Clarification on the status of Laylatul Mi’raaj

Nasihah (Advice): Remaining steadfast on the Sunnah of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam and the Khulafaa-Raashideen

Sayyiduna ’Irbaad ibn Saariyah Radhiyallahu Anhum narrated, “Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam gave us a sermon by which our hearts were filled with fear and tears came to our eyes. We said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! It is as though this is a farewell sermon, so counsel us.’ He Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam said, ‘I counsel you to have Taqwa (fear) of Allah, and to listen and obey even if a slave were to be appointed as your leader. Verily, he among you who lives long will see great controversy, so keep to my Sunnah and to the Sunnah of the Khulafa ar-Rashideen (the rightly guided caliphs), those who guide to the right way. Cling to it stubbornly [literally: with your molar teeth]. Beware of newly invented matters (in the religion), for verily every bidah (innovation) is misguidance.’” (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi)


Question and Answer:

  1. Below is an e-mail i received from the ‘other Jamiat’ and obviously i am very upset.Kindly give me clarity with regard to their last comments and statements highlighted in yellow.


  1. The email in question is not from the “other Jamiat”. It is from our Jamiat, the Jamiatul Ulama KZN.

The probable reason for the email upsetting you is that you have been misinformed of or you have misunderstood the true nature of the Mi’raaj. The Mi’raaj was undoubtedly a great occasion in the life of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam. It is one of his greatest miracles and a Sign that no other creation enjoyed the proximity and closeness that he had to Allah Ta’ala.

The Mi’raaj, like other great events in the life of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam is part of the Seerah and an integral part of Islamic History. Hence, the event must be remembered and the Ulama should inform their congregations regarding it.

The aspect which the email in question is making reference to is fixing a specific night every year to commemorate the Mi’raaj. This is the issue that the email takes objection to. We are the Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama’aah which means we are followers of the Sunnah of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam and of the practice of the Sahaabah, his noble Companions Radhiyallahu Anhum. In the practices of Deen, we take our guidance and direction from them. Any practice that is established from Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam and his Sahaabah we hold dear to our hearts and consider it as a part of our Deen. Any practice that did not come from them can obviously not merit the same consideration.

In commemorating the Mi’raaj, we find no precedent in the Sunnah or from the practice of the Sahaabah. This means that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam had never given the command to commemorate the night of Mi’raaj nor did the Sahaabah fix a date for its commemoration. Moreover, even the night when the Mi’raaj took place is an issue of much disagreement amongst the Muslim scholars. Hafiz Ibn Hajar (RA), the famous commentator of Sahih Bukhari has enumerated more than ten different dates on which the Mi’raaj may have occurred. Some scholars like Imam Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al-Harbi by Ibn Dihya in al-Ibtihaj fi Ahadith al-Mi`raj, Imam Nawawi in his Fatawa, Imam Suyuti in al-Ayat al-Kubra fi Sharh Qissat al-Isra and Allamah Alusi in Tafsir Ruhul Ma`ani have taken a categoric stance that the Mi’raaj occurred on the 27th of Rabi-ul-Awwal, rather than the 27th of Rajab.

The question that we must then ask ourselves is whether we have the right to declare and fix the night of the 27th of Rajab for commemorating the Mi’raaj when Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam did not do so, the Sahaabah Radhiyallahu Anhum did not do so, and the 27th of Rajab itself has not been authenticated to be the night of Mi’raaj?

Our guidance lies in following the Sunnah of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam and the practice of the Sahaabah Radhiyallahu Anhum. In this lies our salvation and the protection and preservation of our Deen.

And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Moosa Salie         


Mufti Ebrahim Desai 

(The answer hereby given is specifically based on the question asked and should be read together with the question asked. Islamic rulings on this Q&A newsletter are answered in accordance to the Hanafi Fiqh.) 

Fatwa Department
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Rajab FAQ


Can you mention the reference and Arabic for this?

“Rajab is the month to sow the seeds. Sha’ban is the month to irrigate the crop and Ramadan is the month to reap the harvest.”


‘Allamah Ibn Rajab Al Hambali (rahimahullah) has cited this as the statement of Imam Abu Bakr Al Warraq Al Balkhi (rahimahullah).

