Posted by: Dawud Israel | June 2, 2008

Quranic Bibliomancy

There is a misconception that Istikhara has to do with opening the Quran on a random page and counting certain letters to interpret a meaning as for or against the making of a decision. This isn’t Istikhara and if you want to know to make a proper decision use the proper Istikhara from the Sunnah HERE.

But the random opening of a page of the Quran is a practice traditionally called: tariq al-istikharat (“the method of choice”) and involves opening a page of the Quran at random and inferring a meaning from the ayah as it applies to you. Sometimes it is also called divination–a term that is applied to other areas as well but one that is permitted in this context. This does not include the interpreting of letters (something I may discuss later on). This practice has been done with books of poetry, namely that of Hafiz and Rumi, but is most commonly done with the Quran.

Here is a fatwa from Islamtoday about this practice as halaal and encouraged.

WWW.ISLAMTODAY.COM – English Fatwa Department
Fatwa Number: 45005

As salaam aleikum!

I would like to ask about the practice common in some Muslim cultures of opening up a page of the Quran randomly and reflecting on it. Some use it as a means of deciding matters seeing it as a “sign” from Allah. While others use it merely for contemplation purposes. What can be said about this?

Answered by: Sheikh `Abd al-Rahmân al-`Ajlân
Professor at Mecca Grand Mosque

All praise is due to Allah and may peace and blessing be upon our Prophet Muhammad.

Wa `Alykum Al-Sâlam wa Rahmah Allah wa Barakâtuh.

Yes, you may do this, and you will be rewarded for it, by the will of Allah.

Reading the Qur’ân opens our hearts and provides satisfaction and comfort for the soul.

It is guidance to all that is good. Allah says: “Verily this Qur’ân does guide to that which is most right.” [Sûrah al-Isrâ’: 9]

And Allah knows best.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, Ameen.

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