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Hijri Calendar: The Month Of Safar

Hijri Calendar: The Month Of Safar

We are about to welcome the Hijri month of Safar insha’Allah! What do you know about this month? Read on to learn about its meaning in Arabic, chronological order in the Islamic calendar and significance in the sunnah and Islamic history.


Meaning of Safar

The Arabic word صَفَر [ṣafar] comes from the root letters ص ف ر which carry many different meanings depending on the context: to whistle, to hiss, a siren, yellow/to turn yellow, emptiness, hunger. It is believed that most of the Hijri months got their names from the weather conditions of the time. Safar might come from the fact that there was a lot of wind (i.e., whistling of the wind).


Chronological order in the Hijri calendar

Safar is the second month of the Islamic calendar. This month comes after Muharram and before Rabi’ Al-Awwal.


When will Safar take place this year?

This year (2021), Safar is expected to begin on September 8th, 2021, insha’Allah.


Significance of Safar in Hadith

During the time of Jaahiliyyah (ignorance, before Islam), there was a lot of superstition around the month of Safar, but there is no foundation to such claims as shown in this authentic hadith:

Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه narrated: 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.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 5707)


Keep scrolling to learn about the significance of the month of Safar in Islamic history!

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Significance in Islamic History

The Last Expedition

The pride of the Byzantine Empire made them deny Muslims their right to live. The Byzantine arrogance made them even kill those citizens of theirs who embraced Islam. Killing Farwah bin ‘Amr Al Judhami رضي الله عنه, who was their agent at Ma’an, was evidence of it.

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ started to mobilize a great army in Safar in the eleventh year of Al-Hijra under the command of Usamah bin Zaid bin Harithah رضي الله عنه.

The leadership of Usamah was subject to criticism. Because he was still too young, people delayed their joining in this expedition. Allah’s Messenger ﷺ addressed people saying:

“No wonder now you contest his leadership, for you have already contested the previous leadership of his father. Yes, by Allah, his father, who was one of the most beloved people to me, was quite efficient for leadership; and this son of his is one of the most beloved individuals to me after his father.”

So, people started tending towards Usamah رضي الله عنه and joined his army. The number of volunteers in his army was enormous. The army departed from Madinah and had stayed at a place, Jurf, three miles from Madinah. The anxiety provoking news about the sickness of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ, however made the expedition delayed again in order to know what Allah had willed as regards His Messenger ﷺ.

It was Allah’s Will that Usamah’s expedition would be the first one dispatched during the caliphate of the virtuous Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه.

(Reference: The Sealed Nectar, الرّحيق المختوم)


The Farewell

During the early days of Safar in the eleventh year of Al-Hijra, the Prophet ﷺ went out to Uhud and observed a farewell prayer for the martyrs. It looked like he was saying good-bye to both the dead and the living. He then ascended the pulpit and addressed the people saying:

“I am to precede you and I have been made witness upon you. By Allah, you will meet me at the Haud (fountain) very soon. I have been given the keys of the treasures of the earth. By Allah, I do not fear for you that you will turn polytheists after me. But I do fear that you will compete each other in acquiring the worldly riches.”

On Monday the twenty-ninth of Safar in the eleventh year of Al-Hijra, he ﷺ participated in funeral rites in Al-Baqi. On the way back he had a headache, his temperature rose so high that the heat effect could be felt over His headband.

He ﷺ led the Muslims in prayer for eleven days although he was sick. The total number of his sick days were either thirteen or fourteen.

(Reference: The Sealed Nectar, الرّحيق المختوم)


Learn about the other Hijri months here!

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