(Lataiful Ma’arif, pg. 218, Al Maktabul Islami edition)

Arabic text

شهر رجب شهر الزرع و شهر شعبان شهر السقي للزرع و شهر رمضان شهر حصاد الزرع
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.


Is this Hadith authentic?

من صام يوما من رجب وقام ليلة من لياليه بعثه الله تعالى آمنا يوم القيامة ومر على الصراط وهو يهلل ويكبر


Imam Daylami (rahimahullah) has recorded this Hadith on the authority of Sayyiduna Jabir (radiyallahu ‘anhu). However, the chain consists of a liar. The Hadith is therefore not suitable to quote.

(Dhaylul La-Alil Masnu’ah, vol. 1 pg. 464, Hadith: 560, Tanzihush Shari’ah, vol. 2, pg. 164)


Whoever fasts for one day in Rajab and spends one night of Rajab [in ‘ibadah], Allah Ta’ala will resurrect him in safety on the Day of Qiyamah and he will cross the bridge [sirat] while saying ‘La ilaha illallah’ and ‘Allahu Akbar’.

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.


Could you kindly confirm the following Hadith:

“Whoever prays twelve rakats on the night of twenty seventh of Rajab, in every rakat recites Surah Fatihah and any other Surah from Quran. After every two rakats recites Tashahhud and ends with salam. Thereafter recites one hundred times: “Subhan Allahi Wal Hamdulillahi Wa Laa ilaah illal Lahu Wallah Hu Akbar”, “Astagfirullah” one hundred times and sends one hundred salutations (durud) on Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) Thereafter makes du’a for his/her religious and worldly matters and fasts the next day. Then Allah Ta’ala will accept all of his/her dua’s. As long as dua’s are not made of sins”


This narration has been declared as extremely weak and a fabrication.

(Refer: Tanzihush Shari’ah, vol. 2 pg. 90 and Al Adab Fi Rajab, pg. 47)

There is no specific form of salah to be recited on the twenty seventh of Rajab. To specify a form of salah for this night without substantiation from the Sunnah is an innovation (bid’ah).

See here for further details.


Kindly verify the following Hadith:

“Whoever alleviates distress of a Muslim in the month of Rajab, Allah will grant him a palace in Paradise”


Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has termed the text of this Hadith as baseless. The Hadith cannot be quoted.

(Refer: Tabyinul ‘Ajab of Hafiz Ibn Hajar, pg. 27, Hadith: 12)

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best


Is the following Hadith authentic?

“The one who fasts on the twenty seventh (27th) day of Rajab will receive the reward of fasting for sixty years“


I have not come across this narration. However Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has cited a similar narration as the statement of Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) -not as as the statement of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and has declared it as unreliable.

(Tabyinul ‘Ajab, pg. 45, Hadith: 28)

It should be noted that the Hadith Masters have agreed that there exists no Hadith that mentions the virtues of fasting on any specific date in Rajab. In Fact Hafiz Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) has stated the following:

“There exists no Hadith, reported from Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) or the Sahabah that mentions the virtues of fasting on any specific date in Rajab”

(Lataiful Ma’arif, pg. 228)

See here for more details.

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best


Are there any specific nafl prayers to be prayed in the night of Mi’raj, the 27th of Rajab?


There are no specific forms of worship for the 27th night of Rajab to be found in the authentic books of Hadith.

In fact, although some scholars have opined that Mi’raj occurred on 27th Rajab, there does exist legitimate difference of opinion on this too. See here for more

To specify a form of salah for this night without substantiation from the sunnah is an innovation (bid’ah).

Click here for more on this.

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,


Kindly verify the following narration.

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Seek much forgiveness from Allah in Rajab because in every hour (of the month) Allah frees people from the fire”


This Hadith is recorded in Musnadul Firdaws. ‘Allamah Suyuti (rahimahullah) has cited this narration in his book on fabricated narrations. This Hadith should not be quoted.

(Refer: Dhaylul La-ali Al Masnu’ah, vol. 2 pg. 617, Tanzihush Shari’ah, vol. 2 pg. 333, Tadhkiratul Mawdu’at of ‘Allamah Muhammad Tahir Al Fatani, pg. 116. Also see Al Adab Fi Rajab, pg. 38)

However it has been the practice of certain seniors to seek extra forgiveness in Rajab (in general, without attaching any specific virtue). See here for more details.

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best


Is the following Hadith authentic?

