On the excellent qualities of the holy month of Rajab
Excerpts from Al-Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq
by El-Sheikh Syed Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani
(Radhi Allahu Anhu)
Traditional prayers of supplication (ad’iya ma’thura) that are particularly appropriate on the first night of Rajab.
When the worshipper has duly performed his salat on the first night of Rajab, he is recommended to offer the following Du’a:
“O Allah, to You the applicants apply this night, to You the aspirants aspire, and for Your gracious bounty and beneficence the seekers look in hope. You have special favors [nafahat] to bestow this night, and prizes and gifts and presents. You will bestow them upon whomever You choose from among Your servants, and You will withhold them from those who are not ready to receive Your providential care [‘inaya]. Well, here am I, Your servant who is sorely in need of You, hoping for Your gracious bounty and beneficence! If it pleases You, O my Master [Ya Maulaa-ya], to bestow Your Grace this night upon one of Your creatures, and if You will be so generous as to grant him a favor out of Your kindness, then bless Sayyidina Muhammad and his family, and let me enjoy Your Superabundance and Beneficence, Ya Rabbal-‘Aalameen!”
Hazrat Babul-‘Ilm, ’Ali bin Abu Talib (karramallah wajhah) would devote himself entirely to worship during four nights of the year, namely: The first night of Rajab; the Night of the Fastbreaking [Lailat al-Fitr]; the Night of the Sacrifices [Lailat al-Adha]; and the night of the middle of Sha’ban. Here is the prayer of Du’a he used to offer on those nights:
“O Allah, bless Sayyidina Muhammad and his family, those Lanterns of Wisdom [masabih al-hikma], Masters of Grace [mawali ‘n-ni’ma] and Mines of Virtue [ma’adin al-‘isma]! Let them be my protection against all evil. Do not take me by surprise or unawares. Do not cause the outcome of my life’s work to be nothing but disappointment and regret. May it please You to view me with favor, for Your forgiveness is granted to the wrongdoers and I am one of the wrongdoers. O Allah, forgive me that which cannot do You any harm, and grant me that which cannot bring You any benefit. You are the One whose Rahmah is all-embracing, the One whose Hikmah is incomparable, so grant me the blessings of comfort and composure, security and good health, thankfulness, well-being, and taqwa. Instill patience and honesty in me and in your Awliya. Let ease [yusr] be Your gift to me, and do not let it come with difficulty [‘usr] attached. Extend these same blessings to my wife and children, to my brothers in You, and to all those Muslim men [Muslimin] and Muslim women [Muslimat], those believing men [mu’minin] and believing women [mu’minat], who have helped me to become the man I am today.”
Some traditional reports concerning the special blessings bestowed by Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) upon those who perform the prayer [salat] during the holy month of Rajab.
It was just after the new moon had appeared to mark the beginning of Rajab, as Shaikh Imam Hibatullah ibn al-Mubarak as-Saqati (Rahmatullah ’alayh) has informed us on good traditional authority, that the Holy Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) turned to Hazrat Salman al-Farsi (Radhiyallahu ’anhu) and said:
O Salman, Allah will surely erase all the sins from the record of any believing man [mu’min], and of any believing woman [mu’minah], who performs thirty rak’ah in the course of this month, reciting in each cycle Surah al-Fatiha and the Surah that begins with “Qul HuwAllahu Ahad“1 three times, and the Surah that begins with “Qul Yaa-ayyu-hal-kaa-firoon“2 three times. That man or woman will be granted the same reward as a person who has fasted throughout the entire month. He or she will be treated as one of those who continue to perform the salat [al-musallin] right through to the following year, and will be credited every day with a deed as noble as that of one of the Martyrs of the Battle of Badr [Shahid min Shuhadaa-e Badr].
For every day of fasting [in Rajab], the ’ibadah of an entire year will be recorded in favor of the believer concerned, whose credit will be enhanced by a thousand degrees. If the believer keeps the fast throughout the whole of this month, as well as performing this particular salat-prayer [i.e., the aforementioned thirty rak’ahs of prayer], Allah will deliver that man or woman from the Fire of Hell and declare that he or she is entitled to enter the Garden of Paradise, therein to dwell in the vicinity of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.
Sayyidina Jibril (’Alayhis-Salaam) informed me of this, and then he went on to say: “O Muhammad, this a clear sign to mark the distinction between you true believers, on the one hand, and the mushrikeen and munafiqeen on the other, because the munafiqeen do not perform that prayer.”
Having heard these words addressed to him by the Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim), Hazrat Salman (Radhiyallahu ’anhu) responded by saying: “O Messenger, tell me exactly how I must perform that particular salat-prayer, and exactly when I must perform it.”
“O Salman,” said Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim):
“on the first day of the month you must perform ten rak’ahs. In each rak’ahs you must recite Surah al-Fatiah one time only, then the Sura that begins with “Qul HuwAllahu Ahad” three times, and then the Surah that begins with “Qul Yaa-ayyu-hal-kaa-firoon” three times. When you have pronounced the final salutation [sallamta], you must raise your hands and say:
There is no god except Allah, Alone. No partner has He. To Him belongs the kingdom and to Him belongs the praise. He brings to life and causes death, while He is Ever-Living and never dies. All goodness is in His Hand, and He is Powerful over all things. O Allah, no one can withhold what You have given, and no one can give what You have withheld, nor will the worldly fortune of the possessor of such fortune profit him, if he does not obtain the fortune that comes from You [in the hereafter].
Then you must rub your face with your hands, for at this point you will have completed the first set of ten rak’ahs.
In the middle of the month you must perform another ten rak’ahs of the salat-prayer. In each rak’ah you must again recite Surah al-Fatihah one time only, then the Surah that begins with“Qul HuwAllahu Ahad” three times, and then the Surah that begins with “Qul Yaa-ayyu-hal-kaa-firoon” three times. When you have pronounced the final salutation [sallamta], you must raise your hands as you did before, but this time you must say:
There is no god except Allah, Alone. No partner has He. To Him belongs the kingdom and to Him belongs the praise. He brings to life and causes death, while He is Ever-Living and never dies. All goodness is in His Hand, and He is Powerful over all things. (I worship Him) as God, Single, One, Everlasting, Alone, Unique. He takes unto Himself neither female consort nor son.
Then you must rub your face with your hands, for at this point you will have completed the second set of ten rak’ahs.
At the end of the month you must perform the third and final set of ten rak’ahs of salat, and in each rak’ah you must again recite Surah al-Fatihah one time only, then the Surah that begins with “Qul HuwAllahu Ahad” three times, and then the Surah that begins with “Qul Yaa-ayyu-hal-kaa-firoon” three times. When you have pronounced the final salutation [sallamta], you must raise your hands as before, but this time you must say:
There is no god except Allah, Alone. No partner has He. To Him belongs the kingdom and to Him belongs the praise. He brings to life and causes death, while He is Ever-Living and never dies. All goodness is in His Hand, and He is Powerful over all things. May Allah bless Sayyidina Muhammad and the pure members of his family. There is neither any power nor any strength except with Allah, the Most High, the Almighty.
You should then ask for whatever you need, whereupon He will surely give a positive response to your Du’a. Allah will interpose seventy ditches between you and Hell [Jahannam], and each of those ditches will be as wide as the distance that separates this earth from heaven above. For every rak’ah of salat-prayer you have performed, He will credit you with a million rak’ahs. He will also inscribe on your record an exemption from the Fire of Hell and a permit to cross the Narrow Bridge [sirat].”
Hazrat Salman (Radhiyallahu ’anhu) is reported as having said: “As soon as the Nabi (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) had finished speaking, I sank to the ground in humble prostration, weeping as I sought to express my gratitude to Allah (Exalted is He) for what I had just been privileged to hear.”
- Surah al-Ikhlaas
- Surah al-Kaafiroon
Traditional reports in which great emphasis is placed on the special merit of fasting on the first Thursday in Rajab, and of performing the prayer [salat] during the first Friday night [Jumu’ah] of that month.
The following report has been conveyed to us by Shaikh Imam Abu-l-Barakat Hibatu’llah ibn al-Mubarak as-Saqati (Rahmatullah ‘alayh), who cites good traditional authority in support of its authenticity: Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) once said:
Rajab is Allah’s month, Sha’ban is my month, and Ramadan is the month of my Ummah.
Someone then asked him: “O Messenger of Allah, what do you mean exactly, when you say that Rajab is Allah’s month?” So he (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) explained:
[I call it Allah’s month] because it is specifically associated with forgiveness, because in it the shedding of blood is brought to a halt, because in it Allah (Exalted is He) relents toward His Ambiya, 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 (Exalted is He). The first and second of these are forgiveness for all the sins he has previously committed, and impregnable virtue [‘isma] 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-‘Ard al-Akbar].”
At this point a feeble old man stood up and said: “Ya Rasulullah, I am physically incapable of fasting through the whole of the month,” so Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) went on to say:
Fast during the first day of the month and during the day that comes in the middle of it, and also during the very last day of the month, for then you will be given the same reward as someone who has fasted through the whole of the month, since one good deed is equal in value to ten of the same kind.
It is most important, however, that none of you should neglect the first Friday in Rajab, for it is the night that the Malaa-ika call the Night of Wishes [Lailat ar-Ragha’ib]. This is because, by the time the first third of the night has elapsed, there will not be a single angel still at large in the heavens, nor in any region of the earth bar one. They will all be gathered together in the Ka’bah and the area immediately surrounding it. Allah (Exalted is He) will condescend to notice that they have assembled there, and He will say: “My angels, ask Me for whatever you wish!” Their response to this will be: “Our Rabb, the request we wish to make is that You grant forgiveness to those who faithfully keep the fast in Rajab,” whereupon Allah (Exalted is He) will tell them: “That I have already done!“
Then Rasulullah (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) said:
No one will go unrewarded if he fasts during the daytime on Thursday, the first Thursday in Rajab, and if he then performs twelve extra rak’ahs during the period between Maghrib and ‘Isha, i.e., during the first segment [‘atama] of the night of Friday. In each rak’ah, he must recite Surah al-Fatihah one time only, then the Surah that begins with “Innaa anzalnaa-hu fee layla-til-qadr“1 three times, and the Sura that begins with “Qul HuwAllahu Ahad“2 twelve times. The twelve rak’ahs must be divided into sets of two, with a salutation [taslima] to mark the conclusion of each pair. When he has completed his salat-prayer, he must invoke blessings upon me, by repeating seventy times:
O Allah, bestow blessings anda peace upon Muhammad, the Holy Nabi, and upon his family.
He must then perform sajdah, repeating seventy times while he is in sajdah:
All-Glorious, All-Holy Rabb of the Angels and of the Spirit!
Then he must raise his head and repeat seventy times:
My Rabb, forgive and have mercy and pardon that which You well know, for You are the Mighty, the Supreme.
Then he must bow down low for the second time and repeat the words he uttered during the first sajdah. Finally, while he is still in sajdah, he should ask Allah to grant his personal request, for that request will surely be fulfilled.
Allah’s Holy Messenger (Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim) also said:
By Him in whose Hand is my soul, I assure you that no servant [of His], whether manservant [‘abd] or maidservant [ama], will ever perform this particular salat-prayer without Allah forgiving all the sins of which that individual has ever been guilty, even if they are like the flecks of foam upon the ocean, as numerous as all the grains of sand, as heavy as the mountains, and as many as the drops of rain and the leaves on all the trees. On the Day of Resurrection [Yawm al-Qiyama], he will be allowed to intercede on behalf of seven hundred members of his family.
On the first night that worshipful servant spends in his grave, the reward for this salat-prayer will come to visit him [in the shape of a human being], with a cheerful face and an eloquent tongue. “O my dear friend,” it will say to him, “rejoice in the good tidings, for I am here to tell you that you have been delivered from every severe affliction!” This will prompt the servant to exclaim: “Who are you? By Allah, I swear that I have never seen a man with a better-looking face than yours. Never have I heard a form of speech more charming than your way of speaking, and never have I smelled a fragrance more delightful than that of your perfume.” So then it will tell him: “O my dear friend, I am the reward for that salat-prayer, the one you performed on whichever night it was, in whichever month it was, in whichever year it was. I have come here tonight in order to fulfill your request, to entertain you in your solitary state, and to banish your loneliness from you. Later on, when the trumpet is sounded, I shall provide you with shade to protect your head from the scorching heat on the Fields of the Resurrection [‘Arasat al-Qiyama]. So rejoice in the good tidings, for you will never be deprived of the blessing that comes from your Master [Maula].
- Surah al-Qadr
- Surah al-Ikhlaas