Safar; The month of misfortunes?!

All praise is due to Allah ﷻ, lord of the worlds and May His peace and blessings be upon His final prophet and messenger, Muhammad ﷺ.

Amongst the twelve months of the Islamic calendar, the month of Safar was regarded as a bad omen by the Arabs in the times of Jahiliyah (predated-Islam). No marriage took place during this month and no important task was performed.

The Arabs were also as superstitious as anyone before Islam. They would not undertake a journey or partake in any important activity before “consulting” whether it was safe or not; they would look for this “safety” through looking at birds or casting lots. If the bird flew right to left in front of them, then this was regarded as a bad omen; but flight in the opposite direction was regarded as a good omen. In the same way if during their journey a deer crossed their path, going right to left, then the journey was immediately cancelled.

Any disease was contagious within itself. If the cause of a murder was not found or there was no trace of the murderer, then they believed that an owl would come out of the victim’s skull and plead for his revenge.

The consultation of soothsayers and fortune-tellers was also very common amongst the Arabs. They would predict the future by consulting jinn’s and by looking at the position of the stars in the sky.

Their superstitions were as old and as baseless as darkness itself. So intense was the fear of the unknown that they placed their beliefs in the creation rather than the creator of the creation, Allah ﷻ.

However, such dark and deeply imbedded beliefs were completely uprooted by the entrance of Islam. Allah ﷻ cast a light of guidance over the Arabs through Rasulullah ﷺ and such practices were banished over time.

Rasulullah ﷺ said about Safar;

No adwaa [transmission of infectious disease without the permission of Allah], no tiyarah [superstitious belief in bird omens], no haamah [refers to a ignorant Arab tradition described variously as: a worm that infests the grave of a murder victim until he is avenged; an owl; or the bones of a dead person turned into a bird that could fly], and no Safar [the month of Safar was regarded as “unlucky” in the Jahiliyah]. But flee from a leper as you would flee from a lion.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

[Translators notes are in square brackets].

In another Hadeeth Jabir (rd) Narrates;

I have heard the Prophet ﷺ saying; the descending of illness and evil superstition befalling in the month of Safar is untrue.” (Muslim)

Through these hadeeth Rasulullah ﷺ clarified the ignorant notion that disease could be contagious within itself.

Such fancy thinking cannot hide the fact that belief in the illogical is a direct result of lack of belief in the All Knowledgeable, All-Powerful Allah ﷻ, who has full control over His vast creation.

Allah ﷻ says in Surah An’aam, Ayah 59;

And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darkness of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear record.

Nevertheless at the same time, Rasulullah ﷺ also advised his ummah to take precaution. As stated in the hadeeth mentioned above; “But flee from a leper as you would flee from a lion”. We learn that though nothing happens without the will and command of Allah ﷻ, there are certain diseases that can be contagious and can spread.

But as narrated by Anas bin Malik rd:

A man said, “O Messenger of Allah ﷺ, should I tie my camel and trust in Allah, or should I untie her and trust in Allah?” The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Tie her and trust in Allah ﷻ.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Through the hadeeth, he ﷺ instructed us to take precaution but put our faith in Allah ﷻ.

There is no doubt that a believer faces the same uncertainties in life as a non-believer; however he faces them with the help of Allah ﷻ.

When a believer is about to embark on a journey, he leaves his home with the prayer:

بسم اللە توكلت على اللە و لا حول و لا قوة الا باللە

In the Name of Allah ﷻ; I have placed my trust in Allah ﷻ; there is no might and no power except by Allah ﷻ. (Abu Dawood, At-Tirmidhi)

Then he reads his prayer upon embarking on a journey:

سبحان الذي سخر لنا هذا و ما كنا لە مقرنين و انا الى ربنا لمنقلبون

Glory to Him who has brought this [vehicle] under our control; though we were unable to control it [ourselves]; and indeed, to Our Lord we will surely return. (Muslim)

When about to partake in some activity; the believer says “Insha Allah” and when uncertain he seeks guidance from Allah ﷻ through the prayer of Istikharah, in which he says:

(Translation) O Allah, I seek Your guidance [in making a choice] by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things. O Allah, if in Your knowledge, this matter — is good for me in my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge it is bad for me and for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, then turn me away from it, [and turn it away from me], and ordain for me the good wherever it may be and make me pleased with it.” (Al-Bukhari)

Through prayer the believer supplicates to Allah ﷻ; knowing that he is not the one in control and putting his full trust in the Almighty Allah ﷻ. Each supplication, if reflected upon, shows how uncertain life is and in whose control all things are.

Moreover, we learn that time; months or the actions of other creations have no impact on a person’s life or on the will of Allah ﷻ.

Allah ﷻ says in Surah Tawbah, Ayah 36:

Indeed, the number of months (in a year) with Allah ﷻ is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah ﷻ [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them…

Hence the month of Safar as specified is only one of the months by Allah ﷻ. No good or evil can come from it without His command and a human is not destined to be troubled by omens and superstitions. They are the path towards destruction of one’s faith and only the light of Imaan and trust in Allah ﷻ can save a person from such disbelief.

We conclude with the supplication taught to us by Rasulullah ﷺ to safeguard ourselves against superstitions.

اللهم لا طير الا طيرك و لا خير الا خيرك و لا الە غيرك

“Oh Allah there is no portent other than Your portent, no goodness other than Your goodness, and no God other than You.” (Musnad Ahmad)

All praise is due to Allah ﷻ at the beginning and at the end.

May you be rewarded for visiting my page and May we all benefit. Ameen.

The Katibah.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Khalid ibn Abdul Qadir
    Nov 20, 2015 @ 22:51:41

    Good Read!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

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