Our Destiny: Ruminating Revelatory Days Aheadby Helmy Sa'at
Are you a Taurus or an Aries? All these years, have you often heard those around you typecasting your amazing personality and reducing your complex nuanced being to simply being obstinate?
Or, were you born in the year of the rat? Which would explain why some of your friends might have warned you of the next three years of misfortune as the Chinese community around the world welcomes the year of the black tiger.
Horoscopes that are allegedly sufficiently accurate to predict whether we will cross paths with our soulmates in the next 24 hours and even foresee the next 365 days of our lives might be tempting. Interestingly, pop culture has also been part of the equation, just donning a different mask — for instance, either being classified as a Jimin or V from the worldwide Korean phenomenon BTS.
Though appearing to be fluff at first glance by riding the K-wave, is it not silly to tag your (mis)fortunes in life based on someone else’s character and destiny altogether? More importantly, upon reflection what does it say about us — willing participants in the cesspool of hogwash or ignorant victims of herd mentality propelled by digital connectivity?
Stars Do Not Map Out Our Fortunes
As tough as it is to accept, planetary positioning and movements of stars in astrology literally have nothing to do with our destiny. Neither does the choice of breakfast beverage in the next 48 hours.
Even mainstream news media have joined the cesspool just to generate interest and gain online traffic which partly contributes to the advertisements revenue pie. Perhaps, you do not seek such trivial predictions; however, such unsolicited notifications or newsletters flood our social media feed or inbox which leads to casual clicking. The risk of it turning into some sort of addiction is always present whereby we gradually cling to every word to determine our life decisions.
Why should you care which star or planet is aligned with one of the other billion moons revolving around another star? Perhaps, it provides a sense of comfort or a feeling of justification that your decision to either quit your job or get engaged is written in the stars. Or, that you appear to be in some control as circumstances could still change and yet absolve you of any responsibility or feelings of guilt when something goes wrong, believing it has always been out of your hands after all.
قُل لَّآ أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِى نَفْعًا وَلَا ضَرًّا إِلَّا مَا شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ ۚ وَلَوْ كُنتُ أَعْلَمُ ٱلْغَيْبَ لَٱسْتَكْثَرْتُ مِنَ ٱلْخَيْرِ وَمَا مَسَّنِىَ ٱلسُّوٓءُ ۚ إِنْ أَنَا۠ إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
Say, “I have no power to bring a benefit or a harm to myself, except that which Allah wills. If I had the knowledge of the Unseen, I would have accumulated a lot of good things, and no evil would have ever touched me. I am but a warner, and a herald of good news for a people who believe.”
[Surah Al-A’raf, 7:188]
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ himself did not have such privilege, which has been claimed by so many individuals.
Thus, in addition to few pretensions to scientific merit, such baseless predictions still mean something to someone, somewhere. Are you one of them?
Return To Religious Faith
Our religious faith and spiritual piety remains as our anchor in life.
قُل لَّن يُصِيبَنَآ إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ ٱللَّهُ لَنَا هُوَ مَوْلَىٰنَا ۚ وَعَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ
Say, “Nothing will ever befall us except what Allah has destined for us. He is our Protector.” So in Allah let the believers put their trust.
[Surah At-Tawbah, 9:51]
Only Allah knows best as the sole Creator and Determiner of all eventualities.
Let’s remember the Shahada, one of the five pillars of Islam. As the profession and love of Allah, we accept His authority over everything and the trust that there is no God but Allah, and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is His last Prophet. As such, why do we continue to easily fragment our very own spiritual piety through our daily actions as we check the horoscopes?
A rejection of horoscopes is not about organising a biblioclasm to get rid of all books on the subject matter. The learning of the stars and our solar system at large remains a key branch of scientific knowledge in understanding the beauty of Allah’s creations that drives deeper appreciation of His blessings besides aiding in our supplication in the long run.
Instead, contemplate the following: Our destiny is not entertainment.
When confronted with such a perennial subject that has existed long before us and will continue to persist long after we are gone, especially as neophytes to the subject, we need to be aware of the pitfalls involved.