In fact misconceptions, whims and innovations are the fatal and destructive diseases of our societies. Creating innovations in the religion, believing in them and acting accordingly is not only a crime but also a sin and disobedience of Almighty Allah through which we choose our own destruction both in this world and in the Hereafter. On the other hand, it is the nature of human beings that Allah (SWT) made them capable to use their common sense and to search the reality of such beliefs and misconceptions in order to distinguish the Right Path from the wrong one in this temporary life and to save themselves from the Hell-fire in the afterlife.
The meaning of Safar and the historical background
Safar is the 2nd month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Literally, it means empty or a house that is empty from items and goods. It also means empty handed. The Arabs (the pagan of Makkah) believed in the sacredness of the holy months. They did not indulge in war or any other crime in these months. They used to wait for such holy months to be over so that they can be free from all sort of restrictions and avail the opportunity to indulge in robbery, theft and war. Therefore, as soon as Muharram used to be over, and Safar began, they would start committing crimes, theft, robbery, fighting other tribes, leave their homes vacant and it is therefore this month named Safar.
Virtues of this month and prescribed practices
There are no particular practices of this month in the light of Quran and Sunnah, therefore a person should continue his/her daily routine practices. And as for the virtues of this month, it is the 2nd month of the Islamic calendar. There is no bad luck or ill-omened in this month as most of the people think. The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“(There is) no Adwa (no contagious disease is conveyed without Allah’s Permission), nor Tiyara [nor is there any bad omen (from birds]), nor (is there any) Hama, Safar.” (Al-Bukhari 5707).
Superstitions and misconceptions of Safar
There are many misconceptions, innovations and whims prevalent among the people concerning month Safar. On the other hand, bad lucks and ill-omened have been associated with this month. Some of these misconceptions are created by the Pagan of Makkah and followed by some sects of this Ummah and they associated many others to them. The followings are some of them:
Misplacing the months
The pagans of Makkah were guilty of wrongdoings concerning the month of Safar. They used to play with it by making it earlier than its actual place or postponing it. The Holy Book of Allah indicates this in the following verse:
“The postponing (of a Sacred Month) is indeed an addition to disbelief: thereby the disbelievers are led astray, for they make it lawful one year and forbid it another year in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah, and make such forbidden ones lawful. The evil of their deeds seems pleasing to them. And Allah guides not the people, who disbelieve.” (At-Tawbah 9:37)
The polytheists of Makkah were well aware of that, but they knowingly used to postpone it or make it earlier according to their desires, superstitions and whims, such as assigning Safar in place of Muharram.
Not performing Umrah during the months of Hajj
They also used believe that Umrah (minor pilgrimage) during the period of Hajj was one of the most evil and ill-omened actions. It is narrated from Ibn Abbas (RA) that he said:
“They (the pagan of Makkah) used to think that performing Umrah during the months of Hajj was one of the worst of evil actions on Earth, and they used to call Muharram ‘Safar,’ and say: ‘When the sore on the backs of the camels have healed and when their hair grows back and when Safar is over’ – or he said: ‘When Safar begins – then Umrah becomes permissible for whoever wants to do it.’” (Al-Bukhari 1564)
It was their notion and whims that during the months of Hajj, only the Hajj ought to be performed. The Umrah should be performed later on by undertaking a special journey for it separately, so that the House of Allah stays populated throughout the year. Since it was tough or difficult for the people arriving from a distance, the Islamic Divine Law gave permission for the performance of the Umrah prior to Hajj for people coming from long distances.
Not marrying in this month
Some people think that marrying in this month brings many bad lucks, ill-omens and even destructions. Marrying in this month has no bad lucks or ill-omens in the light of authentic teachings of Islam. One can perform Nikah (marriage) at any day, night, week, month and year with any restrictions except when he/she is in the state of Ihram (during Ihram while performing Hajj and Umrah). Islam encourages us to marry, if such misconception was real then why the Prophet (PBUH), his companions or the Salaf of this Ummah did not inform us while the religion of Almighty Allah has been complete centuries before inventing such misconceptions.
Not starting a new business in this month
This month is full of misfortunes and calamities. So, one should not start business or any other work during this month as it will bring bad luck. There is nothing to do or start new business during this month; it is only whims of the people and nothing else.
- The first to thirteen of this month is evil and ill-fortune. Considering the 13th of this month as being unlucky or ill-omened.
- Considering this month to be hard for the dead.
- The one who distributes food or give money in charity on the 13th of this month will be saved from its bad luck and ill-fortune.
- Celebrating the last Wednesday of this month, regard it as a holiday and praying particular prayer in it.
- Making 365 balls of flour and throwing them into the water so that ill-omens, bad lucks misfortunes are driven away and provision is increased and blessed.
In short, there are no bad lucks, ill-omens, misfortunes or calamities in any person, month, date or number in Islam. If something bad happens, it is due to our evils and bad deeds. We have to reform our deeds in order to remove calamities from our life. We should understand that all conditions which we face or befall us, good or bad, favorable or unfavorable are from our Lord (as a result of our bad or good deeds and actions). Allah the Almighty says:
“And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.” (Ash-Shura 42:30)
The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says: ‘The son of Adam offends Me; he inveighs against Time but I am Time, all things are in My Hand and I alternate night and day.” (Al-Bukhari 4826)
Secondly, following the Sunnah (the teachings and instructions of Islam) are the greatest guide that dispel the clouds of ignorance and darkness hovering over mankind, give them light, and show them the way to Almighty Allah, away from the snares of the Satan, disbelief, idolatry, innovations, whims, superstitions, ignorance, fear and grief. They set mankind on the Straight Path; guide them to worship Allah Alone, the One and True God. The teachings of Allah’s Prophet and Messenger (PBUH) can never be a cause of evil or suffering, because they are sent for the purpose of bringing goodness to this world and the Hereafter.