Posted by: alqamardesigns | October 23, 2008

What’s the difference between astronomy and astrology?

Asalaamualaykum,

At work someone mentioned Astronomy and Astrology, as though the two are the same. I find these two terms are often mis-used or mis-understood.  But in Islam, they have been clearly distinguished apart, one being halaal (permissable) and one being haraam (forbidden)! So we need to make sure not to confuse the two. Below is some research I did recently, as I wanted to clarrify these two terms:

Astronomy is based on the laws of physics (and therefore mathematics) and aims at describing what is happening to the universe based on what we observe today. An example of this is weather forcasting:

Forecasting the weather does not come under the heading of astrology or claiming to have knowledge of the unseen, rather it is based on physical evidence and experience, and study of the natural laws established by Allaah. The same applies to knowing the times of solar and lunar eclipses, or when there are likely to be strong winds and rainfall.

Astrology on the other hand claims it can predict what will happen to individuals (or guess what is happening to them), or to mankind, based on such things as solar system configurations and birth dates. Common applications include horoscopes and such. Regardless of whether there is scientific support for astrology, its goal and methods are clearly distinct from those of astronomy.

In Islam the practice of astrology is totally Haraam.  Whether it be visiting an astrologist, listening to his predictions, buying books on astrology, reading coffee / tea cups, superstition, reading one’s horoscope, tarot hands, or palm reading .. these are all forbidden!  Those who part-take in astrology and its likes come under the ruling contained in the Prophet’s (S) statement:

“Whoever approaches a 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]

“The Salaah (daily prayer) of the one who 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]

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever learns anything of astrology has learned a branch of witchcraft (al-sihr)…” [Abu Daawood]

This practice is so dangerous and evil that if one believes in the above mentioned practices, one runs the risk of falling out of the folds of Islam.

Only Allah SWT has knowledge of the absolute unseen, depending on something other than Allaah and believing that benefit and harm come from something other than Him is associating partners with Allah (which is Shirk), as one is regarding something created to have such powers which only our Creator Allah possesses.

“And with Him are the keys of the Ghayb (the absolute unseen), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record” [Soorah al-An’aam 6:59]

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

The grammatical structure used in the original Arabic – starting with the negation laa (translated here as “none”) followed by the word illa (“except”) – is one of the most emphatic ways of expressing exclusivity.

So if a person claims to know the unseen, he is effectively disbelieving what the Qur’aan says.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The noblest of the angelic Messengers, Jibreel, asked the noblest of the human Messengers, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Tell me about the Hour.” He said: “The one who is asked about it is does not know any more about it than the one who is asking” meaning, just as you have no knowledge of it, I have no knowledge of it either. End quote. [Sharh al-‘Aqeedah al-Waasitiyyah, p. 158 ]

Source: For more, please read: Astronomy Vs Astrology by Sh Munnajid


Responses

  1. […] AlqamarDesigns, another of those barking websites which specialise in telling Muslims what is halal (acceptable) and haraam (forbidden) makes it clear that fortune-telling is “totally haraam”. Whether it be visiting an astrologist, listening to his predictions, buying books on astrology, reading coffee/tea cups, superstition, reading one’s horoscope, tarot hands, or palm reading  … these are all forbidden!  Those who part-take in astrology and its likes come under the ruling contained in the Prophet’s (S) statement: […]


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