The Sacred Months

I take refuge with Allaah, the Exalted, from the accursed devil.

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem: In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Welcome to my blog and praise the Magnificent Lord as you enter: Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Greatest .

May the Peace and Blessings of Allah Azza wa Jal, our Lord Glorified and Praised be He, be upon our beloved  Prophet, his Family, and Companions.

The Sacred Months.

إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِندَ اللَّهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْراً فِي كِتَـبِ اللَّهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَوَت وَالاٌّرْضَ مِنْهَآ أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ ذلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ فَلاَ تَظْلِمُواْ فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَقَاتِلُواْ الْمُشْرِكِينَ كَآفَّةً كَمَا يُقَـتِلُونَكُمْ كَآفَّةً وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ

(36. 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; of them four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein, and fight against the Mushrikin idolaters collectively as they fight against you collectively. But know that Allah is with those who have Taqwa.)

Surah 9 At Tawba Verse 36

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

(The division of time has turned to its original form which was current when Allah created the heavens and the earth. The year is of twelve months, out of which four months are sacred: Three are in succession Dhul-Qa`dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab of (the tribe of) Mudar which comes between Jumada (Ath-Thaniyah) and Sha`ban.” The Prophet then asked, (What is the day today’) We said, “Allah and His Messenger know better. He kept quiet until we thought that he might give that day another name. He said (Isn’t it the day of Nahr) We replied, “Yes.” He further asked, (Which month is this) We again said, “Allah and His Messenger know better,” and he kept quiet and made us think that he might give it another name. Then he said,(Isn’t it the month of Dhul-Hijjah) We replied, “Yes.” He asked, (What town is this) We said, “Allah and His Messenger know better,” and he kept quiet until we thought that he might change its name. He asked, (Isn’t this the (Sacred) Town) We said, “Yes.” He said,

(Verily! Your blood, property and honor are sacred to one another like the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of yours and in this city of yours. Verily, you will meet your Lord and He will question you about your actions. Behold! Do not revert to misguidance after me by striking the necks of one another. Have I conveyed It is incumbent upon those who are present to inform those who are absent, because those who are absent might comprehend (what I have said) better than some who are present.) Al-Bukhari and Muslim collected this Hadith. In a small book collected by Shaykh `Alam ad-Din As-Sakhawi, entitled, Al-Mashhur fi Asma’ Al-Ayam wash-Shuhur, he mentioned that Muharram is so named because it is a sacred month. To me, it was so named to emphasize its sacredness. This is because the Arabs would switch it around. One year they would say it was a sacred month, the following year they would say that it was not. The author said, “…and Safar is so named because they used to leave their homes during that month for fighting and traveling. When saying `Safir’ a place, it means to leave it… Rabi` Al-Awwal is called that because they used to do Irtiba` in it, that is to maintain one’s property… and Rabi` Al-Akhir, was so named for the same reasons. Jumada is called that because the water would dry up (Jamud) then….They say Jumada Al-Uwla and Al-Awwal, or Jumada Al-Akhar or Al-Akhirah. Rajab comes from Tarjib, meaning to honor. Sha`ban because the tribes would separate and return to their homes. Ramadan was so named because of the severity of the Ramda’ – that is – the heat, and they say that the branch Ramadat when it is thirsty…And the saying that it is a Name of Allah is a mistake, for there is no proof or support for that…”

The Sacred Months.

Allah said,

(of them four are sacred). The Arabs used to consider these months sacred during the time of Jahiliyyah, except for a group of them called Al-Basl, who held eight months of the year to be sacred as way of exaggeration in religion. The Prophet said,

(Three are in succession; Dhul-Qa`dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab ﴿of (the tribe of) Mudar which comes between Jumada (Ath-Thani)﴾ and Sha`ban). The Prophet said “Rajab of Mudar” to attest to the custom of Mudar, in saying that Rajab is the month that is between Jumada and Sha`ban, not as the tribe of Rabi`ah thought, that it is between Sha`ban and Shawwal, which is Ramadan in the present calendar. The four Sacred Months were made four, three in succession and one alone, so that the Hajj and `Umrah are performed with ease. Dhul-Qa`dah, the month before the Hajj month, was made sacred because they refrained from fighting during that month. Dhul-Hijjah, the next month, was made sacred because it is the month of Hajj, during which they performed Hajj rituals. Muharram, which comes next, was made sacred so that they are able to go back to their areas in safety ﴿after performing Hajj﴾. Rajab, in the middle of the lunar year, was made sacred so that those coming from the farthest areas of Arabia are able to perform `Umrah and visit the House and then go back to their areas safely. Allah said next, 

(That is the right religion), that is the Straight Law, requiring implementing Allah’s order concerning the months that He made sacred and their true count as it was originally written by Allah. Allah said,

