The month of Rajab
to Allaah, the One, the Subduer, and blessings and peace be upon the Chosen
Prophet and upon his good and pure family and companions.
to Allaah Who says (interpretation of the meaning):
your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses” [al-Qasas 28:68].
The attribute of choosing or selecting is indicative of His Lordship and
Oneness, and of the perfection of His Wisdom, Knowledge and Power.
of His choosing and preferring is the fact that He has chosen some days and
months and given them preference over others. Among the months, Allaah has
chosen four which He has made sacred, as He says (interpretation of the
“Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve
months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allaah on the Day when He created the
heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred. That is the right religion, so
wrong not yourselves therein…” [al-Tawbah 9:36]
months are calculated according to the movements of the moon, not the movements
of the sun, as the kuffaar do.
Months are mentioned by implication in the Qur’aan, but their names are not
given. Their names are mentioned in the Sunnah:
reported from Abu Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet SAWS
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave his Farewell Sermon and said:
“Time has completed its cycle and is as it was on the Day when Allaah created
the heavens and the earth. The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred,
three consecutive months – Dhoo’l-Qa’dah, Dhoo’l-Hijjah and Muharram – and the
Rajab of Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha’baan.”
(Reported by al-Bukhaari, no. 1741, in [Kitaab]
al-Hajj, al-Khutbah Ayaam Mina; and by Muslim, no. 1679, in [Kitaab]
al-Qisaamah, Baab Tahreem al-Dimaa’).
It was called Rajab of Mudar because [the tribe of] Mudar
did not tamper with its timing, unlike the rest of the Arabs, who used to tamper
with the months and change their order depending on whether they were in a state
of war or not. This was the postponing referred to in the aayah (interpretation
of the meaning):
postponing (of a Sacred Month) is indeed an addition to disbelief: thereby the
disbelievers are led astray, for they make it lawful one year and forbid it
another year in order to adjust the number of months
forbidden by Allaah, and make such forbidden ones lawful.” [al-Tawbah 9:37]
It was also said that the reason why it was attributed
to Mudar was because they venerated it and respected it so much, so it was
attributed to them.
reason why it is so called.
said in Mu’jam Maqaayees al-Lughah (p. 445):
Ra’, jeem and ba’ form a root which indicates supporting and
strengthening something with another thing. … Hence the phrase “Rajabtu’l-shay’”
means I venerated it… It was called Rajab because they used to venerate it, and
it is also venerated in Sharee’ah.
The people of the Jaahiliyyah used to call Rajab
Munassil al-Asinnah [the one that causes the sharp heads of weapons to be
taken off], as it was reported that Abu Rajaa’ al-‘Ataaridi said:
We would a
rock, then if we found a better rock we would throw the first one aside and
adopt the other. If we could not find a rock, we would make a pile of dirt, then
we would bring a ewe and milk it over the pile of dirt, then we would do tawaaf
around it. When the month of Rajab came, we would say Munassil al-Asinnah
[the one that causes the sharp heads of weapons to be taken off], and we would
not leave any spear or arrow that had an iron piece in it but we would take the
metal head off and put it aside during the month of Rajab.
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari).
said: the people of the jaahiliyyah used to venerate these sacred months,
especially the month of Rajab, and they would not fight during this month.
Rajab is a sacred month
months have a special status, which applies also to Rajab because it is one of
these sacred months. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Violate not the sanctity of the
Symbols of Allaah, nor of the Sacred Month…” [al-Maa’idah 5:2]
do not violate their sanctity which Allaah has commanded you to respect and
forbidden you to violate, for this prohibition includes both vile deeds and vile
(interpretation of the meaning):
wrong not yourselves therein…” [al-Tawbah 9:36]
meaning, in the Sacred Months. The pronoun here [translated here as “therein”]
refers to these four sacred months, as stated by the Imaam of the Mufassireen,
Ibn Jareer al-Tabari (may Allaah have mercy on him).
should pay attention to the sanctity of these four months, because Allaah has
singled them out for a special status and has forbidden us to commit sins out of
respect for their sanctity, for sins committed at this time are even worse,
because of the sanctity of the time which Allaah has made sacred. Hence in the
aayah quoted above, Allaah has forbidden us to wrong ourselves even though this
– i.e., wronging ourselves, which includes committing sins – is forbidden during
all the months of the year.
