Is fasting in the Month of Rajab a Bid ‘ah (innovation)?

RAJAB: THE MONTH OF BID’AH AND INNOVATIONS
Rajab (رجب‎) is the seventh month of the Islamic Calender. The lexical definition of Rajaba is “to respect”, of which Rajab is a derivative.

rejab1

 

This month is regarded as one of the four sacred months in Islam in which battles are prohibited. The pre-Islamic Arabs also considered warfare blasphemous during the four months.

Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta ‘ala) 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)…”

Surah At-Tawbah 9:36

These months are calculated according to the movements of the moon, not the movements of the sun, as the kuffaar do.

The Sacred Months are mentioned by implication in the Qur’an, but their names are not given. Their names are mentioned in the Sunnah:

Narrated by Abu Bakrah (Radia Allahu ‘Anhu) that,

The Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allahu’ Alayhi wa Sallam) gave his Farewell Sermon and said:

“Time has completed its cycle and is as it was on the Day when Allah created the heavens and the earth. The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred, three consecutive months – Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram – and the Rajab of Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha’baan.”

Bukharee 1741, in Kitaab Al-Hajj, Al-Khutbah Ayaam Mina & Muslim 1679, in Kitaab Al-Qisaamah, Baab Tahreem al-Dimaa’

RAJAB IS A SACRED MONTH

The Sacred months have a special status, which applies also to Rajab because it is one of these sacred months.

Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta ‘ala) says:

“O you who believe! Violate not the sanctity of the Symbols of Allah, nor of the Sacred Month…”

Surah Al-Mā’idah 5:2

So we should pay attention to the sanctity of these four months, because Allah has singled them out for a special status and has forbidden us to commit sins out of respect for their sanctity, for sins committed at this time are even worse, because of the sanctity of the time which Allah has made sacred.

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FIGHTING DURING THE SACRED MONTHS

Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta ‘ala) says:

They ask you about the sacred month – about fighting therein. Say, “Fighting therein is great [sin]…”

Surah Al-Baqarah 2:217

The above does not apply to fighting in self-defence. If the enemy attacks the Muslim lands, it is obligatory for the inhabitants to defend themselves, whether that happens during a sacred month or not.

FASTING IN RAJAB

There is no authentic report from Qur’an or The Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allahu’ Alayhi wa Sallam) or from the Sahaabah to indicate that there is any particular virtue in fasting during Rajab.

Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (Radia Allahu ‘Anhu) used to forbid fasting in Rajab because it involved resemblance to the Jāhiliyyah.

Narrated by Kharashah Ibn Al-Harr that,

“I saw Umar smacking the hands of those who fasted in Rajab until they reached out for food, and he was saying, this is a month which was venerated in the Jāhiliyyah.”

Al-Irwaa’ 957 & Al-Albany said: it is Saheeh

Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (Rahimullah) said:

The Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allahu’ Alayhi wa Sallam) did not fast for three consecutive months (i.e., Rajab, Sha’baan and Ramadan) as some people do, and he never fasted Rajab at all, nor did he encourage people to fast this month.

Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (Rahimullah) said:

“No Saheeh hadith that may be used as evidence has been narrated concerning the virtues of the month of Rajab or fasting this month or fasting in any specific part of it, or observing Qiyaam al-Layl specifically during this month.”

Tabayyun al-‘Ajab bimaa wurida fi Fadl Rajab

UMRAH IN RAJAB

There is no report to prove that the Prophet (Salla-Allahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) performed Umrah in Rajab.

Ayesha (Radia Allahu ‘Anha) said:

The Messenger of Allah (Salla-Allahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) never performed Umrah in Rajab.”

Bukharee 1776 & Muslim 1255

Ali Ibn Ibrahim al-‘Attar (d. 724 AH) said:

One of the things that I have heard about the people of Makkah is that they do ‘Umrah frequently during Rajab. This is something for which I know of no basis, all I know is that it was reported in the hadith that The Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

“Umrah in Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj.”

But if a person goes for ‘Umrah during Rajab without believing that this has any particular virtue and because it is just a coincidence that it is easier for him to go at this time, then there is nothing wrong with that.

BID’AH AND INNOVATIONS IN THE MONTH OF RAJAB

Innovation in religion is one of the serious matters which go against the Book of Allah and the Sunnah. The Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) did not die until after the religion had been perfected.

Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta ‘ala) says:

“…This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion…”

Surah Al-Mā’idah 5:3

Narrated by Ayesha (Radia Allahu ‘Anha) that,

The Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

“Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours which is not a part of it, will have it rejected.”

Bukharee & Muslim

The Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

“Whoever does an action which is not a part of this matter of ours will have it rejected.”

Saheeh Muslim

Some people have innovated a number of practices in Rajab, including the following:

· Salaat Umm Dawud halfway through Rajab.

· The du’a’s which are recited specifically during Rajab are all fabrications and innovations.

· Visiting graves specifically in Rajab is bid’ah, because graves are to be visited at any time of the year.

· Salaat Al-Raghaa’ib: This prayer became widespread after the first and best centuries, especially in the fourth century AH. Some liars fabricated this prayer, which is done on the first night of Rajab.

Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimullah) said:

Salaat al-Raghaa’ib is bid’ah according to the consensus of the scholars of religion, such as Malik, al-Shaafa’i, Abu Haneefah, al-Thawri, al-‘Oozaa’i, al-Layth and others. The hadith that is narrated concerning it is a lie according to the consensus of the scholars who have knowledge of hadith.

It was reported that major events happened in the month of Rajab, but NONE OF THESE REPORTS ARE TRUE.

It was reported that The Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) was born on the first night of Rajab, and that he received his Mission on the twenty-seventh, or twenty-fifth of this month. NONE OF THIS IS CORRECT.

Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (Rahimullah) said:

“Every hadith which mentions fasting in Rajab and praying during some of its nights is false and fabricated.”

Al-Manaar Al-Muneef, Page 96

It was reported with an isnaad that IS NOT SAHEEH from al-Qaasim Ibn Muhammad that the Prophet’s Night Journey (al-Israa’) took place on the twenty-seventh of Rajab. THIS WAS DENIED BY IBRAAHEEM AL-HARBI AND OTHERS.The fact that there is no proof that the Israa’ and Mi’raaj happened on this date. Even if it were proven, that is no excuse for holding celebrations on this date, because nothing of the kind has been reported from The Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) or from his companions (Radia Allahu ‘Anhuma) or from any of the Salaf (early generations) of this Ummah. If it were a good thing, they would surely have done it before us.

Sayyid Saabiq (Rahimullah) said:

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 Saheeh 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.

Fiqh al-Sunnah 1/282

One of the innovations that take place during this month is the recitation of the story of the Mi’raaj, and celebrations to commemorate it on the twenty-seventh of Rajab, or singling out this night to perform extra acts of worship such as Qiyaam al-Layl or fasting during the day, or rejoicing and celebrating, mixing of men and women, singing and music, all of which are not permitted in Islam.

Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (Rahimullah) was asked about fasting on the twenty-seventh of Rajab and spending that night in prayer.

He (Rahimullah) 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.”

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen 20/440

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