What do the noble ulamā say about showing one’s hand to an astrologer to try and find out about the future?
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
If someone asks an astrologer about Destiny with the belief that whatever the astrologer informs is absolutely certainly true then this is Kufr. If someone doesn’t believe this but asks out of longing and desire then it is a kabīrah (major) sin and transgression. If someone asks out of amusement then this is makrūh (disliked). If someone shows his hand to an astrologer to show him up as incapable then there is no harm in this, however this last scenario is rare and generally it is shown out of desire and longing which is harām and an enormity.
It is mentioned in Sunan ibn Mājah:
“Whoever has intercourse with a menstruating woman or anal intercourse with a woman or goes to a soothsayer and deems him to be truthful then he has indeed rejected that which has been revealed upon the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ ”.
[Sunan ibn Mājah pg 47]
Sayyidī A’la Hazrat Imām Ahl al-Sunnah al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (May Allah shower him with mercy) mentions in al-Fatāwā al-Ridwiyyah:
“If showing one’s hand to soothsayers and astrologers to ask about the good or bad in relation to Destiny is done with the belief that whatever they inform is the truth then this is absolute Kufr. This is the one mentioned in the hadīth:
“Then he has indeed rejected that which has been revealed upon the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.”
If it isn’t with belief and certainty but with inclination and desire then it is a Kabīrah. This is the one mentioned in the hadīth:
“Allāh will not accept his prayer for 40 days”.
If it is done out of jest and mockery then it is frivolity and makrūh and it is stupidity. Yes, if it is done with the intention of incapacitating him (showing him as incapable) then there is no harm in this”.
[al-Fatāwā al-Ridwiyyah Jild 21 page 155, 156]
The famous Qur’anic Exegete Muftī Ahmad Yār Khān al-Na’īmī (May Allah shower him with mercy) has explained the above mention hadīth of ibn Mājah as follows:
“It should be noted that here Shar’ī Kufr is meant (i.e. that Kufr which is) opposite to Islām. (This is in that scenario when) the astrologer, soothsayer, is asked for his foretelling of news of unseen matters whilst being regarded by that person as a knower of the unseen. If someone does it considering it to be Harām then it is fisq (transgression) but not Kufr or here the meaning of Kufr is the linguistic meaning of ungratefulness”.
[Mir’āt al-Manājīh Volume 1 age 351]
الله أعلم عز و جل و رسوله أعلم صلى الله تعالى عليه وآله و سلم
Answered by Muftī Abū al-Sālih Muhammad Qāsim al-Qādirī
17th Jumādā al-Thānī 1439 AH (06th March 2018)
Translated by Ustādh Ibrar Shafi
Source: Dār al-Iftā Ahl al-Sunnah (Da’wat e Islami)
Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0665] Can we show our hand to an astrologer to try and find out about the future?