On Soothsayers and the like
Muslim recorded in his Sahih, from some of the wives (Hafsah) of the Prophet (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) that he said: “Whoever goes to a fortuneteller and asks him something and believes in his words, will have his prayer (Salat) rejected for forty days.”
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever visited a soothsayer and believed in his words, has denied the Revelation to Muhammad (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) (i.e. Qur’an).” (Abu Dawud)
The other four Hadith collectors and AI-Hakim equally reported this Hadith (of Abu
Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him)) and classified it as Sahih (sound): “Whoever visits a fortuneteller or a soothsayer and believes in his words, has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) .”
Abu Ya’la reported a similar Hadith from Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) with good Isnad but as Mawquf (untraceable).
Imran bin Husain (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates in a Marfu` Hadith that Allah’s Messenger (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said: “He is not from us who seeks omens or has omens interpreted for him (i.e. At-Tiyarah); or who practices fortunetelling or has his fortune told; or who practices sorcery and magic or goes to have it done for him; and whoever goes to a Kahin (fortuneteller) and believes in what he says has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him).” [Reported by Al-Bazzar with good chain of narrators].
The same Hadith was reported by At-Tabarani in Al-Awsat with a fair chain of narrators from Ibn Abbas without the words “Whoever goes to…” at the end.
Imam Al-Baghawi said, “Al-‘Arrafis a person who claims to know the matters with fore signs by which he can point to stolen items, the place of lost things and the like.” Some said, it is the Kahin; and Kahin is the one who foretells of unseen matters in the future. It is also said that it is the one who informs of the inner secrets.
Abul-Abbas bin Taimiyah (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “Al-‘Arraf is a name for the fortuneteller and the astrologer (Al-Munajjim), and the diviner (Ar-Rammal), and the like of them who speak of having knowledge of matters in similar ways.”
Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) said about those people who write Abjad
(alphabet -to use in soothsaying, fortunetelling etc.) and gaze at the stars i.e., believe in their influences on the earth -“I do not see that whoever does such has any share with Allah.”
Important issues of the Chapter
1) Belief in a Kahin and faith in the Qur’an cannot coexist.
2) Declaration that to do so (i.e. believe in a Kahin) is disbelief.
3) Mention of the one whose fortune is told.
4) Mention of the one for whom an omen is sought.
5) Mention of the one for whom sorcery is done.
6) Mention of the one who learns Abjad (use of alphabet in soothsaying or astrology).
7) The difference between the Kahin and the ‘Arraf.