In doing so, I make one short digression. The idea of belief is itself somewhat problematic. It lies somewhere in a grey area between faith and the void. Probably not.
Belief has no sincere interest in the examined truth and is content to accept what others have said is true. The apprehension of truth takes time and effort. The unexamined life is not only not worth living, it is scarcely a life at all. Sometimes the question is as important as the answer. It very often happens that one is like the proverbial fish in the bowl, not cognizant of the fact that he is swimming in water because there is no experience of otherness to create that awareness.
To some extent, this article is a response and dialogue with Alkan.
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In this case, the critical question involves the application of astrology. Is it used to find propitious times in our lives or to benefit as a helping profession in social and psychological sciences? According to some scholars in Sufism Islamic Mysticism , astrology may be permissible in Islam because it is neither illusion nor demonic practice. Instead, astrology is based on statistical knowledge which motivates people for further research and comprehension of the human condition.
The implication is that the two chief reasons for rejecting astrology are that it is either an illusion or else demonic. The first stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of how astrology works. Many have argued, for example, that the planets cannot possibly affect us because they are too far away. The planets are just rocks in space. The Quran also makes this plain. The celestial bodies are guides to the wise. The best analogy that comes to mind is that of a clock. Those who seriously want to know how astrology can work will find scores of articles on this blog, dealing with that question in one way or the other.
The demonic issue appears to be more complex in Islam than in the other Abrahamic religions because Islam includes the Jinn. One is not free to imagine there are no Jinn, any more than one is free to deny the existence of angels. These are elements of the Islamic faith. They are as much a part of Islam as who vastly outnumber humans and are invisible unless they choose to take a particular form. They are smokeless fire beings associated Iblis, the Islamic Lucifer. However, there are apparently many beneficial Jinns. The prophet Sulyman employed Jinn to great effect and this is celebrated in the Quran.
They have also been associated with arts such as astrology. Although one might turn this into an impossible quest, thwarted at every step by the haunting possibility that a bad Jinn is deceiving us into believing it good, there is a way through. We can know what is good by what it produces. If true astrologers can provide medical insights, auspicious dates for doing anything from starting the building of Baghdad to planting celery, identifying areas of conflict between nations and between a brother and sister, we ought to rule out the agency of evil beings.
Jinn vastly outnumber humans and are invisible unless they choose to take a particular form. They are smokeless fire beings associated with Iblis and they can live for several hundred years. However, there are beneficial Jinn. There is nothing particularly different about this than things we do every day. A good recipe is judged by what the dish tastes like. If true astrologers can provide medical insights, auspicious dates for doing anything from starting the building of Baghdad to plating celery, identifying areas of conflict between nations and between a brother and sister, we ought to rule out the agency of evil beings.
Such is neither my expertise or interest. Although one might turn this into an impossible quest, thwarted at every step by the haunting possibility that a bad Jinn is deceiving us into believing it good, there is a clear way through. If competent astrologers can provide invaluable medical insights, auspicious dates for doing anything from starting the building of Baghdad to planting celery, predicting the weather, identifying areas of conflict between nations and between a brother and sister, we ought to rule out the agency of evil beings.
He was leading his Companions in the Fajr prayer. This is what has prevented you from eavesdropping on the news of the heavens. So we have believed in it, and we will join none in worship with our Lord. That the Quran was a revelation to both humans and the Jinn is a central element in Islamic thought. There is a copy in the archives. Yet the Jinn are not be universally trusted by any means.
There is an Islamic account, which might be apocryphal, that nevertheless holds a lot of weight.
Imam Ali (as) and the Astrologer - Islam Guidance
The story goes that angels get together to discuss the future, only to be overheard by evil Jinn who then corrupt the truth while leaving enough factual content to deceive the fortune teller and impress the querent. This was well-received throughout the Islamic world. In The Holy Koran, they are described as being created from smokeless fire.
