Story No. 228 – Maula-e-Kainat, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) and the Astrologer
Moula Ali (as) and the Astrologer There are some who are heedless with respect to reflection, reasoning and Tawakkul (Absolute Trust), and instead, turn to soothsayers and astrologers, who have cleverly started their business in order to swindle the people of their money.
Of course, the issue of Aulia Allah (Friends of Allah) and those, who have strived towards spiritual purification, differ vastly from the others, for their words are light (nur) and if, at times, they were to say something to someone, it would surely occur and hence such personalities should not be compared to the others.
As an example, we shall present an incident that transpired during the time of Maula Ali (as). Ameer al-Momineen, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) and his army had started out for the battle of Nahrawan against the Kharjites (Kharjite means one who rebels against religion), and having reached the city of Madain, they pitched their tents. The next morning, as they were about to commence their journey, an astrologer approached them and said: “My astrological calculations reveal that it is not in your interest to advance in this hour. Commence your journey after three hours and you shall be victorious.”
Hearing this, Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) said: “Whoever upholds your words has rejected the Noble Qur’an of Allah (SWT).”
Surely Allah is He with Whom is the knowledge of the hour, and He sends down the rain and He knows what is in the wombs; and no one knows what he shall earn on the morrow; and no one knows in what land he shall die; surely Allah is Knowing, Aware. Noble Qur’an (31:34)
Moula Ali (as) then asked: “Do you possess knowledge as to which family has taken over the reins of leadership in China?”
The astrologer replied: “I have no knowledge.”
Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) questioned: “What is that star, which when rises, stirs up lust within the camels?”
The astrologer confessed: “I have no idea.”
Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) asked: “The rise of which star stirs up passion within the cats?”
The astrologer said: “I do not know!”
Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) asked: “Inform me of the thing that is concealed beneath the hoofs of my horse.”
When the astrologer had once again pleaded ignorance, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) said to him: “Within the earth, below the feet of my horse, lies a jar filled with gold coins and beneath which a serpent lies asleep.”
When the place was dug up, the people witnessed that the scenario was exactly as it had been described by Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as).
Observing this, the astrologer was totally bewildered; Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) took possession of his books, ordered them to be destroyed and then said to him: “The next time you try to attract the people towards yourself by means of astrology; I shall put you behind bars.”