Monday, 14 June 2010

The Fasting of Rajab

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Rajab is the month of Allah (s.w.t.).  It is ash-Shahr al-Muthahhir, the Purifying Month.  It is called so because it purifies, yuthahhiru, the person who fasts in the course of it, ridding him of his sins and offenses.  The following is adapted from excerpts from al-Ghunya li Thalibi Thariq al-Haqq by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) as taught to us by Mu’Allim at-Tarimi, Shaykh Zakaria ibn ‘Umar Bagharib (q.s.) and Shaykh Ahmad ‘Arif and compiled from various other sources.

According to a report transmitted by 'Ikrimah ibn Abu Hakim (r.a.), on the authority of ibn 'Abbas (r.a.), the Prophet (s.a.w.) once said, “Rajab is Allah's month, Sha’ban is my month and Ramadhan is the month of my ummah.”

Allah (s.w.t.) Relents toward His anbiya’ because in it, He Rescues His awliya’ from the hands of their enemies, and because anyone who fasts during this month becomes entitled to receive three things from Allah (s.w.t.).  The first and second of these are Forgiveness for all the sins he has previously committed, and impregnable virtue, 'iswma, for the remainder of his life.  As for the third, he will be safe from thirst on the Day of the Greatest Review, Yawm al-‘Ardh al-Akbar.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) is also reported as having said, “In 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.”

Anas ibn Malik (r.a.) is reported as having said, “In 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 (r.a.), Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) 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 ‘ibadah of nine hundred years.”

Shaykh Hibatullah ibn al-Mubarak as-Saqathi (r.a.) has informed us on good traditional authority, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) 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 taqwa to Allah, 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 (s.w.t.), they will make no such plea for him to be Forgiven.  They will say, or he will be told by some the voice: ‘Your own nafs has betrayed you!’”

Imam ibn `Abd ar-Razzaq (r.a.) narrated in his Muswannaf that ibn ‘Umar (r.a.) said, “There are five nights in which ud’iyyah is not turned back: the night of Juma`ah, the first night of Rajab, the night of mid-Sha’ban, and the two nights of ‘Iyd.”

The beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said, “The fast of the first day of Rajab is repentance for three years and the fasting of the second day is repentance for two years and the fast of third day is repentance for one year and then each remaining day is repentance for one month.”

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) also said, “Whoever fasts the 1st day of Rajab it will be equivalent to the fast of one year; and whoever fasts seven days in it, the seven gates of Hell will be closed for him; and whoever fasts ten days from Rajab, a caller will call out from the sky, ‘Ask and you will be Given!’”

In another narration, he said, “Rajab is a tremendous month in which Allah Multiplies the good deeds.  So, whoever fasts a day from Rajab, it is as if he fasted a year; and whoever fasts seven days of it, the seven gates of Hell are Closed to him; and whoever fasts eight days from it, the eight gates of Paradise are opened to him; and whoever fasts ten days from it will not ask Allah something except that Allah will Grant it.  And whoever fasts from it fifteen days, a caller will call out from heavens, ‘Verily you have been Forgiven whatever is past, so renew your good actions, for indeed your transgressions have been transformed into virtuous deeds.’”

In another hadits related to us by Shaykh Hibatullah (q.s.), the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said, “The month of Rajab is a glorious month indeed.  If someone has fasted for one day in Rajab, Allah will Record it in his credit column as the fast of a thousand years.  If someone has fasted for two days in Rajab, Allah will Record it in his credit column as the fast of two thousand years.  If someone has fasted for three days in Rajab, Allah 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 Jahannam will be Locked to make sure that he stays out of it.  If someone has fasted for eight days in Rajab, all the eight gates of the 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!’”

These are not just words from dusty books but the basis of actual spiritual practices.  “And whoever does more, Allah (s.w.t.) gives to him even more.”  And in Rajab, Allah (s.w.t.) carried Nuh (a.s.) in the ark and he fasted and ordered all those with him to do so.  And the ark sailed with them for six months until the first ten days of Muharram.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) 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 Jibril (a.s.) first came down to invest the Prophet (s.a.w.) with his Risalah.

According to this next report, likewise conveyed to us by Shaykh Hibatullah (r.a.), our Prophet (s.a.w.) 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 (s.a.w.) was first dispatched to embark upon his mission.


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