The month of Safar comes after Muharram and is one of the twelve Hijri months. According to some of the (scholars), it is so named because of the emptying (isfaar) of Makkah (i.e. its people would all leave) when they travelled during this month. It is said that this month is named Safar because they used to raid other tribes at this time. and they would take all belongings (of those they encountered) away and they would leave them with nothing.
In the first part of the article we will discuss
– What has been narrated concerning it from the Arabs.
– What has been narrated in Islam that contradicts the views of the ignorant people concerning this month.
Concerning from the Arabs:
The Arabs were guilty of two serious wrongdoings concerning the month of Safar. Firstly, they changed the time of its occurring, bringing it forward or delaying it. Also, they had superstitions regarding this month.
(i) Allaah created the year and of the twelve months, four were made sacred. in which it was forbidden to fight, out of respect for these months. These months are: Dhu’l-Qi’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab.
The Holy Quran confirms this, where Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year). so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred (i.e. the 1st, the 7th, the 11th and the 12th months of the Islamic calendar). That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…” (9:36)
The hypocrites were aware of this, but they used to postpone it or bring it forward according to their whims and desires, such as putting Safar in place of Muharram.
They also falsely believed that ‘Umrah during the months of Hajj was one of the most evil of actions. There follow some of the comments of the scholars on that.
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with them both) said:
“They used to think that ‘Umrah during the months of Hajj was one of the most evil of actions on earth. They would make Muharram Safar, and they used to say, ‘When the wounds of the camel’s back heal up (after they return from Hajj) and the footprints of the camels vanish and the month of Safar passes away then (at that time) ‘Umra is permissible for the one who wishes to perform it.”
(Bukhari, 1489; Muslim, 1240
Teachings of Islam that contradicts the views of the ignorant people concerning this month:
According to Ibn al-‘Arabi ,this is how the postponing done:
(i) Hawaazin, Ghatafaan and Bani Sulaym:
From Ibn ‘Abbaas that Junaadah ibn ‘Awf ibn Umayyah al-Kinaani used to come on this occasion each year. and he would call out that no one could criticize Abu Thamaamah or reject what he said, and that Safar in the first year would not be sacred. then we would make it sacred one year and not the next year. They were with Hawaazin, Ghatafaan and Bani Sulaym.
According to another version, he said,
“We have brought Muharram forward and postponed Safar.”
Then the next year he said, “We will make Safar sacred and delay Muharram.” This was the postponement.
(ii) Adding. Qutaadah said: Some of the misguided people deliberately added Safar to the sacred months. Their spokesman would stand up on this occasion and say,
“Your gods have made Muharram sacred this year.” and they would regard it sacred that year. Then the next year he would declare, “Your gods have made Safar sacred.” so they would regard it sacred that year. And they would say (that there were) two Safars.
(ii) Changing the time of Hajj.
Mujaahid said with a different isnaad:
“‘The postponing (of a Sacred Month) is indeed an addition to disbelief.’ [al-Tawbah 9:37 interpretation of the meaning].
they would perform Hajj in Dhu’l-Hijjah for two years, then they would perform Hajj in Muharram for two years, then they would perform Hajj in Safar for two years. They would perform Hajj in each month for two years until, when Abu Bakr performed Hajj that was in Dhu’l-Qi’dah, then when the Prophet performed Hajj it was in Dhu’l-Hijjah. Hence the Prophet (PBUH) said in his sermon, according to the Sahih Hadith:
“Time has completed a cycle and assumed the form of the day Allah created the heavens and the earth.”
Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas and others. The Messenger of Allaah (PBUH) said:
… “O people, the Satan has despaired of ever being worshipped in your land, but he will be pleased to be obeyed in any matter other than that, in matters that you may think of as insignificant. So beware of him in matters of your religion. The postponing (of a Sacred Month) is indeed an addition to disbelief, by which the disbelievers are led astray… Time has completed a cycle and assumed the form of the day Allaah created the heavens and the earth. The number of months with Allaah is twelve, of which four are sacred, three consecutive months, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha’baan…”
(Ahkaam al-Qur’aan, 2/503-504)
Superstitions about Safar:
The superstitions about the month of Safar were well known among the ignorant people, and some still exist.
Narrated by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
“(There is) no ‘Adwa (no contagious disease is conveyed without Allah’s permission), nor is there any bad omen (from birds), nor is there any Haamah, nor is there any (bad omen in the month of) Safar, and one should run away from the leper as one runs away from a lion.”
(Bukhari, 5387; Muslim, 2220).
Time has no effect (on people’s lives) and Allaah never decreed that it should have any effect. Like any other month, both good and bad may be decreed during this month.
If a particular action is completed on the twenty-fifth of Safar. for example – some people note the date and say,
“It has been finished on the twenty-fifth of this good month of Safar.” This is like refuting one innovation with another, because there are no good or bad months.
The four things which the Prophet (PBUH) denied (in the Hadith referred to above) indicate that we must put our trust in Allaah and be sincere and determined.
Coming to the teachings of Islam regarding the beliefs of people on the month of Safar. We quoted above the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah narrated in al-Saheehayn, which explains that the belief of the people of the ignorant people concerning Safar was reprehensible. and that is it simply one of the months of Allah and it has no will of its own. it simply passes, subject to the control of Allah.
We will discuss more about the innovations about the month of Safar and Islamic teachings that imply in the next post. Inshaallah.