Astrology in The Qur’an
“We will soon show Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that indeed this is the truth. Is your Lord not sufficient? Indeed He witnesses all things,” 41:53
“Indeed, in the creation of the skies and the land and the variation of the night and the day are proofs for those who possess vision,” 3:190
The Qur’an talks plenty about the cycles of life and death, and the cycles of nature as well. And as far as The Qur’an is concerned, these things are very deeply connected. Part of the cycles of life and death is how Allah, according to His unchanging system called Assunat Allah, always annihilates the disbelieving communities and substitutes them with new generations. This will inevitably include the End of the World, the Day of Canopy, the Day of Resurrection, and the Day of Judgement. And The Qur’an, as quoted above, says that there are signs in the Heavens and the Earth. This is where Astrology is involved.
By Astrology, all I mean is the interpretation of the cycles of the heavenly bodies as divine signs and messages from Allah. And I do not find that The Qur’an at all forbids the practice of Astrology, however one defines it. In either case, I would like to show some of the profound connections I see in The Qur’an concerning the cycles of nature, and of life and death.
Ursa Major is so far the oldest known constellation, and most likely goes back into prehistoric times. Cultures throughout the world have seen this same group of stars as a Great Bear – hence the name; “Ursa Major” means “The Great Bear” in Latin. It is most likely that the ancients across the world have called it The Great Bear because the patterns, the cycles, of it’s appearances and disappearances from the sky seem to coincide with the seasonal hibernations of bears on Earth; it disappears from the skies in Autumn, remains unseen through the winter, and reappears after about seven months in Spring. Similarly, the bears go into hibernation in Autumn, hibernate for seven months and then re – emerge in the Spring. Plants and animals in general seem to follow this same pattern; when Autumn comes, plants begin to get bare, losing their leaves and their fruits. The animals begin to settle down in their hidden homes, or they start to migrate. The land begins to die in the Autumn. Then when Winter is past and Spring comes, the migrating animals return; the hidden animals, including ones that were migrating, come out or return. The flowers bloom, trees grow new leaves, and the rain and the sunshine revive the land. So there is certainly some connection to be made between the cycles of nature on Earth, and the cycles of nature in the skies, as in those of Ursa Major.
The Qur’an says that when Allah will resurrect the people, on the Day of Resurrection, it is like when Allah sends rain to revive dead lands, like in the Spring (“And therefore, note the legacy of God’s mercy as how He revives the land after its death. Indeed, He thus grants life to the dead, and He is All Powerful over all things,” – The Qur’an, 30:50; “And among His signs you see the land subdued, and as soon as We pour water upon it, it vibrates with life. Indeed the One who revives it, is the One who resurrects the dead. Surely He is All Powerful over all things,” – The Qur’an, 41:39). This thus constitutes a divine connection between the cycles of nature and the cycles of life and death. The disappearance of Ursa Major from the skies in Autumn signals the death of the land – animals going into hibernation, plants going dormant or dead, plants becoming bare of leaves or flowers or fruits, animals migrating, et cetera – and the annihilation of communities; the reappearance of Ursa Major in the skies in Spring signals the revival of the land, and the resurrection of the dead on the Day of Judgement.
Ursa Major’s cycles coincide with the cycles of the dying and the revival of the land; and the revival of the land, according to The Qur’an, is like the resurrection of life on Earth. So it seems that Ursa Major’s cycles thus coincide with the death and subsequent resurrection of life on Earth, on Judgement Day.
The constellation Libra is the “Balance Scales.” This is because it appears each year on the Autumn equinox, when the night and day are of equal or “balanced” length. This constellation also was an ancient symbol for justice because of it’s natural connection with balance and equality. The Muslim Arabic astronomers – who were also astrologers by the way, (see Astrology in Islam below) – chose to name Libra “Al-Mizan,” meaning “The Balance.” It is evident they chose this name partly because The Qur’an mentions the Balance of all things, called “AlMizan,” in 55:7 – 9:
“And He raised the sky and established the balance. Absolutely, do not violate the balance. And set the scales equitably and do not disturb the balance.”