(so wrong not yourselves therein) during these Sacred Months, for sin in them is worse than sin in other months. Likewise, sins in the Sacred City are written multiplied,

(…and whoever inclines to evil actions therein (in Makkah) or to do wrong, him We shall cause to taste from a painful torment) (22:25). Similarly, sin in general is worse during the Sacred Months `Ali bin Abi Talhah narrated that Ibn `Abbas said, Allah’s statement,

(Verily, the number of months with Allah…), is connected to

(so wrong not yourselves therein), “In all (twelve) months. Allah then chose four out of these months and made them sacred, emphasizing their sanctity, making sinning in them greater, in addition to, multiplying rewards of righteous deeds during them.” Qatadah said about Allah’s statement,

(so wrong not yourselves therein), “Injustice during the Sacred Months is worse and graver than injustice in other months. Verily, injustice is always wrong, but Allah makes things graver than others as He will.” He also said, “Allah has chosen some of His creation above others. He chose Messengers from angels and from men. He also chose His Speech above all speech, the Masajid above other areas of the earth, Ramadan and the Sacred Months above all months, Friday above the other days and Laylatul-Qadr (The Night of Decree) above all nights. Therefore, sanctify what Allah has sanctified, for doing so is the practice of people of understanding and comprehension.”

Fighting in the Sacred Months.

Allah said,

(and fight against the idolators collectively), all of you,

(as they fight against you collectively.), all of them,

(But know that Allah is with those who have Taqwa), and know that initiating battle during the Sacred Months is forbidden. Allah said in other Ayat,

(O you who believe! Violate not the sanctity of the symbols of Allah, nor of the sacred month.) (5:2),

(The Sacred Month is for the Sacred Month, and for the prohibited things, there is the law of equality (Qisas). Then whoever transgresses the prohibition against you, you transgress likewise against him) (2:194), and,

(Then when the Sacred Months have passed, kill the idolators…) (9:5). As for Allah’s statement,

(And fight against the idolators collectively as they fight against you collectively), it includes permission for the believers to fight the idolators in the Sacred Month, if the idolators initiate hostilities therein. Allah said in other Ayat,

(The Sacred Month is for the Sacred Month, and for the prohibited things, there is the law of equality (Qisas)) (2:194), and,

(And fight not with them at Al-Masjid Al-Haram, unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them.) (2:191). As for the Messenger of Allah laying siege to At-Ta’if until the Sacred Month started, it was a continuation of the battle against Hawazin and their allies from Thaqif. They started the fighting and gathered their men for the purpose of conducting war. The Messenger of Allah marched to meet them and when they took refuge in At-Ta’if, the Prophet laid siege to them so that they descend from their forts, but they inflicted casualties on Muslims. The siege continued for about forty days, during which a Sacred Month began, and the siege continued for several days in that month. The Messenger broke the siege and went back (to Makkah). So fighting that carries over into it (the Sacred Month) is not the same as initiating warfare during it, Allah knows best.

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Ruling on fighting during the sacred months.

I take refuge with Allaah, the Exalted, from the accursed devil.

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem: In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Welcome to my blog and praise the Magnificent Lord as you enter: Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Greatest .

May the Peace and Blessings of Allah Azza wa Jal, our Lord Glorified and Praised be He, be upon our beloved  Prophet, his Family, and Companions.

Ruling on fighting during the sacred months: Dhul-Qa’ da, Dhul-Hijja, Muharram, and Rajab.

يَسْـَلُونَكَ عَنِ الشَّهْرِ الْحَرَامِ قِتَالٍ فِيهِ قُلْ قِتَالٌ فِيهِ كَبِيرٌ وَصَدٌّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَكُفْرٌ بِهِ وَالْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَإِخْرَاجُ أَهْلِهِ مِنْهُ أَكْبَرُ عِندَ اللَّهِ وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَكْبَرُ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ وَلاَ يَزَالُونَ يُقَـتِلُونَكُمْ حَتَّى يَرُدُّوكُمْ عَن دِينِكُمْ إِنِ اسْتَطَاعُواْ وَمَن يَرْتَدِدْ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَيَمُتْ وَهُوَ كَافِرٌ فَأُوْلـئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَـلُهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالاٌّخِرَةِ وَأُوْلـئِكَ أَصْحَـبُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدُونَ

(217. They ask you concerning fighting in the Sacred Months. Say, “Fighting therein is a great (transgression) but a greater (transgression) with Allah is to prevent mankind from following the way of Allah, to disbelieve in Him, to prevent access to Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah), and to drive out its inhabitants, and Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.” And they will never cease fighting you until they turn you back from your religion (Islamic Monotheism) if they can. And whosoever of you turns back from his religion and dies as a disbeliever, then his deeds will be lost in this life and in the Hereafter, and they will be the dwellers of the Fire. They will abide therein forever.)

