It was narrated on the authority of  Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: 'There is no ‘Adwa (no disease is conveyed from the sick to the healthy without the Permission of Allaah), nor Haamah (i.e. owl), nor Safar." A Bedouin stood up and said, "Then what about my camels? They are like deer on the sand, but when a mangy camel comes and mixes with them, they all get infected with mangy." The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said, "Then who conveyed the (mange) disease to the first one?" [Reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

1- ‘Adwa means a disease is conveyed from the sick to the healthy and thus the latter becomes sick. Arabs used to believe that in many diseases such as mange. Therefore, the Bedouin asked about the healthy camels that the mangy camel comes and mixes with them, they all get infected with mangy." The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said, "Then who conveyed the (mange) disease to the first one?", meaning that the first did not become mangy due to ‘Adwa but by the Decree and Preordainment of Allaah The Almighty and the same thing applies to the second one and so on.

There are Hadeeths reported in this regard but many people misunderstood them to the extent that some of them believe that they such (i.e. Hadeeths) are abrogating the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, "There is no ‘Adwa" such as what is reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “The sick camel should not be taken to the healthy one.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Also, the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "And run away from a leper as you would run away from a lion."

The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said regarding plague: "If you heard about the spread of plague in a country, you shouldn't enter this country."

Accordingly, abrogation in this case does not actually make sense. That is because the Prophet's statement: "There is no ‘Adwa" is a complete and confirmed statement that cannot be abrogated unless it is said: He, peace and blessing be upon him, prohibited believing in ‘Adwa not negating it; however, it can be abrogating prohibition in such three Hadeeths or those which have the same meaning. The most preponderant opinion that the majority of the Muslim scholars adopt is that there is no abrogation in all of this.

However, they held different opinion regarding his saying: "There is no ‘Adwa". The most important opinion expressed regarding this issue is that it refutes the old belief of the people during the Pre-Islamic era that such diseases are contagious by its nature without a previous Decree from Allaah The Almighty for that. This is proved by his saying: "...who conveyed the (mange) disease to the first one?" indicates that the first was afflicted with the mange because of the Decree and Preordainment of Allaah The Almighty and the same thing applies to the second one and so on.

Furthermore, it was narrated on the authority of Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "There is nothing contagious." He, peace and blessing be upon him, said it thrice. A Bedouin said: "O Messenger of Allaah, when a spot of mange be in a camel or in the tail of the great camel, it became all mangy (so why is this)? Upon this the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "Then who conveyed the (mange) disease to the first one? There is no ‘Adwa, nor Haamah, nor Safar. Allaah created every soul, wrote down its life, fate and provision."

[Reported by Imam Ahmad and At-Tirmithi]

He, peace and blessing be upon him, has told that all of that occurs according to the Decree and Preordainment of Allaah The Almighty as it is indicated in the saying of Allaah The Almighty: {No disaster strikes upon the earth or among yourselves except that it is in a register before We bring it into being - indeed that, for Allaah, is easy.} [Quran 57: 22]

As for the prohibition of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, regarding that the sick camels should not be taken to the healthy one and his command regarding running from the leper and his prohibition of entering the destination that is afflicted by plague, it is a form of avoiding the causes that Allaah The Almighty have created and made them elements of destruction or harm. One is commanded to guard himself against the cause of destruction if he is free from them. As one is enjoined not to throw himself in water, fire, enter under wreckage and the like of the other causes of destruction and harm, he is also ordered to keep away from the sick such as the leper or entering a country that is afflicted by plague. That is because all of them are causes of illness and destruction. Thus, Allaah The Almighty is the Creator of all causes and effects. There is no creator or anyone makes Preordainments other than Him The Exalted.

2- As for the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him: "…nor Haamah (pl. Haam) (i.e. owl)…": it refutes what the people during the Pre-Islamic era used to think that when someone dies and buried, his soul and bones turned into Haamah (an owl) which flew. It is something like the belief of the people of At-Tanaasukh (i.e. Transmigration of the soul): the belief that souls of the dead people move to animal bodies without resurrection. All of such beliefs are void and Islam came to invalidate them and prove them false. What the Islamic religion came with is that the souls of the martyrs live in the bodies of green birds, who eat from the fruits and drink from the rives of the Paradise until Allaah The Almighty returns them to their bodies. It was also reported that soul of the believer is a bird that is hanged in the tree of the Paradise until Allaah The Almighty returns them to their bodies on the Day of Resurrection.

