The Significance of the Month of Rajab

Date: 15th May 2015; 25th Rajab 1436

The Arabic month which is currently running is the month of Rajab. The month of Rajab is coming and so all of us needs to prepare ourselves for Ramadan. The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to prepare for the month of Ramadan right from the month of Rajab. That means he used to prepare for Ramadan right before two months with Rajab and Shaban being the two months right before Ramadan.

According to Hadith, there is only one recorded Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) which is a dua mentioned below:

Anas Ibn Malik (Radi Allahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) would recite the following supplication when the Month of Rajab would commence:

“Allahumma baarik lana fi Rajaba wa Sha’bana wa balligh-na Ramadan”

Translation: Oh Allah! Grant us Barakah (Blessing) during (the months of) Rajab and Sha’ban, and allow us to reach Ramadan.

References:  Shu’abul-Iman, Hadith: 3534, Ibnu Sunni, Hadith: 660, Mukhtasar Zawaid Bazzar, Hadith: 662, also see Al-Azhkar, Hadith: 549

This dua is in fact a Sunnah and a very important one too. This is the only aml which has a reliable chain in the judgement of the Islamic scholars  The importance of Rajab and Shaban has been mentioned so by the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam):

The Beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) during his sermon of his last Hajj declared: “One year consists of twelve months, of which four are sanctified months. Three of them are in sequence: Dhu’l-Qa‘dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah, Muharram, and the fourth is Rajab.”

References: Sahih Bukhari & Sahih Muslim

It is also mentioned in the Quran that:

Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him].

Surah At-Tawbah, Ayah 36 (9:36)

In our society, the Shab-e-Miraj is celebrated widely but this is in fact a bidah. There is no recorded Hadith which states us to do extra amls on the night of Mirage. In fact, the exact date regarding the month of Rajab is unclear and there is a lot of opinions about this issue among the Ulamas.

The incident of the Miraj of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is mentioned in Surah Bani Israel/ Surah Isra:

Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.

Surah Bani Israel, Ayah 1 (17:1)

In those days events were not recorded as accurately as it is being done in the modern days. However, the very reason why the Sahabahs did not narrate the exact date of the Miraj is because they did not see any significance of this date. Most jurists believe that the Miraj occurred on the 27th of Rajab while other scholar say that it might have even occurred on the month of Rabiul Awwal.

Even the exact birth date of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has a lot of arguments. The thing is, in Islam, we are not expected to celebrate occasions except except for the two Eids. The only thing Allah expects us from the night’s journey of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)  is to believe in it and pray Salah as prescribed upon us.

Doubting the Miraj is a fatal for the Imaan of a Mumin. Disbelieving the Miraj will wash away the Imaan of a Mumin as disbelieving the Miraj means disbelieving the words of Allah in the Quran as Allah has specifically mentioned the occurring of the Miraj in the Quran.

The Miraj was completed within a fraction of a time. In his journey, the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was shown Heaven and Hell and also had a conversation with Allah. So how was this even possible? Actually believing in Allah’s power without any doubt is the identity of a true Mumin. The journey of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) took such less time that when he returned, Hazrat Aishah (Radi Allahu ‘anha) reported that his bed was still warm. Perhaps this whole Miraj was done at the moment when Allah stopped the passing of time in our world. For Allah everything is possible. Trying to use science or other explanation to prove the authenticity of this journey will never bring gain to our lives.

Before going on his night’s journey the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was visited by Angel Jibril (Alayhi As-Salām) and Angel Mikail (Alayhi As-Salām). As the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was in al-Hijr at the House (the semi-circular space under the waterspout which is open on both sides on the Northwest side of the Ka`ba), lying down at rest between two men (his uncle Hamza and his cousin Ja`far ibn Abi Talib), Jibril (Alayhi As-Salām) and Mika’il (Alayhi As-Salām) came to him. With them was a third Angel (Israfil). They carried him until they brought him to the spring of Zamzam, where they asked him to lie on his back and Jibril (Alayhi As-Salām) took him over from the other two. (Another version says:) “The roof of my house was opened and Jibril descended.”

Angel Jibril (Alayhi As-Salām) split the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)’s chest from his throat to the bottom of his belly. Then Jibril (Alayhi As-Salām) said to Mika’il (Alayhi As-Salām): “Bring me a tast (a vessel, usually made of copper) of water from Zamzam so that I will purify his heart and expand his breast.” He took out his heart and washed it three times, removing from it what was wrong. Mika’il (Alayhi As-Salām) went back and forth to him with the vessel of water from Zamzam three times.

Then he brought him a golden vessel filled with wisdom and belief which he emptied into his chest. He filled his chest with hilm (intelligence, patience, good character), knowledge, certainty, and submission, then he closed it up. He sealed it between his shoulders with the seal of Prophethood.

Narrated Malik bin Sasaa (Radi Allahu Anhu): The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “While I was at the House in a state midway between sleep and wakefulness, (an angel recognized me) as the man lying between two men. A golden tray full of wisdom and belief was brought to me and my body was cut open from the throat to the lower part of the abdomen and then my abdomen was washed with Zamzam water and (my heart was) filled with wisdom and belief.

Reference: Sahih Bukhari

The reason why this cleansing was done was because the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) needed to be purified in order to meet Allah. Also there is another reason. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) ascended the Heavens, we know in space there is no oxygen, the Angels wanted to prepare him before the journey so that he could restrain himself from the inimical environment.

We know meeting Allah is indeed something grand. Not a single being has been able to meet the Creator. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was able to meet Allah but was not able to see him due to His veil made out of light, Subahan Allah.

We know Musa (Alayhi As-Salām) once wanted to see Allah. Allah mentions this in the Quran as:

And when Musa arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, “My Lord, show me [Yourself] that I may look at You.” [ Allah ] said, “You will not see Me, but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.” But when his Lord appeared to the mountain, He rendered it level, and Musa fell unconscious. And when he awoke, he said, “Exalted are You! I have repented to You, and I am the first of the believers.”

Surah Al-A’raf, Ayah 143 (7:143) Translation: Sahih International

The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) needed to be pure in order meet our Lord. The operation on his breast so as to purify him. In fact the breast cleaning of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) had been done three times in his lifetime- once during his childhood, once in his youth, finally before his Miraj. Hadith says:

Narrated: Anas bin Malik (Radi Allahu Anhu), that Gabriel came to the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) while he was playing with his playmates. He took hold of him and lay him prostrate on the ground and tore open his breast and took out the heart from it and then extracted a blood-clot out of it and said: That was the part of Satan in thee. And then he washed it with the water of Zamzam in a golden basin and then it was joined together and restored to it place. The boys came running to his mother, i. e. his nurse, and said: Verily Muhammad has been murdered. They all rushed toward him (and found him all right) His color was changed, Anas said. I myself saw the marks of needle on his breast.

Reference: Sahih Muslim

Upon returning from his journey,  The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) narrated his experience in front of the Sahabahs. However, Abu Bakr (Radi Allahu Anhu) was not present in that discussion. Abu Bakr (Radi Allahu Anhu), being the closest companion of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), believed the night’s journey straight away. Abu Bakr got his title “As-Siddiq” (the most sincere) based on this incident.  Moreover, there were several cases of people embracing Islam following this event. The next day the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) told the people what happened to him the previous night. The blasphemers belied the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and mocked him, saying, “We need a month to get there and back, and you are claiming to have done all this in one night?” They said to Abu Bakr (Radi Allahu Anhu), “Look at what your companion is saying. He says he went to Jerusalem and came back in one night.” Abu Bakr (Radi Allahu Anhu) told them, “If he said that, then he is truthful. I believe him concerning the news of the heavens–that an angel descends to him from the heavens. How could I not believe he went to Jerusalem and came back in a short period of time–when these are on earth?”

The blasphemous people questioned the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam): “If you are truthful, then describe to us Masjid al-Aqsa and its surroundings.” They asked this because they knew Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) had never been there before the previous night. Allah enabled the Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) to see Masjid al-Aqsa, and he described the masjid and its surroundings in exact detail. Moreover, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “On my way back, I saw some of your shepherds grazing their animals in a particular location. They were searching for a camel they had lost.” The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) continued by giving the description of the camel. When these shepherds came back, they told their people what happened to them–precisely as the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) had already told them.

These blasphemers admitted the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)’s description was exact. Despite that, they were still stubborn and rejected the faith. They did not accept Islam. Only those whom Allah willed to be guided, will be guided. The person whom Allah did not will to be guided, will not believe–regardless of how much explanation or how many proofs he is shown. The person whom Allah willed to be guided, surely he will be a believer. Many people witnessed miracles and still did not believe. Many people witnessed the miracle of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)’s splitting of the moon. Those who refused to embrace Islam said, “This is magic. Muhammad played a magic trick on our eyes.” They even asked the people of a faraway land who witnessed the moon split in two. Despite this, they still did not believe. They said, “The magic of Muhammad is powerful; it even reached the faraway lands!” This was their response to witnessing a miracle- instead of believing and becoming Muslims.

The Miraj was an historical event and we should all believe in it. The five waqts of Salah are so important that Allah made His Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) travel all the way up to Him only to say that the Miraj of the Mumin is actually the Salah. Yes, we too can travel towards Allah by praying our Salah properly.


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