Preparing for Ramadan: Rajab Shopping
Sometimes it feels overwhelming to think about becoming a better person. “I’m ok” resonates easily in the breast and our ‘busyness’ helps us avoid thinking about it. But at Maghreb tonight (Tuesday April 29th) we will herald in the month of Rajab and with it a golden opportunity.
Anas b. Malik (r) tells us that when Rajab would begin the Prophet (s) would say, “O God! Bless us in Rajab, and Sha’ban, and bless us in Ramadan…”
While every month should be a month of peace, righteousness and piety, the four sacred months have been favored over the other months and provide us with an opportunity to make real changes in our behavior. Ibn Abbas (r) said, “Allah distinguished these four months, made them sacred, and glorified them; He made sinning during them of worse consequence than during the others; and the reward for righteous deeds is greater.” There are four sacred months: Dhul-Qi’da, Dhul-Hijja, Muharram and Rajab. Dhul-Qi’da is a month of preparing for the pilgrimage, Dhul-Hijja includes the pilgrimage, and Muharram is returning from the pilgrimage. Rajab stands alone.
Rajab is like a big “Black Friday” sale, but it lasts for an entire month instead of just one day. So make your list, and get shopping.
Start your Rajab shopping with your mornings. Have you joined the tahajjud revolution yet? Has it been a year (at least) since you last missed Fajr? Start Rajab by becoming a person of tahajjud, and inshAllah next year you will look back upon a year of ‘on time’ Fajrs.
Add a clean and tranquil home to your shopping cart. Is it neat and tidy? Does it smell good? Are the voices peaceful and the words pleasant? Don’t delay your spring cleaning to Ramadan and pre-Eid, begin now. As you clean up and clear up, plan ways to turn your house into an angel magnet.
Don’t forget to be gentle with the people in your home. They are a sacred trust to you, their feelings and their hearts lie quivering in your hands. Set aside your nafs, and turn with an open heart to their service and love.
Double check your cart and make sure you are leaving behind the habits of sin you have fallen into. Tight clothes (men and women) and immodesty, stinginess and bitterness, lies and slander, crabbiness and arrogance all need to be left behind. Their cost is too high.
When you stand at the ‘checkout’ line on the last day of Rajab, be sure to have gathered plenty of fasting days, lots of ‘istighfar’, and plenty of du’a. This is the currency you will use to leave the month cleansed of sin, energized with righteousness, and truly blessed by this month of blessings.
Happy Rajab to all. May it be blessed with abundance.
Anse Tamara Gray