Assalamualaikum Dear Brothers & Sisters,
Understand Qur’an Academy has always tried to make the learning of Qur’an easy and simple.
THE MONTH OF RAJAB & YOU!
And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses. [Quran, 28:68]. The attribute of choosing shows the perfection of His wisdom, knowledge and power. Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa has chosen four months to be sacred. Did you know that we’re in one of those four months right now?
The Prophet salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: O People! Time has gone back to how it was at the time Allah created the Heavens and the Earth. A year has twelve months, four of which are sacred, three consecutive, Dhul-Qi’dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab. [Al-Bukharee].
Let’s stop and think: What does this month mean to me? How can you benefit from this Sacred Month of Rajab? First, we discover some interesting Rajab facts, followed by seven amazing Ramadan preparation tips for you to apply right now!
In this week’s central ayah Allah ‘azza wajal instructs us: Verily, the number of months with Allāh is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allāh 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. [Quran, 9: 36].
Some Interesting Facts About Rajab
Ibn Faaris said, “The letters Raa-jeem-baa form a root which indicates supporting and strengthening something with another thing. It was called Rajab because they used to respect it.”
The month of Rajab is also called Rajab Al-Haram (Arabic for: “the Sacred Rajab”), because it’s one of the four sacred months, during which fighting is prohibited. It’s also called Rajab Al-Fard (Arabic for: “the Solitary Rajab”) because it’s separated from the other three successive sacred months (Dhul-Qi`dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram). Rajab comes five months after them.
Rajab also witnessed Al-Israa’ wa Al-Mi’raaj, the miraculous night journey with which Allah ‘azza wa jall honored the Prophet, peace, and blessings be upon him.
During the Jaahiliyyah (time of ignorance) the Arabs used to slaughter a sacrifice during Rajab as an act of worship towards their idols. When Islam came people were taught that sacrifices were to be offered only to Allah, alhamdulillah for our logical deen.
Stop, it’s Rajab!
Rajab (and the other three months) are called sacred for two reasons: 1). Because fighting therein is forbidden unless initiated by the enemy, and 2). because transgression of the sacred limits therein is worse than at other times.
In this week’s central ayah Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): so wrong not yourselves therein. Wronging yourself refers to committing sins and having the wrong belief. So why should we pay attention to the sanctity of these four months? Because Allah selected them for special status and has forbidden us to commit sins out of respect for their sanctity. Sins committed at this time are even worse, even though committing bad deeds is forbidden during the whole year! We honor whatever Allah and the Prophet honor.
This ayah shows you the importance of being an alert and active believer, so take that extra effort. When you are about to shout…think no! When you are about to start watching something useless…think no! I’m reading Qur’an instead. If you are about to quickly move on from salah..think no! I will pray my sunnah prayers with concentration. Be strong and determined and just stop for a moment..and not go ahead with that bad deed. And go that extra mile to do extra good deeds, by Allah’s will. Keep reminding yourself: ‘This is a sacred time. I must benefit!’
Ask yourself questions
Let’s use these sacred months, given to us by the Creator of time, to take account of ourselves. Think about the state of your heart. Reflect on your life and deeds. Have I been aware of what I’ve been saying and doing to others? What is my relationship with the Quran? Have I given any priority in my life to learning and understanding it?
Another thing is that the month of Rajab comes at an extremely important time of the year for you. It means that Ramadaan is near! While some specific acts of worship in Rajab are disputed (like specific prayers and duaa’, or singling out this month for visiting graves), you can do many good deeds to benefit and prepare for your favorite guest: Ramadan!
6 Spiritual Productivity Tips to Help You Benefit From This Month
1.Think about your intention.
You can’t remind yourself often enough: think about your intention! Get into the habit of making an intention to please Allah in everything you do – this niyyah (intention) can transform daily life tasks into acts of worship! For example, go to sleep intending to gain strength to do good deeds the next day and you are rewarded for sleeping, by Allah’s will. Even when you charge your smart device, make the intention to use it to share beneficial knowledge or maintain ties of kinship. Ask Allah to help you have a sincere intention because it is the key to acceptance of your deeds.
