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SAFAR


 

Table of Contents

Islamqa

Questions

1.    Meaning of the hadeeth “No haamah and no Safar and no naw’ and no ghoul”

 

2.    Regarding the number 13 as unlucky

 

3.    What did the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) mean by “No contagion (‘adwa)”?

 

Question and Answers

Q1: Meaning of the hadeeth “No haamah and no Safar and no naw’ and no ghoul”

I read a strange hadeeth which says that there is no haamah, no Safar, no naw’ and no ghoul. What do these words mean?

 

A. Praise be to Allaah.

Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali said: In al-Musnad, al-Saheehayn and elsewhere it is narrated that the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No haamah and no Safar.” Muslim and others add the words, “No naw’ and no ghoul.” 

 

Haamah (pl. Haam) [owl]: the people of the jaahiliyyah used to think that when someone died and was buried, an owl [haamah] would come out of his grave. The Arabs used to think that the bones of the deceased turned into owls which flew, and they said that if someone was murdered, an owl would come out of his head, and it would keep saying, “Give me to drink, give me to drink,” until the slain person was avenged and his killer was killed. 

 

Safar: it was said that they used to have superstitions concerning the month of Safar, so the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No Safar”. And it was said that the Arabs used to believe that there was a snake in the stomach which would harm a person when he had intercourse, and that this was contagious, so the Lawgiver denied that. Maalik said: the people of the Jaahiliyyah would regard Safar as not being sacred one year and as sacred the next year. 

 

Naw’: (pl. al-Anwaa’) (a star which sets at the rising of another): this refers to twenty eight lunar mansions or phases, as in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): “And the moon, We have measured for it mansions…” [Yaa-Seen 36:39].  

Every thirteen nights, one of these stars sets in the west at dawn, and another rises in the east, so that at the end of the year they will all have come and gone. The Arabs used to believe that when one set and the next one rose, there would be rain, which they attributed to them (these stars), so they would say, “We have rain because of such and such naw’ (star which sets at the rising of another).” 

 

It is called naw’ because when the star which is setting sets in the west, the one which is rising appears (naa’a) in the east, i.e., it rises and emerges. And it was said that naw’ means setting, which is the opposite. 

 

But in the case of those who believe that rain came by the will of Allaah and say, “We have rain at the time of such and such naw’” meaning that Allaah usually causes rain to come at this time – there is some dispute as to whether saying this is haraam or makrooh. 

 

Ghoul (pl. gheelaan) means a kind of jinn or devil. The Arabs used to think that the ghoul lived in the wilderness and would appear to people, and that it could take on different shapes and colours, and that it would make them lose their way, seeking to kill them. The Lawgiver rejected and denied this idea altogether. 

 

And it was said that this was not denying that ghouls exist, rather it was a denial of the Arabs’ belief that they could change shape and colour and make people lose their way, hence the meaning of “no ghoul” is that they cannot make people lose their way. This is borne out by another hadeeth, “There is no ghoul but there is sa’aali” This is in Muslim and elsewhere. Sa’aali is a magician among the jinn, but among them there are magicians who base their magic on confusion and illusions… al-Khallaal narrated from Taawoos that a man accompanied him, then a crow cawed and the man said, “Good, good.” Taawoos said to him, “What good is there in this, and what evil? Do not come with me!”  (al-Aadaab al-Shar’iyyah, 3/369, 370) 

 

Ibn al-Qayyim said: 

Some scholars said that the words “no healthy person should be exposed to a sick person” were abrogated by the words “There is no ‘adwa (contagion).” This is not correct. This is an example where what is negated is different than what is affirmed. What the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) denied when he said “There is no contagion and no Safar” was the belief of the mushrikeen which was based on their beliefs of shirk. With regard to the Prophet’s prohibition of exposing healthy people to sick people, there are two interpretations: 

 

(1) The fear that people may attribute what Allaah has decreed to ‘adwa(contagion), which may confuse those who hear of this and make them believe in ‘adwa. There is no contradiction between the two reports.

 

(2) That this refers to exposing the sick person to the healthy person, which may be the means by which Allaah creates disease, so the exposure is the cause, but Allaah may divert its effects by means of other causes which oppose it or prevent the effect of the sickness. This is pure Tawheed, unlike that which the people of shirk believe in. 

 

This is similar to the denial of intercession on the Day of Resurrection mentioned in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): 

when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession [al-Baqarah 2:254] 

 

This does not contradict the unambiguous mutawaatir ahaadeeth which say that there will be intercession on the Day of Resurrection, because what Allaah is denying here is the kind of intercession that was known among themushrikeen, where an intercessor would come forward and intercede without being given permission. The intercession which is affirmed by Allaah and His Messenger is that which comes after His permission is given, as in the aayahs (interpretation of the meaning):  “…Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission?…” [al-Baraqah 2:255] 

 

“and they cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased” [al-Anbiyaa’ 21:28] 

 

“Intercession with Him profits not except for him whom He permits” [Saba’ 34:23] 

Haashiyat Tahdheeb Sunan Abi Dawood, 10/289-291) 

And Allaah is the One Who grants strength to do what is right.

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

 

Q2: Regarding the number 13 as unlucky

There are some Muslims that claim certain numbers have a special meaning. Some people including unbelievers and Muslims say that the number 13 is a bad or evil number, and some Muslims have found reasons to believe this too. One Muslim said that the Jews captured Jerusalem from Muslims on Friday the 13 and the general who captured it used 13 armies, thus the number is cursed. Is all this just superstition and omen searching which has no place in Islam?

 

A. Praise be to Allaah.

It is not permitted for the Muslim who believes in Allaah as his Lord, Islam as his religion, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as a Prophet and Messenger, and in the divine decree, both good and bad, to think that any being, entity or quality can have a specific effect in bringing good or warding off harm, as there is no evidence in sharee’ah to that effect. This is part of the legacy of jaahiliyyah (ignorance) which has been cancelled out by Islam and is regarded as being shirk which negates perfect Tawheed, because it is insinuating thoughts (waswaas) and scare tactics from the Shaytaan.

 

It is like the attitude of the people of Pharaoh, about whom Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning): “But whenever good came to them, they said, ‘Ours is this.’ And if evil afflicted them, they ascribed it to evil omensconnected with Moosa and those with him…” [al-A’raaf 7:131]. If some disaster or drought befell them, they blamed it on evil omens which they associated with Moosa and the believers with him, but Allaah refuted this and said (interpretation of the meaning): “… Verily, their evil omens are with Allaah…” [al-A’raaf 7:131].

 

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: “ ‘Their evil omens’ means what He decreed for them; they were the cause of what happened to them because of their kufr and rejection of the signs and messengers of Allaah.”

 

Many ahaadeeth were reported from the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in which he forbade pessimism and superstitious belief in evil omens. The word tatayyur (pessimism) is derived from teer(birds), because some birds were viewed as evil omens, then the word came to be applied to everything that is taken as a bad sign. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “No ‘adwaa [transmission of infectious diease without the permission of Allaah], 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].” [Translator’s notes in square brackets]. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 5757, and Muslim, 2220.] Muslim added in one of his reports: “And no naw’ (star promising rain) and no ghool (evil demon living in the desert).”

 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) denounced ‘adwaa, the Jaahili belief that attributed sickness to something other than Allaah and said that the sickness could transmit itself without the decree of Allaah. He explained that all of that happens by the decree of Allaah, and that people are instructed to avoid the causes of disaster if they are in good health.

 

The words “no Safar”, according to one of the interpretations given by the scholars, refer to the month of Safar, which the people of the Jaahiliyyah viewed with pessimism as being unlucky, as was reported in Sunan Abi Dawood (3914) from Muhammad ibn Raashid from someone who heard him say: “The people of the Jaahiliyyah used to regard Safar as inauspicious, and said that it was an unlucky month. The Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) refuted that.”

 

Imaam Ibn Rajab (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Regarding Safar as inauspicious is a kind of superstition that is forbidden. Also forbidden is regarding particular days, such as Wednesdays, as inauspicious, or following the Jaahili custom of regarding Shawwaal as inauspicious for weddings.”

 

No doubt this also includes the superstitions about the number 13 mentioned in the question. There is no indication in the Qur’aan or Sunnah that this number should be regarded as inauspicious in any way. The thirteenth is just an ordinary day, like any other day, and anything that happens on such a day happens by divine decree; Allaah decreed that it should happen on that day in that way. If a person tried to spend his time counting the numbers of days or dates on which calamities befell the Muslim ummah, he might find some patterns in some instances, but this has nothing to do with “bad luck” because of certain numbers or dates on which those events happened.

