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Kim Farnell

Joined: 18 Dec 2003
Posts: 256

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given that someone cheekily posted my list of references elsewhere on the web without telling me (although at least I was credited for once), I'm copying them here for people who like that sort of thing. I'm not claiming to have collected all of them, simply the most obvious.


"Say (O Muhammad) : Behold what is in the heaven and the earth! But revelations and warnings avail not folk who will not perceive." (Surah Yunus : verse 101).

"Say (O Muhammad) : Travel in the land and see how he originated creation, so will Allah produce a later creation, for Allah has power over all things." (Surah Al-Ankabut : verse 20).

"Do they not reflect in their own minds? Allah created not the heaven and the earth, and that is between them, save with truth and for a destined end; you are there truly many among men who deny the meeting with their Lord (At the Resurrection)! (Surah Al-Rum : verse 8 ).

"And verily in the heaven we have set mansions of the stars and we have beautified it for beholders." (Surah Al-Hijri; verse 16).

"And he hath constrained the night and the day and the sun and Moon to be services unto you, and the stars are made subservient by His command. Lo! herein indeed are portents for people who sense." (Surah Al-Nahi : verse 12).

"I have created buruj (Zodiac signs) on the sky and decorated them for viewers and I have also protected them from evils..." (16th line of Surah Hizr)

"How great he is, who has created zodiac signs in the sky and placed the Sun and shining Moon over there..." (61st line of Surah Furkan)

The Cow

[2.189] They ask you concerning the new moon. Say: They are times appointed for (the benefit of) men, and (for) the pilgrimage; and it is not righteousness that you should enter the houses at their backs, but righteousness is this that one should guard (against evil); and go into the houses by their doors and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, that you may be successful.

[2.164] Most surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day, and the ships that run in the sea with that which profits men, and the water that Allah sends down from the cloud, then gives life with it to the earth after its death and spreads in it all (kinds of) animals, and the changing of the winds and the clouds made subservient between the heaven and the earth, there are signs for a people who understand.

Al-Anaam - Cattle [6.76] So when the night over-shadowed him, he saw a star; said he: Is this my Lord? So when it set, he said: I do not love the setting ones. [6.77] Then when he saw the moon rising, he said: Is this my Lord? So when it set, he said: If y Lord had not guided me I should certainly be of the erring people. [6.96] He causes the dawn to break; and He has made the night for rest, and the sun and the moon for reckoning; this is an arrangement of the Mighty, the Knowing. [6.97] And He it is Who has made the stars for you that you might follow the right way thereby in the darkness of the land and the sea; truly We have made plain the communications for a people who know.

The Elevated Places [7.54] Surely your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six periods of time, and He is firm in power; He throws the veil of night over the day, which it pursues incessantly; and (He created) the sun and the moon and the stars, made subservient by His command; surely His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

Jonah [10.5] He it is Who made the sun a shining brightness and the moon a light, and ordained for it mansions that you might know the computation of years and the reckoning. Allah did not create it but with truth; He makes the signs manifest for a people who [10.6] Most surely in the variation of the night and the day, and what Allah has created in the heavens and the earth, there are signs for a people who guard (against evil).

Yusuf [12.4] When Yusuf said to his father: O my father! surely I saw eleven stars and the sun and the moon-- I saw them making obeisance to me.

The thunder [13.2] Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that you see, and He is firm in power and He made the sun and the moon subservient (to you); each one pursues its course to an appointed time; He regulates the affair, making clear the signs that you may be certain of meeting your Lord.

Abraham [14.33] And He has made subservient to you the sun and the moon pursuing their courses, and He has made subservient to you the night and the day.

AL-HIJR 015.016 And verily in the heaven we have set mansions of the stars, and We have beautified it for beholders.

The Bee [16.12] And He has made subservient for you the night and the day and the sun and the moon, and the stars are made subservient by His commandment; most surely there are signs in this for a people who ponder; [16.16] And landmarks; and by the stars they find the right way.

The Cave [18.17] And you might see the sun when it rose, decline from their cave towards the right hand, and when it set, leave them behind on the left while they were in a wide space thereof. This is of the signs of Allah; whomsoever Allah guides, he is the rightly guided one, and whomsoever He causes to err, you shall not find for him any friend to lead (him) aright.

