We are coming upon a very blessed month inshaAllah — the blessed month of Ramadan. I am sure many of you and your families are looking forward to it. In gaining the most out of Ramadan, I have a few suggestion that I wish to share inshaAllah. This is a reminder, first and foremost, to myself to implement.
Besides Ramadan, there are two blessed months which come before – Rajab and Shabaan. Here are some jewels of wisdom that I have learned from scholars. This is how they describe these months,
“Rajab is the month to plant seeds”
“Shabaan is the month to irrigate these seeds”
“Ramadan is the month in which we harvest our crops”
So how do we plant, irrigate and harvest? Very simple! Our blessed Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) has said,
“Rajab is Allah’s month, Shabaan is my month and Ramadan is my nation’s month (ummah).”
In the month of Rajab we are encouraged to make a lot of Istaghfars (saying “astraghfrillah”). It has been narrated,
“Seek much forgiveness from God in Rajab because in every hour Allah (SWT) frees people from the Fire.”
This is the best way in preparing our hearts to receive purification and spiritual gifts from Allah (SWT). We all have sinned, and we sin every day. Why not recite something which Allah (SWT) Loves to Hear and gain His Mercy. We can also get our kids involved in this as well. I usually do this when I know something is difficult for me to follow through. It always works because children are so eager to do something new and exciting.
It is recommended to recite the following 70 times in congregation after isha prayer,
“Rabbi ‘ghfir li w’ arhamni wa tub `alayya.”
“Oh Allah forgive me, have mercy upon me, and grant me repentance.”
So why is Rajab so important? Because it is the month that the Prophet (SAW) went on a miraculous Journey to the Heavens and to meet Allah (SWT).
The month after Rajab, is Shabaan. The word Shabaan means ‘branch’. Many Scholars say that the month of Shabaan branches off, and is like a bridge for the blessed two months – between Rajab and Ramadan. This was brought to our attention when our Blessed Prophet (ﷺ) was asked why he was fasting so much in Shabaan. The Prophet (ﷺ) replied,
”It is the month that people neglect, between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which actions are raised to the Lord of the Worlds and I love for my actions to be raised while I am fasting.”
Shabaan is also known as the month of the Blessed Prophet (ﷺ). We are highly encouraged to send Salutations upon our Prophet (peace and mercy be upon him), and salutations of peace, for in this month, the famous verse of the Quran, regarding blessings and peace on the Prophet (ﷺ) was revealed,
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ وَمَلاَئِكَـتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى ٱلنَّبِيِّ يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً
“Allah and His Angels send their blessings upon the Prophet, O you who believe send blessings upon him and salutations of peace.” (33:56)
In another Hadith, it is related that the 15th Night of Shaban is the night when Allah (SWT) decrees everyone’s provisions. This includes provisions after we die (Paradise and Hell). This is why it important to illuminate this night through prayer, repentance, dhikr, and reciting Quran. Related by Ata’ibn Yasar (RA), the Prophet (ﷺ) said,
“On the 15th of Shabaan the Angel of Death copies down the names of all those who will die from that Shabaan to the next Shabaan and there is no night after Laylat-ul-Qadr better than the 15th of Shabaan.”
Related by Umar ibn al-Khatab (the 2nd Khalifa) (RA), that the blessed Prophet (ﷺ) said,
“There are five nights on which du‘ā’ is not turned back: Friday eve, on the eve of Rajab, the 15th night of Sha‘bān, Laylat Al-Qadr, and on the eve of the two Eids.”
So these 5 blessed nights are promised as the nights in which our dua is answered, and they are clearly stated as,
1. The eve of Friday – every Thursday night
2. The eve of Rajab – the night before the first day of Rajab
3. The eve of the 15th of Shaban
4. The eve of Laylat-ul-Qadr
5. The eve of the two blessed Eids – the night before the day of Eid
The following dua is recommended to recite on these nights,
اللّهُمَ إنَّكَ عفوٌ كريمٌ تُحِبَّ العَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَني، اللّهُمَّ إنّي أسْألُكَ العَفْوَ والعَافية والمُعَافَاةَ الدَّائِمة في الدِّين والدُّنيا والأخِرَة
Allahumma innaka ‘Afūwun Karīmun tuḥib ul ‘afwa fa‘afu ‘annī, Allahumma innī as’aluka al-‘afū, wa al-‘āfīyah wa al-mu‘āfāt ad-da’imah fī ad-dīni wa ad-dunyā wa al-ākhirah.
“O Allah, You are Pardoning and Generous and You love to pardon, so pardon me. O Allah, I ask You for pardoning, good health [in body], and to be [spiritually] health always in my religion, and in this life, and in the hereafter.”
On the eve of the 15th of Shabaan, it is also highly recommended to read Surah Yā-Sīn 3 times, each time with the following intentions,
1. The first recitation – with the intention of Allah (SWT) increasing the length of your life in worship and good deeds
2. The second recitation – with the intention that Allah (SWT) protects you from all tribulations
3. The third recitation – with the intention of Allah (SWT) making you reliant only on Him and not anyone else
Last but not least – is the month of Ramadan, which is the month of the Ummah. In this month we are encouraged to recite His blessed words – The Quran. Allah(SWT) has given us one whole month to increase in good deeds without limits. One good hasanat (good deed) can be multiplied up to 70 x or more. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:
“Whoever draws near to Allah during it (Ramadan) with a single characteristic from the characteristics of (voluntary) goodness, he is like whoever performs an obligatory act in other times. And whoever performs an obligatory act during it, he is like whoever performed seventy obligatory acts in other times.”(Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, no. 1887)
Inshallah may we all work hard in patience and good deeds to reach the beautiful month of Ramadan, and to reap the benefit of His Infinite Mercy, Ameen.
I simply explained these 3 special months to my children-
–Rajab is the month when we place the seed in the soil, water it and it starts to grow.
– Shaban is when it get bigger and begins to blossom (like an apple tree).
– And then in Ramadan we reap from its blessings! (eat the delicious apples)”
This month(Rajab) we will make many istighfars(ask Allah for forgiveness), Next month (Shabaan), we will send salams to the Prophet (ﷺ)) and in Ramadan we will recite Quran– a beautiful blessing .” InshaAllah