Fasting in the month of Rajab
The month of Rajab is one of the sacred months and there are many important events in Islamic history that took place in the month of Rajab, such as the Night Journey and Ascension (Israa’ and Mi`raj), the Battle of Tabuk, and the liberation of Al-Aqsa Mosque from the crusaders at the hands of Salah Ad-Din Al-Ayyubi.
The merit of Rajab is like the merit of the rest of the other sacred months. Allah Almighty says: (Lo! the number of the months with Allah is twelve months by Allah’s ordinance in the day that He created the heavens and the earth. Four of them are sacred: that is the right religion. So wrong not yourselves in them) (At-Tawbah 9: 36).
The names of these sacred months are mentioned in an authentic hadith said by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in the Farewell Pilgrimage. According to this hadith, the sacred months are four, three in succession—that is, Dhul-Qi`dah, Dhul-Hijjah, and Muharram—and the fourth is Rajab, which comes between Jumada Thani and Sha`ban.
But what about fasting in the month of Rajab, is it recommended and are there any authentic hadiths which indicate that fasting in Rajab has a special virtue or reward?
Let's see what some scholars view about this:
Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee
I would like to stress the fact that observing voluntary fasting during the sacred months or Al-Ashhur Al-Hurum, including the month of Rajab, is recommended or mandub. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have instructed his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) to observe voluntary fasting in Al-Ashhur Al-Hurum.
He (peace and blessings be upon him) used to urge his Companions to fast three days of every month. Thus, fasting during the month of Rajab is recommended but there is no authentic hadith that indicates that fasting certain days of Rajab, for example the first day, entails a special reward.
Ibn Hajar also quoted Abu Bakr At-Tartushi as saying in Al-Bida` wa Al-Hawadith, “It is not recommended to observe fasting in Rajab if this is done out of one of three intentions, one of which is to do so out of believing that its fasting is obligatory like the fasting of Ramadan, or it is a regular act of Sunnah, or that its fasting is more rewarded and praiseworthy than fasting in the other months. If anything of the kind had been true, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would have clarified it. According to Ibn Dihyah, fasting in general is a good act, but it should not be observed in Rajab out of believing that it entails special rewards then. `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) would not recommend fasting in Rajab out of this belief.”
The bottom line:
Fasting during the month of Rajab is recommended but there is no authentic hadith that indicates that fasting certain days of Rajab entails a special reward.
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