Season of Goodness
Season of Goodness
By Dr. Wael Shihab
Every year, when the month of Rajab arrives, I recall the Prophet's
supplication: «O Allah, bless us in the months of Rajab and Sha`ban and take
us to Ramadan». It is high time for everyone to re-think and assess his or her
readiness for the blessings of Allah in these blessed months, Rajab, Sha`ban,
In his Fayd Al-Qadir, the great scholar Al-Minawi says,
''Ibn Rajab said that the (above-mentioned) hadith proves the recommendation
of du`aa' for an extended life until one reaches the good blessed times of
In Blugh al-Amani, Ahmad al-Banna says,
''The Prophet's du`aa' for barakah (Allah's blessings) in these three months
indicates their high position and great merits''.
A Muslim should seize the chance and spare no effort to bring himself or
herself closer to Allah in this season of goodness.
Rajab: Gateway to Ramadan
Throughout the year's months, a Muslim leaves no stone unturned in order to
attain Allah's blessings. With the start of Rajab, we look forward to the
ultimate blessings of Ramadan. Rajab, therefore, is an important station and
gateway to Ramadan. As one of the sacred months, Rajab enjoys special merits
Observing voluntary fasting in the sacred months, including Rajab, is
recommended. Abu Dawud reported on the authority of Mujibah Al-Bahilyyah that
the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to her father or uncle,
«Observe fasting for some days in the sacred months and leave fasting for
He (peace and blessings be upon him) said this three times, folding three
fingers of him and then unfolding them each time. The Prophet's using three
fingers here is meant to assert his recommendation of fasting during these
months, and not to indicate the number of the days to observe fasting therein.
Hence, observing fasting, as well as other good deeds, in Rajab is generally
praiseworthy like doing so in the rest of the sacred months.
Sha`ban: Countdown to Ramadan
Upon the commence of Sha`ban, our hearts yearn for the long-awaited guest,
Ramadan. As the great month of Sha`ban falls between Rajab and Ramadan, it is
recommended that we should devote ourselves to engage in extra devotions.
An-Nasa'i reported that Usamah ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him) asked
the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), ''I have never seen you offer
fast in a month as much as you do in Sha`ban." The Prophet said,
«It is a month people disregard that is between Rajab and Ramadan. In that
month deeds are presented to the Lord of the Worlds, so I like my deeds to be
presented while I am fasting».
Sha`ban is the time for the final preparations before Ramadan. Among
significant acts that one may do in Sha`ban are fasting, particularly in the
first half of Sha`ban, reciting the Qur'an, engaging in dhikr, and preparing
There are authentic hadiths about the virtue of fasting during Sha`ban, among
which the hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim on the authority of `A'ishah (may
Allah be blessed with her) who said,
"Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) used to observe fasting
(continuously) that we would say he would not break fasting, and he used not
to fast (continuously) until we would say he would not fast.
And I did not see Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him)
completing the fast of a month, except Ramadan, and I did not see him fasting
more in any other month than in Sha`ban".
The hadith indicates that the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) used
to fast many days in Sha`ban that `A'ishah (may Allah be blessed with her)
said in another narration, "He [the Prophet] used to fast (almost) all of
Sha`ban; he used to fast Sha`ban except for few (days)".
Ramadan: The Ultimate Goal
Living until the month of Ramadan is a great favor and blessing of Allah.
Ramadan is the month of great blessings, forgiveness, and mercy. Its blessings
start with the first night and continue throughout the whole month. The
Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
«My people (Ummah) are granted five gifts that no prophet before me had been
First, when it is the first night of Ramadan, Allah looks at His servants. He
will never punish those at whom He looks.
Second, the smell of their mouths when night approaches is more pleasant [to
Allah] than the scent of musk.
Third, angels seek Allah's forgiveness for them everyday and night.
Fourth, Allah commands Paradise saying, 'Be prepared and adorned for My
servants; they are about to be relieved from the pains of the worldly life and
move to My Home and Honor.'
Fifth, when it is the last night (of Ramadan) Allah forgives the sins of all
Thereupon, a man asked, "Is it the night of Qadr (Power)?" He (the Prophet)
«No, don't you see that once workers finish their tasks, they take their
wages?» (Ahmad and Al-Bazzar).
The month of Ramadan is the peak of this season of blessings and the field of
competition for those aspiring to ascend the high ranks of Paradise:
«When Ramadan enters, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire
are closed and the devils are chained» (Bukhari and Muslim).
To conclude, we are now in the course of good blessed times. We have to seize
these days and nights to bring ourselves closer to Almighty Allah by doing as
many of good deeds as we can and avoiding all prohibitions. Every good deed
counts. In one beautiful hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)
«Do not belittle any good deed, even if it is just to meet your fellow Muslim
with a cheerful face» (Muslim).
May Allah accept all our good deeds, ameen.