Jinns are the descendants of Satan like Humans are descendants of Adam but most of them are very deceptive and dangerous for humans. When God has a certain event planned in our lives, he commands the angels to create the conditions to fabricate them. In some cases, jinn sneaks up and overhear the future event and passes this information to the fortune-tellers through Tarot, I-ching or any other objects. As a result, the truthful events overheard from Angels are embellished with lies to cause confusion. Further to this view, we find a great deal of confirmation for credence in astrology as such:.
Prophet Idris, also known as Enoch in the Old Testament, was blessed with his immense knowledge of heavenly sciences.
Cultural History Themes
As compared to modern science, he had a more complex knowledge of astronomy. Historical records illustrate his birth in Babylonia and his migration to Egypt later in life. History also collaborates that astrology was first born in Babylonia and then spread to Egypt. Prophet Idris was supposedly known to be the first person to educate mankind that living creatures are under the influence of cosmic rays. Alkan then refers to modern horoscopes wherein the Sun is regarded as the only star and therefore the knowledge that belonged to the ancients is lost.
First of all, no serious astrology considers newspaper horoscopes as having anything to do with authentic astrology. True practitioners of the art pay a great deal of attention to fixed stars. For some, this may be all the scriptural references to prophets such as Daniel and Enoch may be all they need to accept the halal relevance of reading the stars.
However, it is very difficult for many people to understand the difference between fortune telling and authentic astrology. In large part, the difference is not merely in the technique, but in the intent. This kind of divination is common among people who interact with and live close to the natural nature. In fact, a Muslim colleague from Pakistan once told me that reading the stars is reading the signs of nature. Indeed, Allah [alone] has knowledge of the Hour and sends down the rain and knows what is in the wombs.
And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul perceives in what land it will die. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted. Surah e Luqman Ayah According to the Ulema e Islam, Allah is prohibiting His followers from fortune-telling in these verses. And he further said: If the wailing woman does not repent before she dies, she will be made to stand on the Day of Resurrection wearing a garment of pitch and a chemise of mange.
Sahih Muslim Book 4 Hadith Sometimes they tell something which comes out to be true. It has been observed that people who start believing in palmistry and astrology, take decisions on the basis of daily assessments made by fortune-tellers. Their faith in Allah starts fading slowly and gradually which ultimately affects their lives. Before anyone jumps in I know I know that the Imams warned against aspects of predictive astrology as it could be what is called 'divination' Besides, I'm not into horoscopes. I asked the ulema I am in awe of them. In fact it's not surprising if we bear in mind Hadith-e-Kisa where it clearly states the sky an dearth were created for the 14 Infallibles.
I have heard a hadith where imam ali says to people ask me about the sky's, i will tell u more about the ways of the sky than the ways of the earth. Inquire of me about the paths of the skies because, verily, I know more about those paths than the paths of the earth. Ask me, Ask me, before I willn't be among you or I'll be separated from you- in some translations. Which is named after which Imam? That is something I have some ideas on given reading - but I can't confirm it as I haven't talked with the ulema on which Imam is represented by which constellation.
From what I discern Aries, the first sign, is created to honour Imam Ali as - the initiator, warrior, creator, sign of greatness. I am not however clear if the other constellations follow the sequential order ie Pisces seems to be created to honour Imam Husain as as a non-muslim book on the astronomy in astrology, wrote that the constellation or sign is an exact replica of the River Euphrates.
It is also the classic water sign. It is also clasically associated with martyrdom. The analogy with Karbala seems obvious. There is even a star in Pisces AlPherg which has strong and obvious analogies with Hadhrath Abbas as 's symbolism, and lies overlapped into Aries which seems to have been created to honour his father Imam Ali as. Thus this star lies in association with both signs and in old Arabic the name means 'water' that gushes out from the neck of a water-carrier's flask. How about that!
It also connects to Aquarius. Not suprisingly, these 2 'brothers' of Aquarius and Pisces are located adjacent to each other in the sky.