The prophets [21.33] And He it is Who created the night and the day and the sun and the moon; all (orbs) travel along swiftly in their celestial spheres.

The Pilgrimage [22.18] Do you not see that Allah is He, Whom obeys whoever is in the heavens and whoever is in the earth, and the sun and the moon and the stars, and the mountains and the trees, and the animals and many of the people; and many there are against whom chastisement has become necessary; and whomsoever Allah abases, there is none who can make him honorable; surely Allah does what He pleases.

The Distinction [25.61] Blessed is He Who made the constellations in the heavens and made therein a lamp and a shining moon.

The Spider [29.61] And if you ask them, Who created the heavens and the earth and made the sun and the moon subservient, they will certainly say, Allah. Whence are they then turned away?

The Romans [30.22] And one of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colors; most surely there are signs in this for the learned.

Luqman [31.29] Do you not see that Allah makes the night to enter into the day, and He makes the day to enter into the night, and He has made the sun and the moon subservient (to you); each pursues its course till an appointed time; and that Allah is Aware of what you do?

The Originator [35.13] He causes the night to enter in upon the day, and He causes the day to enter in upon the night, and He has made subservient (to you) the sun and the moon; each one follows its course to an appointed time; this is Allah, your Lord, His is the kingdom; and those whom you call upon besides Him do not control a straw.

Yasin [36.39] And (as for) the moon, We have ordained for it stages till it becomes again as an old dry palm branch. [36.40] Neither is it allowable to the sun that it should overtake the moon, nor can the night outstrip the day; and all float on in a sphere.

The Companions [39.5] He has created the heavens and the earth with the truth; He makes the night cover the day and makes the day overtake the night, and He has made the sun and the moon subservient; each one runs on to an assigned term; now surely He is the Mighty, the great Forgiver.

The Rangers [37.6] Surely We have adorned the nearest heaven with an adornment, the stars, [37.88] Then he looked at the stars, looking up once,

The Believer [40.13] He it is Who shows you His signs and sends down for you sustenance from heaven, and none minds but he who turns (to Him) again and again. [40.81] And He shows you His signs: which then of Allah's signs will you deny?

Ha Mim 41.12 So He ordained them seven heavens in two periods, and revealed in every heaven its affair; and We adorned the lower heaven with brilliant stars and (made it) to guard; that is the decree of the Mighty, the Knowing. [41.37] And among His signs are the night and the day and the sun and the moon; do not make obeisance to the sun nor to the moon; and make obeisance to Allah Who created them, if Him it is that you serve. [41.53] We will soon show them Our signs in the Universe and in their own souls, until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth.

The Counsel [42.29] And one of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and what He has spread forth in both of them of living beings; and when He pleases He is all-powerful to gather them together.

The Kneeling [45.3] Most surely in the heavens and the earth there are signs for the believers.

The Mountain [52.49] And in the night, give Him glory too, and at the setting of the stars.

The Event [56.75] But nay! I swear by the falling of stars;

The Moon [54.1] The hour drew nigh and the moon did rend asunder.

The Beneficient [55.5] The sun and the moon follow a reckoning.

Al Waqia 56.75 Nay, I swear by the places of the stars

Nuh [71.16] And made the moon therein a light, and made the sun a lamp?

The Covered One [74.32] Nay; I swear by the moon,

The Resurrection [75.8] And the moon becomes dark, [75.9] And the sun and the moon are brought together,

The Rending Asunder [84.18] And the moon when it grows full,

The Celestial Stations [85.1] I swear by the mansions of the stars,

The Sun [91.2] And the moon when it follows the sun.
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Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 143

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kim Farnell wrote:
I have a collection of what could be seen as astrological quotes from the Koran... It was actually quite a delight to find the references I have :-)

Many thanks to Kim for posting the quotes, as well as some thought provoking URLs on the question of astrology in Islam. The thought it provokes in me is in what sense could the quotations from the Qur'an be seen as astrological?

There are mentions of the sun and moon, the zodiac and stars, and of the regulation to time in relation to human affairs. But construing them as an indication of support for astrology seems less plausible than seeing summer all around when the first swallow is noted arriving.

