They say the month of Safar is a "month of misfortunes. Is it true? Is it true that the Prophet (pbuh) was hit by some misfortune and became ill in this month? Is there any worshipping peculiar to this month or a prayer of protection?

Details of the Question

They say the month of Safar is a "month of misfortunes. Is it true? Is it true that the Prophet (pbuh) was hit by some misfortune and became ill in this month? Is there any worshipping peculiar to this month or a prayer of protection?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The month of Safar is the second month in the Hijri calendar. As it is known, the first month of the Hijri calendar is the month of Muharram; it includes the day of ashura. The third month is Rabi'ul-Awwal; the Prophet (pbuh) was born on the twelfth night of this month.

It is known that some months and days in the Hijri calendar are known as holy due to some kinds of worshipping being rendered fard in them and being the date of some important events. For instance, the month of Rajab, Shaban and Ramadan are known as three months of worshipping in which nafilah and fard deeds of worshipping were decreed; especially the month of Ramadan and Laylatul-Qadr (Night of Power) in this month are mentioned in the Quran; the other two are mentioned to form a productive ground for various kinds of supererogatory (nafilah) worshipping in sound hadiths. It is known that the months of Muharram, Rajab, Dhul-Qada and Dhul-Hijja were respected by Arabs before Islam and they avoided wars in these months.

It is necessary to mention here the other holy days and nights mentioned in sound resources: Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Arafah days and nights,holy nights, Friday, day of Ashura, etc. Various kinds of worshipping are performed including, nafilah, wajib and fard on these days.

As it is seen, in Islam, there are certain months, days and nights that are respected and that are allocated for certain types of worshipping but it is not possible to mention any time period allocated for disasters, misfortunes and acts of God. Such an allocation is not suitable for the spirit of Islam. It is not appropriate to declare certain months as months of misfortunes. It is not possible to limit Allah’s will with months and days; besides, such an allocation does not comply with the manners of servitude.

Do divine warnings and disasters not take place in other months? They do. Besides, even if we suppose that divine warnings increase in certain months, it was forbidden by the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) to declare those months as months of misfortunes and inauspiciousness. 

The month of Safar was accepted as ominous by the Arabs of Jahiliyyah and to perform umrah in this month was regarded as a major sin. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) eliminated this belief of inauspiciousness attributed to this month by saying,

“Umrah is legitimate in all months.” (Bukhari, Hajj, H. No:777) 

However, we see that there have been superstitions among people since the time of the Arabs of Jahiliyyah that the marriages established in this month will not last long, that the activities done in this month will be abortive, that the works started in this month will end ominously, etc. 

According to what is reported from Abu Hurayra, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"There is no ill omen in Islam; the best thing is a good omen." (Bukhari, Tibb, 54)

Thus, he stated that this harmful understanding is not present in Islam. The following is stated in another hadith:

"There is no ill omen in things, in the month of Safar and in the hooting of the owl." (Muslim, Salam, 102)

After determining that the month of Safar is a normal month, we can mention the following prayer (dua) that is deemed appropriate to say in the month of Safar though it is not confirmed by reliable sources:

“Bismillahirrahmanirrahim. O Allah! Praise and thanks be to You! I am grateful to you. I am your slave and therefore I am peaceful. I entrust my soul, religion, world, hereafter, end of my works and deeds to You. I entrust the ummah of Muhammad to You from the severity of your power, strength, might and force. You are the one who protects the entrusted things, whose decree is valid and whose qada is victorious."

"Ya Ahkama’l-Hakimin wa ya Asraa’l-Hasibin wa ya Akrama ma’mulin wa ajwada mas’ulin ya Hayyu ya Qayyumu ya Qadimu ya Fardu ya Witru ya Ahadu ya Samadu ya man lam yalid wa lam yulad wa lam yakun lahu kufuwan ahad! Ya Azizu Ya Wahhabu Salla’llahu ala khayr-i khalqihi Muhammadin wa alihi wa sahbihi ajma’in! Amin!”

It is advised that one should perform a prayer of two rak'ahs on the last Wednesday of this month, reading one al-Fatiha and eleven al-Ikhlas in each rak'ah and uttering eleven istighfars and eleven salawat after the prayer.

There is no special way of giving sadaqa in this month. One should give sadaqah in this month as he does in the other months.

Is it sunnah to read the following prayer 100 times between the noon and the afternoon on the first Wednesday of the month of Safar?

“YA DAFIAL BALAYA IDFA’ ANNAL BALAYA FALLAHU KHAYRUN HAFIZAN WA HUWA ARHAMURRAHIMIN INNAKA ALA KULLI SHAY’IN QADIR."

Its translation: “O Allah, who drives misfortunes away! Drive misfortunes away from us! Allah is the best protector, He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy. You definitely have power over all things."

Answer:

It is a nice prayer and it can be said any time. It can also be said in the month of Safar. However, we have not been able to find any hadiths stating that it should be said in the month of Safar. Accordingly, it is more appropriate to say this prayer at any occasion without allocating it to a certain time.

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