Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan
I recently read a fatwa on here, Does Going to a Fortuneteller Entail Disbelief? In the fatwa the respected shaykh writes ‘it is actual disbelief if the person believes the fortuneteller actually conveys from the unseen realm’, what does ‘conveys from the unseen’ mean? If i go to a fortuneteller and ask them about matters to do with the unseen and I believe what they say is accurate only because i know they work with the jinn am i a kafir?
Also, if i believe only Allah knows all of the unseen but a fortune teller knows parts of it due to being informed by eavesdropping jinn, – would believing this make me a kafir?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health states.
No, such a belief would not make one a disbeliever.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever goes to a fortuneteller or soothsayer and believes in him, then he has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad.” [Musnad Ahmed; Tabarani Awsat; Sunan Bayhaqi]
Scholars mention that it is actual disbelief only if the person deems the act to be lawful, or if the person believes that the fortuneteller actually conveys from the unseen realm (ghayb), i.e., in a manner that entails rejection of Allah or His attributes.
Otherwise, the person would not have committed disbelief but rather a serious enormity. In such a case, the use of the word ‘disbelief’ is understood as an indication of the immense gravity of the sin. [Mubarakpuri, Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi; Azimabadi, `Awn al-Ma`bud; Munawi, Fath al-Qadir]
Thus, as long as one believes that:
— Allah Most High alone has knowledge of the unseen and alone has full control of everything in the universe, and
— the fortuneteller or soothsayer has no independent access to any knowledge, and
— if they do convey anything, that they convey only what Allah allows for them to convey, whether by guesswork/coincidence, by means of jinn, or any other means that are created by Allah and under the complete dominion of Allah,
Then one has not committed disbelief. Yet even with this understanding, believing in fortunetellers/soothsayers is still a major sin and enormity.
Islam teaches that we do not go to fortunetellers and that we do not give them any attention or consideration. We reject what they convey, and we focus instead on the realities convey to us by the Qur’an and Noble Sunna.
And Allah knows best.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani