- 1 Virtues of the Month of Rajab
- 2 Names of Rajab
- 3 From the Month of Rajab to the Feast of Ramadan
- 4 Events of Rajab
- 5 The Philosophy of the Sacred Months
- 6 Practices of the Month of Rajab
- 7 Supplications of the Month of Rajab
- 8 Fasting in the Month of Rajab
- 9 Laylat al-Raghaib (The Night of Wishes)
- 10 The Practice of Laylat al-Raghaib
- 11 The Thirteenth of Rajab and the Practices of I’tikaf
- 12 The Practice of Umm Dawood
- 13 The Twenty-Seventh of Rajab
- 14 The Month of Rajab in the Words of the Greats
- 15 Inspirations from the Pen
The month of Rajab, full of blessings and goodness, possesses numerous virtues. The 27th of Rajab marks the Prophet’s ascension, the birth of three immaculate Imams—Imam Ali, Imam Baqir, and Imam Jawad, peace be upon them—and the observance of Aitekaf during the white days in this month. Remembering the martyred leaders, Imam Kazim and Imam Hadi, peace be upon them, as well as Hazrat Zainab, peace be upon her, warms the hearts of believers. The month of Rajab is the greatest month of Allah. No other month matches its stature and virtues, to the extent that even waging war against the infidels is forbidden during it. Be aware that Rajab is the month of God, Sha’ban is my month, and Ramadan is the month of my nation. Whoever fasts for one day in Rajab will earn the pleasure of God, be distanced from His wrath and anger, and one of the gates of Hell will be closed to them.
Virtues of the Month of Rajab
Rajab is a month of self-building and provisioning. The seventh month of the Islamic lunar calendar is named Rajab, a month whose virtues should not be forgotten. Among the twelve months, it uniquely stands alone in sanctity and reverence, not aligned with the other months. In fact, four months are referred to as ‘sacred’ (Hurum) in the Holy Quran, and Rajab is one of these distinguished months, during which fighting and shedding blood are prohibited. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has said: ‘Rajab is the great month of Allah, and no other month equals its sanctity and virtue. Fighting with the infidels during this month is forbidden. Be aware that Rajab is the month of the Lord, Sha’ban is my month, and Ramadan is the month of my Ummah. Whoever fasts even one day during Rajab will please God and will be kept away from Divine wrath.’
The seventh Imam (AS) has stated: ‘Rajab is the name of a river in paradise, whiter than milk and sweeter than honey. Whoever fasts one day of it, God will quench his thirst from that river.’
Names of Rajab
Rajab, due to its various merits and the attention to its spiritual dimensions, also has other names; names such as the Month of Seeking Forgiveness (Shahrul Istighfar), the Singular Month (Rajab al-Fard) due to its standing alone and being separate from the other sacred months, the Overflowing Month (Rajab al-Asabb) due to the abundant descent of Divine mercy, the Month of the Commander of the Faithful, and Asam, meaning endowed with numerous virtues. The month of Rajab is the greatest month of Allah. No other month reaches its stature and virtue, to the extent that even waging war against the infidels is forbidden during it.
From the Month of Rajab to the Feast of Ramadan
The arrival of this month is a great blessing that we should fully benefit from and not allow its days and nights to pass in neglect. Worship and supplication, prayer and fasting, invocation and salutations, and ultimately being mindful of God in this auspicious month, have a different pleasure. Just consider that if we fast for one day of this month with pure intention and heartfelt attention, we will become deserving of the great satisfaction of the Divine. The Prophet of God (PBUH) says: ‘Beware! The month of Rajab and the month of Sha’ban are my months, and the month of Ramadan is the month of my Ummah. Be aware, that whoever fasts a day in the month of Rajab with faith and sincerity, will become deserving of the great pleasure of God, and without a doubt, his fast will diminish the wrath of the Lord and close one of the doors of Hell upon him.’
The month of Rajab is a magnificent and significant month; so much so that even in pre-Islamic Arabia, it was held in special regard. It was known as the month of peace and serenity, and fighting during it was considered forbidden. However, after Islam, it has witnessed many historical days and memories that have doubled its respect and greatness:
On the second day of this month in the year 212 Hijri, the tenth Shiite leader, Imam Ali al-Naqi (AS), was born. On the tenth, in the year 195 Hijri, the birthday of the ninth Imam, Imam Jawad al-Aemmah (AS), is commemorated. On the 25th, the martyrdom of the seventh Imam, Musa bin Ja’far (AS), occurred in the year 183 Hijri in the prison of Harun, after a series of persistent struggles, that wounded the hearts of Muslims. Other significant features that have added to the splendor and greatness of the month of Rajab include the reminder of the magnificent and thrilling memories of the first rays of revelation and the beginning of the mission of the Seal of the Prophets, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
On the 27th of this month, the global mission of Islam, which brought about a comprehensive movement and transformation, first in the Arabian Peninsula and then across the world, began from the ‘Cave of Hira’, a place of contemplation, thought, and worship of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Then its ray embraced the whole world.
