The blessings of holy months: Rajab, Shaban, and Ramadan
The arrival of the month of Rajab every year reminds us of the supplication: “O Allah, bless us in the months of Rajab and Shaban and enable us to witness and observe Ramadan.” This is the prime time for Muslims to show their willingness and think that how to get the blessings of Allah in the approaching holy and sacred months which are Rajab, Sha`ban, and Ramadan.
Ahmad al-Banna in Blugh al-Amani, while commenting on the greatness of these months says,
“The Prophet’s dua for barakah (Allah’s blessings) in these three months indicates their high position and great merits.”
All Muslims should never lose this opportunity of getting nearness of Allah in these months of goodness.
Rajab: A Doorway to the holy months
Muslims throughout the year strive hard to reach Allah’s blessings. And as the month of Rajab arrives, Muslims feel the sweet fragrance of the blessings of Ramadan. So the month of Rajab is like a window opened, where like fresh air one can sense the fast approaching spiritual experience of Ramadan. So Rajab being the harbinger of Ramadan enjoys a special place in the list of the holy months and blessings.
In these holy months including Rajab, voluntary fasting is recommended. As reported by Abu Dawud on the authority of Mujibah al-Bahilyyah, that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to her father or uncle,
“Observe fasting for some days in the sacred months and leave fasting for other days.”
Shaban after Rajab: Gives a countdown to the holy Ramadan
Muslims can perform many noble deeds in the month of Sha’ban, which needs proper Prioritization. At the arrival of Sha`ban, we wish the glory of Ramadan to come soon. We need to make an extra effort in devoting ourselves to good deeds in this holy month because it falls between Rajab and Ramadan.
In a hadith, as reported by An-Nasa’i that Usamah ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him) asked the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), “I have never seen you offer fast in a month as much as you do in Sha`ban.” The Prophet said,
“It is a month people disregard that is between Rajab and Ramadan. In that month deeds are presented to the Lord of the Worlds, so I like my deeds to be presented while I am fasting.”
Shaban is spiritual preparation for performing good deeds in Ramadan
Important good acts that can be done in Shaban include fasting, reciting the Quran, dhikr, and charity which can prepare us for Ramadan. About the virtue of fasting during Shaban, there are some authentic hadiths, among which the hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim on the authority of `A’ishah (may Allah be blessed with her) who said,
“Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) used to observe fasting (continuously) that we would say he would not break fasting, and he used not to fast (continuously) until we would say he would not fast.
And I did not see Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) completing the fast of a month, except Ramadan, and I did not see him fasting more in any other month than in Shaban.”
The hadith reveals that the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) had the habit of fasting many days in Sha`ban that `A’ishah (may Allah be blessed with her) pointed out in another narration, “He [the Prophet] used to fast (almost) all of Sha`ban; he used to fast Shaban except for few (days).”
Ramadan: The final Goal for seeking Allah’s blessings
Those Muslims must be thankful to Allah whom He keeps alive till Ramadan which is the month full of blessings, forgiveness, and mercy. This blessing begins with the first night and continues throughout Ramadan. This is such a great month of Allah’s mercy that we should compete with each other in noble deeds to get closer to Allah.
“When Ramadan enters, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed and the devils are chained.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
To sum up, we are lucky enough that the holy months have reached us. We need to get a great benefit from these months by performing all those acts which can bring us closer to Allah and avoid those acts which are prohibited in Islam.
Every good deed is counted and it will be rewarded. In one beautiful hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says:
“Do not belittle any good deed, even if it is just to meet your fellow Muslim with a cheerful face.” (Muslim)
May Allah forgive our sins in these holy months and accept all our good deeds, Ameen.
(Written by freelancer Sadaf Riaz)