Is Safar an unlucky month?

Al hamdu lil-laah, all praise is due to Allah, the Owner of time, the Omnipotent and Wise. Salutations are for the Prophet Muhammad (SA) who was sent as the complete messenger, sufficient for mankind.

The month of Safar is the second month of the lunar Islamic calendar. The Islamic months have been established by Allah from the beginning of the creation of the heavens and the earth.

The meaning of the name ‘Safar’ as was used by the Arabs has been mentioned by Shaykh `Alam ad-Din As-Sakhawi,  in a booklet entitled, Al-Mashhur fi Asma’ Al-Ayam wash-Shuhur. The author said, “…and Safar is so named because they (the pagan Arabs) used to leave their homes during that month for fighting and traveling. When saying `Safir’ a place, it means to leave it”. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer)

In the days of Jahiliyyah, the Arabs used to sometimes consider the month of Safar as one of the four sacred months. Allah mentions about this in the Quraan:

“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.” (9:37)

Therefore, they would still sanctify four months every year, but would one year sanctify the third from the three consecutive Sacred Months, Muharram, and postpone and delay it another year to Safar.

The month of Safar is usually considered by some people as an unlucky, ill-fated or inauspicious month. It is even thought of being a month riddled with superstitious beliefs. Those who hold such beliefs have adopted a narration which comes in the books of Sufism that the Prophet (SA) said:  “Whosoever gives me the glad tidings of the passing of Safar I shall give them the good news of entering Jannah.”

From this narration, they allude that the Prophet (SA) did not like this month because of ill-fate and bad luck. As a result of this belief, they would not engage in noble acts and happy occasions such as marriages, entertainment of guests and other similar social gatherings.

The understanding of the mentioned Hadith is that the Rasool (SA) was informed during the month of Safar that he would be passing away in the next month, Rabiul Awwal. The Hadith therefore indicates that the Prophet (SA) was anxious to meet Allah and that the month of Safar and what came in Rabiul Awwal stood as a separation between him and his Lord. This in no way signifies that the month is ill-fated.

Such superstitious beliefs existed with the Arabs even before the advent of Islam. After journeys, the Arabs would not enter their houses from the proper doors because it was considered as bad luck.

Al-Hasan said, “When some people during the time of Jahiliyyah would leave home to travel, and then decide not to travel, they would not enter the house from its door. Rather, they would climb over the back wall”. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer)

Another example of such practices was that if they wanted to embark on a project or travel they would let loose a bird or a deer, and if it turned right it was a good omen and if it turned left it was an ill omen. (Ar Raheeq al Makhtum with reference to Sahih Bukhari)

Muslims must always put their trust in Allah and avoid all superstitious actions. The Prophet (SA) has warned:

“He is not of us who seeks for evil omens or for whom evil omens are sought, who divines or for whom divination is made, who practices magic or for whom magic is practiced.” (At Tabrani)

He (SA) also warned: “Augury (art of taking omens/superstitions) from drawing lines in the sand, from the flight of birds, and from throwing stones pertains to Shirk (ascribing partners to Allah).” (Abu Daud, Nasai, Ibn Hibban)

When Allah tried the disbelievers with calamities they would say: “Indeed, we augur an evil omen from you.” (36:18) The reply of the Messenger (SA) to them was: “Your superstitious consideration of evil omens is with yourselves (i.e. as a result of your lack of faith)” (36:19)

These Ahaadith and Ayahs inform us of the deficiency of true faith for one who entertains these practices.

Dear Muslims, Safar is another month of Allah, it is another period of time, another opportunity to do good deeds. Time is such a gift from Allah which one would regret if not used properly even after entering theParadise. Therefore, to avoid virtuous actions like marriages or other permissible social gatherings with the assumption that it is an unlucky month would not be proper. Similarly, to entertain superstitious beliefs in Safar or at any other time and place or upon any occurrences can even lead to Shirk. Therefore to believe that the sound of a bird, twitching of a muscle, howling of a dog, flicking of an eyelid, seeing a black dog or cat, breaking of a mirror, etc, are all associated with something bad, is to actually denying the Qadr (pre-destiny) and the complete power of Allah. May Allah protect us from falsehood and keep us firm upon Imaan.

Some events of History in Safar:

  • the beginning of the Hijrah of the Prophet (SA) and Abu Bakr;
  • the expedition to Waddan or Abwa
  • the incident of Bir Mauunah and Raji’
  • the Prophet’s marriage to Safiya (RA) and Umm Habiibah (RA)
  • the conversion of Khalid bin Walid and Amr bin al Aas to Islam