Rajab is the seventh month in the Islamic lunar calendar and the second of the ‘four sacred months’ referred to as “Al-Ash-hurul hurum”. (Surah Tawbah)
Literally Rajab means respect or reverence. This auspicious month is a prelude to the great month of Ramadan
Acceptance of duas on the first night of Rajab
Imam Shafi’ee (R) has said: “I have heard that Duas are accepted by Almighty Allah on five nights, the night of Jumu’ah, the nights of Eid, the first night of Rajab and the middle (15th) night of Sha’ban.” (Lataif al-Ma’arif)
We should use this opportunity to develop the capacity to make dua and continue with this practice daily, even for a few minutes. Our duas should include all, especially those suffering injustices and oppression around the world.
Preparation for Ramadan
Rajab is regarded as the month to sow seeds (good actions), Shaban is the month in which we should water those seeds (with tears of repentance) and Ramadan is the month in which we reap the harvest.
The commencement of Rajab should incline our hearts to prepare earnestly for Ramadan. An ideal start would be daily reading from the book 'Virtues of Ramadan' by Shaykhul Hadith Maulana Zakariyya (R). Allocate time and sit daily with the family and read a portion of this book collectively throughout Rajab till Ramadan.
Manage your time
The busy routine of life shall continue irrespective of the time, season, or part of the year. The challenge is to use our time profitably and try our best not to be deprived of the special mercies and blessings that prevail in the run up to Ramadan. The Sahabah (RA) and pious would increase their Quran recitation during these months (especially in Sha’ban). If we are not regular with recitation of the Quran, this should commence immediately. Whatever portion is possible must be read to develop the momentum for Ramadan.
In general, we should become more conscious of our relationship with Allah Ta’ala, do introspection and reflect on our direction. We should tighten up on time wasting and abstain from committing sins. Repentance and Istighfar should begin in earnest. This will help us to be in a healthy spiritual state come Ramadan.
It should be noted that whilst Rajab is from the four sacred months, no specific method of worship has been prescribed in this month.
Dua to reach Ramadan
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) would express his eagerness to be blessed with life to witness and experience the blessed month of Ramadan from Rajab. When the crescent of Rajab was sighted Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) would recite the following Duá: “Allahumma baarik lana fee Rajaba wa Sha'bana wa ballighna Ramadan”.
“Oh Allah! grant us blessings in the month of Rajab and Shaban, and make us reach Ramadan.”(Shu'abul Imaan and Ibnus Sunni)
Upon sighting of the moon recite the following Dua: "Hilaalu khayrin wa rushdin" Translation: Let it be a crescent of goodness and guidance.