Rajab: Ready for the warm-up?
Allāh Taʿālā has declared Rajab, the 7th month of the Islāmic calendar from the “Ashurul Ḥurum” (sacred months). In these months, Allāh Ta’ālā has prohibited fighting and bloodshed, and sin is more strongly prohibited, the punishment being greater. Similarly, the Ajr (reward) for good deeds is increased or multiplied.
Rajab is the beginning of a ‘high spiritual season’ that culminates in the Mubārak month of Ramaḍān. It is an important part of our Dīn to know the names of the Islāmic months and be conscious of the Islāmic date.
The Duʿā of Nabī-Karīm ﷺ that he would recite from the onset of Rajab in preparation for the coming of Ramaḍān:
‎اَللّٰهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِيْ رَجَبَ وَشَعْبَانَ وَبَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَانَ
‘O Allāh, grant us Barakah during (the months of) Rajab and Sha’bān, and allow us to reach Ramaḍān’ [Shu’abul-Īmān Ḥadīth: 3534]
According to Imām Shāfī حمة الله عليه, the first night of Rajab is a night of acceptance of Duʿā, therefore as soon as the confirmation of the sighting of the Rajab moon is received, take advantage of this great opportunity!
The pious elders used to observe nafl fasts in Rajab and Shabaan in anticipation of Ramadan. Just as a person intending to run a marathon ‘warms up’ for many weeks and months before the actual race, we too should warm up by fasting and engaging more fervently in ʿIbādah before we enter the ‘race’ or ‘marathon’ of Ramadan!
These A’māl are the spiritual winds that gives rise to the spiritual clouds causing the spiritual rain to fall on the dead and dry ground of our hearts, which will then flourish in the month of Ramaḍān! If we want the Barakaat and Anwaraat of these months, start preparing from Rajab, and carry on working hard until we complete the month of Ramaḍān, with the taufeeq of Allah Ta’ala.
“The months of Rajab and Shaʿbān are a time for spiritual ‘alignment’ towards our purpose of life – the pleasure of Allāh Ta’ālā and to prepare for the Ākhirah, and a time to intensify in ʿIbādah and A’māl, ‘warming up’ for Ramaḍān!”
Mufti Zubair Bayat حفظه الله تعالى

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