The Muslim calendar is based on the cycles of the moon around the earth rather than the Gregorian calendar which is based on the earths cycle around the sun. Sufis and Muslims believe that Rajab is the first of three consecutive, holy months based on the saying of the Prophet, peace and blessings upon him, “Rajab is the month of God, Shaban is my month and Ramadan is the month of my Community.”
God provides specially to His servants in this month, when He is particularly generous in rewarding good actions. Just for the month of Rajab, the Prophets and Angels are not allowed to know what rewards God will give His servants. Usually He rewards each good deed with ten rewards but in Rajab, only God knows the generous bounties and mercies that He bestows upon His servants and community.
One of the most important events that is celebrated in Rajab is the Miraculous Night Journey and Ascension (‘Isra and Miraj’) of the Prophet Muhammad, which is celebrated on 27th Rajab. This is the anniversary of when the Prophet Muhammad was initially transported from Mecca to Jerusalem and then through the seven heavens, beyond the Lote Tree to the Divine Throne of God.
We will post a more complete account of this wonderful event during this month of Rajab.
The most important Sufi seclusions commence at the beginning of the month of Rajab and generally extend throughout the month. This has been the preferred time for the Naqshbandi Shaykhs to do their retreats or ‘khalwas’.
Also, following in the tradition of the Prophet, many Sufis and Muslims fast during Rajab.
Another special event is on the first Thursday night of Rajab, which is called ‘The Sacred Night of Desires’ or ‘Laylat ar-Raghaib’. This is the night that the Prophet was conceived and is the night that God, for the sake of His beloved Prophet, gives you all that you pray for and desire on this night. Consequently, the night is celebrated throughout the Muslim world by spending the night in special prayers, remembrance of God, asking forgiveness and by praying for the Prophet Muhammad.
Imam al-Ghazzali also recommended that there is much merit in observing the day and night of mid-Rajab with additional prayers.