Essays in Series
Nights of Light
On Rajab, Sḫaʿbān and Ramaḍān
Allāh has said that Rajab is His month, Sḫaʿbān is the month of the Prophet ﷺ, and Ramaḍān is the month of the ‘Ummah. There are many duʿāʾ and practices for all of these months. The ṣalātu-l-Ragḫāib is the central practice of Rajab, and is described here, as well as other ʿibadat. Also included is the description of the Night Journey of the Prophet ﷺ to Jerusalem and then to the Heavens and back and the response of the people to this world-shattering event.
The Sḫaykḫ complained that he never had time to complete his story; he could get us to the end of the journey to the Heavens and the direct meeting of the Prophet ﷺ with Allāh, but never into the wonderful description of what was planned for his ummah. In this new essay the Sḫaykḫ takes time to tell the whole glorious tale, one of wonderment and beauty.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “That is a month to which people do not pay attention between Rajab and Ramaḍān, and it is a month in which deeds are lifted up to the Lord of the Worlds. I like for my deeds to be lifted up when I am fasting.” Also, “Allāh descends to the nearest heaven on the night of mid-Sḫaʿbān and He forgives more people than the number of hairs on the backs of the flocks and herds of sheep of the tribe of Kalb.” The essay discusses prayers and practices of the Muslims in this holy month and night.
Ramaḍān is discussed historically and in depth, not just as a time of hunger and forbearance, but as a time for deep insight and returning to Allāh. Four themes are found in this injunction to fast Ramaḍān: consciousness of Allāh, knowledge, thankfulness, and guidance. Reading of the Qurʾān is emphasized, along with much dḥikr and its rewards. Laylatu-l-Qadr is described, what it means, how to find it, and the deeper meanings of fasting are investigated. This is a useful reference to deepen one’s understanding of this essential month.
The blessed months of Rajab, Sḫaʿbān and Ramaḍān are full of special nights, as the name of this series suggests. These include the al-ʾIsrā wa-l-Miʿrāj (The Night Journey), Nisfu-sḫ-Sḫaʿbān (The Night of mid-Sḫaʿbān), also know as Sḫab-e-Baraʾat (The Night of Deliverance), and Laylatu-l-Qadr (The Night of Destiny). It is customary to perform nawāfil (supererogatory) acts of worship on these and other nights of these months. The supererogatory practices include prayers, special supplications, adḫkār (remembrances), and fasting and are described in this this handy booklet compiled by Hajjah Amr Rasheed.