As we promised you yesterday, here is the second and concluding part of our special article on the blessed month of Rajab – the first of the four sacred months of the Islamic Calendar.
Today we will dwell on the observations of this month for specific days that are of high significance for Islam and the history of mankind.
The 9th of Rajab marks the birth of the Infant Martyr of Karbala, Hazrat Ali Asghar (AS), who six months later on the 10th of Moharram was destined to be martyred in the state of thirst in the hands of his father Imam Husain (AS) by an arrow shot by the heartless marksman of the Omayyad army, Harmala bin Kahel. The 10th of Rajab happens to be the birth anniversary of Imam Mohammad at-Taqi al-Jawad (AS), the 9th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). We would be presenting you a special feature on that particular day that falls on Monday. Here we wish to point out the significance of the 13th eve of Rajab that marks the 3-day period called Ayyam al-Beedh, when the moon is in its full bloom, and when there are special supplications and prayers to be performed in the Divine Court. One can refer to the famous prayer manual, Mafatih al-Jenaan or Keys of Paradise for details. It is should also be pointed out that on the 13th, 14th and 15th of Rajab, it is highly recommended to fast during these days and observe E’tekaaf in the principal mosques of the city. Every year hundreds of thousands of people, especially youngsters observe this spiritual exercise in the solitude of mosques, engrossed in prayers and supplications that infuse new life into them, enlightening minds, soothing hearts, purifying souls, and providing them with new ideas for the betterment of the society, the country, and humanity as a whole.
The 13th of Rajab is the auspicious birthday of the Commander of the Faithful, the Leader of the Pious, the Symbol of Justice, the Epitome of Piety, the Paragon of Patience, the Embodiment of Valour, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), the cousin and divinely-designated vicegerent of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Imam Ali (AS), who was born in the holy Ka’ba needs no introduction, and we would be presenting you a special feature that day. Let us move on to the eve of the 15th of Rajab, which is indeed a very blessed night, on which there are several observances. First, is to perform a ritual bath; second, keeping vigil along with acts of worship; third, performing the ziyarah or salutation of the Immortal Martyr of Karbala, Imam Husain (AS), and a series of non-obligatory ritual prayers that are mentioned in all prayer books. The day that dawns that is, the 15th of Rajab is also an auspicious day and there are several observances pertaining to it, such as the ritual bath, performance of the ziyarah of Imam Husain (AS) and special supplications, one of which reads:
“O Allah, Humiliator of all tyrants and Honourer of the faithful! You are my haven when the diverse paths leave me clueless. You brought me into being out of Your mercy, though You had no need to create me, and had it not been for Your mercy I would have perished. You strengthen me with Your help against my enemies, and were it not for Your aid I would have been humiliated…”
Another important observance of the 15th of Rajab is the Supplication known as Amal Omm Dawoud that was taught by Imam Ja’far Sadeq (AS) to the lady of the same name who his foster mother, for the release of her son, Dawoud, from the prison of the tyrant caliph, Mansour Dawaniqi. This is indeed a panacea for relief from afflictions and heading off the harm and tyranny of oppressors.
The 25th of Rajab is the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Musa Kazem (AS), the 7th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), and on that particular we would be presenting you a special feature on his life and times. One of the greatest observances for Rajab is the eve of 27th which is called the Night of the Mab’ath (preceding the first day of the formal ordainment by God of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) as the Last and Greatest Messenger to mankind with the universal message of Islam. It is one of the most blessed of nights, on which several observances are related and can be found in relevant books. According to Imam Jawad (AS), “There is a night in the month of Rajab whose virtue exceeds everything on which the sun shines and that is the 27th night of the month, on the morning of which the Prophet assumed his mission. There is a reward of 60 years of works for those of our followers who carry out its devotions.”
The observances for this night and the following day include the ziyarah or salutation of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and his vicegerent, Imam Ali (AS), who as a young 10-boy was present on Mount Noor outside Mecca when the Archangel Gabriel entrusted God’s mission to his cousin the Prophet. In short this
The medieval Moroccan traveler, Ibn Batuta, writes in his famous Travelouge of the city of holy Najaf in Iraq where the shrine of Imam Ali (AS) is situated, and says people from Iraq, Iran, Khorasan, and Anatolia bring with them paralytics and chronically sick persons who are unable to move, and beseech God for cure. They recite the holy Qur’an and supplication to God Almighty, and then chant “la ilaha il-Allah, Muhammadur-Rasulullah, Aliyun Waliyullah”, which means there is no deity except God, Mohammad is the Messenger of God and Ali is the Friend of God. Ibn Batuta says that he heard it from persons whose statements may be trusted that many people are cured in Najaf on this night. He adds: I myself saw three men in the madrasah which serves as the shrine’s quarters for visitors. They were bedridden and unable to move. One of them came from Anatolia, another was from Isfahan and a third from Khorasan. I asked them why they had not been cured and had remained there. They said that they had missed the night of the twenty seventh and were determined to stay on until the next year for recovery.
On the 27th day of Rajab, the day of the formal start of the universal mission of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), there are several observances such as the ritual bath, fasting as a form of thanksgiving to God for granting humanity the Messenger of Mercy, and recitation of the ziyarah of the Prophet and Imam Ali. This day is one of four days in the whole year whose fast is distinguished for its merit, being equal to seventy years of fasting.