By Ishola Balogun
Rajab as the seventh month in the Islamic lunar calendar reminds us of the preparation of Ramadan. In less than five weeks from now, preparation would have reached high levels by Muslims individuals for the glorious month.
This month, also as one of the sacred months (Al-Ashhur-al-hurum) it brings to mind why we need to step up our good deeds, never to wrong one another and draw closer to Allah. This month specifically has some historical events in Islam which jogs one’s memory on the Night Journey and Ascension, the Battle of Tabuk, and the liberation of Al-Aqsa Mosque from the crusaders at the hands of Salah Ad-Din Al-Ayubi (AH 538). All these happened in the month of Rajab.
Essentially, what comes to mind of many Muslims is fasting in the month of Rajab. Apart from the the month of Ramadan where we are commanded to fast 29 or 30 days, no other month in the Islamic Calendar has that honour. But much as fasting in itself is a form of ibaadah, we are not dissuaded from fasting in the month.
There is no hard and fast rule on it. The fasting prescription on other months other than Ramadan could apply in Rajab, one could decide to go further since it is supererogatory. Fasting is that is prescribed in Rajab is the same as that prescribed in other months- namely fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, and the three days of al-Beed, fasting alternate days or fasting at the beginning, middle and end of the month, etc.
There are scholars and ulamas who also declare the whole month for fasting. The late Sheikh Imam Sheez in Ajegunle who was buried ten years ago was recently found to be fresh; his body intact when his body was exhumed late last year. He was known to be fasting most days of his life.
Do not listen to anyone who says there is no need for fasting in the month of Rajab. Every little act of ibadah to Almighty Allah will be to your credit. Besides, no one knows exactly the last thing we will do to get the favour of Allah.
Let me bring to you the story of a thief during the time of Prophet Muhammad. (s.a.w): In the time of the Prophet (s) there lived a notorious thief. He used to rob and disposes people of their valuables at nights. Sometimes, he maimed and killed in the process.
He became elusive and the Prophet (s.a.w) used to curse him for inflicting pain on people. The thief died one day and the prophet said he would not pray for his soul or bury his remains in the Muslims cemetery.
Because the Prophet (s.a.w) used to curse him, the children dragged his body through the streets of Madinah and threw him into a dry well. Immediately, God spoke to the Prophet (s.a.w) and said, ‘O my beloved Prophet, today one of my beloved has passed away.
You must go and wash him, clean him, cover him, pray for him and bury him.’ The Prophet (s.a.w) was astonished because all the man’s life he had inflicted pain on others. Now, that he had passed away, God told him that he was a saint.
How could he be a saint? But no one can interfere with God’s knowledge, not even the Prophet (s). If Allah wants to save a thief from hell, no one can question His authority. As Muslims, we don’t have to write people off based on what we think he is doing. You do not know if God is going to raise that person above you for what you know not.
Leave everyone to his or her Lord. The Prophet (s.a.w) was commanded to purify him and bury him accordingly. He did and the man was buried in Baqi cemetery, a distance of fifteen minutes’ walk from Madinah. Waman tashau naa, illa anya sha’Allahu Robu-alameean. Who can do anything except what Allah desires, the Lord of the world.
The Prophet (s.a.w) with Abu Bakr as_Siddiq (a.s) went to the house of that burglar to meet the daughter just to find out what good deed he used to do. The daughter said to them: “He robbed and stole day and night, except for one month during the year.
When that month came, he would say, ‘This is the month of God,’ because he heard you say, ‘Rajab is the month of God, Shaban is the month of the Prophet and Ramadan is the month of the Community.’ So he said, … I am going to sit in my room and perform seclusion during this month.’ That is why some people used the month to perform Umurah, while some engage in fasting. Every little ibadah counts.
With every little practice, you can progress spiritually and very quickly too. You will arrive much faster to Divine presence on a rocket and not by riding a donkey.
As one of the Ashhur-al-hurum (sacred months), our prayers just as the prophet said at the begining of every Rajab, we should endeavour to say: “O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessings for us, and prolong our lives up to Ramadan, so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings.” Amin.
Shun illicit acts, Adelaja advises youths, leaders
The chairman of National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, NAPPS, Offin Ward, Evangelist Johnson Bola Adelaja has enjoined leaders, parents and youths to shun acts that could bring shame to the country.
The cleric who made the call against the backdrop of the spate of violence attacks in some parts of the country said “whatever an individual cannot do to his own family should not be done to others or the country.” He said this at a funfare organised by Echoes Resources to mark this year’s children’s Day in Offin community, Ikorodu, Lagos recently.
“We have the responsibility to develop our country by ourselves, we should not do anything Whatever anybody is doing, that will not bring glory to the country, state or community, it is not worth doing at all.”
He stated that the Muslims and the Christians are one adding that the religions in the country have derailed from the path of God and only prayer will bring desired solution. “We have already disobeyed God and only prayer can move us out of this doldrums. God wants us to return to Him,” he said.
Speaking on the issue, the vice chairman of the association in the community, Erinfolami E. charged leaders to provide enabling environment for the the younger ones to develop and realise their potentials. He stated: “They are our leaders of tomorrow, if we developed them, we are not only developing our future, but they will also be able to develope their younger ones and that means the future of our unborn generation is assured,” he said.
MICA launches N250m Islamic Center
The Movement for Islamic Culture and Awareness (MICA) has called for urgent re-orientation of the citizenry as a way of promoting peace and stability in the country.
The Coordinator of MICA Abuja chapter, Alhaji Abdulbasit Bakare made the call on Sunday in Abuja at the launching of a N250 million Islamic Centre project.
He said the new orientation was necessary in view of the security challenges as well as unpatriotic tendencies of both leaders and followers in the country.
Bakare said that the proposed Islamic centre would be a “One Stop Islamic Centre” meant to ensure Islamic cultural awareness, re-orientation and national development.
He decried the lack of peace, unity and religious tolerance, saying the Centre would go a long way in providing a platform for solving some of the vices in the country.
The coordinator said that the Centre, which is unique in Nigeria, would cater for spiritual, social, economic and political well being of Muslims as well as their healthy living through provision of fitness centre.
He called on other faith-based organisations, and Civil Society Organisations to join MICA in evolving a virile and peaceful society.
In his lecture entitled: “A Legacy Beyond Measure”, Malam Abdulfattah Adeyemi, urged Muslims on the need to strive for righteousness and create good legacies for the youths.
He said the Islamic Centre was a good legacy that would go a long way in building the nation.
Adeyemi said the Centre would avail Muslims and the family an avenue to interact, pray and engage in capacity building.
The proposed multi-purpose Islamic centre is located in FHA Lugbe, Abuja and will have a jumat Mosque, Educational Library, Multi-purpose hall, Fitness centre, Office spaces, Guest inn when completed.