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RajabEI.pdf Radjab, the seventh month of the Islamic calendar, was observed as a holy month in the period of the Djāhiliyya in spring. It was the month of the sacrifices of the ʿatāʾir offered to the pagan deities as a token of gratitude for the augmentation of their flocks and herds. It was also the time of invocations of their deities to increase the number of their flocks. It was as well the month of the sacrifices of the furuʿ, the firstlings of the flocks and herds. The owner of the flock had to sacrifice one ewe out of fifty (or hundred) of his herd. The holy month of Radjab was also the month of peace in the Arab peninsula; the tribes refrained from raids and warfare. The month was called al-aṣamm “the deaf” because no sound of weapons was heard during that month and al-aṣabb “the pouring” because the unbelievers of Mecca used to say that the mercy is pouring forth in this month. Another by-name of Radjab was al-radjm “the stoning” because the Satans were stoned in that month and were expelled from the dwellings of the tribes. Other bynames attached to Radjab were: al-muḳīm “the constant,” because its sanctity was a firm one, since Radjab is one of the four ḥurum months; al-harim “the aged” because the sanctity of the month was an ancient one, dating from the time of Mu ar b. Nizār; as the tribes of Mu ar venerated this month, it was also named radjab Muḍar. Because of the comprehensive peace among the tribes and their abstaining from hostilities, the month was called munṣil al-all and munṣil al-asinna, pointing to the fact that the spearheads were removed, weapons laid down and no fighting among tribes was launched. The name al-muʿallā “the elevated” was attached to Radjab because it was a month highly respected among the Arab tribes. The name al-mubriʾ “the clearing [from fault]” was given to the month because warlike activity was given up, no iniquity was committed and no act of hypocrisy was perpetrated during the month. A peculiar name granted to Radjab was al-muḳashḳish “the exonerating,” denoting that Radjab distinguished between the people who stuck to the tenets enjoining abstention from fighting during the month and those who violated the sanctity of the month by fighting. Finally, the month was called al-ʿatīra because the sacrifices of the ʿatīra were carried out during this month. According to tradition, the month of Radjab was a time of devotional practices, exertions and fasting. Invocations against the iniquitous and the wrong-doers in this month were especially efficacious. The opinions of the scholars of Islam as to the permission to continue these practices in Islam were divergent, controversial and even contradictory. The differences in their opinions are clearly exposed in the utterances attributed to the Prophet in the collections of ḥadīth. An utterance attributed to the Prophet and recorded in the early collection of ɈAbd alRazzāḳ (d. 211/826) says that the Prophet approved of the sacrifice of the ʿatīra which the people used to practice in Radjab. The Prophet said, “Do it, and name it al-radjība.” The utterance of the Prophet enjoining sacrifice of the ʿatīra and naming it the radjība is opposed by an utterance attributed to the Prophet enjoining annulment of the sacrifice of the firstlings and the sacrifice of the Radjabī ʿatīra. It is recorded in the same collection and is formulated plainly: lā faraʿa wa-lā ʿatīra “there is no [sacrifice] of the firstlings nor of the ʿatīra.” This prohibitive tradition was, however, changed by the interpretation given to it by alShāfiɈī: there is no sacrifice of the ʿatīra nor of the faraʿa “as an obligatory practice”, adds al-ShāfiɈī. This comment of his changes, of course, the meaning of the tradition and its significance. In the same way was interpreted the utterance of the Prophet ʿalā ahl kull bayt an yad̲h̲baḥū shāt fī kull radjab wa-fī kull aḍḥā shāt . The expression ʿalā kull ahl bayt an i in i an i i in i i in is, however, interpreted not as an enjoinment but only as a recommendation. The utterance has to be understood as recommendation for every family group to sacrifice a ewe during every month of Radjab and to sacrifice a ewe on every aḍḥā celebration. An utterance of the Prophet about the ʿatīra permits the sacrifice of the ʿatīra in any month of the year and enjoins the practice of charity, dividing among the poor the meat of the slaughtered beasts. It is obvious that the sanctity of Radjab was, according to this tradition, fairly limited, or even abolished, while the advice of charity was especially stressed. A tradition reported on the authority of ɈĀɇisha says that the Prophet enjoined the slaughter