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The Month of Safar

Month of the year: Safar is the second month of the Islamic calendar.

Literal meaning: Empty. During this month the houses used to be empty and deserted because the ban on going to war in the month of Muharram came to an end and everyone proceeded towards the battlefield. Safar also means to be yellow. When the names of the months were being given it was the season of autumn and the leaves of the trees were yellow.

Many people have erroneous beliefs regarding this month i.e. it is a month of misfortune and calamities. The teachings of Allâh Ta'âla and His beloved Rasûl sallallahu alayhi wa sallam gives us clear guidelines on such incorrect beliefs. Allâh Ta'âla says in the Qur'ân: "No kind of calamity can occur, except by the will of Allâh". (Surah 64-Ayat 11).

These erroneous beliefs have also been condemned in the context of the following Ahâdîth:
1. There is no superstitious owl, bird, no star-promising rain, no bad omen in the month of Safar. (Sahih Muslim).
2. There is no bad omen in the month of Safar and no Ghouls (evil spirits) (Sahih Muslim).
3. There is no evil omen, no superstitious owl, bird and no bad omen in the month of Safar (Bukhari).

The above Ahâdîth clearly refutes all incorrect beliefs and superstitions regarding the month of Safar. These incorrect beliefs flow from the pre-Islamic period of Jâhiliyyah [Days of Ignorance].

The Month of Safar During the Days of Ignorance

The Muhaddithîn have recorded many of the superstitions harboured by the Arabs during the Days of Ignorance. A few are mentioned below:
1. The pre-Islamic Arabs believed Safar to be a snake which lives in the stomach of a human being and when hungry, bites the person. This is the discomfort one experiences when gripped by the pangs of hunger.
2. Some said Safar are worms which originate in the liver and ribs due to which the colour of the person becomes yellow, a condition we know today as jaundice.
3. According to some, the month of Safar flanked by Muharram and Rablul Awwal is full of calamities and misfortune.

With the advent of Islam and the teachings of Rasûlullah sallallahu alayhl wa sallam, all evil and incorrect beliefs common in pre-Islamic times were discarded.

Incorrect Beliefs:

Today too, there are some Muslims who hold incorrect beliefs regarding the month of Safar.
1. A nikâh performed in this month would not be successful.
Sayyidina Ali radhiyallahu anhu married Sayyiditina Fatima radhiyallahu anha, (the daughter of Rasûlullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) in the latter days of Safar 2 A.H.

2. This month is full of misfortune and calamities.

3. To commence any important venture, business etc. during this month will bring bad luck.

4. The first to the thirteenth of Safar is ill-fortune and evil.

5. The person who distributes food or money on the 13th of Safar wiII be saved from its ill-fortune.

6. To celebrate the last Wednesday of Safar and regard it as a holiday.

What to do:

1. To shun all types of erroneous beliefs regarding the blessed month of Safar.

2. To understand that the most unfortunate person is he who disobeys Allâh Ta'âla's commandments e.g. does not perform the five daily salaah etc. It is narrated in a hadîth that Rasûlullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: "Pray, 0 Allah! Cause not anyone of us to be a wretched destitute." He then asked: "Do you know who is a wretched destitute?" Upon the request of the Sahabah radhiyallahu anhum he replied, "A wretched destitute is he who neglects his salât. " (Hadîth).

3. We should understand that all conditions which befalls us, good or bad, favourable, or unfavourable are from Allâh Ta'âla, (as a result of our actions). Allâh Ta'âla says: " Whatever misfortune befalls you, it is due to the things your hands have wrought, and He forgives many a sin." (Surah 42 - Verse 30).
This can also be confirmed by the following Hadîth:

Sayyidina Jabir radhiyallahu anhu has said that, "I have heard Rasûlullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam saying, the descending of illness and evil superstition befalling in the month of Safar is untrue."(Muslim)

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