Fighting during the sacred months
(interpretation of the meaning):
“They ask you concerning fighting in the sacred months.
Say: fighting therein is a great (transgression)…” [al-Baqarah 2:217]
majority of scholars state that (the prohibition of) fighting in the sacred
months is abrogated by the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
when the sacred months have passed, then kill the Mushrikeen wherever you find
them…” [al-Tawbah 9:5], and other
aayat and reports which are general in application and which include commands to
Others say: it is not permissible to initiate fighting
during the sacred months, but it is permissible to continue and conclude
fighting, if it started at a different time. The fighting of the Prophet SAWS
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) against the people of al-Taa’if is
interpreted in this way, because the fighting had begun at Hunayn in Shawwaal.
does not apply to fighting in self-defence. If the enemy attacks the Muslim
lands, it is obligatory for the inhabitants to defend themselves, whether that
happens during a sacred month or not.
Al-‘Ateerah (a kind of sacrifice)
Jaahiliyyah, the Arabs used to slaughter a sacrifice during Rajab as an act of
worship towards their idols.
came, teaching that sacrifices were to be offered only to Allaah, this deed of
the Jaahiliyyah was abolished. The fuqaha’ differed as to the rulings on
offering sacrifices during Rajab. The majority of Hanafis, Maalikis and Hanbalis
stated that the sacrifice of al-‘Ateerah was abrogated. Their evidence was the
hadeeth, “There is no Fir’ and no ‘Ateerah”, narrated by
al-Bukhaari and Muslim from Abu Hurayrah.
Shaafa’is said that al-‘Ateerah had not been abrogated, and they regarded
it as mustahabb (recommended). This was also the view of Ibn Seereen.
Ibn Hajar said: this is supported by the hadeeth narrated
by Abu Dawood, al-Nisaa’i, and Ibn Maajah, and classed as saheeh by al-Haakim
and Ibn al-Mundhir, from Nubayshah, who said:
called out to the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him): We used to offer the sacrifice of al-‘Ateerah during the Jaahiliyyah
in the month of Rajab. What do you command us to do? He said, Offer sacrifices,
no matter which month is it…
said: the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
did not abolish it in principle, but he abolished the idea of making this
sacrifice especially in Rajab.
Fasting in Rajab
There is no
saheeh report from the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
or from the Sahaabah to indicate that there is any particular virtue in fasting
that is prescribed in Rajab is the same as that prescribed in other months,
namely fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, and the three days of al-Beed, fasting
alternate days, and fasting Sirar al-Shahr. Some of the scholars said
that Sirar al-Shahr refers to the beginning of the month; others said
that it refers to the middle or end of the month. ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased
with him) used to forbid fasting in Rajab because it involved resemblance to the
Jaahiliyyah. It was reported that Kharashah ibn al-Harr said: I saw ‘Umar
smacking the hands of those who fasted in Rajab until they reached out for food,
and he was saying, This is a month which was venerated in the Jaahiliyyah.
(al-Irwaa’, 957; al-Albaani said:
it is saheeh).
Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim said: the Prophet SAWS (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not fast for three consecutive months
(i.e., Rajab, Sha’baan and Ramadaan) as some people do, and he never fasted
Rajab at all, nor did he encourage people to fast this month.
ibn Hajar said in Tabayyun al-‘Ajab bimaa wurida fi Fadl Rajab:
No saheeh hadeeth that may be used as evidence has been
narrated concerning the virtues of the month of Rajab or fasting this month or
fasting in any specific part of it, or observing Qiyaam al-Layl specifically
during this month. Imaam Abu Ismaa’eel al-Harawi al-Haafiz has already stated
this before me, and we have narrated this from others also.
al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah it states: with regard to fasting specifically in Rajab,
we do not know of any basis in Sharee’ah for doing that.
ahaadeeth indicate that the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) did not do ‘Umrah during Rajab, as it was narrated that Mujaahid said:
‘Urwah ibn al-Zubayr and I entered the mosque, and there was ‘Abd-Allaah ibn
‘Umar sitting near the room of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her). He
was asked, “How many times did the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) do ‘Umrah?” He said, “Four times, and one of them was in
Rajab.” We did not want to argue with him. We could hear ‘Aa’ishah Umm
al-Mu’mineen brushing her teeth (i.e., the sound of the miswaak) in her room.