Libra appears in the Autumn, during the time Ursa Major is disappearing from the skies. This is a profound sign in the heavens, because it correlates to the coming of justice. For as Ursa Major’s cycles correlate to death followed by resurrection, (see Ursa Major above), and as every believer knows that what will inevitably follow the Resurrection on Judgement Day is the restoration of divine justice when all the evil – doers are placed in Hell and punished and all the good – doers are placed in Heaven and rewarded, similarly Libra’s cycles correlate to the restoration of Divine Justice. Libra is The God’s heavenly sign symbolizing the Day of Judgement, and the Divine Justice and the retribution. It serves as a profound reminder that when everything in the Heavens and the Earth is destroyed and then recreated, ( represented by the disappearance and then reappearance of Ursa Major), all souls will be given the fates they each deserve without any injustice, ( represented by the appearance of Libra).
Libra, Scorpius, and Orion
Originally, in ancient times, Libra was not just a set of balance scales but was the Claws of Scorpius the Scorpion. It was made a separate constellation in ancient times though by the Romans. In the ancient Semitic and Mesopotamian cultures and languages, the words for “claws” were similar to those for “balance scales,” and Libra was always connected with balance, so it is fully understandable that Libra eventually was separated from Scorpius to become a set of balance scales. As for whether or not it should be considered a separate constellation, I think it should be because Ptolemy considered it to be.
“In Greek Mythology the myths associated with Scorpio almost invariably also contain a reference to Orion. According to one of these myths it is written that Orion boasted to goddess Artemis and her mother, Leto, that he would kill every animal on the earth. Although Artemis was known to be a hunter herself she offered protection to all creatures. Artemis and her mother Leto sent a scorpion to deal with Orion. The pair battled and the scorpion killed Orion. However, the contest was apparently a lively one that caught the attention of the king of the gods Zeus, who later raised the scorpion to heaven and afterwards, at the request of Artemis, did the same for Orion to serve as a reminder for mortals to curb their excessive pride. There is also a version that Orion was better than the goddess Artemis but said that Artemis was better than he and so Artemis took a liking to Orion. The god Apollo, Artemis’s twin brother, grew angry and sent a scorpion to attack Orion. After Orion was killed, Artemis asked Zeus to put Orion up in the sky. So every winter Orion hunts in the sky, but every summer he flees as the constellation of the scorpion comes.
In another Greek story involving Scorpio without Orion, Phaeton (the mortal male offspring of Helios) went to his father, who had earlier sworn by the River Styx to give Phaeton anything he should ask for. Phaeton wanted to drive his father’s Sun Chariot for a day. Although Helios tried to dissuade his son, Phaeton was adamant. However, when the day arrived, Phaeton panicked and lost control of the white horses that drew the chariot. First, the Earth grew chill as Phaeton flew too high and encountered the celestial scorpion, its deadly sting raised to strike. Alarmed, he dipped the chariot too close, causing the vegetation to burn. By accident, Phaeton turned most of Africa into desert and darkened the skin of the Ethiopian nation until it was black. Eventually, Zeus was forced to intervene by striking the runaway chariot and Phaeton with a lightning bolt to put an end to its rampage and Phaeton plunged into the River Eridanos.”
As far as the ancient myths go, Orion and Scorpius are enemies. This obviously is due to the fact that these two constellations are on opposite sides of the Zodiac, the band of constellations that the Sun naturally seems to pass through. Additionally, when one rises in the skies, the other sets. So the two are quite literally at odds with each other. Additionally, it seems that the ancients saw Orion as a transgressing destroyer, who transgressed against divine law when he threatened all life on Earth; and Scorpius, a representative of Divine Justice, was sent to destroy and punish Orion. But it seems that Orion was placed in Heaven anyways, by the graces of Zeus.
