When Rajab commences we should increase the time we spend in the masjid. We should start for example by sitting for an extra five minutes after salāh. We should increase this time after ten days, and continue increasing it until we enter the blessed month of Ramadān, when we should increase it even further.
If work commitments do not allow this during weekdays, then it should be done on weekends. If we think about how much time we normally spend in the blessed environment of the masjid, we would have to admit that it is the bare minimum or just a little bit more.
Relaxing Before Ramadān
Some people relax for a few days before Ramadān, intending to busy themselves in ‘ibādah once Ramadān begins. Sometimes this relaxed attitude leads them to sin, with a reassuring feeling that they will make tawbah in Ramadān.
Firstly, how do they know they will live to see Ramadān? Secondly, the sin committed may have a negative spiritual impact which may last for the duration of Ramadān, preventing the perpetrator from repenting and doing good deeds, even in the blessed month.
The Sahaba (radhiyAllahu anhum) asked Nabi (salAllahu alayhi wa salam), “Will we receive a reward from Allah Ta’ala for not being able to acquire what we sometimes desire due to a lack of money?”
Nabi ( salAllahu alayhi wa salam) replied, “If you do not receive a reward for it, then what else will you receive?”
Dhahaak (rahmatullahi alayh) said, “A person goes to the marketplace and he sees something which his heart desires, but due to not having any money in his pocket (he cannot purchase it but) makes sabr hoping to receive reward (instead of it). He will receive a reward which is much more than spending one hundred thousand Dirhams in charity.”
Reaching the month of Rajab is akin to reaching the shore of Ramadān. This is why the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam would read the following du’ā with anticipation upon the advent of Rajab:
Start Preparing Early
The advent of the month of Rajab is a signal for us to begin preparing for the month of Ramadān. If we start gearing up from the month of Rajab, then upon the commencement of the month of Ramadān we will have a set routine of ‘ibadah that we can gradually increase as the month progresses. In this way we will be able to fully benefit from the blessed month.
If we intend to increase our ‘ibadah only after the month of Ramadān has begun, then by the time we get into gear, many days of Ramadān would have passed, and we would have wasted valuable opportunities.
Guidance and advice for the Blessed Month from Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh
Right from the onset of the month of Rajab, we should begin to prepare for Ramadān. By building up slowly over Rajab and Sha‘bān, we will be in peak spiritual condition when Ramadān arrives.
To do this we need to make a programme of ibādah and set daily targets. We then need to fix a timetable so that we are able to achieve those targets. Thereafter targets should be reviewed every week or every fortnight, and gradually increased until Ramadān arrives. Then throughout Ramadān this process should continue.
If we do not set targets and do not fix a timetable early on, we will not be able to progress. Consequently, we will not develop the necessary spiritual stamina required to maintain the level of performance in order to reap the maximum benefit from Ramadān.
Fudhail bin Iyyadh رحمة الله عليه was brought up in Abiward, a town and district between Sarakhs and Nasa, now belonging to the republic of Turkmenistan.
His initial life was one of looting and highway robbery until he sincerely repented and began treading the path of truth and salvation. He was considered to be from amongst a special group of Allah fearing and pious personalities known as Abdaal. At a later stage in his life he proceeded to Kufa ( present day Iraq), the prestigious seat of learning, where he sat at the feet of the Ulama and humbly undertook the acquistion of Islamic knowledge. Scores of people benefitted from his sayings and actions. His vast array of noble qualities and traits left a lasting impression on the hearts of those who met him.
Fudhail bin Iyyadh رحمة الله عليه was a reputable Aalim, a leading figure in Tasawuf and an unshakable Da’ee (one who invites to Allah). Later he migrated to Makkah where he resided the remainder of his life. He passed away in the year 187 Hijri and is buried in the famous cemetry in Makkah known as Al Ma’alla.
This is the very same cemetry where Sayyidatuna Khadija رضي الله عنها is buried.
The late Hadhrat Moulana Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه is buried in this blessed cemetry as well.
Fudhail bin Iyyadh رحمة الله عليه’s advice about Ramadhaan:
Fudhail bin Iyyadh رحمة الله عليه said, “We had found people who abstained from laughing while fasting, saying that Ramadhaan is a month when one competes with good actions, not a month of laughing, playing and negligence.”
He who does not protect all his limbs from sin while fasting is like one who has not fasted even though he remains hungry and the one who protectd his limbs from sin, he has attainved the true essence of fasting.
May Allah Ta’ala give us the ability to practice on these valuable pearls. Aameen.
اللهم بارك لنا في رجب و شعبان و بلغنا رمضان. آمين!