Eight Things You Never Knew about Rajab

By Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt

What is Rajab?

Rajab is the seventh month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

What does Rajab mean?

Rajab incorporates the meaning of ‘awe’ and ‘honour’.

What is special about Rajab?

It is one of the four sacred months.

The Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings upon him) said, “The year has twelve months, four of which are sacred, three consecutive, Dhū al-Qa’adah, Dhū al-Ḥijjah, Muḥarram and Rajab which comes between Jumādā and Sha’bān.” (Bukhārī)

Is there a supplication to recite in Rajab?

Yes, some sound prophetic narrations suggest the following prayer,

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي رَجَبٍ وَشَعْبَانَ وَبَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَانَ

“O Allāh bless us in Rajab and Sha’bān. Allow us to reach Ramadān.” (Ṭabrānī and Bayhaqī)

How does a believer uphold the sacredness of the Rajab month?

Increase in rendering optional acts of worship and good deeds. Be particular to refrain from committing sin. Avoid all conflicts and disagreements.

“Do not wrong yourselves [by committing sin] during the sacred months.” (Qur‘ān 9:36)

‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Abbās (may Allāh be pleased with him) said, “During the sacred months, sin is more devastating while good deeds and blessings are magnified.” (Ibn Kathīr)

“Allāh has prohibited the wrong [with particular mention] during the sacred months, in honour of them, even though sin is prohibited at all times.” (Tafsīr Qurṭubī)

Are there any exclusive actions or prescribed practices for the month of Rajab?

There are no reliable prophetic reports to indicate specified acts exclusive to Rajab. Hence any optional regular good deeds are praiseworthy.

“There is no authentic reliable ḥadīth reported related to specific virtues of the Rajab month nor regarding specific fasting in it or specific night vigil prayers in it.” (Ḥāfidh Ibn Ḥajar, Laṭāif al-Ma’ārif)

What is the connection of Rajab with Ramadān?

There is no real connection per se, however, some amongst the pious predecessors have indicated that Rajab and Sha’bān are preludes to the month of Ramadān. Hence all kinds of preparation and awareness for Ramadān should commence once Rajab sets in.

“Rajab is the key to months of goodness and blessings.” (Ibn Rajab)

“The month of Rajab is a month of cultivation, Sha’bān is the month of irrigation while Ramadān is the month of harvest. Rajab is like the wind, Sha’bān like the clouds and Ramadān like the downpour of rain.” (Abū Bakr al-Warrāq al-Balkhī)

Is there any link of Rajab and the Prophetic Ascension (Isrā and Me’rāj)?

Contrary to popular belief, most Islamic historians say there is no solid evidence to prove that the Ascension actually took place in the month of Rajab. Therefore, there is no strong connection regarding the month of Rajab and Me’rāj or the 27th of Rajab.

In Fatḥ al-Bārī, Imam Ḥāfidh Ibn Ḥajar (may Allāh’s mercy be with him) writes, “Regarding the actual precise timing of the Prophetic Ascension there are over 10 views. From amongst them are the views that it either occurred in Ramadān, Shawwāl, Rajab, Rabī’ al-Awwal or Rabi’ al-Ākhir.” (Fatḥ al-Bārī)

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