Virtues of Specifically Fasting in Rajab And Special Prayers of Rajab

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Specifically fasting in Rajab with the notion that it is Fardh, Sunnah or it has some special merit is a bidah. Likewise, there is no special Salah for the month of Rajab in Islam. Fasting the Ayaam Beedh of Rajab and the Mondays and Thursdays remain mustahab and desirable as is the case with the remainder month besides Ramadhan. It is also desirable to fast and do extra ebadah in all the sacred months. These points will be elucidated on below.

Kharashah ibnul Hurr said, “I saw Umar رضي اللّٰہ عنه hitting the hands of people in Rajab until they placed them in the bowls. He would say, ‘Eat, because it is a month that the people of Jahiliyah used to honour.’”[1]

When Ibn Umar رضي اللّٰہ عنهما used to see what the people had prepared for Rajab, he would dislike it.[2]

Ibn Abbas رضي اللّٰہ عنهما said, “Do not make Rajab an Eid (yearly habit) where you see it necessary like the month of Ramadhan that when you don’t fast a day in it (Rajab), you fast and make a qadha of it.”[3]

It is narrated from Abu Bakrah Nufai’ ibnul Harith رضي اللّٰہ عنه that he saw his family preparing to fast for Rajab, so he said, “Are you making Rajab like Ramadhan?” Then he threw the baskets and broke the utensils.[4]

Shaikhul Islam Ibn Taimiyah رحمه الله said, “As for fasting in Rajab specifically, then all the ahadith are weak, rather (they are) fabricated. The people of knowledge do not rely on any of them. There are also not from those weak narrations which can be practiced upon in Fadhail (virtues). Rather, majority of them are fabrications and lies.”[5] Then he said, “Ibn Majah narrates in his ‘Sunan’ from Ibn Abbas رضي اللّٰہ عنهما from the Prophet ﷺ that he prohibited from fasting in Rajab, but there is some criticism on its chain. However, it is authentically narrated from Umar ibnul Khattab رضي اللّٰہ عنه that he would hit peoples’ hands so that they place their hands in the food in Rajab and he would say, ‘Do not liken it to Ramadhan.’”[6]

Allamah Ibnul Qaiyyim Jawziyyah رحمه الله said, “Every hadith which mentions fasting in Rajab or performing Salah on some of its nights is a lie and fabrication.”[7]

Shaikh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah رحمه الله commented on Ibnul Qaiyyim’s statement by saying, “Hafiz Ibn Hajr رحمه الله has fully discussed the fabricated ahadith concerning the fasts, salahs, virtues, charity and actions (a’amaal) of Rajab in the best of manners in his booklet, ‘تبيين العجب فيما ورد في فضل رجب’ (Elucidation of the Bewilderment Concerning the Narrations Quoted on the Virtues of Rajab). So, refer to it.”[8]

Under the chapter concerning those narrations which the great scholars of Hadith say are not reliable or authentic, Allamah Majduddeen Ferozabaadi رحمه الله said, “No (narration) has been established concerning the chapter of fasting in Rajab and its virtues, rather the dislike of it has been narrated.” He also said, “There is no authentic narration concerning the chapters of Salatul Raghaaib, … the Salah of the 15th of Rajab, … the Salah of the Night of Me’raaj, … and the Salah of each night of Rajab…”[9]

Hafiz Ibn Rajab Hanbali رحمه الله said, “There is no authentic narration from the Prophet ﷺ or his Companions رضي اللّٰہ عنهم concerning the virtue of specifically fasting in Rajab.” [Lataaiful Ma’aarif Pg.228]

Allamah Abu Shaamah رحمه الله (died. 665 AH) said, “There is no authentic narration concerning any Salah on the first, middle or last of Rajab or any other amount of days in it.”[10]

Ibn Hajr Asqalani رحمه الله said, “There is no authentic hadith, which can be used as evidence, concerning the virtue of Rajab, nor fasting during it, or on certain days of it, nor concerning standing (in prayer) on any specific night of it. Imam Abu Ismail Harawi, the hafiz, has preceded me in asserting this. We have narrated this from him with an authentic chain. Similarly, we have narrated it from others.” Then after narrating the hadith, “He who narrates a hadith from me and he knows it to be a lie is one of the liars”, Ibn Hajr رحمه الله warned, “So what would the condition of that one be who practices on it?”[11]

