The MONTH OF RAJAB
إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِندَ اللَّـهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّـهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ ۚ فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُمْ
Allāh says, “Allāh decrees that there are twelve months – ordained in Allāh’s Book on the Day when He created the heavens and earth – four months of which are sacred: this is the correct calculation. Do not wrong your souls in these months…”
Allāh’s Messenger (SAW) said, “The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred: three are consecutive, Dhū’l-Qaʿdah, Dhū’l-Ḥijjah and Muḥarram, and Rajab of Muḍar which comes between Jumāda and Shaʿbān.”
These months are called sacred for two reasons: 1) Fighting in them is forbidden unless initiated by the enemy 2) Sin and injustice in these months is worse than at other times.
Of the four months, one is the month of Rajab. Rajab is the key to the months of goodness and blessings that follow it. Abū Bakr b. al-Warrāq al-Balkhī said, ‘Rajab is the month to sow the seeds, Shaʿbān is the month to irrigate the crop, and Ramaḍān is the month to reap the harvest.’ It has similarly been related from him, ‘Rajab is like the wind, Shaʿbān is like the water-laden clouds, and Ramaḍān is like the rain.’ Other said, ‘The year in its entirety is like a tree: during Rajab its buds sprout, during Shaʿbān it sends forth its branches, and during Ramaḍān its fruit ripens. The believers are the farmhands who harvest that fruit.’
We should take the opportunity in this month to increase in all manner of goodness in general, and to seek Allāh’s forgiveness for our sins and shortcomings. We should do what we can in order to prepare ourselves for the blessed month of Ramaḍān.
Amongst these deeds would be fasting part of Rajab but without specifically singling it out. Indeed, many of the Salaf viewed it to be good to fast during the Sacred Months in general. Sufyān al-Thawrī said, ‘In my view it is good to fast in the Sacred Months.’
Therefore, we should take the opportunity to fast the Sunnah fasts if not already doing so: Mondays and Thursdays, or the three middle days of the month, or fasting alternate days which is the fast of Dāwūd (AS), and perhaps adding to this some voluntary fasts.
We should also ensure we pray our Sunnah prayers and increase in voluntary prayers, and so on.
There is nothing authentic recorded from the Prophet (SAW) concerning fasting in Rajab specifically, neither is there any authentic ḥadīth concerning any special merit for fasting in Rajab.
Ibn Taymiyyah said, ‘As regards fasting in Rajab in particular, the ḥadīths concerning this are all weak, in fact they are fabricated. The scholars do not rely on any of them. They do not fall into the category of ḍaʿīf ḥadīths which have been narrated concerning virtues, rather most of them are fabricated and false. The best that has been narrated is where the Prophet (SAW) said, “Allāh, bless us in Rajab and Shaʿbān, and allow us to reach Ramaḍān,” when Rajab started.… In the Musnad (of Aḥmad) and elsewhere there is a ḥadīth which says that the Prophet (SAW) enjoined fasting in the sacred months, namely Rajab, Dhu’l-Qaʿdah, Dhu’l-Ḥijjah and Muḥarram, but this has to do with fasting during all of them without particularising Rajab.’ Ibn al-Qayyim said, ‘Every ḥadīth which mentions fasting in Rajab and praying during some of its nights is false and fabricated.’ Ibn Ḥajr said, ‘No authentic ḥadīth 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 night prayer on any particular night during this month.’
The Salaf differed concerning fasting in Rajab. ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb would prevent people from fasting in Rajab saying, ‘The People of Jāhiliyyah would revere Rajab, but when Islām came this was abandoned.’ There are also narrations from ʿĀʾishah who, when asked about fasting in Rajab said, ‘If you want to fast, fast in Shaʿbān.’
Some of the Salaf disliked particularising Rajab for fasting or treating it like it was Ramaḍān as reported from Abū Bakra and others. Ibn ʿAbbās, Ibn ʿUmar and others were of the view that a person should fast but not the entire month, and this was also the view of Imām Aḥmad – unless, that is, they were those who fasted through the whole year. A number of scholars were of the opinion that it was not disliked to fast in Rajab so long as the month was not particularised for fasting and a person fasted in another month alongside it.
Perhaps one could say that it is safer to start fasting in Rajab in the way encouraged for other months such as fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, or the middle three days of the month. Or one could say that a person may fast in Rajab since it is one of the Sacred Months, but not for the entire month, as well as fasting in other months alongside it. This would then serve as preparation for the blessed month of Ramaḍān. Allāh knows best.
Finally we should note that there is nothing authentic reported concerning giving Zakāh in Rajab specifically. There is nothing authentic proving that the Prophet (SAW) was born in this month, as some have claimed. There is nothing authentic to prove that the Night’s Journey (al-Isrāʾ wa’l-Miʿrāj) happened in this month on the night of the 27th. There is nothing authentic concerning any special prayers that should be said during this month. And there is nothing authentic indicating a greater virtue of visiting graves during this month.
Allāh, bless us in Rajab and Shaʿbān, and allow us to reach Ramaḍān. Ameen
And Allāh knows best.
 al-Tawbah 9:36
 It was called Rajab of Muḍar because the tribe of Muḍar refused to tamper with its timing, unlike the rest of the Arabs who would change the order of months depending on whether they were in a state of war or not
 Bukhārī #4662, Muslim #1679
 Ibn Rajab, Laṭāʾif al-Maʿārif pg. 292
 Ibn Rajab, Laṭāʾif al-Maʿārif pg. 286
 Aḥmad #2346, Bazzār #6496 with a ḍaʿīf isnād
 Abū Dāwūd #2428, Ibn Mājah #1741, Aḥmad #20323 with a ḍaʿīf isnād
 Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmūʿ al-Fatāwā 25:290-292
 Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Manār al-Munīf, pg. 84
 Ibn Ḥajr, Tabyīn al-ʿAjab bi mā Warada fī Faḍl Rajab, pg. 11
 Ibn Abī Shaybah #9758 – ṣaḥīḥ
 ʿAbdu’l-Razzāq #7858