 

The remedy for this kind of waswaas is for a person to strengthen his heart, have certain faith (yaqeen) in Allaah and put his trust in Him. He should know that no disaster happens except by the decree of Allaah, and he should beware of getting carried away with this waswaas from the Shaytaan or these ideas that may cross his mind. He may be punished with the very thing that he is fearing, because he is turning away from having faith in Allaah and the belief that all good is in His hands, and that He Alone is the one who wards off harm by His power and grace.

 

The Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught us the kafaarah (expiation) to be offered by the one who indulges in any kind of superstitious pessimism. ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever lets tiyarah (superstition) stop him from doing something is guilty of shirk.” They said, “What is the kafaarah (expiation) for that?” He said, “To say: Allaahumma la khayra illaa khayruka wa laa tayra illaa tayruka wa laa ilaaha ghayruka (O Allaah, there is no good except Your good, no birds except Yours, and there is no god beside You).” And Allaah knows best.

 

As this issue is widespread among people nowadays, there is no harm in going into further detail, as follows:

 

In the Name of Allaah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Tiyarah and Fa’l (Bad omens and good omens)

[1] Tiyarah (seeing bad omens) comes from the word tayr (birds) [because the ancient Arabs used to see omens in the movements of birds and other creatures – Translator], and is the opposite of fa’l (good omens). The Arabs all used to have the same ideas about fa’l and tiyarah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) approved of and encouraged the idea of seeing good omens, but he disapproved and forbade the idea of seeing bad omens.

 

[2] Al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abd al-Salaam said: “The difference between al-tiyarah and al-tatayyur is that tatayyur means feeling in one's heart that something bad is going to happen, whilst tiyarah means acting on the basis of those pessimistic feelings.”

 

[3] Tiyarah existed long before Islam. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “But whenever good came to them, they said, ‘Ours is this.’ And if evil afflicted them, they ascribed it to evil omens connected with Moosa and those with him…” [al-A’raaf 7:131].

 

[4] Types of superstitious belief in bad omens, ancient and modern:

 

Certain days or months, such as Safar and Shawwaal.

 

Certain birds, such as crows and owls.

 

Certain animals, such as snakes, black cats and monkeys, or their movements, such as the passing of gazelles.

 

Certain types of people, such as a one-eyed man or a hunchback.

 

Certain numbers, such as 13 among the Christians, 7 among the Bedouin and 10 among the Raafidis; in the latter case because they dislike the “‘asharah mubashsharah (the ten Sahaabah who were given the certain promise of Paradise) – with the exception of ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him). Hence they will say “Nine plus one” instead of “ten.”

 

Certain sounds, such as the voice of a crow or the sound of an ambulance or fire truck.

 

Frightening or disturbing dreams.

 

Colours, such as the colour of blood, or yellow.

 

When the eyelashes of the left eye tremble involuntarily, they say, “Something bad is going to happen to us.”

 

Calling a child by the name of a living person, such as the father or mother and so on.

 

Witnessing an accident or a fire in the morning.

 

Seeing one’s wife’s mother in the morning.

 

When the right hand or right foot itches.

[5] The virtue of tawakkul (putting one’s trust in Allaah) and not indulging in tiyarah. The Prophet  ( peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Seventy thousand people will enter Paradise without being called to account and without being punished.” Among the virtues of these people, he described them as not believing in tiyarah and as putting their trust in Allaah. (Reported by Muslim).

 

[6] Condemnation of tiyarah and explanation that it is a kind of shirk. Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Al-tiyarah is shirk,’ and he said it three times.” (Reported by Abu Dawood and others, and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani).

 

‘Imraan ibn Husayn (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘He is not one of us who does tiyarah or has it done for himself…’” Al-Albaani said: “Its isnaad is hasan.” Ibn al-Qayyim said: “Tiyarah is a kind of shirk and a way in which the Shaytaan influences and scares a person. It is very serious for the one who takes it to heart and pays too much attention to it, but it is insignificant for the one who pays no attention to it and is not concerned about it.

