Q: Some Arab newspapers and magazines dedicate pages to the horoscope, talking about zodiac signs such as Aries, Taurus, Gemini and others. They claim that people born under these signs will probably be moody because the zodiac conflicts a lot during this period. There are many things written in these pages, a copy of which is attached to the message and many Muslim youth read them. Please clarify the Islamic ruling on zodiac signs and your advice to Muslims and to those responsible for the magazines.
A: This is considered the same as divination used by fortune-tellers to inform people if they will be happy or miserable and if they should be optimistic or pessimistic. This is a prohibited idea dating back to the days of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance). It is not permissible to practice, follow or spread these ideas. It is even more misleading and misguiding to Muslims to spread such ideas in newspapers, as they involve claiming to know Ghayb (the Unseen), which is the sole Right of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) Who says,
Say: “None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghaib (Unseen) except Allâh, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected.” [Surah Al-Naml, 27: 65]
Allah also says,
“And with Him are the keys of the Ghaib (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record.” [Surah Al-An`am, 6: 59]
Allah even denied that His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) knew the Ghayb. Allah says,
“Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): I don’t tell you that with me are the treasures of Allâh, nor (that) I know the Unseen; nor I tell you that I am an angel. I but follow what is revealed to me.” Say: “Are the blind and the one who sees equal? Will you not then take thought?” [Surah Al-An`am, 6: 50]
He (Glorified be He) says,
“And I do not say to you that with me are the Treasures of Allâh, nor that I know the Ghaib (Unseen), nor do I say I am an angel, and I do not say of those whom your eyes look down upon that Allâh will not bestow any good on them. Allâh knows what is in their inner-selves (as regards belief, etc.). In that case, I should, indeed be one of the Zâlimûn (wrong-doers, oppressors).” [Surah Hud, 11: 31]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“Anyone who acquires a branch of the knowledge of astrology has acquired a branch of magic (of which they acquire more as long as) they continue to do so.”
There are many Ayahs (Qur’anic verses) and Hadiths in this regard. Muslim scholars unanimously agree on this well-established ruling prohibiting astrology.
Thus, it is the duty of every Muslim seeking the best for themselves and their religion to avoid this form of manipulating people’s minds and beliefs, to fear Allah regarding themselves and their nation and not to spread misleading ideas among Muslims.
On the other hand, Muslim rulers (may Allah grant them success) should prevent this practice and punish those who spread it according to the Islamic prescribed punishment.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’
Bakr Abu Zayd `Abdul-`Aziz Al Al-Shaykh Salih Al-Fawzan `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz
Fatwa no. 17727
…May Allah give us a better understanding & guide us to accept the truth