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Month of Safar

Posted by Admin on January 20, 2010

Safar and Superstitions

Safar is the second month of the Lunar calendar. There are many misconceptions prevalent amongst the people regarding this month. On one hand, bad lucks and omens have been associated with this month and on the other hand self made solutions for such things have been proposed as well, such as not holding marriages in this month, boiling chick peas and distributing them so that the bad omens  are passed on to others, making 365 balls of flour and throwing them in water so that bad omens are driven away and provision is increased, reciting Surah Muzammil 313 times, considering this month to be ‘hard’ for the dead and considering the 13th of this month referred to as ‘tairah teezi’ to be unlucky.

All such superstitions and beliefs have no basis in Islam what so ever. How can any day or month be unlucky or be a portent of bad omen when infact months and years are formed by the alteration of day and nights and Allah Subhana Watala has made day and night as a sign and  to help us make the calendar as Allah says,

“And We have appointed the night and the day as two signs. Then, We have obliterated the sign of the night (with darkness) while We have made the sign of the day illuminating, that you may seek bounty from your Lord, and that you may know the number of the years and the reckoning. And We have explained everything (in detail) with full explanation.” (Al Isra 17:12)

Allah Subhana Watala has also told us the purpose of the different stages of the Moon.It helps us to mark the beginning and end of Months and Allah Azzawjal has also told us that there are twelve months. He says:
“They ask you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم ) about the new moons. Say: These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage.”(Al Baqarah 2:189)

“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;”(At Tawbah 9: 36)

It is this revolution of  day and night that makes up weeks and months and years, which constitutes time, regarding which Prophet Muhammad (s) said that Allah Zawjul has said,
“ The son of Adam hurts me for he abuses Time though I am Time: in My Hands are all things, and I cause the revolution of day and night.” (Bukhari)

So it is very clear that day and night is from Allah and considering any time, hour, day, month or  year to be unlucky is a great misconception and a sin.

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

The Arabs used to hold three months of Ziqadah, Zul Hajja and Muharram as sacred. They did not indulge in war or crime during these months. They used to wait for these months to be over so that they can be free from these restrictions and indulge in robbery, theft and war. Therefore as soon as Muharram used to be over, and Safar began, they would leave their houses vacant with the intent of crime, theft, robbery and war.

Thus the idiom ‘Safar al Makaan’ meaning empty houses became famous. The word ‘Safrun or ‘Sifrun’ means ‘to become vacant’. Like the saying goes in Arabic ‘Sifrun minal Mata’a’ which means ‘ The house were vacated(from its furniture, things etc)” [Lisaan Al Arab Az Bin Manzoor, Vol IV,p 462 – 463]

The famous hadith scholar and historian Sakhawi has written in his famous book, ‘Al Mashoor Fi Asma-il ayam walshahoor’ that this was the reason for naming of this month as ‘safar.’ When the Arabs saw that during this month many crimes were committed, people killed and houses emptied, they associated bad omens, and ill fate with this month, instead of looking at their own evil deeds and wrong doings, where as Allah Subhana Watala has told us that every person is responsible for his own omen and fate.

“And [for] every person We have imposed his fate upon his neck, and We will produce for him on the Day of Resurrection a record which he will encounter spread open.”(17:13)

It is commonly believed that bad omens come from external sources which is why man tends to blame either some other person or animal or an object, a day or a month or a number where as Allah Subhana Watala through this Ayah has made it very clear that every man’s omen and bad luck is due to his own misdeeds and wrong doings.

Allah Subhana Watala further says in the Quran,

“What comes to you of good is from Allah , but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself” (4:79)

Superstition is shirk

A man leaves his house, on the way a black cat crosses his path, he think this is a bad omen and therefore returns back home. Though this seems to be such a minor act, however in reality, it really means that he thinks that the black cat has the power and authority to change the man’s fate. This is shirk because it means that other than Allah, the cat also has control and authority over a man’s life and to bring harm to him (Naauuzobillah).

Other Common Superstitious Beliefs prevalent in our society are seeing someone disliked in the morning means the whole day will be full of bad luck, twitching eyes means bad luck and evil portent, Itching in the right palm means money will be acquired.If one shoe comes on top of the other, it means a journey will be undertaken. Taking omens from colors, such as wearing black means illness will strike, or not wearing black clothes because black is the color of the cover of Kaabah, not wearing green colored shoes due to respect because green is the color of the dome of Prophet’s (s) Mosque.

Holding such beliefs not only led man to make halal things haram on himself but led him to associate fate and destiny with these things, which is not only a great misguidance but a great sin ‘Shirk’ because no one other than Allah has the power and control over man’s fate, and all the things from which good or bad portents are derived are nothing but creations of Allah who have no control over other creations.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said,

“Taking omens is shirk; taking omens is shirk. He said it three times. Every one of us has some (superstition), but Allah removes it by trust (in Him).” (Sunan Abi Dawood)

He also said, “A person who derived bad luck from something and refrained from doing what he was intending to do, he has committed shirk. The companions asked him what would be its expiation, the Prophet replied “He should say,

‘ O Allah there is no portent other than Your portent, no goodness other than Your goodness, and none worthy of worship other than You’.”(Musnad Ahmed)

Being Muslim, we should have full faith and trust in Allah and believe from our heart that it is only Allah who has power over us. The Arabs used to hold three months of Ziqadah, Zul Hajja and Muharram as sacred. They did not indulge in war or crime during these months. They used to wait for these months to be over so that they can be free from these restrictions and indulge in robbery, theft and war. Therefore as soon as Muharram used to be over, and Safar began, they would leave their houses vacant with the intent of crime, theft, robbery and war.

Thus the idiom ‘Safar al Makaan’ meaning empty houses became famous. The word ‘Safrun or ‘Sifrun’ means ‘to become vacant’. Like the saying goes in Arabic ‘Sifrun minal Mata’a’ which means ‘ The house were vacated(from its furniture, things etc)” [Lisaan Al Arab Az Bin Manzoor, Vol IV,p 462 – 463]

The famous hadith scholar and historian Sakhawi has written in his famous book, ‘Al Mashoor Fi Asma-il ayam walshahoor’ that this was the reason for naming of this month as ‘safar.’ When the Arabs saw that during this month many crimes were committed, people killed and houses emptied, they associated bad omens, and ill fate with this month, instead of looking at their own evil deeds and wrong doings, where as Allah Subhana Watala has told us that every person is responsible for his own omen and fate.

“And [for] every person We have imposed his fate upon his neck, and We will produce for him on the Day of Resurrection a record which he will encounter spread open.”(17:13)

It is commonly believed that bad omens come from external sources which is why man tends to blame either some other person or animal or an object, a day or a month or a number where as Allah Subhana Watala through this Ayah has made it very clear that every man’s omen and bad luck is due to his own misdeeds and wrong doings.

Allah Subhana Watala further says in the Quran,

“What comes to you of good is from Allah , but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself” (4:79)

Listen to Lectures by Dr.Farhat Hashmi related to safar: here

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One Response to “Month of Safar”

  1. Aisha said

    JazakAllah Khair. It is absolutely comprehensive article over a sensitive issue. I congratulate you for your effort to keep us more rightly informed about such issues where culture and tradition loom large till it deviate muslims from basic concepts of Islam.

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