of the firstling of the herd numbering fifty, which tallies with the prevalent Djāhilī practice. But another tradition attributed to the Prophet says, “Practice the sacrifice of the faraʿa if you want”. Thus the sacrifice was left to the discretion of the believer. A peculiar utterance of the Prophet turns the sacrifice of the faraʿa into a voluntary practice, with a special reservation of the Prophet changing the aim of the practice. The Prophet permitted the practice but remarked that it would be preferable to feed the camel until it grows up and to ride it on expeditions and raids for the cause of God; similarly, it is preferable to feed the ewe until it grows up, to sacrifice it and to divide the meat among the poor. Similarly, the utterance of the Prophet in which he is said to have approved of the faraʿa, saying al-faraʿa ḥaḳḳ, was considerably changed by the added reservation that it would be better to feed the destined sacrificial animal until it grows up and can be used to ride on it in a raid for the cause of God (in the case of a camel) or to slaughter it (in the case of a ewe) and give the meat as charity to a needy widow. Scholars of Islam stress that the slaughter of animals in Rad̲j̲ab was continued in the first period of Islam and was only later abrogated. Al-Ḵh̲aṭṭābī (d. 388/998) considered the ʿatīra compatible with the principles of Islam: it was in the period of Islam sacrificed to God in contradiction to the j̲āhilī ʿatīra, which was sacrificed to the idols. There is indeed a report saying that Ibn Sīrīn (d. 110/729) used to slaughter the ʿatīra in Radjab. Strictly orthodox scholars stressed that there is no valid tradition concerning the virtues of Radjab. There were, however, scholars, especially from among the pious and devoted, who favoured the widely-circulated popular traditions allegedly uttered by the Prophet, emphasising the virtues of Radjab and encouraging the carrying out of the various practices considered laudable and right. The Prophet is said to have named Radjab “the month of God”, s̲h̲ahr Allāh, because it was the month of the people of the ḥaram (i.e. the people of Mecca) who were called āl Allāh. The problem of the sacrifices during the month of Radjab was only one aspect of the disputes among the Muslim scholars as to the ritual practices performed in the Muslim community in that month. A significant tradition ascribed to the Prophet singled out the peculiar sanctity of three months of the year: “Radjab is the month of God, ShaɈbān is my month and Rama ān is the month of my people.” As the month of Radjab was put on par with the two other months there was an obvious tendency to competition between these holy months regarding the rewards of the ritual practices performed during these months, the exceptional position of certain nights of the months and the prayers during these months. The competition between Radjab and ShaɈbān is clearly presented in a tradition reported on the authority of Zayd b. Aslam. The Prophet was informed about people fasting during Radjab. He remarked, “How far are they from the virtues of the people fasting during ShaɈbān!” Zayd observed, “Most of the fasting of the Prophet, except in Rama ān, was in ShaɈbān.” The partisans of Radjab quoted a report of Ibn al-ɈAbbās saying that the Prophet used to fast so many days in Radjab that his Companions did not think that he would break his fast; and he used to break his fast so that they doubted whether he would resume it. As against the people venerating ShaɈbān, the partisans of Radjab had recourse to utterances attributed to the Prophet in which the fasting of Radjab was recommended and very high rewards were promised to people who were fasting in it. The Prophet is said to have stated that the month of Radjab is of a high position and that the good deeds of the believer gain multiple rewards. He who fasts one day in Radjab is in the position of a believer who would fast a year. He who fasts nine days, for him the gates of Hell are closed; he who fasts eight days, for him the eight doors of Paradise are opened; he who fasts ten days, God will fulfill for him every wish; he who fasts fifteen days, a herald will announce from Heaven that god forgave him every sin which he had committed in the past. In the month of Radjab God carried Nūḥ (Noah) in the ark; he fasted during Radjab, and bade his people to fast during it, thus expressing their gratitude to God for their salvation. Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal said that he had in his possession a tradition recording the rewards for fasting of every day of Radjab; he considered, however, the ḥadīth a forged one. The fasting of the whole month of Radjab was nevertheless frowned upon and sometimes forbidden in order not to create a similarity with Rama ān. The practices of fasting during Radjab were censured by Abū Bakr, ɈUmar and people of the ṣaḥāba, says Ibn Taymiyya. Some nights of Radjab are considered to be replete with God's graces. In the first night of Radjab, God will grant every supplication of the believer. It is one of the five chosen nights in the year. Another prayer strongly censured by Ibn Taymiyya was the prayer practised in the midst of Radjab called ṣalāt Umm Dāwūd. A night highly praised by those who observed Radjab was the night of the ṣalāt alraghāʾib “the night of the prayer for extensive and desirable gifts”; it starts on the eve of the first Friday of Radjab; the prayers and supplications contained hundreds of invocations, prostrations, rakʿas and recitations of some sūras of the Ḳurɇān. The believer is requested to fast on the Thursday preceding this night. A night of Radjab distinguished by the rich rewards is the night of the twenty-seventh of Radjab. The believer spending this night in vigils: praying; thanking God; repeating a hundred times the various phrases of gratitude, the oneness of God, invocations and supplications; performing prostrations and rakʿas; and reading a sūra of the Ḳurɇān and fasting the next day, will be highly rewarded by God; he will attain God's grace as if he fasted a hundred years and practiced vigils for a hundred years. On that night, Muḥammad was sent as a prophet. The significant events connected with the life of the Prophet which allegedly happened in Radjab turn the month into one of the most distinctive periods of the year. According to a tradition, the mother of the Prophet conceived him on the first evening of Radjab; another tradition claims that he was born in Radjab. Some traditions assert that the event of the laylat al-miʿrādj occurred in Radjab. Other traditions claim that the date of the isrāʾ was the twenty-seventh day of Radjab. The struggle of the orthodox scholars against those practices of Radjab widely approved by pious ascetics and Ṣūfīs was not entirely successful. These practices have survived and form until the present time an essential part of Muslim popular belief and ritual. (M. J. Kister) Bibliography ɈAbd al-Razzāḳ, al-Muṣannaf, ed. Ḥabīb al-Raḥmān al-AɈẓamī, Beirut 1391/1972, iv, 342, no. 8000, iv, 341, no. 7998, iv, 341, no. 7999, iv, 340, no. 7997, iv, 337, no. 7989, iv, 337, nos. 7990-1, iv, 340, no. 7996, and see ibid., iv, 338, nos. 7992-3, iv, 292, no. 7858, iv, 317, no. 7927 Ibn Abī Shayba, al-Muṣannaf fi ʾl-aḥādīth wa ʾl-āthār, ed. ɈAbd al- Ḵh̲āliḳ Afghānī, repr., n.p. n.d., viii, 64-7 Abū YaɈlā al-Mawṣilī, al-Musnad, ed. Ḥusayn Salīm Asad, Damascus-Beirut 1407/1987, x, 282, no. 5879 (and see the abundant references of the editor) Subkī, Ṭabaḳāt al-shāfiʿiyya al-kubrā, ed. 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ɈAbd al-Raḥmān al-Wakīl, Cairo 1387/1967, i, 70 Nūr al-Dīn al-Haythamī, Madjmaʿ al-zawāʾid wa-manbaʿ al-fawāʾid, Beirut 1967, iii, 188, 191 Murta ā al-Zabīdī, Itḥāf al-sāda al-muttaḳīn bi-sharḥ asrār iḥyāʾ ʿulūm al-dīn, Beirut n.d., iii, 422-5 Ibn Ḥadjar al-ɈAsḳalānī, Tabyīn al-ʿadjab bi-mā warada fī faḍl radjab, ed. Abū Asmāɇ Ibrāhīm b. IsmāɈīl Āl ɈAṣr, Beirut 1408/1988 Ibn Himmāt al-Dimashḳī, al-Tankīt wa ʾl-ifāda fī takhrīdj aḥādīth khātimat sifr al-saʿāda, ed. Aḥmad al-Bazra, Beirut 1407/1988, 96-7, 112-13 Maḳrīzī, al-Khabar ʿan al-bashar, ms. Dār al-Kutub 947, Taɇrīk̲h̲, p. 444 ɈIzz al-Dīn b. ɈAbd al-Salām al-Sulamī, Kitāb al- Fatāwā, ed. ɈAbd al-Raḥmān b. ɈAbd al-Fattāḥ, Beirut 1406/1986, 117 ɈAbd al-WāsiɈ b. Yaḥyā al-WāsiɈī, al- Mukhtaṣar fī targhīb wa-tarhīb ḥadīth sayyid albashar, Cairo 1345, 26 ult.-27 al-Ḥasan b. Muḥammad al-Khallāl, Faḍāʾil shahr radjab, ed. ɈAmr ɈAbd al-MunɈim, Ṭanṭā 1412/1972 ɈAlī b. Sulṭān al-Ḳārī, al-Adab fī radjab, ed. ɈAmr ɈAbd al-MunɈim, Ṭanṭā 1412/1992, also ed. ɈAbd Allāh ɈAwda in JSAI, forthcoming Badr al-Dīn Shiblī, Maḥāsin al-wasāʾil fī maʿrifat al-awāʾil, ms. B.L., Or. 1530, fol. 56b ɈAlī Maḥfūẓ, al-Ibdāʿ fī maḍārr al-ibtidāʿ, Cairo 1388/1968, 296-7 Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Djubayr al-Kinānī, Riḥla, Beirut 1388/1968, 98-104 Muḥammad b. ɈAlī b. Ṭūlūn al- Dimashḳī, Faṣṣ al-Khawātim fī-mā ḳīla fi ʾl-walāʾim, ed. Nizār Abāẓa, Damascus 1402/1982, 92-4. For additional bibl., see M. J. Kister, Radjab is the month of God, in IOS, i (1971), repr. Variorum, London 1980, Studies in Jāhiliyya and early Islam, no. XII. [Print Version: Volume VIII, page 373, column 2] Citation: Kister, M. J. “Rad̲j̲ab.” Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman; Th. Bianquis; C. E. Bosworth; E. van Donzel; and W. P. Heinrichs.