscope columns in newspaper 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.