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُواْ وَجَـهَدُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أُوْلـئِكَ يَرْجُونَ رَحْمَةَ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

 (218. Verily, those who have believed, and those who have emigrated (for Allah’s religion) and have striven hard in the way of Allah, all these hope for Allah’s mercy. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.)

 Surah 2 Al Baqarah Verse 217-218

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

The Nakhlah Military Maneuvers, and the Ruling on Fighting during the Sacred Months.

Ibn Abu Hatim reported that Jundub bin `Abdullah said: Allah’s Messenger assembled a group of men under the command of Abu `Ubaydah bin Jarrah. When he was about to march, he started crying for the thought of missing Allah’s Messenger . Consequently, the Messenger relieved Abu `Ubaydah from command, appointed `Abdullah bin Jahsh instead, gave him some written instructions and commanded him not to read the instructions until he reached such and such area. He also said to `Abdullah:

(Do not compel any of your men to continue marching with you thereafter.)

When `Abdullah read the instructions, he recited Istirja` (saying, `Truly! to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return’; and refer to (2:156)) and said, “I hear and obey Allah and His Messenger.” He then told his companions the story and read the instructions to them, and two men went back while the rest remained. Soon after, they found Ibn Hadrami (one of the disbelievers of Quraysh) and killed him not knowing that that day was in Rajab or Jumadi (where Rajab is the Sacred Month). The polytheists said to the Muslims, “You have committed murder in the Sacred Month.” Allah then revealed:

 (They ask you concerning fighting in the Sacred Months. Say, “Fighting therein is a great (transgression)…”)

Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, who compiled the Sirah (life story of the Prophet ), related that Ziyad bin `Abdullah Bakka’i said that Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar Al-Madani wrote in his book on the Sirah, “Allah’s Messenger sent `Abdullah bin Jahsh bin Riyab Al-Asadi in Rajab, after he (the Prophet ) came back from the first battle of Badr. The Prophet sent eight people with him, all from among the Muhajirun and none from the Ansar. He also gave him some written instructions and ordered him not to read them until he marched for two days. `Abdullah should then read the instructions and march to implement them, but should not force any of those who were with him to accompany him.

The companions of `Abdullah bin Jahsh were all from the Muhajirun, from the tribe of Banu `Abd Shams bin `Abd Manaf, there was Abu Hudhayfah bin `Utbah bin Rabi`ah bin `Abd Shams bin `Abd Manaf. From their allies, there was `Abdullah bin Jahsh, who was the commander of the army unit, and `Ukkashah bin Mihsan from the tribe of Banu Asad bin Khuzaymah. From the tribe of Banu Nawfal bin `Abd Manaf, there was `Utbah bin Ghazwan bin Jabir, one of their allies. From the tribe of Banu Zuhrah bin Kilab, there was Sa`d bin Abu Waqqas. From Banu Ka`b, there were their allies: `Adi bin `Amr bin Ar-Rabi`ah not from the tribe of Ibn Wa’il; Waqid bin `Abdullah bin `Abd Manaf bin `Arin bin Tha`labah bin Yarbu` from Banu Tamim; and Khalid bin Bukair from the tribe of Banu Sa`d bin Layth, Suhayl bin Bayda’ from Banu Al-Harith bin Fihr was also among them. When `Abdullah bin Jahsh marched for two days, he opened and read the (Prophet’s) instructions, “When you read these instructions, march until you set camp at Nakhlah between Makkah and At-Ta’if. There, watch the movements of the caravan of Quraysh and collect news about them for us.” When `Abdullah bin Jahsh read the document, he said, “I hear and obey.” He then said to his companions, “Allah’s Messenger has commanded me to march forth to Nakhlah to watch the movements of the caravan of Quraysh and to inform him about their news. He has prohibited me from forcing any of you (to go with me). So, those who seek martyrdom, they should march with me. Those who dislike the idea of martyrdom, let them turn back. Surely, I will implement the command of Allah’s Messenger .” He and his companions continued without any of them turning back.

`Abdullah entered the Hijaz area (western Arabia) until he reached an area called Buhran, close to Furu`. There, Sa`d bin Abu Waqqas and `Utbah bin Ghazwan lost the camel that they were riding in turns, and they went back to search for it while `Abdullah bin Jahsh and the rest of his companions continued until they reached Nakhlah. Then, a caravan belonging to the Quraysh passed by carrying raisins, food stuff and some trade items for the Quraysh. `Amr bin Hadrami, whose name was `Abdullah bin `Abbad, was in the caravan, as well as `Uthman bin `Abdullah bin Al-Mughirah and his brother Nawfal bin `Abdullah from the tribe of Makhzum, and Al-Hakam bin Kaysan, a freed slave of Hisham bin Al-Mughirah. When they saw the Companions they were frightened, but when they saw `Ukkashah bin Mihsan their fears subsided, since his head was shaved. They said, “These people seek the `Umrah, so there is no need to fear them.”

