Is It Right To Say That The Month Of Safar Is Filled With Misfortunes?
· Today, majority of the Muslims are subjected to superstitions. One of them is that calamities and bad omens abound throughout the month of Safar.
· In the month of Safar, they avoid many acts, declaring them forbidden.
· Safar was generally thought of as the month of calamities by Arabs. However, the tales concerning evil omens in the Islamic month of Safar al-Muzaffar persist even in this time of development and improvement.
· In Islam, there isn't a single cursed day, week, or hour. Rather, when Allah (SWT) created the months, days, and dates, He did not make any of them ominous.
By Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam
23 September 2022
Regrettably, the majority of Muslims worldwide ignore Islamic teachings. As a result, they have a lot of superstitions. One of them is that calamities and bad omens abound throughout the month of Safar. They declare many acts forbidden in the month of Safar. But in Islamic teachings, there is no basis for treating this month so negatively. While discussing this, we'll also point out what Safar means and why it was given that name, concluding that it's incorrect to think that the month of Safar is full of bad luck.
Safar is a second Islamic or Urdu month. It follows the first month of Muharram, the tenth day of which is widely known across India and abroad as the Day of Ashura when many historical events took place, and notably Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Final Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was martyred by some of the greatest oppressors of the history.
Literally the word Safar in the Arabic language has several meanings, one of which is “to be empty”. Let's consider this meaning and then ask why the second Islamic month was named Safar. There are numerous responses, some of which include the following:
As soon as the month of Safar started, it was customary for Arabs to leave their homes in order to travel and engage in combat. As a result their homes fell vacant. This is why the [Arabic] phrase صفر المكان (‘Safar-a-Al-Makaana’ which means ‘the house has become empty’) is used. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, under Surah At-Taubah, verse 36).
The Arabs would raid other tribes and leave them empty and without belongings, which is another explanation given for why Safar was given its name. (Lisan-ul-Arab, volume 1, page 2204)
One claim is that the Arabs would amass food and drink supplies in a city called Safariyyah, leaving their homes [in this month] empty in the process. (Umda-tul-Qaari, vol. 7, under Hadith 1564, p. 110)
The Arabs also referred to the month of Safar as "Naajir" and "Safar-us-Saani." As per Allamah Jalal-ud-Deen Suyuti Shaafi (d. 911 AH),
“Safar and Muharram were both referred to as "Safarayn" in the days of ignorance because neither month had a common name. Similar to how they referred to Rabi'ul-Awwal, Rabi'us-Saani, Jumadal-Oola, and Jumadal-Ukhra, the Arabs likewise called these two months (Muharram and Safar) Safar-ul-Awwal and Safar-us-Saani”(Al-Muzhir fi Uloom al-Lughah, vol. 1, p. 300)
Safar is also known as Safar Al-Khayr (the one with goodness) and Safar Al-Muzaffar (the successful one) because it is blessed.
How Did The Arabs Treat The Month Of Safar In The Days Of Ignorance?
Even though they acknowledged the sacredness and respect of the holy months, it was customary for Arabs to engage in war during the age of ignorance. They would falsely take away the holiness of one month and give it to another. They would carry on fighting in the month of Muharram by transferring the sanctity of Muharram to Safar. They would designate Safar as a sacred month in place of Muharram. Furthermore, they would transfer Safar's sanctity to Rabi'-ul-Awwal if they deemed the need to do so and declare war to be legal during Safar. In this way, the holiness would permeate every month of the year, and the distinctiveness of the sacred months no longer remained.
According to a saying of the Beloved Prophet during the Farewell Hajj:
It is no longer necessary to move the holy months ahead or backwards. The duration of the months will henceforth be preserved, in accordance with the command of Allah Almighty, and no month will be added or subtracted from its position. (Pages 237–238, Tafseer Khaazin, At-Taubah, vol. 2, 9:37)
The pre-Islamic attitude of shifting the sanctity of the sacred months has been referred to in the Quran as follows:
“Verily the postponing of the sacred months is but another act of disbelief, because of which those who disbelieve are led further astray. They regard it as profane one year and as sacred the next, so as to match the number of months that Allah has made sacred, thus making lawful what Allah has forbidden. The evil of their actions has been made fair-seeming to them. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people” (9:37)
Commenting on this verse, Tafsir As-Sa’adi states,
“Postponing refers to what the people of the jahiliyah used to do with regard to the sacred months, which was one of their false innovations. When they felt that they needed to fight at some time during the sacred months, they decided - on the basis of their corrupt thinking - to preserve the number of sacred months during which Allah had prohibited fighting, but they would postpone some of the sacred months, or bring them forward, and they would replace it after shifting it, with whatever they wanted of non-sacred months. Once they had made this substitution, they would permit fighting during it and they would make another month sacred instead. This, as Allah tells us, was an increase in their disbelief and misguidance, because of what it involved of transgressions, such as the following:
They introduced it on the basis of their own ideas and made it equal to the laws prescribed by Allah, but Allah and His Messenger had nothing to do with it.
They tampered with the religion, making what was lawful prohibited and what was prohibited lawful.
They thought that they could deceive Allah and the people by their claim, and they confused the people concerning their religion, resorting to trickery with regard to the religion of Allah.
“If people persist in matters that are contrary to the laws of Allah, their ugliness becomes no longer noticeable, and people may think that these are good matters, which results in error and misguidance. Hence Allah says, (“...because of which those who disbelieve are led further astray. They regard it as profane one year and as sacred the next, so as to match the number of months that Allah has made sacred, thus making lawful what Allah has forbidden)) they make the numbers match, so they regard as profane that which Allah has made sacred. (The evil of their actions has been made fair-seeming to them!) That is, the devils have made their bad deeds fair-seeming to them, so they think that they are good, because of the idea that was made attractive to their minds. ((And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people)) that is, those whose hearts became immersed in disbelief and lies; even if every sign were to come to them, they would not believe. (End of quote: Tafsir As-Saadi, 9:37)
Safar was generally thought of as the month of calamities by Arabs. Even in this time of development and improvement, however, the tales concerning evil omens in the Islamic month of Safar al-Muzaffar persist. In fact, some uneducated people who fall prey to the idea that this fortunate month is ominous start disseminating messages based on myths as soon as it begins, and they consider it to be particularly unlucky because of their belief in things like the following:
There is a risk of losing money if a new business is founded this month. Due to the chance of an accident, travelling should be avoided. In order to avoid the possibility of damaging one's home, weddings should not take place, and the bride should not formally leave her parents' home and move to the bridegroom's. They don't do significant business transactions. They enter and exit the house less frequently because they think adversity is approaching. They give their furnishings and appliances a thorough dusting. If the owner of a house dies, they consider the house to be cursed. They renounce all such preparations if their son or daughter was to wed someone in the home [where someone passed away].
Given the superstitions, those with a thirst for learning about Islam want to know what Islam says about the month of Safar and the associated superstitions. I read various publications both online and off, and I came to the conclusion that these are just superstitions, and that Islam has not permitted anyone to regard this month of Safar in such a derogatory manner.
Mufti Amjad Ali Azami affirms:
“People think that Safar is a cursed month. They refrain from a variety of other related actions, such as getting married during this month, formally sending their daughter off to the home of the bridegroom, and travelling. The first 13 days of Safar, in particular, are seen as being extremely foreboding and are referred to as "the 13 unlucky days" as a result. These are nothing but statements of ignorance.” (Bahar-e-Shari’at, part. 16, vol. 3, p. 659)
Be aware that such an ideology is completely at odds with Shari'ah. We should turn away from it. In Islam, there isn't a single cursed day, week, or hour. Rather, when Allah (SWT) created the months, days, and dates, He did not make any of them ominous. Such superstitious ideas have to be avoided, and if we encounter someone who holds them, we ought to try to persuade them to change.
A popular Tafsir book Ruh-ul-Bayan states:
"It is wrong to view Safar Al-Muzaffar or any other month or time as ominous. The activities of humans take place in the time that Allah Almighty has created. A believer is blessed throughout the time when they are focused on obeying Allah. And the moment someone disobeys Allah, the Almighty, is a moment of bad luck. In truth, misfortunes come as a result of sins.” (Tafseer Ruh-ul-Bayan, At-Taubah, vol. 3, p. 428)
There is a hadith narrated by both Bukhari and Muslim that “There is no superstitious owl, bird, no star-promising rain, and no bad omen in the month of Safar.”
The myths surrounding Safar Al-Muzaffar are far from the truth. These beliefs are inherently superstitious and stem from ignorance about religion. It is completely false to link a terrible omen to any specific month, such as Safar Al-Muzaffar. Human acts occur in the time that Allah Almighty created. As a result, if a believer obeys Allah Almighty, it brings him happiness, and whenever he disobeys Allah Almighty, it brings him insults. The real root of all adversity and misfortune is disobedience to Allah, the All-Powerful. (Lataaif-ul-Ma’arif, p. 83)
Kaniz Fatma is a classic Islamic scholar and a regular columnist for New Age Islam.
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