 

[7] Negation of tiyarah and superstition. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘There is no ‘adwaa (contagion) or tiyarah, but I like righteous fa’l.” (Muslim). And he said, “No ‘adwaa, no tiyarah, no haamah, and no Safar.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari and Muslim).

 

Mu’aawiyah ibn al-Hakam al-Salami reported that he said to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Some of us believe in tiyarah.” He said, “That is something that any of you may feel in himself, but it should not stop you from doing anything.” (Muslim).

 

So the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained that any anxiety suffered because of tiyarah is all in the mind and has nothing to do with the object that caused the fear. It is the person’s own illusion, fear and shirk that is affecting him and stopping him from doing what he wants to do, not the thing that he saw or heard. Whoever adheres firmly to the bonds of Tawheed and puts all his trust in Allaah, thus nipping the ideas of tiyarah in the bud before they take hold, will be successful and happy in this world and the next.

 

In a saheeh hadeeth, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Leave any ideas of tiyarah as they are [i.e., do not take them any further].” (Saheeh Abi Dawood). What this hadeeth means is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wanted them not to pay attention to such ideas, but to leave them alone, as Allaah had made them, because they can bring neither benefit nor harm.

 

Ibn Jareer said: “What this means is to leave birds (tayr) alone without shooing them away, and carry on with one's own business, because shooing them away does not bring any benefit or ward off any harm.”

 

‘Ikrimah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “We were sitting with Ibn ‘Abbaas when a bird flew over us and screeched. A man who was there said, ‘Good!’ Ibn ‘Abbaas said to him, ‘It is neither good nor bad.’” He hastened to rebuke him lest he think that it had any influence for good or evil.

 

Taawoos set out on a journey with one of his friends, and a crow screeched. The man said, “Good!” Taawoos said, “What is the good in that? Do not accompany me any further.”

 

Ibn ‘Abd al-Hakam said: “Muzaahim said, ‘When ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez set out from Madeenah, I looked and saw that the moon was in Hyades [a group of stars in Taurus], and I did not want to tell him that, so I just said to him, “Look how beautiful the moon looks tonight.” ‘Umar looked, and saw that the moon was in Hyades, and said, “It is as if you wanted to tell me that the moon was in Hyades. O Muzaahim, we do not go out by the help of the sun or the moon; we go out by the help of Allaah, al-Waahid, al-Qahhaar.”’”

 

[8] The limits of tiyarah. The kind of tiyarah that makes a person go ahead with his plans or stops him from going ahead is the kind of tiyarah that is prohibited. As for the good omens (fa’l) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) liked, this is a kind of optimism that a person does not feel dependent upon, unlike things that may make a person either go ahead or change his plans, in which a person is in a sense depending upon it. And Allah knows best.

 

[9] Kafaarah (expiation) for one who engages in tiyarah. Imaam Ahmad reported in his Musnad and Ibn al-Sunni also reported with a saheeh isnaad from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever lets tiyarah stop him from doing something is guilty of shirk.” They said, “What is the kafaarah for that?” He said, “To say: Allaahumma la khayra illaa khayruka wa laa tayra illaa tayruka wa laa ilaaha ghayruka (O Allaah, there is no good except Your good, no birds except Yours, and there is no god beside You).”

 

“… no birds except Yours” means: the birds are part of Your creation, they can bring neither benefit nor harm, and the only One Who can bring benefit or harm is You, may You be glorified.

 

[10] Remedies for tatayyur:

(a) Tawakkul, which means delegating all one’s affairs to Allaah and relying on Him, whilst at the same time taking the necessary means and precautions. This is an obligation which must be done purely and sincerely for Allaah, because it is one of the best forms of worship and highest levels of Tawheed. Allaah says (interpretation of the meanings): “… and put your trust in Allaah, if you are believers indeed.” [al-Maa’idah 5:23] and“And put yout trust in the Ever-Living One Who dies not, and glorify His Praises, and Sufficient is He as the All-Knower of the sins of His slaves.” [al-Furqaan 25:58]. Putting one’s trust in Allaah is one of the greatest and most important ways of getting rid of pessimism and superstition and other matters pertaining to shirk.

