Home > Aqidah, Knowledge (iLm), Saalih ibn Fowzaan (Hafidhahullah), Scholars > Does Learning Arithmetic and Astronomy Belong to Soothsaying? Sh. Salih al-Fawzan

Does Learning Arithmetic and Astronomy Belong to Soothsaying? Sh. Salih al-Fawzan


Question: Are the calculations of time and rain forecast for agricultural and other purposes considered kinds of astrology?


No, they are not kinds of astrology. They are allowed types of knowledge that is acquired to facilitate people‘s life. The sun and the moon are to be used in measuring time as Allah says,

It is He who made the sun a shining light and the moon a derived light and determined for it phases – that you may know the number of years and account [of time].

[Quran Surah Yunus verse 5]


Al-Khatabi explains that the study of stars by means of observation, and the knowledge used, for example, to identify parts of the day and the Qiblah direction are not forbidden.
It is allowed to use the stars as a guide to directions; Allah says,

And landmarks. And by the stars they are [also] guided. [Quran 16:16]


Ibn-Rajab argues that useful knowledge, which facilitates such necessary activities, is considered permissible by the Jumhoor; other than that is considered unnecessary, for it would take the place of more important things.

astronomy and Islam

According to Sahih Al-Bukhari, Qatadah maintains that Allah has assigned stars three functions:

(a) being an ornament for the sky,

(b) shooting eavesdropping devils, and

(c) acing as guiding signals.


If one tries to read into the stars other than those functions, he will be taking the wrong path, doing a futile exercise and carrying an unbearable burden. Justifying the three functions, Sulaiman Ibn-Abdullah cites these Qur’anic verses:

“And We have certainly beautified the nearest heaven with stars and have made [from] them what is thrown at the devils” [Quran 67:5]


“And landmarks (too), and by the star they find a way.” [Quran 16:16]


However, forecast of when rain falls is difficult, for it belongs to the unseen, which is known only to Allah. To associate rainfall with the states of stars is considered an act of ignorance practised before Islam, as people invoked rain through the stars. Yet, knowledge of the right time to plant certain seeds depends on knowledge of the seasons, and this can be mathematically calculated.


Wa-Allahu-A’lam (Allah is the One Who knows the whole truth).


[Kitab Ad-da’wah, (Book of the Call), Al-Fawzan’s Fatwas, Vol.1, pp.47-48]


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