4 Things To Do In RajabFebruary 3, 2022 2023-08-18 23:36
4 Things To Do In Rajab
إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِندَ اللَّـهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّـهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ ۚ فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُمْ ۚ
“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…” (Surah At-Tawbah, 9:36)
Time in the life of a believer is of major importance. It is a gift from Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى and we should always try our best to spend it in the best of ways, to serve and worship Him. As a result, the whole year matters, not just Ramadan, Eid, Friday or the four sacred months. That being said, these special times should receive a bit more of our efforts and energy because of the great virtues and blessings they carry.
So, how can we best spend the sacred month of Rajab? We have listed below four areas that we could be focusing on this month insha’Allah!
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي رَجَبٍ وَشَعْبَانَ وَبَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَانَ
Anas رضي الله عنه said that when Rajab came, Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “O Allah, bless us in Rajab and Sha’ban and bring us to Ramadan.” (Mishkat al-Masabih 1369)
If you know your Hijri calendar (if this is new to you, check out this article), you also know that Rajab kind of rings the bell of Ramadan! When Rajab starts, there are just two lunar months left until the blessed month of Ramadan begins, a special month during which, God willing, we will fast, increase our acts of worship, read more of the Quran, do extra prayers at night, and spend more time reflecting. Ramadan is an amazing month, but for many of us, it is also exhausting as we try to add all of those beautiful activities to the responsibilities we already hold (parenting, studying, working, etc.), while abstaining from food and drinks all day.
This is why it is so important to prepare for this special month ahead of time, and if you haven’t done any prep yet, now is definitely the time to get started! How? Here are four things to focus on:
- Make up missed fasts from previous year(s): if fasting is overwhelming for you, try to aim for Mondays and/or Thursdays each week leading up to Ramadan, and get a buddy to fast with you or support you in other ways. You can also download our FREE Missed Fasts Make Up Guide here!
- Make a plan for your Quran reading during Ramadan and start reading from NOW! The point of Ramadan is to read MORE Quran, not to just read and leave the Quran the rest of the year. So start from today, don’t delay, even if you can read easily and you know you can do a khatmah (recitation of the whole Quran) or two during Ramadan. Even better: do reflection work now by reading translations and tafseer, and pondering upon the meaning of what you read, so that your reading during Ramadan will be more meaningful insha’Allah. If you don’t know how to read the Quran yet, now would be a great time to start learning with an online class!
- Start thinking about what you would like to achieve during Ramadan, what will your goal(s) be, and put a plan together on how to get there. Perhaps you want to develop your relationship with the Book of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى? Improve your behavior? Or start praying tahajjud (voluntary nightly prayer)? Be realistic and intentional about what you want to achieve, and think about what steps you will need to be successful. You can also find a trusted buddy to help you be accountable to your goal(s).
- Look at your relationships and think about how you can improve them before Ramadan, to avoid ill feelings or pointless arguments during the blessed month. Your spouse, your parents, your children, your coworkers, your neighbors, your friends: always remember that they have rights upon you just as much as you have rights upon them. We get easily carried away by our emotions and feelings, and our sense of personal injustice, when we focus on the daily routine of this world and forget about the bigger picture of the Hereafter. Don’t spoil your Ramadan with damaged relationships in which fights, back-biting and sarcasm are likely to occur. If you are having difficulty in your relationships and feel overwhelmed, consider reaching out to a professional to get the help you need. But please also note that abuse – of any kind – is NEVER permissible in Islam so make sure to seek help immediately if you think you are in an abusive relationship, physical, spiritual, psychological and financial.
Learn about your religion
Entering a sacred month is a great opportunity to remind ourselves that we should all be seeking to increase our knowledge of the religion, to the best of our abilities. Why? Because Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى has created us with a unique feature that no other creation of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى has been gifted: the intellect, the ability to reflect, ponder and learn in experiential ways.
يُؤْتِي الْحِكْمَةَ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
“He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good. And none will remember except those of understanding.” (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:269)
Seeking knowledge of our religion will also help us spend our time and occupy our mind with beneficial activities that will have a positive impact on ourselves and those around us, God willing. Instead of watching the latest series on Netflix, how about we read a translation of a surah(chapter of the Quran), or we find a good Islamic podcast? There are so many resources available out there, many for free, so let’s take advantage!