One issue (among many here) is that Arabic literature has modes of figurative speech (or perhaps better: reliance on certain modes) which are culturally distinctive, and entail extensive exegesis in order to make them comprehensible to the intellectual apparatus of European minds, as both the following example of the work of Ibn Arabi (from "Perfect Harmony: Sufi Poetry of Ibn Arabi", Shambala, Boston and London, 2002), and the essays about him that can be found by googling, might show:
Are these jumbled fantasms
Or portentous dreams,
Or are they even just everyday thoughts
On which my happiness rests?

It is possible that he who arises desires
Actually realizes them.
In that case their gardens would offer me
The plucking of roses.

Arguably I have chosen a refractory example in Ibn Arabi, one in which it is prima facie moot whether the better approach to understanding it would be served by deconstruction rather than hermeneutics. But that is merely to caution against a reflex application of one's favourite hermeneutic to a few chosen selections from a text.

However, there is also another thread in Kim's suggestion, which does not rely on seeing something as something (else), that does not rely on demonstrating the case on perceptual or evidential or phenomenological grounds. The reference "Islam and Astrology" ( contains the following section (the bold emphasis is mine):
Allah's advice shows existence of Astrology

We Muslims know and do believe that Allah knows the laws of the universe best as he himself created everything and he knows that none can work against the rule of nature - and for this reason Allah told to do seven types of things in seven days. Our prophet Muhammad (SAW) told one of his companions that Allah has said that seven types of works are blessed to do in seven days. And this seven works in seven days exactly matches with astrology. In Indian astrology we know that seven main planets own seven days of a weak and each planet has it's own controlling areas. Which days Allah actually advised to choose for specific matters -

01. Go hunting - on Saturday
02. Start building own house - on Sunday
03. Go on a journey - on Monday
04. Hair cut and shave - on Tuesday
05. Start taking medicine - on Wednesday
06. Activities related to prayer - on Thursday
07. Marry and make love to a have child - on Friday

Now, if we look at the very basic principle of Astrology, then the relation becomes very clear and obvious-

01. Death and cruelness - ruled by Saturn - Day: Saturday
02. Fame, establishment - ruled by Sun - Day: Sunday
03. Journey, travels - ruled by Moon - Day: Monday
04. Hair - ruled by Mars - Day: Tuesday
05. Chemistry, science, medicine - ruled by Mercury - Day: Wednesday
06. Religion and related acts - ruled by Jupiter - Day: Thursday
07. Marriage, sexuality - ruled by Venus - Day: Friday

Now when we match Astrology principles and Allah's guidance then the relation between them becomes clearly visible. Then it indicates the existence of astrology from the Islamic view or approach. We can understand that Allah advised the follower of Islam to do the right thing on right time. This proves that astrology has a relation with the things happening around us - basically it is the principal on which the world and universe is going on.

I quote this at length because it evidences clearly the logic involved in arriving at the conclusion contained in the author's final sentence. It is not a deductive logic as generally recognized, in which a valid argument transmits truth from the premises to a conclusion, but an example of a metaphorical logic in which identity of predicates is held to establish an identity of subjects. In the example cited, the common seven-fold enumerations of types of work, days, and planets is alleged to prove that astrology has validity. The writer's claim is actually stronger than this: it claims to prove a determinism ("noone can work against the rule") which sits uncomfortably with the premise of Allah as the creator of everything (and therefore with the capacity to determine the scope and application of deterministic processes), but that is beyond my immediate point.

Notwithstanding the specious appeal to "Allah's guidance", this metaphorical logic is an example of the following scheme:
A is an X (i.e. has an attribute 'X', or set of attributes designated 'X')
B is an X
So, A is B

It is does not establish any such fact. At best it is merely a comparison of two objects in respect of some attributes of theirs. No evidence is typically adduced to show that objects A and B have all their attributes in common.

The invitation to see the Qur'an as supportive of astrology is not compelling.

In the aftermath of the foot and mouth disease outbreak in the UK of 2001, farmers could be seen going about their business of spreading slurry from trailers on which they had painted "Government Think Tank". The conclusion they wanted the public to draw may in fact be correct - but is is not established by the logic the public were expected to apply in this pastoral scene.
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