FORTUNE TELLERS & SOOTH SAYERS
Ibn Manzur said: “A fortune teller is the one who receives news of the future and claims to know the unseen.”
Al-Azhari’ said: “Fortune telling was present before the coming of the Prophet ﷺ. When he was sent, the heavens were guarded with shooting stars, and the jinn and shayatin were prevented from stealing news from the heavens and passing it to the fortune tellers. It became obsolete, and Allah destroyed the falsities of the fortune tellers with the Qur’an which differentiates between truth and falsehood.”
Ibn Manzur said: “Linguistically, it refers to a fortune teller. In the hadith: “Whosoever approaches a soothsayer,” ‘soothsayer’, refers to a person who claims to know the knowledge of the unseen which is only known to Allah.”
In ‘Kitab al-Tawhid Imam al-Baghawi said: “The soothsayer is the one who claims to know affairs using signs to point him to something which has been stolen for example.”
Ibn Qasim said: “The soothsayer is the one who provides detail about a burglary and the culprit, or the location of something that someone has lost etc. using certain signs he claims to see. It is probable that the shayatin descend upon him and mix with his spirit.”
The ruling of seeking help from fortune tellers, soothsayers, and magicians etc.
Indeed, good health is something which every person wishes for; it is a crown upon the heads of those who possess it. However, it can only be seen by those who have lost it, as the Prophet ﷺ said: “The majority of people are negligent of two blessings: good health and free time.”'(Sahih Bukhari)
However, does a person seek a cure through unlawful (haram) means by using that which involves illusions and lies? Does a person seek assistance from the magicians, soothsayers and fortune tellers? The answer is never. The Prophet ﷺ has warned us against seeking a cure in an unlawful manner: “Verily Allah has sent the illness and its cure, so seek the cures but do not cure with that which is haram.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)
Seeking a cure in that which involves lies has evil outcomes.
Indeed, many people chase these false illusions and may even feel content with them, especially if that illusionist and impostor is good at deceiving and cheating others. Shaykh Ibn Baz said:
It is forbidden to go to soothsayers and magicians and their likes from those who claim the knowledge of the unseen. To believe them is worse; indeed, it is a type of disbelief as the Prophet ﷺ said:
Hadiths of this kind are many in number, hence, it is incumbent upon the Muslim to be aware of asking fortune tellers, soothsayers, and all those who claim to have news of the unseen. These people wish to confuse the Muslims by referring to it as medicine or something similar.
Some people inform others of the unseen by smelling the scarf or clothes of those who are ill; they claim it is a form of medicine. These people have done something from the affairs of the unseen and have not obtained this information simply by smelling clothes. This is only to confuse people so that they consider it to be a form of medicine. These people may even give the ill person some medicine which may heal him by the decree of Allah. People then consider the medicine to be the reason behind the cure. However, the illness may have been as a result of some of the jinn who cooperate with these people and inform him of the illness. These people then please the jinn with some sort of worship, and thus they leave the ill person. This is something that is well-known about the jinn and shayatin and those who cooperate with them.
Imam al-NawawI said: “Know that fortune telling, going to fortune tellers, blowing in the sand and pebbles etc, and learning about these things is unlawful (haram). Taking a fee for any of the above is also unlawful as has been mentioned in authentic texts.
Today, the circle of magicians and fortune tellers is increasing, as it has done throughout time. These people seek to destroy people’s belief and turn them away from the true tawhid of Allah, so that people rely on them instead of Allah.
Also, these people are well aware that deception and cheating is the easiest and fastest way to consume people’s money. One of these fortune tellers was once asked: “What caused you to turn to this?” He replied: “I used to be a taxi driver, then I realised that fortune telling was the easiest way to take people’s money.”
To become a fortune-teller, all that is required is knowledge of how to deceive and cheat, and to memorise certain phrases, writings, and deceptive mutterings.
Differentiating between the good and the bad
There are certain signs by which one can recognise magicians, soothsayers and fortune tellers and those similar to them. In order for the Muslims to avoid becoming sacrificial lambs to these people, hence destroying their beliefs and religion, here are some of the signs by which these people can be recognised:
Stories about Magic & Fortune Tellers
Sheikh/Dr. ‘Abdullah bin Muhammad al-Tayyar, (student of Sheikh Ibn Baz) who used torecite ruqyah, shared a few stories in his book The Jinn, Black Magic & the Evil Eye.
He said, these are some of the incidents relating to magic and fortune tellers, the majority of which we have witnessed personally, and the rest are stories we were told by people we trust. We have tried our best to only mention what we know to be true, for such incidents are more often than not exaggerated. We are certain of what we mention here because we know the people involved by their names. We ask Allah to protect us from all evil.
Stories related to Magic
1. One of the shaykhs whom we trust informed us that he saw magic at the top of a tree. It was made of two small stones, each the size of a hazelnut, and also a bandage and a rolled up charm. All of this was placed inside a cement ball on the top of the tree. So when the cement ball was broken, it was discovered that everything inside it had been burned. When they tried to open the bandage, it began to crumble. The bewitched happened to be someone well known to us, who had memorised the Qur’an and would constantly recite upon himself, and would turn to Allah frequently, so Allah cured him from his illnesses.
2. I once recited upon a young man who had studied in America. I continued to recite upon him for nearly a whole year due to the problems he was having, which caused his wife to leave him and return to her family. She gave birth to a daughter who he had not seen. Every time he would be recited upon he would shake, and do strange things. We were confused as to whether he was afflicted by magic, possession, or the evil-eye. All this caused much pain for his family, especially his mother. After nearly a year, I recited upon him with severity, and struck him. The jinni began to scream and speak; the more I struck him the more he screamed, until it said it wanted to leave.
I advised this man to repent to Allah, and observe the five daily prayers, and recite the Qur’an. Consequently, he became better.
However, he did not continue this, so the magic returned, and the reason for this and Allah knows best, is that when he became negligent of the advice given to him, he was bewitched again.
Stories related to Fortune Tellers
I once met a young man from the Gulf in India, and I sat with him at ‘Arrivals.’ He was determined to go to a famous fortune teller in that country, so I advised him and told him that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Whosoever goes to a fortune teller and asks him something, and believes him, his prayer will not be accepted for forty days.” However, he insisted on going, so I asked if I could go with him to prove to him their lies, and he agreed.
When we entered upon the fortune teller, I began to speak to him and made up a false story regarding the man with me. After I finished he said: ‘What you have said is true, for this man has been bewitched.’ The man was astonished knowing it was all false, so he left and repented to Allah and realised that they are just impostors.
An amazing story
Shaykh Yasin Ahmad ‘Ayn said: “Some time ago, a man passed away and left a beautiful house, which had many rooms, was very spacious, and was decorated with embroidery, ornaments, and a marble courtyard, all surrounded by different coloured decorations and water features.
This man had no children to inherit from him, so the house was abandoned. His relatives agreed to sell the house believing it would be worth a small fortune, but as soon as they put the house on the market, news spread that the house had been overtaken by jinn. This news spread so much that it was the main topic amongst people for days and nights. Whoever disbelieved the story would go to the house, only to return the next day agreeing that the house had shayatin in it.
So, people refused to buy the house, and the relatives of the deceased feared many problems as a result of this, especially since one prospective buyer had already paid a quarter of the price.
So, a strong man who had heard of the news, but was not daunted by the prospect of the jinn went to the relatives and told them he would eject the jinn from the house if they paid him for it. They agreed and gave him half of the price.
That evening, the man went to the house armed with a gun. When he arrived, he rested for a while, and after the candle extinguished, he fell asleep. After a while, he felt something pulling his quilt, so he grabbed the quilt and asked: ‘Who is it that is pulling the quilt?’ A reply came: ‘I am the ‘ifrit (jinn), and I must take the quilt or else I will possess you.’ The man let the quilt go, and the jinn fell on its back. The man moved to pin him down, and put the gun to its head, and said: ‘Tell me, who are you?’ At this it became frightened and replied: ‘Let me go, and I will tell you.’
The man said: ‘Speak O ‘ifrit. It replied: ‘I am neither an ifrit nor a jinni, but a man like you; the only difference between us is my dark complexion and ugly features.’ So, he let him go and lit the candle, whereupon he saw a naked, black man. He said: ‘Tell me, what you are doing here.’
He replied: ‘I am here out of necessity; I am a poor and unemployed man, who has a large family dependant upon him. I was looking for someone to employ me, and I found a man who told me to come to this house every night, and whenever someone approaches to clap and strike a tinplate which I brought for this purpose. If that does not deter the visitor I turn on the water features, and shout and scream from around the house in different voices. He then made me promise to keep this a secret.’
When the young man heard this, he took him to the relatives of the deceased and told them the full story. They discovered that the man who had employed him was the prospective buyer, who had wanted the house for a cheap price.” (Summarised)
TIPS OF TEST
There will be an Assignment Question asked in the Test. Marks will be given based on the following: –