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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rajab (The 7th Month) - Benefits & Information

In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful

Rajab (The 7th Month) - Benefits & Information

by Sheikh Abd Al-Qadir Al-Jilani

Excerpts from "Al Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq"
(Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth
)

Introduction

The following are bits and pieces taken from Sheikh Abd Al-Qadir Al-Jilani's Al Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq. Specifically, they are from the fifth discourse. Please note that there are also awesome benefits to be obtained from fasting on the first day of Rajab and performing the ritual prayer of 12 cycles on the first night of Jumma (Thursday Night) in Rajab, between maghreb and isha. However, this information has been left out for now, as these occasions have already passed for this year.

The Excellent Qualities of the Month of Rajab

Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has told us:

"The number of the monthsin the sight of Allah is twelve months. [They were already inscribed] in the Book of Allah on the day when He created the heavens and the earth; four of them are sacred. That is the right religion. So do not wrong yourselves in them...." (9:36)

The occasion (sabab) of the revelation of this verse (ayah) was as follows: The believers (mu'minun) had traveled from Medina to meet the people of Mecca, before that city was conquered by Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), and they said: "We are afraid that the unbelievers [kuffar] of Mecca may engage us in combat during a sacred month [shahr haram]." Allah (Exalted is He) therefore sent down the revelation: "The number of the months in the sight of Allah is twelve months. [They were already inscribed] in the Book of Allah" - i.e. on the Well-Kept Tablet [al-Lawh al-Mahfuz] - "on the day when He created the heavens and the earth; four of them are sacred...."

The names of the four months referred to as sacred are: Rajab, Dhu'l-Qa'da, Dhu'l-Hijja and Muharram. One of these stands in isolation, namely, Rajab, while the other three occur in consecutive sequence [in the Islamic calendar].

In this context, the expression: "That is the right din" means: "...the right and proper computation [hisab]."

As for the sentence: "So do not wrong yourselves in them," the meaning is: "...in the sacred months." Allah (Exalted is He) has applied this prohibition to these four months specifically, in order to make us clearly understand that they deserve particular respect because of the magnitute of their holiness. In other words, it is in order to emphasize their special importance that He mentions them explicitly, rather than any of the other months, in connection with the prohibition of wrongdoing, although wrongdoing is actually forbidden during all the months of the year.

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Fasting in Rajab

As for the name ash-Shahru'l-Mutahhir [The Purifying Month], it is so called because it purifies [yutahhiru] the person who fasts in the course of it, ridding him of his sins and offenses.

Relevant in this context is another traditional report related to us by Shaikh Imam Hibatu'llah ibn al-Mubarak as-Saqati (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him). According to this report, Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

The month of Rajab is a glorious month indeed. If someone has fasted for one day in Rajab, Allah (Exalted is He) will record it in his credit column as the fast of a thousand years. If someone has fasted for two days in Rajab, Allah (Exalted is He) will record it in his credit column as the fast of two thousand years. If someone has fasted for three days in Rajab, Allah (Exalted is He) will record it in his credit column as the fast of three thousand years. If someone has fasted for seven days in Rajab, all the seven gates of Hell [Jahannam] wil be locked to make sure that he stays out of it. If someone has fasted for eight days in Rajab, al the eight gates of the Garden of Paradise will be held open for him, so that he may enter by whichever gate he chooses. If someone has fasted for fifteen days in Rajab, all his bad deeds will be replaced by good deeds, and a crier will call out from heaven above: "Allah has now forgiven you, so use the opportunity to set about good work anew!"

Traditional Reports Concerning the Sacred Month of Rajab

According to a report transmitted by 'Ikrima, on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be well pleased with him and with his father), the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) once said:

Rajab is Allah's month, Sha'ban is my month and Ramadan is the month of my Community.

Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) is also reported as having said:

In the Garden of Paradise there is a river called Rajab, whiter than milk and sweeter than honey. If someone has fasted for one day during the month of Rajab, Allah will let him quench his thirst by drinking from that river.

Anab ibn Malik (may Allah be well pleased with him) is reported as having said: "In the Garden of Paradise there is a palace that no one may enter, with the exception of someone who makes a frequent practice of fasting during the month of Rajab."

According to another traditional report, also transmitted on the authority of Anas [ibn Malik] (may Allah be well pleased with him), Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) once said:

If someone has fasted for three days during the sacred months, on a Thursday, a Friday and a Saturday, Allah will credit him with the worshipful service [ibada] of nine hundred years!

The Merit of Fasting During the 27th Day of Rajab

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) once said:

If someone keeps the fast on the 27th day of Rajab, he will be credited with the same reward as that which is earned by fasting for sixty months.

It was on the 27th day of Rajab, we are told, that Gabriel first came down to invest the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) with his Messengership [Risala].

According to this next report, likewise conveyed to us by Sheikh Hibatu'llah, Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) once said:

Rajab contains a very special day and a very special night. If someone fasts during that day, and keeps vigil throughout that night, he will be entitled to a reward like the one that would be earned by a person who fasted for a hundred years, and who keeps vigil throughout all the nights in that period.

The reference must be to the 27th of Rajab, that being the day on which our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was first dispatched to embark upon his mission.

Sheikh Hibatu'llah (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him) has informed us on good traditional authority, Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) once said:

Rajab is one of the sacred months and its days are inscribed on the sixth gate of Heaven. So, if a man has fasted during one day of this month, and if he has kept his fast completely clean through obedient devotion [taqwa] to Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), the heavenly gate will acquire the faculty of speech, and the day itself will also acquire the faculty of speech, and the two of them will say: "O Lord, forgive him!" But if he has failed to make his fast complete through obedient devotion to Allah (Exalted is He), they will make no such plea for him to be forgiven. They will say, or he will be told by some other voice: "Your own lower self [nafs] has betrayed you!"

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