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Kitaab At-Tawheed, Chapter: 27
What Has Been Said About At-Tanjeem 1
Bukhari narrates in his Saheeh, that Qatadah said:
"Allah created these stars for three reasons: (i) To adorn the heaven, (ii) as missiles against the devils and (ii) as signs by which (the traveller) may be guided; and so whoever claims more than this for them has is emoneous and has lost his reward (on the Day of Resurrection) and taken upon himself that of which he has no knowledge."
In this narration, Qatadah informs us that Allah , Most High, Created the stars for only three things: The first, to beautify the night sky; the second, as projectiles against the devils who approach the lowest heaven in order to overhear the angels speaking of the Commandments of Allah which they then attempt to convey to the fortune-tellers and soothsayers; 2 and the third, as guidance for the wayfarer at night, whether on land or at sea. He added that anyone who claims more than this for the stars such as the claims of astrologers, that the positions of the stars and planets exert an influence on our daily lives, is acting out of ignorance, and will receive no reward from Allah on the Day of Judgement and has gone astray from the Straight Path.
Benefits Derived From This Narration
1. The wisdom of creating the stars.
2. The falseness of the claims of those who say otherwise.
3. The forbiddance of belief in astrology.
4. The punishment prescribed for those who practice or believe in astrology.
Relevance of This Narration to the Subject of the Chapter
That it informs us of the view of Qatadah concerning astrology, that it is false and forbidden.
Relevance of This Narration to the Subject of Tawheed
That Qatadah rejected that which the astrologers claim concerning the stars and knowledge of the unseen because it is an act of Shirk to claim knowledge of the unseen; as such knowledge is only with Allah .
Harb informs us that while Qatadah disliked the studying of the lunar phases, Ibn `Uyainah forbade it, and Ahmad and Ishaq permitted it.
(a) Study of the stars is of three kinds: (i) That which is kufr, and that is the belief that the heavenly bodies themselves decide the events of our daily lives. (ii) The belief that events may be predicted by studying the courses and relative positions of the stars and planets which they claim is by Allah's Ordainment and His Will and there is no doubt of the forbiddance of this nor of its being a form of Shirk. (iii) The study of the stars and the planets in order to have knowledge of their cycles for the purpose of aiding travellers in order to know the direction of the Qiblah 3 and to know the time and season and this is permissible.
(b) The suggestion that Allah's Words:
" And marks and signs; and by the stars they are guided" (Qur'an 16:16)
Are an indication that astrology is permissible is totally false and baseless, because its forbiddance has been reported in many authentic Ahadith and therefore, it is clear that the meaning of this verse is not as the ignorant and misguided have claimed, but that Allah has placed in the earth many natural sign-posts such as mountains, valleys, rivers, trees, rocks, etc.; and in the heaven stars to help the traveller find his way and that we may know the time and the season.
It is reported on the authority of Abu Moosa (ra), that he said: "Allah's Messenger said:
"There are three who will not enter Paradise: (i) The habitual wine drinker, (ii) the one who cuts family ties and (iii) the one who believes in sorcery."
The Messenger of Allah informs us in this Hadith that there are three categories of people who will not enter Paradise because of the major sins which they committed, all of which are harmful to themselves and to the whole community: The first of them is the alcoholic because when he is under the influence of alcohol, his rationality and his inhibitions depart and he is likely to commit any number of sins. The second is the one who breaks family ties, because in so doing he causes strife, division and enmity between members of his family - the result of this may be the breakdown of the family unit which is the basis of a healthy society. The third is the one who believes in sorcery which includes fortune-telling, astrology, palm-reading etc., because this leads to cheating, fraud and deception for the purpose of stealing the money of the innocent and the gullible.
Benefits Derived From This Hadith
1. The prohibition of alcoholic drinks.
2. The obligation to maintain family ties.
3. The forbiddance of belief in sorcery.
Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter
That it proves that it is forbidden to believe in all kinds of sorcery, including astrology.
Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed
That the Hadith forbids belief in sorcery, including astrology, because belief in astrology necessitates the belief that someone other than Allah possesses knowledge of the unseen and such a belief is Shirk.
1. At-Tanjeem: Astrology.
2. This refers to meteorites, not stars, which are referred to in Arabic also as stars, as indeed they are in English (shooting stars, falling stars).
3. Qiblah: The direction towards which we face when we pray i.e. the K'abah in Makkah.
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