The month of Rajab

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The month of Rajab

Post by Noor'e Sahar on Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:04 am

Praise be to Allaah, the One, the Subduer, and blessings and peace be
upon the Chosen Prophet and upon his good and pure family and
companions.

Praise be to Allaah Who says (interpretation of the meaning):
    “And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses”
    [al-Qasas 28:68].
The attribute of choosing or selecting is
indicative of His Lordship and Oneness, and of the perfection of His
Wisdom, Knowledge and Power.

One aspect of His choosing and preferring is the fact that He has chosen
some days and months and given them preference over others. Among the
months, Allaah has chosen four which He has made sacred, as He says
(interpretation of the meaning):

    “Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve months (in a
    year), so it was ordained by Allaah 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…”
    [al-Tawbah 9:36]


These months are calculated according to the movements of the moon, not
the movements of the sun, as the kuffaar do.

The Sacred Months are mentioned by implication in the Qur’aan, but their
names are not given. Their names are mentioned in the Sunnah:

    It was reported from Abu Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with him)
    that the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave
    his Farewell Sermon and said: “Time has completed its cycle and is as it
    was on the Day when Allaah created the heavens and the earth. The year
    is twelve months, of which four are sacred, three consecutive months –
    Dhoo’l-Qa’dah, Dhoo’l-Hijjah and Muharram – and the Rajab of Mudar which
    comes between Jumaada and Sha’baan.”
    (Reported by al-Bukhaari, no.
    1741, in [Kitaab] al-Hajj, al-Khutbah Ayaam Mina; and by Muslim, no.
    1679, in [Kitaab] al-Qisaamah, Baab Tahreem al-Dimaa’).


It was called Rajab of Mudar because [the tribe of] Mudar did not tamper
with its timing, unlike the rest of the Arabs, who used to tamper with
the months and change their order depending on whether they were in a
state of war or not. This was the postponing referred to in the aayah
(interpretation of the meaning):

    “The postponing (of a Sacred Month) is indeed an addition to
    disbelief: thereby the disbelievers are led astray, for they make it
    lawful one year and forbid it another year in order to adjust the number
    of months forbidden by Allaah, and make such forbidden ones lawful.”

    [al-Tawbah 9:37]


It was also said that the reason why it was attributed to Mudar was
because they venerated it and respected it so much, so it was attributed
to them.

The reason why it is so called.

Ibn Faaris said in Mu’jam Maqaayees al-Lughah (p. 445):

The letters Ra’, jeem and ba’ form a root which indicates supporting
and strengthening something with another thing. … Hence the phrase
“Rajabtu’l-shay’” means I venerated it… It was called Rajab because they
used to venerate it, and it is also venerated in Sharee’ah.


The people of the Jaahiliyyah used to call Rajab Munassil al-Asinnah
[the one that causes the sharp heads of weapons to be taken off], as it
was reported that Abu Rajaa’ al-‘Ataaridi said:

We would a rock, then if we found a better rock we would throw the
first one aside and adopt the other. If we could not find a rock, we
would make a pile of dirt, then we would bring a ewe and milk it over
the pile of dirt, then we would do tawaaf around it. When the month of
Rajab came, we would say Munassil al-Asinnah [the one that causes the
sharp heads of weapons to be taken off], and we would not leave any
spear or arrow that had an iron piece in it but we would take the metal
head off and put it aside during the month of Rajab.
(Narrated by
al-Bukhaari).

Al-Bayhaqi said: the people of the jaahiliyyah used to
venerate these sacred months, especially the month of Rajab, and they
would not fight during this month.


Rajab is a sacred month

The Sacred months have a special status, which applies also to Rajab
because it is one of these sacred months. Allaah says (interpretation of
the meaning):

    “O you who believe! Violate not the sanctity of the Symbols of
    Allaah, nor of the Sacred Month…”
    [al-Maa’idah 5:2]

This means: do not violate their sanctity which Allaah has commanded
you to respect and forbidden you to violate, for this prohibition
includes both vile deeds and vile beliefs.


Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “so wrong not yourselves therein…” [al-Tawbah 9:36]
meaning,
in the Sacred Months. The pronoun here [translated here as “therein”]
refers to these four sacred months, as stated by the Imaam of the
Mufassireen, Ibn Jareer al-Tabari (may Allaah have mercy on him).


So we should pay attention to the sanctity of these four months, because
Allaah has singled them out for a special status and has forbidden us
to commit sins out of respect for their sanctity, for sins committed at
this time are even worse, because of the sanctity of the time which
Allaah has made sacred. Hence in the aayah quoted above, Allaah has
forbidden us to wrong ourselves even though this – i.e., wronging
ourselves, which includes committing sins – is forbidden during all the
months of the year.

Fighting during the sacred months

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “They ask you concerning fighting in the sacred months. Say:
    fighting therein is a great (transgression)…”
    [al-Baqarah 2:217]


The majority of scholars state that (the prohibition of) fighting in the
sacred months is abrogated by the aayah (interpretation of the
meaning):

    “Then when the sacred months have passed, then kill the
    Mushrikeen wherever you find them…”
    [al-Tawbah 9:5],
and other
aayat and reports which are general in application and which include
commands to fight them.

Others say: it is not permissible to initiate fighting during
the sacred months, but it is permissible to continue and conclude
fighting, if it started at a different time. The fighting of the Prophet
SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) against the people of
al-Taa’if is interpreted in this way, because the fighting had begun at
Hunayn in Shawwaal.


The above does not apply to fighting in self-defence. If the enemy
attacks the Muslim lands, it is obligatory for the inhabitants to defend
themselves, whether that happens during a sacred month or not.

Al-‘Ateerah (a kind of sacrifice)

During the Jaahiliyyah, the Arabs used to slaughter a sacrifice during
Rajab as an act of worship towards their idols.

When Islam came, teaching that sacrifices were to be offered only to
Allaah, this deed of the Jaahiliyyah was abolished. The fuqaha’ differed
as to the rulings on offering sacrifices during Rajab. The majority of
Hanafis, Maalikis and Hanbalis stated that the sacrifice of al-‘Ateerah
was abrogated. Their evidence was the hadeeth, “There is no Fir’ and no
‘Ateerah”, narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim from Abu Hurayrah.

The Shaafa’is said that al-‘Ateerah had not been abrogated, and
they regarded it as mustahabb (recommended). This was also the view of
Ibn Seereen.

Ibn Hajar said: this is supported by the hadeeth narrated by Abu
Dawood, al-Nisaa’i, and Ibn Maajah, and classed as saheeh by al-Haakim
and Ibn al-Mundhir, from Nubayshah, who said:
A man called out to the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him): We used to offer the sacrifice of al-‘Ateerah
during the Jaahiliyyah in the month of Rajab. What do you command us to
do? He said, Offer sacrifices, no matter which month is it…

Ibn Hajar said: the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) did not abolish it in principle, but he
abolished the idea of making this sacrifice especially in Rajab.

Fasting in Rajab

<blockquote>There is no saheeh report from the Prophet SAWS (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from the Sahaabah to indicate
that there is any particular virtue in fasting during Rajab.


The fasting that is prescribed in Rajab is the same as that prescribed
in other months, namely fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, and the three
days of al-Beed, fasting alternate days, and fasting Sirar al-Shahr.
Some of the scholars said that Sirar al-Shahr refers to the beginning of
the month; others said that it refers to the middle or end of the
month. ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) used to forbid fasting in
Rajab because it involved resemblance to the Jaahiliyyah. It was
reported that Kharashah ibn al-Harr said: I saw ‘Umar smacking the hands
of those who fasted in Rajab until they reached out for food, and he
was saying, This is a month which was venerated in the Jaahiliyyah.
(al-Irwaa’, 957; al-Albaani said: it is saheeh).</blockquote>

Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim said: the Prophet SAWS (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not fast for three consecutive
months (i.e., Rajab, Sha’baan and Ramadaan) as some people do, and he
never fasted Rajab at all, nor did he encourage people to fast this
month.


Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said in Tabayyun al-‘Ajab bimaa wurida fi Fadl
Rajab:

No saheeh hadeeth that may be used as evidence has been narrated
concerning the virtues of the month of Rajab or fasting this month or
fasting in any specific part of it, or observing Qiyaam al-Layl
specifically during this month. Imaam Abu Ismaa’eel al-Harawi al-Haafiz
has already stated this before me, and we have narrated this from others
also.


In Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah it states: with regard to
fasting specifically in Rajab, we do not know of any basis in Sharee’ah
for doing that.


‘Umrah in Rajab

    The ahaadeeth indicate that the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of
    Allaah be upon him) did not do ‘Umrah during Rajab, as it was narrated
    that Mujaahid said: ‘Urwah ibn al-Zubayr and I entered the mosque, and
    there was ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar sitting near the room of ‘Aa’ishah (may
    Allaah be pleased with her). He was asked, “How many times did the
    Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) do
    ‘Umrah?” He said, “Four times, and one of them was in Rajab.” We did
    not want to argue with him. We could hear ‘Aa’ishah Umm al-Mu’mineen
    brushing her teeth (i.e., the sound of the miswaak) in her room. ‘Urwah
    said, “O Mother of the Believers, did you not hear what Abu ‘Abd
    al-Rahmaan is saying?” She said, “What is he saying?” He said, “He is
    saying that the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah
    be upon him) did ‘Umrah four times, one of them in Rajab.” She said,
    “May Allaah have mercy on Abu ‘Abd al-Rahmaan, [the Prophet SAWS (peace
    and blessings of Allaah be upon him)] never did ‘Umrah but he witnesses
    it (i.e., he was present with him), and he never did ‘Umrah during
    Rajab.” (Agreed upon).