The Prophet, who had been immersed in thought and worship for years, contemplating how to resolve the ignorance, pollution, superstitions, and idolatry of his environment and the world, would seek refuge in his special sanctuary on Jabal al-Noor, near a cave named ‘Hira’ to worship. It was as if he was laying the foundation for a major and global mission. While he was engaged in thought and worship like any other day, suddenly the angel of revelation arrived and called upon him to ‘Read!’…
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who had not received any formal education, faced this with incredible astonishment. He looked bewildered at the angel who again commanded: ‘Read: In the name of your Lord who created you, Read…’
Indeed, 14 centuries ago, the Prophet, with the command of the mission and one of the greatest tasks in human history, set out from Hira towards Mecca. He was sent to free humans from the yoke of ignorance, superstitions, and slavery, to stand against corruption and tyranny, and to change the course of human history without resting. And also, on the 13th of this month, inside the House of God, ‘Kaaba’, a child was born from Fatimah bint Asad, who was the house-born of God and a confidant of the Divine.
The newborn of Kaaba, whose father named him ‘Ali’ by divine inspiration. His father, Abu Talib, brought him to Muhammad (PBUH) and he had not opened his eyes until that moment, and for the first time, he opened his eyes to Muhammad. This child was always with Muhammad and stood side by side with him to fulfill the Islamic revolution and his immense heavenly mission, as a devoted warrior, he risked his life, wealth, and personality for the sake of Islam and religion, and skillfully led the great ship of Islam through the tumults of events.
Ali was the manifestation of high human qualities, and with his characteristics, after the Prophet of Islam, he was recognized as the greatest man in human history. He started his life in the House of God, the Kaaba, and ultimately ended his life with his martyrdom in the House of God and the mihrab of worship in the mosque of Kufa.
It is hoped that the Almighty God makes us the true followers of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the people of his household.
The Philosophy of the Sacred Months
Rajab is one of the four sacred months during which fighting and bloodshed are forbidden. Prohibiting warfare during these four months was a way to end prolonged conflicts and a means to call for peace and tranquility; because when warriors lay down their weapons for four months of the year, silencing the clashing of swords, and a chance for reflection and thought arises, the likelihood of ending wars is greatly increased. Islam declares a four-month ceasefire every year for its followers, which itself is a testament to the peace-loving spirit of Islam. However, if the enemy seeks to exploit this Islamic law and violates the sanctity of the sacred months, Muslims are given the right to retaliate.
Practices of the Month of Rajab
It is narrated from Imam Sadiq (AS) that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: ‘Rajab is the month of seeking forgiveness for my Ummah, so seek forgiveness in this month, for God is forgiving and merciful.’ Rajab is called ‘Asab’ because God’s mercy is abundantly poured upon my Ummah in this month, so say abundantly ‘I ask forgiveness of Allah and I ask for repentance.’ It is narrated that Prophet Noah (AS) boarded the ark on the first day of this month and was saved. He said: ‘Those who are with him should fast, and whoever fasts this day, the fire of punishment will be distanced from them for a year.’ Also, according to Imam Sadiq (AS), reciting the visitation (Ziyarat) of Imam Hussain (AS) on the first day of this month is recommended and emphasized.
Supplications of the Month of Rajab
The supplications of the blessed month of Rajab are full of truths and knowledge. People who are spiritually inclined and have managed to free themselves from worldly attachments, in fact, murmur these supplications as the love songs of the blessed month of Rajab, not just to recite a supplication and earn rewards. This noble prayer, full of monotheistic truths, begins like this ‘O Allah, O One with extensive favors and wide blessings.’ The beginning of this supplication is the praise of the Divine with the highest monotheistic literature, and we have neither seen nor heard in any of the books of the knowledgeable such content at this level, but rather, whatever they have found has been received from these supplications.
Fasting in the Month of Rajab
Whoever sincerely and consciously fasts a day in the month of Rajab becomes deserving of the great pleasure of God, and their fast on this day quenches the fire of God’s wrath and one of the doors of Hell is closed upon them. Even if the earth were filled with gold, it would not be superior to their fast. And when their fast is sincerely for God, the reward for it is not compensated by anything in this world except by complete good deeds. And when the night comes, ten of their desires are fulfilled; if they wish for something from the fleeting abode of this world, God grants it, and if they make no request, God bestows upon them the best blessings that the friends, lovers, and chosen ones of God desire for them.
Laylat al-Raghaib (The Night of Wishes)
Among the significant and majestic nights of the month of Rajab is the first Friday night of this month. Known as Laylat al-Raghaib, this night is mentioned for specific acts of worship through which abundant blessings and rewards are bestowed upon individuals. ‘Raghaib’ is the plural of ‘raghibah’, meaning ‘a matter in which much giving is desired.’ It is narrated that the first Friday night of this month holds special virtue for revival, vigil, and supplication, leading to the attainment of valuable bounties from the Almighty.