 

(b) Knowing that everything that happens, happens by the decree of Allaah. Blessings and calamities alike are covered by the will and decree of Allaah, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):“No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (al-lawh al-mahfooz), before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allaah.” [al-Hadeed 57:22]. Thus a person may be reassured about these matters, and there is no need for tatayyur or tiyarah, because good and bad alike are subject to the will and decree of Allaah.

 

(c) Istikhaarah. This is one of the greatest forms of worship and is complete tawakkul or dependence on Allaah. It is the alternative to tatayyur and tiyarah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach his Companions to make istikhaarah for all their affairs just as he used to teach them the soorahs of the Qur’aan.

 

(d) Moving away from places which one thinks are “unlucky”. Here we are talking about doubt, not certainty. Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “A man said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, we lived in a house where our number was great and our wealth was abundant, then we moved to a house where our numbers dwindled and our wealth decreased.’ The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Leave it, for it is bad.’” (Reported by Maalik, Abu Dawood, al-Bukhaari in al-Adab al-Mufrad, and classed as hasan by al-Albaani).

 

“Leave it, for it is bad” – Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said: “I think that he said it lest they adhere to thoughts of tiyarah.” Al-Baghawi said: “He told them to move away from it because they did not like it and did not feel comfortable; if they moved, the things they were feeling would go away. He did not tell them to move because the house was the cause of the problems.”

 

But the Creator made that the time for His decree to be carried out. – suggested by Ibn al’-Arabi al-Maaliki.

 

(e)   Fa’l (good omen). This is the opposite of tiyarah, for example when a man who is sick hears another addressing him as “Ya saalim (O healthy one)!”. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no ‘adwaa (contagion) and no tiyarah, but I like righteous fa’l, a good word.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari and Muslim).

 

The difference between fa’l and tiyarah is that fa’l involves thinking in positive terms about Allaah, whereas tiyarah involves the opposite, so for this reason it is disliked.

 

There is another issue here: if a person puts his trust in Allaah and goes ahead with his plans, then disaster strikes and harm befalls him, how can this happen when he thought of Allaah in positive terms? Our answer is that this is a test, not an omen or tiyarah; the believer is tested in accordance with the level of his faith.

 

Haafiz al-Hakami said: “One of the conditions of fa’l is that it is not something that a person relies on or tries to figure out; it is just a coincidence that happens to a person without him thinking about it. It is a particularly loathsome form of bid’ah to try to find fa’l in the Qur’aan [by opening it at random]. The one who takes the Verses of Allaah as a joke or idle entertainment is surely doing wrong. If a person tries to figure out fa’l and use it to get “good luck”, this is tiyarah, like using arrows to seek luck or a decision.

 

O Allaah, we seek refuge with You from associating anything knowingly with You, and we seek Your forgiveness for that which we do unknowingly.

 

References:

Al-Qawl al-Mufeed ‘ala Kitaab al-Tawheed. Ibn ‘Uthaymeen.

Al-Tiyarah wa’l-Fa’l. Mahmoud al-Jaasim

Tayseer al-‘Azeez al-Hameed Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed. Sulaymaan ibn ‘Abd-Allaah.

Fath al-Baari. Ibn Hajar.

Fath al-Majeed Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed. ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Hasan.

Ma’aarij al-Qubool. Al-Hakam.

Miftaah Daar al-Sa’aadah. Ibn al-Qayyim.

Islam Q&A 
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

 

Q3: What did the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) mean by “No contagion (‘adwa)”?

What is the original text of the hadeeth “There is no ‘adwa in religion” and what is meant by that?.

 

A. Praise be to Allaah.  

There are several versions of this hadeeth. Al-Bukhaari (5776) and Muslim (2224) narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no ‘adwa (transmission of infectious disease without the permission of Allaah) and no tiyarah (superstitious belief in bird omens), but I like good omens.” They said: What is a good omen?” He said: “A good word.” 

 

Al-Bukhaari (5316) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no ‘adwaa [contagion, transmission of infectious disease without the permission of Allaah], no tiyarah [superstitious belief in bird omens], no haamah [refers to a Jaahili Arab tradition described variously as: a worm which 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” during the Jaahiliyyah].” 

 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) “There is no ‘adwa” are general in meaning, thus the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) states that there is no contagion (without the permission of Allaah). 

