Fasting in the month of Rajab

Is there any special virtue in fasting during the month of Rajab?

 

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

 

All the praise is due to Allah, the Lord of Al-‘Alamin. And May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet SAW, his household and the companions.

 

There two components that need to be look into issue of Rajab:

 

1. The Sacred month of Rajab

 

The month of Rajab is one of the sacred months of which Allah says:

 

“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 (i.e. the 1st, the 7th, the 11th and the 12th months of the Islamic calendar). That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein” [At-Tawbah, 9:36]

 

The sacred months are: Rajab, Zulkaedah, Zulhijjah and Muharram.

 

Abu Bakrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred: three consecutive months, Zulkaedah, Zulhijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jamadil Akhir and Sya’ban. [Al-Bukhari (4662) and Muslim (1679)]

 

These months are called sacred for two reasons:

 

1.  It is forbidden to go to war unless is unless initiated by the enemy

 

2. The transgression of the sacred limits therein is worse than at other times.

 

Hence Allah has forbidden us to commit sins during these months, as He says :

 

“wrong not yourselves therein” [At-Tawbah, 9:36]

 

Although committing sins is haram and forbidden during these months and at other times, in these months it is more forbidden.

 

Al-Sa’di (may Allah have mercy on him) said (p. 373):

 

“In the phrase “wrong not yourselves therein”, the pronoun may be understood as referring to twelve months. Allah states that He has made them a measure of time for His slaves, which they may use for worshipping Him, and thank Allah for His blessings, and they serve the interests of His slaves, so beware of wronging yourselves therein.

 

The pronoun may also be understood as referring to the four sacred months, and this forbids them to wrong themselves in those months in particular, as well as it being forbidden to do wrong at all times, because it is more forbidden at this time, but it is worse at this time than at others.”.

 

2. Fasting in month of Rajab.

 

With regard to fasting the month of Rajab, there is no sahih hadith to indicate that there is any special virtue in fasting all or part of this month.

 

What some people do, singling out some days of Rajab for fasting, believing that they are better than others, has no basis in syari’ah.

 

But there is a report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) which indicates that it is mustahabb to fast during the sacred months (and Rajab is one of the sacred months). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Fast some days of the sacred months and not others.” [Narrated by Abu Dawud, 2428; but classified as dha’if by al-Albani in dha’if Abi Dawud].

 

Even if this hadith were sahih, it indicates that it is mustahabb to fast during the sacred months. So if a person fasts during Rajab because of this, and he also fasts in the other sacred months, there is nothing wrong with it. But the singling out Rajab for fasting is not right.

 

Shaikh Al-Islam Ibn Taimiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Majmu’ Al-Fatawa (25/290):

 

“As for fasting in Rajab in particular, the ahadith concerning that are all dha’if (weak), and in fact mawdu’ (fabricated). The scholars do not rely on any of them. They are not among the dha’if ahadith which have been narrated concerning virtues, rather most of them are fabricated and false. In al-Musnad and elsewhere there is a hadith which says that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) enjoined fasting the sacred months, namely Rajab, Zulkaedah, Zulhijjah and Muharram, but this has to do with the fasting during all of them, not just Rajab”.

 

Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

 

“Every hadith which mentions fasting in Rajab and praying during some of its nights is false and fabricated.” [Al-Manaar Al-Munif, P. 96]

 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said in Tabyeen Al-‘Ajab (p. 11)

 

There is no sahih hadith that would count as evidence which speaks of the virtue of the month of Rajab, or that speaks of fasting this month or part of it, or of spending any particular night of it in prayer.

 

Shaikh Sayyid Sabiq (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Fiqh al-Sunnah (1/282):

 

“Fasting in Rajab is no better than fasting in any other month, except that it is one of the sacred months. There is no report in the sahih Sunnah to suggest that there is anything special about fasting in this month. Whatever has been narrated concerning that is not fit to be quoted as evidence.”

 

Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaimin (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about fasting on the twenty-seventh of Rajab and spending that night in prayer. He replied:

 

“Fasting on the twenty-seventh of Rajab and spending that night in prayer is a bid’ah (innovation), and every bid’ah is a going astray.”

 

[Majmu’ Fatawa Ibn ‘Uthaimin, 20/440.]

 

Hence there is no authentic hadith from the Prophet SAW or from the sahabah to indicate that there is any particular virtue in fasting prescribed for Rajab.

 

The fasting that is prescribed in Rajab is the same as that prescribed in other months, with the possible options namely: fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, and the three days of Al-Beed (the mid three days of the lunar month), or fasting on the alternate days (known as the fast of Prophet David), and fasting Sirar al-Shahar which some of the scholars said that Sirar Al-Shahar refers to the beginning of the month.

 

© Islam Q&A

About Md Radzi Ahmad
A retired Malaysian civil servant. Served the Malaysian government for thirty-one years. Posted to London, Rangoon, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bangkok. Born in Kampong Hutan Kandeh, Alor Star, Kedah. Educated at Sultan Abdul Hamid College, Alor Star and University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Currently resides in Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan,Malaysia.Blessed with three children, a son, two daughters, daughter in law and two grandaughters.

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