Additionally there are so many virtues in the quest for sacred knowledge, and there are many verses in the Quran as well as narrations from the Prophet ﷺ that emphasize them. Here are just a few:
Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى teaches us this special dua in the Quran:
وَقُل رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا
“And say, ‘My Lord, increase me in knowledge.'” (Surah Taha, 20:114)
And Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى said:
يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ
“Allah will raise the status of those who believe among you and who are given knowledge by degrees.” (Surah Al-Mujadila, 58:11)
Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
وَمَنْ سَلَكَ طَرِيقًا يَلْتَمِسُ فِيهِ عِلْمًا سَهَّلَ اللَّهُ لَهُ بِهِ طَرِيقًا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَمَا اجْتَمَعَ قَوْمٌ فِي بَيْتٍ مِنْ بُيُوتِ اللَّهِ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَيَتَدَارَسُونَهُ بَيْنَهُمْ إِلاَّ نَزَلَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ السَّكِينَةُ وَغَشِيَتْهُمُ الرَّحْمَةُ وَحَفَّتْهُمُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ وَذَكَرَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِيمَنْ عِنْدَهُ
“Whoever travels a path in search of knowledge, Allah will make easy for him a path to Paradise. People do not gather in the houses of Allah, reciting the book of Allah and studying it together, but that tranquility will descend upon them, mercy will cover them, angels will surround them, and Allah will mention them to those near him.” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2699)
Mu’awiya رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
مَنْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ بِهِ خَيْرًا يُفَقِّهْهُ فِي الدِّينِ
“If Allah intends goodness for someone, He gives him understanding of the religion.” (Sahih Bukhari 71)
Scroll down to keep reading!
As you increase your knowledge of the deen, you will inevitably learn about the best person to ever walk the face of this earth: Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, peace and blessings be upon him. Rajab is a great month to start or increase your knowledge of and love for our beloved Prophet because the 27th day of Rajab marks the day of Al-Israa’ wal-Mi’raaj, the miraculous night journey and ascension to heaven. You can start learning now by reading our blog article on this topic here.
In a previous blog post, we had highlighted seven ways to increase your love for the Prophet ﷺ. You can read the full article here, or focus on the short recap below:
1. Send salawaat upon the Prophetﷺ
2. Learn about the Prophetﷺ
3. Learn about the sunnah
4. Revive a sunnah
5. Build and nurture your relationship with the Quran
6. Strive to be the best version of yourself
7. If you can, go visit Makkah and Madinah
Start building congruence between your inner self and your outer self
This one might sound a little philosophical, but it is so important and it applies to everything we do really. Sometimes, we get tangled up into one of two things: we either focus too much on our appearance, the way we look, how people will perceive us according to the way we dress or carry ourselves, or we only think about what happens inside, our emotions, our feelings, our devotion, what many might call “spirituality”. The beautiful reality of Islam is that both aspects matter and we should strive to find the right balance between the two so that we can build congruence within ourselves.
For example, someone might be fasting the whole month of Ramadan, and it may seem that they are doing the right thing from the outside, but their inner reality is that they are only doing it because they don’t want to be mocked or rejected by their group of friends who all fast. Now, this isn’t to say that this person should not fast, because fasting during Ramadan is a commandment from Allah SWT, thus an obligation upon every Muslim – and Allah SWT knows best what their reward or acceptance will be in such case. But it would be good for this person to start looking inwardly, to find out why it is so important for them to be seen in good light by others, and, most importantly, reflect on their relationship with Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, and why Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى commands for us to fast during this blessed month.
We all go through challenges when it comes to our religion, how we apply it, how we act upon it, and those challenges are different from one person to the next. Someone might find it very easy to cover from head to toe but such a burden to pray five times a day, while their sister might have the opposite problem and could be praying all day long but would never set foot outside with their hair covered. We ask Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى to make it easy for each and every one of us to apply our religion in the best of manners, to please Him and serve Him alone, ameen.
Here are a few tips on how to start this process:
- Ask Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى for guidance – and that’s what we do everyday, 17 times a day, when we read Surah Al-Fatihah in our obligatory daily prayers! Always ask Him for guidance, even if you feel like you’re doing well in your deen – that’s probably when you need guidance the most.
- Make reading the Quran and pondering upon its meaning a new daily habit: don’t let yourself feel overwhelmed by this goal, it can be something as small as reading one ayah, its translation, and maybe even looking up some tafseer or listening to a short lecture on YouTube. The point is that the Quran is full of answers, full of light, full of wisdom, and Allah SWT has gifted it to us as guidance, so let’s make better use of it in our daily life rather than rely on the latest Instagram influencer who shares their 10 tips for success in a trendy Reel – which you will most likely find in the Quran and sunnah anyway 🙂
- Make dhikr another new daily habit: remembering Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى at all times is a key to success in this life and the next. Simple things like saying SubhanAllah (Exalted is Allah), Alhamdulillah (All praise is to Allah), Laa ilaaha illAllah (there is absolutely no deity worthy of worship except Allah), Allahu Akbar (Allah is Great), and Astaghfirullah (I seek forgiveness from Allah) throughout your day will have a greater impact than you can possibly imagine.
- Learn about the seerah – the life of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى has sent him as a guidance and mercy to humanity and there is so much we can learn from his life. He ﷺ is the best role model, and displayed such congruence between his inner and outer self.
- Look at your surroundings, your environment: is it positive or negative? Is it conducive to living Islam fully, or do you have to hide some aspects of your faith to be accepted? Do you feel closer to Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى when you spend time with your friends, or do you often miss your prayers and engage in negative activities such as back-biting or going to inappropriate places? Start being more aware and selective about who you want to be surrounded by.
Alhamdulillah, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى is giving us yet another opportunity to live the sacred month of Rajab, yet another chance to improve ourselves and become better versions of ourselves, yet another occasion to serve Him in this life and prepare for the next, insha’Allah. Let’s do it!