3- As for the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him: "..Safar…": scholars held different opinions regarding its meaning.  Many of the previous scholars said: Safar is a sickness afflicts stomach. It was said that it is a big worms such as snakes and they used to believe that they are contagious. Thus, the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, refuted such idea. Those who adopt such opinion are like Ibn ‘Unaynah, Imam Ahmad and others. If this is true, then this will be included in the saying of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him: "There is no ‘Adwa…". It may be said: it is a kind of joining the specific with the general and it was specially mentioned for it is well known among them that it is contagious.

Some other scholars said it refers to the month of Safar and then differed regarding interpreting it into two opinions:

Firstly, what is meant is to refute what the people during the Pre-Islamic era used to do regarding postponing sacred months. That is to say they used to make the month of Al-Muharram not sacred and make Safar sacred instead of it as Imam Maalik, may Allaah have mercy upon him, has stated.

Secondly, what is meant is that the people during the Pre-Islamic era had superstitions concerning it. Thus, the Prophet, negated that. This is what was narrated by Abu Daawood from Muhammad ibn Raashid Al-Mak-hooli from those who heard them saying this. This may be the most sound opinion. Many ignorant people have superstitions concerning Safar and even may prohibit travelling in it.

Having such Tatayyur (superstitious belief in bad omens) concerning Safar is something included in the prohibited evil omen and also having bad omen regarding Wednesdays and it was narrate that "on a day of evil omen" is an invalid Hadeeth. Rather, it was reported in Al-Musnad from Jaabir, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, supplicated Allaah The Almighty against Al-Ahzaab (i.e. the confederates) on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and he was answered on Wednesday between the two prayers of Zuhr (i.e. Noon) and ‘Asr (Afternoo).

Jaabir, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "No difficulty afflicts me unless I investigate that time and supplicated Allaah The Almighty during it and He the Exalted answered me or as he stated."

Furthermore, people during the pre-Islamic era used to regard the month of Shawwaal as inauspicious regarding marriage in particular and it was said: "The origin of this is that a plague broke out in the month of Shawwaal in one year and many brides passed away. Thus, the people during that time became have evil omen regarding that month." Islam came to refute this. In this regard, it was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said refuting that evil omen: “The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, married me in Shawwaal and he consummated the marriage with me in Shawwaal, and which of the wives of the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, was dearer to him than me?”

Also, ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, used to recommend that women to consummate their marriage in Shawwaal. Even, the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, married Umm Salamah, may Allaah be pleased with her, in Shawwaal.

4- Sheykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "If a particular action is completed on the twenty-fifth of Safar – for example – some people note the date and say, “It has been finished on the twenty-fifth of this good month of Safar.” This is like refuting one innovation with another, because there are no good or bad months.

As for the month of Ramadhaan and saying that it is a good month, what is meant by goodness here is about worship. There is absolutely no doubt that it is good month. As for their statement that Rajab Al-Mu‘aththam (i.e. the great month of Rajab), it is because it is one of the sacred months.

Hence some of the Salaf (i.e. our righteous predecessors) denounced those who, when they hear the hooting of an owl, say, “It is good, in sha Allaah.” It cannot be said that this is good or bad, it is simply the sound of a bird, like any other bird."

5- Ibn Katheer, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said regarding interpreting the saying of Allaah The Almighty: {Indeed, the postponing [of restriction within sacred months] is an increase in disbelief by which those who have disbelieved are led [further] astray. They make it lawful one year and unlawful another year to correspond to the number made unlawful by Allaah and [thus] make lawful what Allaah has made unlawful. Made pleasing to them is the evil of their deeds; and Allaah does not guide the disbelieving people.} [Quran 9: 37]

Before Islam, they innovated a change in the Sacred Month of Muharram, delaying it to the month of Safar! Therefore, they allowed fighting in the Sacred Month and made the non-sacred month sacred, to make the Sacred Months in a year four, as Allaah The Almighty decided.

One of their poets; ‘Umayr ibn Qays, known as Jithl At-Ta‘aan said:

Tribe of Ma‘d knew that my tribe is the most generous, really they have great honor,

Are not we those who postpone sacred months and make the non-sacred months sacred,

There is no tribe like us and no one can stand against us.

 ‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with them, said: "Junadah ibn ‘Awf ibn Umayyah Al-Kinaani, known as Abu Thumaamah, used to attend the Hajj season every year and declare, Abu Thumaamah is never rejected nor refuted!,' and he used to treat Safar as sacred for people one year ﴿and un-sanctify Muharramand treat Muharram as sacred another year ﴿and un-sanctify Safar in that year. This is why Allaah The Almighty says (what means): {Indeed, the postponing [of restriction within sacred months] is an increase in disbelief…}

He says: "They allow the month of Al-Muharram one year and make it sacred another year.'' Al-‘Awfi narrated a similar statement from Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with them. Layth ibn Abi Sulaym narrated that Mujaahid, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said, "There was a man from Bani Kinaanah who would attend the Hajj season every year riding his donkey. He would proclaim, `O people! I am never rejected, denied or refuted in what I say. We made this coming Muharram sacred, and Safar not!' The following year he would come again and declare the same words then say, `We made this coming Safar sacred and delayed Muharram (revoked its sanctity).' This is the meaning of Allaah's statement,

{…They make it lawful one year and unlawful another year to correspond to the number made unlawful by Allaah…} to four months. Allaah The Almighty says, 'They allow what He The Almighty disallowed by delaying the Sacred Month.'' It was also reported from Abi Waa'il, Adh-Dhahhaak and Qataadah something like this.

In his book of Seerah, Imam Muhammad ibn Ishaaq presented a very useful beneficial discussion on this matter. He said; "The first to start the practice of overlooking the sanctity of months for the Arabs, thus allowing what Allaah The Almighty sanctified of them and sanctifying what Allaah The Almighty allowed of them, was "Al-Qalammas''. He was Huthayfah ibn ‘Abd Fuqaym ibn ‘Adi ibn ‘Amr ibn Tha‘labah ibn Al-Haarith ibn Maalik ibn Kinaanah ibn Khuzaymah ibn Mudrikah ibn Ilyaas ibn Mudhar ibn Nizaar ibn Ma‘dd ibn ‘Adnaan. His son ‘Abbaad maintained this practice, then after him his son Qala‘ ibn ‘Abbaad did the same, Then his son Umayyah ibn Qala‘, then his son ‘Awf ibn Umayyah, then his son Abu Thumaamah Junadah ibn ‘Awf. He was the last one of his sons (to continue this practice) before Islam. The Arabs used to gather around him when Hajj finished, and he would stand and give them a speech in which he sanctifies Rajab, Thul-Qa‘dah and Thul-Hijjah. He would defer the sanctity of Muharram to Safar one year and uphold its sanctity another year, so as to appear upholding the number (of Sacred Months) Allaah The Almighty made sacred. Therefore, he would allow what Allaah The Almighty prohibited and prohibit what Allaah The Almighty allowed.'' Allaah knows best.

Important Note:

Imam Ibn Katheer, may Allaah have mercy upon him, reported in his Tafseer from Sheykh ‘Alam Ad-Deen As-Sakhaawi in a part he collected and called it Al-Mash-hoor fi Asmaa' Ash-Shuhoor (i.e. Reasons behind the Names of the Lunar Months): "As for the month of Al-Muharram, it takes its name because it is sacred. For me, it is called so as a confirmation to its sanctity because Arabs used to change its sanctity i.e. make it sacred in one year and make it non-sacred in another.

As for the month of Safar, it takes its name from sifir, which means to be empty, because the houses of the Arabs used to be empty when they go out for travel and business.

As for the month of Rabee‘ Al-Awwal, it was named so because it usually coincides with the spring time.

 And the same thing applies to Rabee‘ Al-Aakhir

As for the month of Jumaadaa Al-Oolaa and Jumaadaa Al-Aakhirah, they took their names from Jumad Al-maa' (i.e. water becomes ice). According to their belief, such months does not circulate. This is really untrue because if such months are based on crescents, thus they have to circulate. They may have firstly called them so because these two months occurred while it was cold. You may say: 'Jumaadaa Al-Oolaa  or Jumaadaa Al-Awwal and also Jumaadaa Al-’Aakhir or Jumaadaa Al-Aakhirah.'

As for the month of Rajab, it took its name from Tarjeeb (i.e. sanctify and glorification) and because it is a sacred month.

As for the month of Sha‘baan, it is taken from a word which means to split and divide. It took its name because the Arabs would return to fighting upon its onset and divide themselves.

As for the month of Ramadhaan, it is named after Ramdhaa'; Ramdhaa are stones heated by the sun during summer. He said, those who said that it is one of the Names of Allaah The Almighty is actually mistaken and should be disregarded. I have said, there is a Hadeeth was narrated regarding it but it is weak.

As for the month of Shawwaal, it is derived from the lifting (Ar. shayl) of a camel’s tail to ward off flies (because of the extreme heat).

As for the month of Thul-Qa‘dah, it is named such because it was the first sacred month that prohibited fighting. Thus, people sat (refrained from fighting) during that time.

As for the month of Thul-Hijjah, it is named such because the Hajj coincides with it." End quote.

 

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