Rajab is one of the sacred months of which Allah says:
“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.” [At-Tawbah 9:36]
Abu Bakrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred: three consecutive months, Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha’baan.” (Al-Bukhaari (4662) and Muslim (1679))
The sacred months are: Rajab, Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram. These months are called sacred because fighting therein is forbidden unless initiated by the enemy.
Allah has forbidden us to commit sins during these months, as He says: “wrong not yourselves therein” [At-Tawbah 9:36]
Although committing sins is forbidden during these months and at other times, in these months it is more forbidden.
- Al-Sa’di (may Allah have mercy on him) said (in tafsir surat At-Tawbah (ayah 36)):
“In the ayah “wrong not yourselves therein”, the pronoun may be understood as referring to twelve months. Allah states that He has made them a measure of time for His slaves, which they may use for worshipping Him, and thank Allah for His blessings, and they serve the interests of His slaves, so beware of wronging yourselves therein.
The pronoun may also be understood as referring to the four sacred months, and this forbids them to wrong themselves in those months in particular, as well as it being forbidden to do wrong at all times, because it is more forbidden at this time, but it is worse at this time than at others.”
Fasting in Rajab:
With regard to fasting the month of Rajab, there is no saheeh hadeeth to indicate that there is any special virtue in fasting all or part of this month.
- Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa: “As for fasting in Rajab in particular, the ahaadeeth concerning that are all da’eef (weak), and in fact mawdoo’ (fabricated). The scholars do not rely on any of them. They are not among the da’eef ahaadeeth which have been narrated concerning virtues, rather most of them are fabricated and false. In al-Musnad and elsewhere there is a hadeeth which says that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) enjoined fasting the sacred months, namely Rajab, Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, but this has to do with fasting during all of them, not just Rajab.” (1)
- Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Manaar al-Muneef: “Every hadeeth which mentions fasting in Rajab and praying during some of its nights is false and fabricated.” (2)
- Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said in Tabyeen al-‘Ajab: “There is no saheeh hadeeth that would count as evidence which speaks of the virtue of the month of Rajab, or that speaks of fasting this month or part of it, or of spending any particular night of it in prayer.” (3)
- Shaykh Sayyid Saabiq (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Fiqh al-Sunnah: “Fasting in Rajab is no better than fasting in any other month, except that it is one of the sacred months. There is no report in the saheeh Sunnah to suggest that there is anything special about fasting in this month. Whatever has been narrated concerning that is not fit to be quoted as evidence.” (4)
- Shaykh Muhammad salih al-munajid said: “The hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Fast some days of the sacred months and not others.”Has been narrated by Abu Dawood, 2428; and classed as da’eef by al-Albaani in Da’eef Abi Dawood. Even if this hadeeth was saheeh, it indicates that it is mustahabb to fast during the sacred months. So if a person fasts during Rajab because of this, and he also fasts in the other sacred months, there is nothing wrong with that. But singling out Rajab for fasting is not right.”(5)
- The summary is what Imam An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
“However, no authentic hadiths are stated indicating that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) recommended fasting in the month of Rajab, nor did he forbid fasting in it, but fasting in general is recommended.”
Some practices in Rajab with no evidence
Some people have innovated a number of practices in Rajab, such as:
Salaat al-Raghaa’ib. This prayer became widespread after the first and best centuries, especially in the fourth century AH. Some liars fabricated this prayer, which is done on the first night of Rajab or at first Friday night of rajab.
- Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Salaat al-Raghaa’ib is bid’ah according to the consensus of the scholars of religion, such as Maalik, al-Shaafa’i, Abu Haneefah, al-Thawri, al-‘Oozaa’i, al-Layth and others . The hadeeth that is narrated concerning it is a lie according to the consensus of the scholars who have knowledge of hadeeth.”
Al-Israa’ and al Mi’raaj. It was reported with an isnaad that is not saheeh from al-Qaasim ibn Muhammad that the Prophet’s Night Journey (al-Israa’) took place on the twenty-seventh of Rajab. This was denied by Ibraaheem al-Harbi and others.
One of the innovations that take place during this month is the recitation of the story of the Mi’raaj, and celebrations to commemorate it on the twenty-seventh of Rajab, or singling out this night to perform extra acts of worship such as Qiyaam al-Layl or fasting during the day, or rejoicing and celebrating.
There is no proof that the Israa’ and Mi’raaj happened on this date. Even if it were proven, that is no excuse for holding celebrations on this date, because nothing of this has been reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) or from his companions, may Allah be pleased with them, or from any of the Salaf (early generations) of this Ummah. If it were a good thing, they would surely have done it before us.
We ask Allah to make us of those who venerate the things that He has made sacred and adhere to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) outwardly and inwardly, for He is the One Whom we should ask and He is Able to do that.
- Majmoo’ al-Fataawa Ibn Taymiyah (25/290)
- al-Manaar al-Muneef, (p. 96)
- Tabyeen al-‘Ajab (p. 11)
- Fiqh al-Sunnah (1/282)
- Islam question and answer (Muhammad al-munajid)
Written by Shaykh Abou Abdel Rahman