At The Approach of Rajab & Sha’ban
With the sighting of the crescent of Rajab, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) would anticipate and begin preparations for the month of Ramadhan. This is two months in advance.
Sayyiduna Anas Ibn Malik (radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) would recite the following supplication when the Month of Rajab would commence:
اَللّٰهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَناَ فِيْ رَجَبٍَ وَشَعْبانَ وَبَلّغْنَا رَمَضَانْ
Allahumma baarik lanaa fee Rajaba wa Sha’bana wa balligh-naa Ramadhan
Translation: Oh Allah! Grant us Barakah (Blessing) during (the months of) Rajab and Sha’ban, and allow us to reach Ramadhan.
(Shu’abul-Iman #3534, Ibnu Sunni #660, Mukhtasar Zawaid Bazzar #662, also see Al-Azhkar #549)
Rajab is the second of the “four sacred months” in the Islamic Calendar which are referred to as: “Al-Ash-hurul hurum“ (Surah Tawbah, verse: 36)
The others are: Zhul-Qa’dah, Zhul-Hijjah and Al-Muharram.
Explaining their significance the ‘Ulama mention that during these months, good deeds are more virtuous and evil deeds are more detestable to Almighty Allah. (Lataiful-Ma’arif, pg.163)
As for Sha’ban, authentic Ahadith describe special significance for the 15th night.
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is reported to have said: “Certainly Almighty Allah forgives everyone on this night besides those who ascribe partners to Him and those who harbor enmity for others”.
(Sahih Ibn Hibban #5665, Al-Targheeb,vol.3 pg.459, Majma’uz-zawaid,vol.8 pg.65 & Lataaiful-Ma’arif, pg.194)
Imam ‘Ataa Ibn Yasar (rahimahullah)- a distinguished Tabi’e- said:
“ After Laylatul Qadr, there is no other night more virtuous than the middle (15th) night of Sha’ban .”
(Ibid, pg. 197)
Du’as are accepted
Imam Shafi’e (rahimahullah) has stated: “I have heard that du’as are accepted by Almighty Allah on five nights:
1) The night of Jumu’ah,
2 & 3) The nights of the two ‘Eids,
4) The first night of Rajab,
5) The middle (15th) night of Sha’ban,
(Lataiful Ma’arif, pg. 196)
Specific forms of worship
There are no specific types of Salah etc. that are prescribed for the Month of Rajab or the 15th night of Sha’ban. One may engage in whatever form of ‘ibadah one is comfortable with. (Lataiful Ma’arif, pg.168, Islamic Months by Mufti Taqi Uthmani, pgs.63 & 79)
The beginning of a new season
The crescent of Rajab actually signals the start of a “New Season”. One of hope, mercy and forgiveness for a believer. This “season” only finishes three months later; on the day of Eid!
Opportunities like these only come once a year. Fortunate are those who maximise their benefit there from.
Click on the following link for the Rajab Du’a Poster , It could be stuck on the fridge at home and read daily. Encourage others to also practice on this great Sunnah.