Fasting month Rajab

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Fasting in the month of Rajab

To be able to get a better understand in the topic of fasting during the month of Rajab we need to understand the custom of Fara’ and ‘Atira.

Fara’ and ‘Atira

Sahih al-Bukhari Book71, Hadith 9

Narrated ‘Abu Huraira:

The Prophetﷺ said, “Neither Fara’ nor ‘Atira (is permissible):” Al-Fara’ was the first offspring (of camels or sheep) which the pagans used to offer (as a sacrifice) to their idols. Al-‘Atira was (a sheep which was to be slaughtered) during the month of Rajab.

In Sunan Abu Dawood Book 16, Hadith 46, it is mentioned that ‘Atira was a sacrifice made during the first ten days of Rajab.

Sunan an-Nasa’I Book 41, Hadith 11

Narrated ‘It was narrated that Nubaishah Al-Hudhaili said:

“A man said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, we used to sacrifice the ‘Atira during the Jahiliyyah in Rajab; what do you command us to do? He said: ‘Sacrifice to Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, whatever month it is, do good for the sake of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, and feed (the poor).”

So as you can see, the pagans used to venerate Rajab during the Jahiliyyah; specially during the first ten days of Rajab and this is prohibited with the arrival of Islam. Sacrificing animal is the name of Allah is a good thing, but it is not something reserved for the month of Rajab. It can be done in any other months as specified in the hadith above and other hadiths that I will refer below.

Nowadays there are sects which still venerate Rajab by fasting in the first 10 days. Fasting for Allah is a good thing but special fast for venerating Rajab is against Islam. Venerating Rajab is the practice of pagans during the Jahiliyyah.

It is reported that ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) used to beat the feet of people fasting Rajab until they broke their fast. He would say: “What is Rajab? The people of pre-Islamic ignorance used to venerate Rajab. However, that veneration and the practices associated with it was left with the coming of Islam.” In a variation of this narration he said: “It is disliked considering fasting [Rajab] a prophetic practice.” It is related that Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) saw some people preparing to fast Rajab and said to them: “Have you made Rajab like Ramadan?”


According to my research in the books of Authentic Hadiths, I came across 36 hadiths related to Rajab.

No.1: Sahih Al-Bukhari: 11 hadiths found

  1. Book 26, Hadith 4: Umrah in Rajab: The Prophetﷺ never performed any ‘Umra in Rajab.
  2. Book 26, Hadith 5: same topic as hadith 4 above
  3. Book 59, Hadith 8: The four sacred months
  4. Book 64, Hadith 288: same topic as hadith 4 above
  5. Book 64, Hadith 401: Respecting Rajab by stopping military actions
  6. Book 64, Hadith 428: same topic as hadith 8 above
  7. Book 65, Hadith 4708: same topic as hadith 8 above
  8. Book 71, Hadith 9: Fara’ and ‘Atira is prohibited
  9. Book 71, Hadith 10: same topic as hadith 9 above
  10. Book 73, Hadith 6: same topic as hadith 8 above
  11. Book 97, Hadith 73: same topic as hadith 8 above

Note: There is no mention of any special fasting in Rajab to venerate Rajab. On the contrary, it is mentioned that Fara’ and ‘Atira should be abolished to stop venerating Rajab. (please read below the conclusion of Sunni Scholars)

No.2: Sahih Muslim: 5 hadiths found

  1. Book 13, Hadith 232: Fasting in Rajab. No special fasting for Rajab.
  2. Book 15, Hadith 242: Umrah in Rajab (same topic as Bukhari hadith above)
  3. Book 15, Hadith 243: same topic as hadith 242 above.
  4. Book 28, Hadith 42: The four sacred month.
  5. Book 38, Hadith 5530: Three things prohibited (see below)

Narrated ‘Abdullah, the freed slave of Asma’ (the daughter of Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him)), the maternal uncle of the son of ‘Ata, reported:

Asma’ sent me to ‘Abdullah b. ‘Umar saying: The news has reached me that you prohibit the use of three things: the striped robe, saddle cloth made of red silk, and the fasting in the holy month of Rajab.

