An Astrologer’s Plight

Abdul Maalik ibn e ‘Ain, the brother of Zarara ibn e ‘Ain, believed in the influence of stars on man’s life. Despite the confirmed tradition against it, he collected many books on astrology and was firmly rooted in the subject. He consulted the books whenever he intended to do anything or faced taking a decision. He believed that the stars controlled his destiny and all success or failure depended on their position in the skies.
Gradually, he became addicted to following the prophecy adduced from his calculations, so much so, that he lost his power of decision altogether. He became so superstitious that he dared not do anything without taking guidance from the stars and their positions.
Soon, he realized that astrology had made him worthless and increased his superstitiousness manifold. He felt that if he continued to consider days and moments as good and bad, lucky and unlucky, his whole life would become chaotic. On the other hand, he did not have the willpower to deny and defy their influence. He envied those people who courageously took decisions in their daily life and left the consequences to the Almighty, having full faith in His Justice and Mercy.
One day, he went to Imam Jafar e Sadiq (‘a) and relating his predicament, said, ‘I feel that astrology has chained my hands and feet. I just cannot give it up.’
The Imam (‘a) looked at him shocked, ‘You mean to say you believe in all this and act accordingly?’
‘Yes, Ya ibn e Rasool Allah.’
‘I hereby command you to go home and burn all those books at once.’
The Imam’s (‘a) disgust for his act had a strange effect on him. He immediately felt stronger, went home and torched all the books. After doing that, he sat down, relieved and released.