Safar is the second month of the lunar calendar in Islam. The month of Safar comes after Muharram. Some of the (scholars) said that it is so named because of the emptying (isfaar) of Makkah (i.e., its people would all leave) when they travelled during this month. It was also said that this month is named Safar because they used to raid other tribes at this time, and they would leave those whom they encountered bereft of their possessions (sifran min al-mataa’) – i.e., they would take all their belongings away and they would leave them with nothing. (See Lisaan al-'Arab by Ibn al-Mandhoor, part 4, p. 462 - 463)
Thus the idiom ‘Safar al Makaan’ meaning empty houses became famous. The word ‘Safrun or ‘Sifrun’ means ‘to become vacant’. Like the saying goes in Arabic ‘Sifrun minal Mata’a’ which means ‘ The house were vacated(from its furniture, things etc)” [Lisaan Al Arab Az Bin Manzoor, Vol IV,p 462 – 463] The famous hadith scholar and historian Sakhawi has written in his famous book, ‘Al Mashoor Fi Asma-il ayam walshahoor’ that this was the reason for naming of this month as ‘safar.’ When the Arabs saw that during this month many crimes were committed, people killed and houses emptied, they associated bad omens, and ill fate with this month, instead of looking at their own evil deeds and wrong doings, where as Allah has told us that every person is responsible for his own omen and fate.
There are many misconceptions prevalent amongst the people regarding this month. On one hand, bad lucks and omens have been associated with this month and on the other hand self made solutions for such things have been proposed as well, such as not holding marriages in this month, boiling chick peas and distributing them so that the bad omens are passed on to others, making 365 balls of flour and throwing them in water so that bad omens are driven away and provision is increased, reciting Surah Muzammil 313 times, considering this month to be ‘hard’ for the dead and considering the 13th of this month referred to as ‘tairah teezi’ to be unlucky. All such superstitions and beliefs have no basis in Islam what so ever. How can any day or month be unlucky or be a portent of bad omen when infact months and years are formed by the alteration of day and nights and Allah has made day and night as a sign and to help us make the calendar .
Allah says, "And We have appointed the night and the day as two signs. 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.” (Al Isra 17:12)
“Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the Earth;” Quran Suarh Tawbah 9: 36
No calamity befalls, but with the Leave [i.e. decision and Qadar (Divine Preordainments)] of Allah, and whosoever believes in Allah, He guides his heart [to the true Faith with certainty, i.e. what has befallen him was already written for him by Allah from the Qadar (Divine Preordainments)], and Allah is the All-Knower of everything. Quran Surah Taghabun 64:11
Narrated Abu Huraira(R): Allah's Messenger (S) Said, "Allah said, '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 Al Bukhari 4875(Vol 6:351)
The Arabs were guilty of two serious wrongdoings concerning the month of Safar. Firstly, they played about with it, bringing it forward or postponing it, and secondly, they had superstitions concerning it. It is known that Allaah created the year and the number of its months is twelve, four of which Allaah has made sacred, in which it was forbidden to fight, out of respect for these months. These months are: Dhu’l-Qi’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab.
Ibn al-'Arabi said: "The second issue: how postponing (al-nasiy) was done:
It was narrated from Ibn 'Abbaas that Junaadah ibn 'Awf ibn Umayyah al-Kinaani used to come on this occasion each year, and he would call out that no one could criticize Abu Samaamah or reject what he said, and that Safar in the first year would not be sacred, then we would make it sacred one year and not the next year. They were with Hawaazin, Ghatafaan and Bani Sulaym.
The postponing (of a Sacred Month) is indeed an addition to disbelief’ [Quran Suarah Tawbah 9:37 – interpretation of the meaning] – they would perform Hajj in Dhu’l-Hijjah for two years, then they would perform Hajj in Muharram for two years, then they would perform Hajj in Safar for two years. They would perform Hajj in each month for two years until, when Abu Bakr(R) performed Hajj that was in Dhu’l-Qi’dah, then when the Prophet performed Hajj it was in Dhu’l-Hijjah. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in his sermon, according to the saheeh hadeeth, narrated by Ibn 'Abbas(R) and others: "Time has completed a cycle and assumed the form of the day Allaah created the heavens and the earth." Sunan Abi Dawud 1947
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: the Messenger of Allaah (S) 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, and one should run away from the leper as one runs away from a lion." Sahih Al Bukhari, 5707(Vol 7:608) and Sahih Muslim, 2220
Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen(may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The word 'Safar’ was interpreted in several ways:
The most correct of these views is that what is meant is the month of Safar, concerning which there were many superstitions during the Jaahiliyyah. Times have no effect (on people’s lives) and Allaah never decreed that it should have any effect. Like any other month, both good and bad may be decreed during this month.
Either he pays attention to them in deciding whether to go ahead or refrain, in which case he is basing his actions on something that is not real.