 

‘Adwa (contagion) refers to the spread of a disease from a sick person to a healthy one. What happens in the case of physical diseases may also happen in the case of psychological diseases. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that a bad companion is the like one who operates the bellows: Either he will burn your clothes, or you will notice a bad smell from him. 

 

The words “there is no ‘adwa” include both physical and psychological diseases, even though it is more apparent with regard to physical disease. 

 

The words “no tiyarah (lit. superstitious belief in bird omens)” refers to feeling superstitious because of something that you see, hear or know..With regard to the words “no haamah”, haamah is interpreted in two ways: 

 

1 – That it is a bird similar to an owl, or an owl. The Arabs believed that if a person was killed, his bones became a haamah that could fly and shriek until he was avenged. Some of them believed that the haamah was the soul of the slain person. 

 

2 – Some of the Arabs said that the haamah was a particular bird, which they regarded as a bad omen. If it landed on the house of one of them and made a sound, they said that it was predicting a death. They believed that this was a sign that that person would die soon. All of these are undoubtedly false beliefs. 

 

The words “No Safar” refers to the month of Safar, which the Arabs used to regard as inauspicious, especially for marriage. 

 

And it was said that it was a stomach disease that affected camels and was transmitted from one camel to another; based on this, mentioning it after ‘adwa (contagion) comes under the heading of mentioning something specific after something general. 

 

It is more likely that what is meant by Safar here is the month, and that what is meant by saying “No Safar” is that it is not to be regarded as inauspicious, rather it is like any other time, during which good or bad things may be decreed. 

 

This does not mean that these things do not happen, because they do happen. Rather it is a statement that they do not have any effect. The One Who causes things to happen is Allaah. If any of these things has a known effect then that is valid and real; if any of them is imagined to have an effect, then that is invalid and false. Thus the hadeeth demonstrates that if there is a valid effect, it cannot be attributed to that thing itself (rather the One Who causes it to happen is Allaah). If the effect is merely imagined, then this hadeeth is stating that it has no effect in the first place. 

 

With regard to the words “no contagion (‘adwa)”: contagion is something that happens, as is indicated by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Do not put a sick one with a healthy one” i.e., the owner of a sick camel should not bring it to the owner of a healthy camel, lest the contagion be transmitted. 

 

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Flee from the leper as you would flee from a lion.” Leprosy is a serious disease that is transmitted quickly and kills the one who catches it. It was even said that it is a plague. Hence the command to flee from the leper so that the disease will not be transmitted from him to you. This is an affirmation of the effect of contagion, but its effect is not inevitable in such a way that it affects people by itself. The command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to flee and not to bring sick camels to where healthy camels are comes under the heading of avoiding the means (that lead to sickness), not attributing the effect to the means themselves. The means do not affect anything themselves, but we should avoid the things that may be a cause of calamity, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

 

“and do not throw yourselves into destruction” [al-Baqarah 2:195] 

 

We cannot say that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was denying the effect of contagion, because contagion is something that is proven to exist in real life and is mentioned in other ahaadeeth. 

 

When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said “there is no ‘adwa”, a man said: “O Messenger of Allaah, the camels may be healthy like deer, then a mangy camel comes and mixes with them and they all get the mange.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “And who infected the first one?” meaning that the disease came to the first one with no contagion, rather it came from Allaah. By the same token, if it was transmitted by contagion, then it was transmitted by the command of Allaah. A thing may have a known cause or it may not have a known cause. The mange of the first one does not have a known cause, apart from the fact that it happened by the will and decree of Allaah, and the mange that came after it does have a known cause. But if Allaah wills the camel will not become mangy. Hence sometimes a camel may get the mange but then it recovers and does not die. The same happens with the plague and cholera; they may enter a house and some may get sick and die, while others are not affected at all.

 

We have to put our trust in Allaah and depend on Him. It was narrated that a leper came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he took him by the hand and said, “Eat,” i.e., eat of the food that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was eating– because of the strength of his trust in Allaah. This trust counteracts the causes of contagion. 

 

What we have referred to above is the best way of reconciling between the ahaadeeth. 

