Should Stars match?

Marriage is an important institution and the most revered Prophet Mohammad (SAW) has repeatedly warned Muslims against polluting it by inventing vices or resorting to pomp and show.  Marriage in Islam is both a sacrament and a civil contract. The parties (including the bride) can put forth their own terms and conditions provided such conditions are not ultra vires to Shariah.

The most revered Prophet (SAW) has said one who marries completes half of his religion. But, resorting to misadventures like visiting an astrologist could cost one his/her faith.

While contracting marriage, the people, especially who claim lineage to the Holy Prophet’s family go to an astrologer to ascertain whether the stars of the would be couple match or not. The astrologer takes the names of the prospective bride and groom, their dates of birth and the names of their respective mothers. Then he does some mathematical calculation and gives his verdict.  Little do such people know that using astrology or numerology to determine the future is forbidden in Islam. The Holy Prophet (SAW) cursed people who practice fortune telling.

“The Salaah (daily prayer) of whoever approaches a fortune-teller and asks him about anything will not be accepted for forty days and nights.” [Reported by Hafsah (RA) and collected by Muslim (Sahih Muslim).

The punishment in this hadith is simply for approaching and asking the astrologist, even if one is in doubt about the truth of his statements. If one is in doubt about the truth or falsehood of astrological information, it means that he is in doubt about whether or not others know the unseen and the future besides Allah. This is a form of Shirk because Allah has clearly stated: “With Him are the keys to the unseen and none knows it except Him” [Soorah al-An`aam 6:59].”Say: None in the heavens or earth knows the unseen except Allah.” [Soorah an-Naml 27:65]

If, however, one believes in the predictions of their horoscope, whether spoken by an astrologist or written in books of astrology, he falls directly into Kufr (disbelief) as stated by the Prophet (SAW) “Whoever approaches an oracle or fortune-teller and believes in what he says, has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad.” [Reported by Abu Hurayrah (RA) and collected by Ahmad and Abu Daawood.

This hadith literally refers to the fortune-teller but it is just as applicable to the astrologist. Both claim knowledge of the future. The astrologist’s claim is just as opposed to Tawheed as the ordinary fortune-teller. He claims that people’s personalities are determined by the stars, and their future actions and the events of their lives are written in the stars.

This Jahilya practice stems from lack of belief and lack of true knowledge. That is why it is common to both the illiterate people as well as the so-called “educated” people. It is so rampant that it is hard to find an “educated” person who does not know his sign.

The Muslims need to look at the life of the Holy Prophet (SAW). He got scores of His pious companions (RA) married. Never did He match their stars with their prospective wives. He would ask them if they had something to give in dower (Mehr).

There are other things (other than stars) to be looked in a would be bride or a prospective groom. There should be no compulsion in a marriage. In fact a coerced marriage is forbidden.  Similarly going to an astrologist for matching the stars is also forbidden.

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