Imam Abu Bakr at-Turtushi رحمه الله (died 530 AH) said in ‘Al-Hawaadith wal Bida’’: “In summary, it is disliked to fast in Rajab in one of the three cases. One is when the Muslims specify this month for fasting every year. The layman and those who do not have any understanding of the Shariah consider it Fardh like Ramadhan, or [two they consider it] an established Sunnah, which the Messenger ﷺ specified to fast, like the Sunan Ratibah, or [three they consider] the fast in it (Rajab) to have a special reward over the other months like the fast of Aashurah or like how performing Salah in the last portion of [every] night [of the year] is more virtuous than the beginning part of the night (i.e. Tahajjud), then this would be from the chapter of Fadhaail (virtues) and not from that of Sunan and Faraidh. [However] if it was from the chapter of Fadhail the Messenger ﷺ would have made it a Sunnah or would have done it, even if only once in his life, like how he did with the fast of Aashurah and with the third portion of the night (in tahajjud). Since he did not do it, it having any special virtue is invalid (baatil), nor is it Fardh or Sunnah by consensus. So, no reason to specify it for fasting remains. Therefore, it is makrooh (disliked) to fast it and to continuously do such to protect the general masses from attaching it to the Faraidh and Sunan.”[12]

Hafiz Ibn Hajr رحمه الله concluded his book on Rajab with a summary of Imam Turtushi’s quote and this quote from Ibn Dahiyah رحمه الله, “Fasting is a good deed not due to the virtue of the month of Rajab, for verily, Umar used to prohibit from fasting it.”[13]

Yes, Rajab is one of the Sacred Months. Allah Ta’ala said, “Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah 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.”[14]

Ibn Abbas رضي اللّٰہ عنهما commentated on this verse by saying, “Then Allah specified four months from amongst them and he made them sacred and increased their sanctity. He made sin in them graver and the good deed and reward superior.”[15]

Hafiz Ibn Hajr رحمه الله also narrated the hadith of Mujibah Al-Bahiliyah, where the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Fast during the sacred months and (then) leave it, fast during the sacred months and (then) leave it, fast during the sacred months, and (then) leave it.” He indicated by his three fingers, he joined them, and then opened them, (indicating to fast at most three days continuously).”[16]

Hafiz Ibn Hajr رحمه الله then commented, “In this hadith, even though there is an unknown narrator in its chain, there is an indication to the istihbaab of fasting in parts of Rajab, since it is one of the Sacred Months.”[17]

Imam Abu Bakr at-Turtushi رحمه الله said, “If a man wishes to fast it (Rajab) in a manner that he would be safe from being a means [of misunderstanding of its ruling] and (he is safe from) confusion in the issue and it would not be considered Fardh or Sunnah, then there is no problem in it.”[18]

Hafiz Ibn Hajr رحمه الله also said, “If he fasts it (Rajab) with the intention of a general fast, without making it necessary, or specifying certain days which he constantly fasts or certain nights which he constantly stand in prayer on, in such a manner that he considers it Sunnah, then whoever does it in a manner that he is safe from these exceptions, then there is no problem. However, if he specifies it or make it necessary then that is prohibited.”[19]

Allamah Ibn Taimiyyah رحمه الله also rightfully pointed out that this hadith is concerning the one who fast in all four months and not the one who specifies Rajab.[20]

A sister asked the faqeeh and muhaddith, Maulana Yusuf Ludhyanwi رحمه الله a question in which she referred to an article written on the virtues of Rajab and specifically the virtues of fasting in this month. Maulana answered by saying, “There is no authentic hadith narrated concerning the virtue of fasting in Rajab …. Majority of the narrations mentioned in the article which you referenced are either fabricated or extremely weak. If a person does not believe in any specific virtue for fasting in Rajab …, then there is a leeway to fast.” He also said, when commenting on the fabricated and extremely weak narrations of fasting in Rajab that, “People have fabricated narrations for the purpose of encouragement and warning. Many of those narrations then found their way in to the books of pious people. It is compulsory on the people of knowledge that they are cautious in ascribing anything to the Prophet ﷺ. If a narration is fabricated or extremely weak then it should not be mentioned. This is because ascribing something to the Prophet ﷺ which he did not say is a very severe sin.”[i]

Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani حفظه الله said, “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 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 [to] Allah to make him reach the blessed month and to benefit from its unique merits.”[21]

Unfortunately, nowadays most of those who fast in Rajab do not fast in the remainder Sacred Months, neither do they continue to fast in Sha’ban as a preparation for Ramadhan. They should add the other Sacred Months to their schedule to stay away from falling into an innovation. And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