Orion is a Winter constellation. In the Northern Hemisphere it is visible from late Autumn in November until Winter, and from late Spring until Summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Scorpius on the other hand is a Summer constellation, and is visible at the opposite times from each hemisphere. When Orion is visible, Scorpius is not, and vice – versa. So they were seen in ancient times as symbols for the continuous battle between good, light, life, and resurrection, (Spring and Summer), and evil, dark, death and destruction, (Autumn and Winter). So Orion is a divine sign representing the destruction of all life on Earth, and Orion also symbolizes transgression and arrogance, things for which he was divinely punished. And Scorpius is a divine sign of the victory of good, light, life and resurrection against evil, dark, death and destruction.
Orion and Scorpius are some of Allah’s divine signs of the victory of good over evil. These are some of Allah’s profound signs in the Heavens for those who possess knowledge and intelligence. Here are some verses from The Qur’an about the triumph of Good against Evil:
Halley’s Comet and Gog and Magog
Halley’s Comet has an orbital period of 76 years. It last appeared in Earth’s skies in 1986 A.D. It will reappear again in the following specific years:
If you are familiar with the work of the recent messenger of Allah, the Messenger of the Covenant, Dr. Rashad Khalifa, then you know that he showed mathematical evidence in The Qur’an that in the year 2270 A.D. Gog and Magog will return, and that in 2280 major events pertaining to the end of the world will occur, (he said that the world will end in 2280, but that’s not necessarily the correct understanding of The Qur’anic prophesies that he exposed; since he was not a prophet – messenger, he was not totally free of human mistakes). You may now be wondering what this has to do with Halley’s Comet, so I’ll go over the connections Allah – willing.
The gematrical value or “g.v.” of the name “Gog,” in Arabic, (“Yajooj”), is 23, (see http://www.usn2161.net/TGV.html to learn about gematrical values). The g.v. of Magog – which is “Majooj” in Arabic – is 53. 23 + 53 = 76 – Gog plus Magog equals the orbital period of Halley’s Comet. Also note that as The Qur’an’s miraculous numeric code is based upon the numbers 7 and 19, 76 = 1 x 2 x 2 x 19!
If Rashad Khalifa was right about the year 2280, this means that:
1) Halley’s Comet will reappear three more times before the End of the World begins, (as I said above; 2062, 2138, and 2214).
2) It’s final reappearance in 2214 will be 56* years before Gog and Magog literally reappear on Earth in 2270 as prophesied by The Qur’an, (21:95-96), and 66* years before the End of the World begins.
3) 56 = 1 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 7. 66 = the g.v. of “Allah.”
4) As The Qur’an says that Gog and Magog (76) will reappear, this is what Halley’s Comet does every 76 (Gog and Magog) years. Thus, the reappearances of Halley’s Comet serve as profound signs in the Heavens and the Earth, to remind the people of the inevitable reappearance of Gog and Magog. Since it’s reappearances serve as heavenly warnings about the inevitable reappearance of Gog and Magog, and since they are supposed to reappear in 2270 A.D., and since before that year Halley’s Comet has three more reappearances, the people have three more warnings.
Astrology in Islam
“The medieval Arabs took a keen interest in the study of heavens; partly because they considered the celestial bodies to be divine, partly because the dwellers of desert-regions often traveled at night, and relied upon knowledge of the constellations for guidance in their journeys. After the advent of Islam, the Muslims needed to determine the time of the prayers, the direction of the Ka’bah, and the correct orientation of the mosque, all of which helped give a religious impetus to the study of astronomy and contributed towards the belief that the heavenly bodies were influential upon terrestrial affairs as well as the human condition. The science dealing with such influences was termed astrology (Arabic: علم النجوم Ilm an-Nujūm), a discipline contained within the field of astronomy (more broadly known as علم الفلك Ilm al-Falak ‘the science of formation [of the heavens]’). The principles of these studies were rooted in Arabian, Persian, Babylonian, Hellenistic and Indian traditions and both were developed by the Arabs following their establishment of a magnificent observatory and library of astronomical and astrological texts at Baghdad in the 8th century.