Note: Here again no mention of any special fasting in the month of Rajab, on the contrary  a prohibition is mentioned (please read below the conclusion of Sunni Scholars)

No.3: Sunan an-Nasa’i: 7 hadiths found

  1. Book 22, hadith 268: Fasting is Shaban, the month between Rajab and Ramadan.
  2. Book 41, Hadith 3: ‘Atirah
  3. Book 41, Hadith 4: Fara’ and ‘Atirah
  4. Book 41, Hadith 9: Fara’ and ‘Atirah
  5. Book 41, Hadith 10: Fara’ and ‘Atirah
  6. Book 41, Hadith 11: ‘Atirah
  7. Book 41, Hadith 12:  same topic as above

Note: Here again no mention of any special fasting in the month of Rajab (please read below the conclusion of Sunni Scholars)

No.4: Sunan Abu Dawood: 6 hadiths found

  1. Book 11, hadith 227: The four sacred month
  2. Book 14, hadith 118: Fasting, no special fasting to venerate Rajab
  3. Book 16, hadith 1: ‘Atirah
  4. Book 16, hadith 43: Fara’ and ‘Atirah
  5. Book 16, hadith 46: Fara’ and ‘Atirah (during the first 10 days of Rajab)
  6. Book 20, hadith 114: The Prophetﷺ concluded peace with the people of Najran on the condition that they would pay to Muslims two thousands suits of garments, half in Safar, and the rest in Rajab, …

Note: Here again no mention of any special fasting in the month of Rajab (please read below the conclusion of Sunni Scholars)

No.5:  Jami’ at-Tirmidhi: 4 hadiths found

  1. Book 9, hadith 948: Umrah in Rajab. The Prophetﷺ never performed any ‘Umra in Rajab.
  2. Book 9, hadith 949: same topic as above
  3. Book 19, hadith 23: Fara’ and ‘Atira
  4. Book 19, hadith 30: ‘Atira

Note: Here again no mention of any special fasting in the month of Rajab (please read below the conclusion of Sunni Scholars)

No.6: Sunan Ibn Majah: 3 hadiths found

  1. Book 7, hadith 1815: Narrated ‘It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that: The Prophetﷺ forbade fasting Rajab
  2. Book 25, Hadith 3112: Umrah in Rajab
  3. Book 27, Hadith 3287: Fara’ and ‘Atira

Conclusion

It is reported that ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) used to beat the feet of people fasting Rajab until they broke their fast. He would say: “What is Rajab? The people of pre-Islamic ignorance used to venerate Rajab. However, that veneration and the practices associated with it was left with the coming of Islam.” In a variation of this narration he said: “It is disliked to consider fasting [Rajab] a prophetic practice.” It is related that Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) saw some people preparing to fast Rajab and said to them: “Have you made Rajab like Ramadan?”

Venerating Rajab is against Islam. No special sacrifice of any animal (Fara’ and ‘Atira not allowed), no special fasting (specially in the first 10 days of Rajab). Both Sacrifice and fasting can be performed in any months. For example ‘aqiqa is allowed in any month including Rajab. Similarly fasting on Mondays and Thursdays is allowed in any month including Rajab. Same applies to the fasting of 13th, 14th and 15th of any month and Allah knows best.

Rajab should be respected: No wars in Rajab; and no sins as Allah said in surah At-Tawbah ayat 36: … so do not wrong yourselves during them… for more details click here “the sacred months”.

Respecting Rajab does not mean to venerate Rajab as the pagans did during the Jahiliyyah; Allah knows best.

What Sunni Scholars said?

Sunni Scholars said that all references to supererogatory fasting during Rajab are fabricated. These are innovations that will lead to the fire of hell.

  1. Every hadith which mentions fasting in Rajab and praying during some of its nights is false and fabricated.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Fasting on the 27th of Rajab and spending that night in prayer is a bid’ah (innovation), and every bid’ah is a going astray. End quote.

May Allah protect us from fitna of the different sects that have distorted the authentic Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jamaah. May Allah protect us from their innovations. May Allah guide us to follow the sunnah of his beloved Prophet ﷺ.


 

Abdallah Madani

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