What Makes the Month of Rajab So Sacred?

15 February, 2021
Q As-salamu `alaykum. I want to know some information about the month of Rajab. What does the name "Rajab" mean? Is there anything special about this month?

Answer

Wa `alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

Rajab is one of the Sacred Months (i.e. Dhul-Qidah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab). During the month of Rajab the miracle of Al-Israa and Al-Miraj took place, which reminds us of protecting our sacred places in the occupied Palestine.


The late prominent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Ash-Sharabasi, Professor of Islamic Creed and Philosophy at Al-Azhar University, stated,

The month of Rajab is one of the Arab and Islamic Hijri lunar months. The word rajab is derived from the word tarjib, which, in Arabic, indicates glorification. The reason behind this name may be the high esteem Arabs used to confer upon this month.

The Sacred Rajab

The month of Rajab is also called Rajab Al-Haram (Arabic for: the Sacred Rajab), because it is one of the four Sacred Months, during which fighting is prohibited.

This was a customary and traditional practice that people used to observe for ages. The glorious Quran referred to the Sacred Months in Surat of At-Tawbah, in which Almighty Allah says,

{Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah 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.} (At-Tawbah 9:36)

These Sacred Months are Dhul-Qidah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab. That is why Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Time has come back to its original state, which it had when Allah created the heavens and the earth. The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred: Three are in succession, namely, Dhul-Qidah, Dhul-Hijjah, and Muharram, and (the fourth one) Rajab (of the tribe of) Mudar, which is between Jumada (Thani) and Sha`ban.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Solitary Rajab

The month of Rajab is also called Rajab Al-Fard (Arabic for: the Solitary Rajab) because it is separated from the other three successive Sacred months, namely, Dhul-Qidah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram; The month of Rajab comes five months after them.

Rajab Mudar

The month of Rajab has another name, which is Rajab Mudar, according to a hadith in which the Prophet said, “And (the fourth one) Rajab (of the tribe of) Mudar, which is between Jumada (Thani) and Sha`ban.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Mudar is an Arab tribe and Rajab is named after it, because that tribe used to give much respect to this month and protect its sanctity.

Month of Al-Israa and Al-Miraj

Rajab witnessed the occurrence of Al-Israa and Al-Miraj, the miraculous night journey and the Prophet’s ascension to the heavens, with which Almighty Allah honored Prophet Muhammad.

In reference to this journey, Almighty Allah states, {Glorified be He [Allah] Who took His servant [Prophet Muhammad[ for a journey by night from Al-Masjid Al-Haram [at Makkah] to the farthest mosque [Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem], the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him [Muhammad[ of Our signs. Verily, He [Allah] is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.} (Al-Israa 17:1)

The Quran refers to Al-Miraj (Prophet’s Muhammad ascension to the heavens), “While he [Angel Gabriel)] was in the highest part of the horizon. He approached and came closer and was at a distance of two bows’ length or (even) nearer. So did [Allah] convey the Inspiration to His servant [Prophet Muhammad]. The (Prophet’s) heart lied not (in seeing) what he (Muhammad) saw. Will you then dispute with him about what he saw [during Al-Mi`raj]. And indeed he (Muhammad) saw him [Angel Gabriel] at a second descent (i.e. another time). Near Sidrat Al-Muntaha [lote-tree of the utmost boundary (beyond which none can pass)]. Near it is the Paradise of Abode. When that covered the lote-tree, which did cover it! The sight (of Prophet Muhammad) turned not aside (right or left), nor it transgressed beyond (the) limit (ordained for it). Indeed he (Muhammad) did see, of the Greatest Signs, of his Lord (Allah)” (An-Najm 53:7-18)

The miracle of Al-Israa was intended to honor the Messenger, strengthen his heart, and to show him the kingdom of heavens and earth. It was also meant to comfort the Prophet after the deaths of his uncle Abu Talib and his wife Khadijah in the Year of Sadness, and after the suffering he had experienced in At-Taif where its people assaulted him.

Significance of al-Israa

The miracle of Al-Israa reminds us of the usurped and occupied land of Palestine, Al-Quds (Jerusalem), and Al-Aqsa Mosque. This event should also remind us of our duty toward liberating this land and its people from tyranny and oppression.

We should always remember the Prophet’s hadith stating, “Do not set out on a journey except for three Mosques: Al-Masjid Al-Haram, this mosque of mine (in Madinah), and Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.” (Muslim)

It is a duty upon every Muslim, when recalling the memories of the month of Rajab, to exert him or herself for liberating usurped places of Islam.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.