Throughout the medieval period the practical application of astrology was subject to deep philosophical debate by Muslim religious scholars and scientists. Astrological prognostications nevertheless required a fair amount of exact scientific expertise and the quest for such knowledge within this era helped to provide the incentive for the study and development of astronomy,” – from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrology_in_medieval_Islam.
Surat Alburuj, The Chapter of The Constellations
“By the cosmos containing the constellations.” – 85:1
In modern astronomy, there are 88 universally officially recognized constellations. 48 of them are ancient constellations, and there are 41 officially recognized modern constellations. But three of the so – called “modern” constellations – “Carina (the keel, or the hull, of the ship), Puppis (the poop deck, or stern), and Vela (the sails),” (quoted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argo_Navis) – constitute one of the 48 ancient constellations that was called Argo Navis. So this means that unlike the rest of the modern constellations, (except Canes Venatici, Columba, Crux, and Grus), Carina, Puppis, and Vela were not discovered in modern times. Unless I’ve made a mistake – and I seek refuge in The God from making mistakes and from blundering – this means that there are actually 85 constellations.
Chapter 85 of The Qur’an just so happens to be called “Surat Alburuj,” which means “Chapter of The Constellations.” The 85th. surah of The Qur’an is called Chapter of The Constellations, it begins by mentioning the constellations, and it’s ordinal number is the number of constellations there are contained in the heavens – 85! Compare this also to what it’s first verse says, (quoted above)! This is NOT a mere coincidence. When The God revealed The Qur’an, The God already knew full well that starting in the sixteenth century A.D. humans would begin to discover the 37 modern constellations that were previously invisible to people because the people had not yet traveled far enough, (since three of the modern ones are really three parts of one of the ancient ones, I do not count them; thus there are really 37 modern constellations).
These are the modern constellations:
5) Canes Venatici, (once part of Ursa Major)*
6) Carina, (part of Argo Navis)*
9) Columba, (once part of Canis Major)*
10) Crux, (Ptolemy regarded it in ancient times as part of Centaurus)*
13) Grus, (once part of Piscis Austrinus)*
18) Leo Minor
22) Monoceros, (may have been known to the ancient Persians)**
29) Puppis, (part of Argo Navis)*
36) Triangulum Australe
38) Vela, (part of Argo Navis)*
The following quotes are from wikipedia articles about the relevant constellations
“The stars of Canes Venatici are not bright. In classical times, they were included by Ptolemy within the constellation Ursa Major in his star catalogue. α CVn was Ptolemy’s “28th of Ursa Major”, and β CVn was his “29th of Ursa Major”.
In the medieval times, the identification of these stars with the dogs of Boötes arose through a mistranslation. Some of Boötes’ stars were traditionally described as representing the club (Greek, Κολλοροβος) of Boötes. When the Greek astronomer Ptolemy’s Almagest was translated from Greek to Arabic, the translator Johannitius (following Alberuni) did not know the Greek word and rendered it as the nearest-looking Arabic word, writing العصى ذات الكلاب in ordinary unvowelled Arabic text “al-`aşā dhāt al-kullāb”, which means “the spearshaft having a hook”. When the Arabic text was translated into Latin, the translator Gerard of Cremona (probably in Spain) mistook the Arabic word كلاب for kilāb (the plural of كلب kalb), meaning “dogs”, writing hastile habens canes (“spearshaft having dogs”).
 In 1533, the German astronomer Peter Apian depicted Boötes as having two dogs with him.
These spurious dogs floated about the astronomical literature until Hevelius decided to specify their presence in the sky by making them a separate constellation in 1687. Hevelius chose the name Asterion (from the Greek ‘αστέριον, meaning the “little star”, the diminutive of ‘αστηρ the “star”, or adjective meaning “starry”) for the northern dog and Chara (from the Greek χαρά, meaning “joy”) for the southern dog, as Canes Venatici, the Hunting Dogs, in his star atlas. In his star catalogue, the Czech astronomer Becvar assigned Asterion to β CVn and Chara to α CVn.”
