Is It Permissible to Believe In Astrology and Horoscopes?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Sidi Faraz A. Khan

Question: I read a lot of islamic rulings on astrology saying it is haram and the basis for it.  I know that in Islam reading signs, going to fortune tellers, and predicting the future is haram.

My question is if it is okay to read about people’s personality traits based on the month that they are born. I find a lot of these traits to be true of myself and people that I know.  Is it okay to find compatibility based on their signs knowing how their personality will be?  Is this allowed in Islam. I really need to know because I know several muslims who really follow this.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and faith.

As you state in your question, it is unlawful to follow astrology, as based on many rigorously-authenticated hadiths in which the Messenger of Allah [peace and blessings be upon him] forbade it. This prohibition is general and without exception, and hence includes following horoscopes even if only to note compatibility of personality traits and the like.

Some Hadiths on the Matter

In his masterful collection of Prophetic hadiths, Riyadh al-Salihin [Gardens of the Righteous], Imam Nawawi placed an entire chapter called “The Prohibition of Going to Soothsayers, Astrologers and Diviners, and of Seeking Omens.”

Some of the hadiths in that chapter are as follows, all of which clearly indicate the immense gravity and seriousness of the sin:

“If one goes to a soothsayer, asks about something, and believes it, his prayer will not be accepted for forty days.” [Muslim]

“Divination and taking omens from the flight of birds are types of idolatry.” [Abu Dawud]

“If one takes knowledge from the stars [i.e., astrology], he in fact takes a branch of sorcery. The more knowledge he gains [of that], the more sin he gains.” [Abu Dawud; commentary from Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir]
And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani