AstrologyIslam
Is it true that astrology is not allowed in Islam? If so, what is the reason?
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Nour Tessie Jørgensen, Nour Tessie Jørgensen has an MA in Islamic studies from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and a degree in Philosophy of Ethics at Al Mustafa International University in Qum, Iran. She works as an Islamic Studies teacher and a counselor in spiritual and female-related issues. 18 Questions Answered
Saleem Bhimji, Shaykh Saleem Bhimji was born and raised in Canada. After completing his post-secondary education at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), he moved to Medina, New York, to study at the Imam al-Asr Theological Seminary. He later continued his religious studies at the Hawza of Qum. To date he has translated over 40 full-length books into English that have been printed worldwide. 15 Questions Answered
Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour, Sheikh Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour is lecturer of Islamic Studies at the Islamic College for Advanced Studies, London, and a visiting lecturer at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Oriental Studies. He was raised in Iran and holds a BA and an MA in Sociology from Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran. He has also studied at Queen Mary College London and the London School of Economics. 15 Questions Answered
Abbas Jaffer, Sheikh Abbas Jaffer is an optometrist by profession and has a Master’s degree in Islamic Sciences. He is a part time lecturer at the Islamic College in London and is currently writing his doctoral thesis on the challenges faced by educators of young Muslims in modern day Britain. He has also co-authored a book on Qur’anic sciences for the Islamic College as well as translating several works from Persian into English. 14 Questions Answered
Vinay Khetia, Shaikh Vinay Khetia has studied at various traditional Islamic seminaries in London, Iraq and Syria. He has an undergraduate degree in Religious and Near Eastern Studies from the University of Toronto and an M.A. in the History and Philosophy of Religion from Concordia University. He is a PhD Candidate in the department of Religious Studies at McMaster University with a focus on the intellectual history of Islam and specifically Shi'ism. 14 Questions Answered
Seyed Ali Musawi, Seyed Ali Musawi studied religion and history at the University of California, San Diego and subsequently he studied for more than 8 years at the Islamic Seminary in Qum, Iran, focusing on Islamic history and jurisprudence. 11 Questions Answered
Masuma Jaffer, Dr Masuma Jaffer is a qualified dentist, with a Masters in Islamic Studies and has also attended Hawza in Qum. She obtained a PGCE - teaching qualification – and has taught Hawza studies at the Islamic College in London. She also has a Diploma in Counselling and is a Qualified Chaplain and worked with women prisoners at Holloway and with Hertfordshire Police advising them on Muslim matters. 10 Questions Answered
Seyed Saied Alavi, Seyed Saied Alavi is a researcher based in Qom who has studied from the Howzah of Qom and also completed a Pastoral studies program. He is currently a university lecturer in the fields of Shia Theology and the History of Religions as well as other subjects. 9 Questions Answered
Mohammed Al-Hilli, Sheikh Mohammed Al-Hilli, originally from Iraq, has a Masters in Pharmacy from the University of London. He completed his Hawza degree from the ICAS in London under the supervision of Ayatollah Fadhil Milani, and also has an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University via the Islamic College. He is a teacher at the Hawza Programme at Islamic College in London. 8 Questions Answered
Hassanain Govani, Hassanain Govani is based in Sweden and has an MA in History of Religion from Uppsala University and an MA in Islamic Studies from the Islamic College of London, and has also studied Arabic in Damascus. He has a position as project secretary at SST, the committee for state support for religious communities. 5 Questions Answered
Shyrose Jaffer Dhalla, Zakira Shyrose Jaffer Dhalla is a graduate of York University in Canada from where she obtained a BA in Psychology and Sociology and a Masters in the field of Education. She lectures on Islam at mosques, universities, churches and interfaith gatherings and also recites majalises in Urdu, English and Gujarati. A published freelance writer, playwright, motivational speaker and Anti-Racist Educational Counsellor by profession, she conducts workshops on Race and Cultural sensitivity and often appears on TV program panels and radio talk shows to speak on Race Relations. 4 Questions Answered
Syed Nabi Raza Abidi, Syed Nabi Raza Abidi is based in the US and has a PhD in Theology and Philosophy having attended Howzah in Iran for several years. His research was conducted under the guidance of Ayatollah Ja'far Subhani. He has also taught various subjects such as Usul, Fiqh, Philosophy, and Tafseer in different Islamic schools. 3 Questions Answered
Sayed Mohammad Saleh Qazwini, Sayed Mohammad Saleh Qazwini has a BA from the University of Michigan and an MA from Wayne State University. He is a graduate of the Islamic Seminary of Qom, Iran. 3 Questions Answered
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Hamid Waqar, Shaykh Hamid Waqar was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and converted to Islam at the age of sixteen. He started his Islamic studies in the year 2001 in Beirut and, a year later, moved to Qum where he has been studying since. He currently studies at the highest levels of Islamic jurisprudence, translates many books and runs the Muntazar website. 2 Questions Answered
Sayed Mohammedhassan Alsheraa, Sayed MohammedHassan Alsheraa attended the Hawzah in Detroit, Michigan, in the United States. Thereafter he continued his Islamic studies in the Hawza of Karbala, Iraq. Alongside his Hawza studies, he is also a student of political science at the University of Michigan, USA. 1 Question Answered
Shahid Pradhan, Shahid Pradhan is a graduate of Al-Mustafa International University, Qum. He is an activist and interested in Indian and international political and social issues. 1 Question Answered
Berak Hussain, Berak Hussain is a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) in Canada. She has a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Educational Counseling from the University of Ottawa. She speaks on a variety of Islamic and psychological issues bridging the connection and misconceptions around Islam and mental health and Islam and women. She has worked locally and internationally on a variety of mental health initiatives working tirelessly to break the stigma around the topic within the community. 1 Question Answered
Faiyaz Jaffer, Shaykh Faiyaz Jaffer is the Associate Chaplain and Research Scholar at the Islamic Center at New York University. He attained an MA degree in Islamic Studies (UK), with a concentration on early Islamic history, after his undergraduate degree from SUNY Stony Brook University in Political Science and Religious Studies. In pursuing the classical course of Islamic education, Faiyaz has studied in the Seminary of Karbala, Iraq. 1 Question Answered
Nasim Walji Pirmohamed, Nasim Walji Pirmohamed is a religious lecturer and a teacher in Islamic Religious Education, Holy Qur'an and Arabic language. She has translated works from Persian to English, and has been very active in working for the improvement of women’s condition and their mental health across many countries. 1 Question Answered
Amir De Martino, Amir De Martino is of Italian origin and has an MA in Islamic Studies from the Islamic College and a combined BA degree in Persian Language and Studies of Religion from SOAS in London. He has also obtained a PGCE in Social Research Methods from the Department of Education at Roehampton University as part of his preparation for doctoral studies, and is a member of Westminster’s Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education.No Questions Answered
Ayub Rashid, Shaykh Ayub Rashid is a graduate of the Islamic Seminary of Qom, Iran. He has a BA in Islamic law and MA in Islam and Community Studies from the UK and is also a qualified Muslim Chaplain from the Markfield Institute of Higher Education in Leicester.No Questions Answered
Anwar Jaffer, Born and raised in London, Sheikh Anwar Jaffer has a Bsc in Economics and Finance from Queen Mary University of London. In 2010 he began his religious studies in Najaf and transferred to Qom in 2015 where he currently resides with his family. No Questions Answered
Jaffer Ali Ladak, Shaykh Jaffer Ali Ladak is from Milton Keynes in the UK and has studied at Jami'a Imam as-Sadiq (a) Hawza Imam al-Jawad (a) in Karbala and at Al Mahdi Institute in Birmingham. He is currently completing his Masters Degree in Islamic Law at the Islamic College in London. He has also authored a book on Lady Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Imam Ali (a).No Questions Answered
Greg Sowden, Ali Mahdi Greg Sowden studied world history at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Since then he has been a student at Al-Mustafa International University in Qom, in the Islamic Republic of Iran.No Questions Answered
Amina Inloes,

Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the Islamic College in London and also the Managing Editor of the Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies.

530 Answers
Mahmood Abu Maryam,

Trying to make sense of it all...

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Zeinab Donati,

Zeinab Donati has been studying books about various Islamic subjects for more than 19 years. She is deeply interested in history and politics as well as social issues in particular those pertaining to women.

25 Answers
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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi,

Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to religious questions. In the past, he has also spent significant time in India guiding the community.

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Rebecca Masterton,

Dr Rebecca Masterton graduated with a BA in Japanese Language and Literature; an MA in Comparative East Asian and African Literature and a PhD in Islamic literature of West Africa. She has been teaching for seventeen years through different media, and has also worked in media for ten years, producing and presenting programs for several TV channels.

93 Answers
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Zoheir Ali Esmail,

Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD from the University of Exeter in the philosophical and mystical readings of Mulla Sadra in the context of the schools of Tehran and Qum.

352 Answers
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Mateen Charbonneau,

Sheikh Mateen Joshua Charbonneau achieved a certificate from Harvard University in Islamic Studies. He undertook Howza classes under esteemed scholars since 2013 and has been teaching at Imam Mahdi Howza since 2017. He has compiled and published several books, has filmed several documentaries on Islamic subjects and has also promoted Islamic propagation in US jails.

39 Answers
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Abbas Di Palma,

Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in London, Damascus and Qom and taught for different institutions in Italy and UK.

208 Answers
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Abolfazl Sabouri,

Abolfazl Sabouri is based in New Zealand and has an MA in Jurisprudence and Islamic Studies. He is a graduate of Elmiyeh seminary in Qom with more than 15 years of study and research where he has also taught Tafsir, Theology and Jurisprudence.

43 Answers
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Sayyed Muhammad Husaini Ragheb,

Sayyed Muhammad Husaini Ragheb has a BA in Law from Guilan University, Iran and has also undertaken Hawzah studies in Qom. He is a Cultural Affairs director of Ethics Group of Al-Mustafa Open University and has also taught Arabic conversation at Masoomieh school.

67 Answers
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Zaid Alsalami,

Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from ANU, Canberra. He has written and translated several Islamic texts and also prepared educational videos on Islamic rulings and practices.

487 Answers
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Seyed Ali Shobayri,

Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the Islamic College of London. He also studied at the Hawza Ilmiyya of England and continues Hawza and Islamic studies with private teachers.

149 Answers
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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 1 year ago

This is a complicated question that is blurred by two things. First, historically, Muslims have tended to have different views on this. Some Muslims have opposed astrology, and others, especially those of a more mystical inclination, have accepted it. 

This is also complicated by the scientific viewpoint of modernity. Today, it is considered bad science to believe in astrology, and so many Muslims will reject it to avoid seeming backwards. Even in ancient times, scholars disagreed whether astrology is factually valid (that is, whether it is an accurate science of inquiry or not); however, there were aspects of an astrological worldview that were common in many fields such as medicine in the Muslim world and Europe. Therefore we find things about timing that, today, would be considered "astrological" in works such as Tibb al-Rida (A), although such things were considered scientific not "astrological" back then.

(This is apart from the fact that, in older times, people tended to rely more on the stars for basic timings of life such as when to plant, predicting weather, and so forth.)

Furthermore, in the pre-modern era, Muslims, like others, tended to hold a worldview in which the cosmos was seen as united and meaningful. Therefore, there was no philosophical problem in holding that the positions of the planets or stars might have some relationship to what happened to human beings. In today's materialistic model of the universe, however, where everything is seen to be independent and lacking inherent meaning or connection, this idea does not make sense and hence tends to be dismissed as superstition. 

In any case, regardless of the fact that there were varying viewpoints on astrology in earlier eras of Islam, it clearly was influential in the classical Muslim era. For instance, both Baghdad and Cairo were founded at times that were determined astrologically in hopes it would contribute to the success of the cities. Astrology was also heavily influential in the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires, and it is really only in the past century that it has disappeared from public view.

Jurisprudentially, there is a Sunni hadith which narrates that the Prophet (S) said: ""Whoever seeks knowledge from the stars is seeking one of the branches of witchcraft…” So, from a Sunni angle, if one accepts that hadith, it would seem to be against astrology. That said, I personally am skeptical that the Prophet (S) actually said that, but to each their own.

Shi'i hadith texts are more complicated on the subject as the Imams were said to have knowledge of all things and that included the science of the stars.

The difference between Sunni and Shi'i texts may also be because astrology was more prominent and developed in the regions which Islam expanded to after the time of the Prophet (S), and astrological texts were part of the texts that were translated during the translation movement of the Abbasid era. So, since the Imams were alive during that time, there were more discussions about it. 

Apart from that, the main theological concerns over astrology seem to be:

(a) Shirk - that is, believing that the planets/stars have more control than Allah and/or worshipping the planets/stars [as is attributed to the Sabaeans].

This has been a shared concern by Muslims and Christians and historically has been refuted by those who accept astrology by saying that the stars/planets are a lens for divine power, or under the control of Allah, and not independently acting entities.

(b) Astrologers make mistakes and have varying levels of skill in their craft and differences of opinion on how to practice it; some are outright liars or try to manipulate kings.

Also, I would add, some things that are said in the name of astrology are really quite silly; for instance, there is a lot of silliness on some blogs and social media sites today. Whether or not one accepts astrology as a valid science, it still has internal rules that were taught and agreed upon, and so one can still evaluate whether or not it is being done "correctly" according to the historical rules of the art, or if someone is just making fiction up entirely.

(c) To discourage unhealthy dependency on fortune-tellers or soothsayers and to discourage a culture whereby someone always consults a fortune-teller before making a decision or is obsessed about these things.

(d) To avoid losing hope in God and feeling that everything is predetermined and there is no role for prayer; and/or avoiding self-fulfilling prophecies (being told something negative and subconsciously living it out).

From a Shi'i fiqh perspective, there are different views. (This is also complicated by the fact that there have historically been various uses of astrology, and some might be considered permissible and others impermissible.) To my knowledge, Ayatollah Khamene'i allows the practice of astrology as long as the astrologer conditions what they say with the clause that everything is in the hands of Allah (rather than claiming that his or her statements are absolute or interfere with Allah's right to decree and establish fate, or that the planets/stars themselves control things).  

An interesting historical text which discusses astrology from a religious perspective is Faraj al-Mahmum fi 'Ilm al-Nujum by Ibn Tawus, and if one looks quite hard, one can find an English translation of it (or at least a partial translation).

Those are a few insights - hope they help!