“Columba was created by Dutch astronomer Petrus Plancius in 1592 in order to differentiate the ‘unformed stars’ of the large constellation Canis Major. Plancius first depicted Columba on the small celestial planispheres of his large wall map of 1592. It is also shown on his smaller world map of 1594 and on early Dutch celestial globes.
Plancius originally named the constellation Columba Noachi (“Noah‘s Dove”), referring to the dove that gave Noah the information that the Great Flood was receding. This name is found on early 17th-century celestial globes and star atlases (such as Bayer’s Uranometria of 1603).”
“Crux was visible to the Ancient Greeks; Ptolemy regarded it as part of the constellation Centaurus. It was entirely visible as far north as Britain in the fourth millennium BC. However, the precession of the equinoxes gradually lowered its stars below the European horizon, and they were eventually forgotten by the inhabitants of northern latitudes. By AD 400, most of the constellation never rose above the horizon for Athenians.
The 15th century Venetian navigator Alvise Cadamosto made note of what was probably the Southern Cross on exiting the Gambia River in 1455, calling it the carro dell’ostro (“southern chariot”). However, Cadamosto’s constellation had too many stars and was tilted incorrectly. Historians generally credit João Faras – astronomer and physician of King Manuel I of Portugal who accompanied Pedro Álvares Cabral in the discovery of Brazil in 1500 – for being the first European to depict it correctly. Faras sketched and described the constellation (calling it “Las Guardas”) in a letter written on the beaches of Brazil on May 1, 1500, to the Portuguese monarch. Émerie Mollineux has also been cited as the first uranographer to distinguish Crux; his illustration dates to 1592. Later adopters of the constellation included Jakob Bartsch in 1624 and Augustin Royer in 1679. Royer is also sometimes cited as initially distinguishing Crux. Explorer Amerigo Vespucci depicted Crux as an almond, called “Mandorla”.
The separation of Crux from Centaurus is generally attributed to the French astronomer Augustin Royer in 1679, but other historians attribute the invention of Crux to Petrus Plancius in 1613. However, Crux was later published by Jakob Bartsch in 1624.”
The stars were first defined as a separate constellation by Petrus Plancius, who created twelve new constellations based on the observations of Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman. Grus first appeared on a 35-cm diameter celestial globe published in 1597 (or 1598) in Amsterdam by Plancius with Jodocus Hondius. Its first depiction in a celestial atlas was in Johann Bayer‘s Uranometria of 1603.
An alternative name for the constellation, Phoenicopterus (Latin for flamingo), was used briefly during the early 17th century.”
“Monoceros is a relatively modern constellation. Its first certain appearance was on a globe created by the Dutch cartographer Petrus Plancius in 1612 or 1613 and it was later charted by Jakob Bartsch as Unicornus in his star chart of 1624.
Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers and Ludwig Ideler indicate (according to Richard Hinkley Allen‘s allegations) that the constellation may be older, quoting an astrological work from 1564 that mentioned “the second horse between the Twins and the Crab has many stars, but not very bright”; these references may ultimately be due to Michael Scot of the 13th century, but refer to a horse and not a unicorn, and its position does not quite match. Joseph Scaliger is reported to have found Monoceros on an ancient Persian sphere.”
It seems that the following seven so – called “modern” constellations were previously considered, in ancient times, to be part of ancient constellations: Canes Venatici, Carina, Columba, Crux, Grus, Puppis and Vela. As Canes Venatici was once part of Ursa Major, Carina, Puppis and Vela of Argo Navis, Columba of Canis Major, Crux of Centaurus, and Grus of Piscis Austrinus, these seven constellations may be demoted to parts of the ancient constellations Ursa Major, Argo Navis, Canis Major, Centaurus, and Piscis Austrinus. So the number of “modern” constellations may be reduced logically from 40 to 33, and the number of ancient constellations remains 48. But this does not make there 85 constellations; this makes 81. And some of those seven constellations ought to be separate anyways. This is in accordance to logical reasons that I will, Allah – willing, go over.