    It was reported by Muslim that Ibn ‘Umar heard this and did not say yes
    or no. Al-Nawawi said: the fact that Ibn ‘Umar remained silent when
    ‘Aa’ishah denied what he said indicates that he was confused, or had
    forgotten, or was uncertain. Hence it is an innovated bid’ah to single
    out Rajab for making ‘Umrah and to believe that doing ‘Umrah in Rajab
    has a specific virtue. Nothing to that effect has been narrated, besides
    the fact that the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
    him) is not reported to have made ‘Umrah during Rajab at all.


Shaykh ‘Ali ibn Ibraaheem al-‘Attaar (d. 724 AH) said:
One of the things that I have heard about the people of Makkah – may
Allaah increase it in honour – is that they do ‘Umrah frequently during
Rajab. This is something for which I know of no basis, all I know is
that it was reported in the hadeeth that the Messenger of Allaah SAWS
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “ ‘Umrah in
Ramadaan is equivalent to Hajj.”


Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in
his Fataawaa:

As for singling out some of the days of Rajab for any kind of good
deed, ziyaarah (visiting the House of Allaah, the Ka’bah) or anything
else, there is no basis for this, because Imaam Abu Shaamah stated in
his book al-Bida’ wa’l-Hawaadith: specifying acts of worship at times
that were not specified by sharee’ah is wrong; no time is to be regarded
as better than any other except in cases where the sharee’ah gave
preference to a certain act of worship at a certain time, or stated that
any good deed done at this time is better than good deeds done at other
times. Hence the scholars denounced the practice of singling out the
month of Rajab for doing ‘Umrah frequently.


But if a person goes for ‘Umrah during Rajab without believing that
this has any particular virtue and because it is just a coincidence that
it is easier for him to go at this time, then there is nothing wrong
with that.


Bid’ah and innovations in the month of Rajab

Innovation in religion is one of the serious matters which go against
the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah. The Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) did not die until after the religion had been
perfected. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“… This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My
favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion…”

[al-Maa’idah 5:3]
    It was reported that ‘Aa’isha (may Allaah be pleased with her)
    said: the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be
    upon him) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours
    which is not a part of it, will have it rejected.” (Agreed upon).
    According to a report narrated by Muslim: “Whoever does an action which
    is not a part of this matter of ours will have it rejected.”



Some people have innovated a number of practices in Rajab, including
the following:



  • Salaat al-Raghaa’ib. This prayer became widespread after
    the first and best centuries, especially in the fourth century AH. Some
    liars fabricated this prayer, which is done on the first night of Rajab.
    Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
    Salaat al-Raghaa’ib is bid’ah according to the consensus of the scholars
    of religion, such as Maalik, al-Shaafa’i, Abu Haneefah, al-Thawri,
    al-‘Oozaa’i, al-Layth and others . The hadeeth that is narrated
    concerning it is a lie according to the consensus of the scholars who
    have knowledge of hadeeth.

  • It was reported that major events happened in the month of
    Rajab, but none of these reports are true. It was reported that the
    Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was born on the
    first night of Rajab, and that he received his Mission on the
    twenty-seventh, or twenty-fifth of this month. None of this is correct.
    It was reported with an isnaad that is not saheeh from al-Qaasim ibn
    Muhammad that the Prophet’s Night Journey (al-Israa’) took place on the
    twenty-seventh of Rajab. This was denied by Ibraaheem al-Harbi and
    others. One of the innovations that take place during this month is the
    recitation of the story of the Mi’raaj, and celebrations to commemorate
    it on the twenty-seventh of Rajab, or singling out this night to perform
    extra acts of worship such as Qiyaam al-Layl or fasting during the day,
    or rejoicing and celebrating. Some celebrations are accompanied by
    haraam things such as mixing of men and women, singing and music, all of
    which are not permitted on the two Eids which are prescribed in Islam,
    let alone innovated celebrations. Add to that the fact that there is no
    proof that the Israa’ and Mi’raaj happened on this date. Even if it were
    proven, that is no excuse for holding celebrations on this date,
    because nothing of the kind has been reported from the Prophet SAWS
    (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from his companions, may
    Allaah be pleased with them, or from any of the Salaf (early
    generations) of this Ummah. If it were a good thing, they would surely
    have done it before us. May Allaah help us.

  • Salaat Umm Dawood halfway through Rajab.

  • The du’aa’s which are recited specifically during Rajab are
    all fabrications and innovations.

  • Visiting graves specifically in Rajab is bid’ah, because
    graves are to be visited at any time of the year.

    We ask Allaah to make us of those who venerate the things that He has
    made sacred and adhere to the Sunnah of the Prophet SAWS (peace and
    blessings of Allaah be upon him) outwardly and inwardly, for He is the
    One Whom we should ask and He is Able to do that. And the close of our
    request is: praise be to Allaah, the Lord of ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinns
    and all that exists).

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Noor'e Sahar

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