Going to Fortunetellers: Prohibited?

03 October, 2016
Q As-salamu `alaykum. What is the ruling of Islam concerning seeing a fortuneteller? I know Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) has made many prophecies about the future, but has Allah given this ability to other people besides Prophets? What if you see one just for amusement, but do not take their words too seriously? If it is absolutely haram to see a fortunetellers, can you please give some reasons as to why?


Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother, we are greatly pleased to receive your question which shows the confidence you place in us. May Allah reward you abundantly for your interest in knowing the teachings of Islam!

In Islam, there is no room for anyone predicting the future. It is only Allah Who has the full and accurate knowledge of the future. Even the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) did not know the hidden things except what Allah revealed to him. Allah says, “He is the [Sole] Knower [of the realm] of the unseen. And never does He manifest His [knowledge of the] unseen [realm] to anyone- except for one among the messengers with whom He is well pleased. Then, indeed, He dispatches before such a one, and behind him, [angel-] sentinels.” (Al-Jinn 72:26-27) Hence, it is forbidden for Muslims to consult the future tellers or astrologers.

In his response to the question you raised, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, states,

Allah says in the Qur’an that “No one in the heaven and earth knows the hidden things except Allah.” (An-Naml 27:65) Even the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did not know the hidden things except what Allah revealed to him. “Say, I do not say to you that I possess Allah treasures, nor that I have the knowledge of the Unseen…” (Al-An`am 6:50) The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told us only that which Allah revealed to him and allowed him to tell. No one after him has that knowledge to tell about the future.

Soothsaying and fortunetelling are things that belong to the realm of occult and have no religious or scientific basis. About the astrologers (munajjimun) it is correctly said, “They are liars even if what they say turn out to be true.” Whatever they say is based on illusion and imagination and not any solid knowledge. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) forbade Muslims from going to the fortunetellers. It is reported by Abu Hurayrah and Hasan (may Allah be pleased with them) that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whosoever goes to a soothsayer or fortuneteller and believes in him, he thus disbelieves in what is revealed upon Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).” (Ahmad)

One has to avoid going to fortunetellers even for amusement purpose, because this might lead to believing in them or supporting them in their falsehood.

However, scientific predictions on the basis of calculations and analysis, which are required for all future planning and preparations do not come under the prohibition of fortunetelling or soothsaying.

Allah Almighty knows best.