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Fasting the first day of Rajab compensates for the sins of three years, fasting the second day expiates two years of sins and fasting the third day expiates one year of sins, thereafter one month’s sins are expiated for each day of fasting”


Abu Muhammad Al Khallal (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration with an extremely weak chain. The Hadith should not be quoted.

(Refer: Jami’us Saghir, Hadith: 5051, Faydul Qadir and At Taysir Bi Sharhil Jami ‘is Saghir. Also see Al Mughir of Ahmad Siddiq Al Ghumari)

Nevertheless, Mulla ‘Ali Qari (rahimahullah) has explained that in general, we are encouraged to observe additional Nafl (voluntary) fasts in Rajab.

( Al Adab Fi Rajab, pg. 30)

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best


I received the following message today regarding a particular Istighfar that should be read in Rajab and Sha’ban. It’s the first time I’ve heard of it. Is there any basis to it, is it authentic?

‘Whoever recites in Rajab or Sha’ban the following istighfar 7 times a day, Allah will send a message to the angels who write down his deeds, to tear apart his book of sins’

Astaghfirullahal azimil ladhi la ilaha illa huwal hayyul qayyumu wa atubu ilayhi tawbata ‘abdin zalimin linafsihi la yamliku li nafsihi mawtan wala hayatan wa la nushura


The narration you are querying has been mentioned in some ‘non hadith’ books without a chain of narrators, and therefore I cannot comment it.

(refer to: Al-Adab fi Rajab, pg.39)

Narrations like these should first be verified before they are publicized.

Rajab is from the 4 sacred months of the islamic calendar. (Ash-hurul Hurum)

One should indeed increase all forms of worship in these months, including istighfar (seeking forgiveness)

Mulla ‘Ali Qari (rahimahullah) writes that he heard his seniors reciting istighfar abundantly in Rajab. (Al-Adab fi Rajab, pg.38)

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,


Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

At The Approach of Rajab & Sha’ban

With the sighting of the crescent of Rajab, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) would anticipate and begin preparations for the month of Ramadhan. This is two months in advance! People “live to see” various accomplishments in their lives, but a Believer “lives for” and yearns to witness sacred days like these.

Rajab Du’a

Sayyiduna Anas Ibn Malik (radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) would recite the following supplication when the Month of Rajab would commence:

اَللّٰهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَناَ فِيْ رَجَبٍ وَشَعْبانَ وَبَلّغْنَا رَمَضَانْ

Allahumma baarik lanaa fee Rajaba wa Sha’bana wa balligh-naa Ramadhan

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

(Shu’abul-Iman #3534, Ibnu Sunni #660, Mukhtasar Zawaid Bazzar #662, also see Al-Azhkar #549)

Hafidh Ibn Rajab rahimahullah says this narration is suitable to prove the merit of reciting this du’a -“istihbab. Lataif, pg.172. To declare this du’a as baseless is exaggerate. See here for more.

Sacred Months

Rajab is the second of the “four sacred months” in the Islamic Calendar which are referred to as: “Al-Ash-hurul hurum“ (Surah Tawbah, verse: 36)

The others are: Zhul-Qa’dah, Zhul-Hijjah and Al-Muharram.

Explaining their significance the ‘Ulama mention that during these months, good deeds are more virtuous and evil deeds are more detestable to Almighty Allah.(Lataiful-Ma’arif, pg.163)

A pious person once fell ill before Rajab. He made du’a to Allah that He allow him to live till Rajab (at least) because he had heard that Allah frees people from punishment in Rajab. Allah Ta’ala had accepted his du’a. (Latiful Ma’arif, pg.173)


As for Sha’ban, authentic Ahadith describe special significance for the 15th night. (see detailed article here)

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is reported to have said: “Certainly Almighty Allah forgives everyone on this night besides those who ascribe partners to Him and those who harbor enmity for others”.

(Sahih Ibn Hibban #5665, Al-Targheeb,vol.3 pg.459, Majma’uz-zawaid,vol.8 pg.65 & Lataaiful-Ma’arif, pg.194)

Imam ‘Ataa Ibn Yasar (rahimahullah)- a distinguished Tabi’e- said:

“ After Laylatul Qadr, there is no other night more virtuous than the middle (15th) night of Sha’ban .”

