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This universe as we all know is a creation of Allah, alone. However, some places are considered to be relatively more sacred and celestial than the rest, namely; Makkah and Madinah, as they carry far more significance from all aspects, owing to their origins and history.
Likewise, amid Islamic calendars, there are some months that call for a greater degree of veneration. For instance, the 7th month of Islamic lunar calendar, ‘Rajab’ is believed to be one of the most consecrated month besides Moharram and Ramadhan.
Moreover, Rajab is also a prelude to the month of Ramazan, because Ramazan rolls in soon after the intervening month of Shaban.
Henceforth, when the Holy Prophet (PBUH) sighted the moon of Rajab, he used to pray to Allah in the following words:
“O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Shaban blessed for us, and let us reach month of Ramazan (ie prolong our life up to Ramazan, so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings).”
It is generally believed that the remarkable event of Miraj (ascension of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to the heavens) took place in the night of 27th of Rajab. Therefore, some people celebrate the night as “Lailatul- Miraj” (the night of ascension to heavens).
However, no specific way of worship has been prescribed by the Shari’ah in this month.
Indeed, the event of mai’raj was one of the most remarkable episodes in the life of our beloved Holy Prophet (PBUH). He was called by Almighty Allah. He travelled from Makkah to Baitul-Maqdis and from there he ascended the heavens through the miraculous power of Allah.
He was honored with a direct confrontation with Allah at a place where even the angels had no access. This was the unique honor conferred by Allah to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) alone.
This indeed was the climax of a spiritual progress, which till date has not been attained by anybody except him. No doubt the night in which he was blessed with this unparalleled honor was one of the greatest nights in the history of this world.
The Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) did not prescribe any festival or any celebration to commemorate an event from the past, however remarkable it might have been.
Shariah has not prescribed any specific way to observe the month of Rajab or to perform a specific mode of worship or a ritual in any one of its dates. However, being a prologue to the month of Ramazan, it should be availed of for preparing oneself for Ramazan and one should pray Allah to make him reach the blessed month and to benefit from its unique merits.
“Allaahumma baarik lanaa fi rajaba wa sha’baana wa ballighnaa ramadhaan.”
“Oh Allah! Grant us blessings in the months of Rajab and Sha’baan and take us forth to Ramadhaan.’
This du’a should be recited regularly during the months of Rajab and Sha’baan.
In order to enter Ramadaan in the best possible manner, one has to prepare himself in the months of Rajab and Sha’baan. It has been said that Rajab is the month to sow the seeds of good actions, Sha’baan is the month in which we should water those seeds and Ramadaan is the month in which we reap the harvest.
When Sa’eed bin Jubair was asked about fasting during Rajab he said that Ibn Abbaas (radiyallaahu’anhu) told that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to fast to such an extent that they thought that he would never break his fast and then he would go without fasting to such an extent that they thought he would never fast. [Sunan Abu Dawud]
The Significance of Rajab is as follows:
- When the moon is sighted on the first night of Rajab, it is among the most sacred nights. During this night Allah accepts the prayers and supplications of His beings.
The night is so sacred that Hazrat Ibna Soolki prayed to Allah to bestow him with death on the first night of Rajab.
- According to Kitabul Barkaat, individuals who fast on the first Thursday that arrives after the moon is seen will gain a place in Paradise as a reward.
- According to the Prophet (PBUH), one who observes one fast during the month of Rajab will gain rewards similar to if one has fasted for forty years.
- Moreover, the Prophet (PBUH) says that, “In Paradise there is a canal named ‘Rajab’. Its water is whiter than milk, cooler than ice and sweeter than honey. The one who observes even a single fast in Rajab, he/she will be entitled to drink its water.” [Quran 47: 15]
- The month of Rajab is so sacred that the Prophet (PBUH) said that if any Muslim man or woman observes fast for one day and spends the whole night worshipping Allah in the month of Rajab, Allah will write worshipping worth a year in his or her book of deeds.
- For those who are sick and cannot fast during the month of Rajab, the Prophet recommended them to fast on the first, fifteenth and the last day of the month of Rajab. This will allow them to gain rewards for the complete month of Rajab.
- For all those who cannot fast during the month, they can give charity or bread to the needy for every day of the month.
This shows that Rajab is a sacred month that offers many rewards. As a Muslim, it is best to take advantage of the blessings of this month.
In a nutshell, the month of Rajab should be availed as a golden opportunity to reap as many benefits as possible. Worshipping Allah almighty during the month can help one gain incredible rewards and these rewards can simply be gained by reciting Quran.
At times, people also learn the Holy Quran during the special month of Rajab to accumulate more of positive deeds in their deed book. It is a month during which Allah promises to listen to the prayers of his beings, forgive the sinners and reward those who managed to repent on their sins. During this month, Allah also does not reject any plea. Therefore, being a Muslim, make sure you use this month in a fruitful way.
Abd al-Rahman al-Jazai’ri in his book al-Fiqh `ala al-madhahib al-arba` (Islamic law according to the Four Schools) in the chapter entitled “Fasting Rajab, Sha`ban and the Rest of the Holy Months” states:
“Fasting the months of Rajab and Sha`ban is recommended (mandub) as agreed upon by three of the Imams, while the Hanbalis differed in that they said fasting Rajab singly is disliked, except if one breaks the fast during it then it is not disliked. Regarding the holy months Dhul Qi`da, Dhul-Hijja, Muharram, and Rajab fasting them is recommended according to three of the Imams, while the Hanafis differed in that they said what is recommended in the Holy months is to fast three days from each of them, which are Thursday, Friday and Saturday.” (1:557)