 

End quote from Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed, 2/80 

 

Based on this, what is meant by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) “no ‘adwa (contagion)” is that disease is not transmitted from a sick person to a healthy one by itself, rather it is transmitted by the will and decree of Allaah. If a sick person mixes with healthy ones this is one of the causes of the transmission of disease. But this does not mean that it will inevitably happen, rather it only happens if Allaah wills it. Hence we often see a sick mother give birth to a healthy child, but the disease is not transmitted to the infant. 

 

And Allaah knows best.

 

Islamweb

Questions

Q1:The month of SafarIs there any thing special in month of Safar, because people are saying that this month Allah sends many problems for his slaves? Is it true that we are supposed to pray specific prayers to protect our selves and we are not supposed to marry or have any other happy occasion?

 

Q2: Does Islam allow getting married in the month of Muharram or Safar?

 

Question and Answers

Q1: Is there any thing special in month of Safar, because people are saying that this month Allah sends many problems for his slaves? Is it true that we are supposed to pray specific prayers to protect our selves and we are not supposed to marry or have any other happy occasion?

A. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.


We supplicate Allah to bless us to follow the right Sunnah. Know that a Muslim must safeguard his faith and keep it away from myths and superstitions. Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {Say: "Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allâh has ordained for us. He is our Maulâ (Lord, Helper and Protector)." And in Allâh let the believers put their trust.}[9: 51]. He also says (interpretation of meaning): {… And whosoever puts his trust in Allâh, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allâh will accomplish his purpose. …}[65: 3]. 


The month of Safar is like all other months. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) condemned what is said about this month. Abu Hurairah (Radiya Allahu Anhu) reported from the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) that he said: "No 'Adwa (i.e. no contagious disease is conveyed to others without Allah's permission); nor (any evil omen in the month of) Safar; nor Hama." A bedouin said, "O Allah's Apostle! What about the camels which, when on the sand (desert) look like deers, but when a mangy camel mixes with them they all get infected with mange?" On that Allah's Apostle said, "Then who conveyed the (mange) disease to the first (mangy) camel?" 
It is narrated from Ibn Masoud that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "No 'Adwa nor Safar, Allah created every soul and wrote its life, livelihood and trials" [ al-Tirmizi ].


The above Ahadith clearly prove that the month of Safar does not have any special characteristics.


Know that performing special prayers in this month to safeguard oneself from evil or abstaining from marrying or from any other happy occasion is nothing but myths. A Muslim should give up such fairy tales and should follow the Qur'an, sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) and the way of the Sahabah and their followers.


Allah knows best.

 

Q2: Does Islam allow getting married in the month of Muharram or Safar?

A. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.


Marriage is lawful at any day of the year and there is no any evidence in the Sharia that supports the opinion in your question. Rather, such an opinion is a form of falsehood. 


A Muslim is not allowed to listen to false impressions and doubts, that are circulated among the mob.


In this vein, the Prophet said: "There is neither infection nor ill omen". [Reported by Imams Bukhari and Muslim] "An ill omen is a form of Shirk". Reported in the books of al-Sunan. This means that choosing some day or month does not change al-Qadr (divine destiny), which brings bad or good.


Allah knows best.

 

Alifta

Question

Q1.Pessimism about Safar is a characteristic of Jahiliyyah

 

Q2. We heard that some people believe that no one should marry or be circumcised in the month of Safar. We would like you to guide us to the truth according to Islamic Shari‘ah (Islamic law). May Allah protect you!

 

Q3.Dear Shaykh, kindly confirm the degree of authenticity or weakness of the Hadith reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) which states, Run away from the leper as you would run away from a lion.

 

Question and Answers

Q1: Pessimism about Safar is a characteristic of Jahiliyyah

It is known that many people are pessimistic about the month of Safar regarding many affairs. Such people, for example, do not conclude marriage contracts during Safar. Moreover, many people believe that it is not permissible to break a stick, knot ropes, or entwine fingers when concluding a marriage contract for this leads to failure of the concerned marriage and disharmony between the spouses.

Since all the foregoing are beliefs bearing on ‘Aqidah (creed), could you please advise and clarify the ruling on it? May Allah guide us all to all that He loves and is pleased with. 

 

A: Pessimism about Safar is not permissible. It is a characteristic of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance).