(Ibid, pg. 197)

Du’as are accepted

Imam Shafi’e (rahimahullah) has stated: “I have heard that du’as are accepted by Almighty Allah on five nights:

1) The night of Jumu’ah,

2 & 3) The nights of the two ‘Eids,

4) The first night of Rajab,

5) The middle (15th) night of Sha’ban,

(Lataiful Ma’arif, pg. 196)

In fact, the experience of people prior to Islam even, shows that Allah Ta’ala would accept their du’as during the month of Rajab. Imam Ibn Abi Dunya (rahimahullah) has cited several examples of this in his book: “Mujabu Da’wah”.(ibid)

Specific forms of worship

There are no specific types of Salah etc. that are prescribed for the Month of Rajab or the 15th night of Sha’ban. One may engage in whatever form of ‘ibadah one is comfortable with. (Lataiful Ma’arif, pg.168, Islamic Months by Mufti Taqi Uthmani, pgs.63 & 79)

The Sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anum) and the Tab’un (rahimahumullah) would increase their Quranic recital during these months (especially in Sha’ban), i.e. in preparation for Ramadhan. (Lataiful Ma’arif, pg. 192)

The beginning of a new season

The crescent of Rajab actually signals the start of a “New Season”. One of hope, mercy and forgiveness for a believer. This “season” only finishes three months later; on the day of Eid!

Shaykh Abu Bakr Balkhy (rahimahullah) says:

“Rajab is a month in which we plant the seeds of good. i.e, by increasing our ‘ibadah. In Sha’ban we water them, to cultivate (and reap the rewards) in Ramadhan”

(Lataif, pg. 173)

Opportunities like these only come once a year. Fortunate are those who maximise their benefit there from.

The Month Of Rajab

by Mufti Muhammad Taqi al-Uthmani (Principal Of Darul ‘Uloom Karachi)
Rajab is the seventh month in the Islamic lunar calendar. This month was regarded as one of the sacred months (Al-Ash-hur-al-hurum) in which battles were prohibited in the days of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam). It is also a prelude to the month of Ramadan, because Ramadan follows it after the intervening month of Sha’ban. Therefore, when the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) sighted the moon of Rajab, he used to pray to Allah in the following words:

“O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan (i.e. prolong our life up to Ramadan, so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings).”

No specific way of worship has been prescribed by the Shari’ah in this month. However, some people have invented some special rituals or practices in this month, which are not supported by reliable resources of the Shari’ah or are based on some unauthentic traditions. We would like to explain their correct position and status in Islam hereunder:

1. Celebration of Lailatul Mi’raj

It is generally believed that the great event of Mi’raj (ascension of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) to the heavens) took place in the night of 27th of Rajab. Therefore, some people celebrate the night as “Lailatul- Mi’raj” (the night of ascension to heavens).

Indeed, the event of mi’raj was one of the most remarkable episodes in the life of our beloved Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam). He was called by Almighty Allah. He traveled from Makkah to Baitul-Maqdis and from there he ascended the heavens through the miraculous power of Allah.
He was honored with a direct contact with his Creator at a place where even the angels had no access. This was the unique honor conferred by Allah to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) alone. It was the climax of the spiritual progress which is not attained by anybody except him. No doubt the night in which he was blessed with this unparalleled honor was one of the greatest nights in the history of this world.

But, Islam has its own principles with regard to the historic and religious events. Its approach about observing festivals and celebrating days and nights is totally different from the approach of other religions. The Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) did not prescribe any festival or any celebration to commemorate an event from the past, however remarkable it might have been. Instead, Islam has prescribed two annual celebrations only. One is Eid-ul-Fitr and the other is Eid ul-Adha. Both of these festivals have been fixed at a date on which the Muslims accomplish a great ‘ibadah (worship) every year. Eid-ul-Fitr has been prescribed after the fasts of Ramadan, while Eid-ul-Adha has been fixed when the Muslims perform the Hajj annually. None of these two eids is designed to commemorate a particular event of the past which has happened in these dates. This approach is indicative of the fact that the real occasion for a happy celebration is the day in which the celebrators themselves have accomplished remarkable work through their own active effort. As for the accomplishments of our ancestors, their commemoration should not be restricted to a particular day or night. Instead, their accomplishments must be remembered every day in the practical life by observing their teachings and following the great examples they have set for us.

