I knew that going to fortunetellers and soothsayers was shirk, but I did not know what shirk meant, or that it put one beyond the pale of Islam. All these years later I have repented to Allaah from all sins. I started to read books of Tawheed so as to correct my ‘aqeedah, and I found out that I had fallen into major shirk. Can I repent? Should I repeat the shahaadah?.
Praise be to Allaah.
We praise Allaah for having guided you to repent, and we ask
Him to bless you with steadfastness in adhering to the truth.
The ahaadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) clearly state that it is forbidden to go to soothsayers
But not everyone who goes to a fortuneteller or a soothsayer
is a mushrik in the sense of major shirk that puts one beyond the pale of
Islam. Rather going to a fortuneteller or soothsayer falls into different
categories. It may be major shirk, or it may be a sin, or it may be
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:
Those who go to fortunetellers fall into three categories:
1 – The one who goes to a fortuneteller and asks him things
without believing in what he says. This is haraam, and the punishment of the
one who does that is that his prayers are not accepted for forty days, as it
is narrated in Saheeh Muslim (2230), that the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever goes to a fortuneteller and
asks him about something, his prayer will not be accepted for forty days.”
2 – When a person goes to a fortuneteller and asks him about
something and believes what he says. This is disbelief in Allaah (kufr),
because he is believing the fortuneteller’s claim to have knowledge of the
unseen, and believing a human’s being claim to have knowledge of the unseen
constitutes disbelief in the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of
“Say: None in the heavens
and the earth knows the Ghayb (Unseen) except Allaah”
Hence it says in the saheeh hadeeth: “Whoever goes to a
fortuneteller and believes what he says has disbelieved in that which was
revealed to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).”
3 – When he goes to a
fortuneteller and asks him questions so that he can explain to the people
what he is really doing, which is deceiving people and leading them astray.
There is nothing wrong with this. The evidence for that is the fact that the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went to Ibn
Sayyaad. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) though
of something to himself. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) asked him what he was thinking of and he said, “Al-dukh” meaning
al-dukhaan (smoke). End quote.
Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen,
Based on this, whoever goes to a fortuneteller or soothsayer
and believes what he says and believes that he has knowledge of the unseen
has committed major kufr which puts him beyond the pale of Islam. But if he
does not believe what he says then he has not committed kufr.
Whatever the case, the door of repentance is open, as the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah will
accept the repentance of His slave so long as the death rattle has not
reached his throat.” (3537)
i.e., so long as the soul has not reached the throat. Every
sin from which a man repents, Allaah will accept his repentance. Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“Say: O ‘Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against
themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of
Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft‑Forgiving, Most
Whatever sin a person
falls into, if he repents from it, his repentance will be accepted – even
The basic principle is that the kaafir – and also the
apostate from Islam – is required to utter the Shahaadatayn in order to
enter Islam. If your going to the fortuneteller falls under the third
category mentioned above, then you must utter the Shahaadatayn. As you have
repented and started to live aright, you must have repeated the Shahaadatayn
many times, so now you do not have to do anything. But you must resolve
never to go back to such things again.
And strive to acquire knowledge so that you may worship
Allaah with understanding.
We ask Allaah to help you to do that which He loves and is