Lessons from Holy Qur'an

Warfare In The Sacred Months


BAQARAH – 2 (The Cow)

Verse –217a of  286, Section – 27 (Part – 2)


They question thee (O Muhammad) with regard to warfare in the sacred months. Say: Warfare therein is a great (transgression).

Yas-‘aluunaka ‘anish- Shahril-Haraami qitaalin-fiih. Qul qitaalun-fiihi kabiir.






‘Ash-Shahrul-Haraamu – (the sacred month) Lunar year has four sacred months; Muharram, Rajab, Zi Qa’dah and Zil-Hajjah. These months were considered very blessed and pure by the Arabs. Even the killing, devastation and militancy were their occupation, but they used to stop every kind of warfare during these four months. Here the month of Rajab signifies particularly towards ‘ash- Shahrul-Haraamu.


Cause of revelation of this verse is that in the 2nd Hijrah once during the journey, a warfare took place between some Companions (may God be pleased with them) of the Holy Messenger (grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon Him) and Idolaters, and one Idolater was killed in the war. To these companions this warfare was fought on 30th of the month of Jamadi-as-saani which wasn’t a sacred month, but after that it was known that the moon of Jamadi-as-saani had become of 29 days, and on which the warfare was fought, that was 1st of Rajab which was a sacred month.


To this error which happened unknowingly, the Infidels and Idolaters extended this news very much and began taunting, “See! Now the Muslims don’t respect these months. They have begun the warfare also in the month of Rajab.” Due to this reason, those Companions attended the court of the Prophet (grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon Him) and asked, “It is happened unintentionally. What we have to do now”. Then this verse was revealed and the Muslims were told that the warfare is a worse thing during the sacred months but it is; when the sin is done intentionally and having the knowledge of the sacred months the warfare is fought. And this battle which the Muslims fought wasn’t fought intentionally but it was their misunderstanding.


The Scholars agree upon this matter that even now whenever the Infidels will begin fighting in the sacred months then the Muslims can fight counter and defensive war to save them, can react on their attack because the human lives are more sacred than the sanctity of these months. It is more necessary to save them. Although to fight in these sacred months is worse but the worst things are those which are done by the Infidels. For example, they don’t believe in Allah Almighty, do worship of more gods instead of the One, do not believe in the Last Day (the Day of Resurrection), spread the sedition and quarrelsome, and exile the people from their houses, because these things are more worse and horrible than the warfare. The Infidels don’t be attentive on their doings themselves. They began taunting the Muslims upon a little unknowingly error.


These matters have been discussed in the next part of this verse which you will read in the next lesson. The Infidels and idolaters don’t see their own behavior but entangle with the Muslims. They are taunting on an unintentional mistake.



Transliteration in Roman Script & English Translation of Holy Qur’an written by Marmaduke Pickthall, Published by Paak Company, 17-Urdu Bazar, Lahore and Paraphrase collected from Dars e Qur’aan published By Idara Islah wa Tableegh, Lahore (translated by Muhammad Sharif)