Keeping this principle in view, the following points should be remembered with regard to the “Lailatul-mi’raj”:

1) We cannot say with absolute certainty on which night the great event of mi’raj took place. Although some traditions relate this event to 27th night of the month of Rajab, yet there are other traditions that suggest other dates. Al-Zurqani (Rahimahullah), the famous biographer of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) has referred to five different views in this respect: Rabi-ul-Awwal, Rabi-u-Thani, Rajab, Ramadan and Shawwal. Later, while discussing different traditions, he has added a sixth opinion, that the mi’raj took place in the month of Zulhijjah.

Allamah Abdul-haq Muhaddith Dehlawi (Rahimahullah), the well-known scholar of the Indian subcontinent, has written a detailed book on the merits of Islamic months. While discussing the ‘Lailatul-mi’raj’ has mentioned that most of the scholars are of the view that the event of mi’raj took place in the month of Ramadan or in Rabi-ul-awwal.

2) It is also not known in which year the event of Mi’raj took place. The books of history suggest a wide range between the fifth-year and the twelfth year after the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) was entrusted with prophethood.

Now, if it is assumed that the event of Mi’raj took place in the fifth year of his prophethood, it will mean that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) remained in this world for eighteen years after this event. Even if it is presumed that the mi’raj took place in the twelfth year of his prophethood, his remaining life-time after this event would be eleven years. Throughout this long period, which may range between eleven years and eighteen years, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) never celebrated the event of mi’raj, nor did he give any instruction about it. No one can prove that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) ever performed some specific modes of worship in a night calling it the ‘Lailatul-mi’raj’ or advised his followers to commemorate the event in a particular manner.

3) After the demise of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) also, no one of his companions is reported to celebrate this night as a night of special acts of worship. They were the true devotees of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) and had devoted their lives to preserve every minute detail of the sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) and other Islamic teachings. Still, they did not celebrate the event of mi’raj in a particular night in a particular way.

All these points go a long way to prove that the celebration of the 27th night of Rajab, being the lailatul-mi’raj has no basis in the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) or in the practice of his noble companions. Had it been a commendable practice to celebrate this night, the exact date of this event would have been preserved accurately by the Ummah and the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) and his blessed companions would have given specific directions for it.

Therefore, it is not a Sunnah to celebrate the Lailatul-mi’raj’. We cannot declare any practice as a sunnah unless it is established through authentic sources that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) or is noble Companions have recognized it as such, otherwise it may become a bid’ah about which the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) has observed in the following words: “Whoever invents something in our religion which is not a part of it, it is to be rejected.”

Being mindful of this serious warning, we should understand that the 27th night of the month of Rajab is not like ‘Lailatul-qadr’ or ‘Lailatul-bara’ah’ for which special merits have been mentioned expressly by, either the Holy Qur’an or by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam).

However, all the recognized modes of ‘ibadah (worship) like Salat, recitation of the Holy Qur’an, dhikr, etc. are commendable any time, especially in the late hours of night, and obviously the 27th night of Rajab is not an exception. Therefore, if someone performs any recognized ‘ibadah in this night from this point of view nothing can stop him from doing so, and he will be entitled to the thawab (reward allocated for that recognized ‘ibadah insha-Allah.) But it is not permissible to believe that performing ‘ibadah in this night is more meritorious or carries more thawab like ‘Lailatul-qadr’ or ‘Lailatul-bara’ah’ because this belief is not based on any authentic verse or on a sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam). Similarly, it is not a correct practice to celebrate this night collectively and to invite people to special ritual congregations.

4) Some people suggest some special modes of worship to be performed in this night. Since no special mode of worship is prescribed by the Shari’ah in this night, these suggestions are devoid of any authority and should not be acted upon.

It is believed by some that the Muslims should fast on the 27th of Rajab. Although there are some traditions attributing special merits to the fast of this day yet the scholars of hadith have held these traditions as very weak and unauthentic reports which cannot be sufficient to establish a rule of Shari’ah. On the contrary, there is an authentic report that Sayyiduna ‘Umar, Radi-Allahu anhu used to forbid people from fasting on this day, rather, he used to compel them to eat if they had started fasting.