It is narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: ‘The angels have named this night Laylat al-Raghaib, and narrators in the books of supplications have mentioned a specific prayer for this night, which the Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘Whoever performs this prayer on this night, the reward of this prayer will appear in the most beautiful form, with a smiling and radiant face, and with eloquent speech, in front of the person on the first night in the grave, and it will say: ‘O my friend, I bring you glad tidings that you have been saved from every hardship and difficulty.’ The worshipper will ask: ‘Who are you? For I have never seen such a beautiful face with such radiance, nor have I heard a sweeter speech than yours, nor have I smelled a better fragrance than yours.’ It will reply: ‘I am the prayer of Laylat al-Raghaib which you performed. I have come tonight to fulfill my duty and to be your companion in loneliness, to remove fear from you, and when the trumpet is blown, I will cast a shadow over you on the Day of Resurrection. So be happy, for no good will be ceased from you.’
The Practice of Laylat al-Raghaib
Fast on the first Thursday of that month. When it becomes the night of Friday, perform a twelve-rak’ah prayer between Maghrib and Isha prayers, with each two rak’ahs ending with a single salam. In each rak’ah, recite Surah Al-Fatiha once, Surah Al-Qadr three times, and Surah Al-Ikhlas twelve times. After completing the twelve rak’ahs, say seventy times: ‘Allahumma salli ala Muhammad al-Nabi al-Ummi wa ala aalihi.’ Then, in the prostration, say seventy times: ‘Subbooh, Quddoos, Rabb al-Malaikati wa al-Rooh.’ After raising your head from prostration, say seventy times: ‘Rabbi ighfir warham wa tajawaz amma ta’lam innaka anta al-A’liyy al-A’zam.’ Go back into prostration and say seventy times: ‘Subbooh, Quddoos, Rabb al-Malaikati wa al-Rooh.’ At this point, you may ask for your needs from Almighty God, and, God willing, it will be granted.
The Thirteenth of Rajab and the Practices of I’tikaf
Among the virtues of the month of Rajab is that it includes the white days, namely the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth, and I’tikaf (seclusion in a mosque for worship) and fasting are emphasized and recommended in religious teachings. Also, the birth of Imam Ali (AS) occurs on the thirteenth of this month.
The Practice of Umm Dawood
One of the well-known prayers and acts of worship emphasized in the month of Rajab is the practice of Umm Dawood. It is narrated in the hadith books that a young man in Iraq, who was knowledgeable, was imprisoned by Mansur Dawaniqi for a long time; his name was Dawood. His mother, having lost her strength and patience in separation from her son, went to Imam Sadiq (AS) and narrated the story, seeking a solution from him. The Imam said: ‘Do you know that this month is the month of Rajab, and prayers in it are quickly answered? Perform exactly what I tell you so that your son may be freed from prison.’
First, fast on the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth days of Rajab, and on the fifteenth day, perform ghusl (ritual bath) at noon and offer an 8-rak’ah prayer (the method of this prayer is mentioned in Mafatih al-Jinan, refer to it). Shortly after performing the prayer, her son was released from prison. Then Umm Dawood came to Imam Sadiq (AS) and, after greeting him, informed him of her son’s release. Imam Sadiq (AS) said: ‘Mansur Dawaniqi saw my grandfather Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS) in a dream one night, who warned him: ‘Release my son Dawood as soon as possible, or I will throw you into the fire.’ When Mansur saw the fire in front of him, he ordered Dawood to be released.
The Twenty-Seventh of Rajab
The twenty-seventh day of the month of Rajab is the day when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was appointed to his mission and prophethood, and fasting on this day is highly recommended and holds special merit. Specific acts of worship have been mentioned for each of these nights. Imam Sadiq (AS) said: ‘Do not neglect fasting on the twenty-seventh of Rajab, for it is the day when the prophethood was bestowed upon Muhammad (PBUH), and its reward for you is equivalent to the reward of sixty months.
The Month of Rajab in the Words of the Greats
Beware, my dear and esteemed brothers! Be aware and vigilant, for we have entered the precinct of time (the months of Rajab, Sha’ban, and Ramadan)! Just as in the sacred lands, one must refrain from prohibitions, and commit certain acts that are not considered a crime elsewhere, but are deemed so in the sacred precinct, similarly, these months, which are considered as time precincts, require the same approach. One must enter them with awareness and caution. Just as in the spatial precinct that is the sanctuary, one approaches the Kaaba, in these months, which are time precincts, one attains the position of proximity to the Lord. So, how great and complete are the blessings of the Lord upon us?! And He has perfected every blessing upon us.
Inspirations from the Pen
What adds to the beauty of the month of Rajab is an angel sent by the Lord as a messenger for us, the dwellers of the earth, who every night till dawn calls out: ‘Blessed are those who remember God, blessed are those who obey Him.’
O breeze, bring a fragrance from the soil of my beloved,
Take away the sorrow of my heart and bring news of my beloved.
Speak of the soul-refreshing points from the mouth of my beloved,
Bring a pleasant letter from the realm of mysteries.
And how enchanting it is there, where the angel, conveying to us, repeats the words of the Lord: ‘I am the companion of the one who accompanies Me, and I obey the one who obeys Me, and I forgive the one who seeks forgiveness from Me.’