Islamic Sufism Spirituality

Safar, Bad omens and Superstitions! by Ruhaifa Samir

Posted on: July 9, 2012


Well written article by Ruhaifa Samir about Superstitions. Source http://perceptions.org.pk/blog/2012/01/safar-bad-omens-and-superstitions-by-ruhaifa-samir/

I have been known to live in a bubble – I know only those things that are relevant to me and mine; it’s only when I happen to chance by a switched-on TV, or converse with someone who has chanced by it, that I find out that all is not well in the world. At one point, some two years ago, I decided to leave the safety of my bubble and learn about what has happened and is happening in the world by enrolling into a painful two-year Masters program in International Relations (hence, the lack of blogging on my part!) Having finished with it just recently, I realized my bubble is a lot more comfortable and hence I returned to it, settling very happily into the misery-free vacuum inside!

However, just last week I was rudely awakened by a fact that compelled me to venture out again – to explore a terrain more horrid than the wars that have rocked the world! I discovered about Safar, evil omens and bad luck! And how dear-and-near are still caught in the web Shaytan so carefully and cunningly weaves around us! The web of “tou-iss-main-kya-harj-hai?” (so-what’s-the-harm-in-it web!)

I found out in conversation with my mother, that a very near relative (who has mashAllah left a lot of her bida’as since she has found the deen), sacrifices a goat the 13th of every Safar in order to ward off evil and bad luck. “Whaa?!” was the syllable that emitted from my mouth on hearing something so ridiculous! My mom gave me a puzzled look and repeated what she had said, commenting, “You know that people believe Safar to be a month of bad omens, right?” Well, I didn’t, so it was time to go knocking at some doors!

Here is what my limited research revealed: The month of Safar is considered to be full of misfortune and calamities and one must recite Surah Muzammil 313 times in order to be saved from them. The first to the thirteenth of Safar is ill-fortune and evil; however, the person who distributes food or money on the 13th of Safar will be saved from its ill-fortune. Also, whoever commences any important venture, business etc. during this month will have bad luck. One must instead make 365 balls of flour and toss them into the sea or rivers in order to counter bad omens and to increase Rizq! Also, a nikah performed in this month would not be successful or result in an unhappy marriage. The list goes on, but here’s enough to fuel your imagination! It almost sounds like a bad chain letter, only a million times more dangerous as it can destroy our Iman and Aqeedah!

Now, you’d wonder why Safar has been singled out so? A little more research revealed that this concept actually goes back to the days of Jahiliyya! The Arabs were a warring nation; small arguments and disputes would turn into feuds and wars that lasted not only for years, but sometimes spanned even generations. However, even back then, the Arabs observed the sacred months of Rajab, Dhul Q’ada, Dhul Hijja, and Muharram, and would abstain from fighting in them. They would however be waiting impatiently for Safar; for as soon as Safar rolled about, the men would proceed to settle scores with their rivals, heading out for battles while leaving their houses empty (hence the name Safar as the word Safar means empty or vacant). As a result of the resumption of killings and fighting in the month of Safar, the Arabs started regarding it as a month of ill-fate and bad luck. History, sadly, reveals that man loves to blame, and even though the Arabs went off in a killing-spree, it was poor Safar which bore the brunt of the blame!

The advent of Islam however changed this mind-set. Allah Subhana Wa Ta’la told the Arabs and the entire Muslim Ummah that “…whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned.

And He pardons much.” (Surah Ash-Shura, Ayah 30). No person, animal or object, no day, month or year can cause harm to anyone! We are responsible for whatever happens to us, ourselves!

Also, how can any day or month be unlucky or be a portent of bad omens when in fact months and years are formed by the alternation of days and nights which Allah has appointed for our convenience and to help us organize ourselves?

“And We have appointed the night and the day as two Ayat (signs etc.). Then, We have obliterated the sign of the night (with darkness) while We have made the sign of the day illuminating, that you may seek bounty from your Lord, and that you may know the number of the years and the reckoning. And We have explained everything (in detail) with full explanation.” (Surah Al-Isra, Ayah 12)

Considering any time, hour, day, month or year to be unlucky is a great sin as Allah the Exalted says: “ The son of Adam hurts me for he abuses Time though I am Time: in My Hands are all things, and I cause the revolution of day and night.”(Sahih Bukhari)

The Prophet (SAW) also negated all superstitions and beliefs of the Jahiliyah period concerning the month of Safar. Abu Hurayrah (RA) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) 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 Haamah, nor is there any (bad omen in the month of) Safar… ” (Bukhari and Muslim).

What is really sad now is that despite having the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet before us, such sentiments of superstitions have crept back into our society. And this is where you and I come in. As conscious Muslims we need to make it a point to shun all superstitions that we come across and direct others to do so too, not only regarding the month of Safar but also otherwise. We must understand that all conditions which befalls us, good or bad, favourable, or unfavourable are from Allah (as a result of our actions).

We need to remember that the most unfortunate person is actually he who disobeys Allah’s commandments such as one who does not perform the five daily Salah, not someone who has his path crossed by a black cat or one who weds in the month of Safar. We must not let unimportant and baseless matters of superstitions occupy us so much that we forget to do what Allah has commanded us. Rather, we should remember to keep things in perspective and follow and believe only that which has been revealed by Allah and taught by our Prophet, in order to gain success in this world and the next.

“Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself…” (Surah An-Nisa, Ayah79).

May Allah grant us the courage and perseverance to follow what is right and reject what is wrong! Ameen!

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