It should be borne in mind here that a “nafl” fast can be observed any day (except the six prohibited days of the year); therefore, fasting on 27th of Rajab is not prohibited in itself. What is prohibited is the belief that fasting on this day is more meritorious than fasting in other normal days. One should not fast on this day with this belief. But if someone fasts therein, believing it to be a normal nafl fast, there is no bar against it.

Sacrifice (qurbani) in the month of Rajab

In the days of ignorance (jahiliyyah) the Arabs used to offer the sacrifice of a goat in the month of Rajab. This sacrifice used to be called ‘Ateerah or Rajabiyyah. This sacrifice was offered in the name of different so-called gods and their icons. In the beginning of Islam, this custom was retained, but the Muslims modified it by offering the sacrifice of ‘Ateerah in the name of Allah instead of the false gods. But finally, this custom was abandoned and the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) prohibited the offering of ‘Ateerah. In a tradition of Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu, reported by both al-Bukhari and Muslim, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) has said: “Far’ is nothing and ‘Ateerah is nothing.”

Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu, has explained in the same tradition that Far’ was the first child of a she-camel. Whenever a she-camel delivered its first child, the Arabs used to sacrifice it in the name of their so-called gods, while the ‘Ateerah was a goat used to be sacrificed in the month of Rajab. Since the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) stopped both these customs, ‘Ateerah is no longer a recognized practice.

‘Umrah in the month of Rajab

Ibn ‘Abidin (Rahimahullah), the well-known scholar of the Islamic jurisprudence, has mentioned that the people of Makkah (in his days) used to perform ‘umrah in the month of Rajab. Perhaps they believed that performing ‘umrah in this month is more meritorious than in other months. Then Ibn Abidin himself has rejected the authenticity of this practice, because no tradition of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) is found to this effect. Conversely Sayyidah ‘Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, has expressly negated the presumption by saying that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) never performed an ‘umrah in the month of Rajab. (Sahih Muslim 1:409)

However, Ibn ‘Abidin (Rahimahullah) has quoted a narration that ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair, Radi-Allahu anhu, completed the renovation of Ka’bah shortly before 27th of Rajab, and as a sign of gratefulness he performed ‘umrah and slaughtered some animals. But this report cannot form the basis of a recognized annual practice, firstly because the report is not very authentic, and secondly because it does not mention that Abdullah ibn Zubair, Radi-Allahu anhu, had adopted it as a continuing practice. At the most, he performed ‘umrah once as a sign of gratefulness on the completion of Ka’bah. It does not mean that he performed it as a characteristic of the month of Rajab. Therefore, performing ‘Umrah in this month is like performing it in any other month and no special merit can be attached to it merely because it has been performed in the month of Rajab.

The Salat of “Ragha’ib”

Another special mode of worship attributed by some people to this month is the Salat of Raghai’b. According to the custom of such people, this Salat is performed in the night of first Friday of the month of Eajab. The Salat of Raghaib is said to consist of twelve rak’ats to be performed in pairs with six salams, and in each rak’at the surah al-qadr is recited three times followed by the Surah-al-ikhlas. This type of Salat is also not based on any sound source of Shari’ah. Therefore, almost all the jurists and scholars of Shari’ah have held that the Salat of Raghaib is a baseless practice and it is not permissible to treat it as a recognized practice of this month. It is true that there is a tradition, narrated by Razin (Rahimahullah), the author of a book of hadith, which attributes the origin of this practice to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) but almost all the scholars of the science of hadith have held it to be absolutely unauthentic. Therefore, no importance can be attached to it.

Distribution of Breads:

Another baseless practice 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. This custom has two different shapes.

1) In some communities, this custom is celebrated on 17th of Rajab on the assumption that Sayyiduna Ali, Radi-Allahu anhu, was born on 11th of Rajab and the 17th of Rajab is the day on which his ‘Aqiqa (Shaving of his head) was performed. In order to celebrate this happy event, the breads of some special type are prepared and after reciting Surah Al-Mulk on them, they are distributed among the relatives and friends. These breads are generally called “breads of Tabarak” because Surah Al-Mulk is usually recited on them.

This practice is baseless because it is never proved that Sayyiduna Ali, Radi-Allahu anhu, was born on 11th of Rajab or that his Aqiqa was performed on 17th of this month and, as explained earlier, even if these events are proved to have happened in those days, their commemoration through these specific rituals is not warranted by the Shari’ah.

