The special month of Rajab

March 22, 2018

Amal Al-Sibai

Saudi Gazette

Is Rajab truly a special month, or is it a regular month, just like any other month of the lunar calendar? Are there certain religious practices that one must perform in Rajab particularly?

Professor Anahid Sumairi stated that Rajab is indeed a special month; it is one of the four sacred months on the lunar calendar.

As Allah has mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, “Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve (lunar) months in the register of Allah (from) the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them.” (Holy Qur’an 9:36)

The four sacred months are Rajab, Dhu-al-Qadah, Dhu-al-Hijjah, and Muharram.

These months are known as sacred months because in these months, committing sin is graver and more serious than committing sin in other months, keeping in mind that one must avoid sins all year round. At the same time, the rewards for doing good deeds, acts of worship, and kind acts are greater in the sacred months and in the month of Ramadan and in the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah than during other times of the year.

Allah is the All-Wise, and He has chosen these four months as sacred months for reasons we do not necessarily need to understand. There is no benefit in searching for why these months are important or special, or digging in history to find tales that point to the importance of these months. What benefits us is to know what we should be doing during these months to earn more rewards from Allah.

Firstly, it is a matter of the heart. Acknowledge in your heart and mind that Allah has chosen this month as a sacred month, therefore I will increase my righteous deeds. By renewing your intention to be a better practicing Muslim, your good deeds will be multiplied.

The verse in the Qur’an reminds us, “So do not wrong yourselves during them.”

How could a person wrong oneself or oppress oneself? We do this by falling into sin, giving in to physical desires that Allah has forbidden for us, and also by being lazy in performing what Allah has commanded us to do.

At-Tabari defined oppression of oneself as committing sins and abandoning the prescribed acts of worship to Allah.

One must hold oneself accountable all year long, but more so in the sacred months. Rajab is a sacred month, so do not miss the acts of worship ordained upon you by your Lord, such as the five obligatory prayers, giving in charity, being kind to your family and blood relations, inquiring after the wellbeing of your neighbors, and other acts of righteousness. Also, be extremely cautions so as not to commit sins in this sacred month.

There is no special ritual of worship that is to be performed in the month of Rajab, like a new or different prayer. Rather, the Muslim is to perform what Allah has commanded us all year round, but to be more aware, keener, and more careful in performing these acts of worship. No procrastination and no excuses!

Another reason why Rajab is special to Muslims is that it reminds us that Ramadan is very closely approaching, so it is time to increase our acts of worship.

Ways to maximize rewards this Rajab is to perfect your prayers if you have been struggling with the prayers this year. Pray on time, as soon as the call for prayer is heard. Try your best to stay focused during the prayer, push out of your mind all thoughts of business meetings, deadlines, family problems, what you will have for dinner, and other thoughts and worries. Prolong the time you kneel in prostration to your Lord and supplicate to Him.

As the month of Rajab progresses, expect more of yourself in order to gain the extra good deeds that are awarded in this sacred month. The next step is to perform the voluntary prayers or the sunnah prayers. Do not rush off after prayer, remain sitting on your rug for a brief while to praise Allah, glorify Him, thank Him, and seek forgiveness. Read the Ayatul Kursi after every obligatory prayer.

Avoid what I call the bad deed traps, such as talking casually to a friend and then all of a sudden the whole conversation transforms into gossiping and backbiting about other people. Stop yourself and your friend in your tracks, and remember that this is a sacred month. Another bad deed trap is losing your temper. You may be under a lot of stress and someone pushes your buttons and then you explode. Being under pressure does not give us the right to rant and rave and say things that hurt other people’s feelings.

In the sacred month of Rajab, do not neglect the rights of other people; your spouse, children, neighbor, parents, teacher, blood relatives, and the Muslim communities in dire need of our help.

The beautiful part about celebrating the sanctity of this month in this way is that by the time the month is over, you would have developed such good habits, that you will most probably stick to them all year long.

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