Or he does not pay attention to them with regard to deciding whether to go ahead or refrain, but he still feels some kind of worry or anxiety. Although this is not as bad as the first case, he should not pay any attention to these things at all, rather he should depend only on Allaah.
The denial of these four things is not a denial of their existence, for they do exist; it is a denial of their having any effect on things, for the One Who affects things is Allaah. If there is a reason that is known to have effects, then this is a real reason, and any reason which is merely imagined is a false reason. So we deny its effect and it has no effect." (Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen, 2/113, 115)
Some of the People claims that in the Islamic religion there is a naafil (supererogatory) prayer which is prayed on the last Wednesday of the month of Safar, at the time of Duha (mid-morning) prayer, (consisting of) four rak’ahs with one tasleem. In each rak’ah one recites Soorat al-Faatihah, Soorat al-Kawthar seventeen times, Soorat al-Ikhlaas 50 times, al-Mi’wadhatayn (the last two soorahs of the Qur’aan) one time each. This is done in each rak’ah, then one says salaam, and when one says salaam it is prescribed to recite "And Allaah has full power and control over His Affairs, but most of men know not" [Yoosuf 12:21 – interpretation of the meaning] 360 times, and Jawhar al-Kamaal (the essence of perfection) three times, and to finish by saying,
"Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of honour and power! (He is free) from what they attribute unto Him! And peace be on the Messengers! And all the praises and thanks be to Allaah, Lord of the 'Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)." Quran Suarh Saaffaat 37:180-182
Praise be to Allaah, and blessings and peace be upon His Messenger and upon his family and his companions.
Ibn al-Qayyim said:
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)] went on the military campaign of al-Abwaa’, also known as Waddaan. This was the first military campaign in which he took part himself. It happened in Safar, twelve months after the Hijrah. The banner, which was white, was carried by Hamzah ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib. He appointed Sa’d ibn 'Ubaadah in charge of Madeenah (in his absence), and he went out with the Muhaajireen only, to intercept a caravan of Quraysh, but there was no fighting.
She was the youngest of the daughters of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). She was married to ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib in Safar 2 AH. She bore him al-Hasan, al-Husayn, Umm Kalthoom and Zaynab. Faatimah (may Allaah be pleased with her) died six months after the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). She was the first member of his family to join him, as He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said she would be. Al-Bidaayah wa’l-Nihaayah by Ibn Katheer, 5/321; Zaad al-Ma’aad, by Ibn al-Qayyim, 1/100
In the same month of Safar, in 4 AH, there was the battle of Bi’r Ma’oonah (the well of Ma’oonah), which may be summed up as follows:
Abu Baraa’ 'Aamir ibn al-Maalik, who was known as Mulaa’ib al-Asinnah, came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in Madeenah. He invited him to Islam but he did not become Muslim, but neither did he seem far away from doing so.
Ibn al-Qayyim said: When he set out for Khaybar, it was the end of Muharram, not the beginning, and he conquered it in Safar. (Zaad al-Ma’aad, 3/339-340)
Section on the campaign of Qutbah ibn 'Aamir ibn Hadeedah to Khath’am.
This took place in Safar 9 AH. Ibn Sa’d said: they said: the Messenger of Allaah sent Qutbah ibn 'Aamir with twenty men to a region of Khath’am at the end of Tibaalah, and he commanded him to launch a raid. They went out with ten camels, which they took turns riding. They captured a man and interrogated him, but he would not speak, then he started yelling, raising the alarm, so they killed him. They waited until the people had gone to sleep, then they launched their attack. There was intense fighting, resulting in many wounded on both sides. Qutbah ibn 'Aamir killed whoever he killed, and they (the Muslims) took the cattle, women and sheep to Madeenah. It says in the story that the people regrouped and pursued them, then Allaah sent a great flood which came between them and the Muslims, so the Muslims drove the cattle, sheep and prisoners whilst they were looking on, but they could not cross the water until they had gone. (Zaad al-Ma’aad, 3/514)
A delegation from 'Udhrah came to the Messenger of Allaah in Safar of 9 AH, consisting of twelve men, including Jamrah ibn al-Nu’maan. The Messenger of Allaah said: "Who are these people?" Their spokesman said: "Some people that you may know of; we are Bani 'Udhrah, the brother of Qusayy on his mother’s side. We are the people who supported Qusayy and removed Khuzaa’ah and Bani Bakr from the valley of Makkah. We have relatives and families." The Messenger of Allaah said: "Welcome to you, I know you well." They became Muslim, and the Messenger of Allaah gave them the glad tidings of the conquest of Shaam (Syria) and the flight of Heraclius to a well-fortified part of his country. The Messenger of Allaah forbade them to consult fortunetellers, and to offer the sacrifices which they used to offer, telling them that they were obliged only to offer the udhiyah (sacrifice of Eid al-Adha). They stayed for a few days in the house of Ramlah, then they departed." (Zaad al-Ma’aad, 3/657)