The Virtues of the Sacred Month of Rajab

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Bismillahi wa salatu wa salamu ‘ala Rasulillah wa ‘ala jami’il ambiyai wal-mursalin wa ‘ala ahlihi wa sahabihi ajmain, amin.

We offer our Hamd to our Karim Lord, Allahu subhanahu wa ta’ala, for the unique blessing of Iman and for all He has mercifully put in place to ensure our forgiveness and our success on the Day of Hisab. Allahu subhanahu wa ta’ala loves all possessors of Iman. With their guidance to Iman He has extended a ‘hand’ of friendship to them, and with the bond of love established, He also took it upon His majesty to fulfill all rights of friendship due. A reflection over the obligatory and nawafil ibadats as well as many little deeds that give so much rewards and exaltation would reveal how much our Lord and Creator has put in place to raise our rewards, cleanse us of sins and even turn our evils and lapses to good.

The month of Rajab is one of the sacred time selected by Allahu ta’ala to offset our deficit by granting abundance of reward. Our beloved Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa salam) and their pious  heirs and lovers (alaihimu ‘r-ridwan) would make the best of this month, exerting themselves in ibadats and good deeds. This write up is to remind Muslims of the sacredness of this noble months, of the sacred duties in it, and of the rewards attainable by those who sincerely make efforts to win Allah’s mercy in it.

The Hujjatul Islam, al-Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (rahimahullah) quoted the noblest Rasulullah (alaihi ‘s-salam) as saying:

Rajab is the month of Allahu ta’ala, Sha’ban is my month, and Ramadan is the month of my Ummah.

Allahu Akbar! The sacred month of Rajab is so auspicious that Allahu ta’ala chose it specially as His over other months. It is such a unique month that Allah’s special mercy pours down on His creation without measure.

It is said that Rajab is derived from the root ‘at-tarjib’, which means ‘to show respect’, ‘to honour’. It is also referred to as ‘al-Asabb’ because mercy descends in abundance on those who turn to Allahu ta’ala in repentance, and acceptance is granted those who persevere in worship. It is also called ‘al-Assamm’ (the deaf one) because clamours and fighting are not heard in this month, being one of the sacred months in which fighting is prohibited even before Islam. It is also said that Rajab is the name of a river in Jannah (Paradise) whose water is whiter than milk, sweeter than honey and colder than ice. None will drink from it except those who keep fast in this sacred month.

The learned have inferred that Rajab in its Arabic form consists of three letters: rajim and ba. The ‘ra’ represents the rahma (mercy) of Allahu ta’ala, the ‘jim’ stands for jurm and jinayah (the crime and sins) of man. The ‘ba’ that comes last symbolizes birr, the kindness of Allahu ta’ala. So by making Rajab sacred Allahu subhanahu wa ta’ala is placing the sins and crimes of believers between His mercy and kindness.

Some of the pious ancestors (alaihimu ‘r-ridwan) said that Rajab has been valuable since the time of Nabiyy Adam (alaihi ‘s-salam). It had been a sin to war in this month. It is a month that has been respected by all Ummats. Rajab means majestic, great, honoured and valuable. The Persian book Anisul Wa’izin says, ‘During the time of Nabiyy Isa (alaihi ‘s-salam), a youngster fell in love with a lovely girl. He was mad with desire to have her. A long time later he managed to get a date. One night they came together in her room and undressed themselves. The youngster was so happy. Right then he saw the new moon through the window. What month is this? He asked. When the girl said, ‘Rajab’, he suddenly pulled himself together and dressed himself. The girl, astonished, asked what was the matter with him. The youngster answered, ‘l have heard from my parents that we must not sin in the month of Rajab but must respect this month.’Asking for an excuse, he went home. Allahu ta’ala sent wahy (revelation) to Hadrat Isa (alaihi ’s-salam) and informed him with what had happen, and commanding him saying: Visit this youngster and give him my salam (greeting of peace). Being extremely pleased with the fact that a great Prophet had been sent to him owning to the reverence he had paid to Rajab, the youngster accepted Islam and became a good believer. On account of Rajab, he attained the honour of Iman.

Rasulullah (alaihi ’s-salam) said:

Listen! Rajab is the ‘deaf’ month of Allahu ta’ala. He who fasts a single day in Rajab with faith in expectation of reward, has made the pleasure of Allahu ta’ala incumbent on himself.

Sayyidina Anas bn Malik (radiAllahu ‘anh) narrates that Rasulu-Karim (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:

He who keep fast for three days of a sacred month (any one of Dhul Qa’dah, Dhul Hijjah, Maharram and Rajab), Allahu aza wajjall records the reward of 900 years ibadats for him.’ Sayyidina ‘Anas (radiAllahu ‘anh) added: May my ears become deaf if I had not heard this from Rasulullah (alaihi ‘s-salam).

It is related by the learned (alaihimu r-ridwan) that when one third of the night of the first Friday of Rajab passes, there remains no angel who does not seek forgiveness for those fasting in Rajab.

Imam ad-Daylami (rahimahullah) narrates from sayyidina Aisha (radiAllahu ‘anha) who said: I heard the Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) saying:

Allahu ta’ala pours down profuse goodness in four nights; the night of eid adha, the night of eid el-fitr, the 15th of shaban and the first night of Rajab.

Other blessed Ahadith on the sacred month of Rajab are:

  • Rajab is the month of Allahu ta’ala. He who shows honour to the month of Rajab and who respects it will be blessed by Allah in this world and the next.
  • He who respects the first Friday night of Rajab (called Raghaib night) will not be tormented by Allahu ta’ala in the grave. Allahu ta’ala will accept his prayers.
  • There are five nights in which supplications (duas) are not rejected; the first night of Rajab, the 15th night of Sha’ban, the night of Juma’ah and the two nights of eid.

As we have seen, the blessed month of Rajab is sacred and it is a month of profuse adhkar and fasting. However, we  must not raise the status of fasting in this month to the level of wajib (compulsory) or Sunnah mu’akad (emphasized Sunnah), rather we should maintain like the learned of the past, that devotion and fasting in Rajab are mustahab (meritorious) and meritorious ibadats are best kept to oneself for maximum benefit and should not be forced on others. Nawafil mentioned from the Sunnah regarding the days and nights of Rajab are also meritorious and need not throw Muslims into enmity and factions.

May our Karim Lord enable us engage in things positive towards the Akhirah. As alm for the pious ones of the Ummah (alaihimu ‘r-ridwan), may He protect us against arriving Qiyama devoid of virtues and good deeds, amin.