our dialogue By Adil Salahi
Q: Is it true that diamonds and other precious stones should be bought only for personal use and this be determined on the basis of knowing one’s exact date of birth. Some people suggest that if this is not taken into consideration, these precious stones may have a curse and bring bad luck to the user?
A: May I ask: What happens to a person who does not know her exact birth date, or indeed the year in which she was born? You may recall that until recently, the majority of people in large areas of the world did not have any official records of births and deaths. Before the turn of this century, such registration was not legally required in many Muslim countries. Tribal areas in Africa and Asia may have kept certain records, but these were hardly on the basis of days, dates, months and years. Women have always worn ornaments and have used precious stones for this purpose. If what you say is true, bad luck would have hit so many millions of people and that was sure to disrupt human life, as a whole. The fact is that there is no truth whatsoever in this superstition.
However, your question gives me the opportunity to state clearly that the time of birth has no significance whatsoever. I realize that people attach some importance to the time of birth. Astrologers tell us that if they know the exact time of someone’s birth, they can set up his or her horoscope and they can tell that person a great deal about his or her personality and future. They claim that by knowing the exact time of birth, they can calculate which star was rising and which was descending, and these movements indicate certain things for human beings. Besides, newspapers and magazines in most countries have a horoscope column which tell people, who are born between certain dates, what to expect in the period immediately after the publication of that issue of the paper or magazine. Although most people read these for fun, some of them take it seriously.
From the Islamic point of view, we accept nothing of these claims. Indeed, the Prophet (Pbuh) warns us against consulting any fortune teller, regardless of the method he or she uses to tell us our fortunes. To believe that someone may know the future is tantamount to disbelief in Allah, because it suggests that these people know something which in fact is known only to Allah Himself.
May I also say that the idea of something having a curse is totally alien to Islamic thinking. Islam accepts nothing of the sort. Diamonds and precious stones do not have a will of their own. Nor indeed have they any power to cause any good or harm. They are lifeless objects. Therefore, they cannot bring us any good or bad luck. Anyone who suggests something of the sort, needs to have his mind examined.