 

Safar - just like all other months - does not bring good or evil, as good is only from Allah (Glorified be He) and evil is predestined by Him. Moreover, it is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) annulled the concept of pessimism when he said: http://www.alifta.com/_layouts/images/UserControl-Images/MEDIA-H2.GIFThere is no ‘Adwa (contagion, disease transmission naturally by itself not by the Decree of Allah), nor is there any Tiyarah (evil omen), nor is there any Hamah (pre-Islamic superstitious belief that the bones of a dead person turn into an owl), nor is there Safar (the month of Safar was believed to bring bad luck during Jahiliyyah). (Agreed upon by Imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

 

The same applies to pessimism about entwining fingers, breaking a stick, etc., when concluding a marriage contract. Such beliefs are false, baseless, and thus they should not be adopted by a Muslim. May Allah grant us all success!

 

Source: Fatwas of Ibn Baz

 

Q2: We heard that some people believe that no one should marry or be circumcised in the month of Safar. We would like you to guide us to the truth according to Islamic Shari‘ah (Islamic law). May Allah protect you!

A: What is mentioned with regard to the prohibition of marriage or circumcision during the month of Safar is superstition. Being superstitious of months, days, birds and similar animals is not permissible. Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: There is no ‘Adwa (contagion, disease transmission naturally by itself not by the Decree of Allah), nor is there any Tiyarah (evil omen), nor is there any Hamah (pre-Islamic superstitious belief that the bones of a dead person turn into an owl), nor is there Safar (the month of Safar was believed to bring bad luck during Jahiliyyah).Being superstitious about the month of Safar falls under forbidden pessimism that discourages from acting and is one of the acts of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance) that was annulled by Islam.

 

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

 

Q3: Dear Shaykh, kindly confirm the degree of authenticity or weakness of the Hadith reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) which states, Run away from the leper as you would run away from a lion.

A: This is a part of a Hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) which reads, “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: There is no ‘Adwa (contagion, disease transmission naturally by itself not by the Decree of Allah), nor is there any Tiyarah (evil omen), nor is there any Hamah (pre-Islamic superstitious belief that the bones of a dead person turn into an owl), nor is there Safar (the month of Safar was believed to bring bad luck during Jahiliyyah), and run away from the leper as you would run away from a lion.” Related by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih (authentic) Book of Hadith, Kitab Al-Tibb (Book of Medicine), under the chapter of “Leprosy”. 

 

It was also related by Ibn Hibban with the additional phrase “nor is there Naw’ (i.e., a promising star bringing rain).” It was also related by Abu Nu‘aym , Book of Medicine, in the Hadith of Al-A‘raj, from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) with the following wording: Keep away from the leper as one keeps away from a lion. It was also related by Ibn Khuzaymah in Kitab Al-Tawakkul (Putting Trust in Allah), from `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) with the following wording: There is no ‘Adwa (contagion, disease transmission naturally by itself not by the Decree of Allah), and if you see a leper, run away from them as you would run away from a lion. Muslim also related the same meaning in his Sahih Book of Hadith, under the last chapters of medicine, in the Hadith of `Amr ibn Al-Sharid from his father that he said, There was in the delegation of Thaqif a leper, so the Prophet (peace be upon him) sent to him saying, “We have accepted your allegiance, so you may return.”

 

The best of what has been said in explanation of what is meant by the Prophet’s words, “There is no ‘Adwa (contagion)” is the statement of Al-Bayhaqy, followed by that of Ibn Al-Salah, Ibn Al-Qayyim, Ibn Rajab, Ibn Muflihand others, which explains that contagiousness is not to be understood as the people of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance) used to believe, i.e., attributing the effect to the thing itself rather than to Allah Who causes it to happen and that disease is transmitted naturally by itself (not by the Will and Decree of Allah). However, Allah, by His Will, may make contact with the sick one of the causes of disease transmission; therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, Run away from the leper as you would run away from a lion. He also stated, “The sick should not be brought to the healthy (i.e., the owner of sick camels should not bring them near the healthy camels of another owner).” He informed us about plagues, “Whoever hears that it (plague) has spread in a land should not go there.” as all this happens by the Decree and Predestination of Allah, the Exalted.

 

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

 

References

islamqa.info/en/search?key=safar&yt0=search

www.alifta.com/Search/Result.aspx

www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=result&q=safar

 

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