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The Icosahedron, twelve vertices around a central point. This form of twelve around one is reflected on many levels of life, including the chlorophyll and hemoglobin molecules, which give life to their respective hosts by ultimatly turning light into energy. By the way, Imam Mahdi as might be symbolised in Scorpio. This constellation and sign is famous for symbolising power and vengeance.
According to Islam, Here’s What it Says about Palmistry and Astrology
In Hadith Qudsi, Allah sawt states that in Mahdi as he shall manifest his power and his revenge. Some people say that the 12 phases of the Moon symbolise each one of the 12 Imams - that is as one sets another rises. I have read that the Moon is full on the 14th as this number is that of fullness - the 14 Infallibles. A lot is interpretation, and I have not had confrimation from the ulema for these examples. But they seem to fit. This is suggested by role of family in his life esp after Karbala - ie he nurtured them. His name Al-Askari refers to his imprisonment ie the world treated him with imprisonment for virtually all his life - the opposite to that which this name of Allah he represented merited.
Virgo: Imam al Naqi as - Purity, without adulteration; in a person, austerity and asceticism - the Imam as was famous for this in particular. His name also means pure. Libra: Allah sawt the Just.
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Imam Mohammad at Taqi as - was especially known for his debates and judicial skills as a child when he successfully debated and decimated Yahya ibn Akhtam the Abbaside chief judge in complex legal arguments over the Shariah, and that too in the court of the Sunni khalifa for all to see, when Imam as was only a child aged 9. Sagittarius: Imam Jafar as Sadiq as. Allah sawt the Wise, the Teacher.
This Imam as is especially known for his role as imparter of knowledge in his schools in Madina. Capricorn: Imam Redha as. This one is tricky. But it fits as the only one left. Imam as is famous in Iran for answering du'a of those who visit his shrine and bestowing bounty upon them. Alright so the constellation are in honour of the Imams. But is it like general astrology, where they believe that being born under in a certain sign gives you certain caracteristics? In the context of human personality they can't be compared to the Imams as the Imams are perfect, men imperfect.
Imams have no astrology or sun sign Sayyid Hossein Nasr writes words to the effect of a good person's personality will have a celestial prototype based around the constellation's moulding of the personality. The 72 traits of 'goodness' can be found in anyone born under any of these signs, as can the 72 traits of ignorance. In a personality no sign's influence is more beneficial than another at the level of the Sun.
Having said all this That's how I see it. I don't get too bogged down in western books on the topic either as they over-rate the influencve of astrology on personality making it seem as if people are not in charge of their own free-will - that is wrong, very wrong. PS many westren astrologers devil-worship so I stay away from them and take their words very cautiously.
One example of a good person who corresponded to his 'celestial prototype' was Ayatullah Khomeini - born in the first one or two days of Libra, with traits of Virgo potentially still present. He achieved global fame for his interpretation of justice - as a great jurist, as a jurist who founded the theory and practice of wilayat-e-faqih the ruling by the pious and learned jurist ; combatting the Shah's injustice to bring justice to Iran in the islamic Revolution, all the way through to his justice in passing the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. All examples of his 'Libra' sign manifesting as powerful symbolism in his life.
If you believe in cusps, which I think probably do exist given some islamic work which speaks of a spectrum of human personality in the zodiac The good people out of those born on the Libra - Virgo cusp can be drawn to mysticism I read in books Joseph said to his father: "O my father! I did see eleven stars and the sun and the moon: I saw them prostrate themselves to me! I saw in a dream eleven planets and the sun and the moon, I saw them prostrating themselves unto me.
Imam Ali (as) & the Astrologer….
I dont know if this relates, The Sun seems symbollic of the Prophet, the Moon Imam Ali, and the other 11 are the remaining 11 imams? I think astrology, like Imam Ali as said, is Xtremely complex science. But the basic symbols are there for all to see - should they pause and contemplate. Very well-argued case.
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