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Is Fasting in Rajab Recommended?

Rajab is one of the four sacred months, in which fasting is generally recommended. However, there is no clearly authentic hadith stating a special virtue for fasting in Rajab in particular.


In his response to your question about fasting in Rajab, Sheikh Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid, the prominent Saudi Islamic lecturer and author, stated:

Virtues of the Month of Rajab

The month of Rajab is one of the sacred months about which Allah says, {Surely the number of months with Allah is twelve months in Allah’s ordinance since the day when He created the heavens and the earth, of these four being sacred; that is the right reckoning; therefore be not unjust to yourselves regarding them, and fight the polytheists all together as they fight you all together; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).} (At-Tawbah 9:36)

The sacred months are: Rajab, Dhul-Qidah, Dhul-Hijjah, and Muharram.

It was narrated that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred: three consecutive months, Dhul-Qi`dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumada and Sha`ban.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

These months are sacred for two reasons:

1- Fighting therein is forbidden unless initiated by the enemy.

2- Transgression of the sacred limits therein is worse than at other times.

Hence Allah has forbidden us to commit sins during these months, as He says “… therefore be not unjust to yourselves regarding them…” (At-Tawbah 9:36)

Although committing sins is forbidden during these months and at other times, it is more forbidden in these months.

Imam Al-Sadi (may Allah have mercy on him) said ( Tafsir al-Sa`di, p. 373),

“In the phrase “be not unjust to yourselves regarding them”, the pronoun “them” may be understood as referring to the twelve months. Allah states that He has made them a measure of time for His people, which they may use for worshipping Him, and thank Allah for His blessings, and they serve the interests of His people, so beware of wronging yourselves therein.

The pronoun may also be understood as referring to the four sacred months, and this forbids people from wronging themselves in these months in particular.”

Fasting in Rajab

With regard to fasting in Rajab, there is no authentic hadith indicating any special virtue in fasting all or a part of this month.

What some people do, singling out some days of Rajab for fasting, believing that they are better than others, has no basis in the Shariah.

But there is a report from Prophet Muhammad which indicates that it is preferable (mustahab) to fast during the sacred months, one of which is Rajab. Prophet Muhammad said: “Fast some days of the sacred months and not others.” (Abu Dawud, classed as da`if (weak) by Al-Albani in Da`if Abi Dawud)

Even if this hadith was sahih, it indicates that it is preferable (mustahab) to fast during the sacred months. So if a person fasts during Rajab because of this, and he also fasts in the other sacred months, there is nothing wrong with that. But singling out Rajab for fasting is not right.

Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said,

“As for fasting in Rajab in particular, the hadiths concerning that are all weak (da`if), even fabricated (mawdu`). The scholars do not rely on any of them. They are not among the weak hadiths which have been narrated concerning virtues; rather most of them are fabricated and false. In Al-Musnad and elsewhere there is a hadith which says that Prophet Muhammad enjoined fasting during the sacred months, but this is to fast during all of them, not just Rajab.” (Ibn Taymiyah, Majmu` Al-Fatawa, 25/290)

Also, Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said,

“Every hadith which mentions fasting in Rajab and praying during some of its nights is false and fabricated.” (Al-Manar Al-Munif)

Sheikh Sayyed Sabiq (may Allah have mercy on him) said,

“Fasting in Rajab is no better than fasting in any other month, except that it is one of the sacred months. There is no report in the authenticSunnah to suggest that there is anything special about fasting in this month. Whatever has been narrated concerning that is not fit to be quoted as evidence.” (Sayyed Sabiq,Fiqh As-Sunnah, 1/282)

Allah Almighty knows best.

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