Fasting in Rajab has no special benefits, here's why
Someone may even quote certain texts to support the claims that it is compulsory and rewarding to fast and pray for a number of days in Rajab.
Allah says “Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allaah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred (i.e. the 1st, the 7th, the 11th and the 12th months of the Islamic calendar). That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein” (Q 9:36)
These four months are known as sacred months and they are : Rajab, Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, ie the 7th, 11th, 12 and 1st month respectively.
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Today, Wednesday, April 5, 2017 is equivalent to Rajab 8, 1438 and someone may have told you to fast and pray at nights to secure Allah's pleasure. An Islamic cleric may even quote certain texts to support the claims that it is compulsory and rewarding to fast for a number of days in this month.
Imam Musa Kazem was reported to have said that “For those who fast a day of Rajab, the fire of hell recedes from them a distance of a year’s journey. And whoever fasts three days of Rajab is certain to enter Paradise.”
Also, there are teachers that believe the prophet enjoined Muslims to recite Surah Al-Ikhlas at least 100 times (1000 or 10000 times will accrue more rewards) in the month of Rajab.
This is far from what Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said about fasting in the sacred months, in fact there is no authentic hadeeth that clearly states that the prophet observed and enjoined Muslims to fast and pray at night in Rajab.
He said in a hadeeth reported by Abu Hurayrah "The best month for observing Saum (fasting) next after Ramadan is the month of Allah, the Muharram ; and the best Salat (prayer) next after the prescribed Salat is Salat at night (Tahajjud prayers).'' [Muslim].
The month of Muharam like January of Gregorian calendar is the beginning of Islamic year and it is one of the four scared months mentioned above.
In another hadeeth, Aisha, wife of the prophet (may Allah be pleased with her) reported "that The Prophet (PBUH) did not observe voluntary Saum (fasting) so frequently during any other month as he did during Sha`ban. He observed Saum throughout the month of Sha`ban."
Apart from the fact that the prophet didnt prescribe any compulsory fasting and special prayers in the nights of Rajab, Pious scholars have also dismissed the false virtues and benefits attributed to this month.
Ibn al Qayim said "every hadeeth which mentions fasting in Rajab and praying during some of its nights is false and fabricated."
Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about fasting on the twenty seventh of Rajab and spending that night in prayer. He replied; fasting on the twenty seventh of Rajab is a bid'ah (innovation) and every bid'ah is going astray."
Inasmuch as fasting and prayers are twin acts of worship that increase Muslims level of piety, it is prohibited to engage in any acts or deeds that are not founded in Islam as these only attract punishment rather than rewards.
However, one can on one's volition observe the prophetic Mondays and Thursdays fasting in all the months of Islamic year without giving any day in Rajab a special consideration. And the reward for doing this is solely based on following the prophet not because you fast and pray in Rajab
Rajab is one of the sacred months, no doubt, but it is not Islamic to engage in acts or deeds that are not endorsed by Allah or the prophet to seek Allah's pleasure.
Lastly, do not increase your good deeds such as night prayer, charity, fasting, speaking kind words, truthfulness and helping others only because it is Rajab, do good because it is expected of you as a Muslim to always be good.
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