All praises belong to Allah, the most Beneficent, the entirely Merciful. The One, who has made trials and ordeals parts and parcel of human existence, the One whose favour is limitless. May He in His unequaled benevolence shower His choicest blessing upon the noble soul of our beloved prophet, Muhammad, his household, his companions and those who are upon his guidance until the last day.
It is a regular fate of man that at a point or another, he is afflicted with a concern. In lieu of the provision of the Quran in al Baqarah verse 155:
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَىْءٍۢ مِّنَ ٱلْخَوْفِ وَٱلْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍۢ مِّنَ ٱلْأَمْوَٰلِ وَٱلْأَنفُسِ وَٱلثَّمَرَٰتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلصَّٰبِرِينَ
“And We will most certainly try you with somewhat of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits, and give good news to the patient.”
It is evident that trials of these sorts or trials analogous to these generally, cannot be divorced from human existence. In trying times however, the recommended antidote as inferable from the Quran and Sunnah is patience: “verily, patience is only at the first stroke of calamity” (Sahihayn). And it is to this extent that the idiom “drastic times call for drastic measures” is inconsistent with Islamic principles, considering the pedesta on which patience is placed in Islam, as patience is one of the ways to attain the favours of Allah as evidenced by the Quran in al Baqarah verse 45:
وَٱسْتَعِينُوا۟ بِٱلصَّبْرِ وَٱلصَّلَوٰةِ ۚ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى ٱلْخَٰشِعِينَ
“And seek assistance through patience and prayer, and most surely it is a hard thing except for the humble ones.”
Today, patience in times of trial is a rare trait in Muslims and as a result, putting themselves at the risk of disbelief as Muslims are often found
subscribing to drastic measures in drastic times, the evilest of which is the consultation of soothsayers. It is a natural human tendency to crave immediate ease during difficulty but not at the expense of jeopardizing one’s monotheistic belief as a Muslim. This is so because it is reported in an authentic hadith of the prophet (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him ) that: He who goes to one who claims to tell about matters of the Unseen and believes in him, his Salat (prayers) will not be accepted for forty days (Riyadh as Saliheen Chapter 303). This is a lower form of robbery compared to the most disastrous one which is tantamount to disbelief as reported in another narration of the prophet recorded in Sunnan Abi Dawood, whoever goes to a fortune-teller or soothsayers and believes what he says has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him ). What robbery could be greater than the one in which one’s faith is lost?
People are often swayed by the microscopic accuracy in their prophecies, feigning the ignorance of the fact that they are professional liars. Claiming to know the unseen is what they do for a living. A mere fact that there’s a slight accuracy in that which was foretold does not make them truthful as a hadith of the prophet (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him ) has it: `Aishah (RA) said: Some people asked the Messenger of Allah (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him ) about soothsayers Upon this they said to him, “O Messenger of Allah! But they sometimes make true predictions.” Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him ) said, “ That is a word pertaining to truth which a jinn snatches (from the angels) and whispers into the ears of his friend (the soothsayers) who will then mix more than a hundred lies with it.
This explain why people are seemingly in a sworn cliental relationship with soothsayers, because of the diminutive accuracy in their foresight even though they have been wrong a thousand more times than they were ever right. Meanwhile, it’s not as if they are truthful in the least, but their conjecture in very rare cases coincide with fate, which tends to strengthen their relationship with their client and thus, furthering in robbing them of their hard-earned opulence and monotheism as fortune-telling and believing in same is an established form of Shirk under the Shariah.
Many have fallen victim of these robbers by mere fact that they want to avert that which has not prevailed over them, which they either saw in their dream or their soothsayers alleges that he saw, thereby requiring some sacrifices disguised in most often than not, prayers or Islamically unprecedented alms amongst host of others. Sometimes, the robber takes charge of the process, which may appear to the client as though they are being saved the rigor of getting the items needed for the sacrifice, not knowing the robber is only fast-tracking his robbery. In another case, the victims of the robbery have been inflicted with a trial which they are desperate to get rid of, they would do anything else other than patience which predisposes them to being taken advantage of by the armless robbers. This is either due to crippled Iman or shortsightedness of the fact that if Allah wills good for His servant, none can intercept it and in similar vein, if He afflicts His servant with an affliction, none can remove it except He. This has been concretized in the Quran, Yunus verse 107. A clear understanding of this will make one realize that whatever Allah wills will always prevail, no matter how much we detest it, no matter how desperate we want it to go.
Shirk is an unforgivable sin which Allah will NEVER forgive, if one dies upon it of course. Allah forgives all sins except Shirk which one dies upon, as exegetically understood from An Nisai verse 48. Nothing nullifies one’s deeds faster than Shirk. If Allah could warn the prophet (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him ) of ever having his deeds nullified and thus becoming one of the losers by committing Shirk (Zumar verse 39), how much more followers like us?
The relationship of people with soothsayers is usually a continued one because of the hope they have that they may be an agent of their breakthrough, spending meaningful part of their life wining and dining with soothsayers and dancing to their tune, which even puts them at a great risk of dying while associating partner(s) with Allah.
The soothsayers rob the afflicted of the virtues of patience which could entitle them to Jannah in the first place (At Rad verse 24), their hard-earned wealth and ultimately their Tawheed. The soothsayers are bound to not prosper in here and in the hereafter (Taha verse 69) and it’s a terrible fate that an unsuspecting Muslim may go down with them. Undoubtedly, the one who does not submit to fate will be robbed of his faith.
May Allah rectify our affairs and distance us from Shirk as we seek His aid.