In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.
Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says:
“The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve so ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth. Of them four are sacred.” (Quran 9:36).
The Companion Abu Bakra (رضي الله عنه) reported that in the farewell address the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Time has completed a cycle and come to the state of the day when Allah created the heavens and the earth. The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred; three of them consecutive; Dhul-Qaida (ذوالقعدۃ), Dhul-Hijjah (ذوالحجّۃ) and Muharram (محرّم), and also Rajab (رجب), the month of Mudar which comes between Jumada and Sha'ban…” (Sahih al-Bukhari).
It is said that these months are sanctified for two reasons. Firstly, fighting and battles were prohibited in these months – though this is considered abrogated by the majority of scholars (see: The Islamic Months by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali). And, secondly, rewards from worshipping Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) are increased multi-fold in these months, more so than other months.
Similarly, only the month of Sha’ban separates the month of Rajab from Ramadhan. For this reason, when the Prophet (ﷺ) sighted the moon of Rajab, he frequently made the following dua’:
“O Allah! Make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadhan” (at-Tabrani and Ahmad).
The month of Rajab is therefore considered sacred, and the Sunnah is to make use of this month together with Sha’ban to prepare for even greater rewards in the month of Ramadhan. Some scholars say that Rajab and Sha’ban are great months for making up missed (qadha) prayers and fasts of the previous year, and especially for sisters who may be looking to make up for their missed fasts. Whatever the case, these months are amongst the best to increase in our good deeds, charity and worshipping Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).
To determine the start of these months, let us revive the Sunnah of moon sighting, InshaAllah.
Checked by: Mufti Amjad Mohammed