Is Pretend Fortune Telling From Turkish Coffee Shirk?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question

Within the Turkish tradition, it is common for people to read someone’s “fortune” from the remainder of the coffee grounds after drinking Turkish coffee. I am aware of the rulings regarding fortune-telling, witchcraft, astrology, etc.

Does the same ruling apply when it is done for fun, and the “fortune” given isn’t taken seriously by either party?

Answer

I pray you are well.

No, this fake fortune-telling is not shirk. Shirk entails worshipping someone besides Allah or maintaining they have the same authority or attributes as Allah. [Sanusi, Muqaddimat]

However, the act would not be permissible as it is in imitation of a direct act of disobedience to Allah. Similar to this is the prohibition of pretending to have a toast and touching glasses – even if they have only water in them – as the people of fisq (sin) do. [Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha]

Rather, it’s best to hate it with one’s heart for the sake of Allah. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever loves for Allah, hates for Allah, gives for Allah, and withholds for Allah, he has perfected his faith.“ [Abu Dawud]

May Allah makes us of those who embody these qualities.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.