Fortune-Telling and Consulting Fortune-Tellers- Sh. Ibn Uthaymeen

 

Fortune-telling (soothsaying) is claimed to be seeking the truth; in pursuit of that claim, fortune-tellers employ baseless means. In the Jahili (pre-Islamic) period, fortune telling was a profession of some people in contact with devils. Those devils tried to eavesdrop whatever they could in the heavens, then communicate it to fortune-tellers, who add to it and communicate it to people. If this coincidentally agrees with what actually occurs, people are misled to believe in those fortune-tellers and consider them credible references for judgments and predicting the future, hence the common definition of the fortune-teller as the one who foretells the future.

 

Regarding consulting fortune-tellers, there are three forms of relationship:

In one form, people consult the fortune-teller, but they do not believe him. This is forbidden, and it is a punishable offence as mentioned in the Hadith, ―If one consults a soothsayer, his prayers will not be accepted for forty days. 

 

In another form, people consult the fortune-teller and believe him. This is Kufr (disbelief in Allah), because they believe the fortune-teller‘s claim to know the unseen, which is denial of Allah‘s saying, ―Say (O Muhammad): None in the heavens and the earth knoweth the Unseen save Allah. That is why the Hadith states, ―Whoever consults a soothsayer and believes what he says disbelieves in what has been revealed to Muhammad. 

 

In the third form, some people go to the fortune-teller and pretend to be consulting him so that they can expose him, his mischief and his deceptive ways to the public. There is no objection to doing that, as verified by the incident of Ibn Sayyadh; the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم had something on his mind for him, and asked him if he knew what it was. Ibn-Sayyadh replied, ―It is Addukh (smoke). The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said to him, ―Scram! Never will you go beyond your limits.

Thus, only the third approach to fortune-tellers is acceptable, for it exposes their despicable reality, whereas the first two are forbidden.

 

[Ibn-Uthaymeen, The Precious Collection, Vol. 2, pp. 136-137]

 

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