The Logical Reasons
Although Canes Venatici was originally separated from Ursa Major, as it seems, due to a mistranslation of Ptolemy’s Almagest by Johannitius, (from Greek into Arabic), I believe it ought to be considered a separate constellation anyways because it is physically distinct from the rest of it’s parental constellation. For example, while Ursa Major contains at least seven bright stars, (in particular, the ones that constitute the part of Ursa Major known as the Big Dipper), Canes Venatici has no bright stars.
Columba should be considered a separate constellation. Petrus Plancius called it’s stars, “unformed stars,” which in Astronomy means stars that are not formed or arranged into a constellation. The ancients did not use all of the stars when they arranged them into the constellations; they only used the ones they felt they needed to, for they would arrange the stars into shapes to represent what the star – clusters already meant to them probably to help people remember their meanings; for instance, they saw Ursa Major as looking like a bear to help them remember it’s connection to bears. So all they needed was to use enough stars to make a clear bear – shape. The rest of the stars in the star – cluster that became the constellation Ursa Major were thus left unformed. Petrus gave the stars of Columba a shape in order to distinguish them from the rest of Ursa Major.
As the above quotations state, Crux was known to the ancient Greeks, and Ptolemy considered it part of Centaurus; but due to Equinoctial Precession, it sank below the European horizon and they could no longer see it; thus the northern people forgot about Crux. But then it was rediscovered in modern times, and redefined as a separate constellation. To me it is apparent that Allah intentionally hid Crux from the ancients, caused the northerners to forget about it, and then caused it to be rediscovered and redefined as a separate constellation instead of a part of Centaurus. Allah could have caused it to have not been forgotten, or could have caused it to have been rediscovered by one who would not have separated it from Centaurus. But instead, surely for good reasons, Allah caused it to be forgotten, then rediscovered and redefined. It is apparent to me that Allah did not intend for it to be continually considered part of Centaurus, but instead to be considered a separate constellation.
Grus should be considered a separate constellation, simply because of the fact that Petrus separated it from Piscis Austrinus in accordance to ” the observations of Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman.”
Those are the four that should be considered separate. But the other three, Carina, Puppis, and Vela, I believe ought to be counted as one constellation – Argo Navis. That’s what they were before; one constellation. They are different from the other four because while the other four were simply separated off of larger constellations, these three are the entirety of their parental constellation; they weren’t simply separated off. Argo Navis was completely broken up, into those three constellations. I really see no reason for this to have been done, and as far as I am concerned they are still one cluster of stars. Thus, they are really one constellation. I believe that Carina, Puppis, and Vela should be re – unified as the ancient constellation Argo Navis.
Thus, the number of modern constellations should be 37, and the number of ancient constellations should be 48. There are, in my beliefs, really 85 constellations and not 88.
You may think, by the way, that I simply decided that because Surat Al – Buruj is numbered 85 that one way or another there must be 85, and that I’ve been working based upon an arbitrary bias. But I assure you that this is not the case, and, Allah suffices as a Witness between me and you that I am being totally honest about this. Allah suffices as a Witness between me and you that I am not working based upon any bias. I already figured that the most logical number of constellations is 85 from the beginning, and then I happened to notice that Surat Al – Buruj, The Chapter of The Constellations, is Chapter 85 of The Qur’an.
God created, numbered, and named the stars and constellations
“He tells the number of the stars; he calls them all by their names” – Psalm 147:4
I need more quotations from more scriptures to prove this point. It will take me time to do further research. Therefore for now I will conclude this article with a link to a page about astrology in Arabia that existed before the time of Muhhammad.
Pre-Muhhammad Arabian Astrology