‘Urwah said, “O Mother of the Believers, did you not hear what Abu ‘Abd
al-Rahmaan is saying?” She said, “What is he saying?” He said, “He is saying
that the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
did ‘Umrah four times, one of them in Rajab.” She said, “May Allaah have mercy
on Abu ‘Abd al-Rahmaan, [the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him)] never did ‘Umrah but he witnesses it (i.e., he was present with him), and
he never did ‘Umrah during Rajab.” (Agreed
reported by Muslim that Ibn ‘Umar heard this and did not say yes or no.
Al-Nawawi said: the fact that Ibn ‘Umar remained silent when ‘Aa’ishah denied
what he said indicates that he was confused, or had forgotten, or was uncertain.
Hence it is an innovated bid’ah to single out Rajab for making ‘Umrah and to
believe that doing ‘Umrah in Rajab has a specific virtue. Nothing to that effect
has been narrated, besides the fact that the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) is not reported to have made ‘Umrah during Rajab at all.
ibn Ibraaheem al-‘Attaar (d. 724 AH) said:
One of the things that I have heard about the people of
Makkah – may Allaah increase it in honour – is that they do ‘Umrah frequently
during Rajab. This is something for which I know of no basis, all I know is that
it was reported in the hadeeth that the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “ ‘Umrah in Ramadaan is equivalent to
Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his Fataawaa:
singling out some of the days of Rajab for any kind of good deed, ziyaarah
(visiting the House of Allaah, the Ka’bah) or anything else, there is no basis
for this, because Imaam Abu Shaamah stated in his book al-Bida’
wa’l-Hawaadith: specifying acts of worship at times that were not specified
by sharee’ah is wrong; no time is to be regarded as better than any other except
in cases where the sharee’ah gave preference to a certain act of worship at a
certain time, or stated that any good deed done at this time is better than good
deeds done at other times. Hence the scholars denounced the practice of singling
out the month of Rajab for doing ‘Umrah frequently.
But if a
person goes for ‘Umrah during Rajab without believing that this has any
particular virtue and because it is just a coincidence that it is easier for him
to go at this time, then there is nothing wrong with that.
Bid’ah and innovations in the month of Rajab
in religion is one of the serious matters which go against the Book of Allaah
and the Sunnah. The Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did
not die until after the religion had been perfected. Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning):
“… This day, I have perfected your religion for you,
completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion…”
reported that ‘Aa’isha (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: the Messenger of
Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates
something in this matter of ours which is not a part of it, will have it
rejected.” (Agreed upon).
to a report narrated by Muslim: “Whoever does an action which is not a part of
this matter of ours will have it rejected.”
have innovated a number of practices in Rajab, including the following:
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. 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.
It was reported that major events happened in the month of Rajab, but
none of these reports are true. It was reported that the Prophet SAWS (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) was born on the first night of Rajab, and that
he received his Mission on the twenty-seventh, or twenty-fifth of this month.
None of this is correct. 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. Some celebrations are accompanied by haraam things such as mixing
of men and women, singing and music, all of which are not permitted on the two
Eids which are prescribed in Islam, let alone innovated celebrations. Add to
that the fact that 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 the kind has been reported from the Prophet SAWS
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from his companions, may Allaah
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. May
Allaah help us.
Salaat Umm Dawood halfway through Rajab.
The du’aa’s which are recited specifically during Rajab are all
fabrications and innovations.
Visiting graves specifically in Rajab is bid’ah, because graves are to be
visited at any time of the year.
Allaah to make us of those who venerate the things that He has made sacred and
adhere to the Sunnah of the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) outwardly and inwardly, for He is the One Whom we should ask and He is Able
to do that. And the close of our request is: praise be to Allaah, the Lord of
‘Aalameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists).