Safar: Facts and Misconceptions
People of Islamic culture and beliefs follow a lunar calendar of 12 months. Each month starts around the new moon and has varied cycles of days.
Among the 12 Hijri months, the month of Safar is one of the most significant months in the calendar of Muslims. According to the scholars, it was the period in the pre-Islamic era when people used to empty their homes and went out to gather food.
Safar comes after Muharram and is named after the emptying of Makkah when pilgrims have completed their journey. Another tale says that the name Safar was given to the month because around this time people would attack a tribe, take their belongings and leave them empty-handed with nothing to cling on. It is the second month in the calendar, and it means empty.
Safar Month dates 2022
The Safar month 2022 starts on the 8th of September and on the 6th of October. Like all months of the Islamic calendar, the month lasts 29-30 days.
Important Islamic events in Safar month
The importance of the month is defined by the occurrence of some of the greatest events related to Prophet Muhammad. Some of which are:
- The Prophet migrated to Madinah from Makkah in the month of Safar
- He fell ill in this month
- Prophet’s daughter, Fatima (RA) got married
- Hasan Ibn Ali (RA) and grandson of Prophet PBUH attained martyrdom
Of all these events and many more, martyrdom is the most respected and remembered in this month. In gatherings, called majalis, sermons are delivered and elegies are recited from the minbar, the Islamic pulpit. It narrates the sufferings borne by al-Imam al-Husayn and his companions.
A few believe that the disasters or misfortunes during Safar month bring one closer to Allah. It makes people god-fearing and obliging to the almighty. It restores faith in one supreme power that is Allah. As long as people realise that fortune and misfortunes are gifts from God, it will get them only a step closer to Him.
Performing Umrah in Safar Month
Umrah is an important pilgrimage and requires utmost devotion to worship and praise the almighty. Though one can perform it all through the year, the month of Safar offers great convenience. After Ramadan, the month of Muharram and Safar are considered grand months when the Kaaba and Haram have few people.
The journey of Umrah is sacred and cannot be completed without one’s focus on Allah. Travelling in this month allows one to surrender oneself wholeheartedly and worship in peace. Contrary to popular misconceptions and beliefs, Safar month is one of the best times in a year for Umrah pilgrimage. Not only does it ensure a secluded and invested journey, it makes for a feasible financial choice. After the jam-packed month of Hajj, Safar sees a significant decrease in the price of flights and hotels. Thus, it promotes peaceful pilgrimage without the inconvenience of rush.
Misconceptions and Facts About the Month of Safar
According to scholars, the Arabs had wrong superstitions about the month of Safar. First, they changed its occurrence – it was brought forward or delayed for no reason. Second, they considered it inauspicious for performing Umrah.
Maximum events that took place in Safar were dreadful, making people believe that it was an inauspicious month. However, Islamic scholars believe that whatever wrong happened in the month of Safar was because of the will of Allah and not because it was the month of evil.
All these superstitions are self-created and have given rise to a belief system. Now, many people are afraid of organising a wedding in this month or partaking in activities that can help them to do away with bad luck. Some of the renowned actions include reciting Surah Muzammil 313 times and boiling chickpeas to make four balls and dumping them in water.
A few people even believe that for the first 13 days of this month, evil spirits, sickness and Jinn descend on young girls, brides and kids. Hence, people break earthen or distribute various kinds of food items to ward off the demons.
On the contrary, there is no proof of such a thing in the Quran. Many scholars and educated Muslims believe that Allah did not create any inauspicious month. It is just an act of innovation by people misguided with wrong theories. All the hardships in life are not because of evil spirits but the reciprocation of one’s actions or His will.
Safar Month Hadiths
“It was narrated that Ibn Abbas (PBUH) said, “They (Arabs) used to think that Umrah during the months of Hajj was one of the worst evils on earth. They would make Muharram Safar and say that when the backs of the camels have healed and the tracks of the pilgrims have become erased and Safar is over, Umrah becomes permissible for those who want to do Umrah.””
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1489) and Muslim (1240)
“There is no superstitious owl, bird, no star-promising rain, no bad omen in the month of Safar.”
Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 5707
“There is no bad omen in the month of Safar and no Ghouls.”
Sahih Muslim, Hadith 2222
“It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said, “The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “No ‘adwaa [transmission of infectious disease without the permission of Allah], no tiyarah [superstitious belief in bird omens], no haamah [refers to a Jaahili 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 Jaahiliyyah]. But flee from the leper as you would flee from a lion.””
The 2nd month is Islamic calendar, or the month of Safar carries immense significance for Muslims. On 27th of Safar, the Quraysh tribe planned on killing Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for his faith in Islam. As they cannot let Prophet escape Makkah and further spread Islam to other cities, they gathered around the Prophet’s house. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) casted a few dust on these tribe members, escaped them and took refugee in Jabal Thawr. It is where Allah sent a spider to weave web on the entrance and save the Prophet and his companion from the Quraysh tribes.
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5387) and Muslim (2220)