Safar is the 2nd month per the Islamic Calendar, more commonly known as Hijri Calendar. Although there are no particular Islamic events that fall in this month, some important happenings occurred during this month in the post-Islamic era.
Just like the Gregorian calendar, the Hijri Calendar also comprises 12 months. The names of these months were already in practice in the pre-Islamic era in Arabs. Safar was also among these months. Safar is an Arabic word that means “travel.” It is also related to being “Empty”. Per Arabian tradition, they used to travel away from their homes during this month to get a livelihood, leaving their homes empty. It is believed that this month got the name “Safar” due to their tradition of traveling away from their homes during this part of the year.
Superstitions About the Month of Safar – Pre-Islamic Era
On the other side of the story, the Arabs, somehow, started rating this month of Safar as ill-fated. They thought that this month would bring catastrophes in their life. Per their traditions and superstitions, they believed that the month of Safar is a serpent that lives in a man’s stomach.
They were so superstitious about this month that they rated it bad luck. So they did not do any good deeds during this month. At the same time, they also planned fights this month. Per their traditions, they did not fight with other tribes during the months of Zul-Qa’ada, Zul-Hajj, and Moharram. So, immediately after the month of Moharram, they start wars in the very next month, Safar.
They were so skeptical about this month that they used to shift this month back and forth to avoid the misfortunes associated with it.
Safar Month in Islam – Facts
With the inception of Islam, all these superstitions of the ancient Arabs came to an end. So the Safar Islamic month was rated just like other months of the year. However, Safar month in Islam was not rated as sacred as the months of Zul-Qa’adah, Zul-Hajj, Moharram, and Rajab.
The 36th and 37th verse of Sura Al-Tawba speaks about the 12 months in the Islamic Calendar, of which four are rated as Sacred.
Indeed, the number of months ordained by Allah is twelve—in Allah’s Record since the day He created the heavens and the earth—of which four are sacred. That is the Right Way. So do not wrong one another during these months. And fight the polytheists together as they fight together against you. And know that Allah is with those mindful ˹of Him˺.
Reallocating the sanctity of ˹these˺ months is an increase in disbelief, by which the disbelievers are led ˹far˺ astray. They adjust the sanctity one year and uphold it in another, only to maintain the number of months sanctified by Allah, violating the very months Allah has made sacred. Their evil deeds have been made appealing to them. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.
Hadith About the Month of Safar
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ categorically denied all the superstitions associated with the month of Safar. It is quoted in the Hadith number 5707 of Sahi Al-Bukhari, as below.
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “(There is) no ‘Adwa (no contagious disease is conveyed without Allah’s permission). nor is there any bad omen (from birds), nor is there any Hamah, nor is there any bad omen in the month of Safar, and one should run away from the leper as one runs away from a lion.”
In another Hadith, as quoted at serial number 2222b, in Sahi Al-Muslim, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said as under:
There is no transitive disease, no ghoul, no safar.
So, the superstitions associated with the month of Safar were abolished by the Quran and Hadith.
Important Events – Safar Month
As discussed above, no Islamic event falls in the month of Safar. However, after the inception of Islam, certain important events happened this month. Here are a few of them.
- Prophet Muhammad ﷺ started his migration from Mecca to Medina with his companion Abu Bakar رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ 27th of Safar.
- Prophet Muhammad ﷺ fell ill on the 28th of Safar 11 Hijri and eventually died on the 12th of the next month, Rabi Ul Awwal.
- Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ Hassan رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ was martyred on 28th of Safar 50 Hijri.
It is also believed that the marriage of Fatima رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهَا, daughter of the Prophet, also happened in the month of Safar.
Misconceptions About Safar Month
Apart from the superstitions of the pre-Islamic era in Arab, there have been quite a few misconceptions about the month of Safar, even after the emergence of Islam. Since a few awful incidents occurred this month, it is considered an ominous month. Here are some of the misconceptions associated with the month of Safar.
- It is a common misconception that traveling during the month of Safar is not good. People have wrongly associated this myth with the month of Safar. There’s no such mention of it either in the Hadith or Quran.
- Another wrong belief among some people is that the month of Safar proves dangerous for someone who falls ill during this month. Every month and day belongs to Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, the Creator of this universe. How come that any of His days or months be bad for someone? Sickness or bad health can catch anyone at any time and has nothing to do with a specific month.
- Some people believe that giving donations or any charity in the month of Safar may not be as fruitful as any other month. Unfortunately, this is the same misconception as was in practice in the pre-Islamic era in Arab. Per the teachings of Islam, as also mentioned in the Quran and Hadith, Charity is one of the best acts by a Muslim and is much liked Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, so it surely is rewarded by Him, irrespective of the days or months of a year.
- Some people also think that a marriage ceremony should not be held in the month of Safar. Again, this is a misbelief, as the Quran and Sunnah do not support it. Instead, it is believed by most scholars that the marriage of Fatima رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهَا, the beloved daughter of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, was held in the month of Safar. Hence this is a wrong conception; Islam does not impose any restriction on holding any such event in the month of Safar.
- Just like in the pre-Islamic era, some believe that the first 13 days of the month of Safar are bad and difficult. This is yet another wrong perception. No such evidence is found either in the Quran or Sunnah about the ill-fetidness of the first 13 days of Safar.
- Another common misconception is that one should not start a good deed, such as starting a business, in the month of Safar. As said earlier, all days and months are created by Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, hence it is out of the question to believe that any specific day or month may not be good for starting any new venture.
As there’s no evidence in the Quran and Sunnah about the inauspiciousness of the month of Safar, we should not believe in such misconceptions.
Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى created this universe and everything is His creation, including the months and days, as mentioned in the Quran. At the same time, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى has made four out of the twelve Islamic months of the year sacred. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the eight months are bad. The month of Safar is also a month like these eight months. Although no specific Islamic events are associated with this month, it has its importance.
Hence the superstitions and misconceptions linked with this month are entirely baseless; rather a continuation of the wrongful acts of the “Era of Ignorance” (the era of Jahiliyyah). As a Muslim, it is our firm and unconditional belief that every day is equally good for mankind, as it is a creation of the
Allah Almighty. We should avoid such misconceptions and continue our routine life, worship, and prayers throughout the year.