2. Seek forgiveness, and forgive!
Imagine you are expecting a guest, but your home is messy and needs cleaning? Would you start decorating it in its unclean state or start cleaning before anything else? Start with focusing on your obligations (faraa’id), fix your prayer, try to stay away from what is forbidden and… strive for tawbah nasoohah (a sincere repentance).
Allah Himself commands us: O you who have believed! Repent to Allah with sincere repentance. Isn’t that the ultimate motivation and it erases your sins! Ibn Kathir says in his tafseer: It erases the evil sins that preceded it and mend the shortcoming of the repenting person, encouraging and directing him to quit the evil that he used to do.
Action: From now, take time each day at least for 5 minutes to think of your sins and shortcomings since last Ramadan and ask Allah azza wa jall to forgive you. In whatever language or by whatever words, as long as it is from the bottom of your heart. This way you can start Ramadan with a heart that feels light and strong enough to worship well. Also, try to forgive others for the wrong they’ve done you so your heart won’t have grudges or ill-feeling and will free to enjoy worship in Ramadan!
3. Fast some extra days.
There’s no authentic narration from the Prophet nor the Companions stating that there’s a special virtue in fasting in Rajab. The same fasting is prescribed as in the other months, e.g. Mondays and Thursdays and the three days of al-Beedh (the mid three days of the lunar month) or fasting alternate days. There is no better way to prepare mentally and physically than to fast some extra days. So if you’ve never fasted on Monday or Thursday, start at least with one day a week!
4. Strengthen your body & deprive yourself.
Start strengthening your body to benefit from it in Ramadan by utilizing Sunnah foods; dates, black seed oil, honey, apple cider vinegar, broth, talbina (barley), watermelon, pumpkin etc. Start training yourself to resist by not indulging in things your nafs desires. Have a simple dinner, or avoid biscuits and sweets for a change while you normally just opened the cupboard to get some. This will set the tone for you to control your nafs in Ramadaan.
5. Literally, keep your tongue moist with dhikr.
This is a sacred time. Get used to saying phrases of dhikr throughout the day. SubhanAllah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu akbar, astaghfirullah, laa ilaaha illAllah, laa hawla wa laa quwatta illaa billaah- it’s an easy form of worship with a heavy and geat reward from Allah the Allmighty!
Use post-it notes in different parts of the house with phrases of dhikr to remind yourself and inspire others too. Also, withdraw bit-by-bit from meaningless gatherings- ask Allah to guide you in this.
6. Ask for tawfeeq.
Without tawfeeq (ability) nothing will happen; realize this. Ask Allah for His forgiveness and to bless us to reach Ramadan and benefit from this month and Sha’baan in preparing for it effectively. Ask Allah to accept your past Ramadans.
A Beautiful Note On Choosing: You Have A Mission!
Remember how beautiful Allah ‘azza wajal selects with the greatest wisdom? He chose His messengers, His books and . . . He chose you and gave you the privilege to say laa ilaaha illAllah!
He has chosen (selected) you (Muslims). [Quran, 22:77] The majority of those on earth are not chosen, but you’re part of the small selection when you submit yourself to Him.
Allah tells us: so that the Messenger is a witness against you, and: and that you all are witnesses against mankind. Not only the Prophet, but we will also be proof and witness against humanity according to how well we fulfill our mission. Our mission is to share and convey the message of Islam to others!
The Understand Quran Academy has the mission to spread the message of the Quran, so let’s make special dua together: O Allah, grant us the strength and steadfastness to make us successful callers to Your Deen, Ameen!
PS: Choose one ayah a day!
Prepare for Ramadan by starting your own Ayah Journal, asap! Choose one ayah and make it your mission of the day. You’ll see the change in your life and your relationship with Allah and His Beautiful Book. Check the Ayah Journal link below for instructions for this daily Quran exercise: www.facebook.com/ayahjournal
Praying you will benefit,
Khawlah bint Yahya, United Kingdom
May Allah ease the journey of knowledge for you, Aameen.