With Rajab sitting extremely close to the month of Ramadhan, its significance and virtues often go neglected by many Muslims. Regarded as one of the four sacred months, Rajab is a superb month to start thinking about the exciting prospects of Ramadhan.
We all know that there is no successful endeavour without a plan. Ramadhan, just like other great endeavours, can end up becoming a tough and unspiritual experience if we enter it without forethought and planning.
Rajab is by far, one of the best months to start thinking about Ramadhan and start planning for its arrival.
Rajab is often seen as a month in which substantial planning for Ramadhan begins. Scholars of the past would time and again recommend Muslims begin thinking about how one would enter the blessed month by reflecting on one’s spiritual state. It is perhaps for this reason that Imam Abu Bakr al-Warraq al-Balkhi mentioned, “Rajab is a month of cultivation, Shyaaban is the month of irrigating the fields, and Ramadan is the month of reaping and harvesting.”
Why Is Rajab So Special?
There are several reasons why Rajab is regarded as a special month. Referred to as ‘Rajab al Fard’ or ‘Rajab the Separate One’, the month was regarded as sacred as it allowed for people’s safety as they performed ‘Umrah. Therefore, the ultimate goal for its significance was so that pilgrims were able to move to and from Makkah as they intended to perform the lesser pilgrimage.
Rajab is also considered the month of Allah. In one hadith, the Prophet ﷺ mentioned, ‘Rajab is the month of Allah, Sha‘ban is my month and Ramadan is the month of my Ummah’. [Suyuti]
Rajab was also the month in which the parents of the Prophet ﷺ married and in which his mother, Aminah became pregnant with him.
But beyond all this, Rajab is the month in which the miraculous Night Journey (Isra and Miraj) took place. It was during this journey that the Prophet ﷺ returned with the gift of five daily prayers and the last two verses of Surah Baqarah.
The month of Rajab is also known as the month of immense blessings and sincere repentance. With the hope of Ramadhan, Muslims have always used Rajab as a way to increase their good deeds and start from scratch.
What to do in the month Rajab
Whilst there are no specified acts of worship to perform during this holy month, Muslims should avail of the opportunity, knowing that Ramadhan is moments away.
Seeking forgiveness should be the primary concern in Rajab as the month is a month of repentance. It was for this reason that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Seek much forgiveness (from Allah) in Rajab because in every hour (of the month) Allah frees people from the Fire.” [Daylami]
The act of seeking forgiveness and repenting to Allah has been meticulously explained in many prophetic traditions. In evoking a sense of hope, the month of Rajab affords a believer the chance to make amends and unload the burden of sins before Ramadhan. In one hadith, the Prophet ﷺ mentioned, “O people, repent to Allah for truly I repent to Allah in every day and night seventy (or one hundred) times.” [Muslim] In another, he ﷺ said, “O son of Adam, if your sins were so numerous that they reached the heavens and then you sought My forgiveness I would forgive you and it is nothing to Me.” [Tirmidhi]
The second thing one should try doing is fasting. Fasting was recommended by the Prophet ﷺ, especially in Rajab. As these months lead up to Ramadhan, it becomes easier to prepare and get ourselves ready to fast and connect with the Qur’an.
What To Say When Rajab Commences
When the month of Rajab begins, it is recommended to make the following supplication:
«اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي رَجَبٍ وَشَعْبَانَ وَبَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَانَ»
“O God, bless us in Rajab and Sha’ban and bring us to Ramadan.”
The sacred month of Rajab commenced on Monday 23rd January.