Divination With Arrows

For the reason mentioned above, divination with arrows was prohibited by Islam. The Arabs of jahiliyyah used three arrows for divination; on one arrow was written, "My Lord commanded me," on another, "My Lord forbade me," and the third was left blank. If they planned to go on a journey, to marry, to carry out a raid, etc., they would go to the temple where these arrows were kept. One arrow would be selected randomly. If they selected the "commanding" arrow they would proceed with their plan; if they selected the "forbidding" arrow they would not proceed with it; while if the blank arrow was drawn they would replace it and repeat the process until they received a clear indication.

The practices in our society of making decisions on the basis of what is observed in sand, seashells, tea leaves, cards, palms, of opening a book at random, and the like are similar to this practice. (This also indicates the practice of astrology, belief in horoscopes, and related matters. The Prophet (peace be on him) said, "If anyone acquires any knowledge of astrology, he acquires a branch of magic." (Ahmad, Abu Daoud, and Ibn Majah) He also said, "The astrologer is a diviner, the diviner is a magician, and the magician is an unbeliever." (Razi))
Islam has prohibited all such practices and considers them sinful. After mentioning the prohibited foods, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala says: ...And (also forbidden) is predicting the future by means of divining arrows, for that is impiety....(5:4 (3))
And the Prophet (peace be on him) said,
He who consults with soothsayers or divining arrows, or returns from a journey because of an ill omen, shall not attain the high rank (in Paradise). (Reported by al-Nisai.)


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