Rajab is the 7th Hijri month of the lunar calendar. It’s regarded as one of the four sacred months in Islam in which warfare is prohibited.
The month is very special for Muslims as it’s a prelude to Ramadan, the 9th Hijri month.
When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) sighted the moon of Rajab, he used to pray to Allah in the following words: “O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan (i.e. prolong our life up to Ramadan, so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings).”
The Hijri calendar is a lunar calendar, and its months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted. Since the lunar year is 11 to 12 days shorter than the solar year, Rajab migrates throughout the seasons.
The Astronomical New Moon (conjunction) is expected by astronomers to occur on March 17, 2018 (Saturday) at 13:12 UT. On March 17, the moon is not visible anywhere in five continenents.
On March 18, the crescent can be seen easily from India westward and with difficulty in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Australia. On March 19, it will be easily visible everywhere.
Meanwhile, Muslims worldwide will be looking for the new moon.
In Nigeria, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, on Friday, March 16, called on Muslims to look out for the new moon of Rajab 1439AH.
“This is to inform the Muslim Ummah that Saturday, March. 17, 2018, which is equivalent to 29 day of Jimada Assaniya 1439AH, shall be the day to look for the new moon of Rajab 1439AH.
“Muslims are, therefore, requested to start looking out for the new moon of Rajab 1439AH on Saturday and report its sighting to the nearest district or village head for onward communication to the Sultan,’’ the statement said.