Sabahat Anwar explores the meanings, significance and historical background of Islamic months
Jumâda-ul-Awwal- 5th month of the Islamic calendar
Jumad means ‘freezing’. When the months were being named, this month fell during winter – when water freezes; hence it was named Jumadal Ula.
Jumâda-ath-Thani- 6th month of the Islamic calendar
This month occurred towards the end of winter – when water freezes, hence it was named Jumadal Akhir.
No ibadat has been specified for the above two months, but as mentioned before, fasts on Mondays and Thursdays, when gates of Paradise are opened and on Ayaam-e-Bidh (13th, 14th and 15th of each month) should be observed as per Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) practice.
Rajab – 7th month of the Islamic calendar
Allah with His perfect wisdom and knowledge has chosen and preferred some days and months to others. He states in Quran: “Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…” (At-Taubah 9:36)
The names of these four months, of which Rajab is one, are mentioned in the following Hadeeth:
Abu Bakrah (rta) reported that the Prophet (sa) gave his Farewell Sermon and said: “Time has completed its cycle and is as it was on the Day when Allah created the heavens and the earth. The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred, three consecutive months – Dhul-Qa’da, Dhul-Hijja and Muharram – and the Rajab of Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha’ban.” (Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari)
Rajab has the following meanings:
- To ‘respect’: Since the Arab tribe of Mudar respected and venerated this month a lot, they named it ‘Rajab’ (of Mudar).
- It is the name of a river in Jannah in which exceptionally sweet water, whiter than milk, flows. Fasting in this month will, Insha’Allah, enable us to have the honour of drinking from this river.
A year before migration, in the month of Rajab, the Prophet (sa) made a miraculous journey on a white winged animal, ‘Al-Buraq’, up through the seven heavens and into the presence of Allah – all in one night. This journey is known as ‘Mairaj’. Allah gave the Prophet (sa) three gifts on this occasion:
- The ending Ayats (last Ruku) of Surah Baqarah.
- The good news of salvation to those of his Ummah who do not commit Shirk.
- The compulsory five times Salâh. This is the only act of worship, from among the pillars of Islam, which was made obligatory before the Hijrah. It’s a miraculous gift for Muslims – a chance to be near Allah as the Prophet (sa) was on that miraculous night.
Despite beliefs to the contrary, learned scholars say that nowhere in the Sunnah do we find that the Prophet (sa) fasted on the twenty-seventh of Rajab. No Ibadah has been specified for this month.
The Prophet (sa) also did not fast for three consecutive months (i.e., Rajab, Sha’ban and Ramadan) as some people do, and he never fasted Rajab at all, nor did he encourage people to fast this month. (related by Imam ibn al Qayyim)
Sacrifices should not be made because of the month of Rajab either. The Prophet (sa) said, “Offer sacrifices, no matter which month is it…” (Abu Dawood, Al-Nasai and Ibn- Majah)