The Companions conferred among themselves. That day was the last day in the (sacred) month of Rajab. They said to each other, “By Allah! If you let them pass, they will soon enter the Sacred Area and take refuge in it from you. If you kill them, you will kill them during the Sacred Month.” They at first hesitated and did not like to attack them. They then began encouraging themselves and decided to kill whomever they could among the disbelievers and to confiscate whatever they had. Hence, Waqid bin `Abdullah At-Tamimi shot an arrow at `Amr bin Al-Hadrami and killed him. `Uthman bin `Abdullah and Al-Hakam bin Kaysan gave themselves up, while Nawfal bin `Abdullah was able to outrun them in flight. Later on, `Abdullah bin Jahsh and his companions went back to Allah’s Messenger in Al-Madinah with the caravan and the two prisoners. Ibn Ishaq went on: I was told that some members of the family of `Abdullah bin Jahsh said that `Abdullah said to his companions: “Allah’s Messenger will have one-fifth of what we have confiscated.” This occurred before Allah required one-fifth for His Messenger from the war booty. So, `Abdullah designated one-fifth of the caravan for Allah’s Messenger and divided the rest among his companions. Ibn Ishaq also stated that at first, when the Sariyah came back to Allah’s Messenger , he said to them:

(I have not commanded you to conduct warfare during the Sacred Month. )

He left the caravan and the two prisoners alone and did not take any share of the war booty.

When Allah’s Messenger did that, the soldiers from the attack were concerned and felt that they were destroyed, and their Muslim brethren criticized them for what they did. The Quraysh said that Muhammad and his Companions violated the sanctity of the Sacred Month and shed blood, confiscated property and took prisoners during it. Those who refuted them among the Muslims who remained in Makkah replied that the Muslims had done that during the month of Sha`ban (which is not a sacred month). Meanwhile, the Jews were pleased about what happened to Allah’s Messenger . They said, ` Amr bin Hadrami was killed by Waqid bin `Abdullah: `Amr, means the war has started, Hadrami means the war has come, as for Waqid (bin `Abdullah): the war has raged (using some of the literal meanings of these names to support their fortune-telling!).” But, Allah made all that turn against them.

The people continued talking about this matter, then Allah revealed to His Messenger :

(They ask you concerning fighting in the Sacred Months. Say, “Fighting therein is a great (transgression) but a greater (transgression) with Allah is to prevent mankind from following the way of Allah, to disbelieve in Him, to prevent access to Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah), and to drive out its inhabitants, and Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.)

This Ayah means, `If you had killed during the Sacred Month, they (disbelievers of Quraysh) have hindered you from the path of Allah and disbelieved in it. They also prevented you from entering the Sacred Mosque, and expelled you from it, while you are its people,

(…a greater (transgression) with Allah) than killing whom you killed among them. Also:

(…and Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.) means, trying to force the Muslims to revert from their religion and re-embrace Kufr after they had believed, is worse with Allah than killing.’ Allah said:

(And they will never cease fighting you until they turn you back from your religion (Islamic Monotheism) if they can.)

So, they will go on fighting you with unrelenting viciousness.

Ibn Ishaq went on: When the Qur’an touched this subject and Allah brought relief to the Muslims instead of the sadness that had befallen them, Allah’s Messenger took possession of the caravan and the two prisoners. The Quraysh offered to ransom the two prisoners, `Uthman bin `Abdullah and Hakam bin Kaysan. Allah’s Messenger said:

(We will not accept your ransom until our two companions return safely. ) meaning Sa`d bin Abu Waqqas and `Utbah bin Ghazwan, “For we fear for their safety with you. If you kill them, we will kill your people.” Later on, Sa`d and `Utbah returned safely and Allah’s Messenger accepted the Quraysh’s ransom for their prisoners. As for Al-Hakam bin Kaysan, he became Muslim and his Islam strengthened. He remained with Allah’s Messenger until he was martyred during the incident at Bir Ma`unah (when the Prophet sent seventy Companions to Najd to teach them Islam, but Banu Sulaim killed them all except two). As for `Uthman bin `Abdullah, he went back to Makkah and died there as a disbeliever.

Ibn Ishaq went on: When `Abdullah bin Jahsh and his companions were relieved from their depressing thoughts after the Qur’an was revealed about this subject, they sought the reward of the fighters (in Allah’s way). They said, “O Messenger of Allah! We wish that this incident be considered a battle for us, so that we gain the rewards of the Mujahidin.” Then, Allah revealed:

(Verily, those who have believed, and those who have emigrated (for Allah’s religion) and have striven hard in the way of Allah, all these hope for Allah’s mercy. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)

Hence, Allah has greatly elevated their hopes of gaining what they had wished for.

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