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Preparing for Ramadan in Rajab and Shaban

The Sacred Month of Rajab

We have amongst us the blessed month of Rajab. The question is why is Rajab so important and significant?

If we look at the practice of the Salaf, the early Muslims at the time of the messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, we find narrations in which the sahabah (the companions) would prepare for the month of Ramadan months in advance. Then after Ramadan, for months they would ask Allah to accept their Ramadan.

So, amongst this early practice is this idea of preparing for the month of Ramadan in Rajab and also in Shaban. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

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“Rajab is the month of Allah, Shaban is my month and Ramadan is the month of my Ummah.”

Abu Bakr Al-Warraq says that Rajab is the month of cultivation, you cultivate the seeds in Rajab. Shaban is the month of irrigating the fields, and then the month of Ramadan is the month of reaping and harvesting. You will only be able to have the fruits of Ramadan if you begin the process early. And this is why it’s so important, why the early Muslims gave it significance.

Why else?

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It is mentioned in the Holy Quran, where Allah (SWT) says:

“Indeed, the number of months ordained by Allah is twelve—in Allah’s Record since the day He created the heavens and the earth—of which four are sacred…” (9:36)

If you look at the various books of tafsir, what are those sacred months?

Dhul Qa’dah, Dhul Hijjah, Muharram & Rajab.

In the hadith narrated by Anas ibn Malik, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said that the month of Rajab is one of the favourite months of Allah (SWT), and that the one who honours the month of Rajab has honoured the command or the matter of Allah (SWT), which leads to His pleasure.

Two Ways to Honour the Month of Rajab

The first way is by fasting. And the second is by seeking forgiveness from Allah (SWT).
Allah says: “By My glory and majesty, I will continue to forgive them so long as they ask for My forgiveness.”

When is the last time you went to Allah?

When is the last time you sat on the musalah, and instead of hurrying off, you sat there for a few moments and you asked Allah, “O Allah, forgive me”?

And what’s important is that in this month we also ask and we forgive people who have harmed us. We do not break ties. We know from other hadiths of the Prophet, peace be upon him, that the one who breaks ties, then his ibadah (acts of worship) are not accepted.

It is a difficult thing to forgive people. But this is something which we should make as a practice.

And we see Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, a sahabi in which the messenger said while sitting with his companions, through this door a man will enter, and he is guaranteed Jannah. So Sa’d walks in. And the sahabah wanted to know why was Sa’d given Jannah. And they later realized when they stayed with him for a few days and they couldn’t see him doing anything special, they asked him: Sa’d, what do you do that the Prophet peace be upon him has said that you are guaranteed Jannah?

He said there is one thing I do that you don’t see is that I forgive everyone who has harmed me.

Sunnah Fasts

The second goal for us is to fast. We should revive fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, and fasting the Sunnah days, or White Days, the 13th, 14th and 15th of every month. Start to fast and get used to fasting.
But why is it important?

Our scholars say if you want to stop sinning, your answer is in fasting. How so?

Within the month of Rajab, try to stop every day or every week, at least one permissible thing. So, for example, it’s permissible that I drink a fizzy drink when I eat, and it’s also permissible to drink water. What do I like more? Drinking a fizzy drink. When I’m about to drink and I stop myself from drinking the fizzy drink, I will be able to better control my nafs

When you challenge your own nafs, and then increase this in the month of Shaban, when you get to the month of Ramadan you will be able to so strong that you will control your nafs to such a level that you will be able to stop yourself from sinning.

That’s what fasting does. When you’re fasting, you’re leaving everything. You’re leaving eating, leaving drinking and leaving your relations. And if you do that and control yourself, then that is the key to stopping you from sinning.

So we ask Allah (SWT) to accept this from us. Ameen

The Night Journey

The last and final thing why this month is so important is because this is the month in which the night journey took place. In it, the gift of prayer was given to the Messenger of Allah. We see in the Hadiths that the Night Journey took place after the Year of Sadness and Grief, when the Prophet peace be upon him had witnessed the death of his Uncle Abu Talib and of his beloved wife Lady Khadijah, may Allah be pleased of her.

As a result of this, Allah (SWT) called the Prophet, peace be upon him, on the Night Journey and gave him a gift of salah. That is something we should uphold in the month of Rajab and uphold in the month of Shaban.

Once we get to Ramadan, we can reap the good deeds so on the Day of Judgement we have a witness. Our fasting can stand on that day and say O Allah, he fasted for you, O Allah save him. And they will protect us. Our good deeds we’ll save us in our graves, on the bridge over the Hell Fire. And ultimately this is what we aim for.

So, we ask Allah (SWT) to accept our efforts.

May Allah give us barakah in Rajab and Shaban and allow us to witness Ramadan.

Ameen

Watch the video of Imam Mohammad Shammas here