2) A more common practice of this type is observed on 22nd of Rajab whereby some breads and meals of a special type are prepared and distributed among the people. Since these special meals are usually placed in some bowls made of clay, the custom is usually known as “Koonda”, an Urdu equivalent of such bowls. It is usually believed that the custom is designed to make ‘isal-al-thawab to the soul of Sayyiduna Jafar Al-Sadiq who himself has directed his followers to observe this custom and has promised them that whoever observes it, his desires will be fulfilled.

All these assumptions also have no basis at all, neither historically, nor according to the principles of Shari’ah. In fact, the date of 22nd of Rajab has no concern whatsoever with Sayyiduna Jafar al-Sadiq, Rahimahullah. According to the historians, he was born on 8th of Ramadan 80 A.H. and died in Shawwal 148 A.H. No specific event of the life of Sayyiduna Jafar al-Sadiq is proved to have happened on this date. The people believing in the custom refer to a coined story mentioned in an unauthentic book named “Dastaan-e-Ajeeb”.

Briefly stated, the gist of the story is that a poor woodcutter lived in Madinah in the days of Jafar Al-Sadiq. He went abroad to earn his livelihood. His wife was employed in the house of the Prime Minister. Once she was cleaning the courtyard of the Prime Minister when Sayyiduna Jafar al-Sadiq passed by her. It was 22nd of Rajab. He advised her to bake some breads of a special type and make ‘isal-al-sawab to him. According to this story, he promised her that if her desire is not fulfilled after this practice, she can catch hold of him at the doom’s day. On hearing this, the woman made a vow that if her husband will come back with a considerable amount of wealth, she will observe the custom of “Koonda”. On the same day her husband, who was in another country, found a valuable treasure in the earth and came back with it to Madinah where he established himself as a rich man and started living in a magnificent castle. When his wife told the story to the wife of the Prime Minister, she disbelieved her and because of this disbelief, she and her husband, the Prime Minister, were punished by Allah. He was removed by the king from the prime minister-ship and was imprisoned in a jail and was ordered to be hanged. While being in the prison, the wife of the Prime Minister remembered that she had disbelieved the story of Jafar al-Sadiq told to her by her maidservant and their misery might be the punishment of their disbelief. On this point, she and her husband repented before Allah and made a vow to observe the custom of “Koonda”, if they are released from the jail. After they made such a vow, the whole scenario of the events changed suddenly. The king released the Prime Minister from the jail and reinstated him on his former position.

As can be seen by any reasonable person, this story is totally forged on the face of it. The person who has coined this story did not even know that Madinah had never a king nor a Prime Minister. All the Muslim rulers were named as caliphs and had no Prime Minister at all. In the days of Umayyads, their capital was Damascus and in the days of Abbasids, their permanent seat was in Baghdad.

It is ironic that the story of such a woodcutter is not even known to anybody in Madinah, nor in any city of the Arab countries. No Arabic book has ever referred to it. It has no mention except in an Urdu book ‘Dastaan-e-Ajeeb’, the author of which is unknown. One can easily see that a custom based on such a fallacious and mythical story can never be an Islamic custom. Islam has always been far away from such superstitions.

Therefore, this baseless custom should completely be avoided by true Muslims. Some historians have opined that in fact, this custom has been coined by some Shi’ites because the date of 22nd of Rajab is the date of the demise of Sayyidna Mu’awiyah whom they take as their biggest enemy. They took that date as a happy occasion and made the Sunni Muslims also to celebrate it on the pretext of the above-mentioned story.

Be that as it may, it is evident that such customs have crept into the Muslim society by their long association with Hindus who commemorate different historical events of their religion in the like manner. The Muslims must be careful about these customs because they are not only an invention of ignorance but also the imitation of non-Muslims in their religious rituals. No doubt the “‘isal-al-thawab’ to the soul of a deceased Muslim, and particularly to a pious person is not only permissible but also a commendable practice but the Shari’ah has not prescribed a particular date, nor a particular mode to do so. If someone wants to make “‘isal-al-thawab” to Sayyiduna ‘Ali, Radi-Allahu anhu, or to Ja’far al-Sadiq, he can do it any day and by performing any act of worship, like Salat, fast, Sadaqah, dhikr etc. There is no reason why it should be restricted to a special type of meal or bread distributed on a particular date. What makes this practice worse is the fact that the people accustomed to this practice deem it as necessary as a fard (obligation); rather they treat it as more necessary than fard because they do not care to perform the obligatory Salat or to fulfill the rights of men obligated on them, but they are very strict and punctual to perform these activities. Moreover, if a person does not observe this practice, they reproach him and call him with bad names. Such behavior makes this custom a bid’ah which is condemned by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) as a misguidance. Therefore, Muslims must abandon all such practices and should not cling to it only because it has been the practice of their society for many years. A Muslim is supposed to follow the dictates of Shari’ah and not the practice of the society, especially if it violates any of its principles.


The upshot of the above discussion is that the Shari’ah has not prescribed any specific way to observe the month of Rajab or to perform a specific mode of worship or a ritual in any one of its dates. However, being a prologue to the month of Ramadan, it should be availed of for preparing oneself for Ramadan and one should pray Allah to make him reach the blessed month and to benefit from its unique merits.

The date of Mi’raaj

Q: Did the event of mi’raaj really take place on the 27th of Rajab? What special ibaadah should be done on this night and what is the importance of fasting on this day?

A: There are various opinions reported in regard to the night when Mi’raaj had taken place. However, the famous opinion in regard to Mi’raaj is that it took place on the 27th of Rajab.

It should be borne in mind that the month of Rajab is among the four sacred months of the Islamic year. In these four sacred months, we are commanded to carry out extra ibaadaat and safeguard ourselves from committing sins. The rewards for carrying out righteous actions are multiplied and the sins for carrying out evil deeds are increased. Hence one may observe nafil fasts, perform nafil Salaah and carry out extra ibaadaat in the month of Rajab and the other sacred months. However there is no special virtue mentioned in the Ahaadith regarding any particular ibaadat to be carried out during any specific day or night in the month of Rajab. Hence, there is no special ibaadat established in the Hadith to be carried out on the night of Mi’raaj and the following day.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

عن علي بن أبي طلحة عن ابن عباس في قوله إن عدة الشهور عند الله اثنا عشر شهرا في كتاب الله إلى قوله منها أربعة حرم ذلك الدين القيم فلا تظلموا فيهن أنفسكم قال لا تظلموا أنفسكم في كلهن ثم اختص من ذلك أربعة أشهر فجعلهن حرما و عظم حرماتهن و جعل الذنب فيهن أعظم و العمل الصالح و الأجر أعظم (شعب الإيمان #3806)

وقد اختلف في وقت المعراج فقيل كان قبل المبعث وهو شاذ إلا إن حمل على أنه وقع حينئذ في المنام كما تقدم وذهب الأكثر إلى أنه كان بعد المبعث ثم اختلفوا فقيل قبل الهجرة بسنة قاله بن سعد وغيره وبه جزم النووي وبالغ بن حزم فنقل الإجماع فيه وهو مردود فإن في ذلك اختلافا كثيرا يزيد على عشرة أقوال منها ما حكاه بن الجوزي أنه كان قبلها بثمانية أشهر وقيل بستة أشهر وحكى هذا الثاني أبو الربيع بن سالم وحكى بن حزم مقتضى الذي قبله لأنه قال كان في رجب سنة اثنتي عشرة من النبوة وقيل بأحد عشر شهرا جزم به إبراهيم الحربي حيث قال كان في ربيع الآخر قبل الهجرة بسنة ورجحه بن المنير في شرح السيرة لابن عبد البر وقيل قبل الهجرة بسنة وشهرين حكاه بن عبد البر وقيل قبلها بسنة وثلاثة أشهر حكاه بن فارس وقيل بسنة وخمسة أشهر قاله السدي وأخرجه من طريقه الطبري والبيهقي فعلى هذا كان في شوال أو في رمضان على إلغاء الكسرين منه ومن ربيع الأول وبه جزم الواقدي وعلى ظاهره ينطبق ما ذكره بن قتيبة وحكاه بن عبد البر أنه كان قبلها بثمانية عشر شهرا وعند بن سعد عن بن أبي سبرة أنه كان في رمضان قبل الهجرة بثمانية عشر شهرا وقيل كان في رجب حكاه بن عبد البر وجزم به النووي في الروضة (فتح الباري 7/243)

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)