Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Within the Turkish tradition, it is common for people to read someone’s “fortune” from the remainder of the coffee grounds after drinking Turkish coffee. I am aware of the rulings regarding fortune-telling, witchcraft, astrology, etc.
Does the same ruling apply when it is done for fun, and the “fortune” given isn’t taken seriously by either party?
I pray you are well.
No, this fake fortune-telling is not shirk. Shirk entails worshipping someone besides Allah or maintaining they have the same authority or attributes as Allah. [Sanusi, Muqaddimat]
However, the act would not be permissible as it is in imitation of a direct act of disobedience to Allah. Similar to this is the prohibition of pretending to have a toast and touching glasses – even if they have only water in them – as the people of fisq (sin) do. [Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha]
Rather, it’s best to hate it with one’s heart for the sake of Allah. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever loves for Allah, hates for Allah, gives for Allah, and withholds for Allah, he has perfected his faith.“ [Abu Dawud]
May Allah makes us of those who embody these qualities.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani