"Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months, so it was ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four (Dhul-Qidah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab) are Sacred.."
[soorah At-Tawbah, v:36]
MONTH OF RAJAB
Rajab is one of those sacred months, which Allah has chosen and given a special status.
Allah says in Soorah Tawbah (9): 36,
"Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four (Dhul-Qidah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab) are Sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…"
Allah has commanded us to give special attention to the sanctity of these four months, and refrain from committing sins in them.
Allah says in the Qur'aan: "O you who believe! Violate not the sanctity of the Symbols of Allah, nor of the Sacred Month…" [Soorah al-Ma'idah (5):2]
meaning avoid sins and do not violate the laws of Allah for you are required to respect and honor the sacred months - This prohibition includes both sinful deeds and incorrect beliefs. However, we find numerous innovations widespread among the masses of people with regards to the month of Rajab, some of them are fasting, praying Qiyaam on the 27th of Rajab. Also included in these innovations are visiting graves, reciting specific Du'aas, frequently performing Umrah in Rajab, etc.
Innovation in religion is one of the serious matters which go against the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah. The Prophet (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 (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).
"Whoever does an action which is not a part of this matter of ours will have it rejected." (Muslim)
The following innovations are commonly practiced in Rajab:
1- 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".
2- 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 (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.
3- Celebrating Prophet's Night Journey - 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 [the date, the month & the year of Mi`raaj is not proved by authentic hadiths].
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 (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.
4- Salaat Umm Dawood halfway through Rajab.
5- Specific du'aa's which are recited during Rajab are all fabrications and innovations.
6- Visiting graves specifically in Rajab is bid'ah, because graves are to be visited at any time of the year.
7- Konday- Distributing special type of breads: In the month of Rajab is that the people bake special types of breads and, after reciting some verses and prayers on them, distribute them among their friends and neighbors.
8- Fasting in Rajab:
There is no saheeh report from the Prophet (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.
'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).
Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim said: the Prophet (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 states with regard to fasting specifically in Rajab, we do not know of any basis in Sharee'ah for doing that.
9- Frequent Umrah in Rajab
There is no report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) – to suggest that there is any particular virtue in performing 'Umrah in the month of Rajab, or that it is encouraged. Rather it is proven that there is a particular virtue in performing 'Umrah in the month of Ramadaan, and in the months of Hajj, which are Shawwaal, Dhu'l-Qa'dah and Dhu'l-Hijjah.
There is no report to prove that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) performed 'Umrah in Rajab, rather that was denied by 'Aa'ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never performed 'Umrah in Rajab. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1776; Muslim, 1255
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.
We ask Allah to protect us from all innovations, and make us amongst those who correctly follow the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), and venerate those things that Allah has made sacred in the way that He has prescribed.