Four Sacred Months Islam
Surah At-Tawbah Ayat 36
Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him]. 9:36
Tafseer Ibn Kathir
The Year consists of twelve months. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Bakrah said that the Prophetﷺ said in a speech during his Hadj, (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 Prophetﷺ 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.
Reasons of its sacredness
The four sacred months were made four, three in succession and one alone, so that the Hadj and Umrah are performed with ease.
Dhul-Qa’dah, the month before the Hadj, 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 Hadj, during which they performed Hadj rituals.
Muharram, which comes next, was made sacred so that they are able to go back to their areas in safety after performing Hadj.
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 to back to their areas safely.
Allah said next, (that 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
Fighting in the Sacred Months:
Allah said, (and fight against the idolaters 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 idolaters…) 9:5.
As for Allah’s statement, (And fight against the idolaters collectively as they fight against you collectively), it includes permission for the believers to fight the idolaters in the Sacred Month, if the idolaters initiate hostilities therein.