The Fast of the 27th of Rajab Specifically:

Mufti Salman Mansurpuri حفظه الله said, “Receiving the rewards for one thousand fasts by fasting on the 27th of Rajab is not established in the Holy Quran, authentic hadith nor any reliable evidence.”[22]

Faqeehul Ummah Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi رحمه الله said, “The great virtue of the 27th of Rajab is famous amongst the masses. However, it is wrong. To believe in its virtue is wrong. To fast with this intention is wrong.”[23]

Mufti Abdur Raheem Lajpuri رحمه الله said, “The narrations concerning the 27th of Rajab are fabricated or weak. There are not authentic or reliable. Therefore, to fast on the 27th of Rajab, with the belief that it is Sunnah like the Aashoorah fast and that one will receive one thousand rewards, is prohibited.”[ii]

The grand Mufti, Maulana Azizur Rahman رحمه الله said, “There is no basis for what the general masses believe that by fasting on the 27th of Rajab one receives the rewards of a thousand fasts.”[iii]

And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

[1] Collected by Ibn Abi Shaibah in Musannaf #9851. Authenticated by Ibn Taimiyah and Shaikh Shathri Vol.6 Pg.124

[2] Collected by Ibn Abi Shaibah in Musannaf #9854. Authenticated by Shaikh Shathri Vol.6 Pg.124

[3] Ibn Hajr said, we narrate this from ‘Kitab Akhbaar Makkah’ by Abu Muhammad Al-Faakihi with a chain that has no issues. See ‘Tabyinul ‘Ajab’ Pg.48 Abdur Razzaq narrates a concise version of this in his ‘Musannaf’ Vol4 Pg.292 #7854. Ibh Hajr also authenticated its chain in ‘Tabyinul ‘Ajab’ Pg.48

[4] This athar has been mentioned by Turtushi in ‘Al-Hawaadith wal Bida’’ Pg.141, Ibn Qudamah in ‘Al-Mughni’ Vol.4 Pg.429, Ibn Taimiyah in his ‘Fatawa’ Vol.25 Pg.291, and Ibn Rajab in ‘Lataaiful Maarif’ Pg.230. Ibn Hajr also indicated to it in ‘Tabyinul ‘Ajab’ Pg.49 However, none of them mentioned its chain.

[5] This refutes the claim made that the many weak chains support one another and make the hadiths suitable for usage as the author of ‘Al-Adab fee Rajab’ (Pg.30) claimed. Ibn Hajr’s ‘Tabyinul ‘Ajab’ also answers this claim. It is an established rule in Usool Hadith that when the narrations are extremely weak they cannot support one another to strengthen the status. See ‘Muqaddimah Ibn Salaah’ Pg.34 And Allah knows best.

[6] Majmuah Fatawa Vol.25 Pg.290-291

[7] Al-Manarul Muneef Pg.96

[8] Ta’leeq Abdul Fattah ala Al-Manaar Muneef Pg.96 Ta’leeq: 4

[9] Sifrus Sa’adah Pg.144

[10] Al-Ba’ith ‘ala Inkaril Bida’ wal Hawadith Pg.71

[11] Tabyinul ‘Ajab Pg.11

[12] Al-Hawaadith wal Bida’ Pg.141-142

[13] Tabyinul ‘Ajab Pg.52

[14] Surah Tawbah:36 The Messenger ﷺ “Three of them are in succession; Dhul-Qa’da, Dhul-Hijja and Al-Muharram, and (the fourth being) Rajab Mudar which stands between Jumad (ath-thani) and Sha’ban.” [Bukhari #4662

[15] Collected by Ibn Jarir in his Tafsir Vol.11 Pg.444

[16] Collected by Abu Dawud #2428

[17] Tabyinul ‘Ajab Pg.14

[18] Al-Hawaadith wal Bida’ Pg.142

[19] Tabyinul ‘Ajab Pg.49

[20] Majmuah Fatawa Vol.25 Pg.291

[i] Aap ke Masaail aur Unka Hall Vol.4 Pg.620-621

[21] Islamic Months Merits and Precepts Pg.63

[22] Kitabun Nawazil Vol.6 Pg.329

[23] Fatawa Mahmoodiyah Vol.15 Pg.227-228

[ii] Fatawa Raheemiyah Vol.7 Pg.274

[iii] Fatawa Darul Uloom Deoband Vol.6 Pg.304

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