By the bounty and grace of Allah SWT (God), we are embarking upon the eve of one of the four sacred months of the Islamic Lunar Calender- Rajab. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
“Rajab is the month of Allah, Sha’ban is my month, and Ramadan is the month of my Ummah (Nation).” The mere fact that it is the month of Allah means that it is made worthy of exalting.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) himself would honor it, and when the month entered he would seek its blessings by saying:
“Oh Allah bless us in Rajab and Sha’ban and enable us to reach Ramadan; whosoever fasts a day in the month of Rajab will be granted the great reward of Ridwan (an angel in heaven); the wrath of Allah shall be distanced and the door of Hell shall be closed.”
Salman Al Farsi, (one of the esteemed companions of our Prophet (pbuh) narrated that the Final Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had said that there is a day in the month of Rajab on which if a person fasts and performs ‘qiyam ul layl’ (night vigil), he will receive rewards like a person who fasted for a 100 years. This night is the 27th night and day of Rajab. This is the day when the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), traveled to Jerusalem and then ascended to the highest Heavens until he was in the presence of Allah SWT.
Prayer recommended by our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on the first night of Rajab:
He (pbuh) stated, “ The person who performs a two rakah salat (two unit prayer) in the first night of the month of Rajab after his Isha (nightly prayers) and in the first rakah recites Surah al-Fatiha, Surah al- Inshirah and Surah al-Ikhlas (three times) and in the second rakah recites Surah al- Fatiha ,Surah al-Inshirah and Surah Falaq and Nas one time each and then performs the rest of the salat with the Tashahud and Salaam and sends prayers upon the Prophet (pbuh) and his family. All of his or her previous sins will be forgiven and he will be like one who was newly born from his mother’s womb with no sins on his record.”
In essence, the importance of Rajab is for anticipation and the preparation of the Holy month of Ramadan. It is also known as the month of istighfar (repentance). The best way of preparing the heart to receive divine gifts is its purification and repentance.
Some of the scholars have compiled special formulae of isthighfar especially for Rajab. Habib Hasan, the son of Imam Abdullah bin Alawi al-Haddad used to recite the following formula 70 times in congregation immediately after Isha prayers every night in Rajab:
“Rabbi’ ghfir li w’ arhamni wa tub ‘alayya.” (Oh Allah forgive me, have mercy upon me, and grant me repentance.”)
Rajab is the month of planting seeds of worship, in Sha’ban you irrigate it with spiritual devotion and Ramadan should be your harvest.
Let’s all pray : “Allahumma barik lana fi Rajab wa Sha’ban wa ballighna Ramadan” (Ahmad)
O Allah! Make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan (prolong our life up to Ramadan), so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings. Ameen!