I would like to know the stance of our beliefs on fortune telling. There are people in communities who claim to be able to tell parts about your future and (some by palm reading, some by stars, as well as by looking at you etc). I am aware Sayed Sistani’s position on fortune telling is that it is baseless. However I would like some more clarifications on what our Imams have said about this matter, and the reasons for why it is.

I was always skeptical of it because I always believe that it is only Allah who can tell your future, as he is closer to us than our jugular vein, and that delving into such fortune telling can make someone unnecessarily over think about their future and if they hear bad things, make them lose hope about their futures and in the mercy of Allah. If you could provide me some clarifications of the Shia stance on this issue I would appreciate it.

Furthermore, I watched a lecture in which a Shia scholar stated that our fiqh believes that the future and fate can be fluid. Meaning that Allah can will one thing for someone, but based off of their actions and good deeds/repentance, remove calamities that were written for them (and vice versa). Is this the case? Furthermore, how can we reconcile this with the fact that Allah is the best of planners and All Knowing, if he can make adjust your fate from something he initially planned?

1- Fortune telling is haram because only Allah knows the future. Claiming to know the future is a false claim and it’s haram to make such a claim.

2- The culture or fortune telling weakens the faith of people, distracts them from God, and makes them forget that He is in charge of everything. It can lead to disbelief or polytheism.

3- Our hadiths have condemned those engage in fortune telling, whether through astrology, soothsaying or getting in touch with the jinn. The Qur’an is very clear that only Allah knows the knowledge of the unseen and those whom Allah has shared this knowledge with (such as angels or prophets). See sura al-Jinn verse 26.

4- There are two types of divine wills: the contingent and the permanent. The contingent means that, for example, Saleh is supposed to live 30 years. But Allah has decrees that if Saleh pays charity and does good to his kin, Allah will extend his life another 30. This is what is mean by a fluid future